New Rule Requiring Banks To Make Sure Borrowers Can Actually Repay Mortgages Goes Into Effect This Week

New Rule Requiring Banks To Make Sure Borrowers Can Actually Repay Mortgages Goes Into Effect This Week

Want a mortgage? Go for it! But thanks to new rules from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the banks are going to need some proof first that you can actually, you know, pay it back. [More]

Wells Fargo To Pay Fannie Mae $541 Million Over Toxic Loans

Wells Fargo To Pay Fannie Mae $541 Million Over Toxic Loans

All those mortgages that weren’t worth the cocktail napkins they were written on are continuing to sting big banks, with Wells Fargo announcing this morning that it had reached a $591 million deal with Fannie Mae to resolve the mortgage-backer’s claims that Wells sold it a pile of loans that the bank knew were toxic. [More]

$13 Billion JPMorgan Settlement Includes $4 Billion In Consumer Relief

$13 Billion JPMorgan Settlement Includes $4 Billion In Consumer Relief

Today, it’s expected that JPMorgan Chase and various federal agencies will announce a settlement worth a total of $13 billion to put to bed numerous bank-related investigations tied to mortgages and mortgage-backed securities. And about 30% of that money is reportedly earmarked for some form of consumer relief. [More]

(David Blackwell)

Bank Of America Caught Refusing Mortgages To Women On Maternity Leave

Compared to $40 billion-plus in penalties, settlements, adjustments, and legal fees Bank of America has already racked up because it flat-out stinks at servicing home loans, a $45,000 payment split between two couples is a molecule in a drop of water in the bucket. But this story, in which BofA decided that pregnant homeowners were too big a risk for mortgage refinancing, is a good reminder of consumers’ rights under the law and of BofA’s general incompetence. [More]

Feds Try To Make Forced-Place Insurance Less Of A Cash Cow For Banks

Feds Try To Make Forced-Place Insurance Less Of A Cash Cow For Banks

If you have a mortgage but fail to keep current on your homeowners’ insurance, the bank will just go out and get a “forced-place” policy for you. Problem is, you’ll often pay top dollar for insurance that provides minimal coverage while the bank makes money on commissions from the insurer and fees charged to the homeowner. Now the Federal Housing Finance Agency is looking to make forced-place policies slightly less lucrative for lenders. [More]

New York To Sue Wells Fargo For Failure To Comply With $26B Mortgage Settlement

Last spring, New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman threatened to sue both Bank of America and Wells Fargo, alleging that the banks had repeatedly failed to comply with the 2012 $26 billion settlement between multiple states and the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers. Now the AG intends to make good on that threat by actually filing suit against Wells. [More]

(Spidra Webster)

Wells Fargo Settles With Freddie Mac For $869 Million

Because a few days can’t go by without one of the few remaining big banks agreeing to pay out hundreds of millions of dollars (without ever admitting any wrongdoing), Wells Fargo has agreed to settle with Freddie Mac for $869 million over — you guessed it — toxic mortgages from the Bubble Era. [More]


Government Shutdown Could Completely Screw Up Your FHA Mortgage Application

As the real estate market still continues to creep up out of the sinkhole that opened beneath our feet five years ago, home buyers have still been able to rely on loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration. But if lawmakers in Washington can’t figure out a way to keep spending money in the very near future, the federal government would effectively shut down, putting pending FHA mortgages at risk of falling through. [More]

New CFPB Tool Provides County-By-County Snapshot Of Home Mortgages

New CFPB Tool Provides County-By-County Snapshot Of Home Mortgages

We hear all the time about how national home sales are up, down, flat, bouncing like a rubber ball, or twirling like a ballerina, but we rarely get information that goes down to the local while also allowing you to instantly make comparisons to nationwide and regional trends. A new interactive tool from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau aims to put that ability at your fingertips. [More]


DOJ Sues Bank of America For Lying About Sketchy Mortgage-Backed Securities

Even though Bank of America execs appear to have avoided criminal prosecution for their part in the recent economic collapse, BofA continues to be slapped upside its head with civil suits for its bad behavior. The latest comes from the U.S. Dept. of Justice, which sued BofA and a number of its affiliates, alleging the defendants misled investors by telling them that mortgage-backed securities were A-OK, when in fact they were more toxic than a house full of lead paint and asbestos. [More]

Clearer Mortgage Rules, No-Fee Refinances Key To President’s Plan For Middle-Class Housing Market

(Mark Turnauckas)

On Tuesday, President Obama will visit Arizona, one of the states that took the biggest butt-whooping from the housing boot, and one of five states (along with Nevada, Florida, Michigan, and Georgia) that still account for a full 1/3 of the negative equity in the U.S. In a speech in Phoenix, the President will outline what his administration believes are steps that will help give more middle-class Americans a chance at securing a foothold in the housing market. [More]


Drop In Number Of First-Time Home Buyers Is Cause For Concern

The notion of buying your first home, building equity, and eventually moving up the property ladder is still something many young Americans aspire to, but between more stringent underwriting procedures, lingering student loan debt, competition from real estate speculators and higher interest rates, first-time buyers are being squeezed out of the market. [More]


Bank Of America Attempts To Discredit Statements Of Former Employees

Last month, it was revealed that six former Bank of America employees and one ex-contractor for the bank, had given sworn statements in a lawsuit filed against BofA, and that these statements painted a picture of a system that deliberately lost mortgage modification paperwork and rewarded staffers for pushing employees into foreclosure. Now BofA has issued a detailed rebuttal of those allegations and why it believes that these statements misrepresent the truth. [More]

Big Banks Failing To Comply With All The Rules For National Mortgage Settlement

Big Banks Failing To Comply With All The Rules For National Mortgage Settlement

Remember that massive $25 billion settlement between the nation’s largest mortgage servicers — Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, Citi, Ally — and attorneys general from around the nation? Well, it comes with a lot of rules for these institutions to follow. But the person in charge of monitoring the settlement says most of the banks are failing to comply fully. [More]

(Steven G. Bisig)

Should I Also Be Picking Up Insurance And Mortgages When I Shop At Costco Or BJ’s?

Warehouse stores sell more than just huge sacks of flour, vats of ketchup, and enough toilet paper to clean an army. You can also use a membership at places like Costco or BJ’s to buy everything from auto insurance to credit cards to home mortgages. But should you? [More]


Fannie Mae Staffer Accused Of Taking Kickbacks Says He’s Not The Only One

Since 2009, bailed-out mortgage-backer Fannie Mae has sold nearly three quarters of a million repossessed properties. And considering that there are plenty of investors and speculators looking to snap up bottom-dollar homes with the hopes of eventually reselling at a profit, someone with inside information could be tempted to put a premium on that data, even if doing so is against the law. [More]


Bank Of America Gives Existing Customers Yet Another Reason To Flee

Many banks offer benefits to account-holders who also have their home loan serviced by the institution. Bank of America has been doing that for years, cutting fees for people with both checking accounts and mortgages. But now BofA has gone and sold off millions of these mortgages to another servicer, starting a countdown clock for account-holders to go elsewhere or likely face new fees. [More]


Mortgages Slightly Easier To Get For Prime Borrowers, Still Tough For Subprime Applicants

Ten years ago, a potential home buyer could walk into a Countrywide office and get pre-approved for a half-million dollar home loan based on a bank statement written in crayon on a restaurant place mat and a pinky swear that the loan could be paid back. We all know too well the results of those lax standards, which is why regulators and banks ramped up restrictions on lending to the point where applying for a home loan is like auditioning for American Idol, without the washed-up celebrity appearances. But a new survey says that lenders are easing up… a bit. [More]