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MBS RECAP: Bonds Fizzle as Week Ends Without Healthcare Vote

Posted To: MBS Commentary

More than a few bond bulls out there (those are folks who want rates to go lower!) were eager for the vote to take place on the healthcare bill that drew most of the market's attention this week. They figured one of two things would happen. Most likely, there weren't enough votes for the bill to pass. It would fail, and that would be great for bonds. Alternatively, they hoped that if the bill did pass, that it would have been changed so much that it still cast doubt on the new administration's ability to push its policy agenda. You'd be hard-pressed to find a trader who wouldn't have agreed that one of those 2 outcomes was more likely than a clean passage of the bill. Instead of any of those options, markets were dealt a wild card in the form of a postponement of the vote...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates in Holding Pattern Until Healthcare Vote

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

While some lenders were slightly better or worse versus yesterday, mortgage rates were unchanged on average today. This isn't much of surprise considering yesterday's much-anticipated healthcare vote never happened. It's rumored to occur this afternoon, but markets won't have much time to react before closing for the weekend. If you need to get caught up with the healtchare news and the mortgage rate implications, check out yesterday's article . The bottom line of all this political drama is that it's not about healthcare! It's about investor confidence in the Trump administration's other policy promises. If the healthcare deal fails (or is significantly changed), investors will lose hope for the tax cuts promised during the campaign. That would likely be bad for stocks and good for rates....(read more)

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2016 Cash and Distressed Sales Totals Hit Nine-Year Lows

Posted To: MND NewsWire

The share of homes sold for cash fell to the lowest level in nearly a decade in full-year 2016. CoreLogic said that 32.1 percent of all home sales in the 12-month period ending in December closed without benefit of a mortgage. This was a decrease of 2.2 percentage points from the 2015 share. The previous low point for such sales was in 2007 when cash sales accounted for a 27 percent of sales. CoreLogic also noted that distressed home sale s, a total of both short sales and sales of lender-owned real estate (REO) accounted for 8.9 percent of all sales for the year, also the lowest share since 2007. For the month of December, the all-cash share of sales was 33.1 percent, down 1.3 percent from that month in 2015. Cash sales peaked in January 2011 when they accounted for 46.6 percent of the national...(read more)

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Experian Fined for Misrepresenting Credit Scores

Posted To: MND NewsWire

It wasn't exactly bait and switch, maybe unlawful substitution is closer to the mark. Whatever, Experian, the credit reporting company, has been handing consumers a line about their credit scoring system and CFPB caught them. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced on Thursday Experian and its subsidiaries have agreed to a $3 million civil penalty for deceiving consumers about its own proprietary brand of credit scores. The company claimed the credit scores it marketed and provided to consumers were used by lenders to make credit decision. CFPB says, in fact, lenders do not use these scores. Credit scores are numerical summaries designed to predict consumer payment behavior in using credit. CFPB states that no single credit score or credit scoring model is used by every lender...(read more)

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Experian Fined by CFPB; Jumbo Program News; Technology Updates

Posted To: Pipeline Press

In legal news, Experian , one of the nation's three major credit reporting bureaus, misled consumers by telling them that the credit scores they purchased from the company were the same ones that lenders used to make credit decisions, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said yesterday . And for that deception, the CFPB is fining Experian $3 million. Peers Equifax and Transunion reached a settlement on similar allegations in January. Jay Clayton, President Donald Trump's nominee to be chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said the Dodd-Frank Act should be looked at to see if its objectives are being achieved, but he doesn't have "specific plans for attack" against the law. The SEC should continue its work on rules mandated by Dodd-Frank that haven't yet been completed, he...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Healthcare Bill Dominates Markets

Posted To: MBS Commentary

The healthcare bill is all anyone can talk about ( here's one recent article from Reuters). We rarely see such an abrupt coalescence of market focus on something that was heretofore "off the radar." There are a few potential reasons for this. First, the realization that the healthcare bill was such a priority for the administration is fairly recent. We knew Trump wanted to repeal/replace the Affordable Care Act, but we didn't know those efforts would take precedence over tax reform until late last week. This week saw rapid and constant evolution of the status of the bill, its likelihood of passage, and its implications. At first, it was a non-starter that couldn't get enough support from conservative republicans led by Mark Meadows and the "Freedom Caucus." From...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Bonds Pull Back For 2nd Day Amid Healthcare Limbo

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Rarely has something so "off the radar" become such a focal point for financial markets as this week's vote on a healthcare revamp to replace the Affordable Care Act. Rather than stand on its own merits as a market mover (because those would be underwhelming), the healthcare vote has come to represent more of a vote of confidence in the Trump administration's ability to get its other policies through the political system. When we consider that those policies are responsible for the big move in bonds and stocks seen at the end of 2016, it's not hard to imagine that a lot is at stake here . The past 2 days of trading tell us that bond markets are in a neutral position and waiting to see what's what after the healthcare vote. In any event, the rally that began after the...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Stumble as Political Uncertainty Weighs

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates were slightly higher for the first time in 8 days as markets braced for the impact of political developments. The big issue of the day was (and still is) the healthcare bill set to be debated in the House of Representatives tonight. In general, if the bill is passed, investors will be more keen to believe in the viability of other legislation more germane to financial markets (like tax cuts, other stimulus, and regulatory reform). Those "other" policy points were key reasons for the sharp move higher in rates at the end of 2016. If confidence increases , it could put the same pressure back on rates. But if investors lose confidence in the policy potential, stocks and bonds would have more motivation to move lower (as they've both been doing for the past 2 weeks). As of yesterday...(read more)

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New Home Sales Build on January Strength

Posted To: MND NewsWire

New home sales posted a much better February than did existing home sales and, in fact, better than most analysts had expected. The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development report that sales of newly constructed single family homes rose 6.1 percent from January to February to a seasonally adjusted rate of 592,000 units . It was the second consecutive month of strength for the indicator which had see-sawed between positive and negative results in the waning months of 2016. The February rate of sales was 12.8 percent higher than the rate of 525,000 units in February 2016. January sales were revised from an original estimate of 555,000 to 558,000. Analysts had expected sales to rise, looking for a range of 550,000 to 600,000 units. The consensus among those polled...(read more)

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