4 Things To Ponder On Election Day

November 5, 2013 at 8:27 am Leave a comment

1)  News flash. . .interest rate gyrations affect the residential housing market.

The recently released Survey of Senior Bank Loan Officers confirms what common sense would tell you.  The 100 basis point climb in mortgage interest rates in anticipation of the FED’s potential tapering of its bond buying program had a large impact on mortgage refinancing.  More than 90% of survey respondents reported that they have recently received moderate to substantially lower volumes of mortgage refinancing applications relative to what they were receiving in the Spring.  The survey also provides more evidence for the “new normal club” of which I am a member.   The economy is in the doldrums and I don’t see any reason to think that it is going to get wind in its sails anytime soon.  Very few of the surveyed bank officers reported reducing origination and processing fees, minimum down payments or FICO scores.

2)  The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that the Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA) will be following the lead of New York State and taking steps to curtail incentives to charge consumers high prices for forced place insurance.  The exact details are yet to be announced, but the paper reported that “rather than set rules on what insurers can charge for such policies, which is generally the purview of the states, the FHFA will prevent servicers that do business with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from accepting certain payments.”

I know I am very much in the minority on this one, but let’s keep in mind that there’s already a wonderful mechanism for members to avoid paying for forced place insurance:  it’s called paying your bills.

3)  It doesn’t make for the most exciting reading in the world, but NCUA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG), who acts as an omsbudsman within the Agency, released a report criticizing the decentralized manner in which the agency estimates losses to the Share Insurance Fund.  Most importantly, the OIG reported that the Agency’s Office of Examination and Insurance, Office of the Chief Financial Officer, and the Asset Management and Assistance Center documented different loan estimates throughout the year.  However, the OIG also found that everyone’s numbers were consistent by year’s end.  Translation, it sounds like the OIG has pointed to some bureaucratic overkill that could benefit from a streamlining of the NCUA’s process for determining losses to the Share Insurance Fund.

4)  Remember to vote today!  Several important state-wide propositions are on the ballot, including whether to legalize casino gambling in New York State.  And remember that the Town Board members we elect today may very well end up being the Assemblymen and State Senators we work with tomorrow (God Help Us!).  On that note, get out there and vote and remember, people died for your right to so, so driving a few minutes out of your way really shouldn’t be a big deal.

I’m getting off my high horse now, have a nice day.

Entry filed under: General, Political, Regulatory. Tags: , , , , , .

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Authored By:

Henry Meier, Esq., General Counsel, New York Credit Union Association.

The views Henry expresses are Henry’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Association.

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