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January 2015 Archive


New Business Rises to 3-Month High at Fannie
New business was the strongest it's been in three months at the Federal National Mortgage Association, while delinquency was lower than its been in more than six years.

COFI ARM Index Up 3rd Consecutive Month
A West Coast index for a small share of adjustable-rate mortgages has increased for the third consecutive month.

Rush to FHA Continues as Weekly Mortgage Biz Up
Weekly mortgage activity turned higher, and government-insured business saw the biggest improvement for the second week in a row.

Mortgage Market Index 259 in week ended Jan. 30
Seller-Servicer Approval Requirements Updated
Seller-servicers on conventional agency loans will likely soon be subject to revised financial requirements in order to maintain agency approval.

Insurer Subsidiary Moving Mortgage Jobs to Ohio
A mortgage banking subsidiary of an insurance company is moving approximately 175 mortgage jobs from Iowa to Ohio.

Ocwen Servicer Rating Lowered On Regulatory Scrutiny
Concern over increased regulatory scrutiny has prompted a servicer rating downgrade for an Ocwen Financial Corp. unit. Ocwen affiliates have received a pair of notices alleging default events.

HECM Policy Change Reduces Available Draws for Some
While increasing consumer protections, program guideline changes on government-insured reverse mortgages also mean smaller draws for some borrowers.

Homeownership At 2-Decade Low
A smaller share of the U.S. population own their residences, with the homeownership rate falling to the lowest level in two decades.

Mortgage Rates Edge Higher
Following a week when fixed mortgage rates dipped to the lowest level since 2013, interest rates bounced higher.

Industrial Leads CMBS Loan Delinquency Improvement
Past-due payments on securitized commercial real estate loans declined last month, and mortgages secured by industrial properties led the improvement.

CFPB Eases Some Restrictions for Small Creditors
Some small financial institutions will find relief from mortgage regulations that limit exemptions if a proposed federal rule becomes final.

More Relief for HECM Non-Borrowing Spouses
More changes to servicing policies on government-insured reverse mortgages are intended to provide relief for surviving spouses who weren't on the loan when it originally closed.

Robust Performance at Quicken Loans
Quarterly mortgage lending increased at Quicken Loans Inc. In addition, the company added to its servicing portfolio and grew its staffing.

New Freddie Business Jumps to 16-Month High
Freddie Mac's secondary activity was stronger last month than it's been since the summer of 2013, and delinquency fell to its lowest level since 2008.

Flagstar's Warehouse Assets Expand
Home lending activity and mortgage servicing were down at Flagstar Bancorp Inc., but there was growth in its warehouse lending assets and commercial mortgage holdings.

New Home Sales At Highest Level Since 2008
More new residential properties were sold during 2014 than in any year since the financial crisis. It was a similar story for monthly activity.

FHFA Director Defends 97% to Lawmakers
The director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency faced criticism from House Republicans over the government-sponsored enterprises' 97 percent loan-to-value programs.

Mortgage Credit Conditions Loosen in 2014
Home lenders loosened the purse strings in 2014-- with credit scores on closed loans moving lower and debt-to-income and loan-to-value ratios both moving higher.

Home Price Gains Soften, S Fla Out-pacing Nation
Metropolitan areas in South Florida are out-pacing the nation in year-over-year gains in home prices.

U.S Bank Grows Mortgage Servicing Portfolio
Quarterly lending might have slipped at U.S. Bancorp, but the financial institution did manage to increase the size of its third-party mortgage servicing portfolio.

M.I. Firm Specializes in Non-Agency
A new mortgage insurance company is focusing on loans that aren't subject to the requirements of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Mortgage Regulations Restraining Community Banks
A survey of the country's community banks found that the No. 1 barrier to making more residential loans is regulation.

Ongoing Obstacles for Ocwen
While a consent order reduces the threat of losing its California license, Ocwen Financial Corp. still has several hurdles to overcome.

Retail and Wholesale HECM Biz Drops In November
The monthly origination of government-insured reverse mortgages turned lower for both the direct and indirect channels. Proprietary lending was also down.

BBT's Mtg Income Up, Originations and Servicing Off
Home lending slowed, and the mortgage servicing portfolio retreated at BB&T Corp.. Still, the company increased pre-tax earnings from mortgage banking.

Chicago Bank is 2nd Failure in 2015
Several cease-and-desist orders had been issued against a Chicago bank before it was seized last week by state and federal banking regulators.

