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Fannie Low-Income Programs Enhanced
Fannie Mae's most successful affordability product line is about to get upgraded.

Home Equity Wholesaler Hiring Hundreds
A California-based home equity wholesaler plans to double its mortgage production over the next 12 months and hire 200 new employees in the process.

HUD Punishes 17 FHA Lenders
Over the past year, the Department of Housing and Urban Development enforced actions for alleged FHA-lending violations against 17 mortgage companies, including ABM AMRO Mortgage Group Inc. and Flagstar Bank.

Fannie Purchases Falling
Fannie Mae's book of business continued to climb despite another decline in secondary marketing purchases.

Fed Comments Excite Markets
The level of loan applications continued to fall as mortgage rates climbed once again amidst expectations that the Fed will again increase interest rates. But the tone of Fed comments announced today had markets cheering.

Wells Mortgage Exec Honored
A Wells Fargo Home Mortgage executive was recently recognized for his contributions toward helping Asian-Pacific Americans obtain mortgage loans.

Countrywide Exec Options Criticized
A report from an investor watchdog group criticized the timing of stock options issued to Countrywide executives. But America's biggest mortgage lender dismissed the report.

Timeshare Loan Performance Stable
Timeshare loan performance has been balanced, according to a ratings agency's inaugural report on activity over the past five years.

HEL Delinquency Improves
Quarterly delinquency declined on home equity loans -- the strongest sector within the consumer credit category, according to a banking industry report.

FTC Against Mandated Lawyer Doc Prep
The Federal Trade Commission has come out against a state bill that would require attorneys to prepare documents in real estate transactions.

Sales, Step By Step
There are eight steps to successful selling, according to one book author who says he has spent more than two decades as a sales trainer, consultant and entrepreneur.

CA Firm Hiring Hundreds
Hundreds of jobs are up for grabs at a rapidly-growing California-based lender that began retail operations less than a year ago.

Net Branch Licensing & Compliance
While the traditional net branch model has many advantages, state licensing is not one of them, according to speakers at a mortgage broker conference Saturday.

Argent Enters Alt-A
The wholesale arm of Ameriquest Capital Corp. is tackling the Alt-A market.

Freddie Makes Loans More Affordable
Freddie Mac has eliminated the borrower contribution requirement for its affordable home loan program and retired the program's predecessor.

$200 Million Line Issued
A New Jersey real estate investment trust nailed down a $200 million financing facility.

Business Down at Freddie
Secondary mortgage purchases declined for the third consecutive month at Freddie Mac. But that didn't stop the housing finance giant's massive mortgage portfolio from reaching its highest level ever.

Wholesaler Upgrades
Homecomings Financial unveiled upgrades to its wholesale programs.

Foreclosures Edge Higher
Foreclosures ticked up in May, with Colorado leading the way. And some foreclosure tracking firms are painting a dire outlook for borrowers in interest-only loans and option ARMs.

Mortgage Underwriting Evaluated
More than two thirds of mortgage loans were approved with little underwriting, a recent report showed.

Wholesale Operation Changes Hands
Two California-based subprime mortgage bankers have made a deal to transfer the wholesale operations of one company to the other ahead of their upcoming merger.

Fed Order Issued Against Originator
Regulators have banned a former bank loan officer from banking for engaging in mortgage fraud, among other crimes.

Mortgage Chess
Remnants of the failed Waterfield Mortgage have started a new company. Meanwhile, controlling interest in a hard money lender has traded hands.

Ratings Upgrade at National City
National City Home Loan Services was recognized for its improved ability to service mortgages.

License Revoked Over Fake HUD-1s
State banking regulators revoked the license of a Mississippi mortgage lender accused of destroying and concealing records to cover up fraudulent HUD-1 statements and sales contracts.

Broker Marketing
A new service helps wholesale lenders attract and retain mortgage brokers by giving them free marketing tools.

Major LOS Enhancements
A popular loan origination system is expanding online, with Microsoft Office products included as part of the new package. And loan officers have the option of buying the technology pre-loaded on a server appliance that they can operate right out of the box.

Bad Lawyers
A rash of crooked attorneys has descended upon real estate finance.

New Ohio Broker Law
Ohio mortgage brokers are facing increased scrutiny and regulation, including criminal background checks and harsher penalties for misdeeds, under a new law signed by Gov. Bob Taft.

Rates Get Ugly
Mortgage rates rose to 4-year highs and are expected to continue higher.

FHA Reform Proponents Make Case on Hill
WASHINGTON -- Capitol Hill lawmakers heard testimony this week from industry experts on both sides of the FHA reform debate -- an issue gaining more and more momentum among Washington, D.C. politicos. The hearing concluded with the commissioning of a study to examine FHA's role and the effect of the agency's proposed reforms.

Technology Improves Wholesaler Pricing
A California company is pushing technology it claims enables mortgage brokers to qualify and price loans more accurately.

Bad Leads Cost Broker $50,000
A Southern California-based mortgage broker has been fined $50,000 by the federal government for making calls to 100,000 people on a national Do Not Call list. The broker blamed the providers of the leads for the misdirected marketing.

Subprime Retailer Lays Off 100
The subprime subsidiary of American International Group has shut down retail call centers.

NY Lender Doubling Staff
A fast-growing mortgage banker based in New York plans to nearly double its staff over the next year.

Best Mortgage Web Sites
More often than not, mortgage Web sites lack information about nonprime loans and give visitors no reason to come back, a new report found. But the pace of improvement is staggering.

Broker Sues Freddie Over Blacklisting
When a California mortgage broker decided to share his yield spread premiums with borrowers, his business boomed and customers lined up to repeatedly refinance their home loans. But when Freddie Mac found out about the practice, the party was over.

Wholesaler Offers Fractional Financing
Mortgage brokers searching for the whole enchilada may have to settle for just a fraction.

Pros, Cons of Long-Term Loans
The risk on mortgage loans with terms greater than 30 years vary greatly for different product types, according to a new ratings agency report.

Offline vs. Online Marketing
The virtues of Internet mortgage leads were touted in a recent Webinar backed by a major lead aggregator. But plenty of opportunities still exist in offline advertising and marketing.

Delinquencies Down
Delinquencies and foreclosures slowed their pace in the first quarter. But the news wasn't so good for subprime adjustable rate mortgages.

The U.S. government is looking to a London-based index to help keep it competitive.

Midwest Wholesaler Launched
An Indiana-based bank has launched a new wholesale division to service mortgage brokers.

Buy, Sell or Merge?
Bank deals dominate the latest corporate activity and merger transactions, but conflicting signals about shares of New Century have analysts' outlooks at odds.

Atlanta Originators Lose Licenses
Georgia regulators have pulled the licenses of two mortgage brokers as they continue to aggressively attack what has been rampant fraud throughout the state. The latest cases involve poor record keeping and outright fraud.

Mortgage Cartel Alleged
Bankrate Inc. has joined a host of companies being sued by a mortgage lender that claims the group is deceiving prospective borrowers.

Maryland Lender Adding 100 Jobs
A planned relocation by a fast-growing Maryland-based lender will result in a one-third staff increase.

HUD Complaint Filed Against Allied
A civil rights complaint has been filed against Allied Home Mortgage Capital Corp. alleging the national mortgage broker discriminates against African Americans.

New Ginnie President
Mortgage bankers lauded the confirmation of the Government National Mortgage Association's new chief.

Prices Driving Risky Borrowing
Rising home prices last year forced nearly one-third of U.S. borrowers into interest-only and payment-option mortgages, according to a Harvard University study. But time and equity will help mitigate the risks associated with these loans.

Net Branch Shuts Down
Citing a continuing business slowdown, a Texas-based branch network has closed.

Rates Headed Higher
As more loan prospects engaged originators, rates again began ticking up amidst a yield curve re-inversion.

Downey Business Evaporating
Monthly mortgage loan production at Downey Financial Corp. is just half of what it was last year.

Foreclosure Law Signed by IL Gov
Companies that help delinquent Illinois borrowers avoid foreclosure will now be subject to a host of regulations.

Fannie, Freddie Scrutiny Intensifies
Mortgage bankers are all for a move by the Bush administration to dig deeper into Freddie Mac's and Fannie Mae's "other" assets and liabilities.

10-Year Yield Soars
A key figure released today from the government sent the 10-year Treasury yield soaring.

Ameriquest Servicer Rating Improved
The servicing arm of Ameriquest Mortgage is improving its operations.

New Century Shares Set to Rise
Shares of nonprime lender New Century Financial Corp. are among those in an exclusive portfolio of promising stocks.

National City Volume Jumps
National City Corp. saw its highest monthly production since last year.

Lead Companies Battle in Court
For the second time this year, an Internet lead generation company has obtained a judgment against a competing mortgage lead company.

R.I. Law Could Create Crisis
If passed, a pending Rhode Island bill could create a credit crisis in the state, according to mortgage bankers. Among recommended modifications to the bill is a request to exempt from licensing individual originators working for established mortgage bankers.

PHH Production Plummets
Quarterly mortgage volume slid at PHH Corp.

Reverse Originations Set to Explode
Fueled by an anticipated surge in the senior population, reverse mortgage production is expected to surge, according to a new ratings agency report. But rising rates could erode equity and put lenders at risk.

Lead Companies Dominate Lenders Online
Mortgage lead aggregators blow away mortgage companies when it comes to attracting loan prospects to their Web sites, a new study said.

Truck Barrels Into Countrywide Branch
Delayne Thompson was writing a memo at her desk in a Countrywide Mortgage branch last week when she noticed something heading toward the office.

Lender Looking for Acquisitions
An Illinois mortgage banking firm is on the prowl for large mortgage brokers and small- to medium-sized mortgage bankers to acquire, while a New Jersey wholesaler has made an acquisition that will help it expand its Alt-A offerings.

