Author: Jeremy Bagott

Fannie, Freddie's Offshore Gambit Imperils Privacy of Millions 27

Fannie, Freddie’s Offshore Gambit Imperils Privacy of Millions

The offshore firm will data-mine millions of images showing the personal spaces of U.S. homeowners and tenants.  Fearing the Chinese government could access sensitive user data through the video app TikTok, House lawmakers passed a bill last month that would ban the app if it isn’t sold to new owners. But a greater peril looms. Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are reportedly “bench-testing” an arrangement with a foreign AI firm in which the offshore firm will data-mine millions of images showing the personal spaces of U.S. homeowners and tenants. If your home was appraised for a refinance or...

Government-Sponsored Mortgage Giant Fannie Flouts Law 14

Fannie Wants to Script Conclusions of Outside Analyst – Believes It Is Above the Law

Government-sponsored mortgage giant Fannie Mae is essentially forcing banks to repurchase any loan it wants if [the appraiser] refuses to use the comparables Fannie has selected.  [The corporation] was created by the government, is controlled by the government, and operates for the government’s benefit,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy in a unanimous Supreme Court ruling in 2015. He was describing passenger rail hegemon Amtrak, but he could easily have been describing government-sponsored mortgage giant Fannie Mae. The Roberts Court held the National Railroad Passenger Corporation – known more commonly as Amtrak – was a government entity for the purposes of the...

Fannie Mae to State of Maryland: DROP DEAD 32

Fannie Mae to Maryland: DROP DEAD

Mortgage giant Fannie Mae and her twin, Freddie Mac, have a message for the State of Maryland: Kindly disintegrate. A snubbed Maryland task force is close to filing its report to the governor. It attempted, in vain, to obtain detailed information about the government-sponsored twins’ valuation algorithms – tools that have replaced many home appraisals in the Old-Line State and resulted, some contend, in a feedback loop and run-up in home prices. The task force was formed on the reasonable premise that the state has an interest in the twins’ activities, since Marylanders will be left with the clean-up costs,...

Federal Officials Team up with Freddie, Fannie to Deceive Investors | The Censorship of Appraisers 34

The Censorship of Appraisers

Thirty-seven hours after President Biden took the oath of office, White House officials met with executives at social media companies. The officials threatened restraint-of-trade lawsuits and regulatory action if the companies failed to censor what the White House deemed “misinformation.” In a parallel development, we can now connect the dots that similar talks occurred among White House officials, employees of government-sponsored mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and private vendors to throttle the protected speech of individuals and firms in the mortgage industry engaged specifically for their independence. The latter serve as bulwarks in federally backed mortgage transactions. In...

Obscure Federal Official Has Hatched ‘Sick Chicken’ in Housing Sector 18

Obscure Federal Official Has Hatched ‘Sick Chicken’ in Housing Sector

The case eventually found its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where it came to be known to the public as the “Sick Chicken Case”  It was the Great Depression’s bleakest year – 1933. At President Roosevelt’s urging, Congress passed the National Industrial Recovery Act, a New Deal bill that partially ceded lawmaking authority to private organizations and industry boards to develop codes of conduct that would then be enforced on citizens as binding law. The owners of poultry producer Schechter Poultry Corp. were indicted for violating the new private business code for the poultry industry. The chicken men lawyered...

Ken Mullinix Has Become a Figure From a Kafka Novel 7

At Federal Agency, The Mayhem Is the Message

Mullinix has become a student of the “Title VIII Complaint Intake, Investigation, and Conciliation Handbook (8024.1).” The handbook is designed to protect citizens from overzealous federal workers. He found section after section had been violated in his own investigation by the HUD contractor.  Czech-German author Franz Kafka wrote “The Trial” in 1915. The novel is a reflection on bureaucracy, power and absurdity. Its protagonist, Josef, is arrested and prosecuted by a mysterious and inaccessible authority for a crime that is never revealed to him or the reader. It’s a man’s journey through an incomprehensible and dehumanizing landscape. Ken Mullinix has...

HUD Mulls Use of Convicted Felons to Ramp Up 'Discrimination Testing' 29

HUD’s Use of Convicted Felons to Ramp Up ‘Discrimination Testing’

It wants to bootstrap released felons by allowing them to work as so-called “fair-housing testers” for the many nonprofits HUD provides grants to… If the rule is changed, the HUD-subsidized nonprofits could hire felons to ramp up sting operations against real estate brokers, leasing agents, mortgage loan officers, escrow officers, title officers, appraisers, property managers and others.  Few would argue that society doesn’t benefit when convicted felons are rehabilitated and re-integrated. But according to a frequently cited study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, about two-thirds of released prisoners are arrested for a new crime within 3 years, and three-quarters...

Reindeer Standards As Unenforceable As Appraisal Code 8

Reindeer Standards As Unenforceable As Appraisal Code

There’s a lot to like about the bylaws of the Association of World Reindeer Herders. The code defines how herders promote professional, commercial and cultural contact in all matters related to reindeer herding. The document sets the gold standard for disseminating information world over about reindeer husbandry. The bylaws were approved at the first Congress of World Reindeer Herders on March 2, 1997. If you don’t like the 1997 version of the bylaws, there’s a 2001 version, a 2009 version and a 2013 version. Are the group’s bylaws enforceable in the United States? No. As commendable and insightful as they...

Fannie's Loan Buyback Sophistry Relies on Modifying Analysts' Behavior 9

Fannie’s Loan Buyback Sophistry Relies on Modifying Analysts’ Behavior

“Many of the repurchase letters make no sense,” said the insider. If analysts don’t write enough defects on those files, they get hammered. If analysts fall short of their peers in “production points,” it’s considered their fault, said the insider.  At the heart of Fannie Mae’s valuation system is a tool that shunts a subset of the millions of loans purchased by the mortgage giant each year into a “high risk” pool. Fannie then pressures and incentivizes a corps of in-house analysts to create further doubt about the loans in order to send repurchase demands to lenders for up to...

Finding of Bias in Home Valuations Fails by Own Measure 34

Finding of Bias in Home Valuations Fails by Own Measure

To the surprise of no one, their redacted study found that what Perry et al. had characterized as race-based differences in home valuations were almost entirely due to socio-economic status, not racial bias by real estate appraisers. In an updated refutation of the findings of Brookings Institution researcher Andre Perry, Edward Pinto and Tobias Peter of the AEI Housing Center demonstrated just how broken the Brookings research was. Perry’s 2018 research, titled “The Devaluation of Assets in Black Neighborhoods,” pinned the nation’s racial wealth gap on 80,000 state-licensed real property appraisers. Unfortunately, these now-discredited findings have been levered by housing-industry...

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