Foreclosures Archives

FORECLOSURE UPDATE – Fannie Mae extends foreclosure timelines in 33 states

September 3, 2015 4:49PMforeclosure_forsale_sign

 

In total, Fannie Mae increased the maximum number of allowable days for a foreclosure sale for 33 states, effective for foreclosure sales on or after Aug. 1.

Fannie Mae made the announcement Thursday in an email to its servicers.

According to the announcement, Fannie Mae increased the maximum number of allowable days for the following jurisdictions: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

As part of its servicing guide, Fannie Mae establishes time frames under which it expects routine foreclosure proceedings to be completed.

According to Fannie Mae, the maximum number of allowable days takes represents the maximum allowable time lapse between the due date of the last paid installment and the completion of the foreclosure sale.

The allowable time frame also signifies the time typically required for what Fannie Mae calls a “routine, uncontested” foreclosure proceeding.

The allowable time frame reflects the legal requirements of the applicable jurisdiction, and takes into consideration delays that may occur outside of the control of the servicer, Fannie Mae said.

If the number of days to complete a foreclosure sale exceeds stated maximum number of allowable days and the servicer does not provide an adequate explanation to Fannie Mae as to the reasons for the delay, Fannie Mae requires the servicer to pay a “compensatory fee.”

According to Fannie Mae, the list of “reasonable explanations” includes:

  • Bankruptcy
  • Probate
  • Military indulgence
  • Contested foreclosure
  • The mortgage loan is currently in review for HAMP
  • The mortgage loan is in an active mortgage loan modification trial plan or unemployment forbearance
  • Recent legislative, administrative, or judicial changes to existing state foreclosure laws, provided that the servicer is diligently working toward resolution of the delay to the extent feasible

Fannie Mae noted in its announcement that there is currently a compensatory fee moratorium for Washington D.C., Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey and stated that the moratorium will last, “at a minimum,” until Dec. 31.

Hello and Check This Out!    
Great News for Investors and Sellers FreeGiftComments

I received the article below in an email sent to me from National REIA.

My Short Version Summary of Your Benefits:

1.) Investors who have short saled properties where the lender accepts less than the balance owed, typically had to report the amount of the discount to the IRS as income and pay income tax on the discounted dollar amount. With this new extension, it prevents the IRS from taxing your cancelled debt or the amount of your discount. It appears this expired in 2013; however this new extension act now includes both 2013 and 2014 tax years.
SPECIAL NOTE: If you have short saled any properties in 2013 and 2014, you should verify and make sure your tax preparer knows all of the details on this. I will bet many investor’s tax preparers were aware of the original act, but not this extension.

2.) SELLERS: when buying investment property using “short sale” technique, you have a brand new benefit for your seller. Get it short saled and close before the end of 2014, and they will not get taxed on the amount the lender discounts.  HUGE Benefit for your Seller. Once again, remember your seller might check with tax advisor and they may not be aware of this new extension to the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act Extension.

Below is the email I received this morning.


 

Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act Extension:

Over the course of the first two weeks in July, National REIA’s lobbying arm in Washington, D.C., in concert with National REIA board member and my good friend Tom Zeeb, met with the key sponsors of legislation to extend the short sale tax break retroactively for 2014 and through 2015.

The extension of this tax break, which prevents the IRS from taxing cancelled debt during the utilization of short sales, is critical to restoring the use of short sales.

Since the failure to extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act into 2014, short sales have fallen dramatically since the passage of the tax break implementation in 2008 to 2013 and through the passage of FHFA’s National Standard Short Sale Program, another product of National REIA’s lobbying arm.

 


What are Your Comments On This New Extension? FreeGiftComments 
(please click on the “Leave Comments” button at top right of this article)

SigMikeButler

check out this very interesting article on

Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Insider Secrets

Here is the link

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/while-wronged-homeowners-got-300-apiece-in-foreclosure-settlement-consultants-who-helped-protect-banks-got-2-billion-20130426?utm_source=buffer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Buffer%3A%2BDarrellBouldin%2Bon%2Btwitter&buffer_share=bdab7

A Georgia woman who headed DocX pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud Tuesday afternoon in a case that ties back to the robo-signing scandal and the mishandling of thousands of mortgage documents.

The case ends at least one part of the massive foreclosure document-handling crisis that surfaced in Florida in the wake of the housing crisis.

U.S. prosecutors say Lorraine Brown agreed to plead guilty in a scheme that involved the hiring of dozens of workers to sign and fraudulently notarize thousands of mortgage-related documents even though employees signing the forms were not authorized to do so.

