Articles

Q&A with Richard Cordray

The director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau talks about the January 2013 deadline he faces for a long list of new rulemakings. He says the industry has “a long way to go” in improving the consumer experience in servicing.

Mortgage Banking

September 2012

Read more: Q&A with Richard Cordray

COLAs Vanishing from Pension Plans

Much like rotary phones, snail mail and pension plans in general, cost-of-living allowances are increasingly becoming a thing of the past, new research finds. But, for those organizations considering a COLA, experts say they should implement one on an age-segmented basis to the workforce.

HR Executive Online

July 25, 2012

Read more here.

Countering the Retirement Crisis

It's not enough to expect workers to delay retirement as a way to stretch out their savings, says the head of the PBGC -- because they already are delaying retirement. Josh Gotbaum says his agency not only protects workers from losing assets because of failing pension plans, it also works with companies to maintain their voluntary private plans. 

 

Human Resource Executive Online

May 10, 2012 

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Allies Against Cyber Fraud

Constant collaboration with law enforcement agencies is required to combat the increasing threats from cyber criminals, say BAI Payments Connect panelists.

 

Banking Strategies Daily

February 28, 2012 

 

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Inspector General Faults PBGC's 'Systemic' Failures

Following another report that finds fault with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.'s audit processes and valuation of plan assets, the agency has cut most of its ties with one auditor and has promised to change procedures so that errors are prevented -- or corrected. Critics say it's about time the agency responded to problems. 

Human Resource Executive Online

January 12, 2012

 

Read more at this link

One More Blow

One More Blow

 

Fed policy, inflation pressures and other market forces may be conspiring to drive mortgage rates higher later this year and into next. Higher rates are the last thing the struggling housing market needs.

 

Mortgage Banking

September 2011

 

Read more: One More Blow

Q&A with Allan Meltzer

Q&A with Allan Meltzer

This internationally recognized expert on the Fed says now is the time for the Federal Reserve to start seriously fighting inflation. Meltzer says the Consumer Price Index is masking rising inflation because of the hefty component that reflects current falling housing prices.

Mortgage Banking
June 2011

Read more: Q&A with Allan Meltzer

Assault on the Mortgage Lenders

National Review 

December 27, 1993 

QUIETLY, behind the scenes, the Clinton Administration is preparing for the biggest regulatory crackdown of recent years. Attorney General Janet Reno is linking up with banking regulators and with HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros to end the supposed epidemic of discrimination against minorities in making home loans. The implications for society at large are ominous.

Read more: Assault on the Mortgage Lenders

Those Troublesome Option ARMs

The mortgage industry’s most difficult challenge in loan performance and loan modification comes from loans that do not amortize or may even negatively amortize. As progress is made in reducing overall exposure to these loans, the performance of surviving option ARMs continues to worsen and losses mount.

Mortgage Banking
May 2011

Read more: Those Troublesome Option ARMs

Labor Department Gets Tough

The Department of Labor filed lawsuits against 24 employers and individual-plan fiduciaries in a single day for diverting employee contributions that were intended for retirement and healthcare plans. A recent study showed that about seven in 10 employers fail to forward such contributions in a timely manner, as required by law.

Human Resource Executive Magazine

November 19, 2010

read more: http://www.hreonline.com/HRE/story.jsp?storyId=533325938

Fire in the Belly

Countrywide has survived as the last major independent mortgage banker against competitors with deeper pockets and higher leveraging. The trick has been constantly improving productivity and being willing to reinvent itself when the competitive environment changed. Now a new bank and a huge cadre of newly hired commissioned salespeople are part of the winning strategy.

Mortgage Banking
January 2002

Read more: Fire in the Belly

Clouds Over the Recovery

Clouds Over the Recovery

Even as prospects for the economy improve slowly, the outlook for housing sales and home prices remains weak. A consensus is emerging, however, that the recovery will resume in the second half of 2011.

Mortgage Banking
December 2010

Read more: Clouds Over the Recovery

Q&A with Ed DeMarco

In an exclusive interview, Federal Housing Finance Agency Acting Director DeMarco talks about the ongoing policy discussions to restructure the nation’s housing finance system. He also cites some of the activities that led to billions of dollars of losses at Fannie and Freddie.

Mortgage Banking

May 2010

Read more: Q&A with Ed DeMarco

Manufacturing Demand

Will home sales fall off a cliff once the latest version of the homebuyer tax credit expires? Experts vary on the precise impact of the credit, and on what will happen when it ends. But most agree the credit created a big wave of sales pulled forward in time to when the housing market really needed a boost.

Mortgage Banking
March 2010

Read more: Manufacturing Demand

Warehouse Worries

Mortgage bankers report they continue to struggle to find sufficient warehouse lines even as some observers say the worst of the credit drought seems to be over and supply may be approaching demand. Nevertheless, warehouse capacity is down substantially from its peak. 

Mortgage Banking

February 2010 

Read more: Warehouse Worries

A New Look at Bank of America Home Loans

Bank of America Home Loans has forced its new identity with a focus on customer satisfaction and quality loan origination. The 2008 acquisition of Countrywide has given the bank the production platform and technology prowess of a former industry leader. Add to the, B of A's internal discipline and a focus on profitable origiantion, and you have the makings of a lending powerhouse.

Mortgage Banking

October 2009

 

Read more: A New Look at Bank of America Home Loans

Scrutinizing Target-Date Funds

Human Resource Executive

July 25, 2009

  

In a joint hearing before the Department of Labor and the Securities and Exchange Commission, regulators questioned the make-up of target-date funds and the disclosures related to them. Such funds have been increasingly popular with plan sponsors -- as well as employees -- but even some with the same target date have widely divergent equity allocations.
 

Read more: Scrutinizing Target-Date Funds

Fee-Disclosure Proposal Scrutinized

Human Resource 

 

Online July 25, 2008 

 

Most observers were pleased with the proposed fee-disclosure regulation issued by the Department of Labor, which could take effect for the 2009 plan year. It requires both quarterly and annual disclosure, as well as information on investment performance. Critics say the proposal does not go far enough.

  

Read more: Fee-Disclosure Proposal Scrutinized

Inside the Market Correction

Mortgage Banking

May 2007 

First came the spike in delinquencies and defaults. Then came the fallout for subprime lenders. A market correction in the mortgage industry is squeezing out the excesses in pricing and underwriting. Most predict the industry will emerge stronger once the transition is complete.  

 

Read more: Inside the Market Correction

Q&A with Richard Dorman

Mortgage Banking

March 2009

 

 

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, along with the 11 other regional home loan banks, has been providing needed liquidity to the market during the credit crisis. But even these conservative institutions are facing large potential writedowns on privatelabel MBS.

 

 

Read more: Q&A with Richard Dorman

Building a Bubble

Mortgage Banking

November 2008

 

Business strategies during the rapid expansion of mortgage credit from 2002 to 2007 worked to boost the emerging housing credit bubble fostered by low interest rates and investor demand. This is the second of a two-part series. The first part, The Origins of the House Finance Bubble, was published in the September issue. 

 

Read more: Building a Bubble

Back from the Brink

Mortgage Banking

January 2009

 

Federal regulators have been aggressive, persistent and determined to contain the financial crisis that erupted into a global liquidity freeze in September. A key goal is to bring about recovery in the housing sector to stop the bleeding at financial institutions and mitigate the economic fallout.

 

Read more: Back from the Brink

 

 

Robert Stowe England is an author and financial journalist who has specialized in writing about financial institutions, financial markets, retirement income issues, and the financial impact of population aging.

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