Government Sponsored Warehouse Help
The regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has confirmed to MortgageDaily.com that it is exploring solutions to the shortage of warehouse line-of-credit financing.
Reverse Mortgage Insider
As borrowers begin utilizing reverse mortgages on purchase transactions, the government clarified guidelines on the program. In other reverse news, a law firm and a trade group have teamed up to train reverse mortgage lenders about operating ethically and responsibly.
M.I. Business Higher
Mortgage insurers wrote more business last month as defaults retreated from January's record level.
Wanted: 100 Reverse LOs
A Maryland-based reverse mortgage lender expects to increase its team of originators by at least 100 this year.
Executive shakeups have spread beyond bank boardrooms to national trade groups and federal regulators.
Mixed Results at Fannie
New business was better last month at Fannie Mae. But delinquency was higher than at any other time on record.
Subprime Foreclosures Improve
Fewer foreclosures were filed on subprime mortgages last month. The news wasn't so good, however, for prime loans. The number of completed modifications, meanwhile, moved higher.
CU Lender Expanding, Hiring
A company that provides mortgage services to credit unions has expanded its operations and employment base in an apparent attempt to capitalize on the collapse of a competitor. More than 40 employees have been added and more hirings are on the way.
4 Mortgage Firms Acquired
In addition to the completion of one bank acquisition and federal approval for another -- four mortgage operations were acquired.
Record Pace of Failures
A Georgia bank seized by federal regulators today is expected to cost the government nearly $300 million. No buyer was found and the bank will be liquidated -- impacting nearly 150 employees. The pace of mortgage-related failures so far this year indicates 2009 may be record.
The Credit Wire
Credit reporting companies are scrambling to promote how their models will help lenders better predict the likelihood of default -- though one company is playing the bureaus against each other to boost borrower credit scores. One new credit offering claims it will save mortgage lenders $1 billion, while another helps prevent mortgage fraud.
Judge Halts Commercial Foreclosure by Wachovia
Wachovia Bank, N.A., is accused in a North Carolina lawsuit of reneging on an agreement to maintain a fixed rate on a commercial mortgage. A judge has halted the bank's foreclosure on the loan until the lawsuit is decided.
Recent Layoffs Top 2,000
A wave of layoffs continued to roll through the mortgage sector. Among more than 2,000 recent layoffs, just over half were at firms that have halted operations, and the rest were at major financial institutions. A California desert town was hit especially hard, while the Charlotte, N.C., area saw significant hiring and firing activity.
Federal Regulatory Overhaul
One federal bank regulator reported a more than one-third increase in orders against financial institutions last year -- and this year is on track to nearly triple. As U.S. financial institutions continue to be pounded with regulatory orders, the Obama administration is calling for a major overhaul of the U.S. regulatory system.
Florida Bank Adding Mortgage Jobs
A Florida-based bank has already hired more than 80 new mortgage employees this year and is looking for in excess of 100 more.
Servicer Vs. Hedge Fund
A struggling Connecticut hedge fund that invested in the lowest tranches of subprime residential mortgage-backed securities is accused in a lawsuit of devising an illegal scheme to force the mortgage servicer into unnecessarily holding on to repossessed properties much longer than necessary. The scheme allegedly enabled the desperate hedge fund to divert losses to more senior investors.
Record Low Rates
Mortgage rates reached record lows and refinances rebounded.
The Loan MOD Report
Federal regulators are suing two bogus modification companies, and a private firm has put a bounty on another allegedly illegal operation. Meanwhile, as service providers increase their modification offerings for mortgage servicers, a growing number of modification companies are emerging to exploit lender compliance errors.
56,000 Reverse Mortgage Leads Stolen
A reverse mortgage originator has been arrested for allegedly stealing 56,000 reverse mortgage leads from his former employer.
Foreclosure Rescue Fraud
A cottage industry has sprung up involving companies that promise to help delinquent borrowers avoid foreclosure, then collect big upfront fees and perform no services -- leading to a foreclosure anyway. But federal and state law enforcement officials are cracking down with criminal charges, convictions and lawsuits.
Resistance to FHA Forced Firm's Failure
A California mortgage company's refusal to handle government loan programs led to the defection of many of its branch managers and -- ultimately -- its failure. The company had tried to hang on to the dying jumbo market.
Wholesaler Back From the Dead
A Southern California wholesale lender that shut down well ahead of the mortgage meltdown is back.
Freddie Purchases Better, Delinquency Worse
New business at Freddie Mac jumped 84 percent last month. But residential delinquency climbed to the highest level ever, while multifamily delinquency more than doubled.