The allegations in court records suggest Brown was hired by mortgage servicers to handle loan documents. When servicers used Brown’s services, she allegedly promised the availability of authorized signers to handle and authorize documents for mailings and public filings.

Prosecutors claim Brown reneged on those promises and began allowing in 2005 the forging and falsification of signatures on official documents tied to mortgages and foreclosure filings.  

A court filing by prosecutors says, “Unbeknownst to DocX clients, the authorized signers were instructed by Brown and other DocX employees to allow other, unauthorized DocX employees to sign, and to have the document notarized as if the actual authorized signer had executed the document.”

Brown pleaded guilty to one federal charge of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District in Florida Tuesday. The offense comes with a possible 5-year prison sentence and up to $250,000 in fines.

Lorraine Brown’s path to federal court began during the massive demand for the moving of thousands of loan documents during the national foreclosure crisis. But Brown’s firm had been around in some formation for nearly two decades.

Brown is a Georgia resident who founded DocX in the 1990s in Ohio Click Here for Full Video/Article (Members Only)

On October 21, USA TODAY published an article entitled Investment Firms Look to Single-family Rentals.  With the number of vacant, foreclosed properties on the market, investors are striking bulk deals and renting out the homes which might otherwise remain vacant and appealing to criminals.

Investment firms look to single-family rentals

As homeownership rates continue to fall, a new type of single-family home buyer has emerged: large corporate investors.

With house values still depressed in many areas, investment funds and real estate trusts have been scooping up thousands of foreclosures across the U.S. in the hopes of managing houses the same way large real estate funds hold apartment complexes and office buildings.

That trend has accelerated recently as Fannie Mae announced its first two bulk sales of foreclosed homes to investment companies, selling 94 Chicago properties and 699 in Florida to firms that have pledged to rent them for at least three years. The federal mortgage-finance giant expects to sell nearly 2,000 units, the majority of them single-family homes, to stabilize cities hit hard by the housing crisis and to lighten its portfolio of foreclosed houses, which in June numbered about 109,000. Click Here for Full Video/Article (Members Only)

FHFA Streamlines Short Sale Standards for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

The program attempts to remove barriers created by some subordinate lien holders by limiting subordinate-lien payments to $6,000. This maneuver essentially cuts off any attempts by second-lien holders to negotiate for larger payoff amounts.

New short sale requirements for servicers proposed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency are giving financial firms a battle strategy for dealing with reluctant subordinate-lien holders who attempt to delay short sales on points of negotiation.

Some parties in short sales are able to delay the process by Click Here for Full Video/Article (Members Only)

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Mike Butler (under the weather during training session) stumbles into a Killer Real Estate Deal during this Power Lunch Session.

While reviewing 2 killer deals from Teresa, Mike turbo-charged the profit potential on these two deals expected to close within the next 2 weeks.

This 30 minute video shows how a routine killer deal can transform into the Killer Deal of the Decade with one extra step.

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Click Here for Full Video/Article (Members Only)

The 16-month robo-signing saga ends with a $26 billion settlement.

Nearly all 50 states agreed to a deal with Bank of America ($8.13 0%), JPMorgan Chase ($38.30 0%), Wells Fargo ($30.63 0%), Ally Financial ($23.31 0%) and Citigroup ($34.23 0%). Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt is the only one not to sign.

If another nine smaller servicers join the settlement, the deal could rise to $30 billion.

Evidence arose showing these firms and their processors allegedly signed foreclosure documents en masse without a proper review of the loan file, evicted homeowners while in the modification process, and other abuses.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller led a multi-state coalition with the Justice Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development beginning in October 2010. Since then, a settlement has been perpetually imminent as negotiations dragged on in the largest federal settlement with a single industry since a deal with tobacco companies in 1998.

Roughly $5 billion of the funds will be used as $2,000 payouts to hundreds of thousands of borrowers affected by the abuses and were foreclosed on between the beginning of 2008 and the end of 2011. A portion of the $5 billion will also go to the states.

Nearly 8.9 million properties received at least one foreclosure filing since 2007, according to Realty Trac.

Another $17 billion will be used as “credits” toward writing down principal on roughly 1 million loans mainly held in the bank servicing portfolios.

However, officials said some of the principal reductions will go toward mortgages in private-label securities, meaning investors will take some of the hit. However, the “credits” would be significantly less for mortgages held in private MBS holdings.

