Hard Money Lender Buried in Litigation
A Nevada hard-money lender, which has been hit with a barrage of investor lawsuits, has filed its own litigation. The company is accused of mortgage servicing deficiencies.
Brokers Lose Lawsuit
A judge has ruled against mortgage brokers, who sued to stop implementation of the loan officer compensation rule.
Record Low MI Applications
The number of monthly mortgage insurance policies written has fallen by more than half since fall, and spring is looking less promising based on new applications -- which were the lowest on record. The poor showing reflects the loss of a big insurer. The good news is that defaults declined.
Interest Rates Stabilize
Mortgage rates edged up this week but don't appear headed higher for the moment. Tame inflation helped keep rising rates in check.
Courts Face Mortgage Modification Mess
Lackluster results were again reported for government loan modifications as related litigation against leading lenders has continued. One mortgage banking executive has sued a servicer because he did not want his mortgage modified. Other lawsuits loading up the courts are those against loan modification firms accused of violating state and federal statutes.
Balloon Terms Expanded on CRE Refis through SBA 504
The Obama administration has extended qualifying balloon dates for refinancing commercial mortgages under the SBA 504 program. More than $30 billion is available that could help up to 20,000 small businesses.
Fed Rebuffs AIG Offer to Buy Back Bonds
The Federal Reserve rebuffed a nearly $16 billion offer by American International Group to re-purchase mortgage bonds from Maiden Lane -- saying it will instead sell the bonds on the open market. A disappointed AIG fired back that the move will hurt U.S. taxpayers.
Fannie Business Sinks
Secondary marketing activity at Fannie Mae tumbled more than a fifth last month.
The Story of Fannie & Freddie
How did Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac wind up costing U.S. taxpayers more than $150 billion so far?
Big Banks are Big Litigation Targets
Two big banks and the entities they acquired are frequent targets in the litany of litigation recently filed by investors against mortgage-related entities.
Brokers Battle LO Comp Rule, YSP Restrictions
Mortgage brokers, who at one point accounted for half of residential originations, have seen their collective share dwindle to just 10 percent as their numbers have fallen to 120,000 from 450,000 in better times. The group is now fighting further erosion that could result from upcoming loan origination compensation rules and restrictions on yield spread premiums.
Dems Join GOP in Voting to End HAMP
A few House Democrats joined rival Republicans in voting to end the Home Affordable Modification Program -- an Obama administration initiative that fell far short of initial projections. But the House bill stands little chance of making it through the Senate.
Regulatory Overhaul could Limit Low-Income Lending
WASHINGTON -- A trio of regulatory moves are designed to prevent another housing crisis by bringing mortgage originator incentives in line with the best interests of investors and borrowers. But investors and consumer advocates alike warn that the changes will lead to less credit for lower-income borrowers.
$20 Billion in Fraud During 2010
An analysis of government data released Tuesday suggests that more than $20 billion in mortgage fraud was reported last year. While banks and credit unions filed more reports of mortgage fraud in the fourth quarter, more than two thirds of that fraud happened at least three years ago. The activity represents a strong contrast to the fourth-quarter 2009, when half as many occurrences were that old.
Investors, Lenders Call Risk-Retention Rule Too Rigid
Federal regulators say that a risk-retention rule outlined today will help bring investors back to the mortgage-backed securities market. But investors and mortgage bankers see it differently -- calling the rule too rigid. Another point of contention is servicing standards promulgated in the rule.
Big Democrats v. Big Servicers
President Obama is proposing that the nation's mortgage servicers dish out $20 billion in loan modifications, while a prominent House Democrat is proposing to levy a modification tax on the biggest banks. But Democrats have an uphill battle supporting delinquent borrowers when most borrowers are fighting to remain current. House Republicans, meanwhile, are moving to eliminate crisis-era programs like the Home Affordable Modification Program.
No-Call List Violations Could be Costly for WI Firm
A Wisconsin mortgage firm has been sued by the state for allegedly making hundreds of thousands of telephone calls to borrowers on the state's no-call list and misleading some consumers into believing that the firm was their servicer. The state seeks a $100 fine for each no-call violation.
Firm Buys Discounted 2nds
A company operating from North Carolina is buying second mortgages across the country at hefty discounts.
Analysis of Servicer Settlement
A report from one of the three major ratings agencies analyzes the impact from a proposed settlement submitted by state attorneys general to the largest mortgage servicers.
$4 Billion in Secondary Trades
Among nearly $4 billion in recent secondary transactions tracked by Mortgage Daily are residential, commercial and construction-and-development trades.
$1 Billion Deal to Acquire Servicer
Walter Investment Management Corp. will pick up a $37 billion servicing portfolio with its planned acquisition of Green Tree.
California Feels Many of Mortgage Layoffs
With the end of the last refinance cycle, mortgage layoffs seem to have picked up steam. Many of the casualties are in the Golden State, and banks are playing a big role in the latest round.
