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Category Archives: Mortgage Insurance

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BofA Underwater Mortgage Cases Hit Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear two cases brought by Bank of America regarding whether a second mortgage on an underwater property can be voided during Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Both cases involve Florida homeowners who sued to void second mortgages when the debt owed to the holder of the first mortgage exceeded the value of… Continue Reading

Buyback and Indemnifications: The New Dangers

On Thursday, July 31, I will be speaking as part of a panel of business professionals during a live webinar about the continuing repurchase and indemnification risk surrounding mortgage buybacks. This panel will assist mortgage professionals in determining where the greatest exposure of risk lies, and will offer some insightful tips on how best to… Continue Reading

OIG Urges FHFA To Sue Over Force-Placed Insurance

The Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) for the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) is urging the FHFA to sue its servicers and lender-placed insurance (“LPI”) providers because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have suffered considerable financial harm in the LPI market, possibly as much as $158 million in 2012 alone from excessively priced insurance coverage. FHFA has been… Continue Reading

Miami Hits JPMorgan with Lawsuit over Discriminatory Lending Practices

The city of Miami recently sued JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Florida federal court alleging that JPMorgan violated the Federal Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) by engaging in a “continuing pattern” of discriminatory mortgage lending practices in Miami, resulting in a disproportionate number of foreclosures in minority neighborhoods. Ironically, the suit was filed on Friday the… Continue Reading

L.A. Sues JPMorgan Over Discriminatory Mortgage Lending Practices

On Friday, May 30, 2014, asserting that “[i]t is axiomatic that banks should not make discriminatory loans”, the City of Los Angeles filed a two-count complaint against JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Federal Court for the Central District of California. Count one of the complaint is brought under the Federal Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C…. Continue Reading

Wells Fargo Gives Subprime Borrowers Another Chance

Wells Fargo has announced that it plans to begin originating FHA-backed loans for borrowers with credit scores as low as 600. This new cut-off is 40 points below Wells Fargo’s current floor, and 20 points below what has traditionally been considered to constitute a “subprime” borrower. After the collapse of the housing market, faced with… Continue Reading

Forced-Place Insurance Policies May Soon Be Tamed

In an article in today’s DBR by John Pacenti, I weigh in on forced-place insurance policies. The article addresses the new restrictions by the Federal Housing Finance Agency that aim to prohibit mortgage services from being reimbursed for expenses associated with captive reinsurance arrangements. Pacenti also quotes a prior blog post that I co-authored with… Continue Reading

CFPB Sues Mortgage Insurer Over Illegal Kickback Scheme

It looks like yet another illegal kickback scheme involving mortgage insurance has been uncovered in the residential mortgage industry. Recently the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Republic Mortgage Insurance Company (“RMIC”), alleging that it had developed an illegal scheme in… Continue Reading

FHA Announces Plans to Lower Mortgage Insurance Policy Caps

Last Friday, the Federal Housing Administration announced that it will reduce the maximum threshold for the high-price mortgages it is willing to insure. This change was called for by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, but was delayed several times in response to continuing economic turmoil. Currently, in the highest cost areas, the… Continue Reading

FHFA Restricts Forced-Placed Insurance Practices

We recently commented on JPMorgan Chase’s blockbuster agreement to resolve a class-action lawsuit for $300 million brought by more than a million homeowners nationwide. The dispute centered on allegations that Chase profited by collecting kickbacks from insurance companies for imposing force-placed insurance policies at excessive rates on properties that secured its loans where coverage had… Continue Reading

JPMorgan Chase Agrees to Settle Forced-Placed Insurance Class-Action Lawsuit for $300 Million

Forced-Place Insurance Business Surged Following the Housing Collapse JPMorgan Chase and Assurant Inc. recently agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit initiated in June 2012 for $300 million brought by a class of 1.3 million homeowners nationwide who claimed that they were overcharged for forced-placed insurance. The plaintiffs have also entered into a separate settlement for… Continue Reading

City of Richmond, California Backs Plan to Use Eminent Domain to Seize Bad Mortgages

Richmond, CA is first municipality to use eminent domain on underwater mortgages Richmond, California’s leaders approved a controversial plan earlier this month to become the first municipality in the nation to use eminent domain to rid itself of underwater mortgages. The plan was approved by the Richmond city council 4-3 following a long and contentious public meeting… Continue Reading

Private Mortgage Insurers Return to Profitability after Housing Crisis

Best Quarter Posted in 6 years It should be no surprise that the private mortgage insurance industry was nearly decimated in the wake of the housing crisis. During that tumultuous time, the private mortgage insurers that survived lost a combined $20 billion. However, it appears that the tide has finally begun to turn. Diana Olick of… Continue Reading

HUD Selling Troubled Mortgages

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently announced that it is accepting applications for investors interested in buying distressed residential mortgage loans formerly insured by the FHA, focusing on mortgages in Chicago, IL, Newark, NJ, Phoenix, AZ, and Tampa, FL. The Distressed Asset Stabilization Program is an expansion of an FHA disposition program… Continue Reading

Mortgage Delinquency Rate Falls To 2008 Levels, And Other Good Housing News

Declining Delinquency Rates According to a report, released May 16th from the Mortgage Bankers Association (“MBA“), the U.S. mortgage delinquency rate declined in the first quarter of 2012 to the lowest level since 2008. Specifically, the delinquency rate for residential mortgage loans decreased to a seasonally adjusted rate of 7.40 percent as of the end… Continue Reading

Bank of America Responds to Fannie Mae’s Pressure To Cover Losses

As described on TheNicheReport.com last week, the rising number of allegedly flawed mortgage loans sold to Fannie Mae by Bank of America has created a rift between these two behemoths, each of which was bailed out by the U.S. government when the American real estate bubble burst.  Now, Fannie Mae is pressuring lender Bank of America to cover… Continue Reading