Archive for September, 2017

What’s Next for Consumer Data Security?

Posted on September 29, 2017 by Laura Lam

For Equifax, the fallout from its massive data breach is far from over.  The company is facing numerous inquiries from government agencies and even lawsuits.  The breach exposed serious flaws in the financial system’s consumer data security framework.  So how can the financial services industry protect against fraud in the future?  How can they make things safer? According to a new report from ratings agency DBRS, the answer to making things safer is to further embrace technology.  Specifically, DBRS states that it believes the financial services industry needs to move towards biometric security, which would provide additional layers of protection that a Social Security…

Mortgage Fraud Risk on the Rise

Posted on September 28, 2017 by Laura Lam

An estimated 13,404 mortgage applications, representing 0.82% of all applications, filed during the second quarter contained indications of fraud, according to the Mortgage Application Fraud Risk Index released by CoreLogic.  The second-quarter figure is a 16.9% increase from the 12,718 mortgage applications, comprising 0.70% of total applications, that contained indications of fraud recorded in the second quarter of 2016. By state, mortgage application fraud risk was highest in New York, pushing it to overtake Florida as the state with the highest risk. After holding the top spot for the last several years, Florida is now in third after posting a…

Homeowners Continue to Regain Equity

Posted on September 27, 2017 by Laura Lam

Homeowners with mortgages saw an overall gain of $766 billion in their home equity during the second quarter from the year-ago period, or an increase of 10.6%, according to the second-quarter home equity analysis released by CoreLogic.  On average, the year-over-year gain is $12,987 for each homeowner. The biggest increases were seen in Western states as higher home prices drove equity gains. Homeowners in Washington saw average home equity gains of about $40,000, while California homeowners gained an average of $30,000 in home equity. The quarter also posted a year-over-year decrease in the number of homes with negative equity. During the period, 2.8 million homes – representing…

Texas Delinquencies Jump 16% After Harvey

Posted on September 26, 2017 by Laura Lam

Mortgage delinquencies in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey last month were 16% higher than in July, according to Black Knight Financial Services.  More than 6,700 new 30-day delinquencies stem from the hurricane and 1,000 borrowers already 30 days past due missed another payment, said Black Knight. Despite the spike in Harvey-related delinquencies, nationally on loans not yet in foreclosure they were flat compared with July, rising only 0.72% to 3.93%, and compared with a year ago the rate is 7.27% lower than it was last August. Texas is now among the 5 states that have seen the most deterioration in their…

New Jersey Ranks Worst in Nation for Finances

Posted on September 25, 2017 by Laura Lam

New Jersey is nearly $209 billion in debt and has the worst finances of any state in the nation, according to a recent report.  Truth in Accounting, a think tank that analyzes government finances, ranked all 50 states based on their debt per taxpayer. The group’s latest report said New Jersey taxpayers carry $67,200 each in debt, a burden has almost doubled since 2013, when it was $36,000 per taxpayer. New Jersey’s massive debt load largely stems from pension and retiree health care costs for state workers. The report said the state has $118.8 billion in unfunded pension benefits and…

Student Loan Debt Delays Homeownership by 7 Years

Posted on September 22, 2017 by Laura Lam

An overwhelming majority of Millennials with student debt do not own a home, and believe this debt is the cause for the delay.  These are the findings of the 2017 Student Loan Debt and Housing Report from the National Association of Realtors and nonprofit American Student Assistance.  The study revealed the typical delay is about 7 years. But home buying isn’t the only factor affected by student debt. The study showed student debt is holding Millennials back from financial decisions and personal milestones such as saving for retirement, changing careers, continuing their education, marrying and having children. “The tens of thousands of dollars…

Irma Affected More than 90% of Florida Mortgages

Posted on September 21, 2017 by Laura Lam

More than 90% of all mortgaged properties in Florida are in a FEMA-designated disaster area following Hurricane Irma, nearly three times the number impacted by Hurricane Harvey, according to Black Knight.  “While the total extent of the damage from Hurricane Irma is still being determined, it is clear that the size and scope of the disaster is immense,” said Ben Graboske, Black Knight data & analytics executive vice president. Irma significantly outpaces even the number of borrowers impacted by Hurricane Harvey.  “More than 3.1 million properties are now included in FEMA-designated Irma disaster areas, representing approximately $517 billion in unpaid…

Consumers Still Overly Optimistic of Home Values

Posted on September 20, 2017 by Laura Lam

Homeowners continue to overestimate their home values, however the gap continues to narrow, according to the latest National Home Price Perception Index (HPPI) from Quicken Loans.  The index, which compares homeowners estimates and the appraised home values, showed appraised home values came in 1.35% lower than homeowner estimates in August. This gap is smaller than July’s gap of 1.55%.  This closing gap is due, in part, by the increase in appraised values which ticked up 0.19% in August. This is up 2.64% from August of last year. “As the sun sets on the summer, some of the intense competition for housing also…

Hurricanes Weigh on Consumer Confidence

Posted on September 19, 2017 by Laura Lam

Americans became less confident in the economy after Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma swept across Florida and South Texas, according to the Survey of Consumers conducted by the University of Michigan.  The Index of Consumer Sentiment decreased to 95.3 in the first part of September. This is down 1.5% from 96.8 in August, but still up 4.5% from 91.2 in September last year. “Consumer confidence edged downward in early September due to concerns over the outlook for the national economy,” said Survey of Consumers Chief Economist Richard Curtin.  “Consumers’ assessments of current economic conditions improved, however, with the Current Conditions…

Have Americans Lost Faith in the College Degree?

Posted on September 15, 2017 by Laura Lam

Americans are losing faith in the value of a college degree, with majorities of young adults, men and rural residents saying college isn’t worth the cost, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey.  The findings reflect an increase in public skepticism of higher education from just 4 years ago and highlight a growing divide in opinion falling along gender, educational, regional and partisan lines. Overall, 49% of Americans believe earning a 4-year degree will lead to a good job and higher lifetime earnings, compared with 47% who don’t, according to the poll.  That 2-point margin narrowed from 13 points…