Continuing an investigation that began more than two years ago, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is investigating Zillow Group’s compliance with the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).
Under the rules of RESPA, lenders, mortgage brokers and servicers of home loans are required to provide borrowers with all relevant and timely disclosures regarding the cost and procedures of the real estate settlement process. In addition, RESPA prohibits such practices as ‘kickbacks’ and restricts the use of escrow accounts. Continue reading “Zillow Investigation Raises Questions For Lenders”→
It’s shaping up to be a better year than expected for the credit reports of hundreds of thousands of American consumers.
A recently completed study of millions of credit files by credit score giant FICO found that forthcoming policy changes by the nation’s three credit bureaus—Experian, TransUnion and Equifax—will result in increased credit scores for a large swath of American consumers. While the FICO study found that the majority of consumers likely won’t see any noticeable change in their credit scores resulting from revised credit reports, it also reported that hundreds of thousands of consumers could experience an even larger-than-initially expected bump in their credit scores—as much as 40-60 points, or more. Continue reading “The Evolving World of Consumer Credit Reports”→
The loan origination process involves numerous parties, including the Appraisal Management Company (AMC)–a vendor that plays a vital role in the lending process.
Whether your organization is a bank, non-bank, credit union or other type of financial institution, chances are if you are lending on collateral, you’ll be engaging an AMC to obtain a valuation of the property in order to close on the transaction—and therefore oversight of your AMC is critically important. Continue reading “AMCs: Vital Players In The Lending Process”→
From music to movies, from books to retailing, technology has revolutionized the way commerce is conducted in the new millennium.
Little wonder then that technology is also having a dramatic impact on the way the mortgage industry conducts business; and in recent years, perhaps one of the most significant changes to the mortgage sector has been the introduction of the “digital mortgage”.
It was not that many years ago when the overriding question pertaining to US home valuations was most often ‘how low would they go?’
During, and immediately after the Great Recession, millions of American homeowners found themselves helplessly watching as the value of their homes—in many cases, their greatest family asset—endured a seemingly endless decline in value.
One of the most basic tenets of a capitalist system is that of supply and demand; if supplies are limited and demand remains strong, it’s almost a certainty that the cost of that product will inevitably rise.
Since the end of the Great Recession, America’s lenders have confronted a vastly different financial landscape.
From a multitude of new regulations, greater government oversight, and shifting public attitudes towards both saving and spending, in recent years perhaps the only ‘constant’ for America’s lenders has been ongoing change.
For many Americans, their credit reports are not unlike their insurance policies—they don’t give them much thought, until the day arrives when the quality of their credit report directly affects them.
Still, whether or not it is given much thought, an individual’s credit history is often of enormous importance—and a significant determinant as to whether someone is granted a loan, or even considered to be ‘reliable’ as a potential employee.
Only a few years ago, during the peak of the Great Recession, the US housing sector was “down for the count”, and the sale of any home—new or existing—was a most welcome event for anyone involved in the housing industry.
Almost a decade after the collapse of the American housing market—and the subsequent arrival of the Great Recession—there remains a good deal of ‘collateral damage’ that has yet to be fully repaired by the nation’s economic recovery.
With the arrival of a new Administration in Washington, and expectations running high about forthcoming deregulation of the financial services and lending industries, one of the remaining vestiges of the Great Recession—the absence of the largest banks from the mortgage business—may also soon come to an end.
In 2013, Dr. Ben Carson announced that he would be retiring after a very successful career as a renowned neurosurgeon.
Just over three years later, Carson agreed to put his retirement plans on hold, and enter the tumultuous world of American politics; after his surprise presidential victory, then President-elect Donald Trump—Carson’s former rival for the Republican Party presidential nomination– asked him to join his cabinet as Secretary of Housing & Urban Development (HUD).
In many classic Hollywood western films, one of the most common cliché phrases used to introduce new local lawmakers was frequently “there’s a new sheriff in town.”
With the recent confirmation of Steven Mnuchin as America’s new Secretary of Treasury, the nation’s financial community is scrambling to familiarize itself with its new ‘sheriff’, the man charged with helping shape America’s financial policies and direction for the next four years.
There is an adage that says that “youth is wasted on the young”; however, recent studies regarding the massive debt incurred by the ‘Millennial Generation’ may make the prospect of being among today’s well-educated youth far less desirable than one might imagine.
During the fourth quarter of last year, US homeownership fell to 63.7 percent; in addition, with a 62.9 percent rate, 2016 also saw the lowest homeownership rate in 50 years during the second quarter of the year. The largest age group to be impacted was, by far, the Millennial homebuyer. Add to that reality the fact that since 2010, homeownership for the Under 35 age group has decreased by 10.8 percent.
In his inauguration speech, President Trump made it clear that his Administration was going to institute changes in policy almost immediately.
True to his word, within one hour of taking office, the new Trump Administration reversed one of former President Obama’s final policy decisions—a mortgage fee cut that would have reduced the annual premium for those borrowing $200,000; the change would have resulted in a $500 cut in the first year of the mortgage.
Established in 1996, SettlementOne is one of the nation’s largest suppliers of mortgage data, providing financial institutions and consumers with secure, efficient and cost effective solutions that streamline the mortgage origination and lending process. Contact us for more information on how we can help your business.