Good morning! Today is Wednesday, March 3. Texas and Mississippi lift mask mandates and say all businesses can open at 100 percent capacity, as health officials warn not to ease restrictions to that degree. After more vaccines came online, President Biden said there will be enough vaccines to vaccinate every adult by the end of May. Six Dr. Suess books will no longer be published over “hurtful” imagery.
And in mortgage and housing news …
FORBEARANCE REPORT: The number of mortgages in forbearance remained at 2.6 million for the week ending February 21.
FORBEARANCE WORKED: New data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that forbearance did its job. Roughly 30,000 individuals had a new foreclosure notation added to their credit reports during the second half of 2020, which is the lowest level of foreclosure reporting on record since 1999.
ROCKET BLASTS OFF: There are some strong emerging headwinds for mortgage lenders right now, butRocket Mortgage Company is having a much stronger year than expected.
JUMBO ROCKET: Rocket Companies announced a jumbo program, strategically offered to brokers through its Rocket Pro TPO channel, with loan amounts up to $2 million for primary homes, secondary homes and investment properties.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac more than double their housing trust fund contributions for affordable housing investments.
TEXAS STORM: Mortgage companies in the Texas region are working to forge links with homeowners’ insurers to avoid delays to loan payments.
HOMEOWNERSHIP CATCH UP: Why black homeownership rates are 35 percent behind whites.
SHORT SELL BAN: In defense of short selling – consider what hedge fund manager John Paulson did in 2007, when he effectively shorted the white-hot subprime mortgage market. That disastrous bubble would have been even bigger—and more damaging—if Paulson hadn’t done what he did.
USDA MORTGAGE: You don’t have to move to the country to qualify for a USDA home loan.
SUBPRIME LESSONS: The lesson of subprime mortgages, health insurance and now Texas electricity is that sometimes people offered too much choice will make bigger mistakes than they imagined possible.