Prudential Volume Up 32%
Commercial mortgage production jumped last year at Prudential Mortgage Capital Co.
M.I. Activity Worsens
The number of mortgage insurance policies written last month fell as defaults rose.
HUD Terminates Georgia Lender
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has eliminated the ability of a Georgia-based mortgage company branch to originate government-insured loans.
Refis Strong, Rates Worse
Refinance applications headed higher as purchase activity fell and mortgage rates worsened.
BoA Names New Chief for Mortgage Unit
Bank of America Corp. has announced a new leader for its mortgage operation once it completes its upcoming acquisition of Countrywide Financial Corp.
Subprime Performance Deteriorates
Two major ratings agencies reported further deterioration has been observed on subprime loans backing securitizations from 2006 and 2007 -- leading one of the agencies to take negative actions on over $270 billion in residential mortgage-backed securities.
Pain Felt Domestically and Abroad
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has joined class action law firms in accusing financial services firms of misrepresenting financial results. Meanwhile, overseas banks continue to feel the pain from U.S. mortgage investments.
Mixed Results at Flagstar
Flagstar Bancorp Inc., which had another quarterly loss, saw quarterly originations ease and delinquency jump. But the company said its mortgage market share improved and noted a number of positive developments.
Lenders Expand Tech Services
Recent technological innovations include the integration of compliance functions into a widely used loan origination system, the launch of an LOS that converts standard loan files into reverse loan files and the adoption by one mortgage company of a loan search engine with over 12,000 programs.
60,000 Reports of Fraud Likely in 2008
This year, reports of mortgage fraud are on track to reach 60,000, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation -- which had more than 1,000 open cases last year.
Mortgage Spam is Back
A recent decline in mortgage rates has caused a surge in e-mail Spam activity. The unwanted messages could wind up hindering legitimate communications between originators, lenders and prospective borrowers.
Layoffs, Consolidations Continue
Nearly 100 mortgage jobs have been cut in the wake of two companies cutting back on their California operations. And a Wisconsin brokerage that employed 45 and did more than $1 billion in loans just two years ago has also closed.
Rough Outlook for CMBS Servicers
Amid continued downgrading of subprime residential mortgage-backed securities, commercial MBS servicers face a challenging environment as delinquency is expected to double over the next year and the ability to unload assets deteriorates.
Groups Attack Mortgage Bankers
Mortgage bankers and consumer groups battled it out in congressional hearings today, arguing about how enabling bankruptcy judges to modify mortgages would impact borrowers and the mortgage market. Meanwhile, as more foreclosure prevention programs are launched, another group has started a campaign against a major servicer it claims is only exacerbating the foreclosure crisis.
Eliminating Mortgage Fraud Losses
A fraud prevention company has released a White Paper that discusses how mortgage companies can reduce losses resulting from mortgage fraud.
Lenders Launched, Closed & Merged
The government shut down one bank and approved a merger between two others. Meanwhile, as Countrywide Financial Corp. grapples with losses and the exit package for its chief, a Florida mortgage company was launched and a Texas-based mortgage company is investing in adjustable-rate loans.
Fannie Volume, Delinquency Rise
Business purchases, delinquency and the duration gap all increased at Fannie Mae last month.
Foreclosure Filings Continue Climbing
The holidays saw no reprieve for borrowers facing foreclosures, with filings increasing in December from the prior month. Quarterly figures, however, were up only slightly while annual filings soared.
Bank United Slashes Wholesale Jobs
A consolidation at Bank United Financial Corp.'s wholesale lending operation will apparently result in less than 200 layoffs. The job cuts were disclosed as the company reported an increase in its provision for loan losses wiped out net income.
First Horizon to Cut Construction Lending Jobs
The closing of a national home builder financing division will result in more than 150 layoffs at First Horizon National Corp.
Enhancements to LOS, CRM, AU & Other Tech
An updated loan origination system enables mortgage bankers to service loans pending sale on the secondary market. Meanwhile, a new customer relationship management system is expected to increase revenue at one loan shop by as much as 30 percent.
Branch Manager Funds Gone
|Commercial Mortgage Tracker
A single commercial mortgage firm was responsible for all but one of the 10 commercial transactions tracked during the past five days.
Former branch managers of bankrupt First Magnus Financial Corp. may be fighting a losing battle to recover funds they thought they had been accumulating as part of their branch agreements over the years -- with one manager's lawsuit seeking more than $300,000. And other former employees may be in the same boat in their efforts to recover salaries, commissions, fees and other income due from their final weeks at the company.
