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July 2014 Archive


COFI Ends 5-Month Record-Setting Streak
After establishing a new record low for five consecutive months, the Cost of Funds Index turned higher.

Mortgage Rates Set to Rise, But Volatile
Although market indicators point to higher mortgage rates, an economic report scheduled for release tomorrow could alter that outlook.

Ongoing Improvement in CMBS Delinquency
The rate of late payments on loans included in commercial mortgage-backed securities has improved every month for more than a year. While there was no change in apartment loan delinquency, the sector's outlook is very bright.

Best and Worst Mortgage Servicers
Borrower satisfaction with servicers has increased over the past year, and technology played a role in the improvement. One factor that can substantially improve satisfaction is communication with new borrowers. A relatively new player in the servicing arena has ascended to the top of the heap, while three of the fastest-growing companies were at the bottom.

Foreclosure Inventory Down Again, REOs Inch Up
Mortgage performance metrics continued to make headway in all categories on a year-over-year basis. But repossessions moved up on a month-over-month basis for the second consecutive month.

Guild Sees Healthy Year-Over-Year Performance
Compared to a year earlier, Guild Mortgage Co. turned in strong origination performance relative to its peers. Meanwhile servicing and staffing grew.

Mortgage Broker Headed to Jail
A former mortgage broker in Pennsylvania has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for duping wholesale lenders.

Rock Star Loses Appeal in Lawsuit Against Chase
A federal appeals court has upheld a foreclosure by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., on a home owned by a former classic rock star.

BofA Hit With Huge Penalty Over Countrywide Program
A federal judge has ruled that units of Bank of America Corp. will have to pay a penalty of more than $1 billion for utilizing a program that sacrificed loan quality for loan quantity.

Provident Originations, Servicing Up, Staffing Off
Although there was a quarterly blossoming in originations and servicing, Provident Funding Associates LP fell short of a year earlier. Employee headcount was off but up slightly in the yearly comparison.

CMBS Delinquency Rate Ekes Out an Improvement
While it wasn't by much, the rate of past-due payments on securitized commercial real estate loans managed to move lower this month.

Homeownership at Lowest Rate in Nearly 2 Decades
The share of Americans who own a home has fallen to the lowest level in nearly two decades. People under 35 and Southern California residents have the lowest rates.

Home Price Gains Lose Momentum
While home-price gains seem to have lost some of their momentum, economists say that the market is just normalizing.

HomeStreet Mortgage Originations Soar
Quarterly residential lending activity shot up at HomeStreet Inc., and the company expects full-year activity to exceed last year's production level.

Pending Home Sales Off But Still Elevated
An indicator of upcoming home sales declined and was worse than expected by economists. Still, it remains better than average.

Quarterly Gains in Quicken Originations, Servicing
Quicken Loans Inc. made a gain in its quarter-over-quarter originations, though not quite as much as the industry overall. Meanwhile, Quicken's mortgage servicing portfolio was modestly higher, and staff numbers held up.

3rd Party Reviews Better Than Reps and Warrants
Investors could benefit more from third-party loan reviews than from representations and warranties, a ratings agency report says.

FHA Business Inches Up But Poised to Slip
Monthly government-insured mortgage originations move up but could retreat based on new applications. Delinquency on government home loans worsened.

New HUD Secretary Sworn In
The new head of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has been sworn in to his new job.

Julián Castro replaces Shaun Donovan

Zillow Acquisition Creating Online Real Estate Giant
An agreement has been reached for Zillow Inc. to acquire Trulia Inc. in a stock deal valued at $3.5 billion -- creating an online real estate powerhouse.

Big Jump in McLean Mortgage Originations
McLean Mortgage Corp. steamrolled ahead with new business as its loan originations leapt by nearly three-fourths on a quarter-over-quarter basis.

SunTrust Hit With $160 Million Penalty
SunTrust Banks Inc., its banking subsidiary and its mortgage unit have agreed to a $160 million penalty in conjunction with a previously issued consent order tied to its servicing practices.

End of the Line for Century Old Bank
This week saw the failure of a bank that was more than a century old. Poor management of the financial institution was blamed for its demise.

ARMs Lead Weekly Mortgage Activity Down
Adjustable-rate mortgages were out front of a weekly decline in new mortgage activity. More competitive jumbo rates weren't enough to boost jumbo activity.

Mortgage Market Index 170 in week ended July 25

Credit Stds Tightening More at Small, Midsized Firms
The trend in home lending credit availability varies depending on whom you ask. In general, large mortgage lenders are more optimistic than their smaller counterparts.

