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Where’s the HUD?

dodoYou may have heard the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) has made new rules regulating the mortgage industry.  No one, including the CFPB, is quite sure when the new rules will take effect, but the industry has been assured that it will be in 2014.

One of the most noticeable changes that real estate agents, loan officers and buyers and sellers will see is a new form.  The good old Housing and Urban Development Form-1, known to most as the “HUD-1” or Settlement Statement is going the way of the dodo bird. (more…)

Fed Minutes : Fed Considered Additional Stimulus In August

FOMC Minutes August 2011

The Fed publishes meeting minutes 8 times annually — three weeks after each scheduled Federal Open Market Committee get-together. The Fed Minutes summarizes the FOMC meeting.

The Federal Reserve released the minutes from its August 9, 2011 Federal Open Market Committee meeting Tuesday.

The Fed Minutes contained no surprises and, as a result, mortgage rates across Massachusetts and nationwide have idled.

Although it gets less press attention, the Fed Minutes is every bit as important as the more highly-publicized, post-meeting statement from the FOMC. With its detailed record of conversation, the Fed Minutes highlights the discussions and debates that shape our nation’s monetary policy.

For example, here is some of what was said at the Fed’s August 2011 meeting :

  • On growth : Economic growth had been slower than the committee expected
  • On housing : The market “remains depressed”. Underwriting standards are “tight”.
  • On rates : The Fed Funds Rate will remain low until mid-2013

In addition, the Fed talked about whether a third round of asset purchases should be announced. Ultimately, that plan was rejected by consensus.

The FOMC’s next meeting is a 2-day meeting, scheduled for September 20-21. The meeting was originally scheduled for just one day, but Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke chose to extend it to two. Wall Street believes that the extension was made so Fed members could discuss new forms of economic stimulus. (more…)

Federal regulators propose 20% down payment requirement


As the housing market begins to dig itself out of the trough caused by the bubble, new tough down payment requirements are hamstringing recovery momentum, especially among first time home buyers. Under the newly proposed Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) rule (meant to prevent another credit bubble in housing markets) only borrowers putting down 20 percent can get the best deals. To buy a median nationally priced home of $170,000, the borrower would have to come up with $34,000 in cash, which takes the average middle class family 14 years to save. Even repeat buyers will be restricted from getting the best deals as equity has eroded from their home which is normally used to purchase a new home.

New Loan Officer Rules Go Into Effect as Court Dissolves Stay


The Federal Reserve Board’s regulations governing loan originator compensation went into effect April 6 after a federal appeals court dissolved a stay suspending implementation of the rule.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an order March 30 to stay the implementation of the Board’s loan originator compensation regulations. However, on April 5, the appeals court on Tuesday ruled National Association of Mortgage Brokers and (NAMB) the National Association of Independent Housing Professionals (NAIHP) had not “satisfied the stringent standards required for a stay pending appeal,” and dissolved its administrative stay of the rule.

The Associations filed a lawsuit March 9 against The Federal Reserve System seeking to restrain implementation of a section of the Fed’s loan originator compensation rule. On March 30, Judge Beryl Howell denied NAMB’s request although she found the rule could cause irreparable harm. NAMB then appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals, which then issued the stay on March 31, preventing the rules from going into effect April 1. The Federal Court then dissolved the stay after both NAMB and the Federal Reserve filed replies.

The three-judge appeals court panel also denied an emergency motion to stay implementation of the rule pending appeal, and denied a motion for expedited relief that sought to fast-track the appeal process.

Read more about this on HousingWire.

Revised Homestead Law Now Provides Automatic $125,000 Homestead Protection.

In MassachusHomestead National Monument of Americaetts an estate of homestead protects a homeowner’s primary residence from the claims of certain creditors. Prior to the change in the law the declaration of homestead protected the equity in the home for up to $500,000 of its equity in the event the home owner is sued. That is, if a homeowner is successfully sued in court, $500,000 of the home’s equity could not be touched by an attachment and or execution of sale by the judgment creditor. To acquire the homestead a homeowner would need to file a written declaration and record it with the county Registry of Deeds.

The Massachusetts Legislature has recently passed long awaited revisions to the Massachusetts Homestead Act. The revised law now provides automatic protection up to $125,000 on a homeowner’s primary residence, and a written homestead can also be filed to increase the protection up to $500.000.  The act also provides homeowners additional protection: (more…)

Declaration of Homestead in Massachusetts

A Declaration of Homestead is a type of protection for a person’s primary residence. The Declaration of Homestead is a form that is filed at the Registry of Deeds in the county where the property is located, referencing the title/deed to the property. It allows homeowners in Massachusetts to protect their property up to five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) of the value from civil attachment.


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