Mortgage Rates Climb Due to German Bund Selloff


Conforming loan rates hit their highest levels in two months during the first week of May, according to the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

“Mortgage rates rose this week to the highest level since the week of March 12 as a selloff in German bunds helped drive U.S. Treasury yields above 2.2%,” said Freddie Mac deputy chief economist Len Kiefer in a released statement.

Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages rose 12 basis points from last week, to 3.8%. Rates were still down 41 basis points from last year. Fifteen-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.02%, up eight points from last week and down 30 points from last year.

Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 2.9%, up five points from last week but down 15 from last year, while one-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgages dipped three points, to 2.46 […]

CFPB Uncovers Problems in Credit Reporting, Next Steps Unclear


More than 26 million consumers are effectively “credit invisible” because they have no credit record and another 19 million are “unscored” because they have an insufficient or stale credit history, according to a report released Tuesday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The study was part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to examine the flaws in the credit reporting industry, but it was unclear how the new information will be used by the CFPB.

“What we’re trying to do in this report, and other work that we’re doing, is better understand the scope of credit reporting. And understand how it’s affecting consumers, which consumers it’s working well for, and which perhaps it may not be working as well for,” said Ken Brevoort, section chief within the CFPB’s Office of Research, during a conference call with reporters. The agency wants “to have a better understanding […]

High LTV Lending Is Actually a Good Thing


In the six months since the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the GSEs announced the return to low down payment mortgages, with Fannie Mae CEO Tim Mayopoulos noting, “Now we can safely and responsibly do these loans,” the industry and its followers have been in debate on the prudence of GSE re-entry into high loan-to-value lending.

Given recent history, that’s an understandable response from the general public and some mortgage lending stakeholders. However, the practically Pavlovian fear and loathing triggered by the phrase “97% LTV” is overblown.

Seasoned mortgage veterans of several boom-bust cycles know that borrower creditworthiness and dependable collateral valuation are the benchmarks of a responsible mortgage. When these attributes are eroded or systemically overlooked, any loan product can go rogue. Conversely, when healthy credit risk and collateral risk management assessments are in place, virtually any loan product can be properly originated within […]

Five global banks to pay $5.7 billion in fines over rate rigging


Authorities fined five of the world’s largest banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co and Citigroup inc, roughly $5.7 billion, and four of them agreed to plead guilty to U.S. criminal charges over manipulation of foreign exchange rates, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Wednesday.
The fifth bank, UBS AG, will plead guilty to rigging benchmark interest rates, the Justice Department said.
U.S. banks JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup will pay $550 million and $925 million in criminal fines, respectively, as part of their guilty pleas.
British banks Barclays will pay $650 million in criminal penalties and Royal Bank of Scotland $395 million. Each will plead guilty to one felony count of conspiring to fix prices and rig bids for U.S. dollars and euros in the foreign exchange spot market.
The $5.7 billion includes $1.6 billion in fines separately imposed by the U […]

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