HUD LAUNCHES PUBLIC DATABASE OF HUD-ASSISTED HOUSEHOLDS

WASHINGTON – In another effort to advance the Obama Administration’s Open Government Initiative, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today launched a public database to help the research community better understand the characteristics of households receiving assistance under the Department’s main rental programs. Read more about HUD’s new public data sample.

HUD CHARGES BANK OF AMERICA WITH DISCRIMINATING AGAINST HOMEBUYERS WITH DISABILITIES

WASHINGTON–The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced that it is charging Bank of America with discriminating against homebuyers with disabilities. HUD alleges that Bank of America imposed unnecessary and burdensome requirements on borrowers who relied on disability income to qualify for their home loans and required some disabled borrowers to provide physician statements to qualify for home mortgage loans.

New Home Sales Fall 0.9% in January

New home sales in January were at a seasonally adjusted
annual rate of 321,000, a decrease of 0.9 percent from the upwardly revised December
rate of 324,000.  The December pace of new
home sales was originally estimated at 307,000. 
Estimated sales in January were at a rate 3.5 percent higher than one
year earlier when sales were running at 310,000 units.   The
U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development released
the numbers Friday.

An estimated 22,000 new homes were sold during January.  About half (10,000 homes) were completed when
sold; the remaining 12,000 were equally divided between homes under
construction and homes for which construction had not yet begun.  These numbers have been virtually unchanged
since November and are nearly identical to those in January 2011.  Homes that sold in January had been on the
market a median of 7.1 months.

There were 151,000 homes for sale at the end of the period,
57,000 of which are standing completed.   One year ago there were 185,000 new homes on
the market.  The inventory of new homes
available for sale nationwide represents a 5.6 month supply compared to a 5.7
month supply in December and a 7.2 month supply in January 2011.

Sales were mixed on a regional basis with strong monthly increases
of 11.1 percent and 9.3 percent in the Northeast and the South while the
Midwest was down 24.5 percent and the West fell 10.6 percent.  Year-over-year changes were also varied with
the Northeast down 39.4 percent compared to January 2011 and the Midwest
posting a -11.9 percent change.  Sales in
the South improved by 15.3 percent and in the West by 5.6 percent.

The median price of new homes sold in January was $217,100
and the average was $261,600 compared to median and average prices of $240,100
and $275,700 in January of 2011. 

New Home Sales Data

Click Here to View the New Homes Sales Chart

…(read more)

Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

MANHATTAN U.S. ATTORNEY SUES FLAGSTAR BANK FOR FRAUDULENT MORTGAGE LENDING PRACTICES AND SETTLES FOR $132.8 MILLION AND OTHER CONCESSIONS

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Helen Kanovsky, General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”), and David A. Montoya, the Inspector General of HUD, announced today that the United States has filed, and simultaneously settled, a civil fraud lawsuit against FLAGSTAR BANK, F.S.B. (“FLAGSTAR”), one of the nation’s largest savings banks and originators of mortgage loans, for improperly approving residential home mortgage loans for government insurance. In the settlement, FLAGSTAR admitted, acknowledged, and accepted responsibility for submitting false certifications to HUD. The false certifications induced the Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”) to accept loans for government insurance that were not eligible and that resulted in losses to HUD when the loans defaulted. FLAGSTAR agreed to pay $132.8 million to the United States in damages and penalties under the False Claims Act and to reform its business practices. The settlement was approved today by United States District Judge Katherine B. Forrest.

Why the mortgage settlement is a fair deal

Shaun Donovan is the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.