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May 2015 Archive


COFI Slips Again
For the second month in a row, the Cost of Funds Index has moved lower -- though the drop was minimal.

FHA, Jumbo Out Front in Holiday Mortgage Decline
New mortgage activity slowed as expected during the holiday week, and it was government-insured and jumbo business that led the decline.
Mortgage Market Index 128 for week ended May 29
Point Quicken in Litigation Match With Government
The government was dealt a blow in the dueling lawsuits filed by Quicken Loans Inc. against the Department of Justice and by the Justice Department against Quicken.

Wholesaler Settles Charges of Discrimination
One of the nation's 25-largest lenders has settled allegations that minority borrowers were charged higher rates and fees on loans originated through its wholesale lending channel.

NY Town Using Eminent Domain on Zombie Properties
City officials in a small town in New York have decided to utilize the threat of eminent domain to prompt mortgage servicers to clean up zombie properties.

Strong Housing Data Drives Up Fixed Mortgage Rates
Positive news about the nation's housing market helped to drive fixed mortgage rates to the highest level this year.

Multi-Year Low for CMBS Delinquency
Delinquency on securitized commercial real estate loans retreated to the lowest level in years, and mortgages secured by industrial properties had the biggest improvement.

Congress Asking CFPB for TRID Grace Period
Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives are asking the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for a regulatory grace period on integrated disclosures.

Pending Home Sales Climb to 9-Year High
The number of residential properties under contract increased last month to the highest level in nine years. In addition, home price gains were strong.

Mortgage Compliance Made Easy
Mortgage service providers continue to bring products to market that will help lenders comply with increasing regulatory requirements. Meantime, an industry trade group is asking Congress for relief.

GSE Refinance Activity Soars
The last time that the monthly volume of government-sponsored enterprise refinances was this high was in 2013. The Federal National Mortgage Association was behind the surge.

Best Month for New Business at Freddie Since 2013
New business at the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. climbed to the highest level since the summer of 2013. Delinquency, meanwhile, fell to the lowest rate since 2008.

Ocwen Laying Off Servicing Employees
More than a hundred employees will be laid off as Ocwen Financial Corp. closes down a mortgage servicing facility in Texas.

Big Portfolio of Ginnie MSRs on the Market
Servicers of Government National Mortgage Association loans have an opportunity to make a substantial addition to their servicing portfolio.

loanDepot On Pace to Double 2014 Production
Based on lending activity during the first three months of 2015 at loanDepot LLC, full-year mortgage production is on pace to nearly double 2014 volume.

Broker's House Swept Away By Texas Floods
A mortgage broker in Central Texas who awoke to his house being flooded was able to escape before his house floated downriver.

Mortgage Bankers Boost 1st Half Refi Forecast
Mortgage bankers have grown more optimistic about the volume of refinance originations expected to close during the first half of this year.

Leader of Massive Mortgage Fraud Ring Sentenced
The leader of a massive mortgage fraud ring, his mother and his sister were all sentenced Tuesday in a case where a total of 91 people have been charged.

Mortgage Firms Report Origination Data
All-in-all, mortgage lenders were busier during the first three months of this year than in the final three months of 2014. Second-quarter activity appears to be keeping up the pace.

NY Foreclosure War Rages as Servicers, State Team Up
Mortgage holders in New York continue to battle delinquent borrowers, judges and challenges to standing based on, in one instance, "law office failure" and, in another, "clerical error." Servicers have teamed up with the state government to cut down on "zombie properties."

WI Bank Settles Mortgage Discrimination Charges
A bank based in Wisconsin and operating in three Midwest states has settled allegations that it discriminated against black and Hispanic mortgage borrowers.

New Home Sales Explode in Midwest
The nation's new home sales took off last month, and in the Midwest -- sales of new houses skyrocketed.

Might Be 2 Years Before US v Quicken Goes to Trial
The battle between the U.S. government and Quicken Loans Inc. might not make it into a courtroom for two years.

Arms, Jumbos Lead Weekly Mortgage Dip
For the fifth consecutive week, new mortgage activity came up short of prior-week business. This week, the decline was aided by reduced inquiries for adjustable-rate mortgages and jumbo loans.
Mortgage Market Index 146 for week ended May 22
Appraisal Services Target FHA EAD, AMC Utilization
A new service is designed to help lenders connect to the electronic portal for government loans, while appraisal management companies are vying for business. An appraisal technology firm was acquired.

New Tools Ready for Integrated Disclosure Rule
While the integrated disclosure rule taking effect soon, some industry associations are concerned about a smooth transition to the new system. Trade groups support legislation granting a regulatory enforcement grace period. But a handful of service providers promise to help keep lending business practices on point with compliance.

