Good morning! Today is Thursday, August 20. Sen. Kamala Harris becomes the first woman of color to accept a major party nomination for vice president. Wildfires are spreading quickly in Northern California, causing poor air quality and some home evacuations. A new study finds that smiling often, even when you don’t feel like it, generates a more positive mood.
And in mortgage and housing news …
MORTGAGE APPS: Mortgage applications were down last week, but remain higher than a year ago.
HERE TO STAY: The Federal Reserve just confirmed it will keep doing its part so today’s deeply cheap mortgage rates will stay that way.
HOMEOWNERS COPING: Homeowners are making mortgage payments even as COVID-19 threatens their financial health.
TRUMP VS. BIDEN: How each presidential pick would shape the housing market for years to come.
REFINANCE FEE OPPOSITION: A group of Democratic senators wrote to FHFA Director Mark Calabria raising concerns about a recent announcement that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will impose an “adverse market refinance fee” of 50 basis points for no-cash-out and cash-out refinance mortgages—a move strongly criticized by ABA and several other financial trade associations last week.
DC EXTENDS RELIEF: Washington, D.C.’s City Council voted to extend COVID-19 relief for tenants and others .
REFINANCE DESPITE FEE: Millions of homeowners could still benefit from refinancing their mortgages to get a lower interest rate. This is true even after a federal regulator startled lenders by dictating a new fee that amounts to a tax on refinancing.
GSE FORBEARANCE PURCHASE: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will purchase loans in a COVID-19 forbearance if the eligible loans have note dates through August 31, 2020. One of the conditions of purchase is an additional pricing adjustment of 5 percent if the borrower is a first-time homebuyer and 7 percent for other loans.
FANNIE MAE C-SUITE ROLE: Fannie Mae promoted Jeff Hayward to a newly created C-suite role that includes diversity and inclusion.