Feed aggregator

Loan performance continues to slip in oil-dependent areas

National Mortgage News - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 09:44
Even as rates on seriously delinquent and foreclosed mortgages nationwide track at their lowest levels in a decade, loan performance continues to slip in areas dependent on oil industry employment.

Dumb and Dumber(er): The GOP Tax Plan Will Destroy Graduate Education

IEHI News feed - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 09:20

Despite earning $23,000/year [as a stipend], you'd pay taxes on $40,520 or $57,914 at a public University [including waived tuition], and despite earning $32,500, you'd pay taxes on $81,440 at a private University. For this last figure, this would result in a higher tax rate than anyone else in the nation pays. These numbers represent increases in taxes of $2,628, $6,193, and $10,650, respectively, on these hypothetical graduate students.

One could hardly cook up a worse provision for killing what is left of STEM higher education and hence technical advance in this country. The article doesn't even mention the point that the waived tuitions are funny-money numbers in the first place, so if students have to pay taxes on them, they are basically being taxed on made-up-numbers to ensure the comfort of schools, thus resembling indentured servitude and even some forms of slavery.

Indeed, we should probably go the other way -- make grad students (up to a certain earnings level) completely exempt from taxes...

Tax Bill Thrown Into Uncertainty as First G.O.P. Senator Comes Out Against It

IEHI News feed - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 18:12
Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, came out against both chambers' tax plans on Wednesday, deploring the hurried process and saying that the bills favored corporations over small businesses and other so-called pass-through entities, whose owners pay taxes on profits through the tax code for individuals.

"These businesses truly are the engines of innovation and job creation throughout our economy, and they should not be left behind," he said in a statement. "Unfortunately, neither the House nor Senate bill provide fair treatment, so I do not support either in their current versions."

Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Bob Corker of Tennessee and John McCain of Arizona have voiced their own concerns and refused to say whether they would ultimately vote for the tax bill.

...

"I want to see the whole package before I make a decision," Mr. McCain said.

Wells readies CMBS conduit pooling smaller commercial mortgages

National Mortgage News - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 15:16
The $785 million transaction, 2017-C41, is backed by a pool of 52 loans with an average balance of just $15.1 million, according to Kroll Bond Rating Agency; retail, hotel and office properties dominate the mix.

CFPB requests information on free access to credit scores

National Mortgage News - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 15:16
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking more information about consumers' experience with free access to credit scores.

It took two years to sell this bank. Now the heavy lifting starts

National Mortgage News - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 15:16
Sterling Bancorp in New York is determined to turn Astoria Financial's largely residential operation into a commercial powerhouse. While investors are skeptical, CEO Jack Kopnisky has proven in the past that such an ambitious plan is doable.

Cheat sheet: Inside Crapo’s reg relief deal with Democrats

National Mortgage News - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 15:16
The regulatory relief bill would raise the SIFI threshold to $250 billion of assets and allow mortgages held in portfolio to be counted as "qualified," among other items, but it is far less sweeping than institutions had hoped.

General contractor seeks foreclosure on Connecticut theater

National Mortgage News - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 15:16
The general contractor in the renovation of Wall Street Theater in Norwalk, Conn., has filed a motion in court seeking to collect on a mechanic's lien.

Richard Cordray is stepping down as head of CFPB (RESTORATION OF BANKSTERS IS COMPLETE!)

IEHI News feed - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 12:39
Richard Cordray, one of the few remaining Obama-era banking regulators, said on Wednesday that he plans to step down as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by the end of the month, clearing the way for President Trump to remake a watchdog agency loathed by Republicans and Wall Street.

Cordray's decision comes just a month after the CFPB suffered a major rebuke from Republicans in Congress who took the unusual step of blocking an agency rule that would have allowed consumers to sue their banks for the first time. Cordray appealed to President Trump directly not to sign the legislation but was rebuffed.

...

