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March 2015 Archive

Servicing Income Slides on MSRs Valuations, Hedging
Servicers of home loans saw income tumble last year thanks to valuations and hedging on mortgage servicing rights.

Annual Mortgage Earnings Worse as Originations Drop
As home loan production slowed last year, annual earnings at independent lenders sank. Factored into worse earnings were higher per-loan staffing costs.

Home Prices Rise, Maybe Too Much
U.S. home prices increased during the first month of the year, according to a closely watched index. But the pace of increase might price some shoppers out of the market.

Settlement Cost and You Booklet Being Replaced
As part of the upcoming process of implementing integrated disclosures, a new booklet has been released that will replace one that is currently in use.

FHA Business Slips But Set to Soar
New business dipped in the first month of this year at the Federal Housing Administration, but an escalation in new applications points to a strong first quarter. Delinquency, meanwhile, was down again.

HELOC Market Heats Up
Although outstanding balances on all home-secured credit products diminished, new activity on credit lines secured by residential properties is strengthening.

MSRs on $10 Billion in GSE Loans Hit Market
Bids are being solicited on a portfolio of mortgage servicing rights on $10 billion in government-sponsored enterprise loans.

Bank Mortgage Performance Better, Outstandings Down
Federally chartered national banks have reduced the size of their collective servicing portfolios each quarter for more than three years. Also declining was mortgage delinquency.

SC Loan Originator Honored by Local Community
Thanks to her concern for customers and her volunteer work, a South Carolina loan originator has been honored by her local community.

Unexpected Rise in Pending Home Sales Good Sign
An increase last month in the level of pending home sales was unexpected and a good sign for the spring home buying season.

Sideline Assistance Aimed at Integrated Disclosures
With the countdown clock running out the on integrated disclosures, the rule's enforcer has affected some revisions on material guides. Industry associations are taking steps to ensure a smooth transition for their members, while technology providers are making headlines with services aimed at coaching mortgage players through a tricky rulebook.

Mortgage Activity Off Despite Improved Rates
Although interest rates improved this past week, new mortgage activity slowed down. One bright spot, however, was jumbo business.

Mortgage Market Index 203 in week ended March 27
Massive Sale of Distressed Loans by Freddie
As the secondary mortgage market continues to thaw, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. unloaded a record amount of distressed loans.

Mortgage Firms Take on New Leaders
While one of the government-sponsored enterprise snagged a mortgage executive from a big-name financial institution, a young West Coast company recruited several leaders to spearhead a growth spurt. Other appointments include technology, sales and production executives.

FHA Appraisal Delivery Going Digital
Mortgagees on government-insured residential loans will have to start using a new electronic portal to deliver appraisal reports next year.

Chase Eliminating 100s of NY Mortgage Jobs
Hundreds of mortgage positions in the state of New York are being eliminated by JPMorgan Chase & Co. While most of the jobs are in servicing, some are related to refinancing.

Big Banks Battle Florida Foreclosures
Standing -- whether or not a lender has the right to foreclose -- is still showing up as an issue for banks in Sunshine State foreclosure litigation. And one national lender was slapped by both the trial and appellate courts for having "unclean hands" after it foreclosed on a Florida homeowner.

Mortgage Rates Fall But Likely to Jump
Following two consecutive weeks of improvement, fixed rates on home loans are poised to turn higher in the next report.

FHA Chief Being Replaced
A new official has been appointed to oversee the Federal Housing Administration -- though it won't be as Federal Housing Commissioner for the time being.

Mortgage Complaint Disclosures Raise Several Issues
The planned public disclosure of consumer complaints has many in real estate finance concerned. In addition to being limited about how lenders can respond -- complaint validity, consumer confusion and privacy are issues that have been raised.

GSE Refis Decline, New Low for HARP Production
After declining to the lowest level on record, government-supported refinance activity descended further. Overall refinance volume was lower at the government-sponsored enterprises.

Nonbank Mortgage Servicers Face More Regulation
State mortgage regulators have determined that the level of regulation for non-bank servicers needs to be increased.

Wells Fargo Laying Off 1,000 Servicing Employees
A decline in the level of distressed residential loans is prompting Wells Fargo & Co. to shut down a servicing center and lay off a thousand employees.

Impac Mortgage Expects Originations To Soar
Home lending activity increased during the final three months of last year at Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc., and business is expected to nearly double in the first three months of this year.

Bank of America Mortgages By Video
A move into video conferencing by Bank of America Corp. is being expanded as the lender enables prospective borrowers to communicate with its staff by video.

Mortgage Jobs Increase in Q4
Staffing within the mortgage industry expanded during the final three months of last year, with non-bank lenders responsible for much of the hiring activity. Banks saw the biggest mortgage layoffs.

Freddie's New Business Highest Since 2013
Less than a week after announcing the planneThe Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. turned in the best month in new business since the summer of 2013. Delinquency hasn't been this good since 2008.

