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December 2015 Archive


Another Dip Puts COFI Closer to All Time Low
As other interest rates move higher, the Cost of Funds Index moved lower again and stands even closer to its record low.

Mortgage Rates Up, Unlikely to Retreat
This past week saw an increase in fixed rates on residential loans, and it's unlikely that rates will move significantly lower over the next seven days.

Credit Union Failures Up Despite Overall Decline
Although the number of mortgage-related entities to close or fail this year fell to the lowest level in a decade, credit union failures increased.

Economist Discusses Banks, Ratings and Subprime
His name is on one of the most closely watched home price indices in the country, and he is a Nobel laureate for his work in economics.

New Business Slips at FHA, Delinquency Down
New monthly business was modestly lower at the Federal Housing Administration. A decline in delinquency, however, was more pronounced.

Little Impact on Small Bank Lending from Dodd-Frank
A new government report suggests that major legislation that was passed in the wake of the financial crisis has had little impact on the availability of credit at small financial institutions.

Radian's Liquidity Pumped Up to Meet PMIERs
Radian Group Inc. has moved hundreds of millions of dollars into its mortgage insurance subsidiary in order to meet new agency capital requirements.

West Leads Decline in Pending Home Sales
Contrary to expectations, pending home sales lost steam last month -- and it was a weakening in the West that was out front of the decline.

CFPB Addresses Industry's TRID Concerns
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued a letter allaying concerns of mortgage bankers about potential liability and actions by regulators for errors in implementing the integrated disclosure rule.

U.S. Home Prices Move Higher
A widely followed indicator of national home prices moved higher both on a month-over-month basis and a year-over-year basis.

CMBS Delinquency Drops, Healthcare Rate Sinks
The performance of securitized commercial real estate loans had a nice improvement last month that was led by healthcare property loans.

What To Expect in Banking Next Year
The nation's banks have been changing with the times, and here are some 2016 predictions about banking technology, mortgage staffing and other issues facing the industry.

Loan Application Fraud on the Decline
For several months now, applications for residential loans have seen fewer instances of prospective borrowers trying to mislead home lenders.

Trustee Sued Over MBS Losses
Although it was only the trustee for mortgage-backed securities, Bank of New York Mellon has been sued by a German bank for losses on the MBS.

AMCs Enhance Appraisal Services
Several appraisal management companies have announced enhancements and integrations intended to help home lenders improve compliance and cut costs.

Mortgage Business Stronger Than Last Christmas
As expected, new loan activity retreated during the week that included Christmas. But business was better than in the same week last year, with government-insured activity seeing the biggest gain.
Mortgage Market Index 110 in week ended Dec. 25
Mortgage Firms Report Growth in Staffing
A number of mortgage-related firms and the companies that service them have reported that their staffs have been growing.

IL Court Awards Non-Borrower Right of Rescission
A non-borrower who was on title to a property that was used as security on a mortgage has successfully appealed her right to a rescission years after the loan was made.

2016 Mortgage Conference Season Takes Shape
Details are beginning to emerge about conferences, workshops and other events that are intended to benefit people in real estate finance and those who provide services to them.

Home Loan Interest Rates Hold Tight
Fixed interest rates on mortgages didn't move much this past week, and the outlook is for more of the same. There was some movement, however, in adjustable rates.

Banks' Mortgage Market Share Continues to Diminish
Among all types of mortgage originators, quarter-over-quarter volume was down. But home lending at federally insured banks saw the greatest erosion.

Scratch and Dent Mortgage Portfolio for Sale
A small portfolio of scratch-and-dent home loans that are performing has been put on the secondary mortgage market.

Fannie's New Business Falls to 17-Month Low
New business at the Federal National Mortgage Association declined to its slowest pace in 17 months. Delinquency, however, remained low.

RBS Trader Admits Lying to MBS Investors
A former trader at the Royal Bank of Scotland has admitted that he misled mortgage-backed securities investors in order to boost the firm's profits.