Mortgage Delinquency Up, Foreclosures Down
Residential loan delinquency saw a seasonal up tick in April, but the rate of foreclosures moved lower. Both metrics have substantially improved from a year earlier.

2015 Refi Forecast Raised, 2016 Refi Forecast Cut
The outlook for this year's refinances has been increased, while expectations for next year's refinance activity have been lowered.

Mortgage Rates Set to Decline
Fixed interest rates on home loans moved a hair lower this past week. A possibly more substantial retreat is likely in the next report.

Tight Supply Constrains Existing Home Sales
Monthly sales of previously owned homes slowed, and a stubbornly tight supply of properties was blamed for the weakness.

Mortgage Closing Rate Up as Turnaround Lengthens
The good news is that a bigger share of monthly loan applications converted into closed loans. The bad news that it took longer to close them.

Home Repossessions Jump Again
For the second consecutive month, a surge was reported in the number of foreclosures that were completed. New filings, however, were down.


Total filings 125,875 in April
The State of Mortgage Lending
Although the volume of home lending stands near its weakest level since the crisis, distressed loan ratios have significantly strengthened.

Fannie, Freddie Update Seller-Servicer Requirements
Mortgage companies that want to continue doing business with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will soon have to comply with new operational and financial requirements.

Billions of Dollars in RMBS Transactions
During the last 90 days, several residential mortgage-backed securities and other mortgage-related transactions hit the market.

Lawsky Leaves Legacy in Mortgage Lending
One of the most powerful state regulators leaves a legacy of actions against mortgage firms as he steps down from his post in the Empire State.

Proprietary Loan Modification Volume Surges
An acceleration in the monthly number of proprietary loan modifications completed more than offset waning government-funded activity.

Subprime HELOC Lending Rises, Delinquency Down
Not only are borrowers doing a better job of paying on their residential credit products, but lenders are giving more credit lines to subprime borrowers.

7-Year High for New Home Construction
Expectations were already high for new residential construction activity. But monthly results came in even better than expected -- reaching the highest level in more than seven years.

Experts Address Future of Secondary Mortgage Market
Who will the giants of the secondary mortgage market pass the baton to as their investment footprints diminish over the next several years?

RMBS Investors Manage Risk, TRID
Considering factors beyond credit scores and ratios can help investors forecast loan performance on residential mortgage-backed securities. What's not helping RMBS investors are new disclosure requirements.

Nice Improvement in Serious Mortgage Delinquency
The level of late payments on first mortgages was lower last month. A similar improvement in performance was made on second mortgages.

Ellie Mae Publishing FHA Handbooks
Handbooks that are being implemented by the Federal Housing Administration will be published by Ellie Mae Inc.

Refi Forecast Boosted
The volume of home loans now forecasted to be refinanced this year is nearly $50 billion more than was expected last month.

Sen. Warren Moves to Protect Dodd-Frank
Pending trade legislation could weaken provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) is tying to prevent that.

Retail HECM Originations Up Despite Wholesale Drop
Although wholesale lenders scaled back government-insured reverse mortgage originations, retailers made a gain. Urban Financial Group led monthly proprietary activity.

Mortgage Delinquency Solidly in Pre-Crisis Territory
The last time the rate of past-due payments on home loans was this low, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. was still in business.

Over-Regulation a Big Concern for MBA Chief
Attendees at a secondary mortgage market conference were told by the head of the Mortgage Bankers Association that regulation is holding back housing.

CoreLogic Looking at Expanding N Texas Staff
A new office facility in Dallas being considered by CoreLogic Inc. will house existing North Texas employees, jobs currently located in other states and newly created positions.

Government Objects to Quicken Home Town Court Venue
The U.S. government is objecting to Quicken Loans Inc.'s attempt to establish the court venue in a legal wrangling between the Department of Justice and the online lender.

Weekly Mortgage Business Dips, Rates Set to Sink
New mortgage activity failed to surpass business in the prior week, though activity with adjustable-rate mortgages and refinances grew. Rates are set to tumble in the next report.


Mortgage Market Index 155 for week ended May 15
Mortgage Originations Soar at Provident Funding
New business was jump-started at Provident Funding Associates LP. The lender, however, trimmed staffing and cut the size of its servicing portfolio.

Lenders Refine Management Teams
Recent executive appointments in real estate finance include a range of positions at a variety of residential and commercial mortgage firms.

Fannie Sale Follows Similar Transactions
Fannie Mae said it has awarded winning bids on the sale of non-performing loans. Two other recent similar transactions involved distressed and re-performing loans.

Mortgage Servicing, Staffing Up at Lake Michigan CU
Though quarter-over-quarter home loan activity fell short at Lake Michigan Credit Union, the decline was minimal. Plus, the credit union gained in servicing and staffing.

