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February 2015 Archive


Hotel Loans Out Front of Drop in CMBS Delinquency
The rate of late payments on commercial real estate loans that are part of securitizations was lower, and the lodging sector led the improvement.

Pending Home Sales at 17-Month High
The number of U.S. residential properties that were under contract in January climbed to the highest level in 17 months -- ending a string of negative reports.

Profile of a Whistleblower
A CitiMortgage Inc. executive-turned-whistleblower has been featured in the New York Times, interviewed on 60 Minutes and currently lectures college students about related legislation.

Nationstar Shares Down as Earnings Fall Short
A mark-to-market adjustment on mortgage servicing rights and a decline in servicing earnings had shares of Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. down nearly 14 percent Thursday.

Mortgage Lenders Navigate Discrimination Lawsuits
A decision is expected this summer from the nation's top court in a disparate impact case. Other activity in discrimination-related litigation includes an unsuccessful attempt at mediation and more routine court matters.

Appraisal Services Address Collateral Underwriter
Compliance with Collateral Underwriter is among several valuation solutions recently addressed through technology upgrades and company-to-company data integrations.

New Post-Crisis Low for Freddie Delinquency
New business at the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. skidded to the slowest level in seven months. But serious delinquency established a new post-crisis low.

Mortgage Rates Rise, Might Repeat
For the three weeks in a row, interest rates on residential loans have risen, and another ascension could be in the offing.

Fannie Lifts 2-Year Refi Forecast by $142 Billion
Since last month, Fannie Mae has increased its expectations for this year's and next year's refinance mortgage originations by $142 billion.

Chase Might Open Huge Dallas Area Center
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is considering a plan to open a huge corporate campus in the Dallas area that would consolidate operations in the region.

Huge FHA Settlement With MetLife
Years after abandoning the mortgage business, MetLife Inc. is paying more than $100 million to resolve false claims allegations on government-insured loans.

Quarterly Delinquency, Foreclosure Rate at 7-Yr Low
The quarterly rate of 30-day delinquency and foreclosures fell to the lowest levels in seven years. Past-due payments on government-insured loans, however, worsened.

New Home Sales Slide, But Up from Year Earlier
Though January's new home sales dipped below reported numbers for the final month last year, more sold properties were realized than a year prior.

Foreclosure Starts Surge
The past-due rate and foreclosure rate moved lower last month. But an indicator of upcoming foreclosure activity -- foreclosure starts -- climbed to the highest level in more than a year.

First Choice's New Lending Falls in Final Quarter
In the last quarter of 2014, new business fumbled at First Choice Loan Services Inc. As well, the mortgage provider showed fewer team members on its end-of-year roster.

New Business, Delinquency Down at United Guaranty
Although business slowed last year at United Guaranty Corp., the mortgage insurer still claims the biggest market share. Delinquency was down, and the book of business grew.

Judge Rules Against Fannie in REO Portfolio Sale Case
Fannie Mae was unsuccessful in its attempt to obtain a dismissal of a federal lawsuit accusing it of keeping a $100,000 deposit that an investor put down in an ultimately unsuccessful bid to acquire real-estate-owned assets.

December Chill for Home Prices
A closely watched gauge of home prices softened in December, though the weakening does not necessarily signal a long-term trend.

Ginnie to Rate Issuer Performance
A system that will help enlighten approved issuers about their performance is being implemented by the Government National Mortgage Association.

Nationstar Affiliate to Acquire Ocwen Affiliate
Facing a potential default, an affiliate of Ocwen Financial Corp. has reached an agreement to be acquired by a Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. affiliate.

BofA Cuts FL, TX Mortgage Servicing Jobs
In a sign of continued improvement in home loan performance at Bank of America Corp., more servicing jobs are being cut. The latest rounds are in Florida and Texas.

West Leads Drop in Existing Home Sales
Existing home sales last month tumbled to the slowest pace in nine months, and home sales in the West led the decline.

