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January 2010 Archive

MBS Quote Provider Lines Up PR Firm
Accolades PR, a results-oriented communications firm committed to progressive strategies in public relations and marketing, announced today that it has recently launched the social media presence for MBSQuoteline, a successful financial information company that provides live mortgage market information for originators.

Modification Statistics
As the focus shifts from the number of loan modification trial plans to the number of completed modifications, the country's servicers are touting their strong points. has gathered up a number of modification statistics based on national results, activity at financial institutions and modifications by servicer. Also included are statistics on the government-sponsored enterprises.

Fannie Volume Leaps
Monthly secondary purchases expanded by two-thirds at the Federal National Mortgage Association, while annual activity was up by nearly a third. But the news wasn't so good for delinquency.

M.I. Defaults, Volume Rise
Despite two consecutive monthly declines in the number of new applications and the number of policies issued, mortgage insurers pushed the dollar volume of policies written higher for two months in a row. This year's volume of new business, however, is likely to be just one-fifth of the peak reached just three years ago. Monthly defaults increased from November but improved from a year ago.

Non-Conforming Performance Seriously Bad
An analysis of loan performance on securitized non-conforming mortgages issued between 2005 and 2008 indicates that non-conforming lending was a colossal failure during those years.

BoA Backs Out of Texas Deal
Bank of America Corp. has backed away from a deal to increase its Texas mortgage staff, though it still plans to maintain a substantial presence in the state.

Cashout Level Lowest on Record
More borrowers are paying down their mortgages when they refinance than are cashing out.

Freddie Reports Growth
Monthly and annual secondary activity improved at Freddie Mac as its massive mortgage portfolio expanded. Still, delinquency continued to deteriorate -- reaching yet another record.

Mortgage Market Gains Strength
Mortgage rates saw a slight improvement this week, while the improvement was more pronounced for new loan activity. The spread between jumbo mortgages and conventional loans, meanwhile, widened.

LOS Providers Go Compliant
Developers of loan origination systems have loaded their offerings with technology that helps mortgage originators stay compliant with agency guidelines, government lending requirements and mortgage regulations.

Cities With Highest Foreclosure Rates
A California city saw a decent decline in foreclosures last year, but that wasn't the case in Las Vegas.

Wells Wins Appeal in Employment Case
A California appeals court has ruled in favor of Wells Fargo & Co.'s mortgage subsidiary in an overtime case filed by a home mortgage consultant. The case offers insight into what is needed to determine whether an employee is exempt.

Bank Retakes Lead in Reverse Production
A monthly tally of reverse mortgage originations by lender indicates that the top spot has changed hands again. But the biggest wholesale lender in the reverse mortgage arena maintained its title.

Delinquency Higher, Losses Lower at Regions
Quarterly residential volume held up at Regions Financial Corp. as the company cut its losses. But delinquency was worse.

Bank of America Home Loans has taken an early lead in the second part of the Home Affordable Modification Program.

Secondary Marketing Transactions
Nearly $500 million in loans have recently been traded, while an $11 billion servicing portfolio is on the market. Two of the sellers were financial institutions based in Hawaii.

The Warehouse Line
Six mortgage banking firms recently negotiated warehouse lines-of-credit for $280 million. But the president of one of those firms warned that warehouse financing is still in short supply.

Agency Updates
Fannie Mae and Ginnie Mae recently announced updates to their secondary marketing policies.

Business Surges at CA Bank
A California bank reported that residential originations soared nearly 300 percent last year to more than $4 billion.

Promotions, New Execs at William Mills
William Mills Agency, the nation's largest independent financial PR and technology public relations firm, announced that it has named Andy Payment as director of New Media and promoted Nneka Egwuatu, Joy Harper and David Jones to senior account agent.

HUD Rampage Continues
Following a bloodbath last week when the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced actions against more than 200 mortgagees, the agency reported five more firms that faced further actions.

St. Louis Firm Leaps Past $1 Billion
A St. Louis-based mortgage banking firm more than doubled its originations and exceeded $1 billion in volume.

Complying With FHA Appraisal Requirements
A recent event about new appraisal requirements at the Federal Housing Administration covered several issues including the meaning of reasonable and customary fees. The event's panelists included an appraiser for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and representatives from two appraisal trade groups.

