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Monday, October 19th, 2020

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Posted by: | Posted on: October 19, 2020

Coronavirus Tanked the Economy. Then Credit Scores Went Up.

Millions of Americans lost their jobs and skipped debt payments this year. You wouldn’t know it looking at consumer credit scores.

While the coronavirus was pummeling the U.S. economy, Americans’ credit scores—a metric used in nearly every consumer-lending decision—were rising. The average FICO credit score stood at 711 in July, up from 708 in April and 706 a year earlier, according to Fair Isaac, the score’s creator. Early estimates suggest the average score has held steady through mid-October at the July level, which is the highest since FICO began keeping track in 2005.

The increase is largely thanks to the unprecedented financial assistance the government and lenders rolled out to consumers after the pandemic took hold in the U.S. Stimulus payments and expanded unemployment benefits helped many borrowers keep up with their bills and, in some cases, even pay down their debt. Widespread payment holidays on mortgages, auto

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Posted by: | Posted on: October 19, 2020

Single Family Rental Operator Front Yard to be Taken Private in $2.4B Deal

Front Yard Residential Corp., a provider of single-family rental housing, is being taken private by alternative investment management firm Pretium and a group of its investors and funds managed by the Real Estate Equity and Alternative Credit strategies of Ares Management Corp. The all cash transaction values Front Yard at $2.4 billion. 

When the deal closes, Pretium says it will be the second-largest owner and operator of SFR properties in the US with a portfolio of more than 55,000 rentals. It also notes that this is the industry’s first public-to-private transaction.

Front Yard had been under pressure to liquidate by at least two of its investorsOcwen Financial and Altisource Portfolio Solutions. The investors argued that Front Yard has not performed satisfactorily and that its stock share should be much higher, according to a report in Mortgage Professional America

Scale is the answer to the company’s woes,

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Posted by: | Posted on: October 19, 2020

Why Are Home Prices Rising So High? Blame Record-Low Mortgage Rates

When the coronavirus pandemic gutted the strongest U.S. economy, many assumed another recession would bring rock-bottom home prices along with it. Instead, home prices defied logical assumptions—and soared to new heights.

Paradoxically enough, one of the biggest drivers of the double-digit price hikes is the very same record-low mortgage interest rates that put homeownership within reach for the masses. They fell to a new all-time low of 2.81% in the week ending Oct. 15, according to Freddie Mac. That’s shaved a considerable amount off of monthly mortgage payments, allowing buyers to stretch their budgets further.

Those get-’em-before-they’re-gone rates are giving folks who are still employed and have been mulling purchasing a new home a bad case of FOMO. Add in months of being cooped up at home, and suddenly there’s a flood of buyers seeking larger homes, often with home offices and big backyards. That’s ratcheted up demand just as

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