Banks must comply with any pooling and servicing agreements with investors, meaning before a servicer can write down principal on a mortgage in a privately held MBS, it must pass the net-present value test. Only “a couple” of the servicers would do this, officials said.

Roughly $10 billion of the $17 billion held for principal reduction credits will go to borrowers who are delinquent on their mortgages.

Not every dollar the servicers reduce from the principal will be “credited” from the $17 billion the banks agreed to.

For every dollar forgiven, roughly 50 cents or less will be credited under the $17 billion number. Officials said the settlement would ultimately result in an estimated $45 billion in total principal reductions.

Another $3 billion will be spent on refinancing borrowers who owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth. The servicers will send plans to an oversight monitor to be determined on how they would solicit borrowers for the refinance program.

As part of the deal, Bank of America will send $1 billion cash to the Federal Housing Administration as part of the settlement.

“We believe this settlement will help provide additional support for homeowners who need assistance, brings more certainty to the housing market and aligns to our ongoing commitment to help rebuild our neighborhoods and get the housing market back on track,” said a Bank of America spokesman of the entire deal completed Thursday.

The servicers are required to complete the fixes within three years. The AGs built in incentives for relief provided within the first 12 months. The servicers are required to reach 75 percent of their targets within the first two years. Servicers that miss settlement targets and deadlines will be required to pay “substantial” cash amounts.

California and New York were in deep negotiations well night Wednesday.

California will get $18 billion of the agreement. California AG Kamala Harris left the multi-state negotiations last September when the estimated relief to the state was $4 billion.

“California families will finally see substantial relief after experiencing so much pain from the mortgage crisis,” Harris said. “Hundreds of thousands of homeowners will directly benefit from this California commitment.”

New York will receive $648 million in assistance from foreclosure settlement, including $495 million for principal reductions.

The settlement also establishes servicing standards similar to those agreed to in the federal consent orders signed last year.

Robo-signing, and dual-track foreclosures are forbidden and new processes are required to be put in place in order to clean up lost paperwork and oversight of document processors.

“In the past it’s been a dysfunctional system. This set of guidelines has the potential to change all that,” said Iowa AG Tom Miller. “I have a message for the banks. This is an opportunity for you to change things for the benefit of the homeonwers, the investors, yourself and your reputation.”

The settlement will also clear participating AGs to work with a federal fraud task force.

New York AG Eric Schneiderman will co-chair a task force with the Justice Department and HUD, reversed his previous decision to not sign onto the foreclosure deal. He was removed from the central negotiation committee last year when he tried to expand the scope of the investigation into securitization and other issues. His task force, along with California AG Kamala Harris and several other AGs, will look into secondary market and other fraud outside of the robo-signing probe.

Also as part of the deal, Schneiderman will not have to drop his suit against the banks for their use of the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems.

“This historic settlement will provide immediate relief to homeowners – forcing banks to reduce the principal balance on many loans, refinance loans for underwater borrowers, and pay billions of dollars to states and consumers,” said HUD Secretary Donovan. “Banks must follow the laws. Any bank that hasn’t done so should be held accountable and should take prompt action to correct its mistakes. And it will not end with this settlement.”

By Jon Prior from the Housing Wire

Freddie Mac has invested billions of dollars betting that U.S. homeowners won’t be able to refinance their mortgages at today’s lower rates, according to an investigation by NPR and ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit newsroom.

January 30, 2012

Freddie Mac, a taxpayer-owned mortgage company, is supposed to make homeownership easier. One thing that makes owning a home more affordable is getting a cheaper mortgage.

These investments, while legal, raise concerns about a conflict of interest within Freddie Mac.

“We were actually shocked they did this,” says Scott Simon, who heads the mortgage-backed securities team at the giant bond trading and investment firm called PIMCO. “It seemed so out of line with their mission, out of line with what Congress wanted them to do.”

Freddie Mac, formally called the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., was chartered by Congress in 1970. On its website, it says it has “a public mission to stabilize the nation’s residential mortgage markets and expand opportunities for homeownership.” The company is owned by U.S. taxpayers and overseen by a regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

In December, Freddie’s chief executive, Charles Haldeman, assured Congress his company is “helping financially strapped families reduce their mortgage costs through refinancing their mortgages.”

But public documents show that in 2010 and 2011, Freddie Mac set out to make gains for its own investment portfolio by using complex mortgage securities that brought in more money for Freddie Mac when homeowners in higher interest-rate loans were unable to qualify for a refinancing.

