-With a potential government shutdown looming this weekend, mortgage lenders are preparing for potential disruptions, mostly affecting transactions that require federal flood insurance—though the potential fallout is still unclear.
–Mortgage rates reached a two-decade high this week, with the 30-year fixed climbing to an average of 7.31%, according to Freddie Mac. This comes despite a pause in rate hikes from the Federal Reserve earlier this month.
-The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a detailed report on how mortgage lending changed in 2022, finding that borrowers paid more fees while also purchasing more discount points.
-The ongoing Justice Department Redlining Initiative announced another major settlement with Washington Trust, a lender based in Rhode Island, agreeing to pay $9 million after being accused of “engag(ing) in a pattern or practice of lending discrimination” in majority Black and Hispanic areas.
–In other legal news, a class action lawsuit in Texas filed by consumers who charged fees for using the phone to make FHA mortgage payments ended with a summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs. Lenders will no longer be able to charge these fees in Texas, a state court ruled.
-Fannie Mae this week introduced HomeView en Español, an online platform meant to guide Spanish-speaking families on the path to homeownership. The free platform will include educational courses and content to help with credit building.