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Jackson Nomination Sails Through Senate Committee
The Senate Banking Committee unanimously endorsed the nomination of acting HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson Tuesday, just days after his department withdrew controversial mortgage reforms that amid pressure from industry groups and their allies on Capitol Hill.
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New Jersey is Latest Casualty in Predatory Legislation War
Predatory lending laws that are being implemented across the nation are touted as ways to protect subprime borrowers from unscrupulous lenders. But in at least one state such a law is making it harder for nonprime customers to qualify for a loan, according to a new study.
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ABN AMRO Production Jumps 22%
Breaking a 6-month trend, ABN AMRO Mortgage Group Inc. announced an increase in loan production. A company executive noted that the current low rate environment is a second chance for borrowers that missed the last refinance wave.
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Mortgage Sites Ranked
An analysis of mortgage industry Web sites revealed no big changes about which companies offer the best online service. However, the top site saw a number of enhancements since the la
st report.
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LoanCity Hit With $3.4 Million Judgment
American Mortgage Network won a $3.4 million judgment in San Diego after jurors found LoanCity.com guilty earlier this month of unfair competition, breach of contract and stealing trade secrets.
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Mortgage Broker Settles With News Publisher
A North Carolina mortgage brokerage has reportedly settled a lawsuit with a financial news publisher that accused the company of using a copyrighted trademark to make spammed email messages appear to be from the publisher.
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Net Branch Company Shuts Doors
Can a company that brokered $1.5 billion in loans last year disappear? That's the conclusion one can draw from a somewhat cryptic letter vendors received last week.
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Freddie Purchasing LIBORs
Freddie Mac said it will now purchase LIBOR-indexed loans from all approved seller servicers. In addition, the company said it has reduced its minimum servicing spread on ARM loans.
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Mortgage Activity Holds
Loan originators were still busy taking 1003 loan applications last week as the share of refinances reached the highest level since last summer. Strong originations can be attributed to the current low rate environment -- which, given no economic surprises, should hold for a while.
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Subprime Group Blasts Predatory Report
Subprime mortgage lending is forecasted to grow this year, and the sector has many critics. Even the critics have critics as one annual study was bashed by a trade association defending the role of subprime lenders. Another study places the blame for disproportionate minority subprime lending on mortgage brokers.
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Regulator of FHLBs Resigns Amid Accusations
Following a political outcry, the chairman of the agency that regulates the nation's federal home loan banks submitted his resignation. At issue is a fundraiser where the chairman was featured as a special guest and the very institutions being regulated were invited.
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Series of Mortgage Tech Advances on Way
Technological advances in the mortgage industry over the next decade will be spread out over several functions rather than concentrated in one area, a new study has found.
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Drop in Business at Freddie
Secondary mortgage lending giant Freddie Mac reported that its February business was down 8% from the previous month.
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Home Equity Lines Shine
In line with the rest of the mortgage market, home equity loan delinquencies improved during the fourth quarter -- with lines of credit leading the way.
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Class Action Lawsuit Pending Against Ocwen
The National Community Reinvestment Coalition is preparing to file a class action lawsuit against an Ocwen Financial Corp. subsidiary for alleged abusive servicing and foreclosu
re practices.
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Church Foreclosure Looms, as Pastor Accused of Squandering $500k
Fifth Third Bank of Cincinnati called the church's $4 million mortgage loan after citing "a material adverse change" in the church's financial condition.
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Mortgage Companies on Fortune 500 List
A plethora of mortgage-related entities filled Fortune's annual ranking of America's 500 largest corporations.
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Internet Chatter Raises Possibility of Countrywide, Cendant Merger
Speculation about a possible merger between two major U.S. mortgage lenders was neither confirmed or denied by either of the companies.
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Mfg Housing Lender Scores $200 Million Warehouse Line
A Dallas-based manufactured housing lender announced it has secured a new warehouse borrowing facility.
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Mortgage Lenders Can't Ignore International Outsourcing
N. Gregory Mankiw, chairman of President Bush's Council of Economic Advisers, created an election year firestorm recently when he suggested it makes economic sense to export some information technology services out of the country.
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HUD Bows to Pressure, Withdraws RESPA Rule For Now
Acting HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson announced Monday that he was withdrawing a controversial proposal to change the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, known as RESPA, in response to sharp criticism from industry groups and lawmakers.
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Big Plans at First Franklin
On the heels of a jump in production, First Franklin Financial Corporation says it intends to become the nation's third largest subprime mortgage lender.
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Subprime Performance Improves
Recent subprime RMBS ratings news.
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Mortgage Activity Soars as Rates Stay Put
Loan applications jumped as more consumers started the refinancing process. The jump in mortgage activity is the result of some pretty low rates -- which should hold until summer.

