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June 2011 Archive


Completed OR Foreclosure Overturned
A completed foreclosure in Oregon has been overturned, casting further doubt over real-estate-owned filings involving the Mortgage Electronic Recording System.

M.I. Volume Rises
While it certainly was no blockbuster month for mortgage insurers, May was the second-best month this year. But performance wasn't so good when it came to defaults.

Kingpin Sentenced in Mortgage Crime of the Century
The central figure in what has turned out to be the biggest criminal case of the mortgage meltdown is headed for jail and won't emerge until he is 88 years old.

PennyMac Launching Warehouse Business
Private National Mortgage Acceptance Company LLC has hired a former executive of Countrywide Credit Industries to launch a warehouse lending division and oversee correspondent relationships.

Chances of Refi Rally Evaporate
As stocks have risen over the past few trading sessions, a recent rally in Treasury notes faded -- leaving little chance that any potential refinance wave will materialize. While rates moved little this past week, they are likely to be around a quarter percent higher in next week's report.

Fannie's Secondary Activity Off by Over Half from Year Earlier
After declining to the lowest level in more than two years during April, Fannie Mae's secondary marketing activity was down again. The good news is that delinquency has fallen more than 100 basis points over the past year.

Foreclosure Rescue Schemes Frequently Fraught with Fraud
In addition to charging huge up-front fees while offering little or nothing in return -- operators of foreclosure rescue schemes often bleed every bit of equity they can from the homes of distressed borrowers by using mortgage fraud.

HUD Issues SAFE Rules
The minimum standards required by the Department of Housing and Urban Development under the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 have been published. The housing agency also addressed licensing requirements for loan modification employees.

Fate of ResCap Still Uncertain
Substantial doubt still exists about the ability for Residential Capital LLC to continue in business, Ally Financial Inc. said in a public filing. The report also indicated that the government has subpoenaed the company for information on mortgage securities.

BofA Announces $14 Billion Charge
Bank of America Corp. hopes to move a step closer to putting its disastrous acquisition of Countrywide Financial Corp. behind it with a decision to set aside $14 billion for investors of mortgage-backed securities. Included in the provision is an $8.5 billion settlement reported this week.

Landmark Foreclosure Case Likely Headed to State Supreme Court
The foreclosure case that sparked a national investigation into the foreclosure practices of the country's largest mortgage servicers is likely to soon wind up in front of a state supreme court. Meanwhile, the delinquent borrower in the case continues to live payment-free in the property.

Huge MBS Settlement by BoA
A tentative settlement between Bank of America Corp. and holders of mortgage-backed securities issued by Countrywide Financial Corp. will bring to nearly $16 billion the amount the bank has paid as a result of its acquisition of the troubled lender. A potential settlement between mortgage servicers and state attorneys general, however, could push that cost even higher.

Mixed Results for Angry Investors
While some investors in financial institutions and mortgage companies have had favorable rulings in their lawsuits against the firms, judges have also been issuing decisions in favor of the defendants. In one criminal case, investors sank $12 million into mortgage investments only to see their funds squandered by the firm's president.

Issuance Softens at Ginnie
It was an across-the-board decline in monthly business at the Government National Mortgage Association.

Countrywide Had Huge Advantage over Smaller Rivals
When it comes to the secondary mortgage market, community banks have been at a big disadvantage compared to their mega-producing rivals, according to congressional testimony. Yet loan performance has been better on loans originated by the smaller banks.

Nearly $10 Billion in Q1 Mortgage Fraud Reports
The dollar volume of reported mortgage fraud activity has spiked this year, as have the volume of filings. But much of the activity was tied to crimes that were committed more than three years ago. Repurchases played a big roll in the latest findings.

Bank Failures Might Slow
Regulatory actions taken by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. subsided significantly last month. The number of consent orders, also known as cease-and-desist orders, that were handed out by the FDIC were down by half compared to the prior month and tumbled two-thirds from a year earlier -- pointing to fewer bank failures ahead.