Bank Failures Sink in March
Although bank failures during the first two months of this year indicated that the number of casualties might reach the elevated level recorded for 2010, there was a dramatic decline this month.
Servicers Fight Lawsuits
|Mortgage Activity Sinks
New mortgage activity fell 11 percent this past week. Much of the deterioration can be attributed to refinance transactions.
Among issues being fought in court by mortgage servicers are forced-placed insurance, denied loan modifications and lien releases.
The Executive Ledger
More than two dozen mortgage lending executives recently accepted new positions within the industry. Among their new employers are the nation's largest lenders, many smaller firms and commercial mortgage companies.
Nearly 2,500 Q1 Layoffs at Wells Fargo
Job cuts disclosed this week by Wells Fargo & Co. bring to nearly 2,500 the number of production-related layoffs reported by the mammoth lender.
Freddie's Portfolio Expands, Delinquency Declines
Freddie Mac's massive mortgage portfolio increased for the first time in nearly a year. In a positive sign for the overall economy, residential defaults again fell. Apartment delinquency, however, continued to deteriorate.
Varied Strategies Used in Foreclosures Litigation
Hot issues in foreclosure litigation include standing, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. A high volume of foreclosure-related cases has been keeping appeals courts busy. Attorneys for borrowers have been using some unusual tactics.
Franchise Operator at Odds with Georgia Regulators
A Georgia mortgage broker who converted to a franchise operator says he doesn't deal directly with borrowers and isn't subject to state licensing requirements. But the state disagrees and has issued a cease-and-desist order.
Mortgage rates crept higher, and bond market activity suggests another 10-basis-point increase might be ahead.
Verdict Focuses on Commission Software
A jury returned a $3.5 million verdict against Wells Fargo & Co.'s banking subsidiary over alleged discrimination against hundreds of borrowers. The plaintiffs claim that software used by the bank blocked loan originators in minority neighborhoods from offering the same pricing discounts that were offered by originators in non-minority neighborhoods. But the bank, which is considering its options at this point, says the software program identified in the case does not impact borrower pricing.
Wells Production Layoffs Top 1,000
North Carolina layoffs planned by Wells Fargo & Co. bring to more than a thousand the number of mortgage production jobs that have been recently eliminated.
Bank Chief Defrauded His Own Bank
The former chief of a failed Georgia bank was apprehended this week as he returned from the West Indies. Along with another bank executive, he is accused of committing mortgage fraud on multi-million dollar commercial real estate loans.
More Refi Layoffs at Wells
Following hundreds of recent refinance-related layoffs, Wells Fargo & Co. disclosed hundreds more.
Biggest Lender Reports Top Exec's Compensation
So what does the executive in charge of the country's biggest mortgage lender earn?
Wells Trimming Servicing Staff
With the number of delinquent loans falling at Wells Fargo & Co., several dozen servicing positions are being eliminated in the State of Washington.
Borrower Challenges REO Title, HAMP Compliance
A Texas woman who was discharged from bankruptcy then denied a loan modification claims in a federal lawsuit that Bank of America Corp.'s mortgage unit was wrong when it foreclosed on her home. At issue are title to the real-estate-owned asset and requirements under the federal loan modification program.
SunTrust Demotes Mortgage Chief
The leader of SunTrust Banks Inc.'s mortgage unit is taking a lesser position at the operation.
Another Reverse Lender Done
It was the third recent exit for a high-profile reverse mortgage lender. The latest casualty at one time had a market share of 50 percent.
Nonprime Wholesaler Expands
A wholesale lender that funds short-term hard-money mortgages is moving into longer-term nonprime financing.
2013 Originations to be a Third Higher than 2011
Next year's home-loan fundings are forecasted to be 9 percent higher than this year's, while expected activity in 2013 is a third higher than 2011's projection.
$20 Million Verdict Against PHH
A federal jury in Georgia awarded a U.S. Army sergeant $20 million in his lawsuit against PHH Mortgage Corp. The company is accused of reporting the borrower as delinquent to the credit bureaus even though he had an automatic deduction, made several attempts to rectify the situation directly with the servicer and was promised it would be fixed. Violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act are alleged.
Multifamily Lending to Survive GSEs' Exit
Although the elimination of the government sponsored housing enterprises would impact multifamily lending, the sector has seen the return of additional sources of apartment financing.
Lawsuit Challenges Revised HECM Policies
A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of the surviving spouses of three deceased borrowers on home-equity conversion mortgages. The lawsuit claims that the plaintiffs, none of whom were on title when their spouses died, were unfairly foreclosed on as a result of changes to HECM policies. The loan-to-value on one of the mortgages was 150 percent.
FHA Activity Sinks
The volume of loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration was down more than a quarter last month, though federally insured reverse mortgage action improved. A small uptick might be ahead based on new applications -- which were up 23 percent for purchase transactions.
Home-loan delinquency dropped during last month, with the improvement concentrated in early defaults.
