hud: Private transfer fees experience the ire of FHFA - 08/23/10 03:25 PM
It looks like the Federal Housing Finance Agency - or FHFA - is getting ready to introduce new regulations later this year that would prevent Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks - FHLBanks - from investing in mortgage loans tagged with these now notorious private transfer fees. This would then effectively bring major government-controlled home loan players in agreement about them, because FHA already is, according to HUD's regulations, banned from insuring mortgages on homes with private transfer fees. They are considered "legal restrictions on conveyance" in FHA talk.
These private transfer fees are brought to life … (11 comments)

hud: HUD steps up mortgage modification scam enforcement - Las Vegas homeowners embrace initiative - 03/03/10 05:28 AM
Home loan scams are really part of the real estate landscape in any market, but generally speaking affecting only a small percentage of consumers. Now, however, things are very different. This housing and mortgage meltdown ranks right up there among the worst ever to sweep across from coast to coast. It brings with it some juicy opportunities for the con men among us and are they ever trying to take advantage of it.
Many have zeroed in on the mortgage loan modification programs heavily promoted by the government, but only tepidly adopted by the private sector. That has left a huge … (6 comments)

hud: Mortgage lenders in HUD's crosshairs over high FHA insurance claims - 02/28/10 12:05 PM
FHA-insured home loans have carved a large chunk of the market during this prolonged housing meltdown. Conventional mortgage lenders have withdrawn in large numbers into the shadows to get TLC from the government just to be able to survive. Many have plain vanished from the scene, generally swallowed by a little stronger bank.
FHA has become the favorite of first-time home buyers for its more lenient underwriting guidelines and lower down payment requirements. Its programs, however, are open to all applicants and many refinances have been done through it. Since FHA started gobbling up market share a couple of years ago, … (6 comments)

hud: Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on death row? - 01/25/10 03:11 PM
House honcho Barney Frank feels that it's time to let these two GSEs, the home loan superstars that have for a long time dominated the secondary mortgage market, expire. Instead of trying to fix them, they should be strapped down and given some liquid that puts them to sleep.  
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in all honesty, have had their problems lately. Years ago they were rocked by management shenanigans, including cooking the books to allow top leaders pocket fatter bonuses. Sounds familiar? More recently they have suffered heavy losses as the real estate market flew right over the cliff … (53 comments)

hud: Short sale fraud accusations surface against prominent mortgage lenders - 01/19/10 02:51 PM
Homeowners who are upside down and facing mortgage payment trouble are increasingly being approved by their lenders to do a short sale, a process where the bank accepts less for the property than what the loan balance is. They amounted to roughly 12% of real estate sales at the end of 2009. Short sales generally are time-consuming and nerve-wracking and can cause to those involved in them heart palpitations and other physical harm. That often happens when there is only one mortgage, or lien, on the home.
When there is a second lien behind the first mortgage, things get even more … (8 comments)

hud: FHA mortgages in Las Vegas soon to cover wider range - 01/17/10 03:18 PM
Southern Nevada - with communities like Henderson, North Las Vegas, Mountains Edge, Rhodes Ranch, Summerlin and Anthem - real estate purchases have recently been financed increasingly with FHA products that offer mortgage applicants more considerate underwriting guidelines and lower down payments than the conventional ones. Without FHA it is hard to imagine what a darker place Las Vegas housing market would otherwise be in right now. And things are going to get even better soon.
HUD just announced an adjustment to the FHA home loan program. Presently, with some exceptions, FHA outlaws insuring a mortgage on a property owned by the … (6 comments)

hud: Las Vegas rejected for HUD stimulus money - 01/14/10 11:15 AM
Southern Nevada jurisdictions of Clark County, Las Vegas, Henderson and North Las Vegas together turned in an application for $367 million from Washington to help battle the once-in-a-lifetime-tough mortgage foreclosure meltdown still roiling here. The stimulus money falls under the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, or NSP, run by HUD, or Department of Housing and Urban Development, and is funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The basic idea is to assist in stabilizing hammered communities by converting vacant homes into affordable housing opportunities and stimulate their economies. State and local governments and non-profit developers would work together to buy land and … (8 comments)

