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housing finance

April 12, 2015

The Birmingham News says that Bryant Bank is tightly connected to the leadership at the University of Alabama System's governing body. They portray the leadership as insular and private. The News' reporting focuses on how that relates to the elimination of football at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. It largely ignored a discussion of their lending. But what is the nature of their business model? A not-very-colorful story emerges when answering that question through the lens of their mortgage lending.

April 21, 2014

Two facts to consider when the Senate Banking Committee meets next week to start discussing the newest iteration of GSE reform: 

  • Half of US Households have Zero or Negative Net Worth. Almost forty percent have
September 26, 2013

Today's top ten list concerns the banks most likely to get denied by their mortgage applicants. By this, I mean the instances where a bank goes ahead and grants an approval to an applicant, but subsequently the borrower decides take a loan from somewhere else. I believe it is fair to say that this is a list that no one wants to be on. Banks spend a

March 1, 2013

While some would argue that the limited amount of mortgage lending in low-and-moderate income census tracts reflects the close connection between borrower income and  credit scores, the truth is a bit more

April 6, 2011

Congress is ready to wind down the GSEs and gut their duty to create a support for the financing of affordable housing.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-AL) introduced legislation (H.R. 1182)  specifically removes the GSE affordable housing goals.

March 4, 2011

The thirty-year mortgage, long a bedrock element of how Americans buy homes, could soon be a thing of the past.

Investors, Congressional leaders, and policy makers have simultaneously floated the prospect

March 3, 2011

In February, the Federal Housing Administration announced a new pricing schedule for its loans that will raise the cost of borrowing. The new prices change the upfront premium and the subsequent annual premium on all loans guaranteed by FHA.

FHA constituted 46.6 percent of all mortgage loans in 2009. In general, FHA loans

February 22, 2011

While a lot has been said about how banks are moving risk off their balance sheets and on to the Federal Housing Adminisitration, those critiques are really too broad. Yes, banks are relying on the FHA loan program, but others are not.

The FHA charges an upfront premium to borrowers when it makes a loan. The fee is currently 1 percent. There are 

January 11, 2011
  • The Motley Food rated H&R Block as the "Worst Stock in the S & P 500," mainly on the news that they will offer free federal e-file returns. "How desperate has H&R Block become, if it needs to resort to coaxing taxpayers into its stores with free federal filing?" they ask. A contrary viewpoint would say that the market is already discounting their business. Block's fundamentals reflect a very low valuation. It is also worth mentioning that Jackson Hewitt is offering free preparation for basic federal returns (online).
  • The Colorado Attorney General's Office announced a settlement with Payday Everyday of Colorado. The Texas company operates the Payday Everyday of Colorado and FastBucks stores. The company deserves
December 14, 2010

This video does a good job of making the mortgage crisis relatively easy to understand.