Friday Round-Up: Home Prices Double Dip, HUD Says Loan Limits Are Under Review

In case you missed it…here’s what happened in reverse mortgage news this week.

Home prices saw a confirmed double-dip in the first quarter. Home prices continue to plunge, and the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices show that the U.S. National Home Price Index is down 4.2% for the first quarter of 2011, “hitting a new recession low.”

Fannie Mae began to securitize its HECM Portfolio, by issuing a $9 Billion Bank of America REMIC. The government sponsored enterprise securitized $9 billion of HECM reverse mortgages—a little more than 18% of its total portfolio—in one transaction, issuing a Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit (REMIC) consisting of HECM loans originated by Bank of America.

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HUD said the future of HECM loan limits are “Under Review.” In a report this week, HUD said “Loan limits for the …the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), are established under separate legal authority from loan limits for the forward loan program. Loan limits beginning on October 1, 2011 for HECM loans are currently under review and additional guidance will be provided in a subsequent communication to borrowers and the industry.”

Senators fought for housing counseling fund restoration. Four senators drafted a letter requesting restoration of funds for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s nonprofit housing counseling groups. The plea comes in the wake of MBA Chairman Michael D. Berman’s Congressional hearing appearance with a similar appeal.

Will there be a double dip for reverse mortgages? A report this week from Reverse Market Insight identified a plateau in application data for the first months of 2011, with a question as to whether endorsement data will amount to a double dip for reverse mortgages through May of this year.

…and in CFPB news… Following a hearing-turned-“showdown” last week between Elizabeth Warren and Republican Congressman Patrick McHenry, House Democrats urged President Obama to use a recess appointment to nominate Warren. Meanwhile, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus said any recess appointment would go against the constitution.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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