Employees at Citigroup Unit Indicted
Nine former employees of a Citigroup Inc. subprime wholesale lending subsidiary -- including underwriters, account managers and supervisors -- are accused of colluding with appraisers, borrowers and mortgage brokers to fraudulently fund a hundred Ohio mortgages. The indictments are part of the biggest mortgage fraud case in U.S. history.

Modification Lawsuits Address Host of Issues
Recent issues addressed in loan modification litigation include second-lien subordinations, the handling of federally backed modifications and alleged false promises to provide modifications.

Fairway: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
When Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. was started a decade and a half ago, the company's founder was faced with a life event that altered the future of the firm. Since then, the lender has become a multi-billion dollar producer, provided jobs for more than a thousand employees and sidestepped potentially costly litigation.

3 Credit Unions, 1 Bank Collapse
Just one small bank failed last week. But the news wasn't so good for federally insured credit unions.

Jumbo Rates Improve
As of Friday, mortgage rates fell -- with the jumbo mortgage leading the way. But lower rates weren't enough stimulate new mortgage activity.

MMI 223 for the week ended June 24, 2011

Freddie's Secondary Biz Deteriorates, Delinquency Declines
It was another lousy month for secondary activity at Freddie Mac, though residential and commercial delinquency both improved.

GSEs, Lenders Sued by Michigan Counties
Two lawsuits filed against the Federal National Mortgage Association, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. and several mortgage firms allege that the defendants improperly skirted transfer taxes on properties in two Michigan counties. Other counties in the state have been alerted to litigation -- possibly leading to a class action.

Default Strategies
A new study found that strategic defaults on negative-equity properties are more likely with borrowers who make more and have bigger loans. The good news is that such defaults have declined.

PHH Hit With $0.3 Million Fine Over Foreclosures
A fine of nearly $0.3 million has been levied against PHH Mortgage Corp. by Illinois in what has been billed as the first such action by the state against 17 mortgage servicers that are under investigation for their foreclosure documents.

Florida Foreclosure Gone Wild
A Florida couple along with their attorney created fictitious loan documents to halt the foreclosure on their home and wipe out the debt they owed -- successfully convincing the trial court to rule in their favor.

Rates Move Within Narrow Range
Jumbo mortgage pricing improved, the one-year adjustable-rate mortgage was higher and 15-year loans were less attractive this week. The 30-year mortgage, however, was unchanged and is likely to stay put through next week's reports.

Calif. Lender Among 3 Firms to Sue Title Agency
Funding for eight refinances has disappeared, and a California mortgage banker hopes to recover the lost funds through a lawsuit against the title agent that handled the transactions. Including lawsuits filed by two other companies, nearly $20 million in missing funds has been alleged.

Wells Cutting Modification Staff
An office closing in the State of Washington by Wells Fargo & Co.'s mortgage business will leave more than a hundred employees unemployed. The impacted staff handles loan modifications.

Servicers Struggle
Mortgage servicers saw their earnings sink as servicing portfolios and staffs contracted. But despite the disappointing results, the companies managed to increase the number of loans serviced per employee.

Lenders Feel Pain of Falling Production
Mortgage origination firms saw income evaporate as production plummeted. Some bright spots, however, included increased per-loan origination fees, higher secondary marketing income and improved warehouse income. Government share, meanwhile, was higher.

$200 Million MBS Settlement by Regions Unit
The investment banking unit of Regions Financial Corp. has settled for $200 million charges that it deceived investors about subprime residential mortgage-backed securities. With the massive charge now behind it, the unit has been put on the block.

CA LOs Unconcerned with Jumbo Limit Reduction
While Realtor groups in the Golden State are lobbying hard to extend the higher loan limits established at the height of the mortgage meltdown, some loan originators and real estate agents aren't all that concerned.

