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November 2014 Archive


The Mortgage Production Report
Among several mortgage firms that recently reported originations are lenders that have seen substantial year-over-year improvement, increased purchase financing and several commercial mortgage transactions.

ARM and Jumbo Business Surge from Year Ago
Mortgage activity slowed heading into the holiday weekend, though there was an up tick from the same week last year. Jumbo business, however, has nearly tripled from a year earlier, while adjustable-rate activity more than tripled.

Mortgage Market Index 121 in week ended Nov. 28

FHA Finishes FY 2014 on Upbeat
In the final month of its fiscal year, new business inched up and delinquency moved lower at the Federal Housing Administration.

Mortgage Rates Likely to Tumble
Interest rates on residential loans moved little this past week. But the next report will probably reflect a significant improvement.

Business, Portfolio and Delinquency Down at Fannie
Secondary activity, the book of business and mortgage delinquency all moved lower at the Federal National Mortgage Association.

New and Pending Home Sales Disappoint
Separate reports on new home sales and pending home sales provided little optimism about the U.S. housing market.

GSE Refi Activity Jumps to 2014 High
Refinances of government-sponsored enterprise home loans climbed to the highest level during any month so far this year.

Bank Employment and Mortgage Originations Decline
The number of federally insured banks in business continued to diminish -- as did mortgage originations, assets and employees. Earnings and commercial mortgage holdings, however, grew.

GSEs to Relax Policy on REO Sales to Former Owners
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are relaxing their policies on the sale of foreclosed properties to the former owners.

CMBS Delinquency Down Again
The rate of past-due payments on securitized commercial real estate loans has moved lower most months over the last three years -- including last month.

Healthy Quarter for Mortgage Lending
Residential loan production rose for the first time in more than a year, while the nation's book of business grew and serious delinquency declined.

loanDepot Originations at Stronger Pace Than 2013
The pace of home lending at loanDepot LLC is well above last year's level, and an upcoming acquisition is likely to drive activity even higher next year.

Freddie Mac Portfolio Expands Again
The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.'s massive mortgage portfolio became even more massive for the second month in a row. Meantime, residential delinquency fell to the lowest level in nearly six years.

U.S. Bank Servicer Rating Could See Downgrade
The mortgage servicer rating of U.S. Bancorp's home lending unit could be downgraded because of deterioration in its default performance metrics.

Radian Expands Jumbo Guidelines
In addition to relaxing some of its standard eligibility criteria, Radian Guaranty Inc. has expanded guidelines on its jumbo programs.

MSRs on Nearly $5 Billion in GSE Loans Up For Bid
Mortgage servicing rights on nearly $5 billion in loans backed by the government-sponsored housing enterprises are up for sale.

Wells Fargo Battling Former Big LO in Court
A former loan originator at Wells Fargo & Co. has sued the company -- alleging that he was fired because he would not participate in illegal activity as demanded by his supervisor.

2015 Conforming Limits Released
Next year's loan limits on mortgages sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been published and include increases for counties in several states.

HECM Originations Stronger Than Proprietary Biz
While reverse mortgage volume edged higher on a monthly basis, the gain in proprietary activity was far less than with government-insured business. The disparity carried over into year-over-year performance.

2014 Mortgage Forecast Improves, 2015 Trimmed
Home lending activity forecasted for this year has been increased by mortgage bankers. But a reduction in the outlook for next year's purchase financing more than offset a slight gain in projected refinances.

FHA, ARMs Lead Modest Rise in Weekly Activity
New mortgage activity moved minimally higher last week, with government business and adjustable-rate activity increasing the most. Stimulating the market were lower interest rates.

Mortgage Market Index 169 for week ended Nov. 21
Changes to Servicing Rules Proposed
The Consumer Financial Protection is proposing a number of changes to the servicing rules and how distressed loans are handled.

Mortgage Servicers Make a Dent in Delinquency
Residential loan servicers continued to reduce the share of distressed mortgages -- pulling down the foreclosure inventory to the lowest level in more than six years in the process.

Fannie Raises Refinance Outlook
Fannie Mae lifted its forecast for this year's refinance originations and made an even bigger upward adjustment to its projection for next year's refinances.

Mortgage Rates Slip, Unlikely to Move Much
Fixed mortgage rates dipped below 4 percent and aren't likely to move much by the next report. Longer term, however, the outlook is for an increase.

Existing Home Sales Beat Expectations
With strengthening employment and the recent decline in interest rates and home prices, home buyers were busier last month than analysts had expected.