Losses Undermine Mortgage Market
Three recent mortgage and banking acquisitions were overshadowed by ongoing mortgage related losses, debt rating downgrades and an involuntary bankruptcy for a former subprime lender. Meanwhile, the state of Ohio is suing Freddie Mac for allegedly hiding its subprime exposure from investors.
Biggest Mortgage Lenders
Among the five biggest U.S. mortgage lenders last year, three saw their originations fall from the previous year.
FHA Limits Set
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced loan limits for government-insured loans, though they might not last long.
Citi Proceeds With Mortgage Layoffs
CitiMortgage has notified around 180 employees that their jobs will be eliminated by this summer.
Residential Ratings Activity Contrasts Commercial
Residential mortgage-backed securities issued from 2004 through 2007 and backed by first liens, second liens and Alt-A loans saw negative ratings actions recently. And while two commercial-backed deals also saw negative actions, a number of tranches were upgraded.
Depression Era Solution to Foreclosures
A proposal is being drafted to create a federal government entity that would refinance mortgages bought from lenders at deep discounts -- a strategy that proved to be effective during the Great Depression.
Emergency Action May Boost Loan Limits
House and Senate Democrats have worked out an economic stimulus package with the president that includes an increase to conforming and government loan limits.
The Foreclosure Ledger
Help may be on the way for borrowers facing foreclosure in Minneapolis, Maine and California -- though it may require concessions by mortgage companies.
Mixed Results for Freddie
Monthly and annual business purchases jumped at Freddie Mac, though quarterly volume was down and delinquency was higher.
National City Production, Earnings Tank
National City Corp., which has ceased reporting home equity origination volume, performed poorly in the latest quarter. Mortgage production fell, losses soared and delinquency rose.
15-Year Falls Below 5%
Mortgage rates continued to tumble -- with the 15-year fixed-rate falling below 5%. Meanwhile, refinance activity surged for the third consecutive week.
New Wachovia Mortgage President
Wachovia Corp. announced that a 20-year veteran of the company will head its mortgage subsidiary.
States Modify, Clarify New Legislation
Loan originators in New York and California face new state regulations, while new legislation in several other states has created confusion or concern -- leading some of the states to provide further clarification or make modifications.
Technology Advances Go On
A number of mortgage lending firms have adopted new technology, while a number of mortgage technology providers have announced advancements. Among the latest activity is the implementation of a loan origination system by a new correspondent lender.
Texas Branches Acquired
A Texas-based company has acquired 15 branches and hired over 100 branch employees.
Production Improves at SunTrust
|Retail Tops Commercial Deals
Around $417 million in recent commercial mortgages were tracked by MortgageDaily.com. Among the latest activity was $171 million in retail financing, $107 million in office deals and $66 million in multifamily loans.
Quarterly residential originations edged higher at SunTrust Banks Inc., though earnings sank.
FHA Expansion Sought For Mfg Homes
A trade group is calling for program options on manufactured home loans, which account for just a fraction of U.S. mortgage production, to be expanded.
Positive Ratings Actions Emerge
A capital infusion at a bond insurer helped generate positive ratings actions on dozens of classes from residential securitizations. But there was still no shortage of negative actions.
Worse Wachovia Performance
Mortgage originations were off at Wachovia Corp. as net income deteriorated.
10-Year Yield Tumbles
The last time the 10-year yield was as low as it was this morning, the country was in the midst of the biggest refinance wave in its history.
BoA Originations Off, Earnings Tumble
Bank of America Corp. mortgage production drifted lower, though earnings tumbled.
Nearly 150 Mortgage Operations Collapse in 2007
The failure of almost 150 mortgage operations was chronicled last year by the Mortgage Graveyard.
Some Good News Emerges
Residential Capital LLC's parent said it expects the company didn't break any financial covenants last month. And, even as international losses continued to mount from U.S. subprime problems, an Asian banking company was approved to establish operations in America.
2 Wholesalers Scale Back Offerings
Stand alone second mortgages and jumbo loans were removed from the program menus of two wholesale lenders last week.
The Net Branch Journal
Net branches have been hit especially hard by the mortgage crisis. Still, some branch operations are growing.
Wells Cuts Mortgage Tech Jobs
Iowa layoffs resulting from the reorganization of a multi-year project at Wells Fargo & Co. will push to nearly 900 the mortgage job cuts since 2006.
Global Subprime Losses May Top $450 Billion
Estimates of international losses from U.S. subprime mortgages range from over $100 billion to more than $450 billion.
Foreclosure War Rages On
While the number of U.S. foreclosures has reached a startling level, so have the efforts by servicers to prevent them. And overwhelmed counseling agencies are seeing more resources headed their way.
