Mortgages and Housing: Getting Better, Presenting BVHI, FC Fraud Primer, ZIRP Helps Borrowers, FHA OK, CFPB Files Right to Cancel, Selective Writedowns, Actual vs. Fundamental, Agitated Appraisers, Case-Shiller Lags, IG on GSE Solvency

BillCoppedge_26Nov2011original content selection by MortgageNewsClips.com

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(2 interesting charts) Dear January, The housing market is much better now. – Scott Sambucci – Altos Research
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(presenting BVHI) Home Prices Have Been Rising For 3 Months, But Nobody Has Been Telling You – Submitted by Wayne Yamano – Over the last 3 months, prices are up in 90 of the 97 markets we analyzed. The average price increase over the last 3 months is 1.1%, or a 4.5% annual rate. This is big news, so why isn’t anyone else reporting it? It is because most price indexes are at least 3 months behind what’s happening with home prices right now. The Burns Home Value Index (BHVI) gives you a 3-month competitive advantage. – John Burns RE Consulting
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(must read primer, allonges) Foreclosure Fraud 101: A Step-By-Step Look at One of the Most Common Fixes for Securitization Fail  – Yves Smith – Naked Capitalism
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Foreclosure Deal Credits Banks for Routine Efforts – By SHAILA DEWAN and JESSICA SILVER-GREENBERG – NY Times

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(ZIRP) Low interest rates put cash in Americans’ pockets – By Dennis Cauchon -  USA TODAY – A historic drop in interest rates is helping U.S. households save more than $3,000 a year on average, allowing consumers to spend more even as their earnings fall, a USA TODAY analysis finds.
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FHA Calls Claims It Will Need Taxpayer Bailout a Myth - BY: ESTHER CHO – After a forecast from Moody’s Analytics hinted that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is at risk of requiring a taxpayer bailout, the agency released a myths and facts sheet and categorized speculation about a bailout as myth. – DS News

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CFPB Files Amicus for Borrowers’ Right to Cancel Certain Loans – BY: ESTHER CHO – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed an amicus brief on behalf of borrowers for their rights to cancel home equity-loans or second mortgages if they did not receive important disclosures required by the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). The amicus brief – or “friend of the court” – was filed to ensure proper implementation of statutes allowing certain borrowers to rescind on their loans if they notify the lender of their intent to cancel within three years of signing the loan. – DS News

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Freddie Mac economist sees housing emerging from winter dormancy - By Justin T. Hilley – A variety of encouraging indicators suggest the housing market is awakening, “much like the garden flora reemerging from their winter dormancy,” Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac chief economist said – Housingwire
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Mortgage Write-Downs Granted Here, There – Not Everywhere – By Alan Zibel – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac aren’t granting reductions in homeowners’ loan balances, as has been widely noted of late. … More than 35,000 homeowners received principal reductions from their lender last year, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said in a report  … Principal reductions made up about 8.5% of all loan modifications completed in the fourth quarter, compared with 7.8% in the third quarter of last year and 2.7% in the fourth quarter of 2010, the regulator said. … – Wall Street Journal

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Private Lenders Forgive Home Debt as U.S. Lenders Balk – By John Gittelsohn  – Bloomberg

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(‘actual’ vs. ‘fundamental’ prices) Housing Bubbles, House Prices, and Interest Rates – Yves Smith – Naked Capitalism
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Why Are Appraisers Agitated Over HARP 2.0? – by Stefan Lamanna – … That means that underwater loans can have 150% or even 200% LTVs. HARP 2.0 requires a "reliable" automated valuation model (AVM), rather than a full appraisal, … Some appraisal groups want the definition of a "reliable" AVM because they do not want to be held liable by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac - or lenders, for that matter – for incorrect valuations. .. The bottom line is that the appraisal – whether full, drive-by or AVM – is unnecessary under the HARP 2.0 rule. Appraisers, by virtue of an unlimited LTV, are not liable for any aspect of the valuation as specified by the program’s parameters. It looks to me like this controversy is just a bunch of hot air. … – MortgageOrb 
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S&P: We Know The Case-Shiller Home Price Index Has Problems But There’s Nothing We Can Do About It – Sam Ro – … Specifically, the prices levels indicated in a given month’s index are based on closing prices, which reflect contract prices that may be many months old. … Blitzer told us, "these are the only consistent, reliable and accurate source of price data." … – Business Insider

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Inspector General: Fannie and Freddie Solvency Now ‘Mathematically Impossible’ – Rob Wile – A devastating report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of Inspector General (.pdf) says it now appears "highly unlikely – if not mathematically impossible – for the Enterprises to buy themselves out of the conservatorships." – story at Business Insider

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