Increased New Home Sales Surprise Analysts
New home sales surprised analysts last month and jumped to the highest level in seven years -- a possible sign of improvement in the U.S. housing market.

Mortgage Bankers Raise Q2 Refi Forecast
Mortgage bankers are apparently more optimistic about refinance production in the second quarter, a development that has full-year expectations for overall production higher.

Another Agency MSR Sale at Ocwen
Less than a week after announcing the planned sale of mortgage servicing rights on nearly $10 billion in agency loans, Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC has negotiated a sale of more than twice that size.

Refinance Forecast Cut
The most-recent housing finance forecast has annual mortgage refinance originations coming in lower than had been previously expected.

IN AG Opposing Bill to Cut Foreclosure Time
Pending legislation that would reduce the lengthy foreclosure process in the state of Indiana is being opposed by the state's attorney general.

Supply Concerns Remain Even as Home Sales Rise
The volume of existing home sales picked up last month. But optimism about the latest numbers is being tempered by supply concerns.

Ocwen Says RMBS Investors Seek Less Borrower Relief
In a letter to trustees on residential mortgage-backed securities, Ocwen Financial Corp. claims that allegations of its non-performance are an attempt by investors to thwart efforts to assist distressed borrowers.

Freedom Mortgage Recruiting in Mid-Atlantic Region
Strengthening demand for its lending services in the Mid Atlantic has prompted Freedom Mortgage Corp. to launch a recruiting campaign in the region.

Post-Crisis Low for Delinquency, Foreclosures
It's been more than seven years since mortgage delinquency and the foreclosure inventory have been as low as they were last month.

Hundreds of Mortgage Jobs Eliminated
Some of the biggest players in the mortgage industry have recently eliminated more than a thousand jobs in the aggregate as they adjust to current conditions.

Mortgage Activity Rises as Rates Retreat
Mortgage business was lifted by an improvement in interest rates. Leading the week-over-week gain was refinance activity.

Mortgage Market Index 214 in week ended March 20
Loan Modification Volume Down
The volume of residential loan modifications started the new year off at a slower pace. Both proprietary and government-supported modifications declined.

Several Secondary Mtg Transactions So Far in 2015
Among a number of secondary mortgage transactions so far this year are deals that include prime mortgages, non-performing loans and agency loans.

Mortgage Lenders Spread Through New Branches
In recent mortgage branch activity, one recruiter said it was actively hiring on behalf of a lender, and another released a time-saving tool for opportunity seekers. Meanwhile, several lenders built new shops, with some offices serving as the inaugural company foothold in a previously unexplored target market.

Mortgage Rates Drop, Further Decline Could Follow
Interest rates on home loans took a tumble this past week, and signs point to an even further decline in the upcoming report.

Biggest Commercial Mortgage Lenders in 2014
The latest ranking of commercial real estate lenders is out, and three of the top-five commercial mortgage lenders are also among the top-five residential lenders.

Maryland Has Worst Foreclosure Rate
Although nationwide foreclosure activity improved last month, metrics deteriorated in Maryland -- leaving state with the worst foreclosure rate in the country.

48,079 foreclosures initiated in February
Demand for Government Mortgages Jumps
A recent reduction in mortgage insurance premiums on government loans has apparently had a significant impact, with home lending executives reporting an increase in demand. Also improving was the outlook for home prices, credit conditions and profit margins.

U.S. Could Face More GSE Bailouts
Although the government-sponsored enterprises have been operating profitably for the last few years, adverse conditions could force the government to provide more draws in the future.

Refinance Share at Nearly 2-Year High
It's been almost two years since refinance share has been as wide as it was last month. Closing ratios on all loans deteriorated, while credit scores on government-insured refinances soared.

Ocwen MSR Sales Surpass $64 Billion
With its latest deal to sell mortgage servicing rights, Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC has recently negotiated the sale of MSRs on more than $64 billion in agency loans.

New Forecast Has Lower Refinances
A new forecast for mortgage production has refinancing activity much lower for last year and this year than other industry estimates.

Help Arrives as Integrated Disclosure Deadline Nears
As the implementation deadline approaches for the integrated disclosure rule, a request has been made by the title industry for a transitional period. Meanwhile, solutions providers continue offering resource and product services aimed at helping maintain compliance.

Servicers Battle Borrowers in Court
A California lawsuit where the court roundly criticized both parties for overreaching was among the activity in recent servicing-related lawsuits. Other cases involved a 1099 that one plaintiff says shouldn't have been issued after the foreclosure of his house, a court order into arbitration and another court order into mediation.

U.S. LTVs Rise
The country's equity position worsened during the last three months of 2014, with more borrowers finding themselves upside-down.

Weather Blamed for Plunge in New Construction
New home construction plummeted last month, and some analysts are blaming harsh winter conditions for the dismal activity.