Freddie Reports Solid Performance in June
Secondary activity picked up last month at the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., while serious residential delinquency moved lower and past-due payments on apartment loans improved.

NC Firm Discloses Mortgage Layoffs
A company based in the financial hub of North Carolina has disclosed plans to eliminate more than a hundred mortgage jobs.

Sharp Decline in New Home Sales
Following two months of gains, sales of new homes plunged last month. The decline hit all regions of the country.

Rates Hold But Might Increase
Although there was no change over the past seven days with long-term fixed mortgage rates, they might be higher in next week's report.

HMDA Reporting Revisions Proposed
Proposed changes to reporting requirements for the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act are intended to simplify the process while protecting consumer access to credit.

Wingspan Hiring Spree Continues in Texas
Just a few weeks after announcing a recruiting campaign for Florida employees, Wingspan Portfolio Advisors LLC is looking to grow its staff in North Texas.

HUD Updates Digital Document Retention Requirements
Electronic document retention requirements for foreclosures on loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration have been updated.

Proprietary Reverse Mortgage Origination Sinking
Originators of proprietary reverse mortgages have seen business worsen for three months in a row. On the government-insured side, wholesale reverse lenders have experienced a bigger drop over the past year than retail lenders.

Fannie Cuts 2014, 2015 Purchase Financing Forecast
Fannie Mae has lowered its expectations for this year's and next year's purchase originations. While the 2015 refinance forecast was also cut, the 2014 refinance outlook improved.

Ginnie Moving Issuer Approvals Online
The Government National Mortgage Association's issuer approval process is moving out of the analog era and into the 21st century.

System Helps Lenders Cater to Online-Savvy Users
A new product enables lenders to offer technically adept consumers the ability to shop their products, initiate the loan process and obtain disclosures.

Delinquency Up, But Foreclosures at Pre-Crisis Level
Early stage mortgage delinquency took a turn for the worse last month. But the foreclosure rate returned to its pre-crisis level.

Flagstar Production Up as Servicing, Staffing Fall
Home lending strengthened on a quarter-over-quarter basis at Flagstar Bancorp Inc., though the company reduced its mortgage assets, servicing and staffing.

Mortgage Metrics Improve from Q1 at SunTrust
On a quarter-over-quarter basis, residential loan originations, home loan delinquency and mortgage production earnings were all better at SunTrust Banks Inc.

Existing Home Sales Rise, But Still Restrained
Sales of existing homes climbed to the highest pace in eight months, though weak economic conditions are keeping activity from being more vigorous.

Prison for Former BofA Short Sale Employee
The case of a former Bank of America Corp. employee who was sentenced this week for participating in a short sale fraud scheme was by no means isolated.

Citi Sues Former Owners of Defunct Mortgage Lender
CitiMortgage Inc. is suing the former owners of a defunct mortgage banker alleging that it was defrauded on several loans it acquired from the lender.

PHH Challenging Huge Award in Modification Lawsuit
A PHH Corp. mortgage unit is challenging a huge jury verdict in a lawsuit alleging that it botched a loan modification for a California borrower.

Former IndyMac to Be Acquired
The formerly high-flying mortgage lender that operated as IndyMac Bank FSB is being acquired by a company that previously abandoned the mortgage business.

New Originations Flood Lake Michigan Credit Union
Despite Lake Michigan Credit Union coming up just short of second-quarter 2013 numbers, a quarter-over-quarter juxtaposition revealed a mortgage production tidal wave for the lender. Loan servicing and employee count also reached new heights.

Freddie Cuts 2014 Refi Forecast
Economists at Freddie Mac have reduced their forecast for mortgage originations this year, and refinances took the brunt of the hit. Next year's outlook was also lowered.

New Mortgage Production Chief at BofA
A former Countrywide Financial Corp. executive has been tapped to oversee the production side of Bank of America Corp.'s mortgage business.

D. Steve Boland previously worked for Countrywide

FHA Exposure Hits BB&T Earnings
Quarter-over-quarter growth was reported in originations and servicing at BB&T Corp. But income took a hit thanks to potential exposure recognized on Federal Housing Administration lending. Residential delinquency, meanwhile, deteriorated.

Earnings, Originations & Assets Up at Huntington
Compared to the first quarter, parent company earnings, mortgage originations and residential assets were higher at Huntington Bancshares Inc.

