Piece by Piece
Counseling Shows Results
Blackstone to Sell Bonds
Priority Market Awards
Settlement Agreement
Home Depot Foundation Celebration of Service
Georgia 10th in Fraud
Shrinking Homeowners
QRM Proposed Rule
Just the Facts
There's an App for that
Comptroller Applauds Counselors
Calendar Items


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Piece by Piece Update

November 5, 2013





Please take note of the following news and calendar updates:


National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program Shows Results


(Courtesy of NHC): NeighborWorks America released on October 22 a Congressional update detailing the activity of the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) program. The NFMC program was created by Congress to address the nationwide foreclosure crisis by dramatically increasing the availability of housing counseling for families at risk of foreclosure. The program thus far has served more than 1.5 million homeowners in the United States. Sixty-six percent of NFMC Program clients are classified as low-income and nearly 50 percent are classified as racial and ethnic minority homeowners.  The NFMC program funding has increased the capacity of housing counseling agencies leading improved outcomes for counseled homeowners.  FULL REPORT


Blackstone to Sell Bonds Backed by Lease Payments


(Courtesy of Bloomberg News): The private-equity firm is now planning to sell bonds backed by lease payments, the latest step in turning a small business into a mature industry.  Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) may start marketing almost $500 million of the securities as soon as this week, according to a person with knowledge of the transaction. The debt will include a portion with the highest investment grade from at least one ratings company, according to another person. Both asked not to be identified because the deal isn't public.The person with knowledge of the transaction wouldn't specify which rating company has assigned its top rating to the bonds. That grade is higher than Standard & Poor's rating of U.S. government debt. The Financial Times reported earlier today that the deal would get a AAA grade.Blackstone, which started its Invitation Homes division in April 2012 to buy and renovate properties to lease, is double the size of American Homes 4 Rent (AMH), the second-largest single-family home landlord. MORE


Wells Fargo Announces Priority Markets Initiative Awards


Wells Fargo recently announced it will donate $6 million across 67 nonprofits through the 2013 Leading the Way Home(R) program Priority Markets Initiative to help revitalize and stabilize neighborhoods.  The Leading the Way Home(R) program Priority Markets Initiative provides grant support for neighborhood projects located in areas designated for revitalization to help accelerate growth, stability and investment in distressed areas.  The Leading the Way Home(R) program Priority Markets Initiative grants are administered through the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation. The Housing Foundation has invested more than $284 million, since 1993 to support affordable housing and community revitalization programs. 2013 Grant Recipients 


JPMorgan Chase and Justice Department Reach Tentative Settlement Agreement 


(Courtesy of NHC): JPMorgan Chase, the nation's largest bank, has reached a tentative deal with the Justice Department to pay approximately $13 billion to resolve allegations that the bank knowingly sold faulty mortgage securities that contributed to the financial crisis. The settlement does not absolve the bank of any criminal wrongdoing, which the Justice Department could still pursue in the future.  New York Times   Bloomberg


The Home Depot Foundation to Complete Third Celebration of Service Campaign on Veterans Day


On this Veterans Day, The Home Depot Foundation will conclude its third Celebration of Service campaign, an annual two-month initiative that is part of its five-year, $80 million commitment, to ensure military veterans and their families have a safe place to call home. From September 5 through November 11, The Home Depot Foundation will have invested $3 million, and thousands of Home Depot associate volunteers will have completed more than 350 service projects, many addressing the particular needs of women veterans, caretakers and their families.There are currently about 22 million veterans living in the U.S., 3.5 million of whom have service-connected disabilities and 40 percent of whom are over the age of 65.  MORE



Georgia Ranks Among 10 Worst States for Mortgage Fraud



(Courtesy of MSN Real Estate): Foreclosure scams are up 58 percent, according to the latest data from the LexisNexis 15th Annual Mortgage Fraud Report.  The worst 10 are based on total investigations in 2012 for mortgage frauds originating in any year.  Georgia ranked #9 behind #1 Florida, #2 Nevada, and #3 Arizona.  MORE



