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COFI Keeps Rising
The 11th district cost of funds index is at its highest level since the terrorist attacks on the United States.

FHA DPA Guidelines
With numerous downpayment-assistance nonprofits facing the loss of their tax-exempt status, FHA has issued its approved lenders guidelines about which programs are still acceptable.

Mortgage Offshoring Exploded in '05
Declining mortgage volume and profits have forced lenders to consider outsourcing jobs offshore, according to a recent study.

Inside Job at Mortgage Company
A New Jersey mortgage loan officer, apparently short on loan closings, resorted to stealing from his employer.

LIBOR at 5 Year High
The 6-month LIBOR is at its highest level in over five years.

NovaStar Servicer Rating Improved
NovaStar Mortgage Inc.'s ability to service, collect, and liquidate subprime loans has led to an upgrade of its servicer rating.

Banks Busy With M&As
Corporate activity in the banking sector has recently overshadowed mortgage mergers and acquisitions.

Panelists Discuss Mortgage Fraud
WASHINGTON -- Nonprime mortgage executives recently listened to the FBI, a fraud mitigation firm and one of their peers talk about mortgage fraud and how to reduce it.

Massive Ruling Against Quicken
An appeals court has ruled Quicken Loans Inc. must abide by a defunct California statute -- potentially costing the online lender millions of dollars in interest refunds.

Fastest Growing Mortgage Startups
Shunning traditional mortgage lead buying helped land one company on the latest list of the fastest-growing start-ups. But it was a $110,000 investment which yielded its owners $8.7 million in sales during 2005 that pushed a 3-year-old Ohio-based brokerage to the top of the list of mortgage-related companies.

Shake up Planned at H.R. Block Mortgage Unit
WASHINGTON -- Nonprime mortgage bankers opened a conference in the nation's capital this week by discussing issues ranging from the "normalizing" of the housing market to one leading industry player's plans to shake up its organization from top to bottom.

Hi-Tech Wholesale
Two new technology offerings promise to improve the delivery of borrower and program information between mortgage brokers and wholesale lenders.

Couple Claims CTX Stole Staff
CTX Mortgage is being sued in Connecticut state court by a husband-and-wife team who say the Texas-based lender stole their employees using sales training seminars as recruiting grounds.

ACORN Assaults New Century
New Century Financial Corp. has become the latest target of the consumer-activist group ACORN. At issue are borrowers who claim they were forced into an adjustable rate loan and the company's support of federal preemption.

Escaped Fraud Convict Assaults Arresters
A Georgia man has been sentenced for committing mortgage fraud after escaping from the prison where he was serving a mortgage fraud sentence.

Apps Off, Rates Mixed
As long-term mortgage rates rose, short-term rates eased.

Nonprime Mortgage Leads
A newly-formed division of a major credit bureau is helping nonprime mortgage lenders close more loans.

Freddie Purchases Down
Freddie Mac's monthly mortgage purchases fell to the lowest level in more than a year, while delinquency improved.

Accredited Acquiring Aames
Accredited Home Lenders Holding Co. hopes to significantly boost its retail originations with its acquisition of Aames Investment Corp.

1,400 Laid Off at WaMu
Washington Mutual is laying off over a thousand people in Florida and Washington.

Most Nontraditional Borrowers Earn Over $70k
Nearly two-thirds of interest-only and payment-option borrowers earn over $70,000, according to a new report.

Foreclosures Worsening
Foreclosure activity has picked up this year and the outlook isn't rosy.

NovaStar Boosts Warehouse Clients
NovaStar Capital Inc. is making a mortgage warehouse acquisition.

Employee Arrested, Data At Large
A former employee of a large wholesale mortgage lender has been arrested and charged with trying to extort nearly $7 million from the company.

OFHEO Says Fannie Image Was "Facade"
A 340-page report from Fannie Mae's regulator offers interesting insight into the $400 million settlement announced today.

Worst Foreclosure Markets
During the first quarter, Indianapolis ranked as the metropolitan area with the highest foreclosure rate. And the chief of the firm reporting the data has a frank warning about borrowers with nontraditional loans.

Net Branch Convention
Branch managers and loan originators from across the country met with wholesale lenders and other mortgage vendors at a recent net branch conference.

Fannie Fine Tops Corporate Mortgage News
A nonprime lender is among recent mortgage and banking acquisitions, while word is Fannie Mae may pay a $400 million fine.

Backend Mortgage Fraud
Panelists at a recent real estate finance fraud conference talked about a new kind of mortgage fraud.

Managing Multiple Wholesaler Guidelines
A mortgage technology provider promises originators its product will centralize underwriting guidelines from multiple wholesale lenders.

Mortgage Company PCs Stolen
Pending mortgage loan applicants and existing borrowers of two major mortgage institutions were recently informed that personal computers containing their personal information were stolen.

Report Blasts FHA Scorecard
In a report to Congress, the Department of Housing and Urban Development was blasted for using outdated data and for excluding important data altogether from its automated evaluation of FHA lenders.

