Mortgage Roundup (5/11/20) – Underwater Loans, IMBs & Flipping Houses

Good morning! Today is Monday, May 11. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warns that employment numbers will get worse before they get better. All passengers on Amtrak will be required to wear a mask. Shanghai’s Disney park will reopen, but visitors can’t hug Mickey.  And in mortgage and housing news … UNDERWATER MORTGAGES: There were 3.6 million houses – or 6.6 percent of homes with mortgages – that were seriously underwater at the end of March, according to a new report from ATTOM Data Solutions. FORBEARANCE INCREASE: While the number of mortgages in forbearance continues to climb, the rate of increase is slowing down.  NONBANK MORTGAGES: The mortgage market was never fixed after the 2008 economic crash. Now it is breaking again.  Many mortgage companies are nonbanks that don’t have…

Mortgage Roundup (5/8/20) – Complaints, Credit & Investing

Good morning! Today is Friday, May 8. Employment data due out today is expected to show 21 million coronavirus-created job losses in April. Businesses are struggling to lure many workers out of employment. A spring snow is in the forecast for the Northeast this weekend, as a polar vortex moves down from Canada.  And in mortgage and housing news … CONSUMER COMPLAINTS: What are the most common mortgage-related complaints received by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau? Where do they come from? What’s with a bank stealing a customer’s mailbox? Find out here. CREDIT TIGHTENS: Economic difficulties caused by the coronavirus are making it harder for borrowers to obtain mortgage credit, even as interest rates have plunged to historic lows. HOUSING…

Mortgage Roundup (5/7/20) – Listings, Loan Limits & Twitter Beef

Good morning! Today is Thursday, May 7. New York City’s subway system shutdown overnight to disinfect cars, the first stoppage in the system’s 115-year history. Senate Republicans are citing renewed budget-deficit fears as they pump the brakes on more coronavirus-aid spending. Frontier Airlines rescinds its plan to charge passengers extra to guarantee an empty middle seat. And in mortgage and housing news … BIT OF A STREAK: Mortgage applications for new home purchases increased for the third week in a row – a sign the housing market is making tentative steps forward amid the coronavirus pandemic. LISTINGS DRY UP: Newly listed homes dropped 44.1 percent in April, according to realtor.com’s Monthly Housing Trends Report.  AXL ROSE TRENDING: Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin took time out of…

Mortgage Roundup (5/6/20) – Credit Grows, Home Prices & Flexibility

Good morning! Today is Wednesday, May 6. The White House coronavirus task force will wind down and move into phase two to re-open the country. The American Academy of Pediatrics issued guidance for school reopenings. Disney, the world’s largest entertainment company, said the pandemic cost it $1.4 billion in the last quarter.  And in mortgage and housing news … HOUSEHOLD CREDIT: Household credit levels jumped in the first quarter, driven by mortgages. HOME PRICE ANALYSIS: After a surge in sales the first two months of the year, home prices jumped in March before the coronavirus took hold in the United States. An analysis of the rest of the year projects modest to minimal growth in prices.  FLEXIBLE LOAN ORIGINATION: Appraisals, employment verification are among the issues…

Mortgage Roundup (5/5/20) – Sales, Forbearance & Prices

Good morning! Today is Tuesday, May 5. U.S. officials warn that relaxing social-distancing guidelines could create a surge of new coronavirus cases into August. New Mexico invoked a riot law to lockdown a city with one of the nation’s worst coronavirus outbreaks. United Airlines will cut its management ranks by 30 percent.  And in mortgage and housing news … HOME SALES: Home sales will drop as much as 60 percent this spring, though home prices should not drop more than 3 percent due to the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus, according to a housing forecast released by Zillow. FORBEARANCE DATA: The latest data released by the Mortgage Bankers Association shows 7.54 percent of mortgage borrowers – or 3.8 million – were in forbearance as of…

Mortgage Roundup (5/4/20) – Bills Due, Earnings & Home Values

Good morning! Today is Monday, May 4. Many states begin lifting coronavirus restrictions this week. Congress considers a final round of coronavirus aid. American, Frontier and Delta airlines will require passengers to wear masks.  And in mortgage and housing news … FORBEARANCE REPORT: More than 3.8 million homeowners – or 7.3 percent of all mortgages – are now in forbearance as millions of Americans are out of work during the coronavirus pandemic, according to an analysis released by Black Knight. RENTS AND MORTGAGES DUE: The speed and broad reach of the coronavirus-induced economic disruption are likely to pit landlords and mortgage companies against homeowners and renters, with each side claiming it needs more assistance and fueling calls for billions in new aid for the housing…

Mortgage Roundup (5/1/20) – HELOCs, Low Rates & Steady Prices

Good morning! Today is Friday, May 1. The United States is aiming to produce hundreds of millions of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine by January. Amazon sales jumped as coronavirus quarantines sparked a surge in online shopping. After a peak in March, Americans are watching slightly less TV.  And in mortgage and housing news … NIXING HELOCS: Wells Fargo joins JPMorgan Chase in backing off the loans known as HELOCs.  MORTGAGE RATES: Freddie Mac announced that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.23 percent, the lowest rate in the survey’s 50-year history. GREATEST CHALLENGE: Freddie Mac CEO David Brickman said the housing market is “facing its greatest challenge in more than a decade” and that the impact of the coronavirus will be felt over the next year,…

Mortgage Roundup (4/30/20) – Watchdogs, Home Sales & Tight Credit

Good morning! Today is Thursday, April 30. States are struggling with a surge in unemployment benefit claims. California Gov. Newsom is expected to close all beaches and state parks to prevent coronavirus spread. Disney is releasing two summer movies ahead of schedule to keep audiences watching during the pandemic. And in mortgage and housing news … FORBEARANCE ACCUSATIONS: The watchdog at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is accusing mortgage lenders of providing “incomplete, inconsistent, dated and unclear guidance” to borrowers seeking relief from mortgage payments during the coronavirus pandemic. BUYERS RETURN: The number of new mortgage applications dropped slightly last week, though purchase applications increased and homeowners are taking advantage of low interest rates to refinance at a much higher rate than…

Mortgage Roundup (4/29/20) – Home Work, Home Ownership & Home Prices

Good morning! Today is Wednesday, April 29. The push to reopen the U.S. economy is running up against wary workers and consumers. Treasury officials vow to recoup virus relief aid intended for small businesses by auditing any company that received more than $2 million. The Federal Reserve will make an announcement on interest rates this afternoon.  And in mortgage and housing news … BIG FAN: United Wholesale Mortgage CEO Mat Ishbia called the embattled Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria “a great leader” who is “doing good things.” HOME WORK: Zillow employees can work from home for another 8 months. HOMEOWNERSHIP RATES: Homeownership rates climbed to 65.3 percent in the first quarter of the year, the highest rate since the end of 2013. DISPARATE IMPACT: The coronavirus will…

Mortgage Roundup (4/28/20) – Forbearance, Forecasts & Investors

Good morning! Today is Tuesday, April 28. Ohio became the 11th state to lift coronavirus restrictions. Texas will reopen businesses in phases, as the state’s stay-at-home order expires Thursday. New York may need federal help to pay unemployment benefits. And in mortgage and housing news … FANNIE FREDDIE REPAYMENT: The Federal Housing Finance Agency issued a reminder 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. FORBEARANCE NUMBERS: The number of mortgages in forbearance amid the coronavirus pandemic keeps climbing. INDUSTRY FORECAST: The National Association of Realtors says while the industry forecast is bleak, there is confidence in a bounce back later this year.  NEW FHFA COO: The Federal Housing Finance…