Today’s Top National News Dec. 9 2022

Here’s a summary of Top National News Items from major news sites and industry trade publications. To get started, click on the headline above:

Mortgage Credit Availability Boosted by 1.4 Percent in November
MortgageOrb, Dec. 8, 2022–Ariana Fine
Mortgage credit availability increased by 1.4% in November according to the Mortgage Credit Availability Index, a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Mortgage Rates Dip, Mortgage Credit Availability Rises, And What’s In The Cards For 2023 In Housing?
ValueWalk, Dec. 8, 2022–Phil Hall
Freddie Mac reported the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.49% as of Dec. 1, down from last week when it averaged 6.58%. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.76%, down from last week when it averaged 5.90%. (MBA mention)

EPM Denies Halting Sponsorship Payments Due To ‘Margin Call’
National Mortgage Professional, Dec. 8, 2022–David Krechevsky
A partner with Equity Prime Mortgage LLC on Thursday denied an allegation in a recently dismissed lawsuit that his company stopped paying a race car sponsorship because of a “margin call.”

Judge’s Report Hammers Three Ex-Wells Fargo Executives
American Banker, Dec. 8, 2022–Kevin Wack (subscription)
In a report made public on Wednesday, Administrative Law Judge Christopher McNeil recommended stiff penalties for former Chief Auditor David Julian, former Community Bank Group Risk Officer Claudia Russ Anderson and former Executive Audit Director Paul McLinko.

Rising Rates Slam Jumbo Market in 3Q22
Inside Mortgage Finance, Dec. 8, 2022–John Bancroft
Originations of big-ticket home mortgages fell sharply in the third quarter as rising interest rates made such transactions increasingly unaffordable.

How Metro Atlanta’s Housing Crisis Got So Bad
Bloomberg, Dec. 8, 2022–Amelia Pollard
Real estate prices have skyrocketed across the U.S. in recent years, but Georgia’s capital stands out. In the new book Red Hot City: Housing, Race and Exclusion in 21st-Century Atlanta, author Dan Immergluck explores how policy decisions over the last two decades have exacerbated Atlanta’s housing crisis.

California Realtor’s New Purchase Contract Could Upend Buyer’s Agent Commission
Orange County Register, Dec. 8, 2022–Jeff Lazerson
In difficult-to-understand verbiage, CAR’s new purchase agreement (called an RPA) includes language in its “Seller Payment to Buyer’s Broker” section that includes a checkbox indicating a “buyer has entered into a written agreement to compensate buyer’s broker.” It also includes language indicating a seller has agreed to pay the obligation … unless otherwise agreed. (MBA mention)

Inside the Collapse of a Top Reverse Mortgage Lender
HousingWi, Dec. 8, 2022–James Kleimann
After returning from the Thanksgiving holiday, the roughly 575 staffers at Reverse Mortgage Funding assembled nervously on two separate Microsoft Teams meetings. On the first virtual meeting, 472 employees received the bad news that many expected: they were being terminated. The hundred or so workers on the other Teams meeting were given marching orders: keep the company’s operations functioning during bankruptcy proceedings.