Mortgage Roundup (9/10/20) – GSE, PMI & Cares Act

Good morning! Today is Thursday, September 10.  A new poll shows more than half of households in the four largest U.S. cities struggled financially during the coronavirus pandemic. American Airlines said it may seek more money from the U.S. Treasury to help with its ailing finances. Oregon’s governor put the state on high alert status as wildfires destroy hundreds of homes. 

And in mortgage and housing news …

FORBEARANCE REPORT: The share of mortgages in forbearance in the United States dipped slightly last week, though 3.6 million homeowners continue to have their payments paused, according to the latest survey released by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

MORTGAGE APPS: Mortgage applications increased slightly for the week while remaining significantly higher than last year’s levels, according to the weekly Mortgage Applications Survey released by the Mortgage Bankers Association. 

GSE PATCH: In a comment letter to the CFPB yesterday, the American Bankers Association offered support for recent proposals that would make changes to the Qualified Mortgage rule and ultimately allow the temporary “GSE patch” – which grants QM status to loans eligible to be purchased or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – to expire once the changes take effect. 

PMI COST: Credit scores, down payment amounts, and the coverage loans require, based on Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac guidelines, all influence Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) costs that can add up to thousands of dollars. 

MORTGAGE CREDIT CERTIFICATE: If you’re within income limits, you might be able to qualify for a mortgage credit certificate, or MCC, which could save you money when you file your taxes and make it easier to pay your mortgage each month.

CARES ACT: Six months into the pandemic, many people who agreed to put their payments on hold will now need to decide whether to extend their time in a forbearance program or negotiate a payment plan with their lender to pay the deferred amount back.

HOMELESS HOUSING: The cost to build housing for L.A.’s homeless rose to $531,000 per apartment. Blame falls on an extremely complex financing scheme that relies on multiple layers of government and requirements to build.

LENDING RECORD: Mortgage lending sets a 20-year record in the second quarter, with refinancing volume for the third quarter edging even even higher.  

DIVIDED MARKET: The U.S. mortgage market shows a widening gap between winners and losers as affluent borrowers take advantage of record-low rates while protracted unemployment drives serious delinquencies to their highest levels since 2010.

PROTECT RETIREMENT FUNDS: Prior to the start of the pandemic, about 13 percent of millennials (ages 24 to 39) used their retirement savings to fund the down payment on a home, Bankrate found. Financial advisors say raiding retirement funds for a home purchase could put their longterm financial health at risk. 

MALLS STRUGGLE: Real-estate investor Starwood Capital Group has lost control of seven malls after a recent debt default, surrendering properties the firm acquired for $1.6 billion seven years ago.