Clarification on LO Comp Has Lenders Scrambling
A concept introduced at a Federal Reserve Webinar on the loan officer compensation rule has lenders rushing to comply with next month's deadline. The Fed also addressed yield spread premiums, clarified compensation to mortgage brokers with multiple locations and offered an alternative to borrower-paid fees.
Treasury to Unwind Agency MBS Portfolio
The Department of the Treasury announced plans to unload more than $100 billion in agency mortgage-backed securities at a tidy profit. Markets quickly responded, pushing rates higher.
|Mortgage Servicers Pummeled with Litigation
The final three months of 2010 were very litigious for mortgage servicers. Legal actions against servicers help push the Mortgage Litigation Index up 42 percent as foreclosure cases heated up and actions associated with loan modifications tripled.
Former BofA LO Agrees to Settlement
|Another Good Week for Originators
Rates tumbled, refinances pushed activity higher and the premium for jumbo loans was lower last week. Borrowers on 15-year mortgages gained a bigger advantage over 30-year borrowers.
DANVERS, Mass. -- A former Bank of America loan originator who also owned and operated a loan modification company -- pretending to be an attorney for the lender and using his position at the bank to steer business his way -- has settled with the State of Massachusetts.
Recent changes to mortgage regulations impact escrow accounts, jumbo loans and credit notices. Lawyers unsuccessfully tried to stop the implementation of regulations that affect how companies deal with private customer information. Other recently addressed issues include risk-based pricing, appraisals and discrimination.
LO Compensation Issues and Solutions
As the deadline to comply with the new loan officer compensation rule rapidly approaches, several service providers have unveiled compliance solutions.
WaMu Execs Collected Nearly $100 mil as Bank Deteriorated
The top management of Washington Mutual Inc. put the company's viability at risk in order to line their own pockets with nearly $100 million in compensation, according to a federal lawsuit filed against three of the former executives. Also named in the complaint are the wives of two of the executives.
2 Mortgage Firms Acquired
Two mortgage firms were acquired this week, with one promising job hirings as a result.
Quicken Wins Overtime Lawsuit
The founder of Quicken Loans was exuberant as his company won a huge victory in a federal lawsuit filed by former employees. He called on other innocent defendants not to settle and described the law firm that filed the case in less-less-than flattering terms. The decision, however, doesn't necessarily mean that other lenders are off the hook.
Rates fell this week as the 15-year became a more attractive option.
National Notary Association Op-Ed
The nationwide foreclosure scandal in 2010 shocked the country with the massive amounts of money lost nationwide. A significant part of the blame was placed on improperly performed notarizations. But this doesn't tell the whole story.
New Reverse Originator Emerges
A developer of reverse mortgage technology has become an operator. Mortgage leads and a call center will initially power a retail channel, while a correspondent channel has also been opened.
Former NetMore Subsidiary Not Impacted by Closing
A former division of NetMore America is not impacted by the company's recent closing.
CFPB: 1st Priority is to Consolidate TILA, RESPA Forms
President Barack Obama's appointee to set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau acknowledged in congressional testimony that separate disclosures required under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and the Truth in Lending Act should be consolidated into a single form.
Mortgage Bankers Boost Forecast
Mortgage bankers raised their projection for this year's home-loan originations.
Mortgage Brokers Drive Growth at Fremont
A new wholesale lending unit helped Fremont Bank push 2010 originations higher even though the industry as a whole suffered a decline. The company sees more growth ahead for broker-originated business.
Across-the-Board Delinquency Improvement
The monthly rate of defaults improved for first mortgages, second mortgages and overall consumer loans.
Senate Debates GSEs
WASHINGTON -- Republican and Democrat senators clashed on how best to overhaul Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac following a Treasury Department report on the troubled housing giants. GOP lawmakers criticized the length and the detail of the Treasury's report, which outlined three possible scenarios.
Hotel Lates Defy CMBS Performance
Although the performance of securitized commercial mortgages backed by hotels has the highest delinquency rate of all categories, hotel loans saw a drop in delinquency. But the story was different for most other types of commercial real estate issuances.
Q1 Outlook Raised $100 Billion
A big increase in conventional mortgage business has the first-quarter origination outlook more than $100 billion higher.
FHA Chief Replaces MBA Chief
The head of the Mortgage Bankers Association is being replaced by the head of the Federal Housing Administration. The move represents a lobbying coup for the trade group, whose members are in the midst of a massive regulatory overhaul.
10-Year Yield, Stocks Sink
The U.S. stock market opened sharply lower Tuesday, sending bond prices higher and the 10-year Treasury yield lower. Mortgage rates are likely to be more than 30 basis points lower as a result of nuclear concerns in Japan.
Unpaid OT Deliberated in Quicken Case
Jurors were set to deliberate whether hundreds of plaintiffs were "sales" employees at Quicken Loans. At issue are unpaid hours that the online lender has claimed were exempt from overtime requirements.
CoreLogic Acquires LOS Provider
Signs Point to Improved Interest Rates
CoreLogic will expand its footprint in the loan-origination-system sector through an acquisition.
Mortgage rates were mixed this past week but are falling this week.