Fed Flooded With Mergers Apps
The Federal Reserve recently received 27 bank mergers applications, while the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency recently approved 12 applications. One recent acquisition helped a California-based get one step closer to its goal of being a billion dollar producer.
M.I. Business Deteriorates
Compared to last year, mortgage insurance firms are writing half as many new policies. At the same time, defaults have grown by more than a third.
Doc Prep Gets Litigious
In a lawsuit filed last week in a California federal court, DocMagic Inc. claims Ellie Mae Inc. dumped the online document preparation firm from its transaction platform and used its monopoly to steal DocMagic customers.
3 Bank Failures to Cost FDIC $0.5 Billion
|New Firm Targets $1 Billion
A Virginia originator who claims to be among the nation's highest producing loan officers has launched a new venture that he hopes will generate $1 billion in production within four years.
Estimated losses from the failure of three banks Friday were nearly a half billion dollars. Two of the failed institutions were more than a century old. This year's mortgage-related closings have already surpassed closings during all of 2008 and could reach the highest level in a decade. Meanwhile, two formerly large bank-holding companies filed for bankruptcy protection.
Net Branches Grow
Six firms have recently been busy expanding their branch networks, while a new net branch directory provides prospective brokers with information on more than two dozen net branch operations. The self-proclaimed biggest U.S. broker settled with Georgia regulators allegations of unlicensed originators.
FHA Activity Off in August
Led by a one-quarter drop in refinances, endorsements by the Federal Housing Administration fell 20 percent in the first half of this month. And new applications suggest business will fall further.
PNC Biggest Servicer on Agency Multifamily
As Wells Fargo & Co. maintained its grip on its No. 1 commercial servicer ranking, two subsidiaries of The PNC Financial Services Group Inc. ranked as the biggest servicer of agency multifamily loans.
Fannie Performance Weakens
Volume eased and delinquency rose last month at Fannie Mae.
Thousands Hired for Servicing Jobs
|Bank Sector Performance Still Deteriorating
As delinquency worsened for the 13th consecutive quarter at U.S. banks and the number of troubled institutions reached a record high, the chief of the federal agency that insures deposits said the overall economy is showing signs of improvement. She noted that bank-sector performance generally lags the economy.
Servicing staffs are being expanded at a rapid pace.
BoA Completes Acquisition of TBW Servicing
The process of transferring servicing from Taylor, Bean and Whitaker Mortgage Corp. to Bank of America Corp. has been completed.
Rates Rise, Refis Strengthen
Rates generally rose during the past week, but so did new loan applications. The increase was driven by a jump in refinance applications.
Mortech Sued Over Google Deal
A deal between Google and Mortech Inc. has landed the Nebraska firm in court.
The Regulatory Report
States are eager to regulate federally chartered financial institutions, according to a letter to U.S. lawmakers. Seven out of more than 20 regulatory orders were against six different institutions operating under the name "First National."
Thrift Originations Tumble
Residential originations tumbled at U.S. thrifts, while delinquency rose and troubled assets grew. Still, the sector earned its first profit in seven quarters.
Wholesaler Goes from Startup to $1 Billion in 2 Years
A wholesale mortgage lender that began business less than two years ago has already reached $1 billion in originations.
A host of new and improved offerings aim to assist mortgage firms with complying with an array of new regulations. Even the Federal Trade Commission is doing its part to minimize regulatory burdens -- though at least two groups want the agency to do more.
The RESPA Report
Opinions on the new Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act rule vary widely. But regardless of individual positions, plenty of resources have been developed to help mortgage firms comply with the new rule.
Freddie Delinquency Nearly Triples
Business tumbled at Freddie Mac, and delinquency has nearly tripled over the past year.
ID Theft, Appraisal Fraud Drive Increases Fraud Risk
The risk of mortgage fraud has migrated west during the past year, a new study indicates. While fraud involving inflated home valuations and identity theft leapt, occupancy and income fraud tumbled.
Best Mortgage Servicers
Regions Mortgage has been ranked as the best mortgage servicer in a new study. The report found that employing hard-to-understand representatives was among the most devastating practices by servicers.
Over 1,000 Loss Mit Employees Added at Citi in 2009
More than a thousand new employees have been hired by CitiMortgage this year to deal with a big jump in borrower calls.
Mortgage Regulators Target Licensing
Among the hottest issues covered at a meeting of state mortgage regulators this month was the further implementation and development of the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry. States are also pooling their examination resources in an effort to bring uniformity to the examination process. Unlicensed loan modification firms that charge up-front fees are also on regulators' radar.