Tech Advances Go on Despite Decreased Spending
Despite a significant drop in technology spending projected for the mortgage industry, innovations, alliances and other activity continue. While most of the recent advancements are not groundbreaking, they generally reflect enhanced features for existing mortgage technology and increased interaction between vendors.
WaMu Originations Tank
Washington Mutual Inc. saw mortgage quarterly originations tumble. Earnings also worsened.
Embezzlement Topples Net Branch
A nationwide mortgage banking company, with some 650 employees in 85 branches, has stopped funding loans and paying employees in the wake of the alleged embezzlement of $4 million by the chief financial officer, a branch manager told MortgageDaily.com.
Rates, Apps at Best Levels in Years
Led by growing demand for refinance loans as some mortgage rates fell to the lowest level in more than two years, mortgage application volume rose to the highest level in almost four years. But industry insiders project the low rates won't last for long.
Aurora Exits Third Party Originations
Following its exit from subprime wholesale lending last September, Lehman Brothers is now abandoning conforming and Alt-A third party originations. The move will impact 1,300 people.
First Horizon Performance Declines
Quarterly earnings sank at First Horizon National Corp. as residential fundings fell and delinquency rose.
Alt-A Ratings Continue to be Slammed
As the assault on Alt-A ratings continued, negative actions accelerated on commercial deals.
Huge Subprime Writedowns at Merrill
Merrill Lynch reported a quarterly loss of nearly $10 billion as a result of subprime related charges.
M&A, Losses & Stock Sales Accelerate
Mergers and acquisitions have heated up, with one firm proposing to go private and another looking to become the biggest bank in Wyoming. But it was the Bank of America deal to acquire Countrywide Financial Corp. that has drawn the sharpest criticism. Meanwhile, as more writedowns are taken, financial firms are seeking more capital from investors in the United States and abroad.
U.S. Bancorp Business Better
U.S. Bank Home Mortgage pushed mortgage production higher.
As one company increased capital for loans on distressed properties, two others seek to profit from reselling loans they recently bought.
Wells Production Down
Quarterly production fell again at Wells Fargo & Co.
Chase Activity Holds Up
JPMorgan Chase & Co. reported solid quarterly mortgage production and record annual earnings and said it expects to increase its mortgage market share. But it still has significant exposure to Alt-A holdings and delinquency is on the rise.
Record Reverse Originations
Despite a decline in overall mortgage originations, reverse mortgage production increased last year.
IndyMac Cuts Another 2,400 Jobs
Just four months after eliminating 1,000 jobs, the chief of IndyMac Bancorp Inc. warned employees another 2,403 jobs would be cut and more layoffs may be on the way. The company projects this year's production to be less than half the level it was in 2006.
|Commercial Mortgage Bonanza
Commercial mortgage brokers and lenders have recently been busy with mortgages on multifamily, retail and office properties. Still, industrial properties and one land deal also found financing.
Discounts on initial rates for prime adjustable-rate mortgages have diminished, making them less attractive compared to fixed rates and pushing down their popularity, according to a new report.
Three More Out of Business
Another three mortgage firms have closed their doors and dropped out of business.
Citi Scrambling to Shore Up Capital
Citigroup Inc. suffered a massive quarterly loss and is receiving a capital injection from a host of international investors. The financial services behemoth, which said it will slash its dividend, reported that residential fundings tumbled.
Chase Wholesale Exits Alt-A, Eliminates Programs
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is making sweeping changes to its wholesale lending programs -- including the elimination of Alternative-A programs, the reduction of loan-to-values in declining markets and an increase in the required minimum credit scores on some programs.
Alt-A Performance Continues Deterioration
Deteriorating performance on Alt-A loans led to negative ratings actions on 51 residential mortgage-backed securities. Subprime certificates also saw negative ratings actions.
Originations to Continue Decline Through 2009
While home sales and home prices are expected to bottom out later this year, the nation's mortgage bankers don't see any improvement in the mortgage business through next year. Purchase originations, however, are expected to pick up before refinance production.
Lenders Warn of Q4 Charges
As fourth quarter earnings reports begin to emerge, the news isn't good. But despite the current environment, one class action law firm is questioning whether Bank of America Corp.'s proposed acquisition of Countrywide Financial Corp. is a fair deal for shareholders.
Cleveland Suing Securitizers, Lenders
The city of Cleveland, stung by declining property tax revenues, is attempting to reach into the deep pockets of Wall Street firms. The city has filed a lawsuit against 21 mortgage lenders and investment bankers.
