Daily Archives: January 23, 2017

Sen. Hatch blocked OneWest foreclosure victims from testifying at Mnuchin’s Senate hearing

Housingwire:
After lots of handwringing beforehand by people worried about his housing resume, Carson’s Senate confirmation hearing was mostly tame, but Mnuchin, a former executive at Goldman Sachs and chairman of OneWest Bank, formerly IndyMac, was not so lucky. Mnuchin was put through a blistering round of questions from Democrats, including a scolding speech from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

Warren and other Democrats had solicited complaints from those who had been foreclosed on by OneWest and planned to have them testify during Mnuchin’s hearing, but Sen. Orrin Hatch blocked them from testifying. Mnuchin vigorously defended the actions of OneWest during the foreclosure crisis, noting that the bank tried to do loan modifications whenever possible and pointing out that he was not responsible for originating the loans.

Nonbanks dominate FHA-backed mortgages

Housingwire:

Nonbank’s share of Federal Housing Administration-backed mortgages crossed $1 trillion for the first time in November 2016, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal by Annamaria Andriotis.

From the article:

Ginnie Mae head Ted Tozer, who is leaving his position Friday, has said nonbank lenders may lack the financial wherewithal to withstand future stress in housing. In the worst-case scenario, problems could saddle taxpayers with losses.

“This is the biggest shift in mortgage lending since the savings-and-loans debacle in the 1980s,” Tozer said in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal. The biggest nonbank FHA lenders include companies such as Quicken Loans Inc., Freedom Mortgage Corp. and Guild Mortgage Co.

However, not everyone agrees with Tozer.

From the article:

Mortgage bankers say Tozer’s concerns, while well meaning, are overblown. “It would take a significant rise in delinquencies to get to the place he’s talking about,” said Pete Mills, senior vice president of residential policy and member engagement at the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Tozer’s “concerns are valid in general because banks do have deeper pockets than nonbanks,” said David Battany, executive vice president of capital markets at Guild Mortgage. But he added, “We view that we are adequately capitalized to make advances in high-default scenarios.”

Source: WSJ

Borrowers: This is how the FHA mortgage insurance premium suspension impacts you

Housingwire:

For borrowers looking to buy a home now or soon, Tim Manni, mortgage expert atNerdWallet, helped explain how this news impact their situation.

“With the annual premium now remaining at 0.85% for most FHA borrowers, it renews the debate among first-time buyers whether an FHA or conventional loan makes the most sense,” said Manni.

Manni stated that the impact depends on a borrower’s credit situation.

Here’s what is means for borrowers with good credit:

If you’re a borrower with good credit, today’s announcement should motivate you to consider multiple home loan options, not just an FHA loan, even if you don’t have much saved for a down payment. It’s important to remember that while FHA interest rates tend to be lower than some conventional mortgages, the insurance premiums could cost you more over the life of the loan. With both an upfront premium, as well as an annual premium that never goes away, comparing the insurance costs alone between an FHA and conventional loan could make your decision a lot easier.

Here’s what is means for borrowers with poor credit:

“On the other hand, if you’re a borrower with poor credit, an FHA loan is likely to be your only option. Since Obama’s reduction hadn’t yet gone into effect, it simply means it’s back to business as usual in terms of what an FHA loan will cost you. The reduction was slated to save new FHA borrowers about $42 a month in the first year. That amount should not be a make-or-break number for any homebuyer. If you’re in the process of applying for a mortgage and your housing costs leave you little financial wiggle room each month, you need to adjust the amount of income you’re dedicating to your home loan and shop for cheaper homes.”

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sues Trump over Emoluments

Another one! Another lawsuit on Monday!

CREW:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 22, 2017
CONTACT: Jordan Libowitz
202-408-5565 | jlibowitz@citizensforethics.org
CREW SUES TRUMP OVER EMOLUMENTS

Washington, DC—Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is bringing a federal lawsuit to stop President Trump from violating the Constitution by illegally receiving payments from foreign governments. The lawsuit will be filed in the Southern District of New York when the court opens at 9 AM on Monday.

