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July 2015 Archive


Surprise Record Low for COFI
While other short-term indices have been on the rise lately, the Cost of Funds Index tumbled to an all-time low.

Jumbo Surge Despite Weekly Mortgage Activity Drop
Though weekly mortgage activity fell back, jumbo mortgage business leapt ahead in spite of a less favorable jumbo-conforming spread.


Mortgage Market Index 133 in week ended July 31
Excellent Month at Fannie Mae
New business ascended at the Federal National Mortgage Association, while home loan delinquency fell to a new post-crisis low.

First Republic Bank's Mortgage Originations Soar
Quarterly home lending activity at First Republic Bank was up by nearly half. Also increasing was the servicing portfolio and income.

Washington Appraiser Recognized Nationally
A real estate appraiser has been recognized by a national appraisal association for his ethics and contributions to the industry and community.

Hotel Loans Lead Drop in CMBS Delinquency
With hotel mortgages leading the way, the rate of past-due payments on securitized commercial real estate loans continued falling to a multi-year low. Retail property loans, however, suffered a significant setback.

Ocwen Originations Up, Servicing Sinks
While Ocwen Financial Corp. managed to grow its quarterly home-loan production, its mortgage servicing portfolio plunged and its domestic staffing subsided.

Fixed Mortgage Rates Dip Below 4%
Long-term interest rates on residential loans fell below four percent this week and might not move much in the next report.

Marketing Agreements Abandoned on RESPA Concerns
Concerns about recent regulatory interpretations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act have prompted two lenders to abandon marketing services agreements.

Order Issued Against Servicer of Distressed Loans
A servicer of distressed residential loans out of North Texas has consented to an order alleging it blocked delinquent borrowers from avoiding foreclosure.

Ginnie MSRs Hit the Market
Bids are now being taken for mortgage servicing rights on nearly $2 billion in Ginnie Mae residential loans.

Home Lending, Servicing Up at Nationstar
Mortgage production and servicing were up at Nationstar Mortgage LLC, and company-wide earnings made a big turn-around.

Satisfaction With Mortgage Servicers Deteriorates
Mortgage servicers' distraction with regulatory issues has left most of their borrowers less satisfied. Despite incentives for non-bank servicers to focus on loan performance instead of borrower relationships -- it was a non-bank servicer that was rated best by its borrowers.

GSE MSRs Up for Bid
Bids are being taken for mortgage servicing rights on a portfolio of well-performing conventional agency home loans with a concentration in California.

Bi-Weekly Program Lands Servicer in Hot Water
Advertisements for a bi-weekly payment program that didn't deliver as promised have resulted in regulatory orders and millions of dollars in penalties against a payment processor and the servicing subsidiary of Fidelity National Financial Inc.

EverBank's Home Lending Rises, Servicing Falls
Quarterly home lending activity picked up at EverBank Financial Corp. Despite an increase in residential assets, the total servicing portfolio was down as the company sold off mortgage servicing rights.

Tight Supply Hurts Pending Home Sales
A tight supply of homes for sale was blamed for pulling down pending home sales from the highest level in more than nine years, though the decline was limited to the Midwest and South.

SoCal Has Lowest Homeownership Rate
When it comes to the share of residents who own their homes, the Southern California area fared worst in the nation.

Former HUD OIG Special Agent Convicted of Fraud
A federal jury in Georgia has convicted a former law enforcement officer with supervisory responsibility for mortgage fraud investigations of mortgage fraud, himself.

AMCs Enhance Offerings
Several appraisal management companies have integrated new technology into their platforms in an effort to improve services to lenders. Meanwhile, appraisers and valuation firms are meeting in North Texas.

Ocwen Uses Shared Appreciation in Modifications
Some borrowers on home loans serviced by Ocwen Financial Corp. are seeing huge principal reductions in return for shared equity.

Retail Drives Lake Michigan CU Originations Higher
Despite a decline in quarterly correspondent mortgage business at Lake Michigan Credit Union, overall activity accelerated thanks to a surge in retail production. Servicing and staffing also ascended.

Home Price Gains Expected to Slow
Modest monthly gains in house prices were made in a closely watched home-price index, and the forecast is for increases to diminish over the next couple years.

Flagstar Mortgage Production, Servicing Grow 
Quarterly home loan originations picked up at Flagstar Bancorp Inc. In addition, the financial institution's mortgage servicing portfolio expanded.

