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Tag Archives: Lenders & Servicers

Weak Job Growth Continues Through January

Unemployment

According to the government's latest data, total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 113,000 last month, adding more bleak numbers to December's barely revised growth of 75,000. The unemployment rate edged down slightly to 6.6 percent. Since October, the jobless rate has fallen more than half a percentage point, largely thanks to declines in the number of people counted as being part of the labor force. There's a little bit of good news, though.

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JPMorgan to Pay $614M Over False Claims

The Justice Department and JPMorgan both announced Tuesday that the bank will pay $614 million in restitution for violations of the False Claims Act. The government claims that starting as early as 2002, the firm knowingly originated and underwrote non-compliant loans submitted for insurance coverage and guarantees by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). As a consequence, the DoJ says FHA and VA ""incurred substantial losses when unqualified loans failed.""

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Another Week, Another Drop in Mortgage Rates

In its weekly published Primary Mortgage Market Survey, Freddie Mac put the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate at 4.23 percent (0.7 point) for the week ending February 6, down from 4.32 percent previously. Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist for Freddie Mac, once again pointed to weaker housing data as a factor in this week's rate changes, noting declines in December pending home sales and a negative contribution to GDP from fixed residential investment.

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Potential Sellers Stymied by Difficult Buying Environment

Homeowners surveyed by Redfin last month expressed greater confidence in the current selling environment, but many remain concerned about the difficulties they may face on the buyers' side of things. Denver Redfin agent Paul Stone captures survey-takers' sentiment, saying, ""Most of my home-selling clients worry the most about what will happen after they sell. With so much competition in the market, they fear they will have to move in with their in-laws if they can't find their next home quickly.""

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NAHB Projects Positive 2014 for Single-Family Homes

Speaking at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders' Show (IBS) in Las Vegas, economists expressed a positive outlook for homebuilders in 2014--with a few warnings. NAHB chief economist David Crowe noted five key points for his positive projections: ""Consumers are back, pent-up demand is emerging, there is a growing need for new construction, distressed sales are diminishing and builders see it."" However, builders still face hurdles like tight credit conditions, and difficulties in obtaining accurate appraisals.

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