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Bank of America Won’t Have To pay $1.2 Billion For Countrywide’s “Hustle” Mortgage Scam

Nearly eight years after Bank of America bailed out Countrywide Financial, a federal appeals court has ruled that BofA should not have been held liable for Countrywide’s “Hustle” scam in which the company sold Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac a ton of poorly underwritten mortgages knowing that they were worthless. Before Countrywide’s disastrous collapse, it sought to approve and resell as many mortgages as possible, so the lender launched a program it dubbed the High Speed Swim Lane (or HSSL, or Hustle) that effectively removed all the regular underwriting roadblocks in the mortgage approval process. “Move forward, never backward,” was the directive, meaning trained underwriters sometimes never even saw mortgage applications. Instead, according to the Justice Department, loan review was handed off to mere processors who “were previously considered unqualified even to answer questions.” Billions of dollars in Hustle loans were sold off to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before anyone realized that...
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Nearly 6 million still owe more on mortgages than their homes are worth

Five years after the housing recovery began, 5.9 million borrowers still owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. The so-called negative equity rate in the U.S. is falling, now at 12 percent of all mortgaged homeowners, according to Zillow, down from more than 14 percent a year ago and more than 30 percent at the worst of the crisis. The numbers, however, are still well above normal levels and equally spread across urban and suburban communities.  It would seem like negative equity should have evaporated by now, given how fast home prices have been rising. Several metropolitan markets have even reached new record highs in median home prices, but it hasn't been enough to lift all borrowers. img7-1 "At its worst, negative equity touched all kinds of homeowners in all kinds of markets," said Zillow's chief economist, Svenja Gudell. "The type of...
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Freddie Mac: 30-year mortgage rate keeps rising higher

June 2, 2016 n15-j4 Mortgage rates increased for the third week in a row, creating a new upward trend away from the historical lows witnessed this year, Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey found. But regardless of the slow and steady rise, average fixed mortgage rates are still near three-year lows. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.66% for the week ending June 2, 2016, up from last week when it averaged 3.64%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.87%.  Similarly, the 15-year FRM this week averaged 2.92%, increasing from last week when it averaged 2.89%. In 2015, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.08%.  The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 2.88% this week, growing slightly from last week’s average of 2.87%. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.96%. n16-j4 “Since jumping 11 basis points on May 18th, the 10-year...
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