Mnuchin Urges All Lenders To Offer Forbearance

Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said Monday that all mortgage lenders should work to find ways to allow borrowers to pause their mortgages during the coronavirus pandemic and tack the payments on at the end of their loans. Mnuchin appeared on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street to discuss the government’s economic response to the pandemic – and said he is “quite pleased” about how support for mortgage borrowers is working. Jim Cramer of CNBC asked Mnuchin, “Could you please tell the mortgage companies, `Look, we think you ought to do mortgage forbearance, perhaps lengthen what the mortgages are.’ … What a great opportunity to be able to say, `Come on, this is a time for forbearance. This is a time…

“Please Help!” CFPB Flooded With Complaints

As the economic impact of the coronavirus fully took hold in April, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was deluged with calls from Americans looking for help as they struggled to pay their mortgages and other bills. In April, the bureau fielded 31,422 complaints about financial institutions – up from 29,538 in March and 22,915 in April 2019. Of those calls, 1,938 were concerning mortgage related-issues – the vast majority relating to struggles with paying their loans. A huge chunk of the complaints – 75 percent – were resolved with an explanation from the lender. A substantial portion of these complaints come from borrowers seeking forbearance, only to learn that their loans were not eligible. The $2 trillion CARES Act includes…

Analysis: Mortgage-Related CFPB Complaints In 2019

Bait and switch. Pleas for help with foreclosure. Accusations of a stolen mailbox. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau receives more than 1 million complaints from banking consumers across the country each year – including issues surrounding credit cards, debt collection, everyday banking transactions and mortgages.  The Mortgage Note conducted an analysis of the 22,708 mortgage-related complaints filed with the CFPB in 2019. The review found that a vast majority of the complaints are closed with an explanation from the mortgage lender, more than half are centered on payment issues, and very few result in any sort financial restitution. The analysis found that Wells Fargo led the way with 2,065 mortgage-related complaints filed by consumers against the bank. The San Francisco-based…

Mnuchin Asks Axl Rose What He Has Done For Liberia

Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin on Wednesday took time out of dealing with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic to ask Guns N’ Roses front man Axl Rose what he had done for Liberia lately. The original Tweet above included the Liberian flag. Mnuchin later deleted the it and replaced it with a Tweet that concluded with the U.S. flag. Twitter, of course, had some fun with the Treasury secretary. Only one of them has brought us Chinese democracy though.— Mr. Fun Guy (@Mister_Fun_Guy) May 7, 2020 "We are the people that can find whatever you may need. If you've got the money, honey, we've got your disease."Who said that? Axl or Mnuchin?— Doug Sandlin (@dougsandlin) May 7, 2020…

FHFA Extends Flexible Loan Origination Policies

With the coronavirus pandemic firmly entrenched in much of the country, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Tuesday that it is extending flexible loan origination policies offered by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. FHFA extended the policies through at least June 30. They include: Alternative appraisals on purchase and rate term refinance loans;Alternative methods for verifying employment before loan closing;Flexibility for borrowers to provide documentation (rather than requiring an inspection) to allow renovation disbursements (draws); andExpanding the use of power of attorney and remote online notarizations to assist with loan closings.​ “These loan origination flexibilities will continue to facilitate loan closings and go a long way to keeping the market functioning effectively during this national emergency,” FHFA Director Mark Calabria…

DOJ: Guaranteed Rate To Pay $15M Fine

Mortgage lender Guaranteed Rate Inc. has agreed to pay a $15 million fine to resolve allegations it failed to properly and adequately underwrite federally backed loans, the Department of Justice announced. DOJ said Guaranteed Rate “knowingly failed to comply with material program rules that require lenders to maintain quality control programs to prevent and correct underwriting deficiencies, self-report any materially deficient loans that they identify, and ensure that the underwriting process is free from conflicts of interest.” Guaranteed Rate said in a statement that the company “worked with the DOJ to identify some mistakes and made the necessary improvements to our operations.” “Guaranteed Rate is committed to doing the right thing and serving the needs of our customers,” the company…

HUD Watchdog: Some Lenders Hiding Forbearance Info

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. Brian T. Pattison, the assistant Inspector General at HUD, reviewed the websites for 30 lenders who have loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration to determine if they were effectively communicating about forbearance opportunities available to borrowers.  Pattison concluded, “Lack of clear and consistent guidance from FHA servicers and enforcement by FHA of that guidance allows servicers to leave struggling homeowners unable to make informed decisions about paying their mortgages and relief that may be available to them during this pandemic.” Pattison’s report did not name…

UWM’s Ishbia: FHFA’s Calabria “A Great Leader”

United Wholesale Mortgage CEO Mat Ishbia on Tuesday called embattled Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria “a great leader” who is “doing good things” amid the coronavirus pandemic. “Mark Calabria is trying to do the right thing,” Ishbia said in an interview with National Mortgage Professional Magazine on Facebook Live. “It’s really easy to judge people and say I wish Mark Calabria would do X, I wish the CEO of Fannie Mae would do Y, I wish the Fed would do Z, Trump would do A. He’s doing his best to try to help not just mortgage lenders but everybody. He’s overseeing Fannie and Freddie. Ishbia continued, “I would tell him to keep up the great work, continue to listen…

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…

Democratic Reps Seek To Cancel Mortgage, Rent

Rep. Ilhan Omar has proposed legislation in Congress that would cancel rent and mortgage payments for the entirety of the coronavirus pandemic, under the threat of seizing property from landlords who run afoul of the proposed law. The Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act of 2020 would suspend all rent and mortgage payments on primary residences, regardless of the tenant’s or mortgage holder’s ability to pay or whether they had suffered any financial hardship. “We need to cancel rent and mortgages for the duration of the crisis,” Omar said in a Tweet. “We need to provide universal monthly payments to all Americans. And we need to make sure our states and cities don’t go bankrupt. We need to pass a fourth relief package…