U.S. Bank Adding Servicing Employees
U.S. Bancorp plans to add hundreds of employees at a mortgage servicing center in Kentucky.
11 Servicers Sued in Massive Fraud Case
A lawsuit has been filed against 11 major mortgage lenders by the bankruptcy trustee of a company that defrauded borrowers and investors out of tens-of-millions of dollars. The trustee is seeking the return of more than $20 million in payments collected by the lenders during the past four years.
Refi Tidal Wave Warning
A surge in expected refinance originations will more than offset lowered expectations for purchase production, a new projection proclaims. The boost in refinance business will, however, stress the weakened U.S. mortgage system.
Home Prices Higher
Although lower priced transactions have become more dominant, overall home prices were higher in January. In addition, the number of home sales rose during February. Prices were strongest in the Rust Belt and weakest on the West Coast.
Another Warehouse Casualty
A branch operation that had ranked as the second biggest mortgage lender in San Diego collapsed following the loss of its warehouse lines-of-credit. Its chief has joined another net branch company. The failed firm is one of seven companies accused in a lawsuit of stealing mortgage leads from LendingTree.
Jumbo Defaults, Downgrades Soar
Jumbo performance is quickly tanking, and the three major ratings agencies are busy revising their loss estimates on jumbo transactions. The worst performing jumbo mortgages are those securitized last year.
FHA Chief Nominated
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has confirmed who the Obama Administration has nominated to lead the Federal Housing Administration.
Subprime Litigation Analysis
The failure of several major institutions last year helped stoke an increase in subprime-related lawsuits. One-third of last year's cases were filed in just one state, while one-quarter involved noncompliance or discrimination.
More Relief for Battered Mortgage Biz
The real estate finance sector got another shot of adrenalin today with the Treasury's plan to inject $500 billion into the ailing secondary mortgage market.
Countrywide Sues, Sued By Mortgage Insurer
|Former Option ARM Exec May Head FHA
An executive rumored to be President Barack Obama's pick to head the Federal Housing Administration was previously an executive at an institution that pumped out billions-of-dollars in pick-a-payment adjustable-rate mortgages.
Countrywide Financial Corp. and United Guaranty Corp. are suing each other over denied mortgage insurance claims. United alleges that Countrywide misrepresented the quality of loans it insured and encouraged mortgage fraud. Countrywide claims that the mortgage insurer is just tired of paying out claims tied to the sour economy and deteriorating real estate market.
BoA Servicer Rating Upgraded
A Bank of America Corp. unit saw its master servicer rating raised.
BankUnited Dumping Wholesale
Faced with the loss of its approval with Fannie Mae, BankUnited, FSB, voluntarily abandoned the relationship and disclosed plans to kill its wholesale lending business. But the move may not be enough to prevent the company from failing.
The Earnings Deterioration Report
Quarterly losses at some of the nation's government sponsored enterprises exceeded $50 billion and were more than twice that for all of 2008. Also struggling with earnings are U.S. mortgage insurance companies.
Friday Bloody Friday
Banking regulators seized five financial institutions on Friday, while one wholesaler has reportedly stopped serving mortgage brokers. The frenetic pace of failures this so far this year suggests 2009 might see mortgage-related casualties rise to the highest level in at least a decade.
Mortgage Fraud Lawsuits to Skyrocket
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is busy investigating mortgage fraud at failed financial institutions and sees nearly a thousand lawsuits tied to mortgage fraud being filed during the next three years.
The Federal Trade Commission outlined its oversight of mortgage companies for a civil rights watchdog group today. Among recent investigations of mortgage companies was one involving a wholesale lender that allegedly turned a blind eye when its mortgage brokers charged white borrowers less than some minorities.
Jumbo Lender Emerges
|FBI Targeting Mortgage Industry Insiders
Mortgage fraud is on track to increase this year, though not much, according to congressional testimony today. Federal law enforcement officials who are tackling mortgage fraud are focusing their efforts on industry insiders.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has closed on the sale of IndyMac Federal Bank FSB at a huge loss. The new company will initially focus on jumbo mortgage originations.
New Citi Unit Taking Shape
Citigroup Inc.'s newly created division is taking shape as a new chairman was appointed. But Citi lost a chief financial officer in the process.
Subprime Downgrades By the Thousands
Thousands of classes of subprime securities were downgraded as the three major ratings agencies boosted their loss projections on subprime vintages from 1999 to 2007.