Those trades “put them squarely against the homeowner,” PIMCO’s Simon says.

Freddie Mac’s trades came at a time when mortgage rates were falling to record lows. Millions of homeowners wish they could refinance, but their lenders tell them they can’t qualify for today’s low rates because of tight rules. Freddie Mac is one of the gatekeepers with the power to set those rules, and lately, it has been saying no more often to homeowners.

That raises concerns among some industry insiders who see a conflict: Freddie Mac’s own financial health improves when homeowners can’t refinance.

Simply put, “Freddie Mac prevented households from being able to take advantage of today’s mortgage rates — and then bet on it,” says Alan Boyce, a former bond trader who has been involved in efforts to push for more refinancing of home loans.

In the summer of 2010, long lines of hopeful homeowners waited for help from the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America’s “Save the Dream” tour. The tour made stops around the U.S., offering assistance from hundreds of mortgage counselors from various mortgage companies.

Freddie and FHFA repeatedly declined to comment on the specific transactions, but Freddie did say that its employees who make investment decisions are “walled off” from those who decide the rules for homeowners.

When Homeowners Lose, Freddie Mac Wins

Freddie Mac, based in Northern Virginia, says its job is to purchase “loans from lenders to replenish their supply of funds so that they [the lenders] can make more mortgage loans to other borrowers.” That’s one reason why Freddie has a gigantic portfolio containing loans that generate income from mortgage payments. Critics say this investment portfolio has been allowed to grow far larger than necessary to further Freddie’s policy mission.

Plus, in 2010 and 2011, Freddie didn’t just hold a simple pile of loans. Instead, for hundreds of thousands of home loans, it used Wall Street alchemy to chop these loans up into complicated securities — slices of which were sold in financial markets.

    This hypothetical example may help explain what happens:

    1) Freddie Mac takes, say, $1 billion worth of home loans and packages them. With the help of a Wall Street banker, it can then slice off parts of the bundle to create different investment securities, some riskier than others. The slices could be set up so that, say, $900 million worth are relatively safe investments, based upon homeowners paying the principal on their mortgages.

    2) But the one remaining slice, worth $100 million, is the riskiest part. Freddie retains that slice, known as an “inverse floater,” which receives all of the interest payments from the entire $1 billion worth of mortgages.

    3) That riskiest investment pays out a lucrative stream of interest payments. But Freddie’s slice also has all the so-called “pre-payment risk” associated with that $1 billion worth of loans. So if lots of people “pre-pay” their old loans and refinance into new, cheaper ones, then Freddie Mac starts to lose money. If people can’t refinance, then Freddie wins because it continues to receive that flow of older, higher interest payments.

If the homeowner is unable to refinance, the Freddie Mac portfolio managers win, Simon says. “And if the homeowner can refinance, they lose.”

Refinancing A Path To Recovery…

“I’m sending this Congress a plan that gives every responsible homeowner the chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage, by refinancing at historically low rates,” Obama said during his State of the Union speech last week. “No more red tape. No more runaround from the banks.”

In his State of the Union address, President Obama pushed for legislation to allow “every responsible homeowner the chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage” by refinancing without what he called “red tape” or a “runaround from the banks.”

Columbia University economist Chris Mayer supports such an approach. “A widespread refinancing program would have many benefits — not only helping the economy and putting tens of billions of dollars back in consumers’ pockets, the equivalent of a very long-term tax cut,” he says.

“It also is likely to reduce foreclosures and benefit the U.S. government by having fewer losses that they have to pay,” Mayer adds.

In the long term, he says, allowing more Americans to refinance would help taxpayers as well as mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, because they would suffer fewer losses related to foreclosures. These inverse floater trades, however, give Freddie Mac a short-term incentive to resist such so-called “mass re-fi” programs.

“If there was a mass re-fi program, the bets they made would get absolutely wiped out,” PIMCO’s Simon says. “The way these bets do the best is if the homeowner is barred from refinancing.”

In a written statement, Freddie said it “is actively supporting efforts for borrowers to realize the benefits of refinancing their mortgages to lower rates.” It also says it refinanced loans for hundreds of thousands of borrowers just last year.