New Mortgage Policies Shrink the Ranks of Homeowners


(Courtesy of Housing Matters and Forbes): Policies enacted as a reaction to the housing market crash appear to be cutting off homeownership as an option for more Americans, particularly in demographics with the most ground to make up, including African-Americans, Hispanics and young people, writes Robert Couch, a lawyer and member of the Bipartisan Policy Center's Housing Commission. MORE  

Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) Proposed Rule


(Courtesy of NHC): A recently released white paper by the Coalition for Sensible Housing Policy, titled "Updated QRM Proposal Strikes Balance: Preserves Access While Safeguarding Consumers and Market," explains why regulators have struck the right balance by proposing a rule to align the qualified residential mortgage (QRM) rule with the qualified mortgage (QM) rule. The product standards in QM ensure borrowers have access to safe, sustainable mortgages, and those same standards can also protect investors by applying risk retention requirements to loans outside of the QM standard. Aligning the two standards also brings much-needed clarity for mortgage markets, which will help lower costs for consumers.  MORE



Center for American Progress Releases Fact Sheets on Housing Finance Reform


(Courtesy of NHC): Four short fact sheets released by the housing finance team at the Center for American's Progress on October 23 explain some of these technical discussions and why mortgage finance reform has broad and lasting implications for "our economy, housing market, and the opportunities for millions of families." As these fact sheets explain, key questions include the government's role in the system, how to support the development of affordable housing, and ensure access to credit for all communities and creditworthy borrowers. MORE



INNOVATIONS: New App Aims to Improve Landlord Tenant Relationship


(Courtesy of Housing Matters and Chicago Tribune): Chicago's nonprofit Metropolitan Tenants Organization is launching Squared Away Chicago, a Web-based mobile phone app that is designed to help renters and landlords stay in touch, document problems within apartments and create a virtual paper trail if a complaint goes unresolved and an outside party needs to step in to resolve the dispute.  MORE



Comptroller of the Currency Applauds Role of Housing Counselors


In a speech to the National Asian American Coalition, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry discussed the important role housing counselors play in providing prospective home buyers with the knowledge they need to make sound financial decisions in purchasing and maintaining a home. MORE



Share your calendar items with us! Please email Susan Adams at [email protected] with news of your upcoming events.



November 5; 1-4 PM; HomeSafe Georgia representatives to be at Telfair County Job Fair/Career Expo; Telfair County Recreation Building, 408 E. Oak Street, McRae. For more information, please visit www.HomeSafeGeorgia.com

November 8; 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM; Veterans Rally at Atlanta City Hall Atrium; 55 Trinity Avenue, Atlanta, GA  30303.  There will be a program beginning at 10:00 a.m. featuring a flag ceremony by the North Atlanta High School, national anthem by Carlos W. Morgan, MAJ (R), Atlanta StoryCorps, Home Depot Foundation, UPS, and elected officials and leaders working to improve community coordination around veterans supports. 

November 12; 2-5 p.m. HomeSafe Georgia representatives will be at the Veterans Appreciation Fair, Homeowners who are unemployed or underemployed may be eligible for temporary mortgage payment assistance and we encourage potential eligible homeowners to attend one of the events. For more information, please visit www.HomeSafeGeorgia.com.

November 14; 9 AM - 7 PM; Free Workshop for Wells Fargo customers facing mortgage payment challenges.  Georgia International Convention Center, Hall D.  Register by November 12 for this free event HERE. You may also call 1-800-405-8067. MORE

November 21: Bankruptcy Community Education offered by Atlanta Legal Aid Society and Georgia State University's College of Law. Workshop to be held at Georgia State University, College of Law, 140 Decatur St SE, Room 659. Parking is free if you RSVP.




Susan Adams

Piece by Piece Coordinator  



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