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June 2014 Archive


Radian Improves M.I. Offerings
Radian Guaranty Inc. is expanding its risk-based pricing. In addition, the mortgage insurer is lowering its single rates on lender-paid mortgage insurance.

Fannie Delinquency Nears Pre-Conservatorship Levels
While new business was mostly flat at the Federal National Mortgage Association, delinquency continued to improve and now stands near pre-conservatorship levels.

Record Run for COFI Continues
The Cost of Funds Index, which is used to determine rate and payment adjustments on some adjustable-rate mortgages, shattered its all-time low record. Again.

Missouri Bank Fined Over RESPA Violations
A Missouri bank has been fined for allegedly violating the anti-kickback provisions of the Real Estate Procedures Act.

Pending Home Sales Beat Expectations
The number of pending signed contracts on existing homes jumped by the biggest amount in more than four years -- blowing past expectations.

U.S. Bank Reaches FHA Settlement
Just a month after revealing that it was under investigation, U.S. Bancorp has disclosed that it reached a large settlement over the handling of government-insured lending.

Lenders Load Up on Production Executives
Among several recent executive appointments at home lenders are senior positions in loan production -- including wholesale and correspondent lending. A small servicer named a leader for its new real-estate-owned division.

Reverse Lender Ends Originations, Bank Fails
A nearly century-old financial institution in Oklahoma has been shuttered by bank regulators, while the reverse mortgage subsidiary of a big servicer has stopped originating new business.

Mortgage Business Holds Up Heading Into Holiday Week
Overall mortgage business was mostly flat ahead of the holiday week as an up tick in refinance activity offset a drop in most other categories. Mortgage rates improved, with jumbo rates seeing the biggest reduction.

Mortgage Market Index 167 in week ended June 27

Mortgage Events Address Abundance of Issues
Upcoming events for the mortgage industry include regulator-hosted workshops, housing policy gatherings and an e-signature convention. Private lenders are also planning to meet in Sin City.

Decline in CMBS Delinquency Forecasted to Continue
The rate of past due payments on securitized commercial real estate loans moved down last month and is expected to improve even more by year end.

GSE Loans, HAMPs Performing Best at Banks
Among all home loans serviced by banks and thrifts, government-sponsored enterprise loans are performing the best. Government-subsidized modifications are performing better than proprietary ones.

HAMP, HARP Programs Extended
The Obama administration's Making Home Affordable initiative is being extended. In addition, the administration is taking steps to reignite non-agency securitizations.

Rates Ease, More Improvement Likely
Long-term fixed rates slipped this week, and an even bigger drop is possible in the next report. Fifteen-year mortgages were far more attractive this week.

Wells Fargo Settles With LOs
Wells Fargo has settled a class action lawsuit that alleges thousands of current and former loan originators weren't paid all of the commissions they were owed.

Regions Resolves Accounting Scandal
Regions Financial Corp. and its banking subsidiary have settled charges that three former executives misled investors and regulators about the amount of non-accrual commercial mortgages and other commercial loans.

Inside Mortgage Insurance
While a recent survey found that mortgage insurance negatively impacts borrowers' home choices, a relative newcomer sees significant opportunity ahead for the M.I. business. In other M.I. news, the Federal National Mortgage Association is updating its mortgage insurance forms.

BofA Eliminates Servicing Jobs
Thanks to a decline in the number of delinquent home loans, Bank of America Corp. notified hundreds of North Carolina employees that their positions are being eliminated.

GSEs Could Sue Servicers Over Lender Paid Insurance
The regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is considering whether lawsuits should be filed against mortgage servicers that profited from excessive premiums on lender-paid insurance at the expense of the secondary lenders.

Credit Union Settles Maternity Discrimination Charges
Utah's second-largest credit union has settled allegations that it discriminated against prospective mortgage borrowers because they were on maternity leave.

Wholesale HECM and Proprietary Reverse Biz Sink
Among originators of proprietary reverse mortgages, month-over-month volume tumbled by more than a quarter. On the government side of the business, wholesale production was down nearly a fifth.

Fannie Raises Origination Forecast
While economists at other large mortgage organizations cut their forecasts for next year's annual purchase originations, Fannie Mae raised its. In addition, Fannie was the only one to lift its overall origination outlook for this year and next year.

Stellar New Home Sales Report
As was the case for existing home sales last month, the nation's new home sales soared and blew past analysts' expectations.

Home Price Gains Fall Flat
The latest reading on home prices was weak, with one home-price index reflecting a less than 1 percent month-over-month gain and another standing still.

Delinquency Drop Resumes, 6-Yr Foreclosure Low
The rate of late payments on home loans resumed a favorable trend after stumbling in April, while the rate of foreclosures fell to a post-crisis low.

Freddie's New Business Slips, Delinquency Down
The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. reported that serious delinquency on residential loans fell again and stands at its lowest level in more than half a decade. New business, however, weakened.

FHA Originations Increase, Could Rise More
Although monthly reverse mortgage production declined, overall government-insured originations moved higher and could see another improvement. Delinquency, however, deteriorated.

Refi Originations Move Higher, HARP Activity Dips
Despite a monthly drop in government-supported refinances, conventional agency refinance volume moved higher for the first time in a year.

Existing Home Sales Provide Some Optimism
A month-over-month increase in existing home sales was the biggest in nearly three years and provided a bit of optimism for market watchers.

Mortgage Production Collaboratives
Several mortgage service providers have teamed up to enhance the mortgage production process and improve compliance. Dominant among recent alliances is a unit of Equifax Inc.

2 Subsidiaries of Bank Holding Company Fail
One bank holding company saw two of the banks it owns fail on Friday, while its only other subsidiary was sold last year.

BofA Seek High-Level Meeting With U.S.
Bank of America Corp. is trying to arrange a meeting between its chief executive officer and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in an effort to reach a settlement over troubled mortgage-backed securities.

ARM Action Abates
While mortgage activity was little changed this past week, the number of prospective borrowers seeking adjustable rate mortgages moved lower.

ARM Action Abates

Freddie Updates Lending, Reporting Policies
Policy updates issued by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. impact mortgage fraud reporting, large deposits and the use of a power of attorney.

2 MBS Lawsuits Move Forward Against BofA
A federal judge has ruled that two mortgage-backed securities lawsuits filed by the government against Bank of America Corp. can move forward, overruling a magistrate judge in one case.

Fixed Rates Ease, 1-Year ARM Up
Fixed mortgage rates retreated this week as the Federal Reserve reported it would continue to taper its bond purchases. One-year adjustable-rate mortgages, however, inched up.

FHFA MBS Settlements Near $20 Billion
Another settlement with the Federal Housing Finance Agency brings to nearly $20 billion the amount the regulator has collected from several mortgage-backed securities lawsuits.

Several LOS Integrations Completed
Mortgage technology providers have recently been busy enhancing their loan origination systems through the integration of other services such as automated compliance, pricing engines and mortgage insurance.

Mortgage Bankers Cut Purchase Forecast Again
For the eighth consecutive month, mortgage bankers have reduced their outlook for this year's purchase financing. The 2015 forecast for both purchases and refinances was also lowered.

FHA Reducing Risk on HECMs
The Federal Housing Administration is taking steps to address heightened risk from mortgagees that are pushing borrowers to take maximum draws on reverse mortgages as early as possible.

Closing Ratios Improve
As refinance activity continues to dry up, loan originators are working harder to close loans -- pushing the closing rate up. But despite declining business, conventional underwriters didn't make concessions on qualifications compared to the prior month.

Purchase Financing Forecast Lowered
An increase in expected refinance business this year and next year was offset by lowered expectations for purchase financing. The outlook for government originations fell.

New CEO at Prospect Mortgage
The former chief executive officer of the Federal National Mortgage Association is now the CEO of Prospect Mortgage LLC.

HUD Chief Nominee Sails Through Confirmation Hearing
President Barack Obama's pick to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development faced little resistance from senators at his confirmation hearing.

Loan Modification Volume Retreats
Fewer borrowers received permanent loan modifications during the latest month, and the slowdown hit both proprietary programs and government-funded modifications.

New Home Data Disappoints
Monthly government data on new home construction was worse than expected. Residential building permits, however, were better.

SunTrust Agrees to Major Settlement
SunTrust Mortgage Inc. has agreed to settle allegations it violated government-insured lending policies and used unacceptable servicing and foreclosure practices.

Stonegate Mortgage President Departing
The president of Stonegate Mortgage Corp. has given his notice after spending more than three years at the company.

Another Improvement in Serious Mortgage Delinquency
For the seventh consecutive month, the rate of serious delinquency on first mortgages improved and now stands at the lowest level in nearly eight years.

Housing Rebound Seen in 2nd Half
Increased demand, a low supply of desirable homes for sale and tight rental market conditions are expected to spark a housing market rebound in the second half of this year.

BNY Opening Third Party HECM Business
BNY Mellon is getting into the government-insured reverse mortgage business. Loans will be originated through third parties.

Mortgage Job Opportunities in Servicing, Origination
Mortgage firms that are currently hiring include residential loan servicers and home lenders that are recruiting loan originators.

Home Builder Confidence Edges Higher
After several months of little movement, the level of confidence among the nation's home builders made an improvement this month.

Banks Lose Mortgage Market Share
Banks lost market share over the past year, while credit unions' share of originations inched up and non-bank lenders made the biggest gain. The latest estimate of total industry staffing is just over 700,000.

Warning Issued on PHH Mortgage Servicer Ratings
The mortgage servicer rating of PHH Mortgage Corp. could be downgraded following the disclosure of a planned sale of its sister company.

Supreme Court to Hear LO Overtime Case
A lingering issue for mortgage employers is whether mortgage loan originators are exempt from overtime wages. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the issue.

The LinkedIn Phenomenon
LinkedIn has turned into a powerful tool for the business world. And while there are many steps that can enhance its effectiveness, there are also practices that should be avoided.

Mobile Phones and Consumer Financial Services
Undoubtedly, mobile phone use and technology have revolutionized consumers' lives the way peanut butter and jelly once made headway for the sandwich landscape. Recent studies show more consumers are taking to mobile financial services, which could be as great a convenience for them as sliced bread.

Mortgage Activity Dips, ARMs Slide
Loan originators were slightly less busy this week, with adjustable-rate activity taking the biggest hit. Also downshifting was jumbo and refinance business.

Mortgage Market Index 170 for week ended June 13

Radian Adjusts Rates, Guidelines
Radian Guaranty Inc. is relaxing its requirements on investment properties and affordable loans. It is also enhancing its mortgage insurance premiums.

Settlement in Case Involving Illegal Mortgage Referrals
A mortgage service provider has agreed to settle allegations of illegal mortgage referrals -- costing it tens of thousands of dollars.

House Subcommittee Authorizes CFPB Subpoena
An investigation within the House of Representatives into alleged discrimination and retaliation at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is moving on to the subpoena stage.

Home Loan Interest Rates Rise But Likely to Retreat
Fixed mortgage rates worsened but are positioned to give back all of this week's gain. Bank economists see mortgage rates jumping 25 basis points in the third quarter.

How to Qualify Borrowers With Prior Bankruptcies
Borrowers who have previously filed for bankruptcy can qualify for a residential loan, but only under certain conditions.

Loan Originators Migrate Away from Banks
Although the number of bank loan originators has fallen over the past year, an increase in state-licensed individuals more that offset the decline. A significant share of licensees in some states live in another state.

Mortgage Branch Building Focused on East Half of US
A number of branch offices have been recently opened by mortgage lenders, and all of the new locations are in the eastern half of the country.

Help Complying With Financial Regulations
Mortgage lenders are scrambling to keep up with new and evolving financial regulations, and service providers are constantly developing tools to help them.

Webinar On Integrated TILA-RESPA Disclosures
A webinar being hosted by the Federal Reserve System is the first in a series intended to help the mortgage industry comply with upcoming requirements for new integrated disclosures.

S Fla Banks Scale Back on Mortgage Holdings
While mortgages account for a smaller share of banks' investment portfolios now than they did before the financial crisis, the decline has been more dramatic in South Florida.

CRM Providers Promise Increased Lead Conversions
Customer relationship management tools could be the answer for lenders needing automated tools that boost marketing, increase sales productivity and help maintain regulatory compliance.

Wells Loses Appeal in FHA Lawsuit
A federal lawsuit against Wells Fargo & Co. alleging noncompliance on government-insured loans will move forward, an appeals court ruled Tuesday.

Settlement Reached Over Deceptive Mortgage Ads
A home builder accused of deceiving prospective borrowers about the true cost of their residential loans has agreed to a settlement.

MSR Losses Drive Servicing Income Into the Red
Independent servicers have driven down their human resource expense -- but not enough to offset quarter-over-quarter deterioration on mortgage servicing rights.

Lenders' Staffs Rise Despite Plunging Originations
Even though quarterly originations at independent lenders have fallen by nearly a third over the past year, staffing has increased -- driving loan production income into the red.

Across the Board Foreclosure Activity Improvement
New foreclosure filings, completed foreclosures and total foreclosure filings all declined last month compared to a month earlier and a year earlier.

109,824 foreclosures filed in May

House Passes QM Legislation
The House of Representatives has approved legislation that would exclude some fees from the maximum fee calculation on Qualified Mortgages.

Mortgage Executive Moves Include Chairman, CEO
A pure-play publicly traded mortgage firm announced a new chairman, while the chief executive officer of another firm has been replaced. Other recent appointments include a chief credit officer and sales executives.

MGIC Reports Solid May Performance
New business improved to the highest level in 2014 at MGIC Guaranty Insurance Corp., while loan performance hasn't been this good in years.

Mortgage Job Losses Decline
Job contraction in the mortgage industry slowed during the first three months of 2014. Total headcount in the mortgage business is estimated at more than 800,000.

BofA Busiest With Mortgage Staffing Reductions
Banks are doing most of the job cutting in the mortgage sector, and Bank of America Corp. is busiest.

FHA Leads Mortgage Business Holiday Recovery
As new mortgage activity recovered from the holiday week, product & pricing inquiries for government-insured home loans took a leap.

Mortgage Market Index 177 week ended June 6

Frmr Director of Failed Bank Admits $21 Mil Crime
A former director of a Georgia bank who went AWOL when his bank failed has admitted that he embezzled millions of dollars from the bank and faked his own suicide.

Guilty plea for defendants who faked own suicide

Bizarre Countrywide Episode Brought to a Conclusion
A borrower who six years ago requested a loan modification from Countrywide Home Loans and mistakenly received a rude response from its then chief executive officer is finally getting that modification.

Mortgage Brokers Trim Jobs, Non-Bank Lenders Expand
A slight increase in employment at non-bank mortgage lenders wasn't enough to offset a monthly decline at mortgage brokers. But gains were made among all U.S. industries.

Mortgage Rates Hold But Face Volatility
Fixed rates on home loans inched higher this week but stand less than a quarter percentage point above the year-earlier level. Volatility is on the agenda for the next week.

Comments Sought on GSE G-Fees
The regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is seeking comments for changes to guarantee fees charged by the pair of secondary mortgage lenders.

More Borrowers Climb to Positive Equity Position
As the country's housing market continues to recover, more mortgage borrowers have moved into a positive equity position.

New Wholesale Mortgage Lender Launches
The nation's mortgage brokers, who have seen their options for wholesale lenders continue to erode, are being courted by a new wholesaler.

Jumbo, FHA Behind Rise in Mortgage Credit Supply
Increased jumbo lending and lower credit scores on government-insured mortgages helped lift the availability of credit on home loans.

Texas LOs Lose Appeal Against Former Employer
A group of loan originators in Texas who lost a lawsuit filed by their former employer also lost an appeal. At issue were loans they tried to transfer to their new employer.

Fannie Enhances Servicer Delegation Authority
Servicers of Fannie Mae mortgages will now have more authority to provide forbearance on home loans where the borrowers has lost his or her job.

Former W.R. Starkey LO Agrees to Consent Judgment
A long-running North Carolina case involving allegations of mortgage fraud and deceit has come to a conclusion. W.R. Starkey Mortgage previously reached a multi-million-dollar settlement for its role.

Former Directors, Officers of Failed SC Bank Sued
Former directors and officers of a failed South Carolina bank have been sued in federal court over allegedly imprudent underwriting and lending practices.

12 Consecutive Months of Lower CMBS Delinquency
The rate of late payments on securitized commercial real estate loans has declined 12 months in a row. The only loan category to deteriorate last month was industrial.

Bankruptcy Filings Retreat 2nd Consecutive Month
The number of new bankruptcy filings by American consumers moved lower for the second month in a row, and the outlook is for more of the same.

CMBS Leads Improvement in CRE Loan Delinquency
Most investors types saw quarterly improvement in commercial real estate loan performance, with securitized loans making the most headway.

Credit Unions Continue to Grow Mortgages, Members
While the number of U.S. credit unions has been on the decline for at least a decade, mortgage holdings and membership have been consistently growing.

MGIC Lowers M.I. Premiums
Lower mortgage insurance premiums have been announced by MGIC Guaranty Insurance Corp. The new rates impact a variety of scenarios.

Radian Performance Continues to Strengthen
For the third month in a row, new business was better at Radian Guaranty Inc. Loan performance on Radian-insured mortgages showed no signs of deteriorating.

FHA Reverse Mortgage Production Increases
The origination of government-insured reverse mortgages accelerated last month, though a single company with a nearly one-third market share was responsible for much of the improvement.

New Business Bounces Off Bottom at Fannie
After falling to the lowest level in more than a decade, new business at the Federal National Mortgage Association moved higher. Loan performance continued to improve.

FHFA, GSEs Sued by Massachusetts
Following through on her threat to use litigation to force Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to write down principal on distressed loans in her state, Massachusetts' attorney general has filed a lawsuit.

New All Time Low for MTA
In what has become a routine event, the Monthly Treasury Average has descended to a new record low.

Bank and Lender Go Down
A financial institution on the East Coast was shut down by federal banking regulators, while a struggling firm in the Midwest is liquidating.

Lender Expands Non-Agency Programs
A fast-growing lender owned by an investment fund has expanded its non-agency lending as it attempts to reach a larger number of borrowers.

FHA Business Takes Biggest Hit in Weekly Activity
Mortgage activity declined in the holiday week, and government-insured business suffered the greatest loss. Mortgage rates dropped again, and jumbo rates remain less than conforming rates.

Mortgage Market Index 165 in week ended May 30

Agency MBS Issuance Up, But Still Depressed
Thanks to a modest recovery staged by the Government National Mortgage Association, agency issuance improved for the second month in a row. But activity remains severely impaired compared to year-earlier levels.
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