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The Mortgage Graveyard
Failed, closed and a c q u i r e d mortgage-related entities.

Mortgage-Related Failures On Track for 7-Year Low

15 mortgage-related closings in Q1

April 15, 2013

By Mortgage Daily staff

This year is on track to see the fewest number of mortgage-related casualties in seven years. First-quarter bank failures were the slowest of any quarter since prior to the financial crisis. But quarterly credit union casualties exceeded the number of bank failures and climbed to the highest level in a year.

During the first three months of this year, 15 mortgage-related companies either failed or were closed down. The total is based on failures and closings tracked by Mortgage Daily.

The casualty rate deteriorated from the fourth-quarter 2012, when just 13 businesses called it quits.

But activity has slowed from the first-quarter 2012, when 27 entities went out of business.

Q1 2013
Q4 2012
Q1 2012
Non-Bank Closings 6 1 4
Bank Failures (FDIC) 4 8 16
Credit Union Failures 5 4 7
Total 15 13 27

The first-quarter total included six non-banks that closed down.

Among non-bank activity was Edward Jones Mortgage LLC. The unit, which was a joint venture between Wells Fargo & Co. and Edward Jones established in 1998, was one of several joint ventures dissolved by Wells Fargo as a result of "marketing conditions and the impact of the regulatory environment on business."

Other non-bank closings included PowerLink Settlement, which is a joint venture between Homeward Residential and Fidelity National Financial, and foreclosure processor Prommis Holdings.

Also among the obituaries were four federally insured banks. It was the slowest quarter for bank failures since before the height of the financial crisis in the second-quarter 2008 -- when just two financial institutions that were insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. were closed down by bank regulators.

In addition, five credit union failures were tracked in the first quarter of this year, exceeding the number of bank failures -- though credit union failures tend to involve financial institutions that are much smaller than banks. The last time that this many credit unions closed in one three-month period was the first-quarter 2012, when seven were handed over to the National Credit Union Administration.

At the current pace of mortgage-related casualties, around 60 mortgage-related companies are likely to close this year -- fewer than the 83 businesses that shut down in 2012 and the fewest since 2006 -- when just 32 mortgage-related operations fell.

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