Trade, Consumer Groups Call for QRM Changes
Proposed exemptions to the "qualified residential mortgage" need to be expanded in order to avoid harming the housing recovery, according to a diverse coalition of groups that includes trade organizations and consumer advocates.

More Good News for Mortgage Industry
Two reports this week indicated that mortgage delinquency improved last month, while government data point to the first increase in home prices in a year.

Discrimination Litigation Gets Costly
Several lenders have forked over millions of dollars to settle allegations of discriminatory lending. The plaintiffs in the actions included the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. Wells Fargo & Co. was named as a defendant in three discrimination cases.

It's Prison for Taylor Bean CEO, Analyst
The former chief executive officer of failed Taylor, Bean and Whitaker Mortgage Corp. has been sentenced to more than three years in prison. An executive who reported to him was also sentenced.

JPMorgan Settles Mortgage Securities Lawsuit
JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s investment banking unit has settled for more than $150 million charges that it misled investors on mortgage securities. It's the second big action announced against the financial behemoth in as many days.

$19 Million Modification Settlement
A Florida mortgage firm has agreed to a settlement of almost $19 million over allegations it deceived delinquent borrowers, collected huge up-front fees and told borrowers to stop making mortgage payments. But, according to the government, the defendants did little or nothing to help borrowers.

Defaults Decline
It was another month of improvement for residential loans. Delinquency sits around a percent lower than it did a year earlier.

Republican Blasts Mortgage Industry
A member of the GOP -- the party that is usually on the same side of the isle as mortgage lenders -- has blasted the industry over attempts to reduce the fallout from pending foreclosure legislation in Oregon. In a message sent to his state colleagues, the legislator warned that courts and the police might not be able to protect a bank or its employees from angry citizens in the event of a failure.

Rising FHA Business to Fall
The volume of government-insured mortgages closed moved slightly higher in May. But a decline is on the horizon.

Fannie Raises 1st-Half Forecast
Economists at the Federal National Mortgage Association have upped their expectations for originations by residential lenders during the first six months of this year.

Investment Bankers Sued Over Bad MBS
Two lawsuits filed by the regulator of federal credit unions allege that investment bankers deceived corporate credit unions about the risk tied to mortgage-backed securities they were peddling -- leading to the failure of five such institutions. Additional lawsuits are likely to follow.

Multifamily, Industrial Mortgage Lates Skyrocket
While overall quarterly delinquency on securitized commercial real estate loans was lower, delinquency leapt more than 40 basis points on loans secured by apartment buildings and skyrocketed more than 90 BPS on industrial property mortgages.

Residential Securitization Closes
A residential securitization for more than $100 million will fund an upcoming acquisition of a mortgage servicer.

Lawsuit Blames 3 Executives for WaMu's Demise
A potential settlement is in the works between the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and former Washington Mutual executives Kerry Killinger, Stephen Rotella and David Schneider. The FDIC's lawsuit alleges that the three executives -- who combined earned nearly $100 million between 2005 an 2008 -- were responsible for the bank's failure.

Mortgage Servicer Litigation Explodes
Mortgage servicing litigation increased 88 percent during the first quarter, according to the latest Mortgage Litigation Index from MortgageDaily.com. However, investor-related litigation activity eased, fewer loan modification actions were tracked and the overall level of mortgage-related litigation held steady.

2011 Mortgage Graveyard Reaches 70
The failure of three East Coast financial institutions brought the number of mortgage-related businesses to close or fail this year to 70.

Stream of Bank Executives Head to Jail
Several former bank executives, some whose institutions failed, are headed to prison over crimes committed during their tenure. The stream of banking defendants includes executives involved in the Taylor Bean and Whitaker Mortgage Corp. case.

Rates Edge Up, Activity Edges Down
A bump in mortgage rates slowed down new loan inquiries. But purchase activity held up better than refinances.

MMI 233 for the week ended June 17, 2011

Former Homecomings Exec named President of Growing Firm
A former wholesale lending executive at Homecomings Financial LLC has been named president of a growing Midwest lender.