Surge in Georgia Mortgage License Terminations
As the number of U.S. home loan originators has expanded, one state -- Georgia -- saw an excessive number of mortgage licenses terminated.

New Home Sales Rise, West Leads Gain
Home builders picked up the pace of new home sales last month, and it was markets located in the West that had the biggest improvement.

Refinances Lead Mortgage Applications Higher
More prospective borrowers applied for residential loans in the latest week, and it was applications for refinances that led the week-over-week increase.

Mortgage Lates Worse, New Foreclosures at 9-Yr Low
The good news is that fewer foreclosures were initiated last month than any month in nine years. The bad news is new delinquency.

Jumbo Mortgage Portfolio for Sale
A small portfolio of jumbo mortgages is being marketed for sale. Properties backing the loans are located in the states of Arizona and Wisconsin.

Freddie's New Business Falls to 10-Month Low
Secondary mortgage activity at the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. sank to the lowest level in 10 months, though delinquency continued improving.

FHA, VA Share Projected to Surpass a Quarter
Within a little more than a year, government-backed mortgage closings are expected to account for one-in-four home loans that are originated in the country.

Wisconsin Mortgage Firm Acquired
A mortgage banker operating from Missouri has purchased a smaller mortgage firm in Wisconsin, potentially boosting originations by nearly a tenth.

Mortgage Complaints Up Less Than Financial Industry
Though complaints related to residential loans have worsened over the past year, their rise falls short of complaints for all financial services.

TRID a Big Factor in Existing Home Sales Slump
Last month's existing home sales slid to the slowest pace in more than a year and a half, and the new integrated disclosure rule was a likely culprit.

Freddie Sells Small Distressed Portfolio
A sale of distressed residential loans by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. was the first to be sold to a non-profit buyer.

Movement Within the Mortgage Executive Ranks
A number of recent executive appointments at residential lending firms include chief strategy officers, chief financial officer and production managers. The national sales director of one company exited.

Annual Home Purchase Lending to Reach $1 Trillion
The annual volume of mortgage originations to finance residential property purchases is forecasted to surpass $1 trillion within three years.

New Crop of Lenders Look Beyond Credit Score
A group of 21st century technology-based lenders has started utilizing data that seemingly has nothing to do with credit to approve loans.

BofA CEO Talks About Bringing Jobs Back to US
In a wide-ranging interview, the chief executive officer of Bank of America Corp. talked about how the company is moving jobs from overseas to the United States.

Mortgage Biz Surges to 7-Month High, Jumbo Leads
New weekly mortgage activity accelerated to the highest level in more than seven months, and it was jumbo loan business that came in with the biggest gain.
Mortgage Market Index 154 in week ended Dec. 18
Regulators Caution Banks on CRE Lending
Growth in commercial real estate finance at financial institutions has prompted their regulators to encourage the banks to take steps to minimize risk in their lending practices.

Bank Merger Could Lead to Expanded Mortgage Ops
The acquisition of a bank in the state of New York by a bank based in Cleveland could result in an expansion of mortgage operations.

Fed's Move Could Restrain Economic Growth
The Federal Reserve's decision to begin raising interest rates could wind up putting the brakes on economic growth, which has not gained enough momentum yet.

PHH Reveals Biggest Private Label Mortgage Client
PHH Corp.'s private-label business generates nearly three-quarters of the company's home loan production, and the lender's biggest client has agreed to renew its contract.

Mortgage Rates Rise, But Could Retreat
Although there was a slight bump in fixed mortgage rates this week, it's possible the increase could be wiped out in the next rate report.

VA Releases 2016 Loan Limits
New mortgage limits on the amount the Department of Veterans Affairs will guaranty have been released. Dozens of counties saw an increase.

Freddie Refinances Lift Overall GSE Refi Volume
Primary originators raised the monthly refinance volume of residential loans that are backed by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.

