Mortgage Roundup (5/12/20) – CFPB, The Fed & Wall Street

Good morning! Today is Tuesday, May 12. Dr. Fauci will testify before the U.S. Senate today, warning the nation not to reopen business shuttered by the coronavirus outbreak too quickly. Tesla defies state orders and reopens its assembly plant outside San Francisco. Democrats consider a virtual convention to nominate a presidential candidate. 

And in mortgage and housing news …

CALLING ALL LENDERS: Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said 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.

“PLEASE HELP”: 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.

FORBEARANCE: The share of mortgages in forbearance in the United States has swollen to 7.91 percent, but the rate of growth has slowed in recent weeks, according to the latest report by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

WALL STREET: Investors are flocking to America’s mega-landlords, drawn by evidence that the largest home-leasing companies fared well after the nation’s last foreclosure crisis.

GSE UPDATE: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have updated their COVID-19 Q and A

FED INTERVENTIONS: Some investors are warning that the Fed’s support to the corporate debt market risks creating a “new moral obligation” for the U.S. government to keep markets functioning and help companies access credit.

FED BALANCE SHEET: The central bank’s balance sheet, which consists mostly of bonds and other assets that it’s purchased, has become one of its most powerful tools in blunting the economic pain caused by the virus outbreak.

TOO GSE DEPENDENT: A call for Congress to fix the mortgage servicing problem it created.  

HOUSING POLLS: A pair of national polls, one of Realtors and the other of consumers, offer contrasting views of the housing market under the COVID-19 pandemic. 

ACROSS THE BORDER: Why housing sales and prices are marching to different tunes in Canada.