GSEs Issue Life-of-Loan Repurchase Relief
Updated guidelines issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are intended to provide lenders with more certainty that they won't face repurchase demands down the road.

Mortgage Closing Rate, Turnaround Improve
As a bigger share of mortgage applications were funded last month, the number of days it took to close a home loan was reduced.

Vigorous Growth at New American Funding
Compared to a year earlier, mortgage production nearly doubled at New American Funding. In addition, growth was nearly as strong for the firm's servicing portfolio and staffing.

PRMI Originations Edge Up
Quarterly mortgage production at Primary Residential Mortgage Inc. edged higher, while its servicing portfolio expanded. But the number of employees was trimmed.

Modification Volume Slows to a Crawl
Monthly loan modification activity has fallen to the lowest level in more than six years -- with government-supported volume slowing to a trickle.

Building Permits Hit 6-Year High
Despite a drop in new multifamily construction, new building permits climbed to the highest level in six years.

MSRs on Over $1 Billion in Agency Loans For Sale
Bids are being accepted for an offering of mortgage servicing rights on more than $1 billion in agency home loans.

Mortgage Production Inches Higher at First Choice
New business at First Choice Loan Services Inc. moved up modestly from the prior quarter. At the same time, the lender trimmed its mortgage staffing.

Complying With ATR While Avoiding Discrimination
In their efforts to comply with the Ability-to-Repay rule, some lenders have discriminated against applicants who rely on disability income. New guidance is intended to help them navigate this fine line.

Record Low 2nd Mtg Delinquency, 1st Mtg Rate Up
The rate of serious delinquency on second mortgages fell to the lowest level on record. But the first-mortgage rate deteriorated for the third consecutive month.

Home Builders Grow Increasingly Confident
Growing confidence among U.S. consumers is spilling over into the nation's home building sector heading into the holidays.

Across the Board Mortgage Growth at Navy FCU
Home lending activity increased at Navy Federal Credit Union, while the servicing portfolio grew and mortgage staffing expanded.

HOA Super-Liens a Super Threat to Mortgage Investors
Mortgage investors in at least two states are at risk of total loss on loans where a homeowners association forecloses on the property without any notice to the first mortgage holder.

Mortgage Delinquency Down 11 Consecutive Quarters
The rate of delinquency on residential loans has moved lower each of the last 11 quarters. While the country's collective servicing portfolio sits well below its pre-crisis level, it has recently been on the rise.

Lien Stripping Cases to Be Heard by High Court
The nation's high court has agreed to hear a pair of cases involving junior liens that were voided by bankruptcy courts because of negative equity.

Improvement in FHA MMIF Not Enough to Cut Premiums
The capital position of the Federal Housing Administration's insurance fund has improved but not enough to reduce mortgage insurance premiums.

2014 FHA-VA Forecast Lowered, Conventional Raised
A slightly bigger share of this year's mortgage production is expected to be conventional loans, though the increase came at the expense of projected government business.

New Business Slides at BECU
BECU closed fewer loans in the third quarter than it did three months earlier. But mortgage staffing moved higher during the period.

Guild Grows Originations, Servicing and Staffing
Guild Mortgage Co. boosted quarterly loan originations, expanded its servicing portfolio and increased its staffing. Further growth is likely with planned acquisitions.

ARM Business Slips
Mortgage activity and interest rates were little changed this past week, though inquiries for adjustable-rate mortgages softened.

Mortgage Market Index 166 for week ended Nov. 14

Bank Must Pay $1 Mil to Frmr Mortgage Executive
A bank in the Midwest has lost an appeal of a judgment requiring it to pay a former mortgage executive nearly $1 million.

Guaranteed Fundings Up as Servicing, Staffing Off
New lending activity made a healthy improvement at Guaranteed Rate Inc. But the size of the servicing portfolio and the number of employees moved lower.

U.S. Mortgage Performance Continues to Improve
Both the rate of mortgage delinquency and the rate of foreclosures have fallen to their lowest levels in nearly seven years.

FHA Short Refi Program Extended
A four-year-old program that enables negative-equity conventional borrowers to refinance through a government-insured loan has been extended.

Provident Funding's Lending, Servicing and Staffing Slip
Quarterly originations inched downward for Provident Funding Associates LP in quarter-over-quarter comparisons thanks to correspondent lending. Servicing and staffing totals also saw leaner figures.

Originations, Servicing Increase at Alaska USA FCU
Residential loan production at Alaska USA Federal Credit Union moved higher, as did the size of its mortgage servicing portfolio.