Fewer Borrowers Able to Recover from Delinquency
A decline in mortgage delinquency is being threatened by a lack of delinquency cures, according to a new report. The quickly worsening cure rates are impacting prime borrowers as well as nonprime borrowers.
Bankrupt Taylor Bean Plans Appeal
Taylor, Bean and Whitaker Mortgage Corp. has filed for bankruptcy protection and hired a restructuring team. The company said it still hopes to appeal its suspension by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Government National Mortgage Association.
Fannie Halts Construction Program
A decade-old construction-to-permanent program has been canceled by Fannie Mae.
FHA Commissioner Meets With Brokers
Mortgage brokers recently met with the commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration to discuss several issues including FHA originations by brokers, the new RESPA rule and the use of Home Valuation Code of Conduct on FHA loans.
Appraisal, Modification and Foreclosure Lawsuits Soar
A surge in litigation tied to real estate appraisals, loan modifications and foreclosures contributed to a 54 percent increase in mortgage-related lawsuits, according to the Second Quarter Mortgage Litigation Report from MortgageDaily.com. Investor litigation continued to be the busiest category.
Huge Failure Friday
Friday's failure of Guaranty Bank in Texas is expected to deplete the nation's deposit insurance fund by $3 billion. Three other banks -- including two Georgia institutions -- were also shut down Friday.
Reverse, FHA Purchase Volume Surges
A monthly increase in Federal Housing Administration endorsements was fueled by a nearly 20 percent surge in FHA purchase-money transactions and a 14 percent improvement in reverse mortgage endorsements. FHA refinances, however, tumbled.
Wells Sued for Using AVM in Decision to Cut HELOC
A Chicago borrower is serving as lead plaintiff in a class action against Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. The lender is accused of illegally relying on a home value determined by an automated valuation model as its basis for cutting the borrower's home-equity line-of-credit.
Subprime Servicer Upgraded
The company formerly known as Fairbanks Capital Corp. saw its subprime servicer rating upgraded.
HAMP Bandwagon Loaded
|FHA Commissioner Warns Servicers
The head of the Federal Housing Administration is warning FHA servicers to operate ethically, honestly and transparently or face the same fate as Taylor, Bean and Whitaker Mortgage Corp.
A Texas-based modification company is among the fastest growing private companies in the country. Meanwhile, hundreds-of-thousands of modifications have been completed by U.S. servicers this year outside of a government program that promises hundreds-of-thousands more.
Freddie Updates Transmittal, Jumbo Appraisal Forms
Freddie Mac has updated its appraisal requirements on some jumbo loans and made revisions to its underwriting forms. In addition, the company clarified how much real estate brokers can be paid on short-sale transactions.
New FHA Foreclosures Jump
The share of U.S. mortgages that were either delinquent or in foreclosure surpassed 13 percent and reached an all-time record, according to a new trade group report. Foreclosures on loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration "saw a major jump," but new subprime foreclosures fell as VA performance improved.
Mortgage Rates Lower
Rates retreated, mortgage applications strengthened and adjustable-rate activity increased during the latest week.
MetLife is Biggest Reverse Wholesale Lender
MetLife Bank, N.A., emerged as the biggest wholesale reverse mortgage lender last month. At the same time, Financial Freedom Acquisition's stature is quickly diminishing.
Mortgage Litigation Today
Issues addressed in recent mortgage lawsuits include lending discrimination, mortgage fraud and political contributions by two of the country's biggest mortgage firms. In another case, a former employee of a failed reverse mortgage lender who was accused of stealing 56,000 mortgage leads has pleaded guilty.
Fastest Growing Mortgage Firms
|Billionaire Hires Fannie/Freddie Regulator
The billionaire behind American Home Mortgage Servicing Inc. has hired the regulator who oversaw the seizure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It's the third time this week that the private sector has plucked political appointees who were prominently placed in high-ranking government positions.
Despite a rough two years, some mortgage-related firms made the list of the fastest growing private companies. Among the top 500 were two origination firms, a default service provider and a lead generation company. Revenues at the highest-ranking mortgage-related company soared from less than $0.5 million in 2005 to $22 million last year.
Among recent improvements to loan origination systems are features that help loan originators maintain compliance with mortgage regulations and Federal Housing Administration requirements. Meanwhile, firms that provide pricing engines, appraisals and credit services have aligned with two LOS providers.
