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Regulation

Ocwen's founder, Eberly, is required to leave Jan. 16 as a condition of the settlement with New York regulators.
Investor confidence in Ocwen Financial was clearly shaken Monday after New York state regulators forced the firm's founder out as part of a $150 million settlement.
The Senate approved a bill late Tuesday that would retroactively extend over 50 expiring tax provisions for one years, including one that shields distressed homeowners from paying taxes on any mortgage debt forgiven in a short sale.

The GOP said FHFA Director Mel Watt's decision to provide money for the affordable housing trust funds was "irresponsible," while Democrats praised it as "good news for millions of Americans."
Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt's decision Thursday to stand up the affordable housing trust funds sharply divided lawmakers along party lines, with Democrats welcoming the decision as overdue while Republicans denounced it as a mistake.

"We are confident that these loans can be good business for lenders, safe and sound for Fannie Mae and an affordable, responsible option for qualified borrowers," said Andrew Bon Salle, an executive vice president at Fannie Mae.
Fannie said it will immediately begin accepting applications for fixed-rate 97% loan-to-value financing of borrowers with FICO scores as low as 620. Freddie, meanwhile, took a more cautious approach, delaying the start of the program, requiring credit counseling, and in some cases only allowing FICO scores as low as 660.

According to Home Mortgage Disclosure and Mortgage Bankers Association data, independent, nonbank mortgage lenders originated 40% of the home purchase loans made in 2013.

SIDE BENEFITS: HUD Secretary Julian Castro calls Obama's executive order "an important step toward fixing our broken immigration system." Will it juice home buying and mortgage lending as well?
Giving roughly 5 million immigrants at least temporary relief from deportation could conceivably ease lenders' and borrowers' qualms about mortgages to undocumented workers who qualify with individual taxpayer identification numbers.
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