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Tag Archives: HUD

October Home Sales Spike by 8.9% From Last Year

New single-family home sales climbed to a seasonally adjusted annual 307,000 over October, 8.9 percent more than those figures estimated over the same time last year. The Commerce Department yielded the data Monday from new residential sales, which it collected and released via the Census Bureau and HUD. Sales for single-family homes meanwhile crawled above revised September rates of 303,000 by 1.3 percent. Data showed that median sales prices for new homes sold over October this year hovered at about $212,300.

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Senators Grill Obama Administration Nominees

The Senate Banking Committee pressed nominees for the nation├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós major financial services and housing agencies over a myriad of recent issues Thursday, with insolvency for the Federal Housing Administration and an increasing number of bank failures prevailing in discussions. The nomination hearing for the three Obama administration prospects ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô FHA commissioner-nominee Carol Galante, FDIC vice-chairman nominee Thomas Hoenig, and HUD deputy secretary-nominee Maurice Jones ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô quickly transitioned from congratulatory to tense and at times awkward.

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Report: FHA Could Require Bailout by Next Year

The Federal Housing Administration submitted an annual actuarial report to Congress Tuesday that suggests diminishing returns from a fledgling growth strategy could lead the agency to a taxpayer-funded bailout next year. The reason why? The FHA currently fails to meet a 2-percent capital reserve ratio mandated by federal law, with cash reserves on hand falling to less than an eighth below the required threshold. The report said that cash reserves on hand fell accordingly from $4.7 billion last year to $2.6 billion over 2011. Estimates predict that it could require $50 billion.

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Lawmakers Target Fannie, Freddie Over ‘Questionable’ Practices

A minibus bill cobbled together by House lawmakers would slash spending from several federal agencies, including HUD, and limit a hike in conforming loan limits to the Federal Housing Administration. House lawmakers drafted the stopgap bill to resolve funding needs for the federal government and avoid a shutdown for the remainder of the fiscal year a step in the direction of an agreement reached by White House officials and member of Congress earlier this year.

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FHA May Soon Need $50B in Bailout Funds: Study

The GSEs remain a mainstay in debates over the role of the government in housing, but some now say the Federal Housing Administration may take a turn as the next agency in need of bailout funds. A new study by Joseph Gyourko, a University of Pennsylvania real estate and finance professor, highlights future peril for the agency, predicting that it may need as much as $50 billion in federal funds over the next several years just to stay solvent. Some analysts say the real threat is not from a bailout but from sapped liquidity and credit for homeowners.

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New Rule Would Streamline GSE Fraud Reports

Fraudsters and money-launderers may find it more difficult to move forward with their illicit activities if a new draft rule receives approval. Publishing a draft rule in the Federal Register Thursday, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network proposed eliminating the Federal Housing Finance Agency as a middle-man in the reporting process for suspicious activity for GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The rule would require GSE officials to file suspicious activity reports with FinCEN itself.

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HUD Scorecard Delivers Mixed Results for Housing

An October scorecard released Thursday by the Obama administration portrayed the housing market as one beset by mixed circumstances over September and the months before. A still-heavy foreclosure glut matched with declining home values and prices left the market slightly worse for the wear in some areas. The report measured up home prices, home sales, and refinance originations, finding declines for some and stabilization for others. A positive portrayal of efforts by the Obama administration also met with less favorable consumer sentiment.

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Lawmakers Argue for More HARP 2.0 Modifications

A bipartisan group of lawmakers called for more modifications to the Home Affordable Refinance Program Wednesday in a public letter addressing federal officials. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California) and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia) joined eight other lawmakers to call for the FHFA and other federal regulators to lift access barriers to borrowers with higher-equity government-backed loans. The letter argues that new modifications could benefit approximately 12 million other borrowers.

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Feds Sue Allied Home Mortgage, Alleging $834M Fraud

Prosecutors slapped Allied Home Mortgage Capital Corp. with a lawsuit Tuesday, seeking to recoup $834 million in bad claims from two executives for their alleged roles in bilking the government over the course of a decade. The complaint accused president and CEO Jim Hodge and EVP Jeanne Stell of violating federal law by knowingly misrepresenting mortgages to authorities, failing to keep up with quality control guidelines, and originating federally insured loans at 600 unapproved branch offices.

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Ex-HUD Officials, Lawmakers Lead New Housing Commission

Lawmakers and policymakers from both sides of the aisle recently teamed up to head a bipartisan commission on the future of U.S. housing policy. The Bipartisan Policy Center, a D.C.-based nonprofit organization, floated commission leaders whose names include former HUD secretaries Henry Cisneros and Mel Martinez, ex-Sen. Kit Bond, and onetime Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, who also founded the organization. The commission will finalize the details of these recommendations in a major package for current lawmakers and policymakers.

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