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Opinion Ginnie Mae and the politics of prepayments

At the start of 2018, mortgage refinance transactions were about 10% of total volumes. Just eight months later, refinance volumes are 50% of total lending volumes. Some 10 million mortgages are "in the money" for refinancing, according to Black Knight. Will the refi wave last? Who knows.

There is not much visibility on mortgage volumes or prepayment rates much beyond Halloween. Suffice to say that the industry does not need more uncertainty. Wide short-term swings in interest rates — and loan prepayments — that we've all witnessed have serious secondary effects on consumers, lenders, investors and also policymakers.

Last year, National Mortgage News reported how officials at Ginnie Mae were concerned about alleged "churning" of Veterans Affairs loans in Ginnie Mae securities. Specifically, cash-out refinance of VA mortgages with minimal seasoning "are prepaying at rates that are inexplicably high," said Michael Bright, then-acting president of Ginnie Mae who was awaiting congressional confirmation.

Why does the US government subsidize capital gains, mortgage loans, and having children via tax breaks?

As a home owner I would have purchased my house regardless of the interest tax deduction.

As an investor I do not see the diff between me earning money via labor OR capital gains.

If as an investor you see no reason for income from wages and capital gains to be taxed differently, would you then be okay paying the same tax rate that working people pay?

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