As Mortgage Demand Eases, So Will Guidelines
Fewer residential lending executives are reporting that demand for mortgages is on the rise, though an increasing share expect that agency guidelines will be relaxed in the near future.

Nonprime Mortgage Securitization Completes
More than $150 million in nonprime home loans have been securitized in a transaction type that has been a rarity since the mortgage market meltdown in 2007.

HAMP Drags Down Loan Modification Volume
A rise in monthly proprietary loan modification activity wasn't enough to offset a drop in the number of government-supported modifications completed.

Home Builder Confidence Erodes Further
For the second consecutive month, home builders have grown less optimistic about market conditions, with the most deterioration in the Midwest.

Why Fed Rate Increase Doesn't Signal Big Turnaround
Although economic conditions have improved enough for the nation's central banker to raise rates, the move doesn't mean that the economy has recovered.

Mortgage Closing Times Slow As TRID Implemented
As mortgage firms implemented new integrated disclosures rules required under the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the amount of time it took to closed a home loans expanded by three days.

Mortgage Applications Slower, Purchases Down Most
Applications for home loans slowed down this past week, and it was applications for loans to finance home purchases that saw the biggest drop.

Building Permits Rise, But Fewer Houses Completed
A surge in multifamily activity helped boost building permits last month. But weakness in the Northeast, Midwest and multifamily hurt completed construction.

Mortgage Refinance Forecast Nudged Up
The economic outlook for real estate finance looks a little better this month than it did last month thanks to an improved refinance forecast.

Genworth Cuts M.I. Premiums
A reduction in the price of its mortgage insurance premiums has been announced by Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corp.

LTVs Continue to Drop as Borrower Equity Grows
Although the amount of home loans outstanding expanded in the latest quarter, the value of the properties securing them was up by an even greater amount.

Worsening Performance on 2nd Mortgages
Over the past year, serious delinquency on second mortgages has deteriorated by nearly 20 basis points. Monthly first mortgage delinquency ticked up.

Share of First Time Homebuyers Increases
Over the past year, the share of home purchases that were financed for first-time homebuyers has managed to increase.

Hundreds Prosecuted for TARP-Related Crimes
While most of the $700 billion in taxpayer funds that was pumped into the Troubled Asset Relief Program was put to good use, some of the fund's recipients proved to be nefarious.

How Fed Rates Hikes Will Filter Into Economy
This week, the Federal Reserve is largely expected to increase the federal funds rate for the first time in more than a decade.

Bank-Serviced Mortgage Performance Improves
The quarterly performance on residential loans that are serviced or owned by banks improved. In addition, foreclosures activity on bank-serviced loans subsided.

LOS Integrations Accelerate
Several providers of loan origination systems for residential lenders have recently enhanced their offerings though integrations with other mortgage service providers.

Ally to Re-enter Mortgage Lending Business
Ally Financial Inc. has disclosed plans to slowly get back into home lending, a business in which it was a former behemoth prior to its exit two years ago.

Challenges Create Warehouse Lending Opportunities
Warehouse lending, the quiet yet powerful force that drives the mortgage origination market, is doing better than it has in years.

Bank Robber Tries to Rob Mortgage Branch
A bank robber got less than he bargained for when he walked into a branch of a financial institution that only provided mortgage services.

FHA Leads Drop in Weekly Activity, ARMs Accelerate
Weekly mortgage activity slowed, and government-insured business led the downturn. Although adjustable-rate business picked up, that could change from a sharp daily drop in rates.
Mortgage Market Index 127 in week ended Dec. 11
U.S. Bank Names New Mortgage President
U.S. Bancorp has recruited the head of home lending at EverBank Financial Corp. to succeed the retiring president of its own mortgage business.


Rick Aneshansel retiring from U.S. Bank Home Mortgage
Mortgage Rates Edge Higher, Likely to Hold
Interest rates on home loans moved up slightly during the latest seven-day period, and there is little chance they will move much in the next week.