CFPB Being Challenged On Multiple Fronts
As legislation is introduced by Republicans in Congress to abolish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal appeals court has given the go ahead on a lawsuit challenging the regulator's structure.

New American Funding Grows Mortgage Business
New American Funding reported across-the-board growth -- increasing mortgage originations, expanding residential servicing and adding more employees.

Florida Mortgage Firm Thrives in Dodd-Frank Era
Despite increased costs resulting from the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, one firm says it is thriving because of the law.

Mortgage Firms Bolster Executive Ranks
The nation's real estate finance sector has been busy building its management ranks. Several of the appointed executives previously worked at units of Bank of America Corp.

Retail Lending Lifts USA Mortgage Originations
Although there was a dip in new business generated by mortgage broker clients at USA Mortgage, a healthy gain in retail lending boosted overall activity.

FHA Leads Rebound in Weekly Mortgage Activity
Weekly mortgage activity bounced back, with government-insured business leading the way. Meanwhile, jumbo mortgage rates dove further below conforming rates.


Mortgage Market Index 142 in week ended July 24
Provident Funding's New Mortgage Business Slows
New quarterly lending activity at Provident Funding Associates LP turned lower. As well, the servicing portfolio diminished, and staffing declined.

BofA's Appeal in Hustle Lawsuit Opposed by DOJ
The federal government has voiced its opposition to an appeal filed by Bank of America Corp. in a lawsuit involving loans sold from Countrywide Financial Corp. to the government-sponsored enterprises.

New Home Sales Retreat from 7-Yr High, West Worst
After ascending to the the highest level in more than seven years, sales of new residential properties turned lower last month. The decline was most pronounced in the West.

Warehouse Lender Expands Into Correspondent
A warehouse lender out of the Lone Star State has disclosed that it has opened up a correspondent lending division.

Best Month for Freddie's New Business in 2 Years
New business at the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. escalated to the highest level in two years, while serious delinquency was down to the lowest level in more than six years.

Fixed Mortgage Rates Drop, Could Fall Further
Fixed rates on home loans retreated over the past seven days, and signs point to an even bigger decline in the next report.

GSE Refinance Volume Down Following Strong Month
Monthly refinances of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac residential loans retreated after soaring to the highest level since 2013.

Fannie Cuts Refi Outlook, Lifts Purchase
Economists at the nation's largest mortgage company have lowered their forecast for refinances both this year and next year while bolstering their purchase outlook.

Wells Fargo Cutting SC Mortgage Jobs
Dozens of mortgage employees in South Carolina have been advised by Wells Fargo & Co. that their days are numbered.

Refis Retreating on Rising Rates
As the nation's biggest mortgage lenders continue to report a strong second quarter for originations, they are likely to see a decline thanks to slowing refinances.

Huntington's Mortgage Biz Gains Across the Board
Residential mortgage origination volume and servicing grew at Huntington Bancshares Inc., while the company also yielded higher quarter-over-quarter mortgage earnings.

Delinquency Down as Foreclosures at 8-Year Low
An eight-year low for mortgages in the foreclosure process helped drag down the non-current rate on home loans last month.

Improved Housing Market Lifts Origination Outlook
Improved conditions in the nation's housing market have prompted mortgage banking economists to raise their expectation's for this year's and next year's purchase financing.

New Business Slips at UWM
New quarterly lending activity at United Wholesale Mortgage came up just shy of mortgage production generated in the previous three-month period. But a new program could help upcoming business.

Decade Low for Radian Delinquency
Quarterly new business at Radian Guaranty Inc. jumped to the highest level in nearly two years, while delinquency plunged to the lowest level in at least a decade.

Multifamily Issuance Continues to Soar at Fannie
The quarterly securitization of commercial real estate loans backed by apartment properties continued to accelerate at the Federal National Mortgage Association.

Home Sales at 8-Year High as Prices Hit Record
It's been eight years since the volume of existing home sales was a strong as it was last month. Home prices reached a milestone.

Mortgage Lending to Drop 3 Consecutive Quarters
The latest economic forecast for real estate finance has residential loan originations declining for three consecutive quarters a total of 38 percent.

Delayed TRID Implementation Finalized
Following months of uncertainty, the implementation date for new integrated mortgage disclosures has been formally delayed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

5th 3rd Home Lending Rises Over a Third
Quarterly home loan closing volume increased by more than a third for Fifth Third Bancorp. But its earnings decreased, and the servicing portfolio shrank.