hud: New joint venture to buy distressed residential real estate - 08/20/09 07:04 AM
The co-founders of $1.5 billion fund have long resumes highlighted with mortgage, FHA, Wall Street and financial regulation experience in executive positions. Richard Stewart Jr., CEO of Heritage Capital Resources and Peter Monroe, CEO of National Real Estate Ventures, have carefully assessed the turbulent state of the national housing market and decided to pool their talents to buy and sell distressed real estate. In doing so the plan is to "help return foreclosed homes to productive use, prevent many foreclosures and also allow us to work with banks, servicers and federal agencies to reduce evictions."
Their forward-looking joint venture has also … (4 comments)

hud: FHA mortgage coming on strong in Las Vegas - 07/14/09 09:11 AM
FHA barely had any market share in Southern Nevada a few years ago because the conventional product was generally offering home loans with better terms. And then comes the mother of all housing slumps that manhandles the conventional mortgage segment and gives FHA another chance to show what it can do. And it's rising to the occasion.
Much of the real estate activity in Las Vegas is now at the lower end of the market where prices are truly affordable, be it a single-family home or a condo or a townhouse. Values have been mercilessly rolled back to the levels of the … (2 comments)

hud: New mortgage rules from HUD questionable - 11/13/08 02:00 PM
The recent mortgage and real estate troubles have sparked all sorts of efforts by the federal government to update existing rules and regulations governing housing transactions. In all honesty there certainly is some room for that, but there also were many other reasons to this ugly mess. In the spirit of doing something the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, burned the midnight oil for months and now it has released a new set of rules.  
Actually, what it did was to some degree revise RESPA, or Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, that has been the benchmark for home … (6 comments)

hud: Las Vegas set to benefit from HUD foreclosure program - 09/27/08 03:00 PM
The Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, has received a grant package that totals almost $4 billion to aid cities and states embroiled in mortgage foreclosures. These funds actually were put aside for this purpose in the recently passed Housing and Economic Recovery Act.
The effort has a fitting name, The Neighborhood Stabilization Program, and its aim is to let local and state governments use the available money under certain guidelines. They can tear down or restore abandoned homes and buy land temporarily to stabilize deteriorating areas and then promote redevelopment.
Possibly the more pro-active aspect of it is … (8 comments)

hud: Reverse mortgage choices multiply - 03/22/08 05:09 PM
The still little talked-about reverse mortgage option is fast becoming a household word. It only makes up less than 1% of the huge overall home loan market that right now stands at around $10 trillion, so it's no wonder. In the coming years it'll take a larger bite out of that total, though, if a recent trend is any indication. According to HUD, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, federally-sponsored reverse product lending grew 41% in the fiscal year ending in September, 2007. The increase is indisputably substantial.
The traditional reverse mortgage is available to homeowners 62 years and older who … (8 comments)

hud: Mortgage foreclosure scam guard - 12/19/07 04:16 AM
Be prepared. The scam artists are on the move. The inevitable byproduct of any market distress is the introduction of them to further complicate the already confusing situation. According to the FBI foreclosure fraud numbers are as high as they have ever been, having received 35,000 reports last year that adds up to almost $1 billion. The key is to be able to identify the foreclosure rescue scams and steer clear of them. Here are some pointers.
Equity skimming is one of the more widespread tricks. In it the homeowner would temporarily convey ownership of the property to the shady operators while … (6 comments)

hud: HUD official gives support to financial markets - 09/26/07 09:15 AM
Although the Fed's recent key interest rate cut has only a marginal effect on mortgage interest rates, it does signal the financial community that the government is now carefully monitoring the worrisome housing developments. It provides more liquidity to the overall system for one and also assures the banks that Washington seems to be willing to step in if really needed. It's clear that the marketplace is unable to alone navigate these hurricane-force winds.
The Assistant Secretary of the Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, spoke in the same supportive tone the other day. She is part of an obviously broader effort … (4 comments)

hud: National homebuilder under scrutiny. - 04/18/07 06:39 AM
This appears to be part of the subprime turmoil. Federal investigators have recently launched a criminal probe into the mortgage lending methods and other financial transactions of Beazer Homes. Several agencies are involved, among them HUD and IRS. They are emphasizing, though, that an investigation alone doesn't necessarily mean there has been any unlawful activity.
As we are aware, many large homebuilders nowadays have their own mortgage divisions. The idea is to offer the buyer a one-stop shop, a great concept from the business point of view. And perfectly within the rules. Now that the home loan industry is suffering from a moderate to serious … (0 comments)

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