Mortgage Mix: Black Knight Wins $155 Million Arbitration; Refi on the Rise

Editor’s Note: The Mortgage Mix is RISMedia’s weekly highlight reel of need-to-know mortgage-industry happenings. Watch for it each Friday. 

Freddie Mac announced a new down payment assistance push, standardizing and streamlining the process for borrowers to receive financial help when purchasing a house. A Freddie executive called the new procedures a big step toward “clarity and consistency.”

Rates continue to fall, approaching 7% this week, according to Freddie Mac, as real estate professionals and mortgage brokers hope the lower rates will revitalize a lagging winter market.

-Unsurprisingly, lower rates have resulted in more applications—only modestly so far, though economists are especially hopeful about a jump in refinancing.

California-based lender Penny Mac must pay $155 million to Black Knight, an arbitrator ruled. The major mortgage lender has been accused of stealing trade secrets from Black Knight, according to National Mortgage News, and that dispute is likely to continue in court.

-In other legal news, CrossCountry Mortgage won a significant victory this week as a judge dismissed a lawsuit by former employees, according to National Mortgage News, who claimed the company failed to pay them, and tried to claw back bonuses. It was not clear if the employees would appeal the ruling.

Reverse mortgages are not usually fodder for primetime TV. But last week, variety comedy program “The Daily Show” took a critical look at the practice, and offered some unflattering commentary on industry practices, according to Reverse Mortgage Daily, including mockery of celebrity spokesman Tom Selleck.

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