Archive for March, 2016

Homebuyers Say New Mortgage Process More Complicated

Posted on March 31, 2016 by Laura Lam

Repeat homebuyers don’t seem too thrilled with the impact the Truth-in-Lending Act/Real Estate Settlement (TRID) and Procedures Act integrated disclosure rules have had on the mortgage process.  A new survey of 1,000 repeat homebuyers from residential real estate closing cost data and technology provider ClosingCorp found that 64% of respondents believe that the old rules made getting a mortgage easier. More than half also believed that the process under TRID takes more time. Also noteworthy, 51% of homebuyers surveyed reported an increase in “unexpected costs, fees and surprises” during their most recent mortgage process experience, ClosingCorp said Tuesday. “The new…

Ten States Still Have Fewer Jobs Since Recession

Posted on March 30, 2016 by Laura Lam

Ten U.S. states still have not regained all the jobs they lost in the Great Recession, even after six and a half years of recovery, while many more have seen only modest gains.  The figures help illustrate the uneven nature of the economic rebound since the Great Recession ended in June 2009. They also suggest why many Americans feel the improvement has passed them by. Ongoing economic anxiety, despite some data suggesting the economy has recovered, is fueling much of the support for insurgent presidential candidates such as Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Wyoming had 3% fewer jobs last month…

Should Marketplace Lenders Draw on Geographical Data?

Posted on March 29, 2016 by Laura Lam

The fast-growing online lending business has brought a new twist to one of the most sensitive topics in lending: geography. Lenders, including online services known as “peer to peer” marketplaces, aren’t allowed to discriminate based on age, race and other factors. Skipping neighborhoods, or marketing to one neighborhood over another, has been the basis for “redlining” suits in which federal regulators accuse banks of discrimination. The fair-lending rules were written before the boom in online lending – and they don’t deal specifically with the investors who fund the loans online.  That has created questions about whether it is appropriate for investors in online loans…

Fewer Lenders Loosen Credit Standards

Posted on March 28, 2016 by Laura Lam

Fewer lenders eased their credit standards over the previous 3 , according to Fannie Mae’s Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey for the first quarter.  Doubling down on this perception, the share of lenders who said they expect standards to ease during the next quarter also fell from the fourth quarter of 2015. And while overall lenders still reported the easing of credit standards, for the first time since the third quarter of 2014 lenders reported the tightening of standards for government loans. Fannie Mae noted that there was also a significant decrease in the net share of lenders reporting increased purchase mortgage…

Easter Spending Hops to New Heights

Posted on March 26, 2016 by Laura Lam

Ready to celebrate spring with friends and family, Americans anticipate spending more than ever on Easter this year. According to the National Retail Federation’s annual Easter Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, spending for the holiday is expected to reach $17.3 billion. Those celebrating plan to spend an average of $146 per person, according to the survey. That’s the highest level in the 13 years the survey has been conducted and up significantly over last year’s $140.62 per person and $16.4 billion total. “Retailers are beginning one of their busiest times of year and are more than ready…

Collector Accused of Stealing $1M in Debts

Posted on March 25, 2016 by Laura Lam

Alan Ceccarelli, a Buffalo, N.Y.-based debt collector, allegedly misled and coerced thousands of people into paying debts they possibly didn’t owe, according to a 41-count grand jury indictment that includes 30 felony counts for wire fraud and another seven for identity theft. Ceccarelli, 30, owned a debt collection business that used several names – including Check & Arbitration Services, National Check Services, G&B Check Service, Franklin & Ruggiero and Dudley & Associates, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Maura K. O’Donnell. He is accused of using “collectors” who falsely posed as government and law enforcement officials or lawyers preparing to file…

Flashback: Subprime Auto Loans Recall ’90s Bubble

Posted on March 24, 2016 by Laura Lam

Rising delinquencies in subprime auto lending have drawn comparisons to the mortgage meltdown of nearly a decade ago.  But to get a clear understanding of what is unfolding in the increasingly embattled subprime auto sector, it makes sense to look back two decades, to the 1990s.  At that time, the opportunity to earn high yields by lending to car buyers with low credit scores sparked a rash of competition. The upstart lenders used the securitization markets to expand rapidly. Over time, underwriting standards deteriorated, and more subprime auto loans started to go bad. Over the past several years, that same…

Commercial Real Estate: A Ticking Time Bomb?

Posted on March 23, 2016 by Laura Lam

Commercial real estate had a banner year in 2015, and the fundamentals of high demand and low vacancies are still driving rents higher. There is, however, a catch that could cool the market quickly, at least when it comes to financing. Investors are insisting on high yield, and the bonds backing commercial mortgages are not giving them that, so they are moving on to other products, leaving a big crack in commercial financing. Commercial real estate, which includes apartments, shopping malls, offices and warehouses, are backed by nearly $3 trillion in mortgages, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). The…

Consumer’ Outlook Improves in February

Posted on March 22, 2016 by Laura Lam

Consumers’ expectations about earnings, income and spending improved in February, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s latest Survey of Consumer Expectations.  Survey respondents also were “slightly more optimistic” about their perceived credit availability for the year ahead, the Federal Reserve reported.   “The average perceived probability of missing a minimum debt payment over the next three months remained stable at 11.8%, close to its 2015 average of 12%,” according to the Fed. Consumers’ median expected household income growth rose from 2.2% in January to 2.5% in February, but the figure remains lower than results recorded during 2015. The increase…