Wells Fargo Joins JPMorgan Chase In Exiting HELOCs

Wells Fargo will take a break from offering new home equity lines of credit beginning Friday as credit continues to tighten during the coronavirus pandemic, according to media reports. The San Francisco-based banking giant joins JPMorgan Chase in backing off the loans known as HELOCs, which allow homeowners to borrow money against the equity in their houses. “Wells Fargo Home Lending will temporarily stop accepting applications for Wells Fargo Home Lending will temporarily stop accepting applications for all new home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) after April 30,” the company said in a statement shared with The Mortgage Note. “The decision to temporarily suspend the origination of new HELOCs reflects careful consideration of current market conditions and the uncertainty around…

FHFA: No Lump Sum On Fannie, Freddie Loans

The Federal Housing Finance Agency issued a reminder Monday that borrowers who go into forbearance will not have to repay missed payments all at once if their mortgages are backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. FHFA said the statement was issued to “combat ongoing misinformation” and urged all mortgage lenders to adopt similar policies. “During this national health emergency, no one should be worried about losing their home,” FHFA Director Mark Calabria said. “No lump sum is required at the end of a borrower’s forbearance plan for Enterprise-backed mortgages.” The $2 trillion CARES Act includes a moratorium on foreclosures and the right to forbearance. Forbearance allows borrowers with a federally backed mortgage to put off payments for at least…

Free Press Silent About UWM Leadership Coach’s Past

The Detroit Free Press wrote a glowing article last week about United Wholesale Mortgage CEO Mat Ishbia and his hiring of former Michigan State basketball teammates: Twenty years ago, Ishbia was a walk-on third-string point guard for the Spartans, the human victory cigar on a team that won the 2000 NCAA tournament. Now, he’s the CEO and president of United Shore, a company that has grown from 12 employees to 5,800 in just 17 years. Ishbia has hired five former MSU teammates to work with him, in part because they are his friends — he gets them in the door; it’s up to them to do something with it. But also because they speak the same language and share the same experiences. Those teammates are Adam…

Mortgage Lender CEO Says “Everyone’s Winning Right Now” Amid Pandemic

On the same day the government announced 281,000 Americans filed jobless claims last week amid the coronavirus pandemic, United Wholesale Mortgage President and Chief Executive Officer Mat Ishbia declared “Everyone’s winning right now” in the mortgage market. Ishbia, in an interview with Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME), lashed out at critics Thursday for spreading “crazy rumors, crazy things” about his business, saying “things here at UWM have never been better.” “I’m sure my competitors and other people in the industry, retail people, would love for UWM to not be strong and love for something to be behind the veil besides that UWM is going to be here for the long term helping brokers dominate,” Ishbia said. See also: Ishbia says UWM avoids…

Feds Issue 60-Day Ban On Foreclosures

The federal government on Wednesday ordered a 60-day moratorium on foreclosures and evictions for single-family homeowners with Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac-backed mortgages amid the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson announced the moratorium for FHA loans, which directs mortgage companies to: Halt all new foreclosure actions and suspend all foreclosure actions currently in process; andCease all evictions of persons from FHA-insured single-family properties. The Federal Housing Finance Agency also directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to suspend foreclosures and evictions for at least 60 days due to the coronavirus. FHFA also announced earlier this month that Fannie and Freddie would provide “payment forbearance” to borrowers impacted by the coronavirus. Forbearance…

8 Largest Banks To Access Funds From Fed’s Discount Window

The largest U.S. banks announced Monday night they plan to access the Federal Reserve’s “discount window” to help financial institutions navigate the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. “While Forum member institutions individually have substantial liquidity and multiple sources of funding, they believe it is important to lead by demonstrating the value of the Federal Reserve’s discount window facility and to encourage its use by other financial institutions,” according to a news release from the Financial Services Forum. The Forum is made up of the chief executive officers of the eight largest banks. The Fed’s discount window supports the flow of credit to households and businesses by allowing banks to borrow money from the Fed on a short-term basis to meet…

Coronavirus Forcing Changes To How People Sell Homes

The coronavirus pandemic is impacting the way homeowners sell their homes. A new survey of realtors from the National Association of Realtors released Thursday found that nearly 25 percent of home sellers in the United States are making changes to how they are selling their houses. Changes include not holding open houses, requiring potential buyers to wash their hands, or asking buyers to remove shoes or wear foot coverings. This is especially true in California and Washington, where the coronavirus outbreak hit earlier than elsewhere in the country. Forty-four percent of home sellers in Washington and 34 percent of sellers in California have made such changes. The Economic Pulse Flash Survey, conducted Monday and Tuesday of this week, also found:…

CFPB Sues Fifth Third Bank Over Fake Accounts; Bank “Rejects Allegations”

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Monday a lawsuit against Fifth Third Bank for allegedly creating fake accounts on customers’ behalf to artificially inflate sales numbers. Fifth Third officials said in a news release that it “rejects” the allegations in the lawsuit. The CFPB said that for several years Fifth Third created accounts without consumers’ knowledge. For several years, the CFPB says, Fifth Third employees created fake credit card accounts, improperly transferred money into fraudulently opened accounts, enrolled customers in unauthorized online-banking services, and activated unauthorized lines of credit on consumers’ accounts. “Fifth Third Bank respects and values the important role that the CFPB plays in protecting consumers but believes that the civil suit filed today is unnecessary and unwarranted.…

FDIC Announces Buyout Offers For Up To 1,200 Employees; Field Offices To Close

The Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC) announced Thursday that it is seeking to “reshape the agency’s workforce” by offering voluntary retirement and early separation to 20 percent of its employees. That could be as many as 1,200 employees. Additionally, the FDIC said several field offices will be closed and consolidated with other offices. The buyouts are not designed to reduce the FDIC budget or the overall size of the workforce, the FDIC said in a news release. Instead, it is seeking to rebalance the workforce by growing its examination and risk-related teams, while adding specialized information technology, computer science, data management and loan-review personnel. “Today’s announcement is part of a deliberate strategy to further reduce layers of management, acquire new…

Census: Residential Construction Rises To $554.8 Billion In January

Spending on residential construction in the United States increased 2.1 percent in January to $554.8 billion, helping drive overall construction levels to record levels, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Total construction spending in January was estimated to be $1.37 trillion, up 1.8 percent above December estimates – and 8.6 percent above the January 2019 estimate of $1.28 trillion. Additional highlights from the report include: Spending on private construction was estimated at $1.02 trillion, 1.5 percent above the month before.Non-residential construction came in at an estimated $468 billion in January, which was 0.8 percent above the December number. The residential construction spending should begin to help fill a dearth of inventory of homes on the market, driven by a relatively…