Mortgage Roundup (3/22/21) – Hatch, Realtors & Flipping

Good morning! Today is Monday, March 22. Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers are ramping up production, churning out far more doses per week. Miami Beach imposed an 8 pm curfew to curtail Spring Break crowds, fights and destruction. Former President Donald Trump is starting his own social network.  And in mortgage and housing news … HATCH ACT: The Mortgage Note reports that Housing and Urban Development Secretary touched off a mini political storm when she answered a political question in the White House briefing room, raising concerns that she violated the Hatch Act in the process. NEW REALTORS: Surging prices are persuading tens of thousands more Americans to try their hands at selling real estate. THROUGH 2023: On March 17, the Federal Reserve announced that while it…

Mortgage Roundup (3/19/21) – Rescue, Rates & Sparty

Good morning! Today is Friday, March 19. Covid-19 case numbers are surging in multiple states, but the mass vaccination of the most vulnerable Americans is likely to limit its human cost. U.S. jobless claims rise to 770,000 with layoffs continuing. A recall election appears more likely for California Gov. Newsom.  And in mortgage and housing news … RESCUE PLAN: The Mortgage Note reports on the White House taking to Twitter on Thursday to promote housing elements in the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. RATES UP: For the fifth week in a row, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage saw an increase in Freddie Mac’s weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey, The Mortgage Note reports. SPARTY DOLLARS: Michigan State University’s Spartans are seeing millions of dollars come through the door from…

Mortgage Roundup (3/18/21) – Brokers, Bosses & FHA

Good morning! Today is Thursday, March 18. The IRS plans to delay this year’s tax filing until mid-May. Dozens of homes are damaged and destroyed after powerful tornados in the South. Marvel reveals its first gay Captain America.  And in mortgage and housing news … BROKER WARS: The Mortgage Note asks: who won the Broker Wars on Day 1? Depends on who you ask.  MORTGAGE APPS: The Mortgage Note reports that mortgage applications dip amid higher interest rates.  INTERIM BOSS: Freddie Mac tapped Mark Grier to be interim CEO. FHFA EXTENSION: The Federal Housing Finance Administration extended relaxed rules on employment verification and home appraisals. SWITCHING LENDERS: The pros and cons of switching lenders when refinancing your mortgage.  BUSINESS TRAVEL REBOUND: Pent-up vacation demand has boosted investor demand for beach resorts and roadside…

Mortgage Roundup (3/17/21) – St. Patrick’s Day Edition

Good morning! Today is Wednesday, March 17. President Biden will hold his first news conference March 25. The Federal Aviation Administration extended the “zero-tolerance” policy for bad air travel behavior while the federal mask mandate is in place. Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is set to become part-owner of the Boston Red Sox. And in mortgage and housing news … BROKER WARS: The Mortgage Note reports on a consumer group launching a campaign designed to raise awareness among policymakers about the Broker Wars in an effort to put pressure on United Wholesale Mortgage over their refusal to work with brokers who do business with two competitors. MORTGAGE APPS: The Mortgage Note reports that mortgage applications for new home purchases for February fell by 9…

Mortgage Roundup (3/16/21) – Reserves, Appraisals & Jobs

Good morning! Today is Tuesday, March 16.  President Biden is eyeing the first major tax hike since 1993. FEMA was deployed to help process an increasing number of children and teenagers who have filled detention facilities at the southwest border. A modernized version of the historic Mayflower ship powered by artificial intelligence is set to make its autonomous maiden voyage across the Atlantic next month.  And in mortgage and housing news … FORBEARANCE REPORT: The Mortgage Note reports that the share of mortgages in forbearance in the United States declined slightly again the first week in March, according to the latest report released by the Mortgage Bankers Association. RESERVES TO PROFITS: In the coming months, banks are expected to free up tens of billions of dollars…

Mortgage Roundup (3/15/21) – The Broker Wars

Good morning! Today is Monday, March 15. The IRS began sending its first round of stimulus checks. Wells Fargo is getting backlash after announcing that its direct deposit customers won’t see stimulus funds in their accounts until March 17. The mayor of Miami Beach says too many people are coming to his town for Spring Break and not wearing masks.  Today is a big day in the Broker Wars of 2021. This is the day United Wholesale Mortgage says brokers can no longer do business with Rocket Mortgage and Fairway Independent Mortgage if they want to continue work with UWM. The Mortgage Note has covered the Broker Wars from the start. Here is a quick refresher on how we got…

Mortgage Roundup (3/12/21) – Zillow, Rocket & Jersey

Good morning! Today is Friday, March 12.  Exactly one year after the Covid-19 pandemic began, 1 in 10 Americans is fully vaccinated. Booming electric vehicle demand is driving up the price of lithium batteries. Amazon says it won’t sell books framing LGBTQ+ issues as mental illnesses.  And in mortgage and housing news … BROKER WAR: Appearing on Fox Business News, Rocket Mortgage CEO Jay Farner said that United Wholesale Mortgage’s ultimatum to brokers doesn’t appear to be working. Farner said that Rocket’s broker business is up since UWM announced last week that it would no longer work with brokers who do business with Rocket. RATES CLIMB: Mortgage rates climbed higher for the fourth straight week as optimism around the economy improves. ZILLOW HIRES: Zillow announced that it…

Mortgage Roundup (3/11/21) – Fudge, Credit & Refis

Good morning! Today is Thursday, March 11. At least 10 different hacking groups are using a recently discovered flaw in Microsoft Corp’s mail server software to break in to targets around the world.  AMC is reopening many of its theaters shut down by Covid-19. ESPN struck a 7-year deal for the rights to carry NHL games.  And in mortgage and housing news … SECRETARY FUDGE: The Senate voted 66-34 to confirm former Rep. Marcia Fudge as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Later, she said she couldn’t wait to get started. MORTGAGE CREDIT: Mortgage credit availability didn’t budge last month – and remained tight amid the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a report released by the Mortgage Bankers Association. REFINANCE DIP: Amid higher interest rates, mortgage applications dipped slightly last…

Mortgage Roundup (3/10/21) – Brokers, Policy & Fraud

Good morning! Today is Wednesday, March 10. A third round of stimulus payments is expected to be on the way to more than 90 percent of households later this month. President Biden’s German Shepherd was sent home to Delaware after an aggressive behavior in the White House. A blast of rain and snow is coming to Southern California ahead of spring break. And in mortgage and housing news … UWM/ROCKET FIGHT: Declaring “a true partner doesn’t tell you how to run your business,” Rocket Mortgage is firing back at United Wholesale Mortgage in the Great Broker War of 2021. POLICY ALARM BELLS: The booming housing market helped stave off economic collapse in 2020. But soaring prices are starting to worry policymakers, who fear the market…

Mortgage Roundup (3/9/21) – Rates, Sales & Gaps

Good morning! Today is Tuesday, March 9. New CDC guidance says fully vaccinated grandparents can visit safely with unvaccinated grandchildren. Netflix hit miniseries “Queen’s Gambit” may be headed to Broadway as a musical. Dubai’s airport is rolling out an iris-scanner that verifies one’s identity and eliminates the need for any human interaction when entering or leaving the country. And in mortgage and housing news … RATE FALLOUT: A new report released by Redfin found that homebuyers lose $23,250 in spending power with a mortgage rate of 3.25 percent versus a 2.75 percent rate, where they were sitting earlier this year.  FORBEARANCE REPORT: Nearly a year into the pandemic, 2.6 million homeowners remain in forbearance plans in the United States, according to a report released by…