Record Rates Resume
Mortgage rates experienced another record-low week, and dormant applications finally woke up -- this kind of environment will spur housing to more greatness in 2003, but don't expect rates to get much lower than they are, some experts say.
Fed Cautions in Valuation of Servicing Assets
Banks and thrifts involved in mortgage activities, especially those with exposure to mortgage-servicing assets, should expect greater scrutiny of their activities during examinations, according to an advisory letter jointly issued by federal regulatory agencies this week.
Freddie Business Falls
Freddie Mac's new business purchase volume for January took an almost 40% dive from December.
2002 Thrift Production Record $536 Billion
The thrift industry set a loan origination record during the fourth quarter and the year, the Office of Thrift Supervision announced. The industry also experienced an increase in troubled assets during the year, however.
How Historical Can They Go?
Mortgage rates took another dip into history while applications remain strong, proving that housing is an energizing zap for the lethargic economy.
Personal Bankruptcies at Record Level
Bankruptcy filings jumped 5.7% in calendar 2002 from the previous year and continue to break historic records, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.
More to Honesty Than Avoiding Fraud
Industry commentary by Dave Hershman
Former Texas House Candidate Pleads Guilty to Mortgage Fraud
Two Houston mortgage brokers, one a former state House candidate for the GOP, have pleaded guilty in a case the government says involved more than $11 million in loans on flip real estate transactions.
January Purchases $57.2 Billion at Fannie
Fannie Mae's portfolios continue to stretch at the seams, according to its first financial summary for 2003. Its duration gap also continues to be running behind, however.
Rate Outlook Unclear
Fewer consumers sought to refinance or purchase a home last week even though mortgage rates have remained near historically low levels. And with global events in such an unpredictable state, only a crystal ball could say whether those rates will sink further or spike, experts say.
CA, MO Among States With Most Fraud Activity Recently
Mortgage fraud decreased nationally overall during the fourth quarter, according to the quarterly National Fraud Report from a fraud-prevention company. Some states remain constant offenders, however.
Florida Mortgage Company First to be Charged for Violating OK Telemarketer Act
Oklahoma's attorney general filed suit Monday against Mortgage Investors Corp. for violating the state's new Telemarketer Restriction Act. The company is the first to be charged with breaking the state law.
January Production off at Countrywide
Countrywide Financial Corporation's production in January skyrocketed past last year's -- but it didn't quite match December's grand funding finale.
Cendant Production Jumps
Cendant Corporation's fourth quarter mortgage loan production beat both its third quarter and previous-year figures, the company announced.
Record $16.5 Billion 4th Quarter Production at Principal
Principal Financial, Inc. reported record mortgage loan production during the fourth quarter, less than a week after the company announced it would phase out its traditional residential mortgage operation and lay off 500 employees.
Rates Holding Steady
Even with America practically marching toward war with Iraq, mortgage rates only barely budged this week. But that's not all bad, because the one-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgage is still a the record low.
Rates, refis, and the overall mortgage industry aren't the only things that rolled into 2003 at high speed -- broker and banker jobs didn't show signs of slowing down in January, either. Experts say other factors will have to play in for this to be a trend and not a blip on the flat economic radar.
Federal Charter to Keep Wells Funding Calif Mortgages After License Suspension
California's finance authority announced that it's intending to revoke the residential mortgage lending license of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc. because of repeated violations of state code, according to the Department of Corporations.
Chase Suing Actor Wesley Snipes
Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corp. sued movie star Wesley Snipes for failing to make mortgage payments on his mansion in the posh Orlando, Fla., community of Isleworth, the Associated Press reported.
COFI Heads Lower Again
The cost of funds for west-coast financial institutions fell again, bringing a popular mortgage index down to its lowest point in decades -- again.