1st Mortgage Delinquency Down, 2nd Mortgage Up
Although the rate of serious delinquency on first mortgages improved for the first time in seven months, the second-mortgage rate was worse for the fourth consecutive month.

Big Hiring Plans at Some Mortgage Firms
While the mortgage industry as a whole recently saw a decline in its population, some firms have been adding hundreds of new jobs.

Home Builder Confidence Off, West Worst
Home builders were again less optimistic about market conditions, and builders in the West saw the biggest decline. One region of the country, though, saw improvement.

Hotel Loans Lead Increase in CMBS Delinquency
Performance on loans included in commercial mortgage-backed securities worsened last month, with lodging loans taking the biggest hit.

Jumbo Ginnie Issuance Up Despite Overall Decline
Total monthly mortgage securitizations moved lower at the Government National Mortgage Association. But one bright spot was jumbo securitization activity.

Mortgage Lender Ranking
While there was no change in the top-five ranking of home lenders, the concentration of business among the 10 largest lenders dropped. Banks gave up significant market share to non-banks and credit unions.

Lenders Embrace Mortgage Production Services
Several financial institutions have engaged mortgage service providers to improve the production process. Services range from loan verifications to processing and underwriting.

Home Purchase Financing Activity at 10-Mth High
Home lending activity staged a slight comeback despite a bump in interest rates. Meanwhile, purchase financing activity climbed to the highest level in 10 months.

Mortgage Market Index at 193 for week ended March 13
Fannie MSRs For Sale
Mortgage servicing rights on Fannie Mae loans have come on the market, and a disproportionate share of the loans are secured by properties in the Lone Star State.

Mortgage Lenders Tout Originations
Among firms that provide home financing, some are reporting that they rank among the biggest lenders in their geographic areas. Commercial mortgage companies are also tooting their own horns.

Senate Bill Seeks to Ease Lending on Mfg Housing
A quartet of senators are behind a bill introduced this week that is intended to ease restrictions on financing manufactured homes.

Conferences Address MSRs, Wholesale and Reverse
A bouquet of conferences and workshops will bloom throughout March, into April and beyond. With topics that include servicing rights, wholesale lending and reverse mortgages -- mortgage professionals have their pick of subject matter.

Mortgage Rates Surge But Might Fall
Better-than-expected news about the nation's workforce thrust fixed mortgage rates higher this past week, though a subsequent retreat is likely.

Mortgage Market Share Up at Credit Unions, Nonbanks
As the nation's mortgage originations have retreated, non-bank lenders continued to gain in market share at the expense of banks. Credit union share also widened.

2014 Refinance Estimate Increased
It turns out that more refinances were closed in the final quarter of last year than originally estimated, though purchase financing activity was lower than previously thought.

State Licensed LOs Increase, Bank LOs Down
From the end of 2013 through the end of 2014, the number of state-licensed loan originators rose, while bank registrations declined. California saw dozens of firms lose their licenses.

CFPB Report IDs Mortgage Compliance Violations
A report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau identified several areas where mortgage firms are violating rules, regulations and laws.

Profile of Today's Home Buyers
A recent survey of people who purchased a residential property found variances between younger and older buyers when it came to down payment source and using government-insured financing.

The Wholesale Mortgage Wire
One wholesale mortgage lender has upgraded its technology, while another has launched a reverse mortgage product lineup. A consultant is helping wholesalers beef up their businesses.

National Lender Agrees to be Acquired
A company that has made a name for itself investing in structured settlements has made a significant investment in a national mortgage banker.

Supreme Court Sides With LOs in Overtime Lawsuit
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against the mortgage industry in a case involving overtime for loan originators.

Wholesale Reverse Originations Off as Retail Rises
Retail originators of government-insured reverse mortgages pushed monthly activity higher, while business slowed at wholesalers.

Delinquency Down as Repossessions Rise
Residential loan servicers made progress on the level of seriously delinquent loans. But the number of completed foreclosures accelerated.

Frmr Officers, Directors of Failed Chicago Bank Sued
Millions of dollars in losses suffered by a failed Chicago bank were the result of negligence by former officers and directors, according to a federal regulator's lawsuit.

Deal With Credit Bureaus Impacts Dispute Resolution
A settlement reached with the three national credit repositories makes it less certain that consumer disputes will end favorably for lenders.

Flurry of Regional Mortgage Executives Appointed
Many of the recent executive appointments that have been made by mortgage bankers have been for regional management positions in production.

Repurchase Disputes Litigated
Litigation over contractual agreements to buy back bad mortgages continues to wind its way through the courts. In one instance, 70 similar cases have been consolidated for pretrial purposes.

LO Talks About Radical Changes in Mortgage Lending
Greg Bridgman found himself having to support two families, leading him to give up his full-time vocation as a pastor and move into mortgage banking.

