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By Steve Kilar and The Baltimore Sun | January 8, 2013
Montgomery County on Monday filed a federal class action lawsuit against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, alleging the mortgage finance firms wrongly avoided paying transfer taxes in Maryland. In some instances, the companies have said they are exempt from the taxes (required to record documents, including deeds, at land records offices throughout the state) "because they are governmental entities or agencies," according to the county's complaint. But that's not true, claims the county.
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BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun | November 25, 2013
A California city's controversial plan to use eminent domain to help its residents burdened with mortgages worth more than their homes has caught the eye of some Baltimore leaders, who say the city might benefit from the program. There are thousands of such underwater mortgages in Baltimore, so 4th District Councilman Bill Henry has asked the City Council to explore the possibility of using the city's power to take mortgages from banks and then work with a private firm to refinance the loans based on current property value.
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BUSINESS
By Steve Kilar and The Baltimore Sun | October 4, 2012
Residents from every state - more than 195,000 people - have signed an online petition that demands Freddie Mac test the homes it is selling for methamphetamine contamination. The petition was started on the website Change.org by Jonathan Hankins, who bought a house in Oregon from the government-run mortgage lender that turned out to be a former meth lab, according to a statement released Tuesday by the website. “Within weeks of moving in, my wife, my two year old son, and I all started experiencing terrible dry-mouth and mouth sores,” Hankins wrote on the site, in a description of his rationale for starting the appeal.
NEWS
November 19, 2013
U.S. banks don't come any bigger than JPMorgan Chase, so no one should be surprised by the size of its settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice that was announced today - $13 billion to end civil litigation regarding mortgage lending practices. The question people should be asking is whether that's enough to prevent such irresponsible behavior from happening again. In the run-up to the financial collapse, JPMorgan took subprime home loans made by other financial institutions and sold them to others, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Much of this was done by two companies JPMorgan acquired - Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual - both of which the company was encouraged to buy by Bush administration officials, including then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella and Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | March 31, 2011
Freddie Mac has instructed its mortgage servicers to stop referring foreclosure cases to Shapiro & Burson, the Virginia law firm accused of improper handling of more than 1,000 deeds for Maryland homes in foreclosure, the mortgage giant said this week. Prosecutors in Prince George's County began investigating the firm in March after a paralegal formerly employed there filed a complaint alleging that deeds and foreclosure paperwork contained fraudulent signatures. Freddie Mac, one of the two huge mortgage companies that buys loans and mortgage securities, removed Shapiro & Burson from its Maryland designated-counsel list during an update this week.
BUSINESS
December 23, 1990
Freddie Mac said last week that it will phase out purchases of single-family home mortgages with reduced borrower credit documentation as well as adjustable-rate mortgages with low down payments.The action by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. reflects a general secondary-market trend away from these types of loans. For example, in late October, the Federal National Mortgage Association announced tightening of its reduced-documentation programs.Specifically, Freddie Mac will gradually phase out, then discontinue after March 31, 1991, its purchase of mortgages with reduced documentation, as well as ARMs with loan-to-value ratios above 90 percent.
BUSINESS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | April 17, 2005
Freddie Mac, the nation's second-largest buyer of mortgages, unknowingly bought a small number of mortgages that had "unacceptable refinance" terms and then sold them in securities offerings to investors. The company said last week that an investigation had discovered that a California broker sold borrowers mortgages with above-market interest rates and then provided financial incentives to encourage quick refinancing. The broker, who was not identified, profited from the fees from the quick turnover.
BUSINESS
By Patricia Lamielland Nanette Burns and Patricia Lamielland Nanette Burns,Knight-Ridder News Service | November 18, 1990
NEW ORLEANS -- The cost to take out a mortgage will rise if government-sponsored mortgage agencies are forced to raise their capital levels, according to Leland Brendsel, Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. chairman and chief executive.Both Freddie Mac and the Federal National Mortgage Association have been under federal pressure this year to raise capital levels.Mr. Brendsel said that if, for example, Freddie Mac is forced to double its capital reserves, the agency would raise the fees it charges lenders by 25 percent -- a cost that ultimately would be passed on to borrowers.
BUSINESS
March 18, 2001
A majority of homeowners who refinanced their homes in the last three months of 2000 took new mortgages that were at least 5 percent higher than their original mortgages, thanks to lower interest rates, according to Freddie Mac's quarterly refinance review. Seventy-eight percent of Freddie Mac-owned loans that were refinanced were for amounts greater than 5 percent of the original mortgage, up 1 percent when compared to the like quarter in 1999. However, the percentage was down from 82 percent who refinanced in the third quarter in 2000.
BUSINESS
By KENNETH HARNEY | October 27, 2002
A CLASS ACTION lawsuit against the country's second-largest source of home loan money - Freddie Mac - is focusing new attention on a consumer protection statute that's probably unfamiliar to many homebuyers and mortgage borrowers. The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act governs lenders, landlords and others who obtain and use credit reports and scores to make decisions on consumers' applications. If a lender uses credit file information to reject an applicant or charge a higher interest rate, the lender is required to provide what the law terms an "adverse action" notice.
