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November 2011 Archive


Fannie's 2011 Business Exceeds 1/2 Trillion Dollars
Business has improved for three consecutive months at Fannie Mae, and the company has now surpassed $0.5 trillion in volume so far this year. Late payments on home loans remain at their lowest levels in more than two years.

Over 600 Layoffs at Foreclosure Processing Firm
A foreclosure processing firm has disclosed plans to lay off several hundred employees.

FHA Awards Training Contract
The Federal Housing Administration has awarded a national contract to provide free technical assistance training to FHA mortgagees. A survey of thousands of FHA lenders is being used to help determine the content and delivery method of the courses.

FHA Fundings Fall, Delinquency Deteriorates
Last month, delinquency on government-insured mortgages jumped around 30 basis points and was a full percent higher than the same time last year. Meanwhile, reverse mortgage production sank and purchase activity diminished -- driving down overall government originations.

Servicers Subject to New Rules on Bankrupt Accounts
Mortgage servicers will be subject to new rules tomorrow on mortgages with borrowers who have filed bankruptcy.

100 Jobs Being Added as Firm Expands West
Two years after a huge Texas-based bank failed, the financial institution that took over its assets is expanding mortgage operations. A hundred positions will be added at a new facility in the Grand Canyon State.

Cost Cutting at Fannie Impacts Over 100 Jobs
More than a hundred employees were recently laid off at the Federal National Mortgage Association as the government-controlled enterprise looks to minimize costs to U.S. taxpayers.

Private Mortgage Insurance Activity Picks Up
Mortgage insurers saw an uptick in monthly business, and new applications suggest another improvement might be ahead. While the number of new defaults fell, data from two mortgage insurance firms was removed during the past year -- leaving a cloudy picture about whether performance actually improved.

Report Criticizes FHFA Oversight
A report on the activities of the regulator of the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. found that the regulator didn't do enough of its own testing and validating when approving decisions on issues such as repurchases, the government modification program and executive compensation. A separate report, however, found that the regulator's financial statements were in order.

Radian Requesting Capital Ratio Waivers
Radian Group Inc.'s core business subsidiary has requested that a dozen states waive capital ratio requirements. The company is exploring a variety of alternatives to continue writing new business in all states where it currently operates.

CMBS Delinquency Rises and Could Go Higher
Delinquency on securitized commercial real estate loans climbed nearly 17 basis points last month. In addition, the rate could go higher if conditions in the commercial mortgage lending market don't improve.

NCUA Sets Sights On Wells
A wave of litigation by the nation's top credit union regulator has been expanded to include an investment banking unit picked up by Wells Fargo & Co. through its acquisition of Wachovia Corp. The federal regulator alleges that the unit contributed to the failure of two wholesale credit unions by overstating the quality of securitized loans.

Georgia Ascends to 5-Worst Negative Equity States
U.S. borrowers who owed more than their properties were worth accounted for a smaller share of all residential borrowers in the third quarter. Georgia's latest negative-equity rate, meanwhile, thrust it into one of the five worst positions.

Settlement is Another Blow to Nonconforming Lending in Mass.
A settlement in excess of $50 million has been announced by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. At issue is the securitization of subprime mortgages. The settlement is just one of several such recent actions in the state tied to non-conforming lending and gives non-agency investors another reason to avoid lending there.

Judge: $285 Million Isn't Enough in Citi-SEC Settlement
A $285 million settlement between Citigroup Inc. and the Securities and Exchange Commission won't cut it, according to a federal judge.

Mortgage Branches Open, Change Brands
Mortgage banking firms are scooping up local branches at a healthy pace, and at least three of the branch recruiting operations are based in Houston. More than a thousand branch locations have been added to the national registry during the most-recent quarter.

Dodd-Frank Co-Author Won't Seek Re-Election
The co-author of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 is expected to announce his planned retirement from Congress.

Wells Fargo is Frequent Target in Discrimination Litigation
Rulings were recently made in favor of mortgage firms in three lending discrimination lawsuits. Several of the recently active lawsuits involving alleged lending discrimination name units of Wells Fargo & Co. as defendants.

Social Networks Play Big Role in Real Estate Market Recovery
While it is possible to predict the likelihood of default when a borrower suffers an economic setback, detecting the possibility of strategic default is far more difficult. The impact from strategic defaults, as well as factors that impact to decision to walk away from a mortgage, was outlined in a recent study.