HECM Lenders Grapple With Taxes, Insurance in Wells' Wake
In response to Wells Fargo Home Mortgage's disclosure that it will abandon the origination of home-equity conversion mortgages, reverse lenders are addressing issues tied to borrowers' ability to pay taxes and insurance.

The Bubble That Hasn't Popped
As real estate markets in Florida, Nevada and the inland areas of California struggle to clear out a bloated inventory of foreclosed properties, buyers in one Texas community are having problems finding a place to live.

Biggest HECM Lender Abandoning Originations
Following a similar move by the second-biggest originator of government-insured reverse mortgages, No. 1 is throwing in the towel -- a move that will impact a thousand employees. A total of three players have now said they are done in the sector, and those three firms accounted for nearly half of all federal reverse mortgages that were originated over the past year.

Mortgage Bankers Cut Forecast
A day after Freddie Mac increased its forecast of mortgage originations, mortgage bankers cut their projection.

Rates Might Improve as 15-year Falls to New 2011 Low
Despite an increase in 30-year rates, the 15 year managed a new low for 2011. But loans of both amortizations might be better in next week's reports.

Foreclosures Decline, But Not in Michigan
Michigan bucked the national trend and saw more new and completed foreclosures last month. While U.S. repossessions retreated 4 percent -- completed foreclosures in Michigan jumped 19 percent.

Foreclosure Warnings Mistakenly Sent to BoA Borrowers
Thousands of borrowers in the state of Oregon were mistakenly sent letters from Bank of America Corp.'s servicing unit warning of possible foreclosures over past-due property taxes.

Origination Estimate Increased $100 Billion
The latest outlook has U.S. residential lenders originating $100 billion more this year than was forecasted last month. Behind the improved outlook was strengthening conventional business and a rising share of refinances and adjustable-rate mortgages.

Criminal Subpoena Issued Against LPS
Less that a month after subpoenas were issued against Lender Processing Services Inc. by attorneys general in California and Illinois, an attorney general in a third state has issued criminal investigative subpoenas against the company and its affiliates.

Bank Exec Pleads Guilty to False Delinquency Reporting
A former executive at a Pennsylvania bank that failed four years ago has admitted that she lied about the level of residential delinquency at the financial institution.

Southeast Originator Up For Sale
An East Coast bank hopes to sell a mortgage banking subsidiary with operations from Florida to Maryland.

MetLife Expanding in Dallas Area
MetLife Home Loans, which has been expanding its mortgage operations, is looking to acquire a Dallas-area office facility from Citigroup Inc. Both companies would occupy the complex.

CFPB Official On the Record
WASHINGTON -- The director of enforcement at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau hopes to simplify and clarify complex financial agreements so that average consumers can understand what they are getting. He promises no surprises for lenders or borrowers and acknowledges that consumers share some of the responsibility for the financial crisis.

Foreclosure Cases Get Crazy
A lawsuit by a mortgage servicer against a securitization trustee has one lawyer baffled, while another case that was a victory for lenders has the plaintiff's counsel promising to seek help from the U.S. Supreme Court. An erroneous foreclosure in Florida had the property owners foreclosing on the bank.

Ohio Worst State for Mortgage Investors
The federal government has gone to great lengths to protect the less than 5 percent of borrowers who haven't been making mortgage payments at the expense of mortgage investors and the other 95 percent of current and future borrowers who will end up subsidizing the delinquents. As if that weren't enough to hurt investor demand, some individual states have gone to great lengths to delay or block lenders from enforcing their liens -- and Ohio is the biggest culprit.

Mortgage Chief Exiting at Chase
Four months after JPMorgan Chase & Co. shook up management at its home-lending business, the chief executive officer of the unit is leaving.

FHA Servicing Portfolio on Market
A servicing portfolio consisting primarily of loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration is up for sale. Bidding on the $0.2 billion portfolio ends this week.