Thrift Fundings Fall
Thrift mortgage production and earnings fell in the first quarter and are expected to continue this route.

Treasury Official Calls for GSE Limits
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have gone too far, according to an undersecretary for the Department of the Treasury.

ResCap Prepays GMAC Debt
A favorable reception to Residential Capital Corp.'s bond offering has enabled the company to repay debt to its parent company six months ahead of schedule.

Net Branch Adds Offices
The nation's biggest mortgage broker continued to expand.

Credit By the e-Book
Prospective borrowers can learn about the tools needed to improve credit scores and the type of mortgages that hurt credit scores in a new e-book written by a seasoned credit executive.

Ameriquest Retail Volume Down
Retail production from Ameriquest Mortgage Co. descended for the fifth consecutive quarter. But the subprime lender has plans to reverse the trend.

New President at MI Co.
PMI Mortgage Insurance Co. has named a new president.

Mortgage Activity Rises
Climbing rates haven't stopped mortgage hunters from completing more loan applications. But today's change in a key Treasury yield might impact upcoming originations.

Mortgage Case May go to Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to make its decision next month on whether to hear a case about whether mortgage lenders affiliated with national banks can be subjected to state anti-predatory lending laws.

Subprime Wholesaler Goes 2/43
Mortgage brokers are being offered a 45-year loan with an initial fixed rate by a California-based nonprime wholesaler.

LoanCare Gets Ratings Nod
LoanCare Servicing Center Inc. is ready to handle a bigger servicing portfolio.

Florida Worst Fraud State
A 16-page mortgage fraud report indicates the Sunshine State had more fraud than the rest last year, though Colorado and Illinois have placed more prominently in the rankings during the past few years.

6th Grader Designs Mortgage Web Site
Look out Lion and Myers, a sixth grade student has won an award for designing a Web site for his father's net branch.

Hard Money Goes Correspondent
A New Jersey-based hard money lender is getting into secondary marketing.

10-Year Yield Jumps
News from the government about consumer prices sent the 10-year Treasury yield climbing.

IndyMac Adding Employees
IndyMac Bank plans to get bigger and needs employees to help it grow.

ARM Resets to Benefit Mortgage REITs
Mortgage real estate investment trusts that have held on to adjustable-rate mortgage assets will fare well when rates on the loans adjust upward, according to one investment publication.

Trade Groups Unify Behind FHA Reform
Nearly a dozen trade groups sent a joint letter to Congress urging FHA reform.

Most Virtuous Mortgage Companies
Several mortgage-related conglomerates were recognized for corporate virtues that went well beyond the bottom line.

Banks Loosen Credit Guidelines
Banks eased credit standards and saw tighter demand for purchase money loans, according to the latest quarterly loan officer survey.

MBS Issuance Off
Quarterly mortgage-backed securities issuance fell -- though it was better than a year ago.

Investment Bankers Buying, Subprimers Selling
Some big investment bankers are looking at mortgage banking acquisitions, while some nonprime mortgage bankers are selling. And in the middle of this mortgage merger mayhem, a new billion-dollar originator is launching.

Do The Math
A basic analysis of Ameriquest Mortgage's expense to settle charges of predatory lending with the states indicates that the hundreds of millions of dollars paid to borrowers will come right out of the pockets of the thousands of employees recently laid off by the subprime lender.

Downey Fundings Tumble
Following five consecutive quarters of falling fundings, monthly production was off nearly one-third at Downey Financial Corp.

Contract Underwriter Pleads Guilty
A contract mortgage loan underwriter faked her own death to avoid charges of mortgage fraud.

Close the Sale
The secret to closing more sales with minimal effort begins with doing a superior job on the front end of the process.

Best Mortgage Lenders for Builders
The real estate finance companies recognized the most by home builders are not always the ones they most often use, according to a recent survey.

Husband, Wife Admit Scam
Hard charging New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer, who has his sights set on the governor's mansion and possibly the White House, is continuing his aggressive crackdown on mortgage fraud.

Ellie Integrates Online Leads
Online mortgage leads have been integrated into Ellie Mae's loan origination system.

30-year to Reach 6.9% This Year
As applications declined, long-term rates briefly retreated from their uphill run.

Impac Originations Implode
Tighter underwriting and fewer risky loans led to a significant volume decline at Impac Holdings Inc.

Mortgage Postcard Angers Ohio, Borrowers
Some Buckeye State borrowers were infuriated when they received delinquent property tax notices from what appeared to be the State of Ohio.

Subprime Co. Director Running for Gov
A director on the board of one of the biggest subprime mortgage lending companies is running for governor of Massachusetts.

10-Year Reacts Favorably to Fed Comments
The Federal Reserve again lifted short-term interest rates and may continue doing so.

Subprime Lender May be Acquired
A California-based subprime lender has announced there is a good chance it will be acquired this quarter.

Mortgage Docs Tossed in Open Dumpster
A Kansas-based title agency settled charges it tossed the private data of mortgage borrowers into an open dumpster.