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Subprime Bubble?
While adjustable rate subprime borrowers may have been responsible for helping push the national homeownership rate to historically high levels, a government agency says this segment of borrowers poses a threat to the country's consumer credit system. Most at risk are borrowers in high cost areas.
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FHA Scorecard Goes Automated
Insurance eligibility based on FHA's TOTAL Mortgage Scorecard can now be determined by the automated underwriting systems of the nations' secondary mortgage lenders.
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More Good News for Mortgage Industry
The country's primary mortgage banking trade group has raised its estimate for mortgage closings this year, reflecting a sustained low mortgage rate environment.
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Fannie Business Continues Decline
Slightly off the prior month's level, business volume continued to descend for one of the nation's secondary mortgage lenders. However, given the bright industry outlook from its own economists, activity may pick up in the next quarter.
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Economists Issue Upbeat Forecast for Mortgage Rates, 2004 Production
A pair of economists at Fannie Mae predict long term mortgage rates will not climb above six percent until the end of the year and are raising their forecast for total industry production this year.
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Subprime Delinquency Falls as FHA Rate Climbs
Amidst a recovering economy, an industry report said overall national delinquencies fell further during the fourth quarter, although foreclosures increased slightly.
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Record Low 1-Year ARM as Fixed Rates Fall
Following the sharp drop in Treasuries that resulted from the government's employment report, mortgage rates sunk near historic lows -- signaling a possible uptick in applications.
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Nevada Nails Four More Mortgage Companies
In a crackdown on unlicensed lending activity, four mortgage lenders were recently disciplined by the state of Nevada for allegedly conducting unauthorized practices within the territory. The moves come on the heels of similar actions last month against two other lenders.
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Countrywide Closings Climb
Driven by a rise in its refinance business, mortgage loan production for Countrywide Financial Corporation rose from January, but is still down from last year.
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Saxon, Aames Going REIT Route
Looking to tap the lucrative equity market, two subprime mortgage lenders have announced plans to convert to real estate investment trusts.
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'Mortgage' Still Among Top 10 Spam Subjects
What do mortgages and Viagra have in common? Both made a ten most unwanted list.
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Principal Mortgage May Be On the Block
On the heels of a quarterly loss and massive write down, Principal Financial Group may be ready to shed its mortgage banking and servicing business.
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New Century Production Holds Up
As February fundings held strong at one of the nation's largest subprime lenders, the chief executive said he expects total 2004 production to increase over last year.
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Packer Turned Loan Officer Still Plays Minor League Football
What do professional football playing, drug counseling and mortgage banking have in common? They are all fields Mark McCutcheon has worked in.
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More Mortgage Industry Job Losses
Employment in the mortgage industry continued to take a pounding, even as activity in the segment is the strongest its been since last summer.
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Refi's Rise & So May Rates
Refinance activity climbed to a seven month high as rates continued hovering at seven month lows. However, Alan Greenspan said U.S. interest rates are too low for long-term economic stability, indicating a rise is at hand.
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Appraisal, Debt Ratio Still At Issue in Kerry Campaign
In late December Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry made a bold financial decision that probably saved his campaign.
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Greenspan Clarifies Fixed Rate Stance
After making comments that suggested Americans can save tens of thousands of dollars by using an ARM instead of a fixed rate, the head of the Federal Reserve admitted h
e personally didn't follow that advice.
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GMAC Relents on Widow's Foreclosure
After being allegedly duped by a home improvement contractor, a Pennsylvania widow saw her mortgage passed from servicer to servicer -- only to wind up on the verge of foreclosure. However, Friday she received a letter from GMAC Mortgage Corp. confirming that her mortgage debt had been forgiven.
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Management, Procedural Changes Drive Improvement in Fairbanks' Servicer Rating
Recent subprime RMBS ratings news.
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Broker Going to Jail for Role in $10 Million Marijuana Case
Had a former mortgage broker chosen to forego his investment in a property, he'd probably not be in prison for the next 15 months for a money-laundering charge in connection with a multimillion-dollar marijuana growing operation.
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FTC Says Broker YSP Disclosures Bad
The Federal Trade Commission has released a study that suggests the additional yield spread premium disclosures required of brokers in mortgage transactions only confuse, not help, loan applicants.
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FTC Testifies on Predatory Lending
In recent senate testimony about the subprime market, the Federal Trade Commission delivered a warning to those engaging in predatory and illegal practices as it emphasized its "vigorous" efforts to combat such acts.
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COFI Drops to Lowest Level Ever
The popular 11th District average cost of funds index reversed course yet again, and during the process set a new re
cord.
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news about mortgage crimes

Southern Calif Scam Used Identities of Dead Real Estate Brokers
The FBI has busted a $30 million Southern California mortgage fraud ring where suspects allegedly used stolen and fake IDs to receive as many as 250 mortgage loans over the past six years.
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Preventing Mortgage Fraud
Mortgage fraud can cost a company millions. It happens before the loan is closed, and it happens on mortgages that were funded years ago. And while all mortgage crimes cannot be prevented, a few companies say their services help reduce the fallout from fraud.
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Owner, Loan Officers Banned from Mortgage Industry
A Washington mortgage firm, its top two owners and several of its employees have been booted from the mortgage industry by state regulators for allegedly defrauding lenders and
borrowers.
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Law Firm Settles in VA, HUD Overcharging Case
The partners of a Chicago law firm have settled a federal lawsuit that accused them of overcharging federal agencies that hired the firm to foreclose on property. The suit was originally filed by a whistle-blowing mortgage broker.
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SEC Accuses Former Conseco Finance Execs of $400 Mil Fraud
Two of the top former executives at Indianapolis-based Conseco Inc. have been accused of inflating earnings at its former mobile home lending unit by nearly $400 million. During the year of the alleged fraud, the combined bonuses of two were in excess of $5 million.
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Mortgage Firm Squanders $1 Mil of Investors' Money on Gambling
In early 2003, ads began appearing in major California newspapers promising 12%- 15% annual returns on an investment described as "safe," "IRA/401K approved" and "secured by California real estate."
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Lenders Don't Look to Brokers to Prevent Fraud
Mortgage lenders are pretty much on their own when it comes to fraud -- i.e., identifying perpetrators, preventing exposure and chasing culprits into jail.
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stories for loan originators

DiTech or E-LOAN?
A study released this week offered some valuable insight into how television, the Internet and other media impact the buying decisions of consumers -- including potential mortgage borrowers. It also suggests the role of the salesperson may be
diminishing.
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