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Home Prices Keep Households Out of Market

According to a recent study by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released on August 1, 2014, each $1,000 increase in the price of a newly constructed median priced home results in approximately 206,269...more

8/12/2014 - Housing Developers Housing Market

Suntrust Reaches $320 Million Settlement

SunTrust Banks (“SunTrust”) reached a settlement with Federal prosecutors last week in which it agreed to a $320 million settlement for a combination of consumer relief and housing counseling services. SunTrust issued a press...more

7/18/2014 - Fannie Mae HAMP Pay-To-Play Remediation Settlement SunTrust U.S. Treasury

OIG Urges FHFA To Sue Over Force-Placed Insurance

The Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) for the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) is urging the FHFA to sue its servicers and lender-placed insurance (“LPI”) providers because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have suffered...more

7/2/2014 - Fannie Mae FHFA Force-Placed Insurance Freddie Mac Hazard Insurance Mortgage Servicers OIG

Miami Hits JPMorgan with Lawsuit over Discriminatory Lending Practices

The city of Miami recently sued JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Florida federal court alleging that JPMorgan violated the Federal Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) by engaging in a “continuing pattern” of discriminatory mortgage lending...more

6/23/2014 - Discrimination Fair Housing Act Foreclosure JPMorgan Chase Race Discrimination Redlining

Homebuilder Confidence Rises to Six Month High

Good news for the homebuilding industry came earlier this week when the National Association of Homebuilders/Wells Fargo released the housing market index. Its numbers showed that homebuilders’ confidence rose to 49 points...more

6/23/2014 - Contractors General Contractors Housing Market National Association of Home Builders Real Estate Development Real Estate Market

FHFA’S 2013 Report Shows Record Income for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, But Earnings Are Likely to Fall

On Friday, Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released its 2013 Report to Congress, revealing recent GSE milestones but anticipating future problems. The annual report is statutorily-required under the Federal Housing...more

6/20/2014 - Dodd-Frank Fannie Mae FHA Freddie Mac Housing Market Information Reports

Massachusetts Sues Fannie and Freddie for Blocking Home Buybacks

Earlier this month, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley initiated an action against Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Finance Agency for allegedly illegally impeding non-profit foreclosure buyback...more

6/13/2014 - Buyback Programs Fannie Mae Foreclosure Freddie Mac Mortgages

Lenders More Likely to Make Jumbo Loans

As we continue to distance ourselves from the advent of the real estate downturn, residential mortgage loan lenders seem to be increasingly willing to explore ways to loan money outside of the “qualified mortgage” arena. For...more

6/9/2014 - Lenders Loans Mortgages Qualified Mortgage Rule

L.A. Sues JPMorgan Over Discriminatory Mortgage Lending Practices

On Friday, May 30, 2014, asserting that “[i]t is axiomatic that banks should not make discriminatory loans”, the City of Los Angeles filed a two-count complaint against JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Federal Court for the Central...more

6/4/2014 - Banks City of Los Angeles Discrimination Fair Housing Act Fair Lending JPMorgan Chase Mortgages Popular Predatory Lending Property Tax Restitution

FHFA Announces Reversal of Plans to Wind Down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Early last week, recently-appointed director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Melvin L. Watt, announced plans to keep GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac going strong. This new strategy is in stark contrast to the...more

5/19/2014 - Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac GSE HOME Funds Loans Mortgages

Economic Impact Of Homebuilding And Remodeling

Blocked streets, noisy construction and unwelcome trash can be just a few of the inconveniences that come along with a neighbor’s new home construction or home remodeling. However, a report released in early May by the...more

5/15/2014 - Economic Development National Association of Home Builders Real Estate Development

Can Fannie and Freddie Cope Under Pressure?

Last week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) put Freddie and Fannie to the test, and the results were grim. Dodd-Frank mandated “stress tests,” designed to evaluate a financial institution’s ability to withstand an...more

5/7/2014 - Bailout Dodd-Frank Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac Senate Banking Committee Stress Tests U.S. Treasury

Homebuilder Confidence Stabilized In April

On April 15th, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released its National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), a widely followed gauge of the outlook for the U.S. housing sector. ...more

4/23/2014 - Housing Market National Association of Home Builders

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

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