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Mortgage Daily Celebrates 15 Year Anniversary
Dec. 3, 2013
By Mortgage Daily staff
|DALLAS -- (Dec. 3, 2013) Mortgage Daily is celebrating 15 years in business, a period that included record high originations, a sector meltdown and a sweeping overhaul of financial regulation.
On Dec. 2, 1998, Sam Garcia registered the domain MortgageDaily.com through Network Solutions. The Internet address was one of many secured by Garcia, who began a career in mortgage lending as a manager trainee at a small finance company in Anaheim, Calif., in 1980 -- a period when prime interest rates on home loans neared 20 percent.
"I was fascinated with how the Internet provided free news and dreamed of providing a website that had links to free mortgage news stories from local and national news publications," said Garcia. "My first job was as a newspaper delivery boy with the Orange County Register, and I came to despise the bulkiness of printed news and the residue of ink it left on my hands. The Internet allowed me to enjoy news without these physical drawbacks."
A few months later, Garcia hooked up with two programmers who helped him bring his dream to life, and Mortgage Daily became a live website. The three formed a partnership, and Garcia later bought out the other two partners.
The site was initially established as a blog with links to other news publications. But by September 1999, Garcia had, himself, written his first news story about a conference held in Corpus Christi, Texas, by the Texas Association of Mortgage Brokers. By the end of the following year, Garcia was writing a significant share of Mortgage Daily's content.
Garcia gave up his mortgage lending career and became Mortgage Daily's full-time publisher in 2000.
Mortgage Daily started hiring experienced journalists and began producing all of its own content. Because Garcia's mortgage background was primarily in subprime wholesale lending, much of the content -- and the audience -- reflected this.
Also featured early on were stories about mortgage fraud. The topic garnered the interest of many readers and lifted Mortgage Daily's profile as a sensational publication -- with a story about the company's mortgage fraud coverage featured in Business Week. However, as the frequency of mortgage fraud prosecutions grew and began to dominate coverage, individual fraud case coverage was moved to FraudBlogger.com. However, Mortgage Daily still tracks all of the mortgage fraud case activity in its Mortgage Fraud Index.
While Mortgage Daily was originally supported through advertisers, it converted to a paid subscription model in 2003 -- a year that saw more U.S. residential loan originations than any other on record as a result of the low rates that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
But as the 2003 refinance tsunami subsided, nonprime lending filled the void that was left -- culminating in the housing bubble and a total subprime mortgage meltdown in 2007. Mortgage Daily tracked 158 mostly subprime mortgage company closings in 2007 -- all of which are chronicled in its Mortgage Graveyard.
As the subprime sector completely disintegrated, Mortgage Daily tracked the loss of nearly 89,000 mortgage jobs in 2007. Quarterly mortgage employment gains and losses have been tracked ever since in its Mortgage Employment Index -- though no period after 2007 has been as devastating.
Like the mortgage industry, itself, Mortgage Daily was hit hard by the subprime meltdown and the subsequent credit crisis, financial crisis and housing crisis. The Dallas-based publication responded by slashing subscription prices, cutting back on expenses and significantly increasing subscriber value.
Company profiles were created that reflected, among many other things, loan origination volume, servicing portfolio size and mortgage headcount. Statistics tables were established to record dozens of industry metrics -- some going back as far as the 1990's. Lender business volume tables were set up to identify the biggest originators and largest servicers. More than a dozen mortgage directories -- including directories for appraisal management companies, net branch operators, wholesale lenders and technology providers -- were created that feature website links and news stories.
And, more siginficantly, the number of mortgage industry news stories published increased substantially. In addition to producing more content, Mortgage Daily began acquiring syndicated content from McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
Following the financial crisis, the pace of mortgage litigation picked up. Mortgage Daily's Mortgage Litigation Index has soared from a quarterly level of generally less than 50 prior to 2009 to more than 200 over the past two years.
Garcia, who prior to his mortgage career worked as a clerk at a prestigious Orange County law firm, noted that the pace of mortgage litigation shows no signs of slowing anytime soon.
While Mortgage Daily was originally created to help meet demand for online trade news, today it is adapting to the dissemination of news through social media channels and helping the industry keep up with a wave of regulatory changes that have yet to be fully implemented.
In addition to ongoing coverage of new laws, rules and regulations, a Mortgage Regulation table identifies more than 60 old and new laws, rules and regulations and includes links to all articles about each one.
"While mortgage regulation was virtually nonexistent prior to the financial crisis, that is no longer the case," Garcia stated. "Loan originators and mortgage brokers who previously faced low or no entry barriers are now registered, licensed and educated. Mortgage firms that were rarely hit with actions for RESPA violations or other noncompliance are now grappling with what many consider to be overregulation and an endless wave of new rules and regulations.
"Many firms and individuals have exited the business entirely, and what's left is an experienced bunch who are able to thrive in a highly regulated environment -- a scenario that, while difficult and costly, reduces risk for borrowers and investors alike."
About Mortgage Daily
Founded in 1998 by 20-year mortgage industry veteran Sam Garcia, Mortgage Daily is a leading online source of mortgage news and mortgage statistics. Mortgage Daily also publishes the Mortgage Market Index, Mortgage Employment Index, Mortgage Litigation Index, Mortgage Fraud Index and ranking of the biggest lenders. Visit Mortgage Daily at www.MortgageDaily.com.
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