The Lede

Top National News

PHH Abandons Organic Growth Plans in Retail Mortgages
National Mortgage News, Feb. 26, 2016--Finkelstein, Brad PHH Corp. is stopping the organic growth of its retail mortgage origination business with the notable exception of its joint venture with Realogy Corp, PHH Home Loans.
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Hilton Says It’s Getting Out of the Real Estate Business
Reuters, Feb. 26, 2016 Waldorf Astoria hotels owner Hilton Worldwide Holdings will spin off most of its real estate assets into a real estate investment trust, joining a list of companies turning to the tax-efficient structure to maximize shareholder returns.
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U.S. Economy Starting 2016 on Solid Footing
Wall Street Journal, Feb. 26, 2016--Torry, Harriet The U.S. economy looks to be off to a solid start to the year after ending 2015 on a sour note, with consumer spending showing signs of a pickup and the fourth quarter's initial growth reading looking a bit better than thought.
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In 36 States, Unemployment Rates Still Linger Above Prerecession Levels
Wall Street Journal, Feb. 26, 2016--Leubsdorf, Ben The recession is over, but it's certainly not forgotten across most of the U.S.: Unemployment last year remained elevated compared with 2007 levels in more than two-thirds of the states.
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The Fed’s Favorite Indicator Rises by Most in Eight Months
Bloomberg, Feb. 26, 2016--Chandra, Sho Consumer purchases climbed in January by the most in eight months, fueled by faster earnings growth that's being accompanied by rising inflation.
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How Low Will Interest Rates Go?
Washington Post, Feb. 26, 2016--Mui, Yian Q.; Marte, Jonelle The Mortgage Bankers Association's index of refinance activity jumped 16 percent in just one week this month as mortgage rates hit their lowest point this year. Rates have since moderated but are still well beneath what economists had projected.
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Bill Introduced to Protect Widows, Widowers Against Foreclosure
Napa Valley Register (Calif.), Feb. 26, 2016 A new bill introduced by state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, would provide protections to widows and widowers who want to stay in their home, the senator's office said Thursday. But spokesman for the California Mortgage Bankers Association Dustin Hobbs said the bill poses a risk to lenders who would not be able to do necessary underwriting.
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GE Gets Subpoena Over Subprime Mortgage Business
Associated Press, Feb. 27, 2016 General Electric says the U.S. Department of Justice has subpoenaed the company as part of an industrywide investigation into subprime mortgage lending.
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Banks’ Tighter Mortgage Standards Open Door for Online Lenders
Winston-Salem Journal (N.C.), Feb. 27, 2016--Craver, Richard Nontraditional lenders, foremost Quicken Loans, are making headway with all-online applications that are growing in popularity even as the mortgages potentially carry more risk for lender and borrower.
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Consumer-Friendly Options Open Doors for Home Buyers
Miami Herald, Feb. 26, 2016--Harney, Kenneth R. Pushed by regulators and consumer groups to expand home loan opportunities for first-time and moderate-income buyers, major mortgage players have come out with nationwide programs designed to turn renters who are creditworthy - but don't have big down payments or closing-cost cash - into homeowners.
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Apartment-Building Boom Looks Set to Ease
Wall Street Journal, Feb. 27, 2016--Kirkham, Chris Apartment construction has been a bright spot in an otherwise lackluster recovery of the nation's housing market over the last six years. Now economists say the tide might be turning away from apartments and toward single-family homes.
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One Way to Make Mortgages Easier to Get
Wall Street Journal, Feb. 28, 2016--Light, Joe For the eighth straight year, the market for mortgage-backed securities issued by private financial institutions, as opposed to government-backed companies or agencies, was moribund in 2015.
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