Goldman Sachs - Tapering will Most Likely Start March 2014 
On October 22nd, economists at Goldman Sachs said, "Although December remains a possibility, this report (jobs) makes it more likely that the Fed pushes the first reduction in the pace of its asset purchases into 2014. While the uncertainity is considerable, we think March is the most likely date under our economic forecast, and the assuumption that the next set of fiscal deadlines proves less disruptive than the most recent set." Well, I cettainly don't have the knowledge, data, or expertise that they have at Goldman, but I find it difficult to believe that the FOMC will Taper that quickly. Here's why.

The Jobs Report is all over the map. There isn't any consistency, and the accuracy is always questioned. For example, August was revised up from 169,000 to 193,000 (this almost keeps pace with jobs lost), while July was revised down from 104,000 to 89,000 (This certainly doesn't keep pace, and September was only 148,000 (again not enough to keep pace). Some experts were even surprised (really?) by the low growth in the private sector for September, and there seems to be a weakening trend the past several months. Remember, the FOMC has pledged to keep the purchase progam in place until the Unemployment Rate drops to 6.5%.

Last Monday I wrote that I don't see the economy creating many new jobs in my community, and these figures seem to bear that out. If we are losing more jobs than we are creating, how can the Unemployment Rate be decreasing? Just a little food for thought.

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Interest Rates Stable for the Week 
The Conventional 30 year fixed rate remained at 4.125% at weeks end. This rate would be available for a borrower who has excellent credit (credit score of 740 or greater) and could be obtained with little or no points if you make the right size of down payment.

The Conventional 15 year fixed rate remained at 3.25%, assuming the same parameters as mentioned above.

Market conditions have remained relatively stable since last Friday. Unless you are going to closing and you have to lock, I feel that it is ok to float your rate. There may be some volatility so don't put your blinders on and ignore the market, but overall the risk should be outwieghed by the reward. Let it ride!

[ 2 comments ] ( 48 views )   |  permalink  |   ( 3 / 1950 )
Bank of America on the Hook for Countrywide 
Fraud. Fraud is such an ugly word, but especially in the mortgage industry. B of A was found liable for fraud Wednesday over bad, or defective, mortgages sold by Countrywide (purchased by BofA) to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a process called "Hustle". The jury also found Rebecca Mairone, a former Countrywide executive, liable on one count of fraud.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lost $848.2 million on the loans, so that is the amount that the U.S.Justice Department is seeking in damages, but it will be up to U.S. District Judge Rakoff to determine the amount of the award. Mairone's lawyer called her a "woman of integrity, ethics and honesty", vowing to continue the fight because she never participated in any fraudulent activity.

The Justice Department is also currently negotiating a $13 Billion, yes billion with a B, settlement with JP Morgan Chase regarding the sale of mortgages and other issues.

"Hustle" just sounds bad, doesn't it, especially since it was a mortgage origination platform used by a mortgage lender? Especially a lender the size of Countrywide. More on "Hustle" in the next few days.

[ 1 comment ] ( 29 views )   |  permalink  |   ( 3 / 2038 )
Rural Housing (USDA) Back Online after The Shutdown 
On September 25th, I extolled the virtues of the USDA Rural Housing mortgage program. Well, it is still a great program and it is now back online after The Shutdown. It still offers 100% financing for primary home borrowers, as well as all of the other benefits I discussed on the 25th, so keep USDA on your mind.

Most of our Lenders are still quoting a 30 year fixed rate of less than 4.0% with no points, so you can't beat the pricing or the benefits of the program. Please call me to discuss the possibilty of putting this amazing loan program to work for you.

Brett Wolf

[ 1 comment ] ( 27 views )   |  permalink  |   ( 3 / 1931 )
Jobs Report Pushed Mortgage Rates Lower 
The Labor Department reported this morning that far fewer jobs were added in September than most analysts were expecting. The September jobs report showed only 148,000 new employees. In the third quarter, total nonfarm payroll growth only averaged 143,000, much lower than the 182,000 per month average in the second-quarter and significantly lower than the monthly average of 207,000 during the first quarter.

The labor market participation rate, a measure of the people who are either employed or actively looking for employment, remained at 63.2%, the lowest level since August 1978. I was in high school and the unemployment rate was well above 7.2%

The jobs report caused the mortgage market to rally and interest rates to fall. My opinion is that this is not the last of the dismal jobs reports. If I am correct, the FOMC will have no choice but to continue QE3 well into the future.

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