Huge Sale of Freddie MSRs
A deal has been struck for the sale of mortgage servicing rights on nearly $10 billion in Freddie Mac loans.

Guaranteed Rate Originations Up from Year Earlier
Guaranteed Rate Inc. made year-over-year gains in quarterly mortgage production and quarter-over-quarter gains in servicing.

Mortgage Bankers Lift 1st Half Refi Outlook
Lower expectations for interest rates have apparently raised mortgage bankers' expectations for refinance activity in the first half of this year.

Year-Over-Year Gain in Weekly Mortgage Activity
Presidents' Day, along with rate deterioration, took a toll on new mortgage activity. But business was still better than a year ago.


Mortgage Market Index 180 in week ended Feb. 20
Monthly GSE Refinance Activity Surges
Monthly government-sponsored enterprise refinances jumped to the highest level in more than a year. Government-supported refinances, however, fell to a new low.

GSE Earnings Tumble, Single Family Activity Slows
Annual earnings and single-family secondary activity turned lower at both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. But multifamily activity held up.

New Executives at Variety of Mortgage Firms
In addition to several mortgage bankers, a reverse mortgage lender and commercial mortgage lender have made executive appointments. Meanwhile, a former bank teller has worked his way up to serve as his company's chief executive officer.

Fed Reports Improvement in Mortgage Metrics
The Federal Reserve reported that residential loan production increased in quarter-over-quarter comparisons for the second quarter in a row -- though Fed data conflict with other sources. While mortgage debt outstanding was on the rise, loan delinquency was down.

Mortgage Rates Rise, Could Climb Further
Interest rates on home loans took a turn for the worse this week, and next week could see a replay. Fifteen-year rates became slightly more attractive.

FHA Closes Out 2014 On An Upbeat
The final month of last year was a winner for the Federal Housing Administration -- with originations ascending and delinquency declining.

HELOC Lending on the Rise
Although traditional mortgage originations have generally been declining, home-secured credit line business has been on the rise. But while some subprime activity has crept into closed-end mortgage lending, credit line activity has been limited to prime borrowers.

Appraisal Myths Debunked
In a presentation to bankers and real estate agents, a Florida appraiser advised the audience that there are several myths about what is and isn't allowed.

Average Mortgage Balances Up, Delinquency Down
Americans are borrowing more to finance homes and doing a better job of paying their loans on time.

Ginnie MSRs Up for Bid
A portfolio of mortgage servicing rights on Ginnie Mae loans is being marketed for sale. Prospective buyers have just over a week to act.

2015 Refi Forecast Increases by $100 Billion
The outlook for this year's refinance production has brightened considerably. Next year's refinance forecast was also raised -- though at the expense of projected purchase financing.

Mortgage Closing Rates, Turn Times Improve
A bigger share of loan applications were closed last month, while it took less time to complete the loan process. But credit conditions tightened except for on conventional purchase financing.

PHH Earnings, Originations and Servicing Worsen
Home lending fell at PHH Mortgage. In addition, the size of the servicing portfolio was reduced, and earnings swung to a loss.

Proprietary Reverse Mortgage Production Rises
Proprietary reverse mortgage lenders lifted activity in the final month of last year. Government-insured business improved for both the retail and wholesale channels.

New Construction Picks Up, But Set to Slip
While the nation's home builders wrapped up construction on new homes at a faster pace in January, upcoming activity is poised for a decline thanks to a slowdown in single family.

High Marks for BofA in Settlement Performance
Bank of America Corp. is so far doing a good job fulfilling the terms of a settlement reached last year with federal and state governments, according to a watchdog report.

Genworth Eases M.I. Requirementse
Updates to Genworth U.S. Mortgage Insurance guidelines impact jumbo loan amounts, minimum credit scores and maximum debt-to-income ratios.

Winter Conditions Chill Home Builder Confidence
Home builder confidence has somewhat diminished as a result of heavier-than-usual winter precipitation. But an improvement is in this year's forecast.

Improving Housing Market Drives Down RMBS Losses
Overall losses on bonds issued before the financial crisis are declining thanks to improvement in the U.S. housing market.

CMBS Delinquency Rate Falls to Post-Recession Low
Performance on securitized commercial real estate loans improved to its lowest level since before the nation fell into recession.

2nd Mortgage Delinquency Deteriorates Again
Although first mortgage loan performance ended a five-month streak of deterioration, the same can't be said for second mortgage performance.

Navy FCU Raises Originations, Servicing
For the third consecutive quarter, residential loan production at Navy Federal Credit Union has increased over the prior period. Servicing also made gains, but staffing lost ground.

Prosperity Home Mortgage Originations Decline
Prosperity Home Mortgage LLC reported slimmer origination activity in the fourth-quarter 2014 and revealed a leaner workforce.

Employees v Mortgage Employers
A class action settlement rejected over excessive attorneys' fees, a state supreme court decision in favor of a lender whose worker was hit by a car while on a break and the ability of a federal agency to reverse itself without notice are the themes of this round of mortgage employment law cases.

2 Financial Institutions Fail
Two financial institutions have recently been shuttered -- including one that had more than a quarter-billion dollars in assets.

Genworth Business Softens
Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corp.'s new business slowed in the final three months of last year, though it was still better than one year prior.

Lake Michigan CU Servicing, Staffing Swell
While home lending at Lake Michigan Credit Union did fall short in a quarter-over-quarter comparison, the decline was minimal. But servicing -- and especially staffing -- surpassed prior quarter counts.

Weekly Refi Business Tumbles on Rising Rates
Home loan rates turned higher this past week, significantly depressing new refinancing activity and dragging overall business lower.


Mortgage Market Index 199 for week ended Feb. 13
Videos Help With CFPB Mortgage Rules Compliance
A set of videos are intended to help mortgage lenders and servicers comply with three key mortgage rules issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

McLean Lifts Quarterly Fundings From Year Earlier
Though McLean Mortgage Corp. saw a slight bump in the number of loans produced last quarter, the dollar amount slipped just below the prior period's.

Work-From-Home Underwriters Being Recruited
A strengthening housing market has a residential lender based on the East Coast expanding its underwriting staff through a "work-at-home" recruiting campaign.

$3 Billion in GSE MSRs Up for Grabs
A large portfolio of mortgage servicing rights on government-sponsored enterprise loans and a much smaller offering of MSRs on Government National Mortgage Association loans have hit the market.

PennyMac Better Than Average Jumbo Aggregator
PennyMac Loan Services LLC has received a rating as a better-than-average aggregator of residential jumbo mortgages.

Mortgage Rates Soar, Likely to Hold
Interest rates on home loans leapt on a strong jobs report, and it's not looking like they'll be much different in next week's report. Fifteen-year rates looked more attractive, while hybrid adjustable-rates skyrocketed.

Regulatory Actions Taken Against 3 Lenders
Allegations of false advertising through marketing pieces that appeared to be government-affiliated have landed three separate mortgage banking firms in hot water with federal regulators.

Best Prospects for Purchase Financing
People in some careers, especially professionals, are far more likely to purchase a home than those with other vocations.

More Servicing Layoffs at BofA
Just a week after disclosing that it would eliminate hundreds of mortgage servicing jobs in Virginia, Bank of America Corp. has advised hundreds of North Carolina servicing employees of their impending layoffs.

Alaska USA Originations Down; Servicing and Staffing Up
While its fourth-quarter 2014 originations came up short compared to prior quarter numbers, Alaska USA Federal Credit Union saw slight gains in servicing and staffing.

U.S. Repossessions Explode
The number of properties lost to foreclosure last month skyrocketed by more than half -- though the surge was attributed to mortgage servicers clearing out their distressed inventory.


Total foreclosure filings up 7% in January
Mortgage Acquisitions to Boost Servicing, Production
A bevy of recent mortgage mergers and acquisitions will help the acquiring firms increase originations, grow servicing portfolios and expand commercial mortgage production.

Stonegate Fundings Slip; Staffing, Servicing Climb
Despite growth in servicing and staffing, Stonegate Mortgage Corp. saw a slight decline in quarterly production for the first time in at least three years. Annual originations, however, moved higher.

Ginnie MBS Issuance Modestly Higher
The Government National Mortgage Association lifted monthly securitization activity. The gain would have been more substantial if it weren't for commercial issuance.

New Clients Touted by Servicing Tech Firms
The last few months of last year mostly saw new client gains for a handful of loan servicing software providers. While one Texas company unveiled a servicing platform upgrade and a new add-on solution to that platform, a Michigan company received approval from a major banking association.

Chicago Judge Accused of Mortgage Fraud
A county judge in Chicago has been removed from the bench while she awaits a hearing by a state commission over allegations of mortgage fraud.

PennyMac Originations Down, Servicing Up
Both quarterly and annual mortgage originations retreated at PennyMac Financial Services Inc. The company's servicing portfolio, however, moved higher and is poised for further growth.

Homeowners More Aware of Their Home's Value
The difference between what homeowners value their homes at and what appraisers are valuing the properties at has narrowed to the lowest level in more than a year.

CFPB Coming Down on Reverse Mortgage Lending
The regulator in charge of overseeing the nation's financial services has released a report highlighting borrowers' frustration with reverse mortgages and issued an order against a reverse lender.

Bank Crimes Prosecuted
A New Mexico bank manager and a Kansas loan officer are both accused of embezzling and face legal action in the next couple weeks. Among other bank crime cases is a bank director who faked his own death.

6.5-Year Low for Serious Mortgage Delinquency
Home loan borrowers continued to improve on their payment histories -- with the rate of serious delinquency declining to the lowest level in more than six years. Foreclosure activity also diminished.

Agency MSRs for Sale
Bids are being accepted for mortgage servicing rights on a small portfolio of agency residential loans -- but only for a few more days.

Banks Settle Alleged Illegal Veteran Foreclosures
The nation's biggest banks have agreed to pay more than $100 million to settle charges they unlawfully foreclosed on nearly a thousand service members.

MGIC Delinquent Inventory Up 1st Time Since 2011
For the first time in more than three years, delinquency at MGIC Guaranty Insurance Corp. has worsened. New business was off too.

2014 Originations Push Ahead of 2013 at Fairway
Annual home loan originations at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. moved up to the second-highest level on record.

FHFA Has Yet to Approve Principal Reduction
When Melvin L. Watt took over as head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, many expected him to swiftly move to enable principal reduction for underwater borrowers.

EverBank Mortgage Originations, Servicing Off
Quarterly production and the residential servicing portfolio slipped in the final three months of last year at EverBank Financial Corp.

Jumbo Out Front of Weekly Mortgage Decline
Despite an improvement in interest rates, new mortgage activity slumped this past week -- and jumbo mortgage business led the decline.


Mortgage Market Index 235 for week ended Feb. 6
February, Spring Mortgage Conferences Span Nation
A number of conferences and workshops are slated for the rest of February and upcoming spring months. From issue-specific workshops to national industry conferences, these mortgage industry gatherings will mostly take place in cities throughout the country although one company's seminars will span the globe.

Guild Production, Servicing and Staffing Up Again
Guild Mortgage Co. had already lifted originations two consecutive quarters, and the fourth quarter was no different. As well, servicing and staffing have improved each quarter since mid-2013.

Brokers Push Up Mortgage Employment Numbers
Hiring among all industries remained strong last month. Employment metrics also remained positive in home lending thanks to mortgage brokers.

Highest-Rated Mortgage Lead Handlers
Winning the bid for a prospective borrower is only half the battle, and some lenders do a better job than others from that point on.

Mortgage Rates Fall, Could Jump
Fixed rates on home loans moved solidly lower this past week but are positioned to make a move higher.

NY Issues Consent Order Against Wells Fargo
The banking subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Co. has been penalized for issuing credit cards linked to equity on New York properties.

Mortgage Credit Conditions Ease
Credit conditions in home lending were slightly better last month thanks to expanded loan-to-value ratios at the government-sponsored enterprises.

Provident's Originations Rise
Provident Funding Associates LP saw an increase in its fourth-quarter 2014 loan originations over the previous quarter. Servicing and staffing, however, were down.

Loan Origination Systems Upgraded
Through new technology and through alliances that synergize existing technology, mortgage service providers are upgrading their loan origination systems.

Fannie Dispels Collateral Underwriter Myths
Fannie Mae has issued clarifications about the recently implemented use of Collateral Underwriter by approved mortgage lenders.

Biggest GSE Multifamily Lenders
The government-sponsored enterprises reported a brisk pace of multifamily business and disclosed who their biggest apartment lenders are.

BofA Eliminating 100s of Servicing Jobs
Hundreds of mortgage servicing employees in Virginia are being let go by Bank of America Corp. as delinquency levels normalize.

M&T Sued for Alleged Discrimination
M&T Bank is being accused in a federal lawsuit of discriminating against women in New York of certain races or national origins.

Behind the S&P Settlement
The recent massive settlement over alleged shoddy ratings and conflicts of interest at Standard & Poor's started off with a meeting between California's Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Justice.

PRMI Reports Strong Year-Over-Year Gains
In year-over-year comparisons, last quarter saw Primary Residential Mortgage Inc. with more production, a larger servicing portfolio and a bigger staff.

BofA Loses Bid to Overturn Jury Verdict
A request by Bank of America Corp. to overturn a jury decision that will cost it $1.2 billion has been denied by a federal judge. An appeal is planned.

Ability to Repay Rule Reduces Mortgage Fraud
Home lenders are facing less risk of mortgage fraud, and one factor contributing to the improvement is the Ability to Repay Rule.

Demand Diminishes for Residential Lending
A survey of the nation's banks indicates that demand for a range of residential loan products has mostly been weakening.

HECM Originations Remain Elevated
The origination of government-insured reverse mortgages crept minimally higher last month. But it was still enough to reach the highest level in almost a year.

Hotel, Industrial Lead CMBS Delinquency Lower
A big drop in delinquency on loans backed by hotels and industrial properties helped pull down delinquency on all securitized commercial real estate loans.

Some Issues With Integrated Disclosures
Among concerns about the new integrated disclosures is a new disclosure for total interest as a share of the loan amount and unexpected increases in fees with no tolerance.

S&P Agrees to $1.5 Billion in MBS Settlements
Multiple settlements were announced Tuesday between the parent of Standard & Poor's Ratings Services and the federal government, state governments and a retirement fund.

United Shore's Originations Increase
In quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year comparisons, United Shore Financial Services LLC saw loan production improvement with loan number and amount funded both increasing.

New American Originations, Servicing and Staff Up
With the dust settled on the fourth quarter 2014, New American Funding showed a tri fecta of growth in its mortgage production, servicing portfolio and staffing.

Mortgage Executives in Motion
One full month into the new year saw board of director appointees, new hires and a promotion across a handful of mortgage lenders throughout the country.

MTA Moves Up Again
For the third month in a row, the Monthly Treasury Average has made a move higher, though it still sits in historically low territory.

Fannie Pulls Down Overall Agency MBS Issuance
Increases in monthly issuance at the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. and the Government National Mortgage Association weren't enough to offset a decline at the Federal National Mortgage Association.

FHA November Business Slides, Delinquency Jumps
Loan delinquency worsened on government-insured loans, as did monthly originations. But new business has more recently moved up as mortgage insurance premiums moved down.

Mortgage Earnings Down, Servicing Up at Huntington
Huntington Bancshares Inc.'s mortgage servicing portfolio and residential assets have grown over the past year, while its quarterly originations increased from a year earlier. Mortgage earnings, however, sank.

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