Baltimore v. Wells Fargo
The city of Baltimore last week filed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo in federal trial court, charging the ubiquitous lender with targeting Baltimore's minority neighborhoods with mortgage loans that are unfair and discriminatory. But the company denied the charges, saying that it prices loans based on risk, not race.
NovaStar at End of Rope
NovaStar Financial Inc. is laying off all but 30 employees and may be done with mortgage lending.
First NLC Folding
The parent of First NLC Financial Services LLC has had enough.
Alt-A, Commercial Deals Downgraded
In addition to a number of Alt-A deals that saw negative actions taken on their ratings, three commercial deals were downgraded or placed on review for downgrades. But two commercial deals saw positive ratings activity.
Broker Programs Flourish
Several wholesale lenders are boosting their reverse mortgage offerings, including expanded LIBOR based programs and jumbo loan amounts. Meanwhile, two commercial wholesalers are reaching out to broker correspondents and two other wholesalers are launching with programs that include FHA, Alt-A and hard money loans.
Mortgage Leads Marketplace
Two mortgage lead generation companies are targeting buyers of reverse mortgage leads while another is capitalizing on interest rate resets. Originators in the Sunshine State now have a source to sell dead leads to.
BoA Agrees to Acquire Countrywide
The largest U.S. mortgage lender just got bigger.
Losses, Mergers & Alliances
As mortgage-related companies continue to bleed capital, one merger closed, an alliance was forged and two public offerings have been planned for a single company.
Rates, Apps Better
As weak economic reports prompted long term rates to sink to the lowest level in over two years, a flurry of mortgage hunters, mostly those seeking to refinance, raided originator shops.
BoA Negotiating Countrywide Acquisition
Bank of America Corp. has emerged as a possible White Knight for ailing Countrywide Financial Corp. The deal would represent quite a bargain for BoA, which was rumored to be considering the same acquisition one year ago when shares of the mortgage banker were priced at more than five times their current level.
Layoffs from Citi Consolidation Not Yet Known
Layoffs and charges from Citigroup's integration of ACC Capital Holdings' former wholesale unit into its own residential subsidiary are not yet known, but the overhauled operation is expected to handle mortgages from origination to securitization.
Countrywide, IndyMac Shut Out by Warehouser
A Texas-based provider of warehouse lines is removing Countrywide Home Loans and IndyMac Bank from its approved investor list because movement in their share prices resembles that of other imploded lenders.
A pair of mortgage companies have settled claims they were using unlicensed software. Other mortgage technology activity included the expansion of two transaction platforms and the enhancement of digital loan documentation.
Alt-A RMBS Get Slammed
Negative actions were taken on ratings for several Alt-A residential-mortgage backed securities since Tuesday even as commercial ratings actions were all positive.
Multifamily M.I. Premium Increase Nixed
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has decided to rescind an increase in multifamily mortgage insurance premiums.
Foreclosure Relief Widens
Programs and plans to mitigate foreclosures have recently expanded. More money has been donated, more servicers have joined with groups to prevent foreclosures, and more programs are being expanded. In addition, U.S. securities regulators have clarified the impact on qualified special purpose entities of making loan modifications.
Record State Settlement
Nationstar Mortgage LLC settled with Kentucky charges it employed unregistered loan officers. The settlement was the biggest ever for the state's mortgage regulators.
Lender Broker Merge, Countrywide Denies BK Rumors
A mortgage lender and mortgage broker have merged to create a company that is expected to originate around $120 million annually. Other boardroom activity included Countrywide Financial Corp.'s denial of a planned bankruptcy and Bear Stearns Co.'s replacement of its top executive.
Wholesalers Hit With Giant Judgment
A Missouri jury has socked a unit of Residential Capital LLC with $92.0 million in punitive damages over illegal second mortgage fees allegedly collected by the defunct California mortgage broker that sold ResCap the loans. Two other wholesale lenders that also acquired loans from the broker were also hit with punitive and actual damages.
Mixed Volume, Worse Delinquency at Countrywide
Quarterly originations tumbled again at Countrywide Financial Corp., though monthly fundings were higher for the third consecutive month. Meanwhile, delinquency and foreclosures soared to the highest level in years.
McCain Supports Mortgage Investors
Sen. John McCain, fresh off his New Hampshire victory, is concerned about a number of issues in mortgage banking.
Bankruptcy Documents Questioned
Countrywide Home Loan Inc. is denying it tried to "fabricate" documents in the case of Pennsylvania borrower facing foreclosure who filed bankruptcy.
