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June 2007 Archive


ARM Indexes Mostly Higher
COFI and the 1-year Treasury worsened from a month earlier while the LIBOR was barely changed.

Wells Dumps Subprime Correspondents
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is no longer accepting nonprime loans from correspondents.

Mortgage Trauma Worsens
A host of companies warned investors about earnings this week as mortgage-related charges continue to spread outside the industry. The volatile environment has rocked investment banking houses and led the ouster of a number of senior executives. Meanwhile, merger activity is strong and expected to expand, according to a recent report.

M.I. Volume Soars
Monthly volume climbed nearly 50 percent at the nation's mortgage insurers.

Final Subprime Guidance Issued
Federal banking regulators released final guidance for adjustable-rate subprime lending today. The report focused on adjustable-rate borrower qualification, income verification and prepayment penalty terms.

Good, Bad & Guilty Attorneys
Attorneys in two states are accused of stealing proceeds intended to payoff their clients' mortgages -- with one pleading guilty. Meanwhile, the chief of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has new counsel.

Cutting Foreclosure Losses
Servicers can mitigate fallout from the more than one million foreclosures expected during the next few years by improving early contact with delinquent borrowers, working with nonprofit counseling groups and identifying the prospects most likely to recover, according to a federal regulatory report.

Government, Groups Prepare for Foreclosures
States, as well as federal agencies, ratings agencies and consumer advocate groups, have been busy preparing to mitigate expected foreclosures.

Mixed Mortgage Activity
Loan requests continued to slide even as mortgage rates improved. Interest rates are expected to sink lower in the next few months.

Michigan Lender Exits Originations
A Michigan-based lender will stop funding loans next month but will continue servicing mortgages.

Florida Wholesaler Halts Originations
Servicing will keep a Florida nonprime wholesaler afloat while it negotiates a deal to return under a new business model.

Mortgage Groups Testify
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In heated exchanges Tuesday, mortgage bankers and mortgage brokers were at odds with Capitol Hill lawmakers over why foreclosures are rising and how to combat the increase.

MBA, NAMB give testimony to U.S. senate
FHA Violators Settle with HUD
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is touting hundreds of thousands of dollars in settlements it has extracted from originators of government-insured loans over mortgage fraud and other operational issues.

States Tackle Fraud with Legislation
Several states -- including the mortgage fraud hotbeds of Florida and Georgia -- have toughened mortgage laws in efforts to continue crackdowns on mortgage fraud.

Income, Expenses by Channel
Preliminary data from an annual mortgage broker study detailed the mean income and expense levels for a variety of mortgage lending channels.

TX Co. Expands Subprime
A company that acquires and manages sub-performing and non-performing residential and commercial mortgages is expanding its share of nonprime business through acquisitions.

Mortgage Report Card
The Office of Federal Housing and Enterprise Oversight released Mortgage Markets and the Enterprises in 2006, a 96-page annual research paper that reviews developments in the primary and secondary mortgage markets and the financial performance of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The report indicated residential loans outstanding topped $10 trillion last year.

2006 Jumbo, Alt-A Performance Deteriorates
The performance of Alt-A and jumbo loans backing 2006 vintage securitizations continued to deteriorate. Nearly half of first quarter jumbo issuances were backed by California transactions.

FHA Originators Terminated
Several Dallas-based companies were among mortgagees to lose their approval to originate loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration.

Free Mortgage Leads
A lead generation company is providing loan prospects to member originators for free. But an inadequate amount of prospect data is collected, according to competitors -- who also noted that customers don't necessarily get matched with the best mortgage company or the best deal.

No Subprime Recovery Until 2009
Nearly $1 trillion in subprime adjustable-rate mortgages are scheduled to reset this year and next year, according to an investment banking forecast. The rising payments will push losses higher -- with no improvement expected until 2009.

Business Strong at Fannie
Secondary mortgage purchases ascended to the highest level since September at Fannie Mae.

Commercial Originators Busy
Financing for three separate hotel deals and four land transactions involving hundreds of thousands of acres was nailed down during the latest week of commercial mortgage activity. Several office buildings, a casino and a 1,789-unit multifamily property also found funding.

Net Branch Targets CA Brokers
A newly-launched subsidiary of a national net branch company promises California mortgage brokers more options -- including the ability to be paid as a 1099 contractor.

Mortgage Technology Times
Although a big chunk of prospective borrowers prefer self-service technology, they still want face-to-face advice about getting a mortgage, a recent survey indicated. Meanwhile, mortgage technologists are teaming up to expand product features.

Subprime Virus Infects Funds
The latest mortgage-related mergers, acquisitions and other corporate activity were overshadowed by the near collapse of two hedge funds invested heavily in subprime mortgage derivatives.

Mortgage Expansion at Chase
As part of an across-the-board boost to its mortgage business, Chase will soon expand its correspondent operations by adding a subprime flow process. The move comes as other subprime correspondent players have jumped ship.

Mortgage Law Update
Mortgage-related litigation continued to move through the courts, with one subprime lender seeing much of the action. A California mortgage broker who was blacklisted because he was giving yield spread premiums to his borrowers lost his lawsuit.

Freddie Business Strong
Secondary mortgage purchases rose from the prior month and soared from a year earlier at Freddie Mac -- which also reported lower delinquency.

Prime Wholesale Programs Tighten
Having an underwriter to talk to is the single most important wholesale lender attribute, according to a recent survey of mortgage brokers. The report noted this year's subprime fiasco has resulted in the tightening of prime guidelines.

Avoiding Mortgage Fraud
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has some suggestions about how mortgage lenders can avoid the fallout from a host of mortgage fraud schemes.

ARM Attraction Amplifies
For the fourth straight week, the margin between the 1-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgage and the 30-year fixed rate continued widening -- making ARMs more attractive and pushing the share of variable-rate loan applications higher.

Banks Litigate Employee Exodus
A Virginia bank that lost 79 of its mortgage division employees to a competing bank -- including an executive vice president and the chief executive, failed to obtain a temporary injunction against that bank. But it is vowing to pursue a multi-count complaint against the competitor anyway.

Subprime Borrowers Pay Cards First
Subprime mortgage payments have taken a backseat to credit card payments, according to one new study.

More Foreclosure Services Spawned
The business of foreclosures is growing.

Wholesale Programs for Every Score
New Alt-A programs with credit scores down to 620, subprime programs with credit scores down to 580 and hard money programs with credit scores below 580 were among the latest offerings being promoted by residential wholesale lenders. One commercial wholesaler is offering 80 percent loan-to-value with 30-year amortization.

Subprime Casualties Continue
A multi-state subprime lender based in California, which reported more than $1 billion in originations during 2005, recently shut down its operations.

The Fraud Report
From his perch over the country's biggest managed mortgage portfolio, a Fannie Mae executive recently testified about where mortgage fraud is worst, what schemes are being used and how to avoid getting caught up in them.

State Regulators Busy
Among the latest mortgage license activity was an attempt by Connecticut's top banking regulators to deny a license to former executives of a failed subprime wholesaler. A Wyoming regulator is pushing for tougher oversight of that state's mortgage originators.

Hard Money Lender Closes
A California-based hard money lender has closed its doors.

Banks' Mortgage Assets Fall
While earnings managed to edge up, mortgage assets continued to fall at commercial banks and thrifts insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

CA Wholesaler Acquired
A nonprime wholesale lender based in the San Diego area has been acquired by a national branch operator.

Suit Against Broker Disregards Disclosures
An elderly couple has sued an Arizona mortgage broker, alleging he reneged on a promise to make their first four mortgage payments. They allege they didn't read their disclosures because they relied on verbal statements by the broker -- who claims he told the couple they did not qualify for the loan.

Florida Firm Fails
A Florida-based subprime wholesaler has quit funding loans.

Multifamily Rules
Commercial mortgage activity was heavy with multifamily deals during the most recent week, though a hotel, several offices and two retail complexes also found financing. Transactions were dominated by East Coast properties.

Subprime Decline, Layoffs at WaMu
Tumbling subprime volume continued to take its toll on Washington Mutual Inc. employees.

Technological Success
Enhancements to fraud prevention and loan lead generation topped the latest mortgage technology innovations.

Inside the Boardroom
Two investment bankers were stung by subprime losses, while problems with new home construction financing led to two settlements at other institutions. Also among the latest mortgage-related corporate activity were expansion plans for a business that buys nonperforming subprime mortgages.

2nd Lien Performance Deteriorates
Delinquency on second mortgages backing residential mortgage-backed securities issued last year has accelerated.

Hard Money Lender May do Hard Time
The operator of an alleged hard-money California lending scheme is being sued by state regulators and investigated for his possible connections to a motorcycle gang.

Groups Disagree About Regulation
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Mortgage lenders, state attorney generals, consumer advocates and academics -- testifying at a day-long hearing held yesterday in Washington, D.C. -- were at odds over how the Federal Reserve can curb abusive lending in the home mortgage market.

Housing Outlook
While economists remain upbeat about the long-term outlook of the residential real estate market, the near term is tainted by the uncertainty of future performance on loans set to readjust amid a struggling housing market.

Rates Soar
More mortgage hunters visited originator shops in anticipation of rates jumping to the highest level in almost a year.

400 Layoffs at Lehman Unit
A flawed organizational model at a Lehman Brothers subprime unit will result in a restructuring, merger and 400 layoffs.

Downey Declines
Downey Financial Corp. reported a continued monthly decline in mortgage fundings.

FHA, Subprime Delinquency Diverge
States in the Midwest drove quarterly delinquency higher, according to a trade group report. Subprime delinquency soared while late pays on loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration tumbled.

National City Business Holds
National City Corp., which reported flat monthly originations, said it may not have to pursue litigation against a mortgage insurer that was holding up claims.

PHH Production Maintains
PHH Mortgage's quarterly loan fundings held up as delinquency declined.

Debt Ratios Decline
Residential appreciation, mortgage debt expansion and debt ratios all declined in the latest quarter, a new report said.

FTC Pushing for Disclosure Revisions
The head of the Federal Trade Commission testified before Congress today that a recent study indicates it is time to replace outdated mortgage disclosure forms.

Feds, States to Share Broker Data
Following a recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of federal regulation of national banks, the Comptroller of the Currency today told Congress his agency has worked out a deal with states to share information on bad mortgage brokers.

Commercial Mortgage Activity
The commercial lending sector, which for the first time saw multifamily debt outstanding exceed $3 trillion, added a new apartment rehab program and enabled the largest private student housing transaction on record. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue to play a significant role in commercial mortgage activity.

States Stiffen Licensing
Three more states are toughening regulations as mortgage licensees across the country face disciplinary actions. One branch operation that has faced regulatory actions in multiple states appears to be out of business.

The Foreclosure Report
As residential foreclosure activity continued to worsen, a growing number of solutions emerged.

Uses of Home Equity
A new working paper from the Federal Reserve Board indicates a big chunk of home equity extracted through mortgages is going toward the repayment of non-mortgage debt. The analysis found mortgages are encumbering a growing portion of home value.

Texas Layoffs at WaMu
Further consolidation at Washington Mutual Inc. resulted in Texas layoffs.

Building Business Through Wealth
Any loan originator can earn $500,000 a year, according to one superstar. The secret to succeeding -- whether or not times are slow -- is focusing on helping prospective borrowers build wealth.

Countrywide Business Better
Residential and subprime volume improved at Countrywide Financial Corp. while home equity business and delinquency worsened.

Former Branch Operation Bankrupt
A mortgage company based in Central Indiana -- which at its peak employed more than 700 employees, operated a branch network and generated more than $50 million in annual revenues -- has filed for bankruptcy protection.

FHA Activity Off
Loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration performed worst in the Motor City, according to a recent monthly report. Volume and market share declined for federally-insured mortgages.

Settlement Costs AIG $178 Million
Poor management and controls over the operations of Wilmington Finance Inc. have led to a costly settlement with the Office of Thrift Supervision.

Surviving Repurchases
The outlook for mortgage securitizations is less non-agency activity and more utilization of mortgage insurance, one speaker said at a recent secondary mortgage conference. Another talked about how mortgage bankers can actively manage the fallout from repurchases.

Doing Net Branches Right
The net branch business model provides benefits to both the parent organization and the mortgage broker. But lax management at some companies has tarnished the sector's image, mortgage brokers were recently told at a legal and regulatory conference.

LoanCare Rating Boosted
The servicer rating of LoanCare Servicing Center Inc. improved.

100s Laid Off at GreenPoint
Slowed production led GreenPoint Mortgage to consolidate operations and layoff 15 percent of its staff.

Lenders Blamed for Appraisal Fraud
Three states are going after mortgage companies and originators who they claim are responsible for fraud by residential real estate appraisers.

Boardroom Bargaining
Banking regulators recently took several enforcement actions against more than a dozen banks -- including one cease and desist order. In other boardroom activity, one mortgage company is picking up the pieces after shutting down its wholesale unit.

Lending Technology Advances
Advancements in loan origination systems topped the latest mortgage-related technology innovations, though compliance technology saw plenty of activity.

Rates Jump
Rising rates have not dampened purchase mortgage activity, but they have pushed variable-rate activity higher.

Market Braces for Subprime Modifications
Securitizers, servicers and a ratings agency weighed in on subprime loan modifications, which are expected to increase -- especially for hybrids. Meanwhile, one player in the game is complaining about a proposal that would enable market manipulation.

Creating, Executing Marketing Plan
For years, mortgage loan officers attending my sales education classes arrive with 300 names in their database and leave knowing that the number should be 3,000.

Commercial Mortgage Deals Flourish
Commercial mortgage transactions during the most recent week were dominated by deals for multifamily and East Coast properties. A movie theatre, a mobile home park and shopping centers also secured financing.

Appraisers Sue AVM Co.
Claiming they were duped into providing information that will put them out of business, residential real estate appraisers in three states have sued a company marketing a nationwide database of appraisals.

Jumbos Perform
Serious jumbo delinquency took a breather.

NJ Wholesaler Closes
A New Jersey wholesaler has bid farewell to its mortgage brokers.

Row Houses at Issue Again
An Indiana bank has settled claims that it discriminated against minorities by excluding row houses and low-priced homes from acceptable properties for its mortgage programs. The case resembles other discrimination cases filed against subprime lenders by the same plaintiff.

Piggyback Credit Targeted
The developer of the FICO score has taken steps to ensure credit scores are not artificially enhanced using borrowed credit.

Foreclosure Science
While states are taking actions to prevent foreclosures, much of the activity will provide no benefit to people already facing foreclosure -- though one state has taken emergency action to stop scammers who prey on delinquent borrowers. And mortgage servicers who are increasingly using loan modifications to help borrowers may be hurting the quality of securitized loan pools.

Mortgage Matching
A controversial service promises to match people with poor credit with investors who have good credit to create a home purchase transaction. But regulators and industry experts frown on the practice -- with some labeling it outright fraud.

No More Red Tape
A jumbo wholesaler is winding down but hopes to resurge through a new strategic partner.

Most Subprime Loans Sound
The chief of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development proclaimed today that most subprime loans are sound and that the agency can help "tens of thousands" subprime borrowers.

License to Lie
A California mortgage broker already facing a rash of lawsuits could now lose his license, while fraud has originators in other states facing regulatory actions. And Minnesota originators may face license losses if they fail to adhere to newly enacted laws.

Servicer Rating Upgraded
An Arkansas-based servicer saw its rating raised.

Accredited Acquired
A restaurant conglomerate will acquire Accredited Home Lenders Holding Co.

Subprime RMBS Ratings Tightened
A proposed change to the way subprime residential mortgage-backed securities are rated would place more emphasis on the delinquency status of the loans at the time of issuance.

MTA Relents
After 36 consecutive months of rising, the Monthly Treasury Average has taken a breather.

Dealmakers Busy
As banks mergers continued at a healthy pace, a shareholder lawsuit against a government sponsored enterprise was dismissed -- as was a senior bank executive.

Same Sex Couple Sue
A same-sex couple in New York state has taken Countrywide Financial Corp. to federal court, claiming the lender discriminated against them when they wanted to add one partner to the other's mortgage.

Mortgage Jobs Tumble
Mortgage employment tumbled to its lowest level since 2004.

Bank Activity Worse
Mortgages outstanding at federally-insured commercial banks and savings institutions edged down for the first time in over three years, and delinquency rose to the highest level in almost two decades. More than 70 institutions were merged in the latest quarter.

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