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Eastern Pompano Beach Is Open For Business

Eastern Pompano Beach has quickly positioned itself to become the next hot spot for development in South Florida. Investors are betting that recent public sector efforts will translate into a thriving community....more

4/15/2014 - CRA Entrepreneurs Incentives Investors Public-Private Partnerships Redevelopment

Judge Denied Bank of America’s Motion to Dismiss $850M Mortgage Fraud Case

Last week, Magistrate Judge David S. Cayer of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina denied Bank of America’s motion to dismiss the Security and Exchange Commission’s claims against it in SEC v....more

4/14/2014 - Bank of America Disclosure High-Risk Mortgages RMBS SEC Securities Fraud

Agrihoods: The New “Farm-To-Table” Homebuilding Trend

Imagine driving down the paved street of a suburban community. Children are riding their bikes toward a neighborhood playground. Couples are walking on the sidewalk with tennis gear headed toward the local tennis courts....more

4/3/2014 - Farms Organic Real Estate Development

Wells Fargo Employee Admits Role in $40.8 Million Straw Buyer Scheme

Last Friday, a former Wells Fargo branch manager, sales manager and loan officer, Robert Serao, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The charge stems from Serao’s involvement in a $40.8 million mortgage fraud...more

3/19/2014 - Bank Fraud Mortgages Wells Fargo Wire Fraud

Homebuilders Target Active Baby Boomers

As the post-war babies of the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s move past middle age and into their golden years, marketing to Baby Boomers is becoming a booming business....more

3/13/2014 - Elder Issues Housing Developers

Leading Markets Index Shows 59 Metro Areas At Or Above Normal Levels In March

On March 6th, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released its Leading Market Index (LMI). The report indicates that out of 350 metro areas evaluated across the country, 59 housing markets have returned to or...more

3/12/2014 - Economic Development National Association of Home Builders

Bank of America’s $8.5 Billion Settlement Will Not Be Delayed by AIG

Late last month, a New York state judge denied AIG’s request to delay approval of Bank of America’s $8.5 billion settlement with private investors in connection with certain mortgage-backed securities that had soured. Bank of...more

3/10/2014 - AIG Bank of America Mortgage-Backed Securities Settlement

Japanese Homebuilder Eyes Big Investment In U.S. Rental Housing Market

Earlier this week, Japan’s biggest homebuilder by market value, Daiwa House Industry Co., announced its plan to invest ¥ 150 billion ($1.5 billion) in the U.S. rental housing market by 2016. The amount of this new investment...more

3/10/2014 - Housing Developers Real Estate Market Rental Property

Cold Weather Only Partially To Blame For Slow Home Construction

Last week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau released figures showing that in January 2014, housing starts fell 16 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 880,000 units....more

2/26/2014 - Construction Contracts Housing Developers HUD

Wells Fargo Gives Subprime Borrowers Another Chance

Wells Fargo has announced that it plans to begin originating FHA-backed loans for borrowers with credit scores as low as 600. This new cut-off is 40 points below Wells Fargo’s current floor, and 20 points below what has...more

2/19/2014 - Banking Sector FHA Housing Market Subprime Mortgages Wells Fargo

FHFA Says Fannie and Freddie Still Take on Risky Mortgages

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have continued to spend billions of dollars on questionable mortgage loans despite previous alerts to potential issues with their appraisals, the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of Inspector...more

2/11/2014 - Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac Mortgages OIG

Residential Construction Spending Up 18% In 2013

According to the National Association of Homebuilders NAHB, the year-end housing numbers for 2013 indicate a strong performance for home building. Census data for December indicate that for the year 2013, on a three-month...more

2/10/2014 - Construction Contracts Real Estate Market

Derivative Suit Filed Against JPMorgan Alleges Culture of Risk

Adding to JPMorgan Chase’s widely publicized recent legal woes, shareholder Bradley P. Miller filed a derivative suit against the bank and its directors in California federal court on January 23, 2014, as a result of the $20...more

2/10/2014 - Banking Sector Bernie Madoff Derivative Suit Federal Reserve GSE JPMorgan Chase London Whale Mortgage-Backed Securities origini Risk Assessment Securities Fraud Subprime Mortgages Unjust Enrichment