AMCs Versus In-House
An appraiser for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a trade group representing appraisers and another trade group representing appraisal management companies recently weighed in about the merits of using AMCs, appraisal management technology and in-house appraisal management.

AMCs Warn Legislation Could Kill HVCC
Appraisal management companies are warning that pending legislation could roll back protections established by the Home Valuation Code of Conduct and put mortgage brokers back in contact with appraisers.

Best Mortgage Employers
Three mortgage-related firms made the list of the 100 best U.S. employers.

FHA Underwriting Authority Impacted by Performance
Mortgagees could be stripped of their underwriting authority under new Federal Housing Administration procedures that consider the level of delinquency and claims.

Pre-Default Mitigation for FHA Borrowers
Servicers of loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration can now implement loss-mitigation options before the borrower defaults.

5 Failures to Cost Over $600 Million
Five financial institutions that failed Friday are expected to cost more than $600 million. The assets and deposits of three of the failed firms were acquired by banks with similar names as the deceased institutions. The process of a bank failure was described in recent testimony before Congress.

Reverse Requirements Revised
Proposed reverse mortgage requirements at financial institutions wouldn't apply to proprietary products. Reverse program updates were announced for Federal Housing Administration loans and for servicers of Federal National Mortgage Association loans, while a trade group hosted an online event about reverse mortgage advertising.

Reverse Mortgage Help
The latest version of one loan origination system helps reverse mortgage originators meet new disclosure requirements, while setup fees are being waived by a provider of reverse mortgage Web sites. The biggest reverse mortgage lender has nailed another deal with a group of companies.

Reverse Lenders Launch
Two reverse mortgage operations recently launched, with one promoting itself through a new retail Web site and the other staffing up with managers and originators. Two other reverse firms, including a top-10 lender, have been touting their credentials.

2nd Upgrade for Subprime Servicer
For the second time in 12 months, a servicer of subprime and second-lien loans has had its servicer rating raised.

Mortgage Fraud Growth Slows
New government data indicate that mortgage fraud activity is beginning to ease.

California Firm Launches Wholesale Operation
A California-based lender who claims to be among the country's biggest originators of Federal Housing Administration loans is opening a wholesale lending division.

Great Ginnie Performance
Quarterly issuances at the Government National Mortgage Association climbed to near-record levels, while delinquency improved.

Mixed Results at BB&T
Quarterly originations dropped at Branch Banking and Trust Co., though annual activity surged. Delinquency deteriorated and earnings were mixed.

SunTrust Delinquency Improves But Fundings Fall
Residential delinquency has declined for four consecutive quarters at SunTrust Banks Inc. Also lower were quarterly losses and home-loan originations -- which sank for the second consecutive quarter and are likely to fall again.

PNC's Residential Business Deteriorates
Residential originations tumbled at the PNC Financial Services Group Inc., while mortgage earnings declined and delinquency deteriorated. But overall earnings and commercial mortgage delinquency improved. Headcount at the mortgage unit, meanwhile, fell.

Quicken Business Doubles
Retail originations more than doubled last year at Quicken Loans Inc. After falling by nearly half in the third quarter, fundings jumped by nearly half.

GMAC Funding Improves, Mortgage Volatility Declines
An improvement in GMAC Inc.'s funding capabilities along with a reduction in the volatility of its mortgage unit contributed to a debt-rating upgrade.

10-Year Yield Sinks as Obama Restricts Banks
The 30-year fixed rate fell below 5 percent and is likely to fall further after comments by the president about limiting bank activities sent the stock market reeling.

Sweeping Actions Against Hundreds of FHA Lenders
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development took action against more than 200 mortgagees. Among the actions were FHA suspensions, settlements and civil money penalties. Most of the impacted lenders failed to meet annual re-certification requirements.

FDIC Adding Hundreds of IL Contractors
A rising number of bank failures in the Midwest has prompted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to open a new Chicago-area office.

Fundings, Delinquency Deteriorate at US Bank
U.S. Bancorp reported a 25 percent decline in quarterly residential originations, though annual activity improved. Tucked away in the latest activity was nearly $10 million in subprime mortgage production.

