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government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs)

FinCEN Examines Title and Escrow Fraud

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Pressing forward in its efforts to address a wide range of criminal risks, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has released its first targeted study analyzing reports indicating suspicious activities involving the real estate title and escrow industry. The study identified thousands of instances where financial institutions, particularly banks and Money Services Businesses (MSBs), filed suspicious activity reports (SARs) involving title and escrow companies, often in connection with mortgage fraud.Click to continue

California, Nevada and Florida Remain Hotbeds for Mortgage Fraud

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The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has released its First Quarter 2012 Update of mortgage loan fraud suspicious activity reports (MLF SARs) that shows California, Nevada, and Florida leading the nation in the number of MLF SAR subjects per capita. Of the 50 most populous Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) ranked by the number of MLF SAR subjects reported, the top nine are MSAs located in California, Nevada, and Florida, with the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana of California area ranked first in the nation.Click to continue

FHFA: GSEs Deemed "Critical Supervisory Concerns"

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The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has released its fourth annual Report to Congress, detailing the agency’s examinations of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie  Mac, the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLBanks), and the FHLBanks’ joint Office of Finance. FHFA has deemed that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were “critical supervisory concerns” for the year 2011. Continuing credit losses at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac come primarily from loans originated during the years 2005 to 2007.Click to continue

Nationstar Mortgage to Acquire $10.4 Billion in Servicing Assets From Bank of America

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Nationstar Mortgage LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc., has signed a definitive agreement to acquire approximately $10.4 billion in residential mortgage servicing rights, as measured by unpaid principal balance, from Bank of America. The acquired servicing portfolio consists entirely of loans in government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) pools. Nationstar will fund a portion of the MSR purchase price with the proceeds of a 65 percent co-investment by Newcastle Investment Corporation.Click to continue

Class Action Suit Filed Against GMAC Mortgage Over Force-Placed Insurance

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The law firm of Kirby McInerney LLP has filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against GMAC Mortgage LLC and Balboa Insurance Company in connection with an allegedly unlawful kickback scheme involving force-placed insurance. The case is brought on behalf of a putative class consisting of all residential mortgage borrowers who have been charged costs associated with force-placed insurance in connection with loans serviced by GMAC at any time from March 6, 2003 to the present.Click to continue

Loan Servicing: Current and Future Business Process Assessment

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The most severe economic recession since The Great Depression has dramatically impacted all sectors of the financial markets. The effect on the mortgage market and on loan servicers specifically, forced a paradigm shift in the business model. Large volumes of non-performing loans, multiple and complex loan modification programs, increased scrutiny and regulation and a heightened awareness by customers and the general public are the new reality.Click to continue

Home Prices See 0.3 Percent Gain Over First Two Months of 2012

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U.S. house prices rose 0.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from January to February, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) monthly House Price Index (HPI). While prices in January were unchanged according to initial estimates reported in the last HPI release, the January result has been revised downward to reflect a 0.5 percent decrease.Click to continue

GSEs Take Measures to Streamline the Short Sale Process

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The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has directed the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs)—Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—to develop enhanced and aligned strategies for facilitating short sales, deeds-in-lieu and deeds-for-lease in order to help more homeowners avoid foreclosure. The effort will come in stages with the first taking place this June. The new, aligned timelines include the requirement that mortgage servicers review and respond to requests for short sales within 30 calendar days from receipt of a short sale offer.Click to continue

Commercial Mortgage Lending Continues Rebound as Originations Hit $184.3 Billion in 2011

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Commercial and multifamily mortgage origination volumes increased 55 percent in 2011, with mortgage bankers reporting $184.3 billion of closed commercial and multifamily loans, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) 2011 Commercial Real Estate/Multifamily Finance: Annual Origination Volume Summation. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) were collectively the leading investor group for whom loans were originated in 2011, responsible for $57.6 billion of the total.Click to continue