Mortgage Rates Rise Again But Could Retreat
For three weeks in a row now, interest rates on residential loans have moved higher. But that trend is poised to halt.

Pros, Cons of Secondary Mortgage Market
While there are many benefits to a secondary market for residential loans, the nation's current system also has its drawbacks.

TRID Could Stall Some Bank Mortgage Products
More than a fifth of bankers recently surveyed indicated that they will back away from certain mortgage products if their vendors' systems aren't prepared for the integrated disclosure deadline.

Ocwen Unloading MSRs on $45 Billion in Fannie Loans
Following through on a deal disclosed two months ago, Ocwen Financial Corp. is closing on the sale of mortgage servicing rights on Fannie Mae loans.

Silicon Valley Has Top Gain in Mortgage Originations
The latest estimate of residential loan originations during the first three months of this year had business slowing from the prior quarter. But business accelerated in Silicon Valley.

Mortgage Processor Arrested
A former mortgage processor has been arrested for allegedly stealing more than $200,000 from a home loan borrower's account.

Complaint Accuses Fannie of Discrimination
A complaint filed against the Federal National Mortgage Association by multiple fair housing groups accuses the government-controlled enterprise of discrimination.

Freedom Mortgage Seeks Opportunities as Biz Expands
Residential lending activity continues to accelerate at Freedom Mortgage Corp., prompting continued growth in staffing and pushing the company to seek other opportunities.

Mortgage Conference News
Mortgage executives interested in attending industry events have an array of topics to target including secondary marketing, product-and-pricing engines and collateral risk.

PRMI Sees Across-the-Board Business Growth
Residential lending, home loan servicing and mortgage staffing all made quarter-over-quarter gains at Primary Residential Mortgage Inc.

For Sale: Fannie MSRs
Mortgage servicing rights on more than $200 million in Federal National Mortgage Association loans are available to the highest bidder.

CFPB Director Discusses TRID
The chief of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau told real estate agents and broker to be prepared for the upcoming implementation of integrated disclosures.

Steady Improvement for Home Loan Performance
Servicers of residential loans are continuing to make progress on reducing the rate of distressed mortgages to pre-crisis levels.

Mortgage Credit Conditions Continue to Ease
Lenders continue to loosen standards on home loans. Government and jumbo programs saw the most easing, while conventional conditions tightened.

Ocwen Outlines Strategy
Now that it no longer has to warn investors about its ability to continue in business, Ocwen Financial Corp. has outlined its ongoing strategy.

New American's Home Loans, Servicing Climb
Broker Solutions Inc., which does business as New American Funding, boosted its mortgage originations and servicing. But staffing was down.

Bank Failures Slow to a Trickle
This year is turning out to be a very quiet one for bank failures -- which have slowed to a trickle compared to just a few years ago. Even credit union failures, which have traditionally numbered far fewer than banks, are keeping pace.

Avoid Discrimination on Section 8 Applicants
Mortgage firms are being advised about how to avoid charges of discrimination by recipients of public housing assistance-- providing an opportunity to avoid missteps of the past.

1,000 Hirings at loanDepot
A thousand jobs are being added at several offices across the country as loanDepot LLC expands strategic locations. But the expansion isn't limited to mortgages.

EverBank Lifts Mortgage Production
Home loan originations improved at EverBank Financial Corp., and the upward momentum is likely to continue in the second quarter. Servicing and income, however, were off.

Purchases Overcome Weekly Mortgage Slump
New mortgage business fell just short of prior week activity. But purchase financing activity was stronger, and adjustable-rate mortgage business was busier.

Mortgage Market Index 156 in week ended May 8
Making Home Affordable Programs Extended
Two crisis-era programs that have the government funding mortgage refinances and loan modifications will be extended by a year.

MGIC Delinquency Declines, New Business Maintains
Although there was no month-over-month change in new business at MGIC Guaranty Insurance Corp., there was a steep incline on a year-over-year basis. Delinquency continued navigating multi-year lows.

Mortgage Business Better at Walter
Home lending fared better at Walter Investment Management Corp. Servicing and company-wide earnings also saw an improvement.

MSRs on $150 Million in Texas Loans Up for Sale
Mortgage servicing rights being offered on a flow basis will work out to at least $150 million in home loans serviced. A concentration of Texas properties back the loans.

Ginnie MBS Issuance Soars to 5-Year High
It has been more than a half-decade since the issuance of mortgage-backed securities on behalf of the Government National Mortgage Association has been this high.

Mortgage and U.S. Employment Strengthen
The mortgage industry and the broader economy saw monthly strengthening in the employment sector. Unemployment fell to the lowest level since before the financial crisis.

Mortgage Rates Rise, No Relief Likely
Interest rates on residential loans rose this past week, and indications are that they won't be retreating in the next report.

