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BUSINESS
January 21, 2010 | By Nathaniel Popper
Some banks are finding ways to make money from mortgages despite the continuing difficulties many homeowners are having in making their home payments. The country's two biggest home lenders, Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co., posted fourth-quarter earnings Wednesday that were bolstered by better-than-expected profits in their mortgage operations. These profits, however, had little to do with the health of the companies' mortgage portfolios, which are still generating a wave of defaults and losses for the banking giants.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 2012 | By Abby Sewell and Catherine Saillant, Los Angeles Times
Four years after Countrywide Financial became a symbol of the mortgage meltdown, the company and its questionable dealings have become a potent political issue in the Santa Clarita congressional district held by Republican Howard "Buck" McKeon. Congressional investigators allege that McKeon and Rep. Elton Gallegly, a Republican colleague whose neighboring district includes much of Ventura County, got cut-rate home loans under a Countrywide VIP program known as "Friends of Angelo," named for the now-defunct Calabasas lender's former chief executive, Angelo Mozilo.
BUSINESS
December 4, 2012 | By E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times
Sales of government-backed mortgage securities rose in November to the highest level in more than three years, stoked by a refinance boom and a rush by banks to avoid a fee increase from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Nearly $176 billion in bonds backed by fixed-rate home loans were issued in November, up from $132 billion in October and the most since $229 billion in June 2009, MortgageDaily.com reported Monday, citing the data firm eMBS Inc. ...
BUSINESS
April 25, 2014 | By Tim Logan
Fewer home sales and rising interest rates have led to the nation's lowest level of mortgage lending in 14 years. Just $235 billion in home loans were started in the first three months of the year, the lowest figure recorded in a quarter since 2000, according to data from trade publication Inside Mortgage Finance. That's down nearly a quarter from the end of 2013 and more than half from the same period last year, when the housing market was heating up, especially in Southern California.
BUSINESS
February 12, 2011 | By Jim Puzzanghera and Alejandro Lazo, Los Angeles Times
  The Obama administration is moving to dramatically downsize the government's role in the mortgage business, saying taxpayers can no longer afford the cost and the risk of subsidizing home loans on a grand scale. The administration's plan calls for gradually shutting down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which now control nearly half of the $11-trillion mortgage market. The two companies have cost taxpayers $150 billion since they were seized by federal regulators in 2008. Real estate industry groups attacked the proposal, saying it would make it tougher for average Americans to get home loans and thereby weaken the housing market.
BUSINESS
August 16, 2013 | By Kenneth R. Harney
WASHINGTON - You may have seen two sets of news reports recently that didn't quite add up: First, President Obama called for the liquidation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the country's largest providers of funds for home mortgages. Then, Fannie Mae announced its sixth straight quarterly profit and said it was sending $10.2 billion in dividends to the Treasury. Freddie Mac also reported a hefty profit - $5 billion over the previous three months - and said it is providing $4.4 billion in dividends to the government.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 19, 2002 | David Rosenzweig, Times Staff Writer
A Studio City man who had been a fugitive for nine years has pleaded guilty to orchestrating a scheme to obtain more than $20 million in fraudulent home loans, the U.S. attorney's office said Friday. William Lee Cranston, 34, had been on the run since 1993, living under assumed names in Mexico, Florida and Las Vegas. Apparently confident that he had successfully eluded investigators, Cranston returned to Los Angeles about two years ago.
BUSINESS
August 27, 2010 | By E. Scott Reckard and Alejandro Lazo, Los Angeles Times
Adding to worries about the economy's direction, the number of newly delinquent home loans has risen for two straight quarters in what could foreshadow another surge in unemployment-related foreclosures. The consequences of the increase in fresh delinquencies are uncertain. But the rise presents a troubling counterpoint to positive trends in severely delinquent loans and foreclosures, which, although still at very high levels, have begun to decline, the Mortgage Bankers Assn. said Thursday.
BUSINESS
October 21, 2010 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
Major banks and mortgage lenders are coming down with another legal headache in their efforts to seize properties from homeowners in default. A little-known electronic database formed by them 15 years ago to track ownership changes on millions of mortgages is being challenged in court by desperate borrowers alleging it wrongly filed foreclosure actions against them. The cases against Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc., known in the industry as MERS, highlight the shortcuts taken by the financial industry during the housing bubble.
BUSINESS
May 5, 2012 | By Alejandro Lazo, Los Angeles Times
A nation still struggling to clear up one housing debacle has run smack into another - soaring rents. The foreclosure mess has pushed millions of former homeowners with tarnished credit into a competitive apartment market across the U.S. Add fresh demand from young workers, few new units and tight standards for home loans, and the result is rental sticker shock not seen in years. Rents are surging from New York to Los Angeles. The average monthly U.S. rent for apartments hit $1,008 in the first quarter, pushing past the all-time high set in the third quarter of 2008, according to the data firm RealFacts.
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