Outlook Strong for Private Mortgage Insurers
Mortgage insurance companies are operating in a nearly ideal environment that will likely be little fazed by an expected increase in interest rates.

Serious Mortgage Delinquency Deteriorates
Serious delinquency on consumer credit took a turn for the worse last month, and mortgage loans were no exception.

Purchase Mortgage Production Soars at Regions
Quarterly home lending activity at Regions Financial Corp. popped thanks to a nearly one-half surge in purchase financing. In addition, company earnings got better. But mortgage delinquency worsened.

Guild Mortgage Reports Solid Gains
Loan originations at Guild Mortgage Co. were up by more than a third on a quarter-over-quarter basis. Meanwhile, both the servicing portfolio and the payroll expanded.

Servicing, Originations Increase at Quicken
In addition to closing more loans than in any other quarter during the past two years, Quicken Loans Inc. continued to grow its share of the mortgage servicing market.

LOS Providers Address TRID
Developers of loan origination systems have been busy improving their products with features that will help lenders be compliant with integrated disclosure requirements. Other LOS enhancements include the integration of settlement fees and advanced signature capabilities.

Guaranteed Rate Reports Growth on All Fronts
Residential loan originations increased at Guaranteed Rate Inc. In addition, the company added to its mortgage servicing portfolio and expanded staffing.

Judge Rules for Wells Fargo in LA v Wells
A lawsuit accusing Wells Fargo & Co. of predatory lending practices that targeted minorities in Los Angeles has been dismissed.

Jumbo Leads Decline in Weekly Mortgage Business
Halfway through the month of July, weekly mortgage business continued slowing, with jumbo loan activity taking the biggest knock-down punch.


Mortgage Market Index 128 in week ended July 17
SunTrust Lending & Servicing Shine, Earnings Dim
Quarterly mortgage banking activity burned brighter for SunTrust Banks Inc., with stronger home loan production and a bigger servicing portfolio than the prior period. Mortgage earnings, however, dulled, and production may have hit its upward peak.

Massive Recruiting Campaign Underway at ResMac
Hundreds of people are being recruited by ResMac Inc. for production positions in retail, wholesale and correspondent lending.

South, West Lead Surge in Building Permits
Last month turned out to be a strong month for new housing activity, and gains in the South and the West led the improvement.

Citi's Home Lending Builds Momentum
New home lending activity steamrolled ahead of Citigroup Inc.'s prior-period lending, but the lender's mortgage servicing portfolio was scaled back.

CFPB Deputy Director Departing
A top executive at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has disclosed his intention to leave his job at the regulator.

Rates Increase But Could Retreat
Interest rates on residential loans turned higher this past week. But current market conditions suggest mortgage rates could be lower in the next report.

Mortgage Complaints Up Less Than Other Categories
Although the number of complaints about mortgage firms continues to rise, the increase has been far less than for many other financial products. Credit bureaus are most disliked by consumers.

MSRs on Over $1 Billion in GSE Loans Up for Bid
Residential loan servicers can grow their portfolios with a successful bid on mortgage servicing rights for more than $1 billion in government-sponsored enterprise loans.

BBT Income Cools, But Mortgage Biz Sizzles
For BB&T Corp., second-quarter mortgage business was good -- with quarter-over-quarter improvement reported in several aspects of the business. But company-wide earnings came up short.

Builders Grow More Optimistic About Future Sales
Home builders have grown more optimistic, with expectations for future sales driving the brightened outlook. Builders in the South are most optimistic.

3 Banks Pay Majority of Regulatory Fines
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is one of three banks that have been saddled with a majority of fines assessed by regulators since the financial crisis.

Foreclosure Activity Worsens from Year Earlier
Despite a month-over-month improvement with three primary foreclosure metrics, activity worsened from the same month last year.
Total filings down 8% in June
Residential Home Lending Booms at US Bank
New mortgage business zoomed higher at U.S. Bancorp, with the latest loan closings buzzing past the prior quarter's volume by nearly a third.

MSRs for Sale on Agency Residential, CRE Loans
The servicing on agency residential loans and agency commercial real estate loans is being offered for sale in a trio of transactions.

New Mortgages, Earnings See Growth at BofA
For the fifth straight quarter, mortgage production at Bank of America Corp. has breezed past prior periods. As well, the institution realized a healthy earnings increase despite shrinkage in other mortgage business metrics.

Turnaround Slows on Mortgage Closings
It has been more than two years since it took this long to close a home loan. One factor in the slower turnaround is an improved closing rate.

