Today’s News Synopsis:
Mortgage loan applications decreased 1.4% this week. FHFA reports national house prices fell 0.5% in July. HAMP converted 33,342 trial modifications into permanent status last month. The Bush tax cuts may end soon.
In The News:
“there is a lot of actual and shadow residential real estate inventory in the US. The time from serious delinquency to foreclosure has lengthened considerably, due not just to crowded court dockets, but also bank/servicer disinclination to take possession (reasons include that investors take a dim view of bank real estate holdings; the bank is liable for expenses, most important real estate taxes, once it takes possession; more foreclosures would lead banks to have to write down clearly overvalued second mortgages, leading to losses and lowering bank capital levels).”
Mortgage Bankers Association – “MBA Hails Extension of National Flood Insurance Program” (9-22-10)
“Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States. In fact, more than five million Americans rely on the National Flood Insurance Program as their primary protection against flooding. This program has expired regularly in recent times, which has frustrated residential and commercial lenders and borrowers alike.”
Mortgage Bankers Association – “Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey” (9-22-10)
“The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending September 17, 2010. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 1.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 22.9 percent compared with the previous week, which included the Labor Day holiday.”
Sacramento Bee – “Viewpoints: Is ‘smart growth’ law on right track? No” (9-22-10)
“Now, more than ever, the men and women out of work, construction companies that have no projects in the pipeline and local officials trying to maintain vital services are looking for a process that will bring all parties together to work toward a successful, responsible program. Unfortunately, the air board’s staff chose a path that will wreak havoc in the construction industry, prevent economic recovery, and stand as a major disincentive to future developments in our state.”
Housing Wire – “FHFA house prices slip 0.5% in July” (9-22-10)
“U.S. house prices fell 0.5% in July after increases through the second quarter, according the Federal Housing Finance Agency monthly House Price Index (HPI). The July numbers follow 1.2% drop in July, revised from a 0.3% decline.”
Housing Wire – “SEC charges 4 with fraud after failing to disclose real estate investment fund collapse” (9-22-10)
“The Securities Exchange Commission Monday charged a Minneapolis attorney and two San Francisco promoters with fraud after they failed to disclose the financial collapse of a real estate lending fund to relevant investors. Todd Duckson, Michael Bozora and Timothy Redpath allegedly raised more than $21 million from investors in the Capital Solutions Monthly Income Fund after the sole business partner defaulted on financial obligations. The fund raised approximately $74 million from 450 investors between 2004 and August 2009.”
Housing Wire – “Obama housing scorecard touts ‘advances’ in August” (9-22-10)
“The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Treasury Department compiled data for the monthly scorecard. According to the administration, stabilizing housing prices leveled off in the past year after 30 straight months of declines. Homeowners added $95 billion in home equity in the second quarter. The scorecard did acknowledge ‘a dip’ in home sale figures in July after the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit. But since April 2009, record low mortgage rates have helped more than 7.1 million families refinance, saving more than $12.7 billion.”
Housing Wire – “Permanent HAMP mods fall 26% in August” (9-22-10)
“Servicers participating in the Home Affordable Modification Program converted 33,342 trial modifications into permanent status in August, down 26.7% from the 45,512 in July. The Treasury Department launched HAMP in March 2009 to provide incentives to servicers for the modification of loans on the verge of foreclosure. Since then, the participating servicers have provided 468,058 permanent modifications.”
Housing Wire – “Right to Rent could change the nation’s foreclosure crisis: CEPR” (9-22-10)
“The report dissects the benefits of a drafted bill, H.R. 5028, also known as The Right to Rent. Under the legislation, homeowners entering the foreclosure process would be able to occupy their homes for up to five years, while paying rent to a lender. Rent would be based on fair market price as determined by an independent appraiser and adjusted annually.”
Bloomberg – “Obama Tricks Voters as Enron Hoodwinked Public: Amity Shlaes” (9-22-10)
“Republicans want to keep the top rate at its current level while Democrats prefer to let the George W. Bush-era rate cuts expire. And some of us may even know that the tax code’s current 35 percent figure would rise to 39.6 percent if President Barack Obama gets his way.”
One year ago, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that national home prices increased by .3% in July. The FDIC considered borrowing money from banks to protect the insurance fund. ZipRealty reported that 25 markets displayed a reduction in home inventory from July to August.
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