Sweeping FHA Changes
The Federal Housing Administration will increase insurance premiums, tighten downpayment requirements and reduce seller contributions. It also plans to step up its pursuit of mortgagees that operate outside FHA guidelines.

Wells Retakes Lead
Wells Fargo & Co. saw residential originations decline this past quarter. But the decrease was less than at Bank of America Corp. -- likely leaving Wells Fargo as the biggest residential lender. An uptick in new loan applications suggests volume might increase this quarter.

BoA Originations Slip, Mixed Mortgage Earnings
Quarterly home-loan fundings fell at Bank of America Corp., but annual activity more than doubled. Despite a $6 billion loss last year at the home-loans unit, the company earned more than $6 billion.

Former Fannie Execs Find New Firms
The prominent trade group representing U.S. mortgage brokers announced the resignation of a top officer, and new executives were named at three mortgage banking firms. Three former executives at the Federal National Mortgage Association have found senior executive positions at other firms.

Recent mortgage executive activity

Bank Regulators Face Off Over Exec Compensation
Two federal banking regulators are at odds over a proposed rule that would factor bank executive compensation into the deposit insurance assessment program. But the regulatory bickering didn't slow the flow executives between banks.

Recent bank executive activity

Executives In, Out at Service Providers
A California company that recently launched a service targeted at financial institutions has hired an experienced mergers and acquisitions consultant, while a mortgage bond insurer disclosed in public filings that a senior executive is out and two current executives were promoted.

Refis to Tumble, ARM Share to Soar
The latest economic outlook has refinance originations tumbling and adjustable-rate share soaring.

The Regulatory Story
Two bank regulators closed out 2009 by issuing nearly a dozen formal agreements, four cease-and-desist orders and 10 other regulatory orders.

Google Launches Loan Comparison Service
Two loan pricing firms have aligned with Google Inc. to provide loan quotes to prospective borrowers who utilize search engines to find mortgage lenders.

Secondary, Servicing and Investor Lawsuits
The latest round of mortgage litigation deals with servicing issues, a big secondary marketing sale and disgruntled investors. A case tied to mortgage-backed securities is also on the docket, while an intellectual property rights case was settled.

The Bankruptcy Journal
Wells Fargo & Co.'s home loan unit lost an appeal on a mortgage it mistakenly neglected to record prior to the borrower's bankruptcy. But a Bank of America Corp. subsdiary had more luck maintaining its lien position in another bankruptcy case.

3 Face Sentences for Mortgage Crimes
A former mortgage broker who stole more than $100,000 from a reverse mortgage borrower has been sentenced to six years in prison despite showing up at his sentencing with a $50,000 check for his victim. In another case, a Texas woman was sentenced for cleverly diverting proceeds from loan closings to her personal accounts. A third case has a former bank executive admitting that he cooked the books and facing sentencing along with two other related defendants who are accused of mortgage fraud.

Recent mortgage-related criminal legal actions

Utah Bank Failure to Cost $0.3 Billion
Two of last week's bank failures are expected to result in nominal losses to the country's deposit insurance reserve. But projected losses from a third failed institution, which was heavily invested in development financing, exceed $270 million.

Hotel Delinquency Soars
Delinquency on securitized hotel mortgages increased nearly 300 basis points during the last two months of the year. Performance on loans backed by other types of commercial properties wasn't much better.

Mod Production Leaps
The number of borrowers who have obtained a permanent loan modification under the Home Affordable Modification Program more than doubled last month and will likely exceed 100,000 soon. Citigroup Inc.'s mortgage unit jumped to the front of the pack in HAMP performance.

FHA Volume Higher But Headed Lower
Originators reversed a four-month losing streak and pushed government originations higher. But if new applications are any indication -- this month's volume is headed for a tumble. The decline in new applications, which came despite an increase in reverse mortgage applications, was driven by a steep drop in refinance activity. Meanwhile, serious delinquency got more serious.

Chase Results Portend Drop in Q4 Originations
JPMorgan Chase & Co., the first lender to report earnings data for last year, said quarterly and annual home-loan fundings fell.