Exec Incarcerated Over $44 Million in Fannie Losses
A Fannie Mae seller-servicer forgot to pass on $44 million in proceeds from refinanced loans. Today, the principal of that firm was sentenced to more than eight years in prison.
Appeals Court Rules Against First Horizon
A Missouri appeals court ruled in favor of borrowers who previously settled with First Horizon Home Loan Corp. The case centers around non-compliance with the state's second mortgage laws.
Refis Alive With Rates Below 5
Fixed mortgage rates fell below five percent and may fall further -- likely providing the swell for a big refinance wave. But the yield on the one-year adjustable-rate product increased even as its underlying index tumbled.
Commercial Mortgages Grow
An increase in commercial mortgages financed by commercial banks more than made up for a decline in loans financed through securitizations.
Fannie Refis Surge
Refinances on Fannie Mae loans nearly tripled last month.
Mod Biz Booming
A university study claims some provisions of the new government-subsidized modification program will lead to fewer re-defaults. Several service providers have sprouted up in anticipation of helping servicers, investors and borrowers make the most of the government's massive program.
Mortgage Rates to Plummet
Moves announced today by the Federal Reserve have a key barometer of mortgage rates suggesting long-term mortgage rates will fall below 4.70 percent.
Servicer Sued Over Sham Sales
A federal credit union has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that more than $14 million in mortgages it owned were fraudulently sold to Fannie Mae by the third-party servicer -- who kept the proceeds and also sold the servicing rights. A criminal investigation has been launched, though the servicer is now bankrupt.
Among features being touted by developers of loan origination systems are easy management of digital supporting documents, built-in disclosure compliance and cloud computing. In other LOS news, an LOS developer has been acquired and a new version of a widely used system has been released.
Firms Charged in Credit Repair Scams
Seven credit repair companies have been charged for promising to remove legitimately reported delinquency.
A new government report indicates that two institutions are neck-and-neck in the race for the titles of biggest residential originator and biggest commercial originator.
Chase Cuts Correspondent Jumbo
Customers of Chase Correspondent Lending are losing non-agency jumbo programs. A number of other program changes were also announced.
FHLB Results Turn Sour
The Federal Home Loan Banks earned more than $1 billion last year -- though income sank from the previous year and the fourth quarter turned negative.
Mortgage Fraud Worse
Driven by economic desperation, borrowers continue to commit mortgage fraud at an increasing pace.
Chase Settles Long Running Lawsuit
A mortgage fraud lawsuit has been settled between a JPMorgan Chase & Co. mortgage unit and a group of Poconos borrowers. It's a litigation fiasco that originally began in 2001.
Mortgage Insurer Quitting Contract Underwriting
A new business strategy has one major mortgage insurer canceling its contract underwriting services.
FHA Cuts Cashout LTV
The maximum loan-to-value will be cut on cashout transactions insured by the Federal Housing Administration. In addition, excessive fees for services performed on FHA originations could wind up as evidence that the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act was violated.
Better S.A.F.E. Than Sorry
U.S. mortgage bankers are worried servicers may be subject to new state licensing requirements, and Florida mortgage brokers are concerned changes in that state could make them less competitive. Meanwhile, several other states are on track to meet a federal licensing requirement.
A net branch company is recruiting mortgage brokers by focusing on streamline refinances of loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration, while a tour has been launched to help loan officers boost their FHA productivity. Also on the market is an FHA book and a new certification for government underwriters.
Subprime Lawsuits Expanded to 14 Companies
A civil rights group added two more companies to the list of lenders it claims unnecessarily steered well qualified black borrowers into high-priced subprime mortgages. But several of the companies being sued are no longer in business, while subprime lending has been abandoned by the rest.
World Vs. Wachovia Vs. Wells
Acquisitions that helped create the biggest U.S. residential lender have also sparked a flurry of lawsuits.
Commercial Mortgage Performance Waning
Despite rising defaults, commercial mortgages are still some of the best performing loans held by financial institutions. But construction lending is another story.
Ginnie MBS Volume More Than Doubles
Monthly issuances of Government National Mortgage Association mortgage-backed securities have more than doubled since last year.
Chase Vs. Brokers
Comments by the top executive at JPMorgan Chase & Co. have mortgage brokers up in arms. A broker trade group released its own statement condemning the comments and blaming failed investment bankers for the industry's woes.
Warehouse Situation Bleaker
National City Corp.'s warehouse lending unit will be shut down. It's the second time the company's new parent has exited warehouse lending and another blow to mortgage bankers who are struggling to find financing for their originations.
Big Improvement in Production Predicted
Since last month, projections for U.S. home financings this year have improved $400 billion. An increase in conventional refinances is responsible for the bright outlook.
