July 5, 2013 |
The gig: Dominic Ng, 54, is chairman and chief executive of Pasadena's East West Bank, formerly a savings and loan association based in L.A.'s Chinatown that he built into the nation's largest Chinese American bank, with $23 billion in assets. The bank operates in California, New York, Boston, Seattle, Houston and Atlanta, with full-service branches in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Shantou, China. A specialty is helping Americans navigate a maze of regulations to invest in China - and increasingly vice versa, as Chinese investors buy U.S. businesses and homes.
July 1, 2013 |
Resolving a lingering headache from the housing bust, Citigroup Inc. agreed to pay nearly $1 billion to Fannie Mae to cover Citi's liability for potential flaws in 3.7 million mortgages it sold to the housing-finance giant from 2000 through 2012. Fannie Mae, the biggest buyer and guarantor of home loans, had previously announced similar but far bigger settlements with Bank of America -- $1.52 billion in January 2011 and a whopping $10.35 billion this past January. The Citi settlement is for $968 million.
June 27, 2013 |
Here's a little guessing game for mortgage watchers: If home-lending standards were scored at 100 last year, when credit was excruciatingly tight, what would the reading have been at the height of the housing bubble? A higher number means looser credit. If you said 300, 500 or even 700 you have underestimated the extent to which the mortgage industry tossed caution to the wind during the era of low-doc, no-doc and stated-income loans, when down payments were low and cash-out refinancing was the rule.
June 27, 2013 |
With mortgage rates rising - and unnerving investors - Federal Reserve officials have swung into damage-control mode, trying to reassure Wall Street that they won't abruptly withdraw the stimulus that has kept long-term borrowing costs at record lows. Freddie Mac's latest survey of lenders, released Thursday, showed the average rate for a 30-year fixed home loan had leaped to 4.46% from 3.93% last week - the biggest one-week jump recorded by the survey since 1987. The benchmark 30-year rate is up more than 1 percentage point from the record lows that began last fall, including one reading of 3.35% just last month.
June 26, 2013 |
Mortgage rates have zoomed a full percentage point above their recent record lows, raising costs for borrowers and questions about the housing recovery. A standard 30-year fixed-rate home loan hit an average of 4.63% on Monday before backing off just slightly Tuesday, according to HSH Associates. That's up from 3.49% on May 3 and an all-time average low of 3.44% during a week in December. Although still low by historic standards, the increased rates have put a damper on a home refinancing boom and will make buying a home noticeably more expensive for borrowers.
June 12, 2013 |
Having slashed away much of its troubled mortgage business, Bank of America Corp. is now growing the what remains, the company's chief financial officer says. CFO Bruce Thompson told analysts that Bank of America, once the nation's largest mortgage lender but now with just 4% of the market, is "getting what we believe is our fair share back. " "We ... expect to be in the 5% area as we exit the second quarter and we look to continue to grow from that," Thompson said Tuesday at a conference sponsored by Morgan Stanley at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.
June 7, 2013 |
Builders are eyeing the next wave of potential home buyers - the so-called millennials - but whether this rising generation will embrace big mortgage debt remains an open question. These 95 million people ages 10 to 32 outnumber their baby-boomer parents by 10 million. The young adults among them, sobered by the recession, have relatively modest material expectations; many say they'd be happy with smaller living spaces. The housing industry will have to convince the next generation that home loans are as necessary and prudent as the student debt so many of them already carry.
May 27, 2013 |
Before dawn one hazy March day in L.A., Armando Granillo pulled his SUV into a Starbucks near MacArthur Park, where he planned to pick up an envelope full of cash from an Arizona real estate broker, federal investigators say. Granillo, a foreclosure specialist at mortgage giant Fannie Mae, expected to drive off with $11,200 - an illegal kickback for steering foreclosure listings to brokers, authorities allege in court records. Granillo would leave in handcuffs. And investigators are now looking into assertions by Granillo and another former Fannie Mae foreclosure specialist that such kickbacks were "a natural part of business" at the government-sponsored housing finance company, as Granillo allegedly told the broker in a wiretapped conversation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 14, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO - In the last century, Californians have said yes to every request for money to help veterans buy homes. Since 2000, they have signed off on $1.4 billion in bonds for that purpose. But most of that money remains untapped. In fact, the state's home loan program for veterans, run by the agency known as Cal-Vet, is doing less and less each year to help servicemen and women returning from Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Yet there's more money available for the program than in the agency's annual operating budget.
April 27, 2013 |
Michele and Russell Poland's credit was shot, but they managed to buy their suburban dream home anyway. After a business bankruptcy and a home foreclosure, they turned to a rare option in this era of tightfisted banking - a subprime loan. The Polands paid nearly $10,000 in upfront fees for the privilege of securing a mortgage at 10.9% interest. And they had to raid their retirement account for a 35% down payment. Most borrowers would balk at such stiff terms. But with prices rising, the Polands wanted to snag a four-bedroom home in Temecula near top-rated schools for their 5-year-old son. By later this year, they figure, they'll be able to refinance into a standard loan.