Farm Bill Passage A Boon To Homebuilders

The Farm Bill, which was approved by the Senate on Monday and the House last week, contains a provision that was supported by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) that will enable millions of Americans to maintain...more

2/7/2014 - Farm Bill Rural Development

Homebuilders And Their Affiliates: Unexpected Tie-In Issues May Be Lurking

From my work defending mortgage loan originators, including many homebuilder captives, against mortgage repurchase and indemnification claims, as well in my role as an editor of Bilzin Sumberg’s Mortgage Crisis Watch, I have...more

2/5/2014 - Banks GSE Mortgage Loan Originators Mortgages

Dodd Frank Act: The Arrival of the ‘Ability to Repay’ Lending Restrictions

The days of exotic mortgage programs like “no doc” and balloon loans may be over. Earlier this month, the long awaited (and by many lenders and experts, dreaded), lending restrictions codified in the Dodd Frank Act...more

1/21/2014 - Ability-to-Repay CFPB Dodd-Frank Mortgages

New FHFA Head Will Delay Proposed Mortgage Fee Hike

Former North Carolina congressman and the new head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Mel Watt, has given the public a sneak peek of how he will lead the FHFA. On December 20 he released a statement expressing his...more

1/7/2014 - Affordable Housing Borrowers FANNIE FHFA Freddie Mac Housing Market Mortgage Loan Originators Real Estate Market

FHA Announces Plans to Lower Mortgage Insurance Policy Caps

Last Friday, the Federal Housing Administration announced that it will reduce the maximum threshold for the high-price mortgages it is willing to insure. This change was called for by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of...more

12/13/2013 - Bailout FHA Housing Market Mortgage Insurance Fund Mortgages Policy Limits

FHFA Restricts Forced-Placed Insurance Practices

We recently commented on JPMorgan Chase’s blockbuster agreement to resolve a class-action lawsuit for $300 million brought by more than a million homeowners nationwide. The dispute centered on allegations that Chase profited...more

11/7/2013 - Class Action FHFA Insurers JPMorgan Chase Kickbacks Settlement

JPMorgan Chase Agrees to Settle Forced-Placed Insurance Class-Action Lawsuit for $300 Million

JPMorgan Chase and Assurant Inc. recently agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit initiated in June 2012 for $300 million brought by a class of 1.3 million homeowners nationwide who claimed that they were overcharged for...more

11/7/2013 - Class Action Fire Insurance Forced-Placed Insurance JPMorgan Chase Mortgages Settlement Wind Damage

Wells Fargo Settles Mortgage Buyback Litigation with Freddie Mac for $869 Million

As of June 30 of this year, Wells Fargo & Co., this nation’s largest mortgage lender, had received demands to repurchase $1.4 Billion out of the $343 billion of residential-mortgage loans Wells Fargo sold to Freddie Mac and...more

10/8/2013 - Breach of Duty Buyback Programs Freddie Mac Mortgages Settlement Wells Fargo

City of Richmond, California Backs Plan to Use Eminent Domain to Seize Bad Mortgages

Richmond, California’s leaders approved a controversial plan earlier this month to become the first municipality in the nation to use eminent domain to rid itself of underwater mortgages. The plan was approved by the Richmond...more

10/1/2013 - Bonds Eminent Domain FHA Mortgages Municipalities Underwater Homeowners

Private Mortgage Insurers Return to Profitability after Housing Crisis

It should be no surprise that the private mortgage insurance industry was nearly decimated in the wake of the housing crisis. During that tumultuous time, the private mortgage insurers that survived lost a combined $20...more

8/22/2013 - Economic Downturn Housing Market Insurers Mortgage Insurance Fund Mortgages

Federal Criminal Investigation of JPMorgan

The civil division of the Justice Department has preliminarily concluded that JPMorgan broke federal laws in connection with its sale from 2005 to 2007 of subprime and Alt-A residential mortgage securities, and the bank is...more

8/14/2013 - Banks DOJ Investigations JPMorgan Chase Mortgages Subprime Mortgages

Obama Supports Legislation to Replace Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

President Obama officially threw his support behind a bipartisan push to replace beleaguered housing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during a speech to an Arizona crowd on Tuesday....more

8/9/2013 - Economic Downturn Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Housing Finance Reform Housing Market Proposed Legislation

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