Decline Has Rates Near Record Lows
Fixed mortgage rates fell and stand near the lowest levels on record. New loan applicants continue to show little interest in loans with variable rates.
The number of loans that faced foreclosure last month was the third highest on record, while repossessions shot up by more than half from last year, the latest foreclosure report indicates. Idaho made its debut as one of the five worst states.
$10 Billion Regulator
The chairman of the Federal Reserve is calling for the creation of a new regulator to oversee mammoth financial institutions that could pose a risk to the U.S. financial system. At the same time, a new unit is being created at one bank regulator to oversee regulatory actions against institutions with more than $10 billion in assets. Meantime, dozens of banks were recently hit with a variety of regulatory orders.
Last month, foreclosure activity soared to the highest level since the credit crisis began.
New Freddie Chairman, CEO
The chairman of Freddie Mac will relinquish his boardroom role to temporarily step in as chief executive officer.
Lender Dumps Brokers, Goes Retail
An Arizona-based lender has closed its wholesale channel. But a new focus on retail business has the firm recruiting new loan originators and building its branch network.
Biggest Bank Lenders
As fourth quarter mortgage originations fell for federally insured financial institutions, credit line and repurchase activity soared. The biggest bank, as measured by assets, had more than $2 billion in repurchases -- nearly doubling from the prior period.
Investors Fill Courtrooms
Lawsuits filed by investors of financial institutions and mortgage-backed securities are piling up in federal courts across the country.
One mortgage insurer is abandoning its declining-markets policy. Other changes impact maximum debt-to-income ratios, minimum reserves and the refundability of premiums.
HUD Disputes Findings on FHA First Payment Defaults
Earlier this week, a news story was published that indicated first-payment defaults on government-insured mortgages were skyrocketing. But government data obtained by MortgageDaily.com indicate the rate of early defaults has actually eased.
Waived Fees a Boon to Refi Activity
Government policy will have less of an impact on prepayment speeds than expected, based on projections from one investment firm. But waived guarantee fees on conforming refinances will likely push prepayment speeds higher.
Net Branch Manager Arrested
The Virginia branch manager of a Pennsylvania-based mortgage company was arrested for lying about her income on her mortgage application with a failed subprime lender.
Firm Aims to Boost Warehouse Liquidity
A Colorado firm hopes to boost warehouse lending liquidity by providing a platform to help community banks enter the market.
Mortgage Compliance Daily
As fast as new requirements emerge for government lending and appraisal ordering, new services are emerging to help mortgage companies comply. In other compliance news, mortgage trade groups are asking the Obama administration to exempt mortgage servicers from upcoming licensing requirements.
CU Lender Halts Operations
For the second time since last month, a mortgage banking firm that caters to credit unions has closed the door on new business -- this time impacting hundreds of employees.
Bank Finds Business in Denied Refis
A 144-year-old Michigan bank expects to revive as much as $20 million in previously denied loans as a result of the new mortgage plan.
Loan Mod Lines Drawn
Several studies warn of dire consequences if pending cramdown legislation becomes law. The mortgage plan detailed last week by the Obama administration, which included government-subsidized modifications, has found plenty of friends and foes alike. Among those who can reportedly benefit from the plan are illegal immigrants and borrowers who committed mortgage fraud.
Mortgage Lawsuits Ease
Despite a surge in actions taken by bank regulators, overall mortgage litigation eased in the Fourth Quarter Mortgage Litigation Report.
Georgia Bank Seized
A bank closed by Georgia banking regulators today was the 17th federally insured financial institution to fail this year.
$1 Billion Lawsuit Against Mortgage Executives
A $1 billion lawsuit filed last week accuses former executives of a failed Alt-A wholesale lender of overpaying themselves hundreds-of-millions of dollars as the company was drowning. Just two weeks before a bankruptcy filing by the firm -- which employed more than 5,000 people -- executives took the corporate jet to a Hawaiian resort.
Bank of America Corp. shuffled some of its top mortgage executives, while the parent of Residential Capital LLC found a new treasurer. A Swiss bank has replaced its top brass, and two firms have new technology executives.
Wells Off to a Sizzling Start
So far this year, mortgage originations are up more than three-quarters at Wells Fargo & Co.
Mortgage Jobs Weaken Further
Despite a surge in refinance-related hirings, the mortgage sector failed to muster up enough new hirings to offsets job cuts.
Study Suggests Subprime Was Worthless
A report from the Federal Reserve suggests subprime mortgage lending did nothing to boost home ownership.