South Sees Two Financial Institution Failures
Two financial institutions, one in Georgia and another in Kentucky, were recently seized and closed down by regulators.

Jumbo Mortgage Rates, Activity Improve
Home loan rates and mortgage business improved last week, and jumbo activity was out front as jumbo rates dug deeper below their conforming counterparts.

Mortgage Market Index 165 in week ended July 11

5/3 Originations, Lates Up as Mtg Holdings Trimmed
Fifth Third Bancorp lifted mortgage production on a quarter-over-quarter basis. But its investment and servicing portfolios subsided, while delinquency deteriorated.

GSE Refinances Resume Downward Spiral
Government-sponsored enterprise refinance volume fell to the second-lowest level in nearly six years -- though interest rates are nearing a critical threshold.

Outlook for Refis Raised, Purchase Lowered
Mortgage bankers have lifted their expectations for this year's refinance originations, though a reduced outlook for purchase financing more than offset the increase.

New Round of Wells Fargo Servicing Layoffs
A new round of job cuts at Wells Fargo & Co.'s home lending unit impacts hundreds of mortgage servicing employees.

Concern Over GSE Shift to Smaller Sellers
The Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. are acquiring a bigger share of their business from smaller players -- a trend that presents risks.

Housing Starts Data Disappoint
Economists who had been expecting housing starts to turn higher last month were disappointed thanks to a tumble in the South.

Mortgage Rates Dip, Could See Further Decline
Mortgage rates were modestly lower this week, and fixed rates could see further improvement in the next report.

PNC Purchase Production Proliferates
Quarter-over-quarter mortgage home purchase financing surged at The PNC Financial Services Group Inc. Also improving were mortgage earnings.

Home Repos Fall, Foreclosures at Pre-Crisis Levels
Mortgage servicers continued to repossess fewer homes as overall foreclosure filings have retreated to levels not seen since before the financial crisis.

Total June filings down 2% from May

Mortgage App Closing Rates Improve Again
As refinance activity remains restrained, loan origination efficiency continues to strengthen -- with the closing rate on loan applications increasing again.

US Bank Lifts Loan Originations, Cuts Delinquency
Home loan originations move higher in the second quarter at U.S. Bancorp, while residential and commercial mortgage delinquency was reduced.

BofA, DOJ Resume Settlement Negotiations
Talks between Bank of America Corp. and the Department of Justice have resumed after recently stalling over a $5 billion gap.

Home Builder Optimism Jumps
U.S. home builders turned more optimistic this month as home buyers seemed increasingly eager to land some new digs.

CMBS Delinquency Down Again But Faces Stress
Delinquency on securitized commercial real estate loans has improved every month for more than a year but faces headwinds.

Regional Mortgage Lender Launches
A new residential lender has opened for business in Pennsylvania and has plans to provide home loans in four states.

BofA Home Lending Grows, Mortgage Losses Continue
Residential loan production picked up at Bank of America Corp. But legal costs help keep the mortgage business operating in the red.

HUD Actions Include Millions in Fines, Fees
Dozens of lenders on government-insured mortgages have faced a multitude of actions, including millions of dollars in penalties and other payments. Impacted lenders include Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp., Fifth Third Bank and U.S. Bank, N.A.

PRMI Expands Servicing and Staffing
Primary Residential Mortgage Inc. saw growth in its residential servicing portfolio. In addition, the home lender added more staff to its roster.

CoreLogic Laying of Dozens in NC
Dozens of employees at CoreLogic Inc. have been notified that they will losing their jobs as a result of a consolidation.

1st Mortgage Lates Down, No Improvement on 2nds
Although the rate of serious delinquency on first mortgages continued to recede, there was no improvement on second-mortgage performance.

Correspondent Drives Down Chase Mortgage Volume
Unlike its two peers that have so far reported a quarter-over-quarter increase in mortgage originations, home lending slipped at JPMorgan Chase & Co. thanks to its correspondent business.

Former Fannie IT Employee Admits Sabotaging HAMP
A former employee of the Federal National Mortgage Association has admitted to accessing company computers after he was fired and sabotaging the website for loan modifications.

MBS Litigation Spotlight Shifts from Citi to BofA
Now that Citigroup Inc. has put its mortgage securities settlement behind it, all eyes have shifted to Bank of America Corp.

Citi Originations Increase, But Earnings Plunge
Citigroup Inc. pushed quarterly home lending activity higher but saw earnings plummet thanks to a huge settlement over its mortgage securities activities.