HEL Borrowers Happier Without Broker
Home equity borrowers that deal directly with lenders are more satisfied with the lending process than those who use mortgage brokers, according to a new study.

Lenders Reach Out to Severely Delinquent
Many of the nation's biggest mortgage players have banded together to reduce foreclosures.

Countrywide April Off
Countrywide Financial Corp. started the second quarter with lower monthly production, though its nonprime numbers held up.

2nd Mortgage Production Jumps
The Federal Reserve's short-term rate hikes have prompted borrowers to look for more closed-end second mortgages.

Freddie Expands Online
Freddie Mac is expanding its online offerings.

Windfall at Mortgage Education Firm
Growth has exploded at a Carmel, Ind.-based mortgage-training and consulting firm as states have expanded licensing and education requirements for loan originators.

Movers & Shakers
As Wachovia Corp. agreed to acquire Golden West Financial and Countrywide Financial Corp. defended the compensation of its founder, Fannie Mae said it will consolidate $28.5 billion in assets and liabilities.

Hundreds Terminated at WA Company
Washington state regulators are probing the sudden and spectacular fall of a 410-employee company that claims to have originated billions of dollars in mortgages and now appears to be teetering on the brink of collapse.

Maintaining Production As Industry Declines
Faced with fewer borrowers who need financing, some loan originators have figured out how to keep making a living in the mortgage business.

FHA Borrowers Offered Deed-in-Lieu
FHA borrowers whose hurricane-affected homes were destroyed have been given an opt-out by the government.

Wells Expanding Mortgage Staff
Wells Fargo & Co. will expand its Iowa staff by hundreds.

Broker Kills Boyfriend
Los Angeles Police Detective Joel Price wonders how an accused murderer went from bank robber to mortgage broker.
read news story
IRS Ruling a Boost for FHA Reform
A recent IRS ruling that restricts the use of downpayment assistance has mortgage bankers pushing for FHA reform.

Merger Creating a Mortgage Player
Wachovia Corp. is near a deal to acquire one of the most respected companies in mortgage lending.

NovaStar Volume Off
Production has fallen for two consecutive quarters at NovaStar Financial Inc.

MTA Rises
The Monthly Treasury Average continued climbing.

Debt Collectors Evaluated
The government released it's annual report card for loan collectors based on how they measured up to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Mortgage Employment Dips
Mortgage jobs stayed above 500,000 in March.

Fixed Rates Edge Up
Six consecutive weeks of rising rates have pushed the ratio of refinance requests to the lowest level in nearly two years.

Warehouse Lender Wins Massive Judgment
A small East Coast bank that was sued by a warehouse lender over its relationship with a now-defunct mortgage banker has been hit with a $44 million judgment.

Internal Lead Development
Niche marketing and narrower demographic targets have increased business for one full-service mortgage lender who claims to be among the nation's 10 largest government lenders.

Correspondent Layoffs
Washington Mutual Inc.'s realignment of correspondent lending operations will result in hundreds of South Carolina layoffs.

FHA Help is On the Way
The Federal Housing Administration has improved communications with the mortgage industry.

Fed to Examine HELs
The Federal Reserve Board will hold public hearings on home equity lending because of predatory-lending concerns.

Plot Thickens at Class Action Law Firm
A retired mortgage broker has admitted he was illegally paid millions of dollars by a major law firm that has filed numerous class-action lawsuits against large lenders.

Cashout Share Pushes Higher
While refinances represented a smaller portion of quarterly originations -- with half done at a 2 percent higher rate, the share that was cashout reached its highest level in 15 years.

In-Depth Look at Title Hearings
Kickbacks, seemingly lax regulatory oversight and anti-competitive practices in the title insurance industry call for further study, the General Accountability Office, concluded in a report issued last week.

Texas Biggest in Foreclosures
Foreclosures particularly inundated five states during March, with the most occurring in the Lone Star State.

Ameriquest Lays Off 3800
Ameriquest has pursued a centralized business model that will help it better operate in today's lending environment. The transition, however, has left 3,800 people unemployed.

Monthly MI Rises
The volume of private mortgage insurance written during March jumped.

Accredited Originations Tumble
Quarterly mortgage production was off by nearly a quarter at Accredited Home Lenders Holding Co.

S&P Rated RMBS Holding Up in Hurricane Region
Losses on residential mortgage-backed securities containing loans from hurricane-affected areas have yet to surface, according to one ratings agency.

Production Executive Changes Teams
As several banks expand their franchises and new mortgage lending operations are launched, a production executive from the third largest U.S. mortgage lender is going the nonprime route.

Servicing For Sale
An Internet-based bank is pursing the sale of its mortgage servicing platform and most of its portfolio of mortgage servicing rights.

IL Brokers Fined, Shut Down
Surprise inspections by Illinois regulators have recently cost some of the state's mortgage brokers hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines so far. The inspections are the result of a new crackdown on mortgage fraud.

COFI at 5-Year High
The 11th district cost of funds index has risen to its highest level in over five years.

LIBOR Continues Consistent Climb
The 6-month LIBOR rose for the 25th consecutive month.

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