Net Branch Growing
Job additions will exceed 200 at a Texas-based mortgage firm during 2007 and 2008.
Outsourcing Costs Mortgage Jobs
Mortgage loan operation employees were released last month at a Michigan bank.
Service Prevents Multi-Closings on 1 Property
A fraud prevention service has reportedly helped mortgage lenders avoid $40 million in mortgage fraud during the first year after it was launched.
FHA Appraiser Approvals
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued a final rule on appraisers approved to conduct appraisals for loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration.
Marketing to Baby Boomers
A recent study highlights some unique aspects of marketing financial services to baby boomers online.
RMBS Downgrades Down
The pace negative ratings actions on residential mortgage-backed securities was slow during the first week of 2008. Two commercial deals saw upgrades.
Wachovia Lays Off But Boosts Salesforce
The Golden State saw dozens of mortgage call center job cuts by Wachovia Corp., though almost half turned into sales jobs.
Execs Shuffled as Losses Mount
Earnings continue to dominate the board rooms of U.S. mortgage related companies, though some executive shuffling occurred during the most recent week.
Mortgage Technology Journal
Marketing, commercial loan servicing and foreclosing were among the latest functions to move into the digital age. Meanwhile, technology vendors continue to jostle for mortgage customers and banks continue to make their offerings available on smaller devices.
Lenders Losing Lawsuits
Borrowers appear to be winning a number of lawsuits filed against mortgage companies, an analysis of previously covered litigation by MortgageDaily.com indicated. Two of the cases are seeking to stave off foreclosures while another is targeting fees charged by state regulated lenders in Maryland. One lawsuit accuses several lenders of steering black borrowers into higher cost loans.
Mortgage Job Analysis by State and Company
Fueled by massive layoffs at Countrywide Financial Corp., American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. and First Magnus, states including Arizona, California and Florida saw significant losses in the mortgage sector last year, according to an analysis of layoffs, hirings and company closings conducted by MortgageDaily.com.
A new law in Massachusetts that took effect on Jan. 2, which limits fees and yield spread compensation and imposes other restrictions on mortgage broker originations, has at least 15 wholesale lenders modifying or curtailing operations and has brokers scrambling.
State Mortgage Licensees Tumble
Mortgage regulators in several states have reported a significant drop in the number of license holders.
Bankruptcy Filings Soar
Bankruptcy filings by U.S. consumers soared last year, and the mortgage crisis is expected to push filings even higher this year.
Mortgage Job Losses Grow
|High Rises Find Financing
Recent commercial mortgage activity tracked by MortgageDaily.com was trumped by financing for a high-rise office building in New York, though a luxury high-rise in Dallas also secured a loan for more than $100 million.
Following a slight reprieve in October, mortgage employment continued to decline -- falling below 400,000.
Foreclosure Solutions or Problems?
A national legal network has announced plans to help delinquent borrowers avoid foreclosure by exploiting mistakes made by mortgage companies. Meanwhile, a recent report is calling for the return of an innovative Depression era program to refinance borrowers facing foreclosure, and one of the Federal Home Loan Banks is funding a program with below market interest mortgage rates.
Class Action Crisis
Eight consecutive quarters of fewer securities class action lawsuits were reversed by the subprime mortgage crisis, according to a new report.
Wachovia Cuts Texas Jobs
Following an expansion earlier this year, Wachovia Corp. is now cutting mortgage jobs in Texas.
Rates Better, Apps Worse
Mortgage rates tumbled over the holidays, and may be headed lower. But mortgage applications, especially 1003s for refinances, were weaker.
HELOC Delinquency at 10-Year High
Delinquency on home equity loans jumped -- with late payments on home equity lines-of-credit rising to the highest level in a decade.
New State Laws on Lending
With the new year comes a rash of new state laws regulating the mortgage industry. Among those affected by the new laws are mortgage brokers, originators of nontraditional and subprime loans, and servicers.
States Implement License Registry
Several states today implemented a national licensing registry for mortgage loan originators.
MTA Improves Again
The Monthly Treasury Average improved for the eighth consecutive month.
Expanding Loan Prospects
Loan originators, faced with fewer and tighter mortgage programs, need to reach a much bigger share of the general population. This involves taking a long-term approach that helps prospective borrowers improve their finances and, in the process, better qualify for a mortgage.
Merger Collapses, 2 Companies Launched
A deal to sell PHH Mortgage has collapsed. Meanwhile, two new mortgage companies have been launched.
The cost of funds index and the London Interbank Offered Rate fell, while the yield on the 1-year Treasury rose, according to the latest data.