New Activity Sinks in Holiday Week
New mortgage activity was slammed by the Thanksgiving holiday. But two metrics that did increase were the jumbo-conforming spread and the government share of total activity.

New Activity Sinks in Holiday Week

AMCs and Tech Providers Help With UCDP Compliance
Lenders have just a few days to comply with new appraisal delivery requirements on conforming mortgages, and several offerings from valuation firms and appraisal technology service providers promise to help with the transition.

Low Rates Could Fall More
Fixed rates fell below 4 percent and could be even lower next week, while adjustable-rate mortgages set new records. But longer-term forecasts have fixed-rate mortgages increasing over the next year.

PMI Bankruptcy Follows Denied Motion
Barely a month after its primary operating subsidiary was seized, The PMI Group Inc. has filed for bankruptcy.

FHA Revises Appraiser Approval Regulations
Real estate appraisers who provide valuation reports for loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration are now subject to revised regulations.

CMBS Delinquency Retreats But Still High
Following an increase of more than 30 basis points in September, past-due payments on securitized commercial real estate loans retreated 7 BPS last month. But the rate remains elevated compared to a year ago. Apartment delinquency was last month's worst performer, while late payments on hotel loans were lower.

Freddie Turns in Weak Performance
Home-loan delinquency edged higher, as did secondary marketing activity last month at Freddie Mac. But late payments on apartment loans improved.

Another Improvement In Shadow Inventory
After improving for the first time in two years, the supply of distressed properties fell again.

Bankrupt Hard Money Lender Sues State Over License
A hard-money lender that that plans to emerge from bankruptcy has sued the licensing agency in its state because its license was not renewed. The company services mortgages but won't be able to continue doing so without its license.

Bank Performance Strengthens
U.S. financial institutions continued a trend of improving income as the number of troubled institutions fell, delinquency improved and employment expanded.

2012 Conforming Limits Released
The maximum loan amount that can be acquired by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac next year has been announced.

Servicers Make Progress on Consent Orders
A new report outlines the progress mortgage servicers have made in complying with federal consent orders. Among changes implemented by the servicers are increased oversight and evaluation of third-party service providers, more internal controls for activities tied to the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems and additional staffing and training to address some of the biggest areas of concern.

Mortgage Licensees Growing
The number of mortgage licenses in the national registry has grown each quarter this year, and much of the growth was concentrated in three states. Suspensions were extraordinarily high in Pennsylvania, though Texas and Utah were also active in this area.

Foreclosure Rescue Promises Land Defendants in Court and Jail
While many of the defendants who are named in government lawsuits that allege modification and foreclosure-rescue schemes are often accused of the same thing -- collecting up-front fees for services they never performed -- some of the cases can be quite colorful. Without any legal actions, one federal agency has been helped by search engine firms in shutting down over a hundred online modification scams.

Purchase Activity, Rates Inch Up
Refinance inquiries moved slightly higher last week as average rates nudged up. But inquiries for loans to finance home purchases strengthened. It looks like rates could end this week a little lower than last week.

Mortgage Market Index 242 for week ended Nov. 18
Purchase Production Previously Underestimated as FHA Outlook Slashed
The quarterly estimate of government-insured loan production has been cut 21 percent, though an increase in the projection for conventional business offset the reduction. Third-quarter purchase transactions were previously significantly underestimated, while the outlook for refinance activity has been lifted significantly.

Freddie Updates Servicer Guidelines
Several servicing policies have been revised or clarified by Freddie Mac. Impacted areas include short sales, deeds in lieu and repurchase demands. Also addressed were loan modification requirements that are subject to the Servicemember's Civil Relief Act and the loss of mortgage insurance coverage.

Iowa, La. Banks Fail
A 108-year old bank closed last week, as did an institution that had more than $300 million in assets. Losses tied to the two bank failures are projected at $70 million. The upcoming closing of an appraisal management operation is expected to result in minimal layoffs.

President Signs Bill Reinstating Jumbo FHA Limits
Despite intense opposition, home builders and Realtors were successful in their lobbying efforts to pass legislation that keeps the government insuring jumbo mortgages. The bill is especially beneficial to homeowners and Realtors in California. As a result of the legislation, the Government National Mortgage Association is expected increase market share.

Purchase Lending Outlook Increased Along With Refis
The latest economic forecast has quarterly originations for both refinance and purchase transactions higher than the last outlook. In addition, the projection for the entire first half of next year has been raised.