Portfolio Lender Thrives
While business has dried up in the residential finance sector, production has picked up at Astoria Federal Savings. The financial institution, which holds home loans on its balance sheet, has grown as investors of mortgage-backed securities have shunned non-agency MBS.

NC County Rejects Foreclosure Documents
In North Carolina, one county is rejecting suspicious foreclosure documents.

Servicers Have More Time to Comply with Consent Orders
Federal banking regulators have extended a deadline for mortgage servicers to comply with recent consent orders.

Radian Eases Non-Agency Jumbo Requirements
Radian Guaranty Inc. relaxed its guidelines on non-agency jumbo mortgages in anticipation of the end of the government-sponsored jumbo mortgage. The mortgage insurer also announced other enhancements, including a new program that reduces required appraisal documentation.

Fannie Dismissing All Non-Judicial Foreclosures in Hawaii
A new law in Hawaii has the Federal National Mortgage Association abandoning non-judicial foreclosures in the state. In addition, the secondary lender might reverse some recent real-estate-owned filings.

Provident Production Plummets
While an analysis of first-quarter residential originations indicates that fundings at all U.S. lenders dropped by 34 percent -- volume plummeted by nearly two-thirds at Provident Funding Associates LP.

New Activity Leaps as ARMs Explode
New loan inquiries climbed 15 percent this week as adjustable-rate activity shot up 30 percent. Borrowers seeking shorter-term loans got a big boost.

MMI 243 for the week ended June 10, 2011

Taylor Bean President, Treasurer Headed to Prison
One of the first defendants to plead guilty in the Taylor Bean and Whitaker Mortgage Corp. debacle has been sentenced to prison, as has the company's former president.

10-Year Yield Points to Even Lower Mortgage Rates
The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to its lowest level since November 2010 and indicates mortgage rates will fall even further.

First Option Mortgage Selects The Partnership as Advertising Agency of Record
First Option Mortgage, LLC selected The Partnership of Atlanta, Inc. as its new advertising, digital marketing and media agency of record.

Conference Addresses Emerging Fraud
As mortgage lenders have become more prudent about identifying signs of mortgage fraud, criminals have become more innovative in finding new ways to deceive them. A conference this week highlighted emerging schemes -- including short-sale fraud and closing agents who are absconding with lender funds.

Rates Lower, ARMs Sink
As fixed rates improved to new lows for the year, adjustable rates plummeted.

BofA Leads HAMP Volume Lower
The monthly volume of government loan modifications was off by more than a quarter, while activity at Bank of America Corp.'s banking unit plummeted by nearly three-quarters. Compared to last year, collective volume from all servicers has retreated by more than two-thirds.
HAMP activity by month

Obama Penalizes 3 Servicers that Produced Nearly Half of HAMPs
The Barack Obama administration's Home Affordable Modification has produced 0.6 million active modifications -- far short of original estimates. The administration Thursday said it is withholding HAMP payments to three servicers that are responsible for nearly half of the active modifications generated through the program.

Life Insurers Outperform Third-Party CRE Servicers
Delinquency on securitized commercial mortgages shot up to a new high, while commercial real estate loans owned by life insurers saw fewer defaults. Agency multifamily performance was mixed, and late payments on financial institutions' CRE holdings held steady.

Jumbo Dilemma Looms
In just a few short months, temporary loan limits in high-cost areas that were established at the height of the financial crisis will disappear. But the loan limit on federally insured reverse mortgages was permanently raised -- making it a viable option for some borrowers on purchase-money loans in excess of $417,000.

Volatile Reverse Wholesaler Standings Revised
The company that originates the most government-insured reverse mortgages saw a steep drop in monthly business, though that wasn't the case for all originators. In the wholesale lending arena, the title of top reverse originator was handed to the fourth lender since December.

New York's Foreclosures Take Longest
Florida servicers responsible for around $0.2 trillion in loans that are managed by the Federal National Mortgage Association will have twice as much time to complete a foreclosure as a result of policy revisions. But despite the increase in Florida's allotted time, servicers in New York have the longest period to finish a foreclosure.

