Articles from The Massachusetts Focus
Newsletter of Stewart Title Guaranty Company, Massachusetts Offices
Winter 2004, Volume 3, Number 1
by Thomas M. Flynn, Vice President and New England Division Manager
HUD Delivers RESPA Rule to OMB
The Department of Housing and Urban Development recently sent its final rule on RESPA reform to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for its review. OMB will now review HUD's final regulations before details of the new rule are made public. The American Land Title Association (ALTA) leadership met with representatives of OMB to express their view that the market is moving towards the bundling of package services without a rule, and that promulgating final regulations now could disrupt the real estate and mortgage finance sectors of the economy.
Industry experts say the outlook of the housing industry for 2004 remains strong. They expect purchase-money volume to be close to the volume of 2003, but slightly higher interest rates will cause a more than 50% drop in refinance obligations. The result will be an approximate drop in total originations from last year of 40%.
Stewart Title Broadens Market to Reach Hispanic Home Owners
Of the 12 million Hispanic households in the U.S., 48.8% now own their own homes, and that rate is growing more quickly than that of the general U.S. population. Recognizing this growing rate of Hispanic home ownership, Stewart Title is reaching out to the Hispanic community with several marketing programs, Spanish-language title policies, Spanish-English real estate glossaries, etc. Stewart provides educational brochures in Spanish, covering topics as "Why Title Insurance," "Selling Your Home," and 'Moving Done Right."