Bad Loans Dumped Into FHA
Two of Ohio's largest lenders have been accused by the federal government of improperly steering nearly $300 million in delinquent mortgages into a government-backed insurance program.

Wholesale Unit Launched
A New York investment banker is stepping into wholesale mortgage lending.

Warehouse Judgment Devastates NY Bank
A massive judgment against a small New York bank has it scrambling to meet regulatory capital requirements.

Hyper Mortgage Training
A new Web-based interactive mortgage-training program promises to enhance learning comprehension and retention by using what the developer calls "Super-Learning."

Originations Rise at Countrywide
The nation's largest mortgage lender saw its monthly mortgage production increase.

Mortgage Bankers Should Show All Fees
Mortgage brokers told the Fed today that there should be a level playing field for all mortgage originators.

Internet Lead Quality
Mortgage loan originators are less optimistic about their business and are shifting their marketing dollars offline, according to a small survey by a customer relationship management company.

FHA Delinquency Reporting Changes
FHA servicers will be required to change the way they report delinquency.

Origination Outlook Off
Freddie Mac sees fewer mortgage loans closing this year.

Originator OT Issue Isn't Over
Washington Mutual Inc. was sued this week in a New York federal court by three former mortgage loan originators for failure to pay overtime and minimum wages. The trio claims the company can't hide behind a recent overtime ruling.

Originations Off at Option One
Mortgage production slid for the second consecutive quarter at Option One Mortgage Corp.

Nice News at New Century
New Century Financial Corp. announced an $800 million increase in monthly production.

Rates Ease, Apps Hold
Mortgage originators got a break recently, with interest rates easing.

Mortgage Bankers Oppose NY Licensing
Mortgage bankers have announced their opposition to a New York bill that would require each individual originator to be licensed in the same manner as a mortgage broker originator.

MO Attorney General Sues Mortgage Co.
Two companies have been sued by the state of Missouri over telephone calls to prospective borrowers.

CO Broker Licensing Targets Fraud
Colorado, which has lagged behind most other states on tackling mortgage-related crimes and criminals, has enacted a new set of laws and regulations targeting mortgage fraud.

Accredited Touted as Good Buy
Shares of Accredited Home Lenders Holding Co. are set to rise.

Outsourcing Overload
About half of U.S. borrowers may not want information from their mortgage files sent overseas.

Option Five Mortgage
A Silicon Valley-based wholesaler is offering a 2% start rate that doesn't reset for five years.

Leads From Within
Lenders can find plenty of mortgage leads right in their own portfolios.

Employees Allege Fraud in Lawsuit
Former employees of a defunct Indiana-based mortgage banker are accusing the company of fraud.

Bank Settles With HUD
An Ohio-based lender has settled with the Department of Housing and Urban Development charges it denied mortgage financing to an African-American woman because of her race.

Wholesale Enhancements at Homecomings
Homecomings Financial has improved its broker technology and product line.

Improved Lead Conversions
A provider of purchase-money leads has implemented a new system that it says will help its customers do a better job of converting the leads into fundings.

Why Higher Rates for Minorities?
Shrinking home equity and rising loan-to-income ratios -- and not lender discrimination -- are behind higher rate spreads for minorities, according to a recent study.

Lenders Lose FHA Approval
Five mortgage lenders, including a branch of the largest U.S. mortgage broker, have lost their approval to originate FHA-insured loans.

Mortgage Bankers Oppose Flood Program Changes
Provisions in the Amendments to the National Flood Insurance Program will negatively impact the availability of mortgage financing, mortgage bankers wrote in a letter to the U.S. Senate.

Mortgage & Banking Mergers
While plenty of mortgage and banking mergers and acquisitions are in the works, some acquirers are stepping back to digest their conquests. Meanwhile, in an effort to avoid fragmented state regulations, a Connecticut-chartered bank is converting to a federal charter.

MTA Moves Higher
The Monthly Treasury Average moved up for the 25th consecutive month.

10-Year Yield Tumbles
Unexpected employment data has pushed the 10-year Treasury yield down.

Popular's Subprime Rating Raised
A servicing operation expansion has apparently fared well for Popular Mortgage Servicing Inc.

Private MI Activity Down
Bulk insurance issuance drove overall private mortgage insurance volume down in April.

Mortgage Jobs Off
Monthly mortgage employment figures fell but managed to stay above the half-million mark.

Rates Climb, Apps Ease
Rates edged higher and will continue to do so for the remainder of the year.

American Home Unit Settles Fraud Allegations
A subsidiary of American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. has agreed to pay $800,000 to settle civil allegations of fraud brought by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Select's Servicer Rating Improved
Select Portfolio Servicing Inc. has been recognized for its nonprime servicing ability.

Loan Pricing on Regulators' Radars
WASHINGTON -- Government regulators and class-action lawyers are on the prowl for mortgage lenders that use unfair pricing tactics. And lenders that want to be prepared for government scrutiny of their servicing practices should look to two prior servicer settlements.

$2.5 Billion Portfolio Sold
The restructuring of Doral Financial Corp. included the sale of $2.5 billion in mortgage loans.

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