Wells Closing NC Wholesale Office
Wells Fargo & Co.'s mortgage unit is closing a wholesale lending location in North Carolina in a move that will impact several dozen employees.
CA Lender Settles With FTC
A California mortgage firm has agreed to a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over allegations it didn't make proper disclosures on pre-screened credit offers.
New Servicer Touts New Approach
|Former FHA, Ginnie Chiefs Launch New Venture
A new company was launched by the former president of the Government National Mortgage Association and the former commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration -- both Bush administration appointees. The new venture provides help for mortgage firms that are struggling to navigate an evolving regulatory environment.
A new servicer hopes to build its client base by targeting the needs of investors.
Firm Locates Warehouse Financing for Others
A Michigan firm is helping mortgage bankers find warehouse and other financing.
Mortgage Originations Rise
Quarterly U.S. residential production jumped by nearly a quarter, while monthly volume was up more than 10 percent, according to government data released today.
Program's Extension Supports CMBS
The government has extended a federal financing program in a move to support commercial mortgage-backed securities.
More Signs of Lending Recovery
The share of banks that have either tightened mortgage lending guidelines or seen demand decline has fallen.
Record U.S. Delinquency
Two-month mortgage delinquency reached the highest level ever, though some signs of improvement emerged.
Mortgage Bankers Adapt to Survive
Mortgage bankers improved their profit-per-loan, according to a new trade group report. While the findings reflected the exit of the least profitable firms, they also reflected more efficient use of warehouse lines and a high level of adaptability as many players quickly shifted to government originations. But an increase in refinance volume stung servicing profits.
Nearly 20 New M&A Deals
Morgan Stanley is seeking approval to invest in a Virginia-based bank, while potential bidders have emerged for ailing Guaranty Bank. Several other firms and individuals have sought or obtained Federal Reserve approval to acquire or invest in financial institutions.
Losses on Friday's 5 Failures Estimated at $3.7 Billion
The government expects nearly $3.7 billion in losses from five financial institutions that failed Friday. No buyer was found for one of the failures -- leaving more than 200 employees without work. Several branches were caught up in the recent collapse of West Coast-based operation.
The Alabama State Banking Department has finally put Colonial Bank out of its misery. The huge failure -- the largest this year -- prompted words of reassurance from the chairman of the country's bank deposit insurance fund.
Securitizations backed by closed-end second mortgages and home-equity lines-of-credit saw downgrades by two ratings agencies on vintages ranging from 2003 to 2007.
Q4 Gov Originations to Tumble
The volume of mortgages originated under government programs during the last three months of the year is expected to decline by nearly one-quarter from the current period, according to a new forecast. Fixed rates, meanwhile, are expected to climb.
Judge Rules in Favor of BoA Against Colonial
|The Executive Insider
The head of the Government National Mortgage Association is reportedly stepping down from his presidentially appointed position, while an Obama administration nominee was confirmed as chairman of the nation's credit union regulator. Several financial services companies reported a number of management changes -- though few involved top executives.
Bank of America Corp. has scored a legal victory as it attempts to secure $1 billion from ailing Colonial Bank.
BoA's $1 Billion Lawsuit
Bank of America has filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Colonial Bank claiming that the beleaguered bank sold loans without passing on the proceeds. The litigation came on the heels of Colonial's acknowledgement that accounting irregularities might extend beyond just one year.
15-30 Year Spread at Highest Since 2004
It's been nearly five years since the spread between 15-year and 30-year fixed rates has been this wide. Despite an increase in most mortgage rates during the past week, the one-year adjustable-rate mortgage fell, ARM share increased and purchase activity picked up. Treasury activity suggests rates may ease.
New Firm Aims to Be 1-Stop Shop for Default Services
Several affiliated firms have banded together under one brand to provide default servicing, loan modification and valuation services -- among other things.
Record July Foreclosures
Foreclosure filings reached the highest on record in July, while repossessions shot up 10 percent from June. Nearly one-third of all foreclosures were in California, and Nevada had the highest rate.
Colonial Accounting Problems Worsen
Colonial BancGroup Inc. won't be filing its quarterly financial report on time because the extent of its accounting irregularities is worse than originally thought.
Ocwen Picks Up $4 Billion in Servicing
Ocwen Financial Corp.'s servicing subsidiary picked up a servicing portfolio of more than $4 billion.
