Posts Tagged ‘mortgage market’


Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: Still On Top in Home Loans?

Ever since the great housing collapse of 2008, legislators and regulators have tried to scale back – or even eliminate – federal mortgage megalenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But as new regulations n private lenders, the agencies everyone loves to hate just keep on ticking. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac collectively account for the […]

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AMA

What’s Ahead for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

Fannie and Freddie are still headed for the chopping block. The demise of those venerable home loan agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac might not seem to matter to anyone who’s not looking to buy a house. But some market watchers worry that the dismantling of the nation’s biggest mortgage backers could push the entire […]

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AMA

Is the Fed Finally Ending the Stimulus?

Is it curtains for QE3? The Federal Reserve has announced that Quantitative Easing, round three, better known as QE3, is coming to an end – although key interest rates won’t rise until mid-2015. The end of the stimulus also marks the end of a massive experiment in government intervention that sparked debate both at home […]

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Do Borrowers Need Banks?

Banks are an essential part of the financial landscape – or at least, they’d like you to think so. But are they? New banking alternatives may be making the traditional bank loan a thing of the past. The traditional banking model has been around for centuries, supersized to today’s massive institutions like Bank of America, […]

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Can Living Wills Prevent Another Banking Collapse?

People make living wills – and now, so do banks. To prevent a major financial meltdown like the one that hit the country in 2008, major US banks are now required to create a contingency plan for failure and submit it to government regulators. But because those regulators haven’t been monitoring those “living wills,” the […]

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Not a Student? Student Loan Debt Still Hits Home

You’re not a college student. You don’t have a child in college. But the escalating crisis of student loan debt still affects you, in ways large and small. In the spring of 2014 the total student debt load in the US had reached $1.1 trillion – and that burden of debt is stifling entrepreneurship, threatening […]

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The Stimulus Fades, But Interest Rates Stay Low

The ongoing draw down of the Federal Reserve’s Quantitative Easing plan is in full swing, with another $10 billion slashed from the buyout budget every couple of months. According to predictions, that should cause interest rates to jump. But despite the fading of the Fed’s artificial manipulation, those rates are hovering close to the historically […]

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Gen Y: Changing the Economic Game

Move over, baby boomers. There’s a batch of new kids in town, and their numbers have knocked you out of first place as the biggest age cohort in the country. We’re talking about the millennials, or Generation Y, whose buying patterns and lifestyle choices are changing the face of the economy in ways large and […]

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America’s Getting Younger – And Making Changes

Move over, baby boomers. The younger generation is taking over – at least in terms of population. The latest US Census Bureau stats reveal that the much-analyzed baby boomers, those people born between 1947 and 1960 or so, are no longer the country’s biggest demographic. They’ve been replaced by a much younger cohort of people […]

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Mixed Messages on Housing Shadow Economic Recovery

Is the housing market in recovery? Or decline? It depends on who you ask – and when. New figures suggest that the much-touted housing recovery may have flattened after a promising surge in 2013 – a trend that, if true, has significant consequences for the health of the economy as a whole. But the housing […]

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Who’s Really Paying For Bank Settlements?

Since 2010 the nation’s biggest banks have paid out billions in settlements over fraud, misrepresentation and downright illegal banking practices. But lawsuit after lawsuit continues to catch the megabanks red handed, with no apparent damage done by those multimillion-dollar payouts. Where do the big banks get their money? From the very government that’s prosecuting them. […]

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Banks Settle Up In Insurance Rate Fixing Suits

In the seemingly never ending saga of legal actions against the nation’s big banks – and sometimes their foreign counterparts as well – the action usually plays out on a government stage of the highest level, with lawsuits brought by state officials or the Justice Department itself. But a recent lawsuit discreetly settled by Bank […]

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Loan Fraud Cover-ups Affect the Economy

Another day, another bank fraud settlement. JP Morgan Chase has just agreed to pony up $614 million in the latest round in the Justice Department’s ongoing effort to clean up the fraud and deceit in the nation’s lending industry. And whether you’re looking for a mortgage or not, the big banks’ longstanding patterns of deliberate […]

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The Long Reach of Shadow Banking

Shadow banking – the financial world most have never heard of – stepped into the light recently with news from China about an investigation into that country’s system of unregulated financial dealings. While it’s easy to assume that this alternative to mainstream banks is purely a phenomenon of countries with a history of secrecy and […]

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Life After Lawsuits: Megabanks Try to Regroup

After racking up over $40 billion in legal fees fighting government sponsored lawsuits over the past few years, Bank of America wants you to know it’s changed its ways. Faced with allegations of mistreating both its customers and employees after th death of an overworked intern at one of its London branches, the bank – […]

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Social Media Missteps Can Hurt Credit

It’s an open secret that companies routinely Google job applicants and examine their social media profiles as part of the hiring process. But in a more regulated and cautious lending atmosphere, banks and other financial institutions are starting to look at the social media activity of loan applicants to determine creditworthiness for mortgages and other […]

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Top 5 Trending Topics of 2013

This New Year sets the stage for a financial world that’s very different in some ways than any we’ve seen before. From the decline of the dollar to the rise of the Bitcoin and other digital currencies and the state of the stimulus, the trends of 2013 paved the way for changes that affect all […]

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Lending Industry Cleanup Means New Rules

The New Year brings big changes to the US loan business, as lawsuits and legislation continue to force a cleanup of the institutions that were in large part responsible for the housing collapse of a few years ago. And as those changes, aimed at protecting the consumers whose purchases keep the economy humming, take effect […]

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New 2014 Lending Standards May Chill Borrowing

symptoms of diabetes p>What a difference two percentage points can make. A new provision of the sweeping Dodd Frank act that’s scheduled to take effect this January drops the allowable debt to income ratio for mortgages and other kinds of consumer loans from 45 percent to 43 – a small change with the power to […]

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Fannie and Freddie Retreat, But Fees Advance

Among the many factors affecting the strength of the dollar and the US economic recovery as a whole is government involvement in the still recovering housing industry. As world markets warily eye the Federal Reserve’s ongoing bond buying stimulus plan, the government backed megalenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac embark on a drawdown of their […]

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