PHH Servicer Rating Cut
Despite a well-run servicing operation, PHH Mortgage Corp. saw its residential servicer ratings lowered.
Alt-A Ratings Slaughtered
It was a blood bath as one of the three major ratings agencies went ballistic on thousands of tranches from alternative-A residential mortgage-backed securities. Downgrades by another agency impacted 317 transactions, while a third agency weighed in on bankruptcy carve-outs.
CitiMortgage Servicer Rating Hurt by Parent
Concerns about Citigroup Inc. prompted a servicer rating downgrade at its mortgage unit. Citigroup is expected to become less relevant among U.S. financial institutions.
1-in-9 Borrowers Delinquent or in Foreclosure
More than one-in-nine U.S. home mortgages was either in default or in foreclosure at the end of last year. But signs of life are emerging on the U.S. subprime portfolio.
Rising Rates May Ease
Mortgage rates increased but may fall as the stock market deteriorates to levels not seen in more than a decade.
Big Growth Planned at Small Firm
A small mortgage company in Florida has big plans -- including adding more than 350 loan originators.
Broad Support for Borrower Bailout
The nation's biggest mortgage lenders are rallying around President Barack Obama's borrower rescue plan. The plan is so popular that HUD's Web site is struggling to handle all of the user traffic.
Only one U.S. financial institutions is among the world's 25 safest banks, according to a recent ranking. That bank is also the most admired mortgage-related company.
High LTV Streamlined Refis Without M.I.
A second piece of the Obama administration's mortgage rescue plan involves refinancing borrowers with high loan-to-values and as-agreed payment histories. The program enables streamlined underwriting and the ability to skip mortgage insurance and appraisals on some loans.
The Negative Equity Journal
Warnings About Big Commercial Servicer
Despite the dismal performance of California home values, the state's average loan-to-value was just 70 percent in a new report that indicated one-in-five U.S. borrowers had negative equity. The average LTV was lowest in New York and highest in Nevada -- where more than half of borrowers have negative equity.
Concern is growing over whether the nation's third biggest servicer of commercial mortgages can afford to operate -- and keep its servicing portfolio.
Bankruptcy Filings Gaining Steam
Borrower bankruptcies continued to climb and are expected to increase further. Legislation currently pending in the U.S. Congress on loan modifications by bankruptcy judges could exacerbate filings.
|FDIC Pursuing Brokers for Mortgage Fraud Losses
The head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation blamed mortgage brokers and the lax lenders that funded their loans for much of the current housing crisis. She warned that her agency is pursuing thousands of mortgage fraud cases against mortgage brokers and other parties involved.
The number of completed foreclosures shot up more than 20 percent from December to January, a new industry report indicated. While subprime mortgages accounted for just over one-tenth of loans serviced in January -- they accounted for more than half of homes repossessed.
Delinquency May Nearly Double This Year
The surge in mortgage delinquency as a result of the current recession is already more than three times worse than the period that included the bursting of the 'Dot Com' bubble and the Sept. 11 attacks, according to a new report that predicts defaults will nearly double by yearend.
Citigroup Inc.'s mortgage unit is temporarily modifying loans for laid-off borrowers.
Agency MBS Volume Jumps
As issuances of mortgage-backed securities bounced back at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, activity at Ginnie Mae continued a steady rise.
MTA Continues Free Fall
Even as short-term Treasury yields climb, the month Treasury average continues to fall.
Chase Cuts Texas Jobs
Mortgage employees at a JPMorgan Chase & Co. unit in Texas will be laid off. So far during 2009, more than 1,000 mortgage positions have been eliminated by the New York-based institution.
Freddie CEO Quits
As Freddie Mac prepares to ask the U.S. Treasury Department for tens of billions of dollars in more aid, its government-appointed chief executive officer is quitting.
Household is History
HSBC North America is throwing in the towel on its U.S. consumer finance operations -- impacting more than 5,000 employees. The company began the massive dismantling of its U.S. empire in 2007.
Record Mortgage Insurance Defaults
Business at mortgage insurers held up in January and may strengthen. But mortgage insurance defaults climbed to the highest level on record.
2 Banks, 1 Branch Operation Fail
A Nevada bank, an Illinois bank and a Texas-based branch operation are all out of business.
ResCap Bankruptcy Possible
Residential originations at Residential Capital LLC have shifted from nonconforming and nonprime to conforming and government, GMAC LLC said in its annual report. Mortgage broker share is down, while correspondent share is higher. But as ResCap continues to tear through capital, GMAC laid out how it might be impacted by a bankruptcy at the unit.