Mod Firms Bombarded With Lawsuits
Government lawyers in several states have been busy filing nearly 200 lawsuits and other actions against loan modification companies. At issue in several cases reviewed by MortgageDaily.com are huge up-front fees, false promises of high success rates and money-back guarantees that are not honored.
Las Vegas Credit Union Fails
Federal regulators have seized a Las Vegas credit union with more than 21,000 members.
Iowa Institution On Verge of Collapse
A $500 million Iowa bank reported a huge loss, lost its chief executive officer and warned about its ability to continue in business.
Employees Sue TBW
Terminated employees of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. have filed a class action lawsuit against the lender. If a case against failed Mortgage Lenders Network USA Inc. is any indication, then Taylor Bean could face some payroll liabilities.
Performance Worse on Recent Vintages
Performance on mortgages that were recently originated has been poor.
The Mortgage Conference Calendar
From now through October, at least 35 mortgage conferences are scheduled across the country -- including compliance, servicing and reverse mortgage events. Among the most popular host cities are Las Vegas and San Diego.
BoA Unit to Service TBW Borrowers
The Government National Mortgage Association is advising FHA borrowers on loans serviced by Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortage Corp. to send their payments to a Bank of America Corp. subsidiary.
Taylor Bean Lays Off Nearly 1,000
Nearly 1,000 Florida employees have been laid off from Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortage Corp.
Citi Announces Warehouse Funding
Among $6 billion in new initiatives announced by Citigroup Inc. was warehouse lending for mortgage bankers.
Special Servicer Inks Deal With GMAC
Senior executives from a GMAC Financial Services unit have joined a special servicer. Business is good, as their former employer has signed on as a customer.
The Reverse Reporter
A Florida firm is going after the wholesale customers of two reverse mortgage lenders that are closing. As one traditional mortgage lender ventures into reverse lending, a reverse mortgage lender is venturing into traditional lending. In other reverse activity, new reverse mortgage regulations include one state's elimination of yield spread premiums on home-equity conversion mortgages and the government is warning about reverse mortgage fraud.
HOEPA Trigger Adjusted
The threshold for fees that trigger additional disclosures under the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act of 1994 has changed.
Failures Poised to Reach Highest Level in Decade
With the failure of three federally insured banks on Friday, the number of mortgage-related closings so far during 2009 has already reached the total for all of last year. This year is on track to see the most company closings on record.
Mortgage Hirings Leap
Hirings at U.S. mortgage firms outpaced layoffs by more than 8,000 in the MortgageDaily.com Second Quarter Mortgage Employment Analysis. One company had more impact on mortgage employment than any other.
Nearly 2,500 Layoffs
Banks, mergers and failed reverse mortgage lenders were responsible for most of the nearly 2,500 mortgage-related layoffs recently tracked by MortgageDaily.com. Just three firms accounted for 1,600 of the job losses.
Reverse Apps and FHA Refinance Endorsements Fall
A drop in reverse mortgage applications pushed overall FHA applications lower in early July, while a decline in refinance endorsements pushed FHA endorsements lower.
TBW Loss a Big Blow to Brokers
The loss of Taylor, Bean and Whitaker as a wholesale lender is a major blow to U.S. mortgage brokers -- who say it means loan applicants who were in process at the wholesaler will need to purchase new appraisals and potentially sit through new waiting periods.
MortgageDaily.com Teams Up With Big Law Firm
Patton Boggs LLP's recently acquired mortgage banking legal team is continuing its relationship with MortgageDaily.com, a dominant online news publication for the mortgage industry. The team of six lawyers, practicing in both the Washington, D.C., and Dallas offices, will provide insight on emerging trends in the financial sector, pressing issues affecting industry professionals nationwide and analysis of key legislation and government regulations.
Criminal Probe at Colonial
Beleaguered is under now under criminal investigation for possible accounting fraud at its warehouse operation.
Mortgage Employment Off
One month after contracting, mortgage broker employment edged higher. Still, a decline in non-broker jobs pulled the whole sector lower.
CMBS Delinquency Accelerating
Delinquency on securitized commercial mortgages has risen more than 500 percent during the past 12 months.
Bill Would Boost FHA Limit on Multistory Multifamily
|New Wholesaler to Launch
A Connecticut mortgage firm has doubled originations and tripled its staff so far this year. By the end of the year, it expects to have a new wholesale division up and running.
Mortgage bankers are calling for swift passage of legislation that would boost the loan limit on multifamily mortgages secured by properties with elevators and insured by the Federal Housing Administration.
