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The Government Shuts Down – What Happens to Housing?

The Government Shuts Down – What Happens to Housing?


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The threatened government shutdown has become reality, as policymakers on both sides of the aisle find it impossible to play nice. It’s unclear how long the situation will last, and it’s raising real concerns about what will happen to a wide range of government sponsored programs – including housing-related...

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The Qualified Mortgage Rule May Help Investors

The Qualified Mortgage Rule May Help Investors


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The Qualified Mortgage Rule – a piece of the Dodd Frank Act designed to prevent another mortgage meltdown like the one in 2008 – has drawn fire from the mortgage industry and consumer advocates alike. And as we’ve noted before in this space, it offers a mixed message for the housing industry as...

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No “Septaper” – What’s Next for Housing?

No “Septaper” – What’s Next for Housing?


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The Federal Reserve’s decision to postpone – indefinitely – the planned taper-down of its massive mortgage securities buyup is good news for the hard-hit housing industry the stimulus plan was designed to help. But even as mortgage interest rates will likely remain relatively low for the near future...

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The Fed Stays the Course on the Stimulus – For Now

The Fed Stays the Course on the Stimulus – For Now


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Remember “Septaper” – that awful sobriquet for the Federal Reserve’s planned taper down of its asset-buying stimulus plan? After months of hinting that led up to an expected draw down in September 2013, the Fed pulled an about-face, announcing that the plan will roll on at its present levels...

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5 Ways to Find Good Renters

5 Ways to Find Good Renters


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Building wealth with rental property depends on good tenants – stable, long term renters who keep the monthly payments coming and don’t trash the property or create other problems for you and the neighborhood. While it’s easy to just put an ad online or in the paper, though, a landlord/investor...

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Lobbyists Push Changes to the Dodd Frank Act

Lobbyists Push Changes to the Dodd Frank Act


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It’s been three years since the Dodd Frank Act became law, but the legislation – intended to head off another crisis in mortgage backed securities – is still evolving, as bank regulators and lawmakers try to shape the Act’s broad provisions into specific rules and regulations. Because of that,...

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Is Housing Headed for Another Crash?

Is Housing Headed for Another Crash?


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The advent of “Septaper” – the Federal Reserve’s September taper down of its stimulus plan –- seems to send a vote of confidence about the long awaited recovery of the housing market. But some market observers and economists worry that the recovery may not be as solid as it seems – and that...

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Qualified Mortgage Rate Changes Help Buyers – And Lenders

Qualified Mortgage Rate Changes Help Buyers – And Lenders


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The Qualified Mortgage Rule won’t become official until 2014, but already federal regulators are proposing changes to its mortgage lending provisions. That’s a move hailed by housing industry professionals and advocates who feared that the Rule’s tighter lending standards could strangle the housing...

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Time is Running Out on Bank Fraud Charges

Time is Running Out on Bank Fraud Charges


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Sixty-six billion dollars and canting. That’s how much the nation’s big banks have spent in the last three years on litigation in cases stemming from the 2008 housing meltdown as well as charges of later misconduct. And that total is likely to climb as federal and civil prosecutors rush to file new...

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Fannie  Mae and Freddie Mac Leave Defaults On the Books

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Leave Defaults On the Books


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As new housing policy plans circulating in Washington plot the demise of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two mortgage lending giants are posting record profits. But according to a new report by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which owns the two firms, those numbers may be skewed, as Fannie and Freddie...

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