Delinquency Down Despite Deteriorating Foreclosures
The total late-payment rate on residential loans was better last month even though the foreclosure inventory grew. The 30-day rate improved 16 basis points, and 90-day delinquency fell 14 BPS.

Appraisal Fraud Down as Income Fraud Surges
While the overall risk of fraud has changed little and appraisal fraud risk has fallen, a dangerous spike was noted in the risk of borrowers lying about their income or jobs. Among the 10 metropolitan areas at the greatest risk of mortgage fraud, most are ranked among the areas with the 10-highest foreclosure rates. Some metropolitan areas in the Northeast have seen a significant increase in the risk of identity and occupancy fraud.

Robo-Signing Moves from Civil to Criminal
Two employees of Lender Processing Services Inc. have been criminally charged for allegedly robo-signing thousands of foreclosure documents. LPS acknowledged the allegations but said that the actions led to no wrongful foreclosures.

LPS employees indicted by Nevada AG
Rates Inch Up But Could Fall
While mortgage rates were barely changed this week, market activity points to a decline by next week's report.

Best Mortgage Originators
A survey of borrowers who recently closed on a new mortgage finds that mortgage bankers are doing a better job of taking care of their customers. The report also identified which lenders ranked highest.

Seasonal Adjustments Drive Delinquency Down
After making adjustments for seasonal variations, late payments on residential loans fell. But without seasonal adjustments, there was a 9-basis-point deterioration. Delinquency has more than doubled over the past decade, while the rate on subprime mortgages has skyrocketed more than a thousand BPS since the high-flying days just before the real estate bubble popped.

Previously Delinquent Loans to Be Re-Securitized
Loans that were previously part of mortgage-backed securities, became delinquent and have since been cured will be securitized again.

5 Million Modifications Completed
Mortgage servicers have reached a milestone in the number of loan modifications completed.

Fannie, Freddie Subpoenaed by California AG
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been subpoenaed by the attorney general's office in California, according to a person familiar with the matter. Investigators are trying to determine what role the two government-controlled enterprises played in the Golden State's foreclosure crisis.

Chase Recruiting More Ohio Employees
Maybe it's the roots that JPMorgan Chase & Co. has in Ohio, but whatever the reason -- the New York-based financial institution has been busy creating employment opportunities in the Buckeye State.

Mortgage Bankers Increase Origination Outlook Again
Mortgage bankers have increased their expectations for quarterly loan production four times in a row now -- bringing their forecast more in line with Mortgage Daily's.

GSE Executives Defend Compensation
The chief executive officers of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac testified before Congress about the more than $12 million in bonuses paid to executives at the two government-controlled enterprises.

Video of House Oversight Committee hearing

Congress Agrees to Higher FHA Limits
On the same day that the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported that the Federal Housing Administration has lost almost all of its cash reserves, the House and Senate have agreed to raise the maximum loan limit on FHA loans.

CNBC video interview of Joseph Gyourko on FHA losses

Former Subprime Executive to Head New Wholesaler
A new national wholesale lender is being led by an executive whose resume' includes senior executive positions at Encore Credit Corp. and New Century Financial Corp. The new company is recruiting a hundred employees.

Early Stage Delinquency Improves
After two months of increases, a new report indicates that late payments on residential loans retreated. The report highlights a contrast between mortgage and non-mortgage credit markets.

Hard Money Lender Sees Continued Losses
A hard money lender based in Las Vegas is having a harder time as its borrowers are unable to resolve their short-term loans.

Judge Rules for Allied in Lawsuit Against HUD
A federal judge has granted Allied Home Mortgage Corp.'s motion for a preliminary injunction preventing its suspension as an approved Federal Housing Administration mortgagee. Allied successfully argued that the mortgagee that caused FHA losses was separate from the current operating entity and that its suspension would have consequences that can't be reversed.

Updated HARP Guidelines Released
The much-anticipated guideline updates to the federal refinance initiative have been released by the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.

Business Jumps by More than Half at Wholesaler
A wholesale lender that operates from Michigan saw quarterly loan production jump more than 58 percent. The company hopes to push lending even higher with new technology developed for its mortgage brokers.

Fast Growing Firm On Track to Grow by 300 Employees
The company that claims to be the fastest-growing independent mortgage firm in the country has been adding employees and expanding its office space.

Double Dip Delinquency
Serious residential delinquency rose for the second consecutive month, though the rate on junior liens was lower. The deteriorating first-mortgage performance was responsible for an increase in the aggregate consumer late-payment rate. In the worst metropolitan area, however, delinquency was lower.

Mixed Outlook for FHA
A government report issued to Congress projects that the Federal Housing Administration's insurance fund will return to the required capital level within three years. But another report from a public policy research group predicts that an FHA bailout of as much as $100 billion will be required unless there is a rapid U.S. economic recovery. The government's report forecasts that outstanding FHA loans will increase by more than half over the next seven years.

Impac Boosts Lending, Hopes to Expand Products
Quarterly residential originations at Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. increased 14 percent. The company is looking to add jumbo mortgages and apartment loans to its menu of offerings during the next few months.

Settlements Reached With 2 Firms Over RMBS Losses
Two investment banking houses have agreed to pay nearly $0.2 billion to settle losses allegedly suffered from investments in mortgage securities by failed corporate credit unions.

All-Time Low for MTA
Borrowers whose adjustable-rate mortgages are tied to the Monthly Treasury Average were treated to a new low for the index.

Minnesota Bankruptcy Case Impacted 2nd Lien Holders
It was a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case where the second mortgage lender didn't object to a plan where the second lien was stripped from the property. But when the bankruptcy judge didn't go for the plan, the borrower appealed -- and won.

Mortgage Employment Expands in Q3
It was the first time in five quarters that mortgage-related hirings outpaced layoffs, according to the Third-Quarter 2011 Mortgage Employment Index from MortgageDaily.com. Recruiting by JPMorgan Chase & Co. helped drive the gain.

Mortgage Recruitment Journal
Mortgage firms are hiring, and many of the positions being filled are in mortgage servicing. But an increase in refinance volume is also raising the demand for production personnel.

CA and FL Seeing Many of Mortgage Layoffs
Banks, service providers and mortgage servicers are among the companies that have been cutting back on staffing -- many because of plant closings. Some of the recent layoffs are the result of business closings. A good portion of the job cuts are concentrated in California and Florida.

BofA Announces SoCal Layoffs
Nearly 200 job cuts have been announced by Bank of America Corp. The layoffs, which impact employees in two Southern California communities, appear to be taking place at the company's correspondent lending unit.

Refis Retreat, FHA Share Up
New loan activity was lower this week, with inquiries for conventional refinances leading the decline. While government mortgage business was also down, government inquiries made up a bigger share of overall volume this week. Far fewer consumers are shopping for loans to finance a home purchase compared to last year.

Mortgage Market Index 242 for week ended Nov. 11
No. 88 Goes Down
Georgia regulators shut down a small bank in the state, bringing to nearly two dozen the number of Georgia banks that have failed this year -- the worst of any state. The latest casualty pushed the count of federally insured banks to go down this year to 88.

County Clerk in Fla Jumps on MERS Litigation Bandwagon
Another county clerk sees an opportunity to sue the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems and make up for lost revenue. This time the county is in Florida.

New COO at Ellie
Attend a mortgage industry conference and you're likely to run into Jonathan Corr, the public face of Ellie Mae Inc.

photo of Jonathan Corr

30-Year Under 4% and Less than Last Year's Record
Fixed-rate 30-year mortgages averaged less than 4 percent this week and might not change much by next week's report. The 30 year was better than a year ago when it had fallen to the lowest level on record at that point. Adjustable-rate mortgages were higher this week, and a European index used on subprime ARMs has been up eight weeks in a row.

Bargain Hunting for GSE Execs Not Wise
In response to bipartisan criticism about executive compensation at the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., their regulator said that it wouldn't be wise to go bargain hunting for executives who will oversee more than $5 trillion in assets.

FHA Market Share Falling
The government is making some headway in reducing its role in the U.S. mortgage markets. Next year's market share for the Federal Housing Administration is on track to come in at a little more than half the level it stood at during the height of the financial crisis.

2012 FHA share could decline to half of level in late 2008

Bill Proposes Phase-out of Fannie, Freddie
A Republican senator has introduced legislation that would wean the mortgage market off government support and stop the financial hemorrhaging.

FL, CA Drive U.S. Foreclosures Higher
As mortgage servicers have been getting their foreclosure affidavits and other documentation in order, a growing number of delinquent mortgages are moving through the foreclosure process. More than half of last month's increase was on Florida properties, though California played a big role.

230,678 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in October

Allied Asked to Remove Notice from Web Site
State regulators in Maryland have suspended Allied Home Mortgage Corp.'s license and asked the struggling firm to remove an online notice indicating that it expects to resume lending this week.

Faulty Documents Continue to Hinder Foreclosures
Delinquent borrowers continue to challenge foreclosures not based on whether they were delinquent, but based on faulty foreclosure and title documentation. While some have had success stopping servicers from completing foreclosures, others have not.

Plunging Stocks Drive Down 10-Year Yield
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note sank today with stock prices as the European debt crisis escalated and fueled anxiety among investors. The activity could have the 30-year mortgage falling below 4 percent again.

Wholesale HECM Originations Reach Record Low
Government-insured reverse mortgages originated by wholesale lenders fell to the lowest level on record. Things have gotten so bad among reverse mortgage wholesalers that a company with less than a dozen monthly closings ranked among the five-biggest reverse mortgage wholesale lenders. But the retail channel saw a gain compared to a year earlier.

Compliance Quandaries and Solutions
Rules and regulations for mortgage lenders continue to evolve, and a host of mortgage service providers are eager to help lenders comply without slowing down operations. One firm is filling a gap that opened up when the Federal Housing Administration stopped providing handbooks. Meanwhile, the nation's new financial services regulator is moving forward with rules and procedures.

Wholesale Lender to Wind Down
The wholesale lending arm of the company formerly headed by the Mortgage Bankers Association's chief executive officer is doing away with mortgage broker business. The company will instead focus its origination resources on real estate agents.

Help Wanted in Arizona
Hundreds of job openings are being filled in Arizona by JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s mortgage unit. The recruiting efforts are on top of hirings being made in Ohio and Texas.

Delinquency Rise Mostly Limited to Nonconforming, FHA
A new report indicates that late payments on home loans deteriorated during the third quarter. The deterioration appears to be concentrated in non-conforming and government mortgages.

Technology is Top Topic at Industry Events
Technology issues are being tackled at a trio of financial services conferences, while secondary marketing is the topic of discussion at an upcoming Texas event. Two other recent events covered compliance issues and commercial mortgages. Nearly 40 mortgage-related events are being held from November through January.

Banks See Stronger Demand for Closed-End Mortgages
Financial institutions reported that demand for closed-end home loans has grown, though demand for lines of credit secured by residential properties was lower. Commercial mortgage standards, meanwhile, were at the tightest levels in six years.

Bank of America Gives Up its No. 2 Ranking
In its third-quarter ranking of residential mortgage lenders, Mortgage Daily reported that Bank of America Corp. -- which at one time was the biggest U.S. mortgage lender -- lost its No. 2 title among residential lenders.

Carrington Hiring at Least a Hundred
Business is good at Carrington Mortgage Services. So the company is recruiting more than a hundred new employees and could expand its staff by hundreds more if it closes on two pending deals.

Hearing Set in Allied v. HUD
In a lawsuit filed against the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Allied Home Mortgage Corp. -- which says it is "on the brink of collapse" -- claims that the entity which broke the rules on Federal Housing Administration loans is separate and distinct. In addition, any alleged shortcomings have been eliminated through a new operational entity which has exemplary performance.

MortgageDaily.com Releases Q3 Ranking
Strong refinance activity helped residential lenders lift third-quarter loan production, and the elevated originations have continued into the current quarter.

Death of 2 Banks to Cost Over $60 Million
Two banks failed Friday. While one had less than double the assets of the other -- related losses for the bigger bank are expected to be nearly four times as much.

LPS Scores Point in $155 Million Appraisal Lawsuit
The judge in a lawsuit filed on behalf of failed Washington Mutual Bank against Lender Processing Services won't let one of the claims in the case stand.

Mortgage Firms Report Growth in Business
Lenders across the nation have been reporting stronger loan originations as rates fall to historic lows. But the degree of improvement varies by company, channel and region.

Refinance Activity Strengthens as Rates Fall
More homeowners inquired about a refinance this past week as interest rates improved. Refinance activity was even higher than a year ago when the mortgage industry was in the midst of the biggest quarterly refinance wave during the past two years. Rates are poised to come in even lower in the next report.

Mortgage Market Index 293 for week ended Nov. 4

Market Seems to Be Functioning Fine Despite Lower Limits
While housing groups have been warning about the consequences of letting temporarily higher loan limits established in the heat of the market crisis expire, at least one scholar sees the private sector stepping in to fill the void.

Outsourcing Firm Expands Mortgage Services with Acquisition
The acquisition of a growing firm will help a New York-based company expand its own outsourcing services for mortgage originators and servicers.

$2 Billion Bank Jumping Into Wholesale Lending
A bank with more than $2 billion in assets is getting into the wholesale mortgage lending business.

Mortgage Jobs Down Despite Bump in Broker Staffing
An increase in mortgage broker jobs was not enough to offset a decline in headcount at mortgage banking firms. Across all U.S. industries, employment managed a meager expansion. But U.S. unemployment was lower.

Jumbo Spreads Improve as Greece Drives Rates
As Greece and its European partners go back and forth on a bailout package, U.S. mortgage rates remain volatile. Jumbo mortgage rates, meanwhile, came out ahead this week.

Banks Lead CRE Originations Higher
Commercial banks lifted their originations of commercial real estate loans by more than half from the second quarter and led an overall improvement in commercial production. Also helping quarterly volume was retail property financing. U.S. commercial mortgage production could end the year above $200 billion.

Allied Home Mortgage Suspends Operations
The nation's self-proclaimed biggest mortgage broker has halted new business. In addition, its bank account has been frozen -- leaving staff unable to work.

Monthly HAMP Volume Nearly Doubles
Mortgage servicers completed nearly twice as many federal loan modifications in September as they did in August. Behind much of the stellar performance was Bank of America Corp.

29,643 modifications completed under program in September

Nearly a Quarter of Non-Agency RMBS Loans Modified
A new report indicates that nearly a quarter of all loans included in private-label residential mortgage-backed securities have been modified. The ratio is much higher on subprime RMBS.

Distressed CRE Loans Great Opportunity for Some
Some investors see a big opportunity in acquiring distressed commercial mortgages. But experience and deep pockets are a must in this market, and some buyers are already paying too much for such assets.

2-Year Free Ride for Majority of FL Borrowers in Foreclosure
More than half of Florida borrowers who are in foreclosure haven't made a payment in at least two years -- delaying the state's real estate recovery and driving up the cost of lending in the state.

Ally Slashing Correspondent Originations
Driven by strong refinance business, Ally Financial Inc. loan originations jumped more than a quarter -- though earnings deteriorated significantly. But a new strategy that has the company scaling back on its correspondent channel is likely to cut its losses and take a big bite out of upcoming volume.

More Consumers Resort to Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Although total consumer bankruptcies were lower last month, more chapter 13 filings were made.

NEW CRE Lender Emerges
After abandoning residential mortgage lending four years ago, CIT Group Inc. is back in the business. But this time around, the company is lending on commercial real estate.

CMBS Delinquency Up, Spreads Down
The rate of late payments on securitized commercial real estate loans rose for the second consecutive month and has only been eclipsed once before. Meanwhile, spreads in the commercial mortgage securities market tightened -- though that might not be enough to resolve a host of upcoming balloon payments coming due.

Quicken Raises Originations
Quicken Loans Inc.'s quarterly home-loan production climbed, though federally insured reverse mortgage business eased.

MetLife Grabs No. 1 Reverse Retail Lender Spot
MetLife Inc.'s reverse lending unit has become the biggest fish in a shrinking pond. Based on all companies that originate federally insured reverse mortgages, average production was less than four loans per lender last month.

Originations Improve at PHH, But Not Earnings
Driven by elevated refinance activity, quarterly production at PHH Mortgage improved, as did delinquency. Losses at the parent company persisted, while losses at its servicing operation tripled.

Net Branching at Issue in Allied's FHA Suspension
Allied Home Mortgage Corp., which claims to be the "the nation's largest privately held mortgage banker and broker," has lost its ability to originate and securitize loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration and has been sued by the government over allegations of fraud. Claims on FHA loans funded by Allied are on track to exceed $1 billion. The company is accused of operating its offices as net branches in violation of FHA requirements.

Refis Back in Play?
As the European debt crisis shakes up markets, Treasury yields are plunging -- potentially bringing the refinance rally back to life.

Servicers Carrying Out Consent Order Requirements
The country's biggest mortgage servicers have begun reaching out to foreclosed borrowers as required by consent orders issued earlier this year by federal regulators.

Agency Issuance Higher Despite Drop at Ginnie
Aggregate issuance at the three housing finance agencies rose last month even though volume was lower at the Government National Mortgage Association. Fixed-rate agency issuance is likely to account for more than three-quarters of expected residential originations this year.

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