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Tag Archives: Barack Obama

More Real Estate Agents, Brokers Prefer Romney: Survey

Some 66 percent of real estate agents and brokers disapprove of President Barack Obama's performance, with many preferring GOP presidential forerunner and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the coming election, according to real estate company HomeGain. The home valuations company released results from a second-quarter survey Monday that polled 400 real estate agents and more than 1,700 homeowners. The company also found more optimism among real estate professionals about home values.

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HARP Means Savings, Less Debt for Homeowners: Freddie Mac

More homeowners continue to reap benefits from the newly modified Home Affordable Refinance Program, with 79 percent of homeowners with government-backed mortgages either keeping the same level of mortgage debt as before or reducing it over the first quarter. Of those homeowners, Freddie Mac found recently, 79 percent held onto the same level of debt for first-lien home mortgages, while 21 percent of homeowners shaved off dollars from their principal balance. The share of borrowers keeping their original loan amounts hovered at the highest level in the 26-year history of the survey.

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Obama Administration Pushes for New Refinance Expansions

The Obama administration made another push Friday to expand refinancing opportunities for homeowners, with HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan behind the effort to adopt any one of three bills currently in Congress. Officials told reporters in a teleconference Friday that President Barack Obama would appear with a family in Nevada later that day to tout the need for a wider refinance net. The HUD secretary outlined three bills before Congress that seek to streamline the refinance application process and increase servicer competition by reducing barriers.

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Affordability, Inventory Improve, Still Shy of Full Recovery

The U.S. housing market continues to trudge down the slow, bumpy road to recovery with a few positive indicators lighting the way. However, a full recovery continues to linger listlessly on the horizon. Obama's Housing Scorecard for April, released jointly by HUD and the Treasury Department, reveals some positive movement in home sales, though prices continue to languish in many markets. Another piece of good news for the market: Housing inventory is now at a sustainable level. The market currently holds a 5.3-month supply of new homes.

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Senate Hearing Fields Praise, Criticisms About New HARP

Lawmakers seated on the Senate Banking Committee convened a hearing Wednesday to determine just how radically draft legislation should lift barriers to refinance opportunities for homeowners and lenders. The message from those testifying: More refinance modifications would help, but beware of the impact for investors and lenders. The Obama administration moved on expansions to HARP last fall by working with the Federal Housing Finance Agency to sign off on lower loan-to-value ratio requirements and remove obstacles for lenders and servicers.

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HUD Swears in Rhodes Scholar, Publisher as Deputy Secretary

HUD swore in a Virginia-based publisher with British credentials as deputy secretary Wednesday. Confirmed by the Senate in late March, Maurice Jones stepped up to serve as the federal agency├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós second senior-most official. Jones arrives at his new position with considerable credentials. Graduating from Hampden-Sydney College, he snagged a Rhodes scholarship to study and later pick up a degree from the University of Oxford. He later graduated from the University of Virginia with a juris doctor.

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New Comptroller of the Currency Assumes Office

An old hand from the banking regulatory community took office Monday as the nation├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós newest comptroller of the currency. The Senate confirmed Thomas Curry to helm the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in March. President Barack Obama first nominated Curry, an FDIC director, last year. He then served as chairman of the agency├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós assessment appeals and case review committees. His record of service includes stints as first deputy commissioner and assistant general counsel in the Massachusetts banks division.

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Senate Banking Committee Clears Five Obama Nominees

Lawmakers seated on the Senate Banking Committee slated five nominees to head up regulatory agencies for full-chamber votes Friday. Committee Chairman Tim Johnson led the voice vote that cleared nominees for boards responsible for the Federal Reserve System, FDIC, and Troubled Asset Relief Program, among others. The nominees set for votes include Jerome Powell and Jeremy Stein for governorships with the Fed; Jeremiah Norton, for a board role with the FDIC; Richard Berner, for directorship of the Office of Financial Research; and Christy Romero, for service as TARP├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós next special inspector general.

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Senate Clears STOCK Act, Prohibits GSE Bonus Pay

The Senate cleared a bill Thursday that bans bonuses for executives with either of the GSEs and requires mortgage disclosures from senior-level government officials. The bill ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô passed by a count of 96 to 3, according to news outlets, and combines an earlier House version with Senate amendments. Except in certain circumstances, under the law, government officials and their spouses will need to disclose report on and disclose information about their mortgage loans. GSE executives will be eligible only for federal pay grades.

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Cordray Calls on Press to Deliver CFPB’s Message

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray told a gathering of the nation's editors and journalists Friday that the agency needs their help to make consumers more aware of predatory lending hurdles. He highlighted efforts by the CFPB to increase transparency in the markets, underscored the role undertaken by lenders in the crisis, and played up the need for more regulation for servicers. The address by Cordray is the latest in a round of public appearances by the CFPB director, newly appointed by President Barack Obama in January.

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