Mortgage Activity Worsens
As rates continue to climb, mortgage applications continue to fall. Those looking for direction may have to wait
CitiFinancial Settles With Fed for $70 Million
CitiFinancial has entered into an agreement with the government to settle
charges that it violated federal lending requirements and tried to mislead federal examiners.
Northwest Wholesaler Calls it Quits
A little more than a year after forming a wholesale mortgage lending subsidiary, a Washington-based bank holding company
is closing the business.
Fannie, Freddie Facing New Threats
to Market Share
As if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
didn't have enough problems.
Credit Scores Nearly 50 Points Lower for Renters
Credit scores for homeowners with a mortgage are significantly better than scores for renters, according to a
study by one of the "Big 3" national credit reporting agencies. The report also found that Texas is the state with
the lowest average credit scores for mortgage borrowers.
Freddie Portfolio Off 6 Months in a Row
New business continued to increase at Freddie Mac, but the size of its investment portfolio has shrunk six months
in a row.
Customer Complaints, Financial Mismanagement Lead to License
A Maine mortgage broker lost his license because he could not adequately operate his business. In a hearing leading up to the
revocation, the broker blamed bounced checks and customer complaints on his recent health issues.
Do Not Call Violation Costs Mortgage Banker $20k
A mortgage company was fined $20,000 for reportedly violating conditions of Pennsylvania's "Do Not
First Franklin Fundings Fall
The subprime arm of National City Corp. reported that adjustable-rate mortgages and branch expansion prompted its
latest mortgage production to exceed monthly projections by 20 percent. But the unit still saw its business fall from the
NASD Cautions Against 100% Loans
Securities regulators recently warned investors about the risks of mortgages from brokerage firms that allow them
to pledge their securities in lieu of a down payment.
Subprime Loans Cost More to Originate, Service
If lawmakers and regulators would stop interfering with the mortgage lending process, the free markets would sort
out right from wrong and winners from losers.
Weakening Mortgage Market Seeing More ARMs
On the heels of more industry forecasts calling for falling originations, mortgage applications showed signs of
contraction. While adjustable rates increased, long-term rates took a breather from two consecutive months of increase and
aren't expected to change for the rest of the year.
Experts Forecast Fewer Fundings as Rates Expected to End 2004 at
After increasing their projections for this year's mortgage volume every month since January, economists for two
industry organizations have reduced their estimates due to the rising rate environment. It is also expected adjustable-rate
mortgages will keep rising in popularity and comprise over a third of the record purchase volume anticipated in 2004.
Quicken to Boost Workforce
With plans to continue growing in its home state, a leading online mortgage lender will add 1,200 jobs to its
staff over the next five years.
Fannie, Freddie May Still Pose too Much Risk to
Rising interest rates has another top Federal Reserve official concerned about the financial vulnerability of
mortgage behemoths Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Lawyer for Predatory D.C. Firm Fined by FTC
The Federal Trade Commission has fined the legal counsel of a mortgage company for his roll in collecting
payments on loans the FTC considers predatory. In addition to the fine, the attorney has been booted from the debt collection
Jump in Purchases at Fannie
Increasing for the second consecutive month, Fannie Mae's monthly business volume reportedly grew by a quarter.
The company's duration gap saw a three month swing.
Kerry Vs Bush; What Does it Mean to Mortgage
When viewed through the prism of a presidential campaign, the mortgage industry is either booming or
Differences Between Prime, Subprime Markets
Shakespeare asked: "What's in a name?" and subprime lenders couldn't agree more. While the Bard was
referring to the sweet smell of a rose, lenders armed with loan-level pricing technology find that, like Romeo and Juliet,
they are no longer burdened by labels either.
US Bancorp Haunted by FirstPlus Loans
Minneapolis-based US Bancorp has agreed to pay $20 million to settle a class action lawsuit brought by consumers
who alleged that they were charged mortgage loan fees that violated some state laws. The loans were originated and purchased
from a now defunct subprime lender.