PennyMac Originations Headed Higher
Home lending picked up at PennyMac Financial Services Inc., and the momentum appears to have carried into the second quarter.

PHH Swings to Profit, Servicing Down
While first-quarter home lending activity at PHH Mortgage almost broke even with the prior three months, servicing was down. The company-wide earnings, however, finished back in the black.

Taxpayers Earn Over $230 Billion in GSE Dividends
Dividends that have been paid to the Department of the Treasury by the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. now exceed $230 billion.

USA Mortgage On Pace to Exceed $1 Billion in 2015
First-quarter home-loan production at USA Mortgage pushed well past a quarter-billion dollars, putting the company on pace to surpass $1 billion this year.

Settlements Reached With Taylor Bean Note Investors
Settlements have been reached between Bank of America Corp. and note investors of a company that spectacularly collapsed.

Government Foreclosure Rate Rises, Conventional Down
Home loan performance improved during the first three months of this year except on mortgages guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. All government mortgages saw an increase in the foreclosure rate.

The State of Commercial Mortgage Lending
A trio of reports released over the last week provide a birds eye view of current conditions in commercial real estate lending. Quarter-over-quarter originations slowed, and loan delinquency worsened on securitized multifamily loans despite an overall improvement.

Residential Loan Demand Rises, Requirements Ease
Banks reported an increase in demand for a number of home lending products over the past three months. At the same time, several financial institutions have relaxed standards.

Mortgage Lenders Defend Non-Compliance Claims
A rare award of punitive damages against a lender, an appeals win by a widow fighting foreclosure and allegations of shoddy underwriting on government loans are among some of the actions in mortgage compliance litigation.

Wholesale Lending Spikes at Fairway
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. saw quarter-over-quarter growth in home lending, residential servicing and mortgage staffing. Wholesale lending was up by nearly three-fourths.

Home Loans and Servicing Rise at Nationstar
Though recent quarterly earnings swung to a loss at Nationstar Mortgage LLC, originations and servicing were on an upward climb.

Identity Fraud Drives Up Risk of Mortgage Fraud
A quarter-over-quarter increase in the risk of identity fraud drove a rise in the risk of overall mortgage fraud.

Buffett Clarifies Mobile Home Loan Delinquency
Warren Buffett clarified a statement he made about the performance of mobile home loans owned by his firm.

Wholesale Originations Jump at Ocwen
Home lending inched higher at Ocwen Financial Corp., and the current quarter could be even better. Wholesale lending drove the recent rise.

MTA Highest Since Mid-2013
An increase in the Monthly Treasury Average last month had the index ascending to the highest level since the summer of 2013.

Bankruptcy Filings Ease
Slightly fewer new bankruptcies were filed by consumers last month, and the improvement was even more impressive compared to a year earlier.

HECM Originations Down Again
For the third month in a row, originators of home-equity conversion mortgages have turned in declining performance.

MGIC Relaxes Requirements
Program guidelines have been relaxed at MGIC -- with loan limits expanding, credit scores declining and gift restrictions easing.

Fannie's Business Pops to 17-Month High
A nearly one-fifth boost in monthly secondary activity was reported by the Federal National Mortgage Association -- leaving monthly volume at the highest level in 17 months. Serious delinquency descended to a new post-crisis low.

Comment Sought on Revised NMLS Reports, Forms
People in the mortgage industry have an opportunity to provide input on a revised call report and uniform state licensing forms.

Weakened ARM Biz Tops Slower Weekly Loan Activity
The past week, new mortgage business declined as adjustable rate mortgages and jumbo loans took the biggest week-over-week hits.


Mortgage Market Index 158 in week ended May 1
Mortgage Turnaround Slows as Closing Ratios Rise
The share of home loan applications that closed improved on a monthly basis, though turnaround on loan originations suffered.

CMBS Delinquency Down, Hotel Loans Lead Improvement
Borrowers on securitized commercial real estate loans did a better job of keeping up with their payments. Lodging loans saw the most improvement.

Implementation of FHA Handbook Delayed
Lenders who are struggling to meet the implementation deadline for a new Federal Housing Administration handbook have been granted a reprieve.

Agency MBS Issuance Soars to 20-Month High
Issuance of agency mortgage-backed securities was up by more than a fifth last month, with the Freddie Mac seeing a more than one-third increase. Ginnie Mae's activity jumped to the highest level in more than a half-decade.

COFI Retreats First Time in 6 Months
For the first time in six months, the 11th District Cost of Funds Index moved lower. A far more widely used index moved the other direction during the same period but has since retreated.

Quicken Jockeying for Home Town Venue in Lawsuit
In the next phase of Quicken Loan Inc.'s litigation battle with the federal government, the online lender seeks to keep the case in its home town.

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