Ocwen Resolves California License
Ocwen Financial Corp. has overcome the possible suspension of its California license through a settlement with the state.

Fifth Third Mortgage Business Reduced
In addition to slowing its home lending volume, Fifth Third Bancorp cut its mortgage assets and reduced the size of its serving portfolio.

Mortgage Bankers Nudge Up 1st Half Refi Forecast
Mortgage bankers bolstered their projection for refinance originations during the first half, pushing this year's overall outlook up.

Mortgage Delinquency Tumbles
Foreclosureactivity slipped last month. but there was a much bigger improvement made on the share of loans that are at least a month past due.

FHA Business Rises Despite Overall Downturn
Activity on prospective new mortgages declined this past week. But one category, loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration, moved higher.


Mortgage Market Index 245 in week ended Jan. 23
Existing Home Sales Slow in 2014
Existing home sales finished last year on an upbeat. However, sales for all of last year were still off by more than 3 percent.

SunTrust Mtg Earnings, Originations and Servicing Up
Home lending activity expanded at SunTrust Banks Inc., while the residential loan servicing portfolio grew and mortgage earnings improved.

Fannie's Refinance Forecast Improves
A minor reduction in expected purchase originations was more than offset by Fannie Mae's increased expectations for refinance originations.

Mortgage Rates Drop But Might Ascend
Although they tumbled to levels not seen in more than a year-and-a-half, fixed mortgage rates are likely to increase in the next report.

Chase, Wells Hit With CFPB Actions Over Kickbacks
Alleged kickbacks from a now defunct title insurance agency has prompted the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to take costly action.

Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Disparate Impact Case
Supreme Court justices heard arguments on Wednesday for and against disparate impact provisions of the Fair Housing Act.

Single Family Home Construction Perks Up
New construction activity on residential properties picked up in the final month of last year, with housing starts and building permits reaching the highest level since 2008.

Pool of Underwater Borrowers More Shallow
As U.S. home prices rise, the number of borrowers who owe more on their homes than they are worth is diminishing.

Changes Ahead for HECM Qualifications
Borrowers on government-insured reverse mortgages will soon have to demonstrate enough equity to cover property taxes.

Refinance Forecast Raised
The outlook was lowered for this year's purchase financing. But a much strengthened outlook for refinance originations has 2015 on track to match last years' mortgage originations.

Builder Confidence Slips
While a majority of homebuilders are more optimistic than not, the share has thinned over the past month.

90-Day 1st Mtg Delinquency Up 5 Consecutive Months
Serious delinquency on first mortgages was worse in December and has been worse each of the past five months.

Purchase Originations Off, Delinquency Up at PNC
Quarterly production of home purchase financing at The PNC Financial Services Group Inc. declined. In addition, mortgage earnings turned negative, and delinquency deteriorated.

Expected FHA Growth Drives Freedom Mortgage Hirings
Reduced mortgage insurance premiums on government-insured loans has Freedom Mortgage Corp. staffing up to handle an expected increase in originations.

Disparate Impact Decision Could Undermine States
The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments this week in a disparate impact case out of the Lone Star State.

Real Estate CEO Talks About Housing Market
The chief executive officer of Coldwell Banker sat down to talk about the state of the nation's housing markets and trends he has identified.

Originators See Surge in New Mortgage Biz
Persistently falling interest rates have driven up mortgage activity, with some Southern California loan originators reporting a spike in new business.

Half-Century Old Bank Fails
Federal banking regulators seized a small financial institution in the Florida Panhandle that was more than a half-century old.

HARP Activity Lowest in at Least 4 Years
Fewer monthly refinances of  Freddie Mac loans had overall government-sponsored refinances slower. Still, activity hasn't let up much since it began accelerating last summer. Government-subsidized refinances skidded to the lowest level since at least 2010.

Altisource Laying Off Hundreds
The impact of recent events at Ocwen Financial Corp. has affiliate Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A. eliminating hundreds of jobs.

Mortgage Activity Soars to 18-Month High
New mortgage business soared to the highest level since the summer of 2013 as rates continued to retreat. Government-insured activity led the charge.


Mortgage Market Index 271 in week ended Jan. 16
Originations Off at Citi, Further Decline Likely
Home lending activity slipped at Citigroup Inc., and the slide appears likely to have continued into the current quarter. Earnings deteriorated on legal expenses.