Fed's QE Exit Could Push Rates Higher
The Federal Reserve's quantitative easing policy is coming to an end, and more than a trillion dollars in new Treasury bonds are expected to hit the market. Problem is, some experts say, higher yields will be needed to entice enough buyers into the market -- a scenario that doesn't bode well for interest rates.

Mass. Official Rejects Robo-Signed Docs
SALEM, Mass. -- The register of deeds in one Massachusetts county is rejecting foreclosures documents that were signed by DocX robo signers.

FDIC Sues Mortgage Broker
A California mortgage broker that allegedly submitted $2.4 million in fraudulent loans to Downey Savings and Loan Association, F.A., before it failed has been sued by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. While the broker operated as a corporation, the FDIC hopes to break the corporate veil and go directly after the owner.

LendingTree Cutting Mortgage Jobs
Several dozen mortgage jobs are being eliminated at a LendingTree.com office in Indiana. The layoffs come as the company closes offices in three states.

Freddie Shakes Up Management
More than a half dozen executive appointments were announced by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.

iPhone App Targets Mobile Mortgage Shoppers
Prospective borrowers who are out touring open houses -- armed only with their wireless devices and a new iPhone application -- can now access pricing engines, mortgage calculators and competing lenders.

2nd Mortgage Borrowers See Worse Negative Equity
The number of outstanding mortgages increased during the first three months of 2011, though the value of those loans was lower, CoreLogic reported Tuesday. Much of the country's negative-equity problems are concentrated in loans with subordinate financing.

MTA Getting Ridiculously Low
Nearly two years ago, the Monthly Treasury Average fell to an all-time low. Today, the index is still setting new records -- and the next few months are unlikely to be any different.

Fannie Releases Revised Servicing Guidelines
New servicing guidelines have been issued by the Federal National Mortgage Association as required by a directive from the secondary lender's regulator.

Regulators Allow More Time for Risk Retention Comments
Federal regulators are allowing more time for comment on skin-in-the-game requirements for mortgage-backed securities.

OTS Seizes SC Institution
Years of losses were too much for a South Carolina thrift that was seized by federal banking regulators.

Litton to be Sold
A pending sale of Litton Loan Servicing LP will mark the third parent the servicer has had during the past five years.

Consumer News Publication Launches Amid Plunging Mortgage Rates
Interest rates have fallen each week for nearly two months, stand at the lowest level this year and are hovering near record lows. The launch of a new consumer mortgage news publication will help current and prospective borrowers take advantage of these low rates while giving them an improved understanding of available options and the mortgage process.

CA Investors Burned by Hard-Money Brokers
NEVADA CITY, Calif. -- A newspaper investigation found that for more than two decades, California investors have been burned by several hard-money brokers -- some who landed in prison. The district attorney in Nevada County allegedly received favorable loan terms from two such brokers, one who might be under investigation for securities fraud.

Trade Group Leader Proud of OK Performance
The new president of the Oklahoma Mortgage Bankers Association is proud of how her state has performed throughout the Great Recession. She travels every day from a small Oklahoma town to a mortgage firm in Oklahoma City and plans to travel to each of the state's parks in a fifth-wheel camper.

Refis Strengthen During Holiday Week
New mortgage inquiries were down following the holiday week, though refinance activity was stronger. Tumbling mortgage rates, which were responsible for the renewed interest in refinances, are likely to lift overall activity next week.
MMI 212 for the week ended June 3, 2011

HUD Moving to the Cloud
The Department of Housing and Urban Development is overhauling its technology, and the utilization of cloud technology is at the top of the agenda.

Disappointing Employment Data Could Be Boon for Industry
The mortgage industry's employment level took a big hit in April, while overall U.S. employment data deteriorated in May. But the worsening metrics could actually be a boon for real estate lending.