With Cordray's departure, the aggressive regulatory structure put in place by the Obama administration in the wake of the global financial crisis has been nearly entirely replaced. The head of the Securities and Exchange Commission has been replaced by a former Wall Street lawyer and the Senate is moving to approve Trump's pick to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, another important banking regulator. The head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Martin Gruenberg, has said he will step down at the end of the month.

...

The agency has been controversial among Republicans since its inception. Critics complain that CFPB has made it more difficult for people to get a mortgage loan and has overstepped its power to regulate some industries, including auto loans.

More difficult to get a mortgage?! How horrible. It's not like that was ever needed in our recent past (oh, 2007, you say? That's like, a million years ago...)

Square Cash is letting some users buy and sell Bitcoin

IEHI News feed - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 12:35
``It's not yet clear what the fee structure will be or if there are daily buying or selling limits, or who Square is using as a liquidity provider for the transactions. Jack Dorsey has spoken publicly about the benefits of cryptocurrency and the blockchain, but hadn't acknowledged that Square was working on building the functionality into their Cash app.''

Florida real estate agent accused of duping home buyers

National Mortgage News - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 12:13
A real estate agent allegedly duped two home buyers into thinking they had purchased a Boynton Beach, Fla., residence but instead pocketed their down payment and monthly payments, according to an arrest report.

Baltimore-area home sales, prices continue to climb in October

National Mortgage News - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 12:13
Baltimore-area home sales and prices continued their upward climb in October, as inventory contracted for the 26th consecutive month.

10 years later, home prices are back at bubble levels

National Mortgage News - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 12:13
Home prices have returned to the boom levels of 10 years ago, which originally signaled the bursting of the housing bubble and the onset of the Great Recession, but today's market is notably different, according to realtor.com.

J.G. Wentworth restructures as its mortgage unit shows strength

National Mortgage News - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 12:13
Lenders holding a majority share in The J.G. Wentworth Co. agreed late last week to restructure and deleverage the embattled company as its operations stabilize and its mortgage unit grows.

Both parties' voters fear rising taxes could force a home sale

National Mortgage News - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 12:13
As Congress debates tax reform and which deductions to remove, a majority of homeowners from both parties worried that rising property taxes could force them to sell.

Household debt rises by $116 billion as credit-card delinquencies pile up

IEHI News feed - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 11:34
``Flows into credit-card and auto loans delinquencies rose, with 4.6% of credit card debt 90 days or more delinquent, up from 4.4% in the second quarter, and 2.4% of auto loan debt seriously delinquent, up from 2.3%. That's still nowhere near the 9.6% of student loan debt that is delinquent, which itself is understated because about half of those loans are currently in deferment, grace periods or in forbearance.''

Richest 1% own over half the world's wealth

IEHI News feed - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 11:32
``The world's richest 1% of families and individuals hold over half of global wealth, according to a new report from Credit Suisse. The report suggests inequality is still worsening some eight years after the worst global recession in decades... In most countries, including the US, a large wealth gap translates into those at the top accruing political power, which in turn can lead to policies that reinforce benefits for the wealthy. President Donald Trump's tax-cut plan, for instance, has been widely criticized for favoring corporations and the wealthy.''

Washington can’t save community banks. It can’t even save itself

National Mortgage News - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 09:10
During the past year, many have hoped for action from Washington that would alleviate regulatory burden and stem the rapid pace of consolidation. But in the current political environment, that appears increasingly unlikely.

San Francisco no longer the least affordable housing market

National Mortgage News - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 09:10
After nearly five years of being the nation's least affordable housing market, San Francisco was surpassed by another California city as the national median home price increased, according to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index.

Do Justice and HUD see eye to eye on False Claims Act enforcement?

National Mortgage News - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 09:10
Trump officials have made clear their intent to reexamine how Federal Housing Administration lenders are cited under the False Claims Act, but whether that means lenders can rest easier is an open question.