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Fannie, Freddie Loan Limits to Rise in 39 High-Cost Counties

The Federal Housing Finance Agency said Wednesday that conforming loan limits for mortgages purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will remain at existing levels except in 39 high-cost counties.

The current loan limits are $417,000 nationwide and $625,000 in high-cost areas. The limits will rise in 2016 in 11 counties in Colorado, five in Massachusetts, two in New Hampshire, four in California, 14 in Tennessee and three in Washington.

In California, Napa County’s loan limits will be the highest in 2016 at $625,500, followed by San Diego County at $580,750 and Sonoma County at $554,300. Colorado will see the highest increases in 2016, up $34,500 to $458,850 in 11 counties including Denver and Boulder.

The FHFA, the regulator of Fannie, Freddie and 11 Federal Home Loan Banks, sets higher loan limits in high-cost counties as a function of […]

Why TRID Is Tripping Up Wholesale Lenders

12.01.2016
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The implementation of new mortgage disclosure requirements by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been a significant transition for all lenders, but the compliance process has been particularly thorny for wholesale lenders.

The rules, which took effect Oct. 3, put a premium on accuracy and require that borrowers have three days to review a final Closing Disclosure before closing.

But the complications with upgrading software in order to produce the new forms and ensuring that estimated loan pricing in the disclosure is accurate, among other things, have been magnified in wholesale loan transactions, where there are three parties to the loan transaction instead of just two.

“Wholesale is a weak link in the [CFPB] rule, because the rule says the least about the interaction that exists between the” wholesale lender and the mortgage broker, said Robert Lotstein, managing attorney of Lotstein Legal in Washington.

Issues have included mortgage brokers providing […]

Why homeowners are leaving billions on the table

11.01.2016
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Mortgage rates have been so low for so long that it is hard to believe nearly everybody hasn’t refinanced to a lower rate yet. Believe it. More than 5 million borrowers could both qualify and benefit from a mortgage refinance, according to a new report from Black Knight Financial Services.

True, that is less than the nearly 7 million who could have refinanced just last spring, when the average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage was below 3.7 percent. Today, thanks to the rout in the stock market, rates have fallen back just below 4 percent. About 2.4 million borrowers could potentially save $200 or more on their monthly mortgage payments and an additional 1.9 million could save $100 to $200 per month. Add it up, and that is $1.2 billion still on the table, according to Black Knight.

“If rates go up 50 […]

Interest Rate Hike Will Boost Mortgage Credit Availability

7.01.2016
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The availability of home loans for low credit score borrowers remains very tight by historical standards but there might be some loosening in 2016 if the Federal Reserve begins raising interest rates.

“If interest rates were to rise, lenders would begin to open up the credit box in order to get more borrowers through the door,” said Sam Khater, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic, during a webinar hosted by American Banker.

But Khater said he doesn’t expect interest rates to rise very much “because the economy remains weak.”

Laurie Goodman, the housing finance director at the Urban Institute, said she expects to see a “modest expansion” in mortgage credit due to the efforts of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration to clarify their loan put-back and indemnification policies.

“I expected to see some expansion in credit as the FHA and GSEs continue to take actions […]

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