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Inside Washington (10/27/2010)
* WASHINGTON (10/28/10)--The next generation of homebuyers could be scared away from home ownership unless the mortgage industry proves it is willing to be held accountable for past wrongdoing, according to David Stevens, commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Speaking to industry participants at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s annual convention in Atlanta, Stevens said future homebuyers could be resistant to entering the market after watching the housing market meltdown and learning about dubious foreclosure practices (American Banker Oct. 27). To rebuild trust, the industry must persuade homebuyers that abuses will not be tolerated. When the current refinancing boom passes, the industry will also need to reassure potential homebuyers that homeownership is still meaningful … * WASHINGTON (10/28/10)--State attorneys general will probably play a key role in addressing questionable foreclosure proceedings, according to Elizabeth Warren, the assistant to the president charged with launching the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. During a recent interview, Warren said information gathered by state attorneys general and the bureau will be combined to identify the parameters of the foreclosure problem (Dow Jones Oct. 27). She said the bureau’s role at this time is limited to collecting information and gauging the scope of the issue … * WASHINGTON (10/28/10)--The Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle will be allowed to repurchase member stock and could potentially pay dividends in mid-2011 if it hits financial targets and satisfies regulators’ concerns. A consent order signed this week by the Federal Housing Finance Agency sets the terms for future operations (American Banker Oct. 27). The bank’s operations have been limited by regulatory restrictions since November 2009 due to the agency’s concerns that the bank was undercapitalized. The agency accepted the bank’s plan to restore capital in the consent order, but the bank will still be treated as undercapitalized until its metrics improve. Other regulatory issues deal with oversight, management, asset improvement program, compensation practices and retained earnings. The bank’s regulatory difficulties date to 2004, when the bank began purchasing mortgages from members in a program that later incurred significant losses …


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