Blog

Aug04

Low mortgage rates help home buyers as prices rise — if they can qualify

More space and nearness to family were the main motivations behind Jamie and Alan Rhode’s decision to move from their apartment in Philadelphia’s Fairmount neighborhood to the Plymouth Meeting area. The Rhodes, who both work in finance, planned to rent outside the city for a year or two before buying a house. Then mortgage rates Continue Reading

Aug03

Where a Little Mortgage Goes a Long Way

Affordable homes can be hard to buy because lenders don’t make much money on small loans. But programs to encourage homeownership can help buyers build wealth. The Shawnee neighborhood in Louisville, Ky., is a paradox: The houses are affordable, but they can be difficult to buy. The prices are so low that most banks and Continue Reading

Jul20

African Americans got left out of the urban economic boom

Over the past couple of decades, American cities replaced their abandoned downtowns with gleaming new residential developments, fancy restaurants, and office buildings with high-paying jobs. On average, the economies of the biggest metro areas in the US doubled in size between 2001 and 2018, according to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. But Black Americans were Continue Reading

Jul17

Congressional hearing: Servicers dropped the ball on forbearance clarity

Also discussed racial disparity in forbearance offerings. The House Financial Services Subcommittee on oversight and investigations held a hearing on Thursday examining how servicers provided clarity and information on the CARES Act and forbearance options for borrowers. The discussion, titled “Protecting Homeowners During the Pandemic: Oversight of Mortgage Servicers Implementation of the CARES Act” also investigated disproportionately affected lower Continue Reading

Jun19

Who Were the Buffalo Soldiers?

Following the U.S. Civil War, regiments of African American men known as buffalo soldiers served on the western frontier, battling Indians and protecting settlers. The buffalo soldiers included two regiments of all-black cavalry, the 9th and 10th cavalries, formed after Congress passed legislation in 1866 that allowed African Americans to enlist in the country’s regular peacetime military. The legislation also Continue Reading

Jun19

The Thorny History of Reparations in the United States

In the 20th century, the country issued reparations for Japanese American internment, Native land seizures, massacres and police brutality. Will slavery be next? The papers were handed out one by one to the elderly recipients—most frail, some in wheelchairs. To some, it may have looked like a run-of-the-mill governmental ceremony with the usual federal fanfare. Continue Reading

Jun19

America’s History of Slavery Began Long Before Jamestown

The arrival of the first captives to the Jamestown Colony, in 1619, is often seen as the beginning of slavery in America—but enslaved Africans arrived in North America as early as the 1500s. In late August 1619, the White Lion, an English privateer commanded by John Jope, sailed into Point Comfort and dropped anchor in the James Continue Reading

Jun19

Credit Reporting in the U.S. During the COVID-19 Pandemic

FICO has been working closely with lenders and partners to provide awareness of reporting options. We at FICO recognize the significant challenges faced by both borrowers and lenders in these extraordinary times. We’ve been working closely with lenders as well as our Credit Reporting Agency (CRA) partners throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to provide awareness of Continue Reading

Jun19

How Literacy Became a Powerful Weapon in the Fight to End Slavery

Following Nat Turner’s rebellion of 1831, legislation to limit black people’s access to education intensified. But enslaved people found ways to learn. On August 21, 1831, enslaved Virginian Nat Turner led a bloody revolt, which changed the course of American history. The uprising in Southampton County led to the killing of an estimated 55 white people, resulting Continue Reading

Jun17

Minorities and mortgages: Black leaders’ thoughts on closing the racial divide

Dispiriting. Disgusting. Disorienting. However one chooses to frame the events sparked by George Floyd’s killing at the hands of the Minneapolis police on May 25, the underlying cause is clear: America’s racial divide, a ragged, gaping, self-inflicted wound that has been allowed to fester for centuries, has poisoned the country. At a time when medical Continue Reading

Jun16

Open House Precautions to Take During the COVID-19 Outbreak

The coronavirus outbreak naturally has many real estate agents on edge. For most agents, face-to-face interaction — often with customers from out of town or even out of the country — are a regular part of day-to-day business. It also poses a conundrum when considering one of the industry’s most long-held real estate marketing practices: Continue Reading

Jun16

How the housing finance industry can help the black community: NAREB

The housing and mortgage industries can and should respond to George Floyd’s death, the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus and other issues the black community faces, according to the National Association of Real Estate Brokers. “While we are grieved at the passing of yet another black man, George Floyd, at the hands of a few Continue Reading

Jun16

Why lenders are wary of FHA’s terms for buying loans with forbearance

Lenders are concerned about a risk requirement imposed by a recent Federal Housing Administration measure aimed at opening up homeownership opportunities that might otherwise be threatened by coronavirus-related developments. The FHA is temporarily willing to insure mortgages that go into forbearance due to COVID-19 hardships. But in exchange, lenders must agree to be on the hook for Continue Reading

Jun11

Virus, protests reflect white-black economic gap in US

Washington — The United States has been here before, staring into the deep chasm that divides white and black Americans. It happened after cities burned in 1967, after Los Angeles erupted with the 1992 acquittal of police officers who beat Rodney King, after the 2014 police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. After those upheavals Continue Reading

Jun03

Analysis: Five things Corporate America can do besides tweeting to combat racism

New York (CNN Business)Major companies have expressed solidarity with the collective plight of African Americans this week following the horrifying murder by police of George Floyd a week ago and the national chaos that has erupted in its wake. For many black Americans, however, the corporate tweets, executive memos and statements on combating racism ring hollow from companies that too often have baked systemic racism into Continue Reading

May28

In Letter to Congress: Black Wealth 2020 Sends Plea for Unity in Pandemic Relief

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – As the U. S. House of Representatives awaits the political fate of another multi-trillion dollar coronavirus relief bill, called the “Heroes Act”, Black Wealth 2020 (BW2020), a national catalyst for economic justice for African-Americans, is pressing Congressional leaders to unify for equity for the millions of pandemic victims who have yet to receive Continue Reading

May21

Under Cover of COVID, Regulator Rolls Back Community Reinvestment Act Rules

As NPQ has noted, the federal government has regularly used the pandemic as cover to surreptitiously implement unpopular policy changes. In March, this meant rolling back mileage rules for cars. This month, it means rolling back rules that promote bank investment in low and moderate-income communities, and especially communities of color, even if the rhetoric of modernization is employed Continue Reading

May20

SBA Releases PPP Forgiveness Application and Makes Critical Clarifications and Documentation Requirements

There is now improved guidance on calculation methods, definitions of forgivable expenses and the documents that must be submitted with the forgiveness request. The SBA released its Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and clarified a few critical definitions and documentation requirements in their instructions. The forgiveness application is completed by the small-business borrower and is Continue Reading

May19

New pandemic rules make it easier to navigate mortgage closings

For the past five years Pat Kinsel, CEO of Notarize, chiseled away at getting his remote online notarization (RON) technology used in the housing industry to make the mortgage process faster and easier. He made sure it met industry standards, including the ability to sell mortgages on the secondary market using RON. What took Kinsel years Continue Reading

May15

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources

Health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people. Small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy. Coronavirus Funding Options Click here to learn more about available SBA loan and debt relief options. Our nation’s small businesses are Continue Reading