FHA’s Passivity Could Lead to Big Loan Losses

By: Thursday December 13, 2012 10:05 am

Gretchen Morgenson has an interesting story today about risky lending at the FHA AFTER the housing collapse. The story here is that, after the bubble popped, it became harder and harder to secure a loan. The FHA stepped in to insure a lot of what loans were made over that time, and as a result [...]

Justice: Wells Fargo Still Liable for FHA Abuse, Despite Foreclosure Fraud Settlement

By: Monday December 3, 2012 11:37 am

Late last week, the Justice Department issued a filing that attempts to reinforce the release limitations set by the foreclosure fraud settlement, stopping Wells Fargo from reimagining the deal as a broader release of liability on various mortgage claims. However, a judge will have to make the final decision. The US sued Wells Fargo in [...]

Bernanke Wants Looser Lending Standards In Bubble Reinflation Effort

By: Friday November 16, 2012 6:15 am

I don’t know why I felt so insulted by Ben Bernanke’s housing speech yesterday, but it really stuck with me. Probably because he managed to give an entire speech on housing – one that at points implicitly blamed homeowners for their predicaments – without mentioning the word “fraud.” Or saying “I’m sorry.” It was very [...]

Wells Fargo Argues Government Trying to Sue Them for Conduct Covered in Foreclosure Fraud Settlement

By: Thursday November 1, 2012 2:47 pm

Put this one in the “what you reap is what you sow” file. A few weeks ago, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York sued Wells Fargo for collecting insurance on FHA loans that were improperly underwritten. This mirrored several other cases out of SDNY, and charged that Wells Fargo gained the [...]

CAP Credits FHA for Its Useful Ignorance, Allowing Mortgage Fraud to Continue

By: Saturday October 13, 2012 10:04 am

I don’t really know what to make of this analysis from the Center for American Progress, alleging that the Federal Housing Administration “saved” the housing market during the downturn. First, a word on what the FHA does. They’re basically a government-run mortgage insurer, backstopping loan losses for private lenders for a nominal fee that borrowers [...]

Helpful Facts About the Civil Suit Against Wells Fargo

By: Wednesday October 10, 2012 6:27 am

I mentioned in passing yesterday this federal civil lawsuit against Wells Fargo for its conduct on some FHA loans. “Mentioned in passing” is all that the suit deserved, but I see that the PR shop at DoJ tried to turn this into a big deal, with the media playing along. So maybe I should put [...]

Why the Administration Won’t Fire Ed DeMarco, Cont’d

By: Monday August 6, 2012 11:00 am

I went through last week why I don’t think Ed DeMarco will be fired. Now Neil BArofsky, who has a passing knowledge of the individuals involved, entered this debate. Last week the acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Ed DeMarco, made a familiar argument. He announced that he would not approve the Obama [...]

FHA Short Refi Program Has Helped Under 1,500 Borrowers in Almost Two Years

By: Monday July 30, 2012 1:55 pm

In discussing the potential options for immediate implementation of Jeff Merkley’s HOLC-type plan for current, underwater homeowners, Mike Konczal reveals a pretty amazing stat that says a lot about the relative seriousness with which the Treasury Department and other federal agencies have attacked the foreclosure crisis thus far: The report notes three potential homes for [...]

Jeff Merkley’s HOLC-Type Plan for Underwater Borrowers

By: Thursday July 26, 2012 7:07 am

Despite the heavily lobbied narrative that housing is in the midst of a recovery, the reality is far more stark. New-home and existing-home sales fell last month, and what stability we’re seeing on prices comes in large part from a massive shadow REO that isn’t sustainable. Mortgage delinquencies actually rose in June. And you have [...]

BofA Gets Side Deal in Settlement, Reducing Penalty By Modifying Loans They Don’t Own

By: Friday March 9, 2012 7:00 am

I mentioned yesterday, when reporting on the whistleblower allegations of Bank of America defrauding HAMP, that the bank made some sort of side deal in the foreclosure fraud settlement that would deliver deeper relief to a certain subset of borrowers. What was not reported was that this will get BofA off the hook for $850 [...]

Administration Announces Not-New New Housing Relief Programs

By: Tuesday March 6, 2012 11:15 am

I’ll get to the President’s press conference (still ongoing) in a moment, but at the top of it, he announced a series of “new” measures on housing. I put “new” in quotes because I don’t see how these are particularly new measures. Today, the President is announcing two steps the Administration is taking to support [...]

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