NEWS
August 8, 2013
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as it turns out, were a pleasant fiction. The quasi-government guarantors of mortgage loans seemed like a good deal for Americans during all the years when they helped guarantee the availability of affordable, long-term home loans without any apparent cost - and, at times, with great private gain for their shareholders. But their true cost became all too real when the government's implicit guarantee of Fannie and Freddie was made explicit during the housing crisis.
NEWS
By Eric John Abrahamson | May 28, 2013
As the five-year anniversary of the Lehman Bros. bankruptcy and the collapse of the mortgage market approaches, Americans are still struggling to cope with the consequences of the Great Recession. More than 4 million households have lost their homes to foreclosure. Millions of breadwinners are still out of work. Meanwhile, households have seen an estimated $2 trillion in wealth evaporate. Pundits and politicians have spent nearly five years pointing fingers, but too few have questioned the root cause of the crisis: a deeply held belief that Americans should own their own homes and that the government should help make that dream possible.
NEWS
May 5, 2013
When I read Stanley J. Glinka's recent letter defending the presidency of George W. Bush I wanted to laugh, but it was 6 a.m. and I did not want to wake up my still sleeping wife ("Stop blaming Bush," May 1). Now I know how people like Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin get elected to public office - they just play to the Know-Nothings out there who are eager to elect people just like them. You may think that is a nasty comment, but if the kind of revisionist thinking expressed in Mr. Glinka's letter is widespread in this country - and I am afraid it is - we are in trouble as a nation.
BUSINESS
By Steve Kilar and The Baltimore Sun | March 20, 2013
Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and nine other attorneys general sent a letter Monday to President Obama and the U.S. Senate's leaders demanding new management at the government entity that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The housing finance firms, which have been controlled by the federal government since 2008, have become an “obstruction” to economic recovery, said the letter signed by Gansler and the attorneys general of...
BUSINESS
By Steve Kilar and The Baltimore Sun | January 8, 2013
Montgomery County on Monday filed a federal class action lawsuit against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, alleging the mortgage finance firms wrongly avoided paying transfer taxes in Maryland. In some instances, the companies have said they are exempt from the taxes (required to record documents, including deeds, at land records offices throughout the state) "because they are governmental entities or agencies," according to the county's complaint. But that's not true, claims the county.
BUSINESS
By Steve Kilar and The Baltimore Sun | October 24, 2012
Rep. Elijah Cummings, ranking member of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, praised the U.S. Department of Justice's decision Wednesday to sue Bank of America over alleged reckless mortgage lending practices. The government claims that loose mortgage lending standards by Countrywide Financial, which Bank of America bought in 2008, ended up costing taxpayers at least $1 billion. "I welcome this announcement and strongly commend the Obama Administration, the Department of Justice, and the Inspectors General for their diligence in seeking accountability and justice on behalf of the American taxpayers and homeowners," Cummings said in a statement.
BUSINESS
By J. Linn Allen and J. Linn Allen,Chicago Tribune | May 10, 1992
CHICAGO -- The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. kicked off a program last month that could make billions of dollars in loans available for low- and moderate-income rental housing around the country.The federally chartered agency, known as Freddie Mac, announced the first deal in a $100 million multifamily-housing pilot program, involving a package of loans totaling $5 million held by Harris Bank.The loans were made on eight Chicago buildings with a total of 219 apartment units.Jack Weir, president of the New York-based Local Initiatives Managed Assets Corp.
BUSINESS
By J. Linn Allen and J. Linn Allen,Chicago Tribune | May 31, 1992
CHICAGO -- The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. kicked off a program Wednesday that could make billions of dollars in loans available for low- and moderate-income rental housing around the country.The federally chartered agency, known as Freddie Mac, announced the first deal in a $100 million multifamily-housing pilot program, involving a package of loans totaling $5 million held by Harris Bank.The loans were made on eight Chicago buildings with a total of 219 apartment units.Jack Weir, president of the New York-based Local Initiatives Managed Assets Corp.
BUSINESS
By Steve Kilar and The Baltimore Sun | October 4, 2012
Residents from every state - more than 195,000 people - have signed an online petition that demands Freddie Mac test the homes it is selling for methamphetamine contamination. The petition was started on the website Change.org by Jonathan Hankins, who bought a house in Oregon from the government-run mortgage lender that turned out to be a former meth lab, according to a statement released Tuesday by the website. “Within weeks of moving in, my wife, my two year old son, and I all started experiencing terrible dry-mouth and mouth sores,” Hankins wrote on the site, in a description of his rationale for starting the appeal.
BUSINESS
By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun | September 14, 2012
A Baltimore man pleaded guilty in federal court Friday to conspiracy to commit wire fraud because he and others secured mortgages for six homes in Upper Fells Point with fraudulent information, prosecutors announced. Kenneth Koehler, 42, and his co-conspirators caused losses of more than $1 million to mortgage lenders because all six homes they purchased subsequently went into foreclosure, according to a statement from the Maryland U.S. Attorney's Office. Four of the homes were on South Chapel Street, one home was in the 200 block of South Castle Street and another was in the 2200 block of Gough Street, according to Koehler's plea agreement.
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