A CFPB pilot project has concluded that e-closings make the closing process more efficient and less confusing for borrowers. The CFPB’s continuing crackdown on Marketing Services Arrangements (MSAs) has led at least two lenders (Wells Fargo and Prospect Mortgage) to abandon them. In a series of enforcement actions, the CFPB has found that MSAs violate… Read More »

Consumers seem to be feeling somewhat better about the housing market, based on responses to Fannie Mae’s June National Housing Survey. Although the number of respondents viewing this as a good time to buy declined, the number who see this as a good time to sell increased to 52 percent ― moving beyond the 50… Read More »

Housing industry professionals view the continuing decline in the nation’s home ownership rate (which hit a new low in the second quarter) as a sign of housing market distress – if not a cause of it. But some Federal Reserve economists think the trend reflects good sense on the part of ‘millenials’ who have demonstrated… Read More »

The home purchase and rental markets usually move in opposite directions: When one rises, the other typically remains flat or falls. Soaring foreclosures and a battered housing market – both byproducts of the severe economic downturn – predictably boosted demand for rental units. But strengthening home sales have not as yet made a dent in… Read More »

When will the Federal Reserve raise interest rates? Economists, business executives and consumers have been asking that question with increasing intensity for the past two years. The July employment report may have brought the Fed closer to answering it. Employers added 215,000 jobs for the month, a little short of the consensus forecast, but still… Read More »

Although the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has delayed for two months the implementation date for the new consolidated Truth-in-Lending/RESPA disclosure rules, industry trade groups are still pushing the agency to honor an enforcement grace period during which entities making a good faith effort to comply won’t be penalized for violations. CFPB Director Richard Cordray… Read More »

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, an interagency coordinating body for federal banking industry regulators, has issued two statements in the past month cautioning banks and credit unions about cyber-security risks and emphasizing the importance of effective risk mitigation policies. First-time buyers represented 38 percent of home purchasers in April – up from 34 percent… Read More »

The buy-vs.-rent calculation, which had shifted in favor of renting during the housing market’s down years, has shifted back again as growing demand for rental units have outstripped the supply. RealtyTrac’s most recent “buy-or-rent” analysis found that housing payments (including mortgage, insurance and property taxes) were lower than the rent on comparable three-bedroom homes in… Read More »

As the housing market has improved, homeowners and appraisers have been moving closer to agreement on housing values. But for most of this year, they have been moving further apart in their assessments, with appraisers valuing homes more conservatively than owners. Appraiser prices were 1.4 percent lower than owners’ estimates in June, according to Quicken… Read More »

The CFPB has presented five webinars on the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures which answer a number of questions they have received. Those questions and answers are now more easily accessible through a new index that allows you to link directly to specific topics within each of the webinars. Check out the new index on the CFPB… Read More »