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Volume 9 | Issue 15 | Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Lede


IRS Reform Legislation Advances in Congress

The first legislative reform to the Internal Revenue Service in nearly two decades took a major step last week in Congress.


News & Trends

NAHREP: Hispanics Largely Responsible for Increase in Homeownership in Past Decade

The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals said Hispanics accounted for nearly 40 percent of U.S. household formation and nearly 63 percent of the increase in homeownership in the past 10 years.

ATTOM: Foreclosure Activity at Lowest Levels Since 2008

ATTOM Data Solutions, Irvine, Calif., said U.S. foreclosure activity fell by 15 percent in the first quarter to its lowest level since first quarter 2008.

CMBS Delinquency Rate Increases For a Change

The commercial mortgage-backed securities delinquency rate did something rarely seen recently: it increased.

'More Gray Skies Ahead' for Retail Sector

As the retail sector's shakeout continues, a number of retail real estate markets face more vacancies and falling rents, said Reis Senior Economist Barbara Byrne Denham.

Grocery Stores Defy Retail Sector Slump

New grocery store openings increased 30 percent in 2018 compared to 2017 as grocers added more than 17 million square feet of space in the U.S., reported JLL, Chicago.

MBA News

MBA Legal Issues & Regulatory Compliance Conference in New Orleans May 5-8

The Mortgage Bankers Association's Legal Issues & Regulatory Compliance Conference takes place May 5-8 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans.

MBA National Secondary Market Conference & Expo May 19-22

The Mortgage Bankers Association's National Secondary Market Conference & Expo returns to the New York Marriott Marquis May 19-22.

Top National News

CEOs of 7 Mega Banks Challenged by House Committee

Washington Post, Apr. 10, 2019--Renae Merle
One by one, the leaders of seven of the country's largest banks told skeptical House Democrats on Wednesday that a decade after the global financial crisis, the industry is financially healthier and less risky.

Mark Calabria Takes Over as FHFA Director, Begins Push for Housing Finance Reform

HousingWire, Apr. 15, 2019--Ben Lane
In remarks delivered at his swearing-in ceremony at the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Calabria emphasized the pressing need for housing finance reform. "I enter this office with a great sense of urgency. One I hope you share," he said.

Will Reg Relief Plan Bring Back Failure-Related Risks?

American Banker, Apr. 15, 2019--Hannah Lang (subscription)
The proposal that the Fed drafted jointly with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. would tailor the requirements based mostly on institution size. U.S. banking companies with assets of between $100 billion to $250 billion would be exempted from submitting a resolution plan entirely, while larger firms could submit plans less often.

Agencies Near Consensus on Key Elements of CRA Reform

American Banker, Apr. 9, 2019--Rachel Witkowski (subscription)
Senior officials at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Federal Reserve briefed industry leaders at a conference last week on their discussions, providing further signs of momentum in efforts to develop an interagency CRA proposal.

Mortgage Fraud Risk is Growing and Lenders Can't Be Caught Off Guard

National Mortgage News, Apr. 10, 2019--Bridget Berg (free article)
The author, with CoreLogic, says home price gains and fewer loans in the marketplace are putting additional pressure on originators, possibly leading to riskier behaviors to maintain volumes.

Chipping Away at the Mortgage Deduction

Wall Street Journal, Apr. 9, 2019--William G. Gale (subscription)
The author says less than half as many American taxpayers are claiming the mortgage-interest deduction for 2018 as did the year earlier. "With any luck, the 2017 tax overhaul will prove to be only the first step toward eventually replacing the century-old housing subsidy with a more effective program."

How Far Will the CFPB Go to Modernize Debt Collection Rules?

American Banker, Apr. 14, 2019--Kate Berry (subscription)
Debt collectors and trade groups that have met with CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger said the bureau will look at developing regulatory policy for modern communication practices including text messaging and emails that were not invented when the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act went into effect.

Ben Carson Bashes 'Imaginary Belief' that HUD Aims to Dismantle Fair Housing Protections

HousingWire, Apr. 9, 2019--Jessica Guerin
Ben Carson said his critics have it all wrong--he is not trying to unravel the fair housing rules put into play by the Obama administration, he is trying to uphold them.

Warren, Tillis Looking to Enforce GSE Salary Caps

American Banker, Apr. 12, 2019--Neil Haggerty (subscription)
Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., have introduced the Respect the Caps Act, which would explicitly bar Fannie and Freddie from transferring or delegating any duty or responsibility to the chief executive officer to any other position. It would also allow for the Federal Housing Finance Agency director's removal if it approves compensation greater than the cap of $600,000 a year, which was signed into law in 2015.

GE to Pay $1.5 Billion Fine over Subprime Mortgage Misdeeds

MarketWatch, Apr. 12, 2019--Andrea Riquier
General Electric will pay a civil penalty of $1.5 billion over subprime mortgage loans, the Department of Justice said Friday. WMC Mortgage, a GE subsidiary, and GE itself "misrepresented the quality" of the loans made by WMC, as well as the quality controls of GE's mortgage bonds, the DOJ said in a filing.

House Flipping Is Back to Pre-Crisis Levels. Here's Why It's Less of a Concern

Wall Street Journal, Apr. 9, 2019--Laura Kusisto (subscription)
House flipping is back to nearly the same level it was around the 2006 peak of the housing boom, when it became a symbol of the rampant speculation that soared before the bubble burst. But a new analysis from CoreLogic Inc. suggests most of the current flips are less risky than those more than a decade ago, making today's flippers less likely to cause market volatility if prices decline in the next few years.

Caliber Home Loans Fined for Allegedly Steering...

HousingWire, Apr. 10, 2019--Ben Lane
Caliber Home Loans will pay a $2 million fine and hand out an unknown number of mortgage modifications to borrowers in Massachusetts to settle allegations that the company steered struggling homeowners into risky mortgage modifications.

Non-QM Lending on the Rise with Two More Lenders Expanding their Offerings

HousingWire, Apr. 11, 2019--Ben Lane
Borrowers who do not fit into the Qualified Mortgage box now have an increasing number of options when it comes to finding a lender willing to help them buy a home.

Trump's Tax Overhaul Is Curbing Housing Activity, Fed Researchers Say

Bloomberg, Apr. 15, 2019--Shelly Hagan
President Trump's tax reform is likely having a negative effect on the housing market, according to a newly published study by researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

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