Mortgage Rates Drop, Likely to Hold
Mortgage rates moved down over the past week, and all indications are that they will remain at the lower level in the next report.

First Time Buyers Require Extra Care
First-time home buyers struggle to understand the mortgage process, and lenders with boots on the ground stand the biggest chance of winning over such prospects. Still, it is an online lender that continues to rate highest among all borrowers.

LO Comp Rule Violations Settled by Calif Lender
A company that paid bonuses to its loan originators for steering borrowers into home loans with high interest rates has agreed to a settlement.

Mortgage Broker Count Sinks in Oregon
The number of people making a living from mortgage brokering in Oregon has plummeted by more than two-thirds since before the financial crisis, though the total has recently been creeping up.

Major Mortgage Player Emerging from Merger
The acquisition of an East Coast player by a West Coast mortgage banker will create a company that will rank as one of the country's 15 largest home lenders.

Foreclosure Filings Worsen
Foreclosure activity worsened last month. New filings climbed, the foreclosure rate deteriorated and the number of completed foreclosures was higher.

Total October filings up 15% from September

Prosperity Home Mortgage Reports Originations
A mortgage banker based on the East Coast reported its quarterly mortgage production as well as its latest headcount.

Mortgage Mergers Wagon Rolling
As mortgage firms shift from organic growth to expansion through strategic acquisitions, some big deals have recently emerged.

Ocwen Affiliate Abandoning Force-Placed Insurance
In the current regulatory environment, Ocwen Financial Corp.'s service provider affiliate has decided to get out of the business of lender-placed insurance.

Lake Michigan CU's Originations, Servicing Expand
Home lending increased at Lake Michigan Credit Union, as did the residential loan servicing portfolio. The credit union, however, slashed its mortgage workforce.

GSEs Add, Lose Executives
Two recent mortgage executive appointments were at the government-sponsored enterprises, while one former GSE executive has become general counsel at a loan servicer.

Churchill Closings Up as Servicing, Staffing Slip
Lending activity for Churchill Mortgage Corp. amassed a small increase in the third quarter while servicing and staff finished just short of June 30 numbers.

Radian's New Business Slips, Delinquency Down
Monthly new business was off at Radian Guaranty Inc., but loan performance continued to be the best in years.

Healthy Month at MGIC
Monthly new business remained relatively strong at MGIC Guaranty Insurance Corp., while insured loan performance continued to improve.

Hilltop Mortgage Biz Weak, PrimeLending Subpoenaed
The parent of PrimeLending disclosed a subpoena related to government lending at the unit. Home loan originations edged up, but mortgage staffing was slashed by more than a fifth.

Fannie Cuts Cashout LTVs
The maximum loan-to-value ratio on refinanced Fannie Mae mortgages that have cashout is being reduced by the secondary lender.

Genworth New Business Rises, Earnings Deteriorate
New business improved at Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corp., as did delinquency. But the same couldn't be said for earnings.

Walter Originations, Earnings & Delinquency Better
Originations were up and delinquency was down at Walter Investment Management Corp. The mortgage servicing portfolio, however, was diminished.

1 Correspondent Client Sends Impac Originations Soaring
A lone correspondent client was single handedly responsible for a quarter-over-quarter doubling of new business at Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. The servicing portfolio was reduced.

California Bank Fails
A small bank in the Palm Springs, Calif., area was seized by a federal banking regulator and shut down. A significant share of the bank's net worth was tied up in home loans.

Bankruptcy Group Warns of Looming CMBS Crisis
Bankruptcy professionals are warning that borrowers on securitized commercial real estate loans should be working avoid an impending crisis.

Refis Hurt Most from Rate Increase
Residential interest rates have moved up for three consecutive weeks, and loan inquiries for refinances took the biggest hit in the latest report.

Mortgage Market Index 169 for week ended Nov. 7

Ginnie Seeks Additional Reporting Data
Issuers and servicers are impacted from a proposal for more data on new and existing loans in mortgage-backed securities that are guaranteed by the Government National Mortgage Association.

2014 Mortgage Layoffs Increase by 1,000 at Chase
The latest estimate of mortgage jobs expected to be eliminated this year by JPMorgan Chase & Co. has been raised by a thousand.

Watt: New Normal Ahead
The head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency told real estate agents and brokers that a new normal is eventually ahead for mortgage lending.

