Mortgage brokers are seeing more borrowers canceling, more wholesalers abandoning their commitments and fewer loans closing, according to a new survey. The declining activity has many originators submitting the same loan packages to more wholesale lenders.
One-third of broker-originated purchase money closings were canceled last month, Campbell Communications reported. The conclusions were reportedly derived from a survey of 1,744 mortgage brokers conducted from Aug. 23 through Aug. 31.
Campbell said 57 percent of adjustable-rate borrowers with resetting interest rates who were working with a mortgage broker were unable to refinance.
More than half of pending subprime loans, 56 percent, were lost because of problems obtaining mortgage approval, the Washington, D.C.-based firm said. Among subprime borrowers trying to refinance adjustable-rate mortgages, 64 percent could not. This was most often because the loan program was no longer offered or the FICO score was too low, according to the announcement.
Brokers also reported that one in five subprime funding commitments were not met by wholesalers, the statement said. They also noted one in three of the most often used subprime wholesale lenders were no longer accepting new business.
First Franklin Financial Corp. was most often chosen as the subprime wholesaler that brokers plan on using going forward, the report indicated.
Around one in five prime applications canceled -- often prompted by the loan applicant, Campbell reported. Half of adjustable-rate prime borrowers seeking a conforming refinance couldn't refinance -- often because of falling property values.
Among prime wholesalers, Countrywide was chosen by brokers most often as the lender they plan to use on future business, the press release indicated.
Prime jumbo loans, those above the $417,000 conforming limit, have seen loan-to-values tighten to an average of 90 percent, "the lowest of any of the four product categories surveyed," the report stated. The minimum FICO score on jumbo loans rose to 679, "the highest of the four product categories surveyed."
About one-in-seven prime jumbo lenders had reportedly halted business.
Campbell reported broker conforming originations last month were down 20 percent from a year earlier, while Alt-A production was off by nearly half.
Because of market uncertainty, brokers are reportedly submitting borrower loan packages to multiple wholesalers. While the practice is most prevalent on subprime and Alt-A business, it is becoming more common with conforming loans -- with an average of 1.7 applications submitted for each prime loan.
"Our survey shows that the number of home purchase transactions falling through due to the mortgage market disruption was substantial for the month of August," said Thomas Popik, one of the report's authors, in the press release.