FHA Unveils Payment Supplement For Struggling Borrowers

The Federal Housing Administration introduced a new offering to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure. The offering, called the Payment Supplement, is a loss mitigation home retention option available to borrowers with FHA-insured single-family mortgages.  Payment Supplement gives mortgage servicers a tool to reduce the borrower’s monthly payment by up to 25% without modifying the rate by using funds from a Partial Claim, enabling the borrower to access up to 30% of the outstanding balance of their mortgage. The claim amount is placed in a junior lien and paid back when the homeowner sells or refinances, or when the mortgage otherwise terminates. “HUD uses every tool in our toolkit to ensure we can help struggling borrowers avoid foreclosure,” said HUD Secretary…

Will The Affordability Of Homes Sway Voters In 2024?

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Home affordability continues to be problematic for American families. High prices, elevated mortgage rates, and a low supply of inventory have kept adults in their 20s and 30s off the housing ladder. At the same time, homeowners with growing families are unable to move up that ladder into properties that would better accommodate their needs for the same reasons. It’s an issue that touches all generations because older adults are worried about their children and grandchildren. They’re also aging but if their house is paid off, it often does not make financial sense to move, even if they no longer need three bedrooms on a regular basis. But will the affordability of homes push people to vote…

MBA Responds To Yellen’s Non-Bank Lender Concerns

The Mortgage Bankers Association responded to comments by U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen who said that independent mortgage banks require regulatory oversight as they navigate commercial real estate debt. In a hearing for the Senate Banking Committee, Yellen said the Financial Stability Oversight Council is focusing on nonbank mortgage companies because they “lack access to deposits, which banks have.” She suggested that financial stress from commercial real estate weakness and low residential refinancing activity could lead to some IMBs failing. “[Non-bank lenders are] reliant on short-term financing that may be a lot less stable than deposits, and in stressful times, their credit lines can be pulled,” Yellen said. “There is concern that in stressful market conditions we could see the…

FNB Pennsylvania To Pay $13.5M In Redlining Settlement

First National Bank of Pennsylvania will pay $13.5 million to settle redlining allegations raised by the U.S. Department of Justice and the state of North Carolina. FNB was accused of discriminating against borrowers in predominantly Black and Hispanic neighborhoods in Charlotte and Winston-Salem, NC, from 2017 to 2021, via Carolina-based Yadkin Bank, which it acquired in 2017. The bank “failed to provide mortgage lending services” to those neighborhoods and “discouraged people seeking credit in those communities from obtaining loans,” according to a press release. Other lenders generated applications in these neighborhoods two-and-half times the rate of FNB in Charlotte and four times the rate in Winston-Salem. It also only operated in white areas, shutting down its sole branch in a…

Op-Ed: Jerome Powell’s Hollow Commercial Property Market Assurances

By DESMOND LACHMAN In March 2008, then Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke assured us that the sub-prime loan and housing market problems were not of systemic concern to the financial sector. Yet, in September 2008 Lehman Brothers failed in large part because of its leveraged exposure to subprime and housing market lending. Lehman’s failure in turn triggered a U.S. and world financial crisis that resulted in the 2008-2009 Great Economic Recession. Fast forward to today. Last Sunday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell gave a television interview to 60 Minutes on the monetary policy challenges that lay ahead. In that interview, he went out of his way to provide assurances similar to those of Ben Bernanke in 2008 about the stability of…

Op-Ed: More Than A Place To Live, CCRCs Plan For The Unpredictable

By CHRIS BARSTEIN Homeownership: the American Dream.  For so many adults, our homes not only fulfill the dream, they also are our most significant single purchase and our greatest investment. They’re where we build lives, families, and memories. Then, it happens. We age and, almost without warning, that dream starts to become a burden. This time of year, as winter sets in over much of the country, many older homeowners dread snow removal and heating bills. Regular upkeep and repairs get in the way of quality time and bigger projects are an expense that could be spent in other ways. What to do next can seem an overwhelming proposition. In an ideal world, retirement-age adults have a plan for where…

Powell Responds To Legislative Pressure As Feds Hold Rates Steady

By PATRICK LAVERY Saying the economy has surprised even the experts since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic nearly four years ago, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday announced that the Fed would hold its ground for now and keep its policy interest rate unchanged at its current range of 5.25% to 5.5%. “We believe that our policy rate is likely at its peak for this tightening cycle and that, if the economy evolves broadly as expected, it will likely be appropriate to begin dialing back policy restraint at some point this year,” Powell said in prepared remarks following the first two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting of 2024. The decision by the FOMC was not unexpected, and…

Judge Finds UWM Engaged In Unfair Labor Practices

By KIMBERLEY HAAS A National Labor Relations Board judge has found that portions of a mandatory employment agreement between United Wholesale Mortgage and its workers should be rescinded. “Having found that the respondent engaged in certain unfair labor practices, I find that the respondent must be ordered to rescind the unlawful portions of its current employment agreement and print and distribute a revised employee agreement that does not contain the unlawful portions,” Administrative Law Judge Susannah Merritt wrote. Merritt found that leaders at UWM violated federal labor laws because the company’s employment agreement contained overly broad, ambiguous, and/or discriminatory work rules about proprietary and confidential information as well as the return of property and information. Rules about employee communications, including…

Op-Ed: Congress, Please Don’t Legislate A Takeover Of The Nation’s Rental Housing Market

By TOBIAS PETER, KEVIN CORINTH, and ED PINTO It is an election year and Congress will soon consider two bipartisan bills to address high rental costs for many renters. The first is the Workforce Housing Tax Credit (WFHTC) and the second would be an expansion of the existing Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC). The WFHTC would extend eligibility for subsidized units to tenants earning below the area median. On a combined basis the two credits would expand eligibility to about three-quarters of the nation’s renters. Both programs would offer generous federal government subsidies for building new apartments. Such a massive expansion of the state would waste taxpayer money, crowd out more private builders, and deter many families from advancing economically.…

Former FHA Commissioner And MBA President Remembered For Impact On Housing Industry

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Federal officials and members of the mortgage industry are mourning the loss of David Stevens, who helped the country navigate the aftermath of the 2008 housing crisis before serving as president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association for seven years. Stevens worked as the Federal Housing Administration Commissioner at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under former President Barack Obama. There from 2009 to 2011, he focused on restoring the administration to fiscal health and was a key player in drafting housing policy, according to an article by Reuters. HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge said on Wednesday in a statement, “This country is better because of David’s service and contributions.” “Over the course of his…