Thursday, April 4, 2013

Fined

"For more than a decade, four of the nation’s largest mortgage insurers paid millions of dollars in kickbacks to home lenders in exchange for business, raising insurance prices for consumers, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Thursday.

The consumer watchdog agency fined Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corp., United Guaranty Corp., Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp. and Radian Guaranty Inc. a total of $15.4 million for an alleged scheme that the bureau said was a common practice in the lead-up to the nation’s housing meltdown.

“Illegal kickbacks distort markets and can inflate the financial burden of homeownership for consumers,” CFPB director Richard Cordray said.
 
Lenders typically require homebuyers who cannot afford a 20 percent downpayment on a house to buy mortgage insurance to offset the risk of default. The lender, not the borrower, selects the mortgage insurance company."

Rates fall



"Mortgage rates in the U.S. fell, decreasing borrowing costs as the housing market moves into its second year of recovery.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.54 percent in the week ended today, down from 3.57 percent, McLean, Virginia-based Freddie Mac (FMCC) said in a statement. The average 15- year rate slipped to 2.74 percent from 2.76 percent.

U.S. home prices rose 10.2 percent in February from a year earlier, the most since March 2006, Irvine, California-based CoreLogic Inc. said yesterday. It was the 12th consecutive month of year-over-year gains as low borrowing costs drove demand for a thin supply of homes."