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Tag Archives: Treasury Department

Rising Home Values Bring Equity to Highest Level Since 2008

Rising home values in September brought homeowner equity to its highest level since the third quarter of 2008, according to the Obama administration's latest Housing Scorecard. According to the report, homeowner equity increased $406 billion, or 5.9 percent, to $7.3 trillion in the second quarter of 2012. After experiencing a turnaround into growth in the year's first quarter, total equity has grown $863 billion, or 13.5 percent, since the end of 2011.

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Should Officials Do Away With Mortgage Interest Deduction?

Talking heads call the mortgage interest-rate deduction a sacrosanct giveaway for the tax code, a loophole as sacred for Americans as, say, Social Security or Medicare - and just as electric to politicians. But a new survey out from Zillow suggests that may not be the case anymore. According to Zillow - which notably conducted the survey with economists and real-estate experts instead of your average homeowners - 10 percent believe the mortgage interest-rate deduction should be thrown out as soon as possible, while 50 percent believe it ought to be phased out over time.

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Mortgage Rates Slip as Markets React to Fed’s Stimulus

Fed

Financial markets reacted to the Federal Reserve's announced stimulus last week, with investors dumping their money in more safe-haven Treasury debt, lowering mortgage rates accordingly. According to real estate website Zillow, which releases weekly surveys on the subject, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell from 3.38 percent to 3.34 percent last week. Rates for the 15-year home loan slid to 2.71 percent, while those for 5-year and 1-year adjustable-rate mortgages inched down to 2.45 percent.

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Treasury to Receive Billions in Return from AIG Stock

After bailing out American International Group, Inc. at a price tag of $182.3 billion, Treasury and the Federal Reserve are expecting to see their full investment back, plus a return. On Monday, Treasury estimated a return of $12.4 billion after selling about $18 billion in shares. On Tuesday, Treasury then announced it expects to see an additional $2.7 billion after underwriters exercised their over-allotment option to purchase more shares. Treasury's proceeds from the public offering are expected to reach $20.7 billion.

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Is New Treasury Plan Beginning of the End for the GSEs?

On Friday, after years of bills from lawmakers to reform Fannie and Freddie, the Treasury Department unveiled a plan to finally ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£wind down├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø the mortgage giants. According to a release, the Treasury Department will end a past ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£circular├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø arrangement with Fannie and Freddie that allowed the companies to repay the agency with the very funds it received in the first place. The new agreement requires that Fannie and Freddie divert any new quarterly profits back to Treasury in order to repay taxpayers for their losses.

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No Treasury Draw for Fannie Mae for Second Consecutive Quarter

Following Tuesday├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós news that Freddie Mac will not require a draw from Treasury this quarter, Fannie Mae announced the same on Wednesday in its second quarter earnings report. This is the second consecutive quarter that the GSE has not required a draw from Treasury. Before this year, Fannie May required a draw from Treasury for the previous 11 consecutive quarters. The GSE reported a net worth of $2.8 billion with comprehensive income in the second quarter reaching $5.4 billion. This is up from $2.9 billion in the first quarter of this year.

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DeMarco Nets Criticism, Praise for Principal Reductions Decision

In a long-running debate, Edward DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, stated again this week that he does not support principal reductions and does not endorse their use at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. After stating his position, he immediately faced criticism and opposition from a broad spectrum of individuals, especially throughout the government. However, DeMarco's decision received a few words of praise as well. Industry insiders and pundits reacted to the decision on Monday and Tuesday.

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Two Years in Review for the CFPB and Dodd-Frank

Financial reform advocates have two birthdays to celebrate on Saturday. This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of the watchdog Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the two-year anniversary of the Dodd-Frank Act, the sweeping financial reform law that spawned it. Their stories run parallel to each other ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô and rightly so. The consumer bureau squeaked past partisan gridlock this time last year, just one year after Democrats, then in the majority of both houses of Congress, cleared Dodd-Frank for the president├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós signature.

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Bank, Groups Go After CFPB to Declare It Unconstitutional

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau faces a new legal challenge as a Texas community bank and two conservative groups launch a lawsuit to undo it and the financial reform law that created it two years ago. The Big Spring, Texas-based State National Bank recently paired with the Competitive Enterprise Institute and 60 Plus Association to sue the embattled consumer bureau in federal court. The suit challenges the constitutionality of the CFPB and Dodd-Frank Act, as well as Richard Cordray's appointment.

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CFPB Releases New Guidance on Military Relocation

Mortgage servicers received new guidance Thursday addressing protocol for dealing with military members who receive permanent change of station orders. The joint guidance was released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in concert with the Federal Reserve, FDIC, National Credit Union Administration, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. About one-third of the nation├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós military members receive non-negotiable permanent change of station orders each year, and the new servicer guidance is intended to ensure compliance with applicable consumer laws and regulations.

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