Fannie and Freddie have taken part in an existing federal program known as “HARP” to help Americans refinance, but many economists say far more homeowners would benefit if Fannie and Freddie were to implement the program more aggressively.
The Silversteins had trouble selling this house after they moved out, forcing them to carry two mortgages for more than two years. “It just drained us,” says Jay Silverstein.
Enlarge Chris Arnold/NPR

The Silversteins had trouble selling their house after they moved out, forcing them to carry two mortgages for more than two years. “It just drained us,” says Jay Silverstein.

Stuck In ‘Financial Jail’

Some homeowners believe the current re-fi game is stacked against them.
If Jay and Bonnie Silverstein were able to refinance their mortgage, they could save nearly $500 a month.

Jay and Bonnie Silverstein describe themselves as truly stuck in a bad mortgage. They live in an unfinished development of yellow stucco houses north of Philadelphia. The developer went bankrupt.

The Silversteins bought this home before the housing market crashed, and then couldn’t sell their old house. They now say that buying a new home before selling the old one was a mistake — a painful one. Stuck with two mortgages, they started to get behind on their payments on the old house.

“It wound up taking us years to sell that house, so we had two homes and two mortgages for two-and-a-half years,” Jay Silverstein says. “It burned up my 401(k) and drained us.”

Jay Silverstein has a modest pension, and they haven’t missed a mortgage payment on their current home. Still, they are struggling. They could make the monthly payment on their new home if they could just refinance — down from their current interest rate of near 7 percent to today’s rates below 4 percent. That could save them roughly $500 a month.

“You know, we’re living paycheck to paycheck,” he says. A lower rate “might go a long way toward helping us.”

But that’s the problem — getting approved for a refinancing. Here’s why: After the housing market crashed, the Silversteins’ old house had to be sold for less than the mortgage was worth. That’s known as a short sale.

Freddie Mac has been tightening lending restrictions, and one of its restrictions blocks people with a short sale in their past from refinancing for up to four years following that short sale. So the Silversteins are stranded by the rule.

“We’re in financial jail,” Jay says. “We’ve never been there before.”
One of Freddie Mac’s restrictions blocks people who have a short sale in their past from refinancing for two to four years following the short sale.

Tight For Homeowners, But Elsewhere, Money Still Flows

Economists say that during the housing bubble, lending standards got too loose. Now many believe the pendulum has swung too far, making rules too tight.

The short-sale restriction may be a good example. For a home purchase, such a rule may be prudent, but allowing people with existing loans to refinance actually lowers the risk that they may default by giving them more affordable mortgage payments.

In a recent analysis of remedies for the stalled housing market, the Federal Reserve criticized Fannie and Freddie for the fees they have charged for refinancing. Such fees are “another possible reason for low rates of refinancing,” the Fed wrote, adding that the charges are “difficult to justify.”

Meanwhile, even though Freddie is a ward of the federal government, its top executives are highly compensated. The Freddie Mac official then in charge of its investment portfolio, Peter Federico, made $2.5 million in 2010, and had target compensation of $2.6 million for last year — the time period during which most of these inverse floater investments were made. ProPublica and NPR made numerous attempts to reach Federico. A woman who answered his home phone said he declined to comment.

NPR’s Uri Berliner and Marilyn Geewax also contributed to this report.

How Homeowner Assistance Fell Short

Freddie Mac: Mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were government-sponsored enterprises that nearly failed during the 2008 financial crisis that brought down the U.S. housing market. The government took over the companies that year; it has sunk more than $169 billion into keeping them afloat. Freddie Mac was chartered by Congress in 1970.

“Our statutory mission is to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the U.S. housing market,” Freddie Mac says on its website. Fannie and Freddie own or guarantee trillions of dollars worth of mortgages and mortgage-backed securities. The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged that six former top executives of Frannie and Freddie misled investors about the firms’ exposure to high-risk mortgages.

FHFA: The Federal Housing Finance Agency has regulated Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae since the government took them over in 2008. The FHFA was created as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, which was designed in part to allow borrowers to refinance with lower-cost, government-backed mortgages.

The Obama administration has been pressing the FHFA to allow more homeowners to refinance their government-backed loans at lower rates. But so far, programs to help millions of homeowners lower their costs have fallen short of expectations.

Refinancing: With mortgage rates at historic lows, millions of homeowners could save hundreds of dollars a month by refinancing their mortgages. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have remained below 4 percent for several weeks in a row. But many homeowners can’t qualify for refinancing because their homes are “underwater” — the value has dropped far below the amount that they owe on their mortgages. In many cases, they can’t get a “re-fi” because they have been tripped up by a tangle of complicated eligibility requirements and paperwork.

— Avie Schneider from NPR

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