New Business, Delinquency Down at MGIC
Following the first increase in delinquency at MGIC Guaranty Insurance Corp. in three years, the level of distressed loans tumbled. New business continued lower.

Montana Bills Address State Supreme Court Decision
The GOP in Montana has submitted legislation intended to alleviate concerns by home loan servicers over a recent state Supreme Court decision. Some say the bills are bad for consumers.

Refis Retreat on Rate Rise
Home loan rates ticked up this past week, driving down overall activity -- especially refinances. The only category not to lose ground from the previous week was purchase financing.

Mortgage Market Index 186 in week ended March 6
Walter's Loan Production, Earnings Tumble
Full-year production totals were up for Walter Investment Management Corp. despite a slower fourth quarter. Earnings swung to a huge loss.

Best Mortgage Employers
Several mortgage-related firms made a prestigious list of the hundred best U.S. employers, with one having made the list a dozen times now.

Mortgage Employment Sinks
The first month of the new year brought with it disappointing news about mortgage employment. Jobs data for other industries, however, was more optimistic.

Fed Official Talks About "Patient" Language
One of the members of the Federal Open Market Committee, which decides the nation's rate policy, said the use of one word at its meeting signals where Fed policy is headed.

Appeals Court Approves $8.5 Bil BofA Settlement
An $8.5 billion settlement between Bank of America Corp. and mortgage investors has been approved by an appeals court -- ending years of wrangling over the trustee's role.

Fixed Mortgage Rates Lower, Might Hold
Fixed interest rates on residential loans moved lower this past week. While some signals suggest no change over the next week, the employment report could inject volatility.

SunTrust Wins Repurchase Legal Fight
A federal judge has handed SunTrust Banks Inc.'s mortgage unit a victory in a repurchase case involving a no-asset-verification program.

Jumbo Out Front of Eased Credit Conditions
Credit conditions in the home lending industry eased for the second month in a row, and jumbo mortgage programs led the loosening.

KeyBank Bets On Residential Lending
A financial institution better known for its commercial real estate lending business has hired a senior mortgage banking executive to expand its residential lending.

Senior mortgage executive hired
Dozens of Job Cuts at Wingspan
More than a hundred mortgage servicing employees located in the state of Louisiana are being laid off by Wingspan Portfolio Advisors.

Modification Activity Down 4th Year in a Row
For four consecutive years now, mortgage servicers have completed fewer loan modifications than they did in the previous year.

Citi's Mortgage Servicer Rating Downgraded
A downgrade has hit the servicer rating of Citigroup Inc.'s mortgage banking unit as its performance has weakened relative to its peers.

CMBS Delinquency Tumbles 50 BPS in Q4
The quarterly performance of securitized commercial real estate loans strengthened more than for any other investor type, and the improvement has continued into this year.

Nearly $400 Million in Distressed Freddie Loans Sold
The sale of seriously delinquent non-performing loans by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. will hardly impact its massive investment portfolio.

Strong Multifamily Markets Expected in 2015
Commercial mortgage originations for all of last year improved over 2013. In at least the multifamily sector, the momentum is likely to continue this year.

Reverse Mortgage Originations Off Last Month
Lenders in the reverse mortgage sector lost steam last month, as fewer mortgagees participated in the government-insured program.

Merger Creates Finance Company Giant
Former subprime home lending giants that have since abandoned the mortgage business are merging through an acquisition.

MTA Rises Again
An index that is used to set interest rate changes on some adjustable-rate mortgages has ascended again.

Delinquency Improves as Fannie's New Business Down
New business at the Federal National Mortgage Association fell to the slowest pace since last summer. Improvement continued, however, with loan performance.

Ocwen Discloses Massive Charge
Hundreds of millions of dollars in anticipated fourth-quarter charges have been disclosed by Ocwen Financial Corp., which is taking steps to shore up liquidity.

Freddie Lifts Overall Agency MBS Issuance
A surge in monthly issuance of mortgage-backed securities on behalf of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. was enough to offset declines at both of its agency counterparts.

Credit Challenged Mortgage Program Launching
A new home lending program that targets credit-challenged borrower prospects is being made available through the retail and wholesale lending channels.

COFI Climbs to 10-Month High
It's been 10 months since the Cost of Funds Index was as high as it was last month. Another adjustable-rate mortgage index moved lower.

Nationstar Originations Shrink, Servicing Grows
For the fifth time in a row, quarterly production at Nationstar Mortgage LLC regressed from the preceding three months. While servicing grew, overall profitability was lean.

Weekly Mortgage Business Up From 2014, Refis Lead
An expected recovery from the holiday week hit mortgage lending, with inquiries for refinances making the strongest comeback. Refinances also led an even more impressive year-over-year gain.

Mortgage Market Index 201 in week ended Feb. 27



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