Freddie Forecast 6.3% Fixed Rate During 2nd Half of
Rates soared after another strong employment report and more loan applicants opted for ARMs bringing the share of
these applications to the highest level in nearly a decade. Even as the outlook for rates remains highly volatile, an
industry giant forecasted the long-term rate average will stay near the current level throughout the end of the year.
Principal, Citimortgage Deal Signals Industry
Citigroup will buy Principal Financial Group's mortgage operations in a deal expected to close later this year.
The acquisition isn't the only one brewing, as the mortgage industry braces for a wave of consolidation.
GE Getting Into Subprime Game
The consumer lending unit of General Electric Co. recently announced plans to acquire a subprime mortgage
wholesaler. The move comes at a time when subprime lending is expected to rise.
It Could Happen to You
What is it about thieves and laptop computers loaded with sensitive information about mortgage customers? Another
mortgage company must explain to its customers that their private data -- including social security numbers and information
about credit card accounts -- is now in the hands of criminals.
Wells Plans to Add 1000 Jobs in Iowa
The mortgage and consumer arm of Wells Fargo & Co. has
expanded its Iowa site plans, which will give room for hundreds of new employees.
Countrywide Breaks Three Records
Month-to-month loan fundings were up at Countrywide Financial Corp., with record levels of activity achieved in
subprime fundings, home equity fundings and ARM fundings.
Grand Jury Probing Metropolitan
Already trying to hold off swarms of lawsuits while trying to emerge from a $500 million bankruptcy, an embattled
mortgage and financial services conglomerate is being investigated by the feds.
HUD Investigating HomeBanc's Alliances with
HomeBanc Mortgage Corp., an Atlanta-based company attempting to raise half a billion dollars through a public
stock offering, has landed in the sights of federal regulators.
New Century Reports April Production
Monthly loan volume slipped for New Century Financial Corp.
Mortgage Jobs Increase
The labor market continued to grow at a rapid pace, including a welcome boost in mortgage-related jobs. While the
news marks an advantage for job hunters, home hunters are likely to see higher rates.
Best Mortgage Companies to be Associated With
Several mortgage companies made a recent list of the best U.S. companies. The organizations were ranked based on
how they served a number of groups with a stake in the company including shareholders, employees and customers.
Lehman to Sell Financial Freedom
IndyMac Bank has reportedly signed an agreement to acquire a company that will make it the top reverse mortgage
lender in the nation.
CTX Mortgage Employee Stole From Company
Derek DeWitt wanted to make an impression on his new employer.
Rate Outlook Volatile
Rates surged for the seventh consecutive week in response to the Fed's recent remarks and anticipation of
tomorrow's employment report, which will largely influence whether rates go up or down. Despite the current rising rate
environment, mortgage application activity continued upward.
Sale of Loan Lands Lenders in Litigation
In a case of 'he said, she said', a Boston man has filed suit against Option One Mortgage and Wells Fargo
Mortgage in an attempt to keep his home. The dispute centers around the plaintiff's claim that he didn't know where to send
payments for a six month period because he had never been notified the loan had been transferred.
MILA to Add 800 Jobs Within 3 Years
A wholesale nonprime lender said it will add 800 new employees to its Washington state staff by 2006.
Principal Fundings Just Keep Falling
Principal Financial Group Inc. mortgage production descended on a yearly and quarter-to-quarter basis.
Cashouts Expected to Rise
An analysis released this week shows that the share of homeowners pulling cash from a refinance held steady from
the prior period. But the report also suggests cashouts will increase this quarter.
Production at Impac Increases
The mortgage operations unit of Impac Mortgage Holding Inc. reported increased production.
Lenders are now required to input credit bureau score data when underwriting government-insured mortgages.
COFI Teetering Near Record Low
The West coast index for adjustable-rate mortgages reversed course yet again.
Record Production Expected to Continue at
Accredited Home Lenders started the year with the highest quarterly mortgage loan volume in its 14-year history
and sees continued growth over the year. The company also will reconsider becoming a REIT in 2005.