Reviews Find TRID Violations in Most Home Loans
Most of the residential loans that have closed since the implementation of the integrated disclosure rule have some sort of violation.

Chase Appoints New CEO for Mortgage Unit
JPMorgan Chase & Co., the second largest home lender in the country, has appointed a new chief executive officer to oversee its mortgage business.
Current mortgage CEO moving to credit card business
Huge Morgan Stanley RMBS Settlement
Morgan Stanley has agreed to settle its alleged role in the failure of four corporate credit unions that collapsed in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Servicers Complete More Foreclosures
While new foreclosure filings fell, total filings declined, and the foreclosure rate improved -- the volume of completed foreclosures has deteriorated.
Total foreclosure filings down 10% in November
Nearly 200 Counties See Increase in FHA Loan Limits
New limits on government-insured residential loans have been released, and nearly 200 U.S. counties will see an increase.

Mortgage Lender Witch Hunt Turns Up Bogus Leads
An attempt by a Florida county clerk to uncover fraud by lenders and banks turned up over 150 suspected cases -- none of which turned out to be legitimate.

Quarterly Mortgage Originations Double at loanDepot
Compared to a year ago, quarterly mortgage production has more than doubled at loanDepot LLC -- which has already exceeded last year's residential loan originations.

Ginnie's HMBS Issuance Jumps Despite Overall Drop
Although monthly mortgage securitizations moved lower at the Government National Mortgage Association, the issuance of reverse mortgages accelerated.

Outlook Strong for U.S. Mortgage Portfolio
After years of decline, mortgages outstanding are expected to grow next year. Despite an up tick this quarter, delinquency is projected to fall to pre-crisis levels.

Refinances Lead Rise in Mortgage Applications
New applications for home loans moved modestly higher on a weekly basis, and it was the refinance category that delivered the biggest gain.

9-Month Low for New Business at MGIC
Business fell to a nine-month low at MGIC Guaranty Insurance Corp. and hasn't risen in five months. Delinquency, however, continued lower.

Small Mortgage Servicers Earn More Than Larger Ones
Independent servicers swung to a quarterly loss on their loan portfolios, with bigger servicers operating in the red and their smaller counterparts being profitable.

Mortgage Staffing Rises as Originations Drop
As quarterly loan production fell, independent home lenders added more employees -- lifting personnel expenses and cutting into profits.

Ocwen Unit Tops Monthly Proprietary Reverse Volume
As retail and wholesale government-insured reverse mortgage business fell, an Ocwen Financial Corp. unit was biggest among proprietary reverse mortgage lenders.

Freddie Unloads Over $1 Billion in Distressed Loans
Freddie Mac has continued its strategy of reducing its investment portfolio with the sale of more than $1 billion in distressed mortgages.

Ongoing Decline in Mortgage Lates, Foreclosures
Serious delinquency on home loans, as well as the foreclosure rate, has fallen to the lowest level in nearly eight years.

Credit Conditions Tighten for ARM Products
Following four months of loosening home lending standards, credit conditions tightened. Stricter guidelines on adjustable-rate mortgages were a big factor.

Rise in Purchase Financing Offset By Drop in Refis
Purchase financing is forecasted to increase next year. But rising interest rates are expected to put a bigger dent in refinances.

Fairway's Staff, Retail Mortgage Originations Up
Quarterly loan production at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. was virtually unchanged, though retail business moved higher. Also up was headcount.

Huge GSE MSR Portfolio Up for Bid
Bids are being taken for mortgage servicing rights on billions of dollars in home loans backed by the government-sponsored enterprises.

MTA Highest Since March 2011
As short-term interest rates have been climbing, the Monthly Treasury Average has ascended to its highest level since March 2011.

Movie Review: The Big Short
Turns out that the movie The Big Short, which tells the story about how a few people foresaw the mortgage crisis, is part comedy and part instructional.