States Testify About Mortgage Problems
Federal regulators were accused by some states of thwarting their efforts to prevent the financial crisis.

Over $300 Billion in Alt-A RMBS Face Downgrade
Following a similar warning yesterday on more than $300 billion in subprime mortgage-backed securities, Moody's Investors Service warned today that it might downgrade more than $300 billion in Alt-A RMBS.

Severe Nonprime Negative Equity
A newly released government report indicates that most subprime borrowers in the Las Vegas, Phoenix and Miami metropolitan areas are underwater, while at least half are upside-down in eight other major markets.

Strong Q3 Forecast
From now until the third quarter, mortgage business is expected to improve by more than a third. But volume for all of this year is predicted to decline from last year.

Improvement in Mortgage Market
As refinances picked up steam and fixed rates fell, overall activity shot up during the latest week. But the one-year adjustable-rate mortgage jumped, while little change was noted in purchase activity.

New Warehouse, Correspondent Lender May Emerge
A company that is already a big traditional and reverse mortgage lender is exploring the launch of correspondent and warehouse lending businesses. The potential expansion follows similar moves by several players.

Foreclosures Resume Ascension
After falling each of the past four months, foreclosures worsened. For all of last year, filings climbed to the highest level on record.

Subprime RMBS Warning
Worsening loss projections led to a warning on more than $300 billion in subprime mortgage-backed securities.

VA Clarifies GFE
Guidance has been issued about how origination fees should be disclosed on loans that are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Chase Loses Overtime Appeal
An appeals court has ruled against JPMorgan Chase & Co. in a lawsuit brought by a mortgage underwriter, finding that its mortgage underwriters must be paid overtime.

$200 Million Mortgage Portfolio For Sale
A nearly $200 million portfolio of residential and commercial mortgages mostly backed by Chicago properties is on the market.

Nearly 9,000 Mortgage Hirings
Nearly 9,000 mortgage jobs have been filled or are in the process of being filled, according to recent announcements from several lenders. Some bank positions are also being added.

Jumbo Performance Sinks
Delinquency on loans backing prime jumbo issuances has nearly tripled over the past year. Negative equity was to blame for the poor performance.

15 FHA Firms Face Subpoenas
Subpoenas were issued against 15 Federal Housing Administration mortgagees over the poor performance of their originations.

Fundings Forecasted to Fall
This year's home loan production is expected to tumble by more than one third from last year, according to a new forecast. At the same time, refinance share is projected to sink.

Credit Scoring Insight
As regulators battle credit repair firms, one company is promising that anyone can start a credit repair business for less than $50. Two companies have identified how much credit scores can be impacted by factors such as loan modifications, late payments and over-extension.

Radian Expands Guidelines
Radian Guaranty Inc. expanded its mortgage insurance guidelines.

Delinquency Worse, FL & NV Worst
The latest U.S. delinquency report indicates monthly delinquency and foreclosures rose. When it comes to the highest foreclosure rates, the Sunshine State shines brighter than any other. Looking at pre-foreclosure delinquency, Nevada has a problem.

Wave of I.O. Recasts Ahead
Over $100 billion in prime and nonprime interest-only loans are scheduled for a payment recast during the next two years, and delinquency is expected to more than double on those loans.

Billion Dollar Player Among Recent Mergers
In addition to the acquisition of three mortgage firms, three service providers recently struck deals. One acquisition has created an operation with nearly $1 billion in annual originations.

Bank M&A's Flowing
Over the past month, the Federal Reserve has received more than 20 applications for bank mergers and acquisitions. Two Midwest banks both announced planned acquisitions.

The FHA Journal
The Federal Housing Administration advised mortgagees about new requirements under the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008, while a new FHA rehabilitation program is now available to borrowers in the Southwest. Two firms announced their approval as FHA mortgagees, and several service providers hope to help them with business.

First Bank Failure of 2010
The nation's first bank failure this year is likely to cost more than $500 million. So far in 2010, two mortgage-related firms have failed, while the tally for 2009 -- including a reverse mortgage lender that filed bankruptcy -- reached 227.

Market Improvement Prompts M.I. Update
Stabilizing real estate markets have prompted at least one mortgage insurance company to remove nearly four dozen markets from its list of declining markets.

