government affairs blog

OLD Gov't Affairs Blog
We stopped using this blog after the 2013 Florida Legislative Session and created a new Government Affairs Forum, which will allow us to better control distribution of information.  This one will be maintained as an archive. 

More formal bulletins, summaries of legislation, position papers and the like appear on the Government Affairs page

  • 12/10/2012 10:03 AM | Anonymous
    Six defendants, including a real estate attorney and mortgage brokers, received prison sentences this week for their respective roles in a $5.6 million mortgage fraud scheme.

    The parties sentenced include real estate attorney Lilia Casal-Diaz, 42; Andres Mendez Sr., 47; Andy Mendez Jr., 26; Josephine Santana, 57; Jose Rafael Martinez, 36; and Basilio Gomez, 52.

    The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Wilfredo Ferrer said the defendants were sentenced for their roles in a scheme where the parties used straw buyers to acquire apartments at the complex while preparing multiple sets of loan documents, including fraudulent documents that allowed them to eventually collect millions in fraudulently obtained loan proceeds.

    Apparently, HUD-1 documents submitted to lenders contained false information, while a second version of the same forms were submitted to borrowers with the real sales prices. The defendants each received jail time, with the average sentence well over a year.

  • 11/30/2012 11:28 AM | Anonymous
    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 866,000. This is

    2.7 percent (±0.8%) below the revised September rate of 890,000, but is 29.8 percent (±1.8%) above the October 2011 estimate of 667,000.  

    Does the resurgence of the new home market affect your business strategies?

  • 11/30/2012 11:21 AM | Anonymous

    The maximum conforming loan limits will remain the same for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the firms' conservator said Thursday.

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency said the maximum loan limit for one-unit properties will remain at $417,000, but can still run as high as $625,500 when the property resides in one of the designated high-cost areas.

    Note: the maximum for FHA loans through the end of 2013 is $729,750 in the nation's most expensive neighborhoods.

    More from Housing Wire

  • 11/29/2012 12:03 PM | Anonymous
    From our friends at ALTA

    The Federal Housing Authority once again extended its temporary waiver of anti-flipping regulations, this time through December 31, 2014.

    Prior to the waiver, a mortgage was not eligible for FHA insurance if the contract of sale for the purchase of the property that secured the mortgage was executed within 90 days of the prior acquisition by the seller, and the seller did not come under any of the exemptions to this 90-day period specified in the regulation. The waiver is applicable to all single family properties being resold within the 90-day period after prior acquisition, and is not limited to foreclosed properties. 

    The waiver, which was set to expire at the end of 2012, was first issued in January 2010 and has been extended several times. The FHA said it extended the waiver to encourage renovation of foreclosed and abandoned properties, increase the availability of affordable homes and stabilize home prices.

  • 11/28/2012 3:38 PM | Anonymous
    Reports out of Washington suggest that the Mortgage Interest Deduction may be one of the items addressed as part of any "Grand Compromise" to avoid the fiscal cliff.  If these deductions are eliminated or severely restricted it will have obvious negative impacts on the housing market -- so expect our friends at ALTA to be asking for our assistance with Congress if this goes beyond the "trial balloon" stage

  • 11/28/2012 12:32 PM | Anonymous
    Florida Named Top State For Mortgage Fraud Risk In Q3

    Although national mortgage fraud risk is on the decline, Florida is showing signs of increased fraud risk, according to new data released by Agoura Hills, Calif.-based Interthinx.

  • 11/26/2012 10:21 AM | Anonymous
    Fannie Mae recently updated its foreclosure fee schedule in Florida (and elsewhere).   We are hopeful that the increased fees permitted will help avoid a repeat of the robo-signing and shoddy practices of the past. 

  • 11/26/2012 10:12 AM | Anonymous
    While this is not set in stone, there is speculation and rumor that FHA will change its current policy which allows a homeowner to stop paying mortgage insurance premiums once the mortgage has been paid down to 78% and at least 60 payments have been made. 

    Needing funds, and recognizing that FHA liability remains in effect for the entire 30 year live of a  loan, this is seen by some as a quick source for additional revenues.  Since the chance is thought likely to apply only to loans originated after the policy change is announced,  this may provide an added incentive (as if today's low interest rates aren't enough!) for your former customers to participate in a HUD streamlined refinance. 

  • 11/22/2012 11:49 AM | Anonymous
    A former executive of Lender Processing Services Inc. (LPS) pleaded guilty yesterday  (11-21-12), admitting her participation in a six-year scheme to prepare and file more than one million fraudulently signed and notarized mortgage-related documents with property recorders’ offices throughout the United States.

    More here.  

    Now if only we knew which million properties were affected by the fraud!  So we didn't continue to insure based on documents known by the U.S. Attorney to be fraudulent. 

  • 11/15/2012 10:29 AM | Anonymous
    Proving that Florida is not the only state having problems with ambiguities regarding reissue rates, the New Mexico Department of Insurance just entered into an agreement that will result in refunds of alleged overcharges.

    On a separate front, yesterday FLTA's board has approved taking an amicus position in the appeal of one of the Florida reissue rate cases.  In that case, the plaintiffs are appealing claiming that title agents have an affirmative duty to (beyond asking their seller for the copy) to seek out and track down any prior policies.  This would be a huge burden on all agents, given that it is often impossible to identify which company may have insured a prior transaction.

    More on that as it develops.

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