Appraisal Exec Says CU Concerns Overblown
A top appraisal executive is saying that the chaos predicted from the implementation of Collateral Underwriter is much ado about nothing.

Movement Mortgage Positioning to Become Top Lender
Led by a former professional football player, Movement Mortgage LLC is positioning itself to make one out of every 10 U.S. home loans.

Mortgage Rates Sink, Could Tumble Even More
Interest rates on home loans fell again and are poised come in far lower in the next report. Just 35 basis points separate current fixed rates from their all-time low.

Foreclosure Metrics Improve in 2014
Despite an up tick in new and overall foreclosure filings last month, annual activity turned lower. Repossessions and the foreclosure rate also improved for the year.


1.1 million filings in 2014
HEL Drives Up BofA Originations
Increased home-equity originations more than offset a quarter-over-quarter drop in first mortgage lending at Bank of America Corp. The company continued to scale back on assets, servicing and staffing.

New Mortgage Business Slips at Wells Fargo
Quarterly home lending activity at Wells Fargo & Co. moved lower, as did its servicing portfolio and mortgage income.

Delinquency, Foreclosure Rates Lowest Since 2008
The last time that the serious delinquency rate and foreclosure rate were this low was just prior to the financial crisis.

Proprietary Modification Volume Slows to Crawl
It's been at least five years -- and likely even longer -- since the number of proprietary loan modifications has been this low.

Supreme Court Rules on Mortgage Rescissions
A decision in favor of lenders on how long borrowers have to rescind a loan has been overturned by the nation's high court.

Chase Continues Correspondent Growth
Despite a decline in quarterly retail originations, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted correspondent activity for the second consecutive quarter -- pushing overall volume higher.

Production Executives Dominate Management Moves
Among several recent management appointments at home lending firms have been executives who will oversee mortgage production and sales. Other executive activity includes board appointments and commercial real estate lending recruiting.

Ocwen Expects to Resolve California License Issues
An action against Ocwen Financial Corp. by the state of California that threatens a substantial portion of its servicing business is expected to be resolved by the company.

New Mortgage Chief at Citi
As the chief executive officer of Citigroup Inc.'s mortgage unit takes on more responsibility, the company has named a new leader for its global mortgage operations.

CFPB Releases Mortgage Rate Comparison Tool
A new rate comparison tool from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is intended to help borrowers who rely too much on a single lender and don't comparison shop enough.

California Seeks to Suspend Ocwen's License
Ocwen Financial Corp. is facing the possible loss of its license in California -- a development that could force it to give up nearly a quarter of its mortgage servicing portfolio.

Service Providers Address Integrated Disclosures
With just months to go before U.S. home lenders will need to implement new integrated disclosures, mortgage servicer providers are busy developing solutions to help them.

Ohio Firm Beefs Up Staff Due to FHA Premium Cuts
A mortgage firm out of Ohio said it expanded staffing as it prepares for an influx of new government business as a result of lower premiums.

Huge Settlement In Works at Chase
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is negotiating a settlement in a class action tied to shoddy mortgage-backed securities issued by The Bear Stearns Companies Inc. before it bailed out the firm.

Wholesale, Proprietary Reverse Originations Surge
Wholesale lenders pumped up the monthly volume on government-insured reverse mortgages, as did most of the top proprietary reverse lenders.

Weekly Mortgage Activity Highest Since October
Refinances were out front of a weekly surge in new mortgage business that had overall activity at the highest level since October. Behind the surge were the lowest rates since May.


Mortgage Market Index 238 in week ended Jan. 9
Ginnie's Jumbo Issuance Jumps to 2.5-Year High
It's been more than two-and-a-half years since issuance of jumbo mortgage-backed securities at the Government National Mortgage Association has been this high.

MGIC's New Business, Delinquency Improve in 2014
MGIC Guaranty Insurance Corp. delivered solid performance last year, with new mortgage insurance business moving higher and loan delinquency declining.

Reduced FHA M.I. Premiums Detailed
New lower mortgage insurance premiums on government-insured loans vary depending on the loan amount, loan-to-value ratio and transaction type.

Mortgage Jobs Increase
The latest reading on jobs in the mortgage industry indicates a month-over-month expansion, though headcount was off from a year earlier. U.S. unemployment, meanwhile, fell.

Mortgage Rates Sink, Remain Volatile
Fixed rates on home loans plunged to the lowest level since 2013. Although signs point to an increase in the next report, the forecast is volatile due to an upcoming key economic report.