NY Times Takes Aim at Mortgage Bankers
Mortgage bankers fired back at the New York Times for a front-page story that alleges government officials turned lobbyists are aiding big banks that seek to capture profits currently being earned by the government-sponsored enterprises.

Lenders Report Mortgage Originations
As residential loan originations moved lower between the second quarter and third quarter of this year, there were a few lenders that decided not to provide mortgage origination data.

Fewer Credit Unions Hold More Mortgages
While the credit union sector continued to consolidate, outstanding real estate investments continued to grow. Home lending, however, fell.

MSRs on $4 Billion in Agency Loans on the Market
Mortgage servicing rights on approximately $4 billion in agency residential loans are being marketed through three separate offerings.

ARMs Surge as Mortgage Rates Set to Rise
Interest rates on residential loans are poised to make a leap higher, prompting prospective borrowers and their loan originators to rush into adjustable-rate mortgages.
Mortgage Market Index 137 in week ended Dec. 4 
Mortgage Broker Employment Drops as US Jobs Expand
Despite a solid improvement in U.S. employment and an increase in non-bank mortgage lending jobs, mortgage broker staffing contracted.

Mortgage Rates Slip But Set to Soar
Interest rates on residential loans dipped again. But all indications are that fixed rates are likely to move significantly higher in the next report.

Fannie's Biggest Lending Policy Questions
Home lenders that sell to the Federal National Mortgage Association regularly have questions about lending policies, and here are the top five.

Freddie Relaxes Borrower Funds Requirements
The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. is relaxing its guidelines when it comes to funds and securities that are utilized for down payments and reserves.

Monthly Bankruptcy Filings Mixed
While there was a month-over-month decline in national bankruptcy filings made by consumer debtors, deterioration was recorded on a year-over-year basis.

Monthly HECM Production Weakens Again
Fewer lenders closed a government-insured reverse mortgage last month, while overall volume for the sector was down for the third month in a row.

Survey Reveals Obstacles to Home Buying
A small survey about buying a home identified student debt, confusion about mortgage qualification and a decline in the rate of marriage among the biggest obstacles.

Delinquency, New Business Down at Freddie Mac
It's been seven years since serious mortgage delinquency was this low at the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., though new business didn't fare so well.

Franklin American Mortgage Settles With DOJ
Franklin American Mortgage Co. has joined a long list of home lenders that have agreed to settle allegations of originating government-insured loans that didn't meet program requirements.

Wholesale Lender Offering 90% Ltd Doc Subprime
A wholesale lender operating from Southern California is promoting a high loan-to-value, limited-documentation program for subprime borrowers.

Quicken Loans Ponders FHA Exit
Quicken Loans Inc., which is battling the government in court over alleged shoddy lending practices, is reportedly evaluating whether it should continue making government-insured loans.

Mortgage Apps Remain Subdued, But Purchases Climb
For the second week in a row, new applications for residential loans failed to accelerate. On just purchase activity, however, application volume moved higher.

MERS Settles With Illinois County
The Mortgage Electronic Registration System has agreed to a rare settlement in a lawsuit filed by a county in the state of Illinois.

CMBS Leads in Improvement in CRE Loan Performance
The quarterly performance of commercial real estate loans was better nearly across the board, and the securitized sector led the improvement.

M.I. Should be Used to Cut GSE Credit Risk
Mortgage bankers are recommending that the government-sponsored enterprises increase their utilization of private mortgage insurance to transfer credit risk.

HAMP Volume Up As Proprietary Modifications Slow
Servicers have completed fewer loan modifications for each of the past five months, though there was an up tick in the volume of government modifications.

CMBS Loan Performance Improves 3 Months in a Row
For the third straight month, past-due payments on securitized commercial real estate loans has moved lower, and hotel loans led the way.

Fannie's Monthly MBS Issuance Sinks Below Ginnie's
Agency mortgage securitizations tumbled last month as activity at the Federal National Mortgage Association was lower than at the Government National Mortgage Association.

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