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Volume 18 | Issue 106 | Monday, June 03, 2019

The Lede


MBA Advocacy Update

Congress was out last week in observance of the Memorial Day recess and will return to Washington today. On Thursday, Congress passed an extension of the National Flood Insurance Program for two weeks. Also, FHA extended the comment period for public input regarding loan-level certifications.


Top National News

One Important Piece of GSEs' Transformation Ready for Launch

National Mortgage News, May 31, 2019--Hannah Lang (subscription)
The Federal Housing Finance Agency is about to take the biggest step to date toward reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by combining the two mortgage giants' securities platforms. But questions remain about how the uniform system will work in the practice.

Fannie-Freddie Revamp Poses Risk to Trump: Higher Mortgage Costs

Bloomberg, June 3, 2019--Austin Weinstein
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's watchdog has a vision for ending U.S. control of the mortgage giants that hinges on the companies holding more capital. But that dream could run into a cold political reality of making home loans more expensive as President Donald Trump ramps up his re-election bid.

Don't Overreact to Quarterly Market Share Shifts Among MIs: Essent CEO

National Mortgage News, May 31, 2019--Brad Finkelstein (subscription)
Investors shouldn't overreact to the first-quarter shift in private mortgage insurer market share, said Mark Casale, Essent's chairman, president and CEO the company, which benefited most from the change.

Urban Institute to FHA: Fix Your Reverse Mortgage Servicing Problems

HousingWire, May 31, 2019--Jessica Guerin
Policymakers have long struggled with how to fix the Federal Housing Administration's reverse mortgage program to prevent it from draining the agency's mortgage insurance fund. But researchers are the Urban Institute have an idea: Fix the program's servicing problems, which they call "one of the biggest drivers of losses in the HECM program."

Kevin Hassett, Chairman of Council of Economic Advisers, to Leave Post

Wall Street Journal, June 2, 2019--Nick Timiraos, Alex Leary (subscription)
The White House's chief economist said his departure from the role had "been in the works for a good long time."

Defect Risk Index Down for the First Time in Eight Months

National Mortgage Professional, May 31, 2019--Phil Hall
The frequency of defects, fraudulence and misrepresentation in the information submitted in mortgage loan applications during April decreased by 4.2 percent from March, according to new data from First American Financial Corp.'s Loan Application Defect Index.

SEC Accuses Chicago House Flipper of Running $20 Million Real Estate Fraud Scheme

HousingWire, May 31, 2019--Ben Lane
The Securities and Exchange Commission accused the owner of a real estate investment company of perpetrating a $20 million real estate fraud scheme by convincing more than 600 investors to give money under the auspices of flipping houses in the Chicago area.

Could Low Rates Be an Incentive for Upward-Bound Homeowners?

Mortgage Professional America, May 31, 2019--Kimberly Greene
Sustained low interest rates are tempting homeowners to move into bigger homes--with larger mortgages--instead of staying put and refinancing their current property.

From Financing to Flooring, Customer Service is Lacking

UEXpress, May 31, 2019--Lew Sichelman
At a recent business dinner in New York City, Rosalie Berg said she was wondering what had become of service in the mortgage sector. Seemed like too many loan officers had forgotten what the word meant.

Residential Finance News

MBA Chart of the Week: FHFA Purchase-Only House Price Index

Purchase-only house prices in the U.S. were up 5.1 percent in the first quarter from the same quarter a year ago, a deceleration from 5.9 percent in the fourth quarter and significantly slower than the over 6 percent levels we saw between late 2016 and mid-2018.

Survey: Home Buyers Value In-Person Even Amid Shift to Digital

TD Bank, Cherry Hill, N.J., released its annual Mortgage Service Index, noting while a record number of homeowners report their most recent home buying experience was excellent, their appetite for resources and guidance throughout the mortgage process is stronger than ever.

The Week Ahead

Congress returns this week with a lot on its to-do list.

Commercial/Multifamily News

Global Real Estate Investment Slips

Global real estate markets remain liquid, but investors are growing more selective as caution builds regarding the real estate cycle, reported JLL, Chicago.

Dealmaker: HFF Arranges $86M For Office, Mixed-Use Assets

Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, Houston, arranged $85.6 million for 1333 Broadway in Oakland, Calif. and General Assembly in Charlotte, N.C.

MBA News

MBA Document Custody Workshop June 20

The Mortgage Bankers Association's popular Document Custody Workshop takes place Thursday, June 20 at the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner in McLean, Va.

Upcoming MBA Education School of Mortgage Banking I Courses

MBA Education presents its popular School of Mortgage Banking Course I this summer and fall.

Make Your Voice Heard through MBA Mortgage Action Alliance

The Mortgage Action Alliance is a voluntary, non-partisan and free nationwide grassroots lobbying network of real estate finance industry professionals, affiliated with the Mortgage Bankers Association.

About MBA Newslink

President and CEO: Robert Broeksmit, CMB

Publisher: Marcia Davies, Chief Operating Officer

Vice President of Public Affairs: John Mechem

Editor: Mike Sorohan 202/557-2855 

Editorial Director: Michael Tucker 202/557-2851 

Senior Editorial/Advertising Specialist: Lesley Hall 202/557-2856

Advertising Opportunities: Bill Farmakis 203/834-8832

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