Modification Activity Continues to Wind Down
With more home loans moving out of the distressed category and the country's collective home-equity position improving, mortgage servicers are completing fewer loan modifications.

Massive Mortgage Securities Settlement at Citi
Citigroup Inc. has reached a settlement with federal and state officials that will resolve an investigation into its mortgage securities activities.

Some Mini-Correspondents Subject to Broker Rules
Guidance has been issued to help mortgage brokers that are transitioning to mini-correspondent lenders better understand whether they are still subject to broker rules.

Ginnie MBS Issuance Up 3 Months in a Row
For the third consecutive month, Government National Mortgage Association issuance has increased. Overall residential and jumbo activity strengthened, while reverse mortgage and multifamily business weakened.

ARMs, Refis Lead Weekly Mortgage Activity Higher
New mortgage business rebounded following Independence Day, and it was inquiries for adjustable-rate mortgages and refinances that had the biggest bounce.

Mortgage Market Index 165 in week ended July 11

No Current Plans to Extend HARP
The recent extension of the Making Home Affordable initiative does not necessarily mean that the Home Affordable Refinance Program will also be extended.

Wells Fargo Originations Up, Earnings Miss Record
Quarterly mortgage originations strengthened at Wells Fargo & Co. and are poised for another quarter-over-quarter increase. But the financial services giant failed to set a new record in net income for the first time in 16 quarters.

MGIC Business Up 4th Consecutive Month
In addition to reducing its delinquent inventory each month for nearly three years, MGIC Guaranty Insurance Corp. has managed to increase new business for four consecutive months.

Concerns Over New Mortgage Insurer Requirements
While much of the mortgage insurance industry has thrown its support behind proposed eligibility requirements for insurers on government-sponsored enterprise loans, at least two firms have expressed concern.

Mortgage Rates Creep Up But Could Retreat
Mortgage rates inched higher on a strong employment report but could give back all of the increase in the next rate report.

Former Wells Fargo Manager Off to Prison
A former manager at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Inc. has been handed down a prison sentence for defrauding his former employer.

HEL Delinquency Deteriorates
Late payments on home-equity loans worsened on a quarter-over-quarter basis but improved from a year earlier. Loan performance on home-equity lines was better but will be stressed in the coming quarters.

US AG Rebuffs BofA Request for CEO Meeting
The nation's chief lawyer has declined an invitation to sit down with the chief executive officer of Bank of America Corp. and work out a settlement.

CA, NY Among States to Share in Citi Settlement
In addition to the federal government, several states -- including California and New York -- will share in a multibillion-dollar settlement with Citigroup Inc.

Secondary Mortgage Marketing Services
Several new and enhanced offerings promise to help mortgage firms do a better job of navigating the secondary mortgage market.

Miami's Lawsuit Against BofA Dismissed
Bank of America Corp. has been handed a victory in a lawsuit alleging that its discriminatory practices have eaten into the city of Miami's coffers. But the company and several other lenders are still fighting similar battles against other cities.

Castro Confirmed as HUD Secretary
President Barack H. Obama's nominee to oversee the Department of Housing and Urban Development has been confirmed for the job.

MGIC Expands M.I. Guidelines
Enhancements announced to MGIC Guaranty Insurance Corp.'s streamlined mortgage insurance program enable coverage even when loans might have been deemed ineligible by automated underwriting systems.

Judge's Decision Poses Threat to MERS
A recent decision in a Pennsylvania lawsuit doesn't bode well for MERS and could pose a threat to the registry. But there is a good chance that the ruling will be overturned on appeal.

Property Valuation Fraud Risk Soars
Although the overall risk of mortgage fraud has changed little, a troublesome rise has been reported for the risk of valuation fraud.

CFPB Clarifies Ability to Repay Rule
Mortgage servicers are being given some leeway on Ability-to-Repay rule requirements when a borrower dies and heirs inherit the property.

New Business Leaps at Radian
Radian Guaranty Inc. reported a solid month-over-month gain in new business, while there was an equally impressive improvement in delinquency.

PHH to Invest in Mortgage Business
With the sale of its fleet business a done deal, PHH Corp. is making plans for using the fresh capital from the sale -- including bolstering its mortgage unit.

Wingspan Interviewing 100s for FL Mortgage Jobs
Hundreds of employees are being interviewed by Wingspan Portfolio Advisors LLC for jobs in residential loan servicing and home loan production.

Government Mortgages Push Up Credit Availability
The availability of credit for home loans loosened last month thanks to an easing of standards on government-insured and -guaranteed mortgages.

Delinquency Drops as Completed Foreclosures Climb
Serious home loan delinquency and foreclosures continued to improve on a year-over-year basis. But there was a month-over-month up tick in completed foreclosures.

Guaranteed Rate Continues Acquisitions
After making multiple acquisitions earlier this year, Guaranteed Rate is at it again. This time around, the target is a leading lender in Kansas.

Maintaining Mortgage Servicing Compliance
A recent conference tackled some tough issues facing mortgage servicers and offered guidance on maintaining compliance from compliance and legal experts.

61-Year Low for MTA
Another decline in the Monthly Treasury Average has it standing lower than at any other time during at least the past six decades.

HECM Endorsements Sink to Lowest Level Since 2012
Federally insured reverse mortgage originations sank last month, falling to the lowest level since 2012. One company is maintaining a more than one-quarter market share.

3 Months Of Decline for Bankruptcy Filings
A healthy decline was recorded for personal bankruptcy filings last month, bringing to three the number of consecutive months of improvement.

Community Banks With Biggest Mortgage Concentrations
A number of community banks have used more of their assets for residential loans or commercial real estate loans than their counterparts.

Refis Lead Retreat in Weekly Mortgage Activity
As loan originators wound down activity going into the fourth of July, refinances took the biggest hit. Also putting a damper on business were slightly higher interest rates.

Mortgage Market Index 137 in week ended July 4

Rates Slip, Set to Rise
Interest rates on home loans eased this holiday week but could come in higher in the next report. Shorter-term rates were less attractive.

SunTrust Settlements Surpass $1 Billion During Past Month
A second settlement in the past 30 days between SunTrust Mortgage Inc. and the U.S. government brings to more than $1 billion the amount it has agreed to pay to resolve allegations of poor lending practices. The latest agreement addresses mishandled modifications.

Bank Mortgage Unit Shutting Down
The mortgage lending subsidiary of a bank backed by billionaire Wilbur Ross is ending operations as the bank restructures.

Brokers Drive Increase in Mortgage Jobs
A monthly increase in the number of mortgage brokers more than offset a dip in other mortgage jobs. The U.S. job market overall saw a healthy gain last month, placing upward pressure on mortgage rates.

Reporting Errors Jeopardize Wells' Servicer Rating
Reporting errors by a unit of Wells Fargo & Co. on residential mortgage-backed securities has prompted a warning about its master servicer rating.

HELOC Lates Down, But Expiring Draw Periods a Concern
One-month delinquency on credit lines secured by residential properties has shown improvement, while originations are climbing. But there is concern about upcoming expiring draw periods.

Reverse Lender Accused of Misleading Advertising
A reverse mortgage lender has settled allegations that it used deceptive advertising in its direct mail marketing campaign.

HSBC Settles False Claims Made on Agency Loans
HSBC has agreed to settle claims that it didn't do enough to monitor fees charged by outside attorneys and service providers involved in foreclosures on agency mortgages.

Fannie Makes M.I. Rescissions Easier to Resolve
As part of its strategy to eliminate some of the uncertainty associated with repurchases, Fannie Mae is implementing steps to make it easier for seller-servicers to resolve rescinded mortgage insurance.

Stearns Lending Claims Victory in Lawsuit
Stearns Lending Inc. potentially avoided millions of dollars in losses with its recent victory in a lawsuit it faced from a competitor.

MSRs Trading on $6 Billion in Agency Loans
Mortgage servicing rights on $6 billion in agency residential loans are trading hands in two separate portfolio sale transactions.

FHA Handbook in Development
A handbook that promises to be a single, authoritative source for lenders that make mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration is in the works.

CMBS Delinquency Falls Again in June
Delinquency on securitized commercial real estate loans declined for the 13th consecutive month. Leading last month's improvement were industrial property loans.

Another Maternity Discrimination Settlement Reached
Less than a week after a credit union agreed to settle allegations it discriminated against women who are on maternity leave, a California lender has reached a settlement.

Non-Bank Special Servicers Pose Risk to GSEs
A growing share of government-sponsored enterprise loans are being serviced by non-bank mortgage servicers -- a development that is putting the GSEs at risk.

Agency MBS Issuance Increases 3 Consecutive Months
Issuance of mortgage-backed securities by the three government-controlled housing finance agencies has improved for three months in a row and reached the highest level so far this year.

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