U.S. Home Equity Continues to Improve
Average equity on all financed homes in the nation continued to grow as hundreds of thousands of borrowers moved into the black.

FHA Premium Cut Not What M.I. Firms Hoped For
The reduction in premiums on loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration was not what private mortgage insurers had hoped for -- as evidenced by their share prices.

Impac Acquisition Supports Centralized Strategy
An upcoming acquisition by Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. will yield significant tax benefits, increase originations and supercharge its centralized lending strategy.

GSE 97s Drive Up Credit Availability
An indicator of credit availability in home lending improved in December thanks to an expansion of loan-to-value ratios at the government-sponsored enterprises.

Record Low Consumer Loan Delinquency
As performance on credit lines secured by residential properties deteriorated, late payments on home-equity installment loans retreated. Overall consumer delinquency set a new record.

LendingTree Parent Changes Name
The parent of LendingTree LLC is adopting the name of the lead generation service. The move follows the divestiture of other units.

Mortgage Master Acquisition Done
A deal announced two months ago to acquire Mortgage Master Inc. has closed, creating one of the biggest nonbank lenders in the country.

FHA Premiums Cut
Less than a month after Senate Democrats urged the Obama administration to cut mortgage insurance premiums on loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration, their wish has been granted.

Improved Reviews, CU Addressed by Appraiser Firms
The latest innovations in the appraisal industry are intended to improve the appraisal review process and address the new Collateral Underwriter system. An appraisal management company out of New York is reporting brisk growth.

Radian's Delinquency Down Over 200 BPS in 2014
New business at Radian Guaranty Inc. strengthened during the final month of 2014, though not enough to push up annual activity. Delinquency declined more than 200 basis points last year.

Freddie Hands Off Risk on Much of Multifamily Biz
Credit risk on more than half of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.'s multifamily activity last year was handed off to investors.

More Improvement in CMBS Delinquency
The delinquency rate on commercial mortgage-backed securities improved further last month, with hotel loans leading the way.

Fewer Bankruptcies Filed in 2014
Despite an up tick in the final month of last year, full-year bankruptcy activity moved lower in 2014.

Nearly $14 Billion in TARP Funds Used for Housing
While the government has earned more than $16 billion from its investments in banks during the financial crisis, housing programs have so far cost it nearly $14 billion.

BofA On Winning Side of Repurchase Settlement
Bank of America Corp. has typically been on the losing side of repurchase settlements. But this time around, BofA is the one being paid.

HECM Production Surges to 10-Month High
During the final month of 2014, federally insured reverse mortgage production surged to the highest level in 10 months.

MTA Jumps to 7-Month High
The Monthly Treasury Average moved up for the second month in a row to reach the highest level in seven months.

Ellie Mae Names New CEO
The nation's leading provider of loan origination technology has named a new chief executive officer.

MSRs on GSE Loans Up for Bid
Bids are being accepted for mortgage servicing rights on a huge portfolio of government-sponsored enterprise home loans.

3rd Mortgage Settlement Since Last June at SunTrust
A settlement anticipated by SunTrust Banks Inc. will be the third mortgage-related settlement since last summer.

Hard Money Lending Growing
With banks having tightened their purse strings since the housing crash, real estate investors have had to rely on cash to acquire properties. But a growing share are finding financing from hard-money lenders.

Over 70 Mortgage Events in Q1
During the first three months of this year, more than 70 mortgage-related conferences and other events are scheduled. Appraisals, commercial real estate and litigation are among the topics being covered.

Mortgage Activity Starts Off 2015 Slower Than 2014
Although mortgage business picked up between Christmas and New Years, activity still lagged the first week of last year.


Mortgage Market Index 111 in week ended Jan. 2
FHA Lender Hit With $26 Mil False Claims Judgment
A former mortgagee for the Federal Housing Administration has agreed to settle a lawsuit alleging false claims made on FHA-insured loans.

Warehouse Lender Acquired
The acquisition of a mortgage warehouse provider out of Texas has been completed. The deal creates one of the state's largest local banks.

Mortgage Rate Forecasts Miss the Mark in 2014
Forecasts for an increase in mortgage rates last year turned out to be way off base, leaving experts less certain about what to expect in 2015.

Fannie Drives Monthly Jump in Agency MBS Issuance
A jump in securitization activity at the Federal National Mortgage Association helped last month's overall agency issuance bounce off a five-month low. But annual activity slid.

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