FDIC Unloads $1 Billion in Loans
More than $1 billion in loans have been sold by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The loans were acquired from failed banks.

Directors Depart, Join Mortgage Firms' Boards
Recent executive activity at mortgage companies was limited to the boardrooms. Two directors are departing their respective boards, while two are joining.

Bank CEOs, CFOs and CCOs
Among recent executive appointments at U.S. banks, including two Federal Home Loan Banks, were several chief executive officers, a chief financial officer and a chief credit officer. Even bank boardrooms were busy.

Recent bank executive activity

Service Providers Shake Up Boards, Management
Three mortgage service providers recently announced changes to their boards, while executive appointments were disclosed by several other firms.

Recent executive activity at mortgage service providers

Mortgage Jobs Creep Higher
Employment in the real estate finance sector showed a monthly improvement.

Record HEL Delinquency as Overall Consumer Improves
Quarterly delinquency on home-equity loans and home-equity lines-of-credit climbed to the highest level on record at U.S. banks. But overall consumer delinquency improved.

MetLife Nails Reverse Deal With Banks
MetLife Home Loans has negotiated an exclusive agreement to provide third-party reverse mortgage programs to financial institutions. The deal follows the parent company's ascension to the No. 1 reverse mortgage lender spot.

Mortgage Market Shows Small Improvement
Mortgage rates eased, and market forces are helping to hold rates down. As mortgage applications edged higher last week, refinance share crept up this week.

Victory for Wells in Baltimore
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo & Co.'s bank subsidiary. The company was accused of causing foreclosures in Baltimore.

Foreclosure Legislative Update
Loans on properties in states with tough legislation before the foreclosure crisis are of better quality and performing better. Among states to adopt tougher legislation since the crisis began are New York, Delaware and Rhode Island. But Arizona, on the other hand, recently repealed foreclosure legislation.

FHA Appraisal Changes Delayed
Mortgage lenders will have more time to meet new requirements on appraisals for loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration.

Bill Challenges Aspect of HVCC
As service providers boast about compliance with Federal Housing Administration appraisal requirements and the Home Valuation Code of Conduct, legislation is pending that would prohibit a big HVCC provision. Another pending bill will attempt to establish regulation for appraisal management companies.

Monthly Foreclosures Fall
Residential delinquency increased for the eighth consecutive month. But prime performance drove a monthly improvement in new and completed foreclosures, while new and completed subprime foreclosures improved from a year earlier.

Reverse Activity Picks Up in December
Following two consecutive months of decline, originations of home-equity conversion mortgages increased.

Over 40 Conferences in Q1
More than 40 mortgage-related conferences are scheduled during the first quarter. Several events are planned for financial institutions.

Last Year's Bankruptcies Exceeded 1.4 Million
Consumer bankruptcy filings leapt by nearly one-third last year and are expected to continue higher this year.

HUD Publishes New RESPA Booklet
A new settlement costs booklet required under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act has been published.

More Record Lows Ahead for MTA
It was another record low for the Monthly Treasury Average -- which might see a few more records during the first-half 2010.

Service Providers Address RESPA, Reg Z Requirements
Mortgage industry service providers are responding to new requirements under the rule revising the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act -- including changes to the Good Faith Estimate and HUD-1 forms. Also high on the list of priorities for compliance service providers is the latest revision of Truth In Lending Act's Regulation Z.

Regulatory Actions Swell
Federal banking regulators appeared to maintain their rapid pace of regulatory actions. The fourth quarter is shaping up to be a whopper.

Retention Packages for Senior Wells Execs
Wells Fargo & Co. said competitors are trying to recruit its executives and has announced $25 million in retention packages for four senior executives -- including its mortgage chief.

Record Mortgage-Related Failures in 2009
More than 200 mortgage-related firms ended operations or failed last year -- higher than any year since began tracking the data.

Agency Issuance Higher
The government stepped up fixed-rate agency issuance last month, while activity soared 60 percent during all of last year.

COFI Spikes
The Cost of Funds Index shot up more than 80 basis points during November. But COFI is quickly becoming irrelevant.

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