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Volume 9 | Issue 29 | Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The Lede


Equifax to Pay $700 Million in Data Breach Settlement

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission and 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico announced a global settlement with Equifax that provides up to $700 million in monetary relief and penalties.


News & Trends

Remodeling, Home Improvement Forecasts Take Downward Turn

Growth in residential remodeling, which until recently had experienced steady if unspectacular growth, is showing signs of a longer-term slowdown, according to several reports.

CFPB: 1 in 4 Consumers Have at Least One Debt in Collection

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a report yesterday saying more than one in four consumers with a credit report have at least one debt in collection by third-party debt collectors.

Black Knight June ‘First Look' Sees Calendar-Driven Spike in Delinquencies

Black Knight, Jacksonville, Fla., issued its June ‘First Look' Mortgage Monitor, noting a seasonal quirk resulted in a spike in mortgage delinquencies from May's record low.

Life Insurers' CRE Mortgage Exposure Grows

Fitch Ratings, New York, said U.S. life insurers' exposure to mortgages increased to nearly 13 percent of invested assets at year-end 2018, up from 12.4 percent a year ago.

CMBS Special Servicing Rates Diverge

The commercial mortgage-backed securities special servicing rate settled down in June after two "roller coaster" months, but drilling deeper reveals an interesting trend, reported Trepp, New York.

MBA News

MBA Risk Management, QA and Fraud Prevention Forum in Chicago Sept. 15-17

The Mortgage Bankers Association's Risk Management, QA and Fraud Prevention Forum takes place Sept. 15-17 at the Sheraton Grand Chicago.

MBA Regulatory Compliance Conference 2019 in Washington Sept. 22-24

The Mortgage Bankers Association's annual Regulatory Compliance Conference takes place Sept. 22-24 at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C. Early registration deadline is Monday, Aug. 12.

MBA Education Advanced Risk Management Concepts Workshop in Chicago Sept. 15

MBA Education presents a special edition of its Advanced Risk Management Concepts Workshop on Sunday, Sept. 15 in conjunction with the MBA Risk Management, Quality Assurance and Fraud Prevention Forum in Chicago.

MBA Education/Compliance Essentials Managing the Risks of CFPB and State Examinations Sept. 15

MBA Education and Compliance Essentials present a workshop, Managing the Risks of CFPB and State Examinations, on Sunday, Sept. 15 at the Sheraton Grand Chicago, in conjunction with the MBA Risk Management, QA and Fraud Prevention Summit.

Top National News

Equifax Hasn't Heard the Last from Congress about Data Breach

National Mortgage News, July 22, 2019--Neil Haggerty (subscription)
Despite having to cough up over half a billion dollars in a settlement with federal and state authorities, Equifax is likely not done answering to Congress for its 2017 data breach.

FHFA's Calabria: No Trump GSE Plan Until August or September

National Mortgage News, July 18, 2019--Hannah Lang (subscription)
Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria now expects the report that will lay out the administration's goals for releasing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from conservatorship to be published in August or September, he said.

Lawmakers Unveil Competing Flood Insurance Bill

National Mortgage News, July 16, 2019--Hannah Lang (subscription)
The bill is sponsored by three senators, Bob Menendez, D-N.J., John Kennedy, R-La., and Bill Cassidy, R-La., and several members of the House, including Reps. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., and Bill Pascrell, D-N.J. It would take further steps to ensure that flood insurance is kept affordable while improving technology to combat flood risks, the lawmakers said during a press conference Tuesday.

FDIC Plan Would Ease Requirement for Banks Selling Mortgage Securities

Wall Street Journal, July 16, 2019--Lalita Clozel (subscription)
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Tuesday released a plan that would ease disclosure requirements implemented in 2010 after the financial crisis that discouraged banks from packaging and reselling mortgage-backed securities, a nearly $10 trillion market.

Former Freddie Mac CEO Says GSEs Should Be Regulated Like Utilities

HousingWire, July 16, 2019--Kathleen Howley
Two weeks into his new gig as a senior fellow at Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies, Donald Layton, who was the CEO of Freddie Mac until the end of June, is speaking out--in favor of regulation.

Almost 40% of U.S. Homes Are 'Free and Clear' of a Mortgage

Bloomberg, July 17, 2019--Shelly Hagan
More Americans are living mortgage free. About 37% of U.S. households are "free and clear," meaning they no longer have a home mortgage to pay, according to a Zillow data analysis.

Federal Court Blocks HUD Guidance on Down Payment Assistance

National Mortgage News, July 17, 2019--Hannah Lang (subscription)
A federal judge has dealt a blow to efforts by HUD to restrict nonprofit housing funds from offering down payment assistance.

Emboldened by CECL Delay, Industry Seeks Repeal

American Banker, July 17, 2019--John Reosti (subscription)
Opponents of a new standard for recording loan losses are pressing the Financial Accounting Standards Board to go beyond its decision to delay implementation for most lenders.

Court Tells Calif. to Use Mortgage Settlement Money to Help Homeowners

San Francisco Chronicle, July 17, 2019--Bob Egelko
The state Supreme Court turned down arguments by two California governors Wednesday and left intact a ruling requiring the state to use $331 million, obtained from a nationwide bank settlement, to help homeowners who were victimized by foreclosures during the last recession.

Here's Why FHA's Recent Moves to Cut Insurance Premiums Won't Boost Its Market Share

HousingWire, July 18, 2019--Jessica Guerin
While the push for greater financial literacy is a worthy cause, it's unlikely to boost FHA's share of the mortgage market, Capital Economics said in a recent report, calling the premium cuts "too small to halt the downward trend in the FHA market share."

Homeowners Refuse to Tap into Massive Equity. Is that a Mistake?

The Mortgage Reports, July 19, 2019--Erik J. Martin
A strong housing market and rising home prices have contributed to higher rates of home equity. And home equity can be tapped via a home equity loan, home equity line of credit, or cash-out refi. But new research shows that, while owners are flush with equity, they aren't tapping it as often as they did in the past. Most are choosing to continue building wealth and not borrow against what they've earned.

Bank of America Claims Ditech's Sale of RMS 'Threatens to Abandon' Elderly Reverse Mortgage Borrowers

HousingWire, July 19, 2019--Jessica Guerin
Bank of America, which has a reverse mortgage servicing agreement with Ditech subsidiary Reverse Mortgage Solutions, filed a motion in court Thursday objecting to the deal as it currently stands, claiming that it "threatens to abandon the thousands of elderly borrowers" whose reverse mortgages are being serviced by RMS.

ARM, HELOC Mortgage Borrowers Could Get a Break if Fed Lowers Rates, July 22, 2019--Natalie Campisi
Some borrowers might see lower monthly payments come the end of July if the Federal Reserve lowers interest rates.

About Servicing NewsLink

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