The big news this week are the lawsuits against BofA and J.P. Morgan Chase. We’ll also look at 5 things you’re doing that are hurting you financially. Home prices are on the rise again, and we’ll talk about how Blackstone Funding group managed to create the largest single-family rental business in the U.S.
Jury: BofA liable for Countrywide mortgage fraud
The big news across all the financial media is that BofA committed fraud when they sold sub-prime mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a program they called The Hustle. The mortgages were originally acquired from when BofA purchased and merged with Countrywide.
The jury also found that Rebecca Mairone, a former Countrywide Financial Corp. executive, was liable for fraud for her role in leading the Hustle loan-processing program.
The trial lasted approximately one month. Investors are also currently suing J.P. Morgan for $5.75 billion.
5 Things You’re Doing That Could Make Your Life Hell
Credit.com posted a useful list on Yahoo Finance of 5 things you’re doing that could be negatively affecting your credit score.
- Oversharing on Social Networking Sites – those quizzes could be a way for the bad guys to get your personal information like mother’s maiden name, your first school, your first pet’s name, etc. Also you should be careful of sharing information like your birthday and when you’re gone on vacation.
- Joining Accounts With ‘The One’ – when you combine your accounts with someone else, you’re dinged equally for late or missing payments.
- Focusing on Credit Only When You Need to Use it – you need to build, nurture, manage and protect your credit portfolio regularly & not pull it off every few years.
- Clicking on a Link in an Email From the IRS – Usually, it’s a phish (a false email used to get you to provide personal information). The IRS communicates through good old fashioned snail mail.
- Spilling the Beans Over the Phone – just because someone calls and says they’re from your credit card company doesn’t mean they really are. These scammers ask for your credit card number…and since they called, shouldn’t they be telling you what it is? For your safety, tell them you’ll call them back, and then use the 1-800 number of the back of your credit card to verify.
Home Prices Rise for 19th Straight Month; Pace Decelerating
Home prices posted a 19th consecutive monthly gain in August the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) said on Wednesday. FHFA’s purchase only Home Price Index (HPI) rose 0.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from July but the 1.0 percent increase previously reported for July was revised down to 0.8 percent.
The FHFA index is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to or guaranteed by the government sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie May.
Blackstone Funding Largest U.S. Single-Family Rentals
Blackstone Group LP spent $7.5 billion acquiring 40,000 houses over the last two years creating the largest single-family rental business in the U.S. The private-equity firm is now planning to sell bonds backed by lease payments.
Blackstone Group created their Invitation Homes division in April 2012 to buy and renovate properties to lease, is double the size of American Homes 4 Rent which is the next in line.
The properties are located in states such as California, Arizona, Florida and Nevada where the number of foreclosures was quite high.