Mortgages and Housing: HARP2 Profits, FCs to Rentals, Mitt on 2nd Homes, Gundlach Speaks, The 101, Sexy RE Agents, Geithner on FNMA, Natural Gas, S. CA, Reclassifying 2nds, Ocwen on Basel 3, Timelines, For Legal Junkies, Homebuyer Credit, VRM and VA, Buyback Risk

BillCoppedge_26Nov2011original content selection by MortgageNewsClips.com

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(HARP2 money maker) HARP 2.0 improving bank gain-on-sale margins – By Justin T. Hilley – Analysts at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods say the strong start to Home Affordable Refinance Program 2.0 bodes well for mortgage banking volumes and margins in the second quarter, with PHH Corp. benefiting the most. … The increase in HARP volume, mortgage applications and higher interest rate lock commitments created stronger than expected gain-on-sale margins, or the amount banks realize after selling loans to the secondary market. … an increase in applications effectively front-loaded mortgage banking earnings. – Housingwire

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(good commentary) Turning Foreclosed Homes Into Rentals Could Be $100 Billion Industry This YearOC Housing News

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(interesting look) Home Economics: “Second Thoughts on Second Homes and the Mortgage Interest Deduction” – Jason Gold - Mitt Romney caused quite a stir earlier this week when reporters overheard the presumptive GOP presidential nominee tell donors, “I’m going to probably eliminate for high income people the second home mortgage deduction.” – hattip Ira Artman – Progressive Policy Institute 
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(bullet point summary) Jeff Gundlach Speaks On The State Of The Markets And The Economy – Sam Ro – Business Insider    and     Jeff Gundlach slide show
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PRESENTING: The 101 Finance People You Have To Follow On Twitter - Linette Lopez, Rob Wile and Simone Foxman – Business Insider
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Sexy Real Estate Agents Get Higher Prices - by Mike Wheatley – Realty Biz News

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(Geithner:) Fannie Mae Fix Said to Retain Some U.S. Mortgage Role – By Clea Benson, Ian Katz and Cheyenne Hopkins – Bloomberg
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(look at the chart) North America Takes Further Steps to Export its Natural GasGregor.us
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Home sales in Southern California climb, price declines slow – Home sales in March increased 2.8% year over year to 19,953 homes in the region, DataQuick reported, while the median home price of $280,000 was essentially flat, down just 0.2% from March 2011. – By Alejandro Lazo, Los Angeles Times

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Fitch Comments on JPMorgan’s and Wells’ Reclassification of 2nd Liens – BY: ESTHER CHO – With their 2012 first quarter earnings, JPMorgan and Wells Fargo revealed the reclassification of $1.6 billion and $1.7 billion, respectively, in second lien mortgages as nonperforming loans even though they are not yet delinquent. Fitch Ratings said it believes many U.S. banks are likely to follow suit, and that it does “not view this as a material shift in the performance of these loans.”DS News
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Ocwen believes Basel regulations give nonbanks upper hand in MSR purchases – By Justin T. Hilley – Basel regulations are dampening growth of banks’ mortgage servicing business, allowing nonbank entities to swoop in and become major sources of mortgage servicing rights funding, said John Britti, an executive vice president at Ocwen Financial Corp. Britti said banks want to exit the servicing business, but will continue to be big buyers of servicing rights because they still have a fundamental cost advantage in funding. “Even if they decide they want to be in it, Basel III restricts their ability to grow, so I think banks will have to pull on servicing,” he told an audience of mortgage servicing professionals Wednesday at SourceMedia’s annual mortgage servicing conference in Irving, Texas. – Housingwire
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(has key section) New Short Sale timelines and HARP Updates – by CalculatedRisk – This might speed up the short sale approval process, from Freddie Mac: Communication Time Lines for Short Sales …

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(for legal junkies) Pauley Stirs the Pot: Federal Judge Still Making an Impact as BofA Settlement Approaches Critical Crossroads in State Court – by igradman – On April 24, Judge Barbara Kapnick will hold a hearing in New York Supreme Court on whether Bank of American’s $8.5 billion settlement proposal should be evaluated under the restrictive Article 77 vehicle, or whether investors challenging the deal can open up the proceedings to broader inquiry.  … it’s difficult to ignore the influence of a certain federal district court judge, whose name keeps popping up throughout the parties’ pleadings. … – The Subprime Shakeout

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First-time Homebuyer Tax Credit was Temporary Fix At Best – The credit led to an enormous transfer of wealth to sellers and lenders at the expense of buyers. – Dean Baker – CEPR.net

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VRM nabs multimillion-dollar VA mortgage servicing contract – By Jon Prior – … VRM, the Texas-based loss-mitigation partner with PCV Murcor, will take over servicing on the VA mortgages from origination through REO management. Though the deal has has not been publicly announced, it involves "north of $1 billion in assets," according to sources familiar with the deal. Since 2006, VRM was the sole REO asset manager for Freddie Mac until the government-sponsored enterprise extended contracts to two more firms in early 2011. … According to the VA disclosure, the contract was awarded last week and is worth nearly $179 million. …Housingiwre
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(read this – more buyback risk coming?) Shouldering The Compliance Burden – The second anniversary of the Dodd-Frank Act is coming up in a few months, and lenders and investors are still waiting for the other proverbial shoe to drop. It’s hard to think of the current regulatory environment as a calm period, but the industry is in the eye of the storm: We are in a unique place where many regulations have been authorized or legislated, but the actual rules and details have not been announced. – MortgageOrb

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