Bets Against Clients Prompt Goldman Subpoena
Armed with unique and extraordinary powers, the Manhattan district attorney has subpoenaed Goldman Sachs over mortgage-related investments it sold clients allegedly without advising them that it and a hedge-fund client were betting against the securities.

Executives Skimmed 1% Off Bank's Originations
MANATEE, Fla. -- A former bank executive along with a mortgage company president face sentencing for skimming an extra 1 percent off of the bank's mortgage originations. Borrowers who had hoped to get the fee refunded lost their case in a federal appeals court because the fees were disclosed.

FHFA Nominee Gets Back to Regulating NC Banks
A previous nominee to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency says there was too much work to be done as regulator of North Carolina banks for him to be moving to Washington -- though the GOP might have played a role in his withdrawal. In his own state, a landmark anti-predatory lending law was strengthened and mortgage broker license requirements were tightened during his tenure, and he hopes to see antiquated banking regulations updated.

Bankruptcies Retreat
Last month's consumer bankruptcy filings tumbled 15 percent from the prior month.

MO Lender Adding 300 Jobs
A mortgage banker that specializes in government loans plans to expand its staff by 300.

Lender Settles Discrimination Complaint
A national lender agreed to a $785,000 settlement over allegations that it denied a loan because the borrower was on maternity leave -- even though the borrower was receiving full compensation while on leave. The case is expected to prompt more people who were in similar situations to come forward and has already led to a mortgage insurer being cited.

Merger Creates Portfolio Lender
The acquisition of a billion-dollar producer will create a company that plans to make portfolio loans. On the menu are jumbo mortgages and investor loans.

More Good News on Rates
For seven weeks now, mortgage rates have been teasing originators and consumers alike about the prospect of financing at the lowest rates since last year's record lows. While rates are likely to hold steady as of today, tomorrow's employment report could spark volatility in the bond market and move mortgage rates in the process.

Servicers Lose on MERS Bill in Oregon
A late attempt by the real estate finance industry to waive Oregon mortgage recording laws in most foreclosures is dead. The lobbying came as judges in the state have blocked non-judicial foreclosures because of documents that were allegedly not properly recorded by the Mortgage Electronic Registration System.

Further Deterioration in Reverse Sector
Collective business continued to fall for originators of federally insured reverse mortgages. Much of the deterioration was tied to the exit of a top-five lender, as some players managed to pick up the pace.

Risk Of Appraisal Fraud Sinks
A quarterly study on mortgage fraud found that the risk of fraudulent appraisals has dropped significantly over the past year. The overall risk of mortgage fraud has barely changed.

Branch Platform Expansion Leads to Hirings
A mortgage banker operating from California is expanding its national branching platform and adding dozens of employees in the process.

CMBS Defaults Down Despite Deterioration in Industrial, Office
Delinquency on loans included in commercial mortgage-backed securities improved last month despite an increase on loans backed by industrial and office properties.

OC LOs Wanted
A new mortgage center in Orange County, Calif., is expected to house around 30 loan professionals.

Conventional Issuance Down, Ginnie Up
Despite declines at its conventional rivals, Ginnie Mae eked out a monthly gain in mortgage-backed securities issuance. It's been about two-and-a-half years since overall agency volume has fallen this low.

Wells Fargo Sues County Registrar
SMITHFIELD, N.C. -- A lawsuit has been filed by Wells Fargo & Co.'s banking unit against a county registrar of deeds because the office misspelled a name on a deed of trust.

10-State SAFE Settlement
A $3 million settlement with 10 states was reached in connection with one company's alleged attempts to skirt requirements under the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act. However, the lender was praised for its handling of the matter once alerted to the problem.

Resistance to MERS Relief Bill in Oregon
An amendment to pending Oregon legislation would relieve mortgage servicers of recording requirements that are hampering non-judicial foreclosures involving the Mortgage Electronic Registration System. But the amendment is finding resistance in the state legislature.

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