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.
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.
A key player in the Senate when it comes to financial reform and housing policy, Senator Corker offers his views on Fannie and Freddie, Dodd-Frank, the Qualified Mortgage rulemaking and whether the GOP will take back the Senate.
As customer needs and technology change, the role of bank chief marketing officer has evolved from chief marketer to chief customer advocate.Banking Strategies May 8, 2012
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
Read more here.
The once high-flying California housing sector has endured a hard correction--and it’s not over. The outlook is starting to diverge between the hopeful coast and the struggling inland areas. Which will be the face of the state’s future?
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.
The housing sector has struggled in recent years to find some balance between supply and demand. But equilibrium on a national scale seems to be slipping further away. As a result, a fully recovered housing market may not return until 2016.
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.
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.
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.
Douglas Holtz-Eakin was one of three members of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission who joined together to author a dissenting view from the majority report. He talked to Mortgage Banking about the work of the commission and some of its findings.
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
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.
The mortgage insurance industry has so far survived the greatest housing downturn since the Great Depression. Now, it’s ready to expand its shrunken market share in a bid to ensure its future.
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.
A significant revival of the private-label residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) market may be at least two years away. While there are many barriers and detours along the way, there may also be an occasional fast lane that could lead to new RMBS issues.
With the price of the bailout rising and momentum for reform in Washington slowing, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac remain vital to the functioning of the mortgage and housing markets. A framework for a new system is beginning to take shape, at the same time that analysts are looking to fully and adequately address flaws in the current system.
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.
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 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.
The Federal Housing Administration is making tough choices to help shore up the government program from weaker loans made in years past. A mortgage industry veteran is at the helm shaping the policy changes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.