Wednesday, October 18, 2006

John Dugan: States to enforce consumer protection on Option ARMS and other non-traditional loans

John C. Dugan, the Comptroller of the currency, gave a speech Monday to the American Bankers Association expressing his concern about regulating mortgage lending standards, specifically regarding the new guidance that the Fed recently released on "exotic mortgages".
...with fewer home buyers in the market, competition among lenders appears to be intensifying, and, with some exceptions, that competition has extended to weaker underwriting standards. Frankly, that concerns me. We don’t want to see the lending decisions bankers make today result in excessive forecloseds – and reduced affordable housing credit – tomorrow.

And on Tuesday speaking to American's Community Bankers Dugan further urged States to adopt the Fed's principles. His concern lay in the fact that many mortgage originators are outside of federal regulation, and thus it falls to state regulators to enact and enforce such standards.

I have been encouraged by the recent statements by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) and the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators. These two organizations are working on a version of the nontraditional mortgage guidance that will focus on mortgage underwriting and consumer protection issues. We understand that state agencies then will be urged to adopt and apply this guidance to the entities they regulate. In so doing, it is vital that key principles of our nontraditional mortgage guidance not be watered down. ...

Fed Guide to Option ARM and Interest Only Loans

The Federal Reserve released today a Consumer Guide to Nontraditional Mortgages, specifically detailing the risks and benefits of the Option ARM and Interest Only Products.

The brochure stresses the importace of understanding key mortgage loan terms, it warns of the risks consumers may face, and counsels borrowers to be realistic about whether or not they can handle future payment increases.

Competitor Web Traffic Data?

SeoMoz produced the results today of a study where several top SEO related websites shared internal traffic metrics, and then compared their internal data against public and commerical tools currently in use, (such as Alexa) to estimate the website traffic of a competitor's website.

The results are wild. Back to back against the actual data, every tool was inconsistant and incaccurate.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Fed on Exotic Mortgages: Mixed Readings?

Federal Financial Regulatory Agencies issued on Thursday Final Guidance on Nontraditional Mortgage Product Risks.

Dow Jones reports that it expects these results to be benign.

On the other side of the fence, Marketwatch came out today with a scathing Regulators Crack Down on Exotic Mortgages,a me too of Business Week's lurid Nightmare Mortgages, but reading the Fed's report as a "Crack-Down".

Home ATM Machine

The proclaimed death of the "home ATM machine" is the latest media zeitgeist.

The New York Times today called it the home ATM machine.

And today the Rocky Mountain News refers to as ATM Machines.

Also today CNN reports that ATM machines people had in their homes in term of their home equity won't be refilling quite as rapidly.

Countless others me-too's can be found in a google query.

And the creative our industry is serving amidst this gloom and doom: