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March 2007 Archive

COFI Down Again
The 11th District Cost of Funds Index declined for the second consecutive month.

Say No to Trigger Leads
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Mortgage brokers spoke out against the use of trigger lists. Meeting in the nation's capital for a legislative conference, panelists discussed how the controversial lead generation method creates more problems than business.

Beazer Subpoenaed
Allegations of mortgage fraud at the lending subsidiary of a publicly-traded homebuilder have led to a grand jury subpoena.

Realtors Blame Subprime Crisis on Greed
Excessive greed was at the root of the current subprime crisis, a top economist for the nation's real estate brokers and agents said. While the problems are expected to hurt real estate activity, an expansion of loan programs at the Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will help offset the impact.

Broker Acquisitions Wanted
While a host of repurchase problems surfaced among a number of subprime lenders, a firm on the prowl for mortgage brokers made another acquisition.

No Buyers for Option One
Option One Mortgage Corp.'s parent is having trouble finding a buyer for the struggling subprime unit.

Mixed Rate Movements
Amid conflicting housing data, rates and mortgage applications were quiet. Meanwhile, adjustable-rate mortgage yields diverged.

IndyMac Refutes Contagion
For the second time in two weeks, IndyMac Bancorp Inc. has issued a press release intended to allay investor fears of a subprime contagion.

First Franklin Firing or Hiring?
A First Franklin Financial Corp. spokeswoman said she is unaware of layoffs that have recently been reported, but she is aware of job additions.

States Focus on Foreclosures
An increasing number of states and at least one city are taking steps to combat rising foreclosures and, in some cases, stepping up to the plate to help troubled borrowers.

ResCap May Sharply Cut Production
In an effort to stem losses, Residential Capital LLC is considering drastic cuts in its subprime originations using tighter underwriting, according to an investor presentation. The company acknowledged dragging its feet on infrastructure and other changes needed in the rapidly deteriorating environment during the fourth quarter.

Tech Activity Accelerates
Among the latest news prompted by the Mortgage Bankers Association's annual technology conference in Florida was word of advancements in electronic origination as well as announcements about expense efficiencies utilizing automation.

Subprime Hearings Continue
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Mortgage brokers Tuesday told Congress improvements are needed for federally-insured loans, while mortgage bankers expressed a commitment to minimize foreclosures and consumer advocates called all subprime lending a mistake.
read news story

Mortgage Fraud Alleged at Homebuilder
Federal investigations into Beazer Homes USA Inc. center around mortgage fraud allegations at its mortgage unit. Among federal agencies investigating the company are HUD's Office of Inspector General, the Internal Revenue Service, the FBI and the U. S. Attorney's office.

Subprime Impact Overblown
Subprime foreclosure problems have been blown out of proportion, according to a new investment house report.

Fannie Layoffs
Fannie Mae will layoff hundreds of employees as part of a cost-cutting effort.

Mortgage Broker Going Public
A privately-held Indiana-based mortgage holding company plans to build a nationwide mortgage broker infrastructure with proceeds from its first stock offering.

Trade Tech Talk
The latest news about mortgage technology innovations include announcements about electronic imaging, banking applications for wireless phone and anti-money laundering software.

Projecting Pipeline Profits
Calyx Software plans to release an update of its loan origination system this summer which it says will use data from the application pipeline to project revenues. But at least one competitor claims to already offer such services.

Borrower is King
Finding success in the mortgage business takes a down-to-earth approach and the mind set to see each client as a referral source, according to a new mortgage marketing and sales book.

Foreclosures on Track for Derailment
Monthly foreclosures fell nationwide but are on track to soar this year, according to the latest report. Meanwhile, in the nation's capital, mortgage brokers recently defended their role with rising foreclosures.

Subprime Servicers Suffering
Increased volatility in the subprime sector is jeopardizing servicers' ability to collect loans, according to a new analysis of servicers.

New Century Loans Up for Bid
Nearly $2.5 billion in loans originated by New Century Financial Corp. subsidiaries are on the auction block.

Mortgage Technology Bonanza
Mortgage bankers and the vendors that serve them kicked off an annual technology conference this week in Florida. A host of product launches, strategic alliances and outright acquisitions emerged from the event.

Delinquency Trends
Delinquency continues to deteriorate on residential loans -- though more on some types than others, according to a set of new ratings agency reports.

IBM Mortgage
Big Blue is getting into the mortgage business.

ResCap CFO Out
Mortgage-related mergers, acquisitions and corporate activity during the latest week were overshadowed by the resignation of Residential Capital LLC's chief financial officer.

Lawsuit Pursues Suitability Standard
Some of the country's biggest mortgage lenders have been named as defendants in a lawsuit filed in New York. The plaintiffs, who claim to be victims of an elaborate Ponzi scheme, hope to have their loans canceled.

Senate Subprime Hearings
WASHINGTON -- Subprime mortgage executives from Countrywide Financial Corp., HSBC North America, WMC Mortgage Co. and First Franklin Financial Corp. told U.S. Senators yesterday that proposed federal subprime regulations should apply to all loan originators. Most emphasized that they have already made underwriting changes and at least one warned about curtailing some valuable programs.

Subprime execs, regulators testify
Mixed News for New Century
New Century Financial Corp. expects a rash of cease and desist orders from individual states to continue -- though it did get some relief on one of its credit lines.

Company Sued for Dumping Files
The Aloha state has sued a defunct escrow company and its former president for recklessly discarding the personal information of some 1,000 borrowers, sellers, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, and former employees.

Massive Subprime Layoffs Continue
WMC Mortgage may have cut a significant portion of its sales force while Fremont General Corp., which is exiting the subprime mortgage business, has begun laying off some of its thousands of subprime employees.

Fannie Forecasts Falling Fixed Rates
Long-term rates continued to edge higher, but at least one forecast has rates edging lower for the rest of the year.

New Home for New Century Employees
Former Florida employees of embattled New Century Financial Corp.'s retail unit have found a new home.

Best Performing Lenders
One out of every 10 best-performing companies in the country are tied to the mortgage industry.

Crafting an Irresistible Offer
Developing an offer that clients cannot resist is a matter of considering three elements that, when communicated succinctly, tempts the client to promptly purchase the product or service, according to a new sales and marketing book.

Option 1 Lines Extended, Reduced
Option One Mortgage Corp. secured a one-year term on one of it's warehouse lines -- though the amount has been cut in half.

Subprime Share by Market
More than one-in-four mortgages were subprime in one Texas community, a recent report revealed. Meanwhile, an Ohio community had the highest subprime delinquency.

Slow Appreciation Stressing Subprime
Slowing residential appreciation combined with rising adjustable-rate mortgage payments will put stress on recent subprime loans, according to a new ratings agency report.

Hedge Fund Takes Accredited Position
A Chicago-based hedge fund has taken a position in struggling subprime lender Accredited Home Lenders Holding Co. -- sending shares of the company higher.

Purchases Rise at Freddie
Freddie Mac's new business purchases rose to the highest level since last summer.

$4 Billion Portfolio Sold
Fremont General Corp. has sold a $4 billion subprime portfolio at a loss.

REIT Files Bankruptcy
People's Choice Home Loan Inc. has filed for bankruptcy protection.

Utah Tops Fraud Ranking
More fraud activity was reported during 2006, according to preliminary data provided to Georgia was removed from a list of the 10 worst states.

Accredited Rating Worse
Accredited Home Lenders Holding Co.'s announcement today it would borrow $200 million helped its stock price -- but not its servicer rating.

LoanCity No More
LoanCity has closed down.

Richest Mortgage Moguls
A pre-subprime meltdown ranking of the world's richest people included newcomers who are still making subprime mortgage acquisitions.

Broker License Actions
Actions were taken against eight Georgia mortgage brokers for unlicensed brokering and inadequate bookkeeping, among other violations.

MLN Arrest Warrant Sought
State officials are attempting to obtain an arrest warrant for Mortgage Lenders Network's CEO. Meanwhile, at least four individuals who were officers at MLN are involved in the creation of a new mortgage company.

The Reset Phenomenon
Recent teaser-rate mortgage originations will be the biggest culprit for foreclosures through the early part of the next decade, according to a 188-page document reviewed by The report indicated 70,000 fewer foreclosures would occur for each one percent increase in home prices nationally.

AZ Subprime Layoffs at Wells
Changes in subprime lending guidelines at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage have resulted in Arizona job cuts.

Home Equity Delinquency Soars
Monthly performance on home equity loans reached its worst level in a decade, according to a new ratings agency report.

Mortgage Sector Shakin It Up
As one investment banker explores strategic alternatives for its subprime lending unit, a $1.7 billion subprime portfolio is trading hands and Countrywide is acquiring a New York firm.

We Still Go 100%
Countrywide Home Loans Inc. is advising prospective prime borrowers not to panic about the current mortgage industry turmoil, as it still offers them 100 percent loan-to-value programs.

NovaStar Wholesale Layoffs
NovaStar Financial Inc. will lay off 17 percent of its workforce.

FHA Fix for Subprime
In testimony before Congress, mortgage bankers, brokers and regulators reaffirmed the importance of reforming the Federal Housing Administration loan program to give underserved borrowers a better alternative than higher-priced exotic and subprime loans.

Mich Wholesaler Exits
A Michigan-based subprime wholesaler has exited the market. But the company's president says they'll be back.

Accredited Unloads Loan Inventory
News that Accredited Home Lenders Holding Co. would sell its inventory of subprime mortgage loans sent shares climbing.

CA Wholesaler Closes
Master Financial Inc. has closed down its wholesale lending operation.

ACC, Citi Deal Stings Gov
A phone call by a state governor may have played a role in Citigroup's recent rescue package for ACC Capital Holdings. But political opponents are now calling for an investigation.

Lead Theft Prevention
Old Merchants Mortgage of Long Island, N.Y., estimated that it paid more than $1.3 million for mortgage leads that were allegedly stolen.

World Picks Up
World Savings Bank pushed monthly production higher.

Ameriquest Consolidation
The parent of Ameriquest has laid off workers and consolidated operations across all business lines in order to survive the "very challenging" nonprime market.

Mortgage Market Breather
While rates lulled, mortgage hunters continued shopping.

Generating, Converting Leads
A number of successful lead generation and conversion strategies were recently outlined in a 221-page report.

PHH Mortgage Sold
The parent of PHH Mortgage has struck a deal that includes the sale of the unit.

IndyMac Outlook Optimistic
In an attempt to allay fears about its association with the subprime mortgage market, IndyMac Bancorp Inc. released a statement indicating its strong thrift structure, Alt-A focus and lack of insider stock sales leave it in a better position to weather the current market turmoil than its subprime REIT counterparts.

Subprime Servicers Prepared for Resets
Subprime servicers have beefed up their operations and are prepared to handle upcoming adjustable-rate mortgage resets, according to a ratings agency.

Subprime Answers
A corporate and finance specialist offered his explanation of how the subprime mortgage market disintegrated and what the future holds.

Impac Delinquency Doubles
Delinquency doubled last year at Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. The lender laid out a laundry list of risks it faces, including Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's entry into the Alt-A market.

Option One Defaults on Covenants
Option One Mortgage Corp., which saw its quarterly originations fall, is operating with waivers from its warehouse lenders until April -- when the company hopes to obtain extensions.

National City Originations Off
Mortgage production fell at National City Corp. -- which indicated it may wind up in court with a mortgage insurer.

Alt-A Rumblings
Delinquency on Alt-A loans with layered risk is reaching the highest level on record, according a study released Tuesday. And based on current trends, most of the credit support for BBB- rated bonds back by Alt-A hybrids could be wiped out.

Subprime Layoffs at Countrywide
The nation's largest originator reduced its subprime wholesale workforce.

Delinquency Worse
During the final quarter of last year, residential delinquency rose, subprime delinquency soared and the percentage of borrowers starting the foreclosure process peaked.

Prime Loans Holding Up
As subprime mortgage performance continues to deteriorate, a team of analysts said the performance of jumbo, Alt-A and conforming loans is holding up. Meanwhile, high quality mortgage-backed securities are benefiting from a flight to quality.

Massive Loss at ResCap
Residential Capital LLC reported a massive quarterly loss as nonprime originations tumbled.

Generating Productive Leads
A mortgage marketing firm claims it can help lenders "dramatically" improve responses and conversion rates without using credit information.

Subprime Shakeout Dominates M&A
As subprime tremors reverberate throughout the industry and economy, some regions will be affected more than others. Meanwhile, the latest mortgage mergers and acquisitions include the launch of a company that will acquire the lower tranches of residential mortgage-backed securities.

Troubles Worsen at New Century
New Century Financial Corp. has been subpoenaed by a grand jury and is now under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, the beleaguered subprime lender said it made a $500 million mistake on an SEC filing yesterday.

Accredited Next?
Accredited Home Lenders Holding Co. announced it is taking drastic measures to shore up its cash position.

Brokers Bcrraged with Bad News
More wholesale lenders -- including Countrywide Financial Corp. -- have advised mortgage brokers they are no longer interested in stated-income and 100 percent loan-to-value loans, according to correspondence reviewed by

New Century Crumbling
Prospective creditors in a potential New Century Financial Corp. bankruptcy were laid out in a public filing today.

Lender Lays Off, Boosts Alt-A Focus
Market changes that were sudden, dramatic and unforeseeable have forced a primarily subprime lender in Washington to lay off 40 percent of its staff.

Countrywide Volume Down, Pipeline Up
Residential originations declined for the second month at Countrywide Financial Corp. But a swelling pipeline indicates originations may improve.

Indymac Hiring in Texas
Indymac Bancorp Inc. will create hundreds of home loan servicing jobs in the capital of the Lone Star State.

Subprime Wholesaler Winding Down
A company that recently ranked among America's fastest-growing private companies is calling it quits.

WMC Laying Off
WMC Mortgage has reduced its workforce by one-fifth to adjust to cyclical changes in the real estate finance market.

Feds Warned About Foreclosures
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, three Fed governors and others heard stories of neighborhoods marked by abandoned homes due to foreclosures and heard warnings, from both lenders and community activists, of even more foreclosures looming on the horizon.

Mortgage Jobs Tumble
Reflecting a contraction in real estate finance, monthly mortgage employment numbers sank. The reduction was fueled by a decline in the number of brokers.

AE Crowned Mrs. World
An account executive for Argent Mortgage has been crowned Mrs. World 2007.
read news story
Jobs Coming to Texas
A Goldman Sachs Group affiliate will add hundreds of servicing jobs at a Texas facility formerly occupied by Associates First Capital Corp.

New Century Stops Taking Apps
New Century Financial Corp. has been unable to fund mortgage loans and has stopped accepting new applications.

Stated, 100% Programs Fading
Mortgage brokers say the recent subprime sector crunch has curtailed stated-income lending, reduced 100% loan-to-value products and increased underwriting problems.

Mortgage Market Continues Improving
While mortgage rates are expected to increase this year, recent reductions reaped refinance requests.

Most Admired Lenders
A subprime lender's parent company, which was one of the original 12 companies to make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average, was voted the most admired company by more than 3,000 executives, directors and analysts.

States Crack Down on Licensees
While state agencies were busy taking actions against mortgage license holders, Nevada regulators rescinded a $30,000 fine levied against a developer that was accused of illegally making mortgages.

New Scores ID Likely Defaults
Few lenders are using the new VantageScore -- the rival to the traditional FICO credit score -- to predict defaults even though a new study said they should. But Fair Isaac points to a study indicating its updated scoring model is better at predicting defaults.

Wachovia Closes Correspondent Channel
Wachovia has notified correspondent customers it will exit the correspondent business.

New Century's Survival in Doubt
Doubts about New Century Mortgage Corp.'s ongoing viability have led another New York ratings agency to lower the company's primary servicer rating for subprime loans.

Lender Loses Lawsuit to Government
In a drug-related case, the government has wrestled control of a $1.2 million property located in a trendy Knoxville, Tenn., neighborhood from SunTrust Bank and a junior lienholder.

MTA Sustains Rise
With an uninterrupted climb for the 34th consecutive month, the Monthly Treasury Average pushed past 5 percent.

LTVs, Debt Ratios Declining
As investors pull out of the mortgage sector, debt ratio requirements are tightening, loan-to-values are being lowered and interest rates are increasing, according to the University of Southern California.

Former Citi Chief Regrets Associates Deal
The former Chairman and CEO of Citigroup considers the company's 2000 acquisition of Associates First Capital Corp. one of the worst acquisitions of his career, according to his biography., according to the latest sales book reviewed by

Subprime Lender Reports Profits
A publicly-traded nonprime lender based in the state of New York reported record quarterly mortgage originations and increasing profits.

Liquidity Crisis Costs Wholesaler
A New England bank, whose motto is "We're Main Street -- Not Wall Street," has shut down its wholesale division because of the low bids and lack of bids on some of its nonconforming loans that are coming from Wall Street investors.

Wholesaler to Be Acquired
Bankrupt ResMAE Mortgage Corp. has found a buyer.

Possible $1 Billion GM Mortgage Charge
General Motors Corp. may have to take a charge of nearly $1 billion due to subprime loan losses at its former mortgage unit, an analyst said.

FBI Mortgage Fraud Report
Mortgage fraud is worst in the Western region of the country, according to a new report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The report said mortgage industry insiders are involved in four out of five cases.

Western Companies Best
The future is bright for Western-based financial service firms -- which lead companies around the rest of the nation in shareholder performance, according to an analysis by a worldwide risk management firm.

Women Dominate Subprime Borrowing
More women than men hold subprime and higher-cost mortgages -- with disparity growing as income levels increase, according to a consumer advocacy group. But at least one mortgage group says it is taking steps to reverse the trend.

We're Not Subprime!
A California-based real estate investment trust proclaimed it is not subprime and doesn't appreciate the recent treatment of its shares. Meanwhile, a net branch operation grew while several mortgage companies will get swallowed up in some of the latest corporate and merger activity in real estate finance.

Travel Time At Issue In Settlement
A subsidiary of Fidelity National Information Services Inc.has agreed to pay $766,334 in overdue wages and compensation related to travel time.

New Century Ratings Downgraded
New Century Mortgage Corp.'s disclosure Friday that it is out of compliance with several warehouse lenders prompted a downgrade in its servicer rating.

Foreclosures Fall
Foreclosure filings dropped for the second month in a row.

Jumbo Performance Continues Slide
Delinquency on jumbo mortgages climbed for the sixth consecutive month.

Subprime Market Correction
Issuance of subprime mortgage-backed securities was down last quarter and is headed lower, according to a new report from a major ratings analyst. Meanwhile, some evidence exists that underwriting standards have been tightened.

Foreclosure Scam Advertised on Gospel Radio
A foreclosure rescue scam advertised on gospel radio promised to save delinquent borrowers from losing their properties, according to a lawsuit filed by Illinois. But instead of helping the borrowers during a recovery period, the company used cashout mortgages to strip the equity from the properties and leave the borrowers saddled with the larger payment.

Subprime Fallout Astounds Analyst
Volatility in the subprime market is expected to continue for the next few months as the sector reprices risk and tries to find a bottom, according to a research note written by a Countrywide Securities Corp. analyst.

Regulators Recommend Subprime Changes
Banking regulators released proposed guidelines on subprime mortgages which were immediately criticized by mortgage bankers and praised by consumer groups.

Criminal Inquiry at New Century
New Century Financial Corp. disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing it is the subject of a criminal inquiry.

Fremont Exiting Res Lending
A cease and desist order was disclosed by Fremont General Corp. -- which said it will exit subprime lending.

300 New Century Job Cuts
New Century Financial Corp. has laid off approximately 5 percent of its total workforce to reduce costs amid the current "turbulent" nonprime mortgage market environment.

Mortgage Marketing Jobs
A mortgage lead marketing firm is bringing 168 jobs to Pennsylvania.

Finding High Quality Leads
With a reported 71% jump in year-over-year revenue, the explosive growth of lead generation means it's one of the hottest sectors in online advertising in 2006.

Subprime Standalone Seconds
A wholesale lender based in the Midwest has launched a standalone second mortgage program for nonprime borrowers.

IndyMac Impresario Offers Outlook
IndyMac Bancorp Inc. expects the current volatility in mortgage lending to hurt its earnings and is taking steps, including a salary and hiring freeze, to improve its performance. But the company's CEO has no regrets about how it has operated and sees a better mortgage market emerging from the current chaos.

Nonprime Delinquency Soars at Countrywide
Nearly one in five nonprime loans at America's biggest lender were delinquent at yearend.

MI Volume Tumbles
Driven by a large decline in bulk activity, monthly mortgage insurance business tumbled -- and the pace of new applications indicates a further decline is on the way.

EMC Adding Employees
EMC Mortgage Corp. is adding hundreds of California jobs.

Mortgage Market Improves
Mortgage requests rose as rates continued to fall in the face of financial market turmoil.

National City Moving Jobs Offshore
Some Ohio mortgage jobs are at risk at National City Corp.

Nationstar Acquires Champion
The sale of Champion Mortgage has been completed.

Regional Loan Performance Varies
The performance of mortgages in the Southwest serviced by federally-insured banks is expected to be strong, according to a report from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Meanwhile, the outlook isn't so promising for borrowers in the Midwest.

Some adjustable-rate borrowers got a break.

Citi, ACC Deal
Ameriquest Mortgage Co.'s founder and a Citigroup unit will provide working capital to the parent of Ameriquest. The deal provides an option for Citigroup to acquire Argent Mortgage Co.


Week Ending March 30

Week Ending March 23

Subprime Meltdown presentation by Sam Garcia to the Dallas Ft. Worth Association of Mortgage Brokers on March 20, 2007

Week Ending March 9

Week Ending March 2


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