The foreign emoluments clause of the Constitution prohibits Trump from receiving anything of value from foreign governments, including foreign government-owned businesses, without the approval of Congress.

“We did not want to get to this point. It was our hope that President Trump would take the necessary steps to avoid violating the Constitution before he took office,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said. “He did not. His constitutional violations are immediate and serious, so we were forced to take legal action.”

Since Trump refused to divest from his businesses, he is now getting cash and favors from foreign governments, through guests and events at his hotels, leases in his buildings, and valuable real estate deals abroad. Trump does business with countries like China, India, Indonesia and the Philippines, and now that he is President, his company’s acceptance of any benefits from the governments of those countries violates the Constitution. When Trump the president sits down to negotiate trade deals with these countries, the American people will have no way of knowing whether he will also be thinking about the profits of Trump the businessman.

“President Trump has made his slogan ‘America First,’” said Bookbinder. “So you would think he would want to strictly follow the Constitution’s foreign emoluments clause, since it was written to ensure our government officials are thinking of Americans first, and not foreign governments.”

Ethics lawyers kick off ‘wave of litigation’ Monday by suing Trump over foreign payments

And so the lawsuit begins..

A group including former White House ethics attorneys will file a lawsuit on Monday accusing President Donald Trump of allowing his businesses to accept payments from foreign governments, in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Deepak Gupta, a Supreme Court litigator working on the case, said the lawsuit would allege that the Constitution’s emoluments clause forbids payments to Trump’s businesses. It will seek a court order forbidding Trump from accepting such payments, he said.

The case, reported earlier by the New York Times, is part of a wave of litigation expected to be filed against Trump by liberal advocacy groups. It will be filed in a Manhattan federal court, Gupta said, and plaintiffs will include Richard Painter, a former ethics lawyer in Republican President George W. Bush’s White House.

Read on.

WikiLeaks Slams Trump, Urges Hackers To Reveal His Tax Returns

I have to laugh at this. The same Wikileaks that released materials that damaged Hillary Clinton Presidential campaign which helped Trump get elected is now blasting Trump Administration for not releasing Trump’s tax returns….

Perhaps in an attempt to demonstrate its impartiality, on Sunday WikiLeaks tweeted a request to worldwide hackers to release President Donald Trump’s tax returns after counselor Kellyanne Conway told ABC Trump will not be releasing the controversial files after all. The whistleblower site, which was blasted during the US election campaign for only releasing material damaging to the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, tweeted the request with a link to its submission page.

Trump Counselor Kellyanne Conway stated today that Trump will not release his tax returns. Send them to: https://wikileaks.org/#submit  so we can.

Curiously, in a second tweet, Wikileaks risked further antagonizing the president many have said it was instrumental in helping him get elected in the first place, when it compared the newly inaugurated president’s breach of promise to release his tax returns comparable to Clinton hiding her Goldman Sachs speech transcripts.

Read on.

A Preview Of Trump’s Seven Imminent Executive Orders

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Having already signed a (mostly symbolic) executive order on Obamacare on Friday night, urging US agencies to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation” of provisions deemed to impose fiscal burdens on states, companies or individuals, Trump is preparing to unload a volley of many more executive orders. Courtesy of Axios, which quotes “one of the best-wired Republican lobbyists in town”, here is a preview of the initial round of Trump executive actions, some of which may hit as soon as Sunday afternoon:

  • Look for a possible hiring freeze at executive branch
  • 5-year lobbying ban on transition and administration officials
  • Mexico City policy, which prevents foreign NGOs from getting U.S. family planning money if they provide abortions with non-U.S. funds. (It’s already illegal to use U.S dollars on abortions.)
  • Task the Defense Secretary and joint chiefs to come up with plan to eviscerate ISIS
  • Report on readiness, and something cyber security related
  • Border/immigration: Something on sanctuary cities, expand E-Verify, an extreme vetting proposal
  • Trade: Withdraw from TPP and a thorough review of NAFTA

Read on.