Good morning! Today is Monday, August 17. Democratic lawmakers called the leaders of the U.S. Postal Service to testify before Congress about the implications of reduced mail service. New Zealand postponed its elections amid new coronavirus cases. California is plagued by scorching heat (130 degrees!), lightning, blackouts and even fire tornadoes.
And in mortgage and housing news …
UNITED SHORE COVID: There are 84 COVID cases reported at United Shore – but CEO Matt Ishbia says it’s not spreading at the office. Some employees aren’t buying it.
BORROWER HURDLES: Banks’ due diligence is making loans harder to get.
EVICTION RELIEF: Tenant groups seek banks’ help to forestall evictions. Tenants-rights advocates around the country are seeing a housing crisis begin to crest in the surge of the coronavirus pandemic.
UNDER 2%: As mortgage rates move higher again and hit levels not seen in months, one of America’s largest home lenders says it’s taking things far in the other direction, but beware the finance charge.
HOUSING SHORTAGE: Mortgage interest rates remain low, which is keeping the housing market in a strong position. The only thing holding it back is a serious housing shortage.
HOME PRICES: The imbalance between supply and demand is pushing home prices higher.
DRUMMING UP LISTINGS: Realtors are cultivating new skill sets to earn home buyers’ and sellers’ trust.
RISKY REFIS: Who is profiting from the boom in refinancing, who is carrying the risk, and why it matters.
MORATORIUMS END: What homeowners and renters need to know about the end of moratoriums on evictions and mortgage forbearance.
MORTGAGE RECAST: If you are a homeowner looking for a way to trim your monthly budget and you’ve got a lump sum you can use, mortgage loan recasting might be a good option.
SCAMMER CROSS FIRE: Banks are freezing accounts of small-business borrowers on suspicion of fraud.