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Mortgage Industry News
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Biggest News During November

Mortgage Attorneys See Surge in Cases
Legal actions tied to mortgage compliance, mortgage fraud and regulatory orders have surged, according to the Third Quarter Mortgage Litigation Report.

The report, based on active cases covered by, was prepared in conjunction with the law firm of Weiner Brodsky Sidman Kider PC.

Lawsuits and regulatory actions tied to compliance violations totaled 18 in the third quarter, rising from just three cases covered in the prior quarter. During the first quarter, just one case was tracked. Third-quarter compliance actions were concentrated on RESPA and TILA violations.

Worst Mortgage Servicers
A small survey of delinquent borrowers has uncovered the worst U.S. mortgage servicer.

The survey was conducted by during October and November, according to an announcement today. Responses were obtained from 412 borrowers who were in some stage of the loan workout process.

Banks Hammered With Regulatory Orders
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency recently doled out 25 regulatory orders to banks and individuals. Meanwhile, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been warned that their shares have been trading so low that they face suspension from trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

The Business of Mortgage Leads
Mortgage industry lead generation now includes loan modification prospects. One firm has reported a surge in demand for its leads while another claims its customers are getting more mileage out or their lead budgets by utilizing its low-cost offering.

FHA Fraud Costs Canadian Bank Over $10 Million
The Royal Bank of Canada's U.S. mortgage unit has agreed to pay more than $10 million to settle charges of mortgage fraud on loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration. The unit is being shut down.

Riskiest Mortgage Markets
Mortgage loans secured by properties in Arizona, California and Florida continue to be among the riskiest, a new report today said. But despite home-price depreciation and a high risk of mortgage fraud, one Ohio market ranked as the second least risky mortgage market.

Rates, Apps Mixed
Mortgage rates were mostly lower this week, though the average 15-year fixed-rate mortgage increased. Purchase and government applications increased, while refinance activity fell.

COFI Jumps, 10-Year Yield Sinks
The cost of funds index continued its ascension. At the same time, a gauge for long-term mortgage rates plunged.

Mod Squad Returns
Two government agencies are pressing mortgage servicers to adopt two streamlined loan modification programs in use at three failed institutions under government control. One private vendor has launched a unit to help servicers with modifications, while two other private firms are targeting delinquent borrowers directly.

Banks Jump On CPP Bandwagon
A stream of banks have recently reported being approved to sell nearly $1.5 billion in securities to the U.S. Department of the Treasury under the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Most of the participants indicated that they were already well capitalized.

Subprime Ratings Journal
All three ratings agencies have been busy downgrading subprime mortgage-backed securities.

Billion Dollar Player Emerging
A Washington-based lender is becoming a $1 billion player. Business is generated through mortgage brokers and net branches.

NetMore America Inc. today reported approximately $100 million in loan originations during October.

Production has soared from just $14 million for all of 2007.

Conforming Loan Limits
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and their regulator have issued updates on loan limits and fees.

Conforming loan limit calculations vary depending on which recently passed law they are based on.

2009 FHA Limit Set
Emergency economic legislation temporarily increased the limit on loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration. But that increase is set to expire this this year. However, other legislation made permanent increases to maximum FHA loans.

HSBC Closes Indirect Channels
HSBC's mortgage unit will no longer accept business from mortgage brokers and mortgage banking correspondents. More than 300 employees are impacted by the move.

Fannie Updates Appraisal Procedures
Fannie Mae has updated its policies and procedures on appraisal procedures. Among the updates is a new appraisal form.

Revised RESPA Rules Released
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released its first revision to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act in 30 years. The new form requires disclosure of yield spread premiums paid to mortgage brokers.

Biggest U.S. Mortgage Lenders
Mergers and acquisitions are shaking up the standings of the biggest mortgage originators and will continue to reshape rankings through next year.

Mo. Firm Growing
Mortgage production at one Missouri firm is as good as it was during 2003 -- when industry originations reached a record. The company has hired more than 50 new employees and has plans to add 50 more.

DLJ Buys $50 Million in Bogus Loans
In a lawsuit filed earlier this month, DLJ Mortgage Capital Inc. claims it was defrauded on $50 million in loans. The bad loans were not uncovered for several years because the defendants allegedly made payments on the fake loans. The mortgage banker who served as the ringleader is currently in prison for bribing a U.S. congressman.

CitiMortgage Reduces Broker Business
CitiMortgage is slashing the number of mortgage brokers it does business with -- leading to hundreds of layoffs. Business from a smaller and more productive group of brokers will ultimately be channeled through offices in Missouri and Texas.

Read the full text of these articles and many more at:


Sam Garcia
Mortgage Industry News

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