Rates and Applications Improve
Commercial Originations Bounce Off Bottom
Mortgage rates eased but might head higher, and loan applications rose.
Led by a jump in originations for commercial mortgage-backed securities, quarterly commercial mortgage production climbed, a new industry report indicated. By property type, financing for health care and hotel properties registered the biggest gains. The latest activity suggests commercial activity may have already bottomed out.
The Appraisal Journal
Freddie Mac is promoting the use of automated valuation models and recommending that lenders use appraisers with professional designations. Home builders and real estate agents are being blamed for hindering appraisal quality by not providing important appraisal information. Meanwhile, two pieces of federal legislation that would impact the real estate appraisal process are making their way through Congress.
Taylor Bean Freezes Business
Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. has lost its Freddie Mac approval and halted all operations. The company hopes a business restructuring will remedy its situation.
Reverse Firm Aims to Dominate
A California-based firm hopes that a new management team and a $4 million investment in the company will help propel it to a dominant position in the reverse mortgage sector.
Reverse Business Climbs
As home-equity conversion mortgage production strengthened, the biggest lender funded twice as many loans monthly as the second-biggest lender. And the same can be said for No. 2 and No. 3.
2009 Bankruptcies Top 800,000
More than 800,000 consumer bankruptcies have been filed so far this year. Monthly filings reached the highest level in nearly four years.
Record Business at Lenders One
Combined originations at members of Lenders One Mortgage Cooperative climbed to the highest ever.
15 Largest U.S. Lenders
Residential originations at U.S. mortgage lenders jumped by nearly one-quarter in MortgageDaily.com's Second Quarter 2009 Production Ranking. Among the star performers were Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Quicken Loans Inc.
FHA Suspends Taylor Bean
Taylor, Bean and Whitaker Mortgage Corp. lost its FHA approval, while its Ginnie Mae servicing portfolio was seized. The company allegedly hid the fact that its own auditor uncovered potential mortgage fraud on government-insured loans and failed to disclose two state investigations during the past year.
Warehouse Lender Raided
Federal agents raided the Florida-based warehouse lending operation of a struggling financial institution.
PHH Fundings Better, Delinquency Deteriorates
Quarterly originations increased and production earnings improved at PHH Mortgage. But servicing net income tanked as delinquency shot up.
ResCap Jumps to No. 5, Earnings Worse
An increase in quarterly residential originations made GMAC Financial Services the fifth biggest U.S. originator. But earnings weren't so good.
JPMorgan Modifying Most Mortgages
J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, NA, has initiated more trial loan modifications under the Home Affordable Modification Program than any other participating servicer. Other standouts include Nationstar Mortgage LLC and Saxon Mortgage Services Inc. But despite huge pools of borrowers who are eligible for the HAMP -- both Bank of America, NA, and Wells Fargo Bank, NA, lagged significantly in their modification activity.
Originations Improve at PA Firm
Originations at a Pennsylvania commercial mortgage firm saw a modest recovery from the first quarter -- though volume was nowhere near the more than $7 billion funded a year earlier. Earnings have followed a similar pattern.
Record Low MTA
The Monthly Treasury Average fell to its lowest level on record.
Order of The Day
While one bank regulator recently expressed support for the Obama administration's proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency, at least three financial trade groups and one federal regulator voiced concerns. Meanwhile, nearly 90 actions were taken by bank regulators against U.S. financial institutions.
Regulatory Help Arrives
A team of lawyers who specialize in mortgage compliance have jumped ship and landed at another law firm. The move was made to help mortgage companies keep up with an increasingly difficult regulatory environment.
Agency Issuance Skids
Issuance of mortgage-backed securities at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac sank more than one-third from June. But combined securitizations have more than doubled since last year. Over at Ginnie Mae, issuance reached another all-time high.
Ohio Sues Over New Century Loans
The state of Ohio claims in a new lawsuit that the acquirer of servicing operations from New Century Financial Corp.'s bankruptcy reneged on a promise to provide modifications and workout options to borrowers.
FHA Funding Bill Passed
Legislation increasing the Federal Housing Administration's lending authority has been approved by both houses of Congress.
MetLife Boosts Mortgage Force
Mortgage employee headcount jumped as home loan originations edged higher at MetLife Home Loans. The company's reverse mortgage originations exceeded 3,700 loans, while the reverse servicing portfolio exceeded 18,000 mortgages.
5 Financial Institutions Fail Friday
Five federally insured financial institutions failed on Friday. Losses to the bank insurance fund are expected to exceed $900 million.