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Author Archives: Christine Layton

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Christine Layton is an editor and freelance writer in Nevada with a passion for American finance. She covers mortgage and business news for US Finance Post.

Goldman Sachs Nears $1.1 Billion FHFA Mortgage Settlement

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Goldman Sachs Group is close to a deal to pay a U.S. housing regulator close to $1.1 billion to settle claims it did not disclose risks on mortgage bonds it sold in the lead-up to the financial crisis, the Wall Street Journal reports according to sources close to the matter. A settlement with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which ... Read More »

CFPB Fines Subprime Auto Lender $2.75 Million

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has fined Texas subprime auto lender First Investors Financial Services Group Inc. $2.75 million for knowingly giving inaccurate information to credit bureaus for at least three years. This potentially harmed the credit scores of tens of thousands of consumers. According to the CFPB, the company failed to fix known flaws in its computer system that ... Read More »

Existing Home Sales Up 2.4% in July to Highest Pace in 2014

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Housing recovery gained more traction in July with sales of previously owned homes increasing to the highest level in 10 months. According to the National Association of Realtors today, sales of existing homes rose 2.4% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.15 million. July sales remained down 4.3% from the previous year, when sales reached a peak ... Read More »

Mortgage Applications Rise on Increasing Refinancing

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Applications for home mortgages increased last week on improving demand for refinancing, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association today. The MBA said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes purchase and refinance demand, rose 1.4% in the week ending on August 15. The seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications increased 2.7%, although the gauge of home purchase ... Read More »

Bank of America to Pay Record $17 Billion in Settlement with Justice Department

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Bank of America has reached a $17 billion settlement with the Department of Justice over allegations it packaged bad mortgages into securities and sold them to investors prior to the financial crisis, leading to billions in losses, the Wall Street Journal reports. The agreement, which may come as soon as Thursday, will be the largest settlement between the government and ... Read More »

Housing Starts Climb 15.7% in July, Led by Multifamily Starts

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After falling fast in June, housing starts and permits showed a strong recovery in July with a 15.7% gain, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the highest level since November 2013. While this news is good, virtually all gains from June to July were in multifamily rental housing. Housing permits, ... Read More »

Home Depot Profits Jump Past Estimates as Housing Market Improves

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Shares of home improvement giant Home Depot jumped 4% on Tuesday after the company reported that sales and net income rose in the second quarter to beat Wall Street estimates. The company also raised its earnings guidance for the rest of the year. Home Depot forecasts earnings of $4.52 a share for the 2014 fiscal year, increasing its earlier forecast ... Read More »

Stated Income Loans Making a Comeback

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Stated income loans are once more being seen as lenders attempt to attract clients, Reuters reports. Stated income loans are made to borrowers who cannot provide pay stubs or tax returns that prove their income. These loans are making a comeback as companies like Westport Mortgage and Unity West Lending attempt to drum up new business by chasing customers that ... Read More »

Homebuilder Confidence Reaches 7-Month High in August

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U.S. homebuilder confidence rose in August to the highest level in seven months as the industry makes more headway. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo sentiment index rose to 55 from 53 in July, the organization reported today. A reading of at least 50 means the majority of respondents say conditions are good. Analysts expected the index to remain ... Read More »

Survey Finds Qualified Mortgage Rules Increase Costs for Lenders

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While new mortgage regulations introduced earlier this year have had little effect on lenders’ strategies, most anticipate a rougher environment head, according to a new study. A new study conducted by Fannie Mae has found that, for the most part, lenders say QM rules have had minimal impact on business strategies, although many expect operating costs to increase as the ... Read More »

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