New PNC Home Lending Up, But Mortgage Income Falls
Despite an upswing in home loan production, mortgage earnings shrank at The PNC Financial Services Group Inc. in quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year comparisons. On a company-wide basis, however, the corporation realized an increase in pre-tax income.

May Slows for Retail, Wholesale HECM Originators
Retail and wholesale originators of government-insured reverse mortgages suffered a slight setback in May, and the month proved to be no more productive for proprietary lenders.

Wingspan Bankrupt
After a spectacular rise to the top during the foreclosure crisis, special servicer Wingspan Portfolio Advisors LLC has landed in bankruptcy.

New Business Improves at McLean Mortgage
A solid improvement in residential loan production was reported by McLean Mortgage Corp. Staffing, which has subsided over the past year, was up for the quarter.

Wells Fargo Home Lending Peaks, Q3 Likely to Fall
Quarterly residential loan originations might have reached their peak at Wells Fargo & Co. since third-quarter indicators point to a slump in upcoming loan production.

Mortgage Bankers Admit Defrauding FHA
Three people at a mortgage banking firm in the Miami area have admitted their roles in a massive fraud scheme involving government-insured mortgages.

Chase Production Rises, Servicing Falls
Second-quarter mortgage production and earnings increased at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Servicing, however, stepped back.

7-Yr Low for Delinquency, Foreclosure Rate; REOs Up
Borrowers on residential loans classified a seriously delinquent accounted for the smallest share of overall mortgage borrowers in more than seven years, as was the case for the foreclosure rate. Repossessions, however, rose.

Senators Introduce TRID Bill
A pair of U.S. senators, a Democrat and a Republican, have introduced legislation that would give lenders a grace period for new integrated disclosures.

Servicers Litigate Florida Foreclosures
The trend continues to hold -- lenders are losing on the appellate level when questions of standing arise in Florida foreclosure litigation. In the most recent series of lawsuits, several assignments were dated after foreclosure litigation had begun.

Res Issuance Overcomes Multifamily Drop at Ginnie
Although issuance of Ginnie Mae securities backed by multifamily loans took a tumble last month, residential activity more than made up the difference.

2 Financial Institutions Shut Down By Regulators
A small Colorado bank was seized by regulators last week and sold to the highest bidder, while a similar demise was met by a Pennsylvania financial institution.

Prime Jumbo RMBS Issuance at Brisk Pace
If the second half of this year is near as good as the first half was, then 2015's volume of jumbo securitizations is likely to be better than each of the past two years.

NJ Gains as FL Loses Mortgage Staffing
The number of people working in home lending has fallen on a quarterly basis, though there was a recent monthly upturn. Mortgage jobs appear to be migrating North.

Securitizations, Secondary Sales Finance Home Loans
Billions of dollars in residential loans have recently either been securitized or sold on the secondary mortgage market.

There's Something About TRID (You Can Do)
It's all about getting lenders into shape for regulatory compliance if recent offerings from service providers are any indication. New products, updated services and free information make the latest list in compliance products.

ARMs Slow Most as Interest Rates Ease
As fixed rates retreated, adjustable-rate activity took the biggest hit in the week of business that included the Independence Day holiday.


Mortgage Market Index 136 in week ended July 10
FHA Delinquency Surges
The rate of past-due payments on government-insured home loans surged nearly 70 basis points despite a decline in the foreclosure rate. New government loan production softened.

Freddie Auctioning Off Distressed Loans
Investors interested in non-performing loans have an opportunity to pick up loans from the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.

Falling Mortgage Rates Could Bounce Back Up
Interest rates on residential loans moved lower this past week. But it's possible that fixed rates could bounce right back up in the next report.

Real Estate-Related Consumer Delinquency Down
Banks did a good job of taming delinquency on consumer credit during the first three months of this year, and some real estate products performed best.

Senior Mortgage Executive Appointments
Several executive appointments have recently been made in the field of real estate finance, and some involve senior positions.

Nationstar Loses Dual Tracking Lawsuit
A federal judge in Minnesota reversed a Nationstar Mortgage LLC foreclosure. Dual tracking on a loan with a modification application in place was at issue.

MGIC Performance Continues to Shine
After slashing delinquency and raising new monthly business to the best levels in years, MGIC Guaranty Insurance Corp. did it again.

GSE Vs FHA Mortgages: 2-Tier Lending
Lower-income borrowers who don't qualify for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac home loans