PennyMac Reports Solid Mortgage Results
Quarterly home loan originations moved up at PennyMac Financial Services Inc. and appear to be headed to even higher ground. Earnings improved, staffing expanded and servicing grew

Mortgage Jobs Grow With Overall U.S. Employment
Mortgage companies added more jobs during September. Sector improvement came as U.S. employers increased payrolls by over 200,000 jobs in all industries -- with the unemployment rate sinking to the lowest level in more than six years.

Mortgage Rates Rise, Might Climb Further
Mortgage rates moved higher this past week, leaving long-term fixed rates above 4 percent. Rates might rise further, though employment numbers could change that. Fifteen-year rates surged.

Lender Restraint Is Compliance Driven
Mortgage executives surveyed by a Washington-based advisory firm mostly don't expect looser lending conditions. Behind the outlook are regulations.

Quarterly Business Slows at Nationstar
Nationstar Mortgage LLC is the only mortgage originator so far this earnings season to report reduced production compared to the second quarter.

Over Half of GSE Taxpayer Profits From Freddie
In multiple respects, Freddie Mac is in the neighborhood of a third smaller than Fannie Mae. But Fannie is a little less dominant in the race to finance apartment units, while Freddie is responsible for more than half of the nearly $40 billion netted on behalf of U.S. taxpayers to finance both firms' bailouts.

PHH Purchase Production Probably Lower in Q4
Quarterly business was modestly higher at PHH Mortgage. New loan applications point to a decline ahead, though, for purchase production. Losses and delinquency worsened for the mortgage lender.

Discrimination Lawsuit Dropped Against Santander
A discrimination lawsuit against Santander Bank, N.A., will be dismissed as part of a deal worked out this week.

Wells Working On FHA Settlement
Discussions are being held to resolve a two-year-old lawsuit alleging that Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., falsely certified Federal Housing Administration-insured loans.

Fannie QC Worksheet Looks at Appraisal Process
Areas addressed in a quality-control worksheet updated by the Federal National Mortgage Association include the appraisal process.

Bankruptcy Filings Climb in October
The number of debtors to file a new bankruptcy worsened last month but continued to improve on a year-over-year basis.

CA Retirement Systems Collect on BofA Settlement
Two retirement funds for California employees have collected their share of a record settlement at Bank of America Corp.

United Guaranty Performance Metrics Improve
New business jumped on a quarter-over-quarter basis at United Guaranty, while the book of business grew and the level of delinquency declined.

Large Banks Ease Credit Standards More than Small Ones
Large banks are becoming more flexible than their smaller counterparts on residential lending. A similar trend was reported for commercial mortgages.

Explosive Growth at Freedom Likely to Continue
Mortgage production, servicing and staffing have been expanding at a robust pace at Freedom Mortgage Corp., and the trend is likely to continue with a new acquisition.

HECM Originations Jump
Reverse mortgage lenders turned up the volume on government-insured loan originations, which moved sharply higher last month.

REO Lending Programs Behind Credit Tightening
Credit conditions on home loans tightened last month, though the contraction was attributed to the elimination of programs targeted at financing foreclosed properties.

MTA Back in Record Territory
Following a one-month reprieve, the Monthly Treasury Average is again setting new records. But it's not the only adjustable-rate mortgage index venturing into record territory.

Disability Discrimination Costs Another Lender
For the third time in as many months, a mortgage lender has settled allegations that it discriminated against loan applicants who rely on disability income.

CEO Named for Common Securitization Solutions
A new chief executive officer has been appointed to the company that will operate the common securitization platform.

Ginnie Drives Agency MBS Issuance to 12-Month High
A monthly increase in securitizations at the Government National Mortgage Association more than offset a decline at its government-controlled counterparts.

Negative Equity Could Impact Florida Elections
Election outcomes in Central Florida are likely to be influenced by voters in distressed real estate markets who owe more than their homes are worth.

Across The Board Growth at Stonegate Mortgage
Quarterly home lending volume increased at Stonegate Mortgage Corp., as did the company's mortgage servicing portfolio and total staffing.

Rising Rates Depress Weekly Mortgage Activity
New mortgage activity declined for the second consecutive week as interest rates worsened for the second week in a row.

Mortgage Market Index 178 for week ended Oct. 31
COFI Falls to New Low
The Cost of Funds Index inched minimally lower, though that was enough to establish a new all-time low.

Strong Month for Fannie
Monthly performance metrics improved across the board at the Federal National Mortgage Association. New business climbed to the highest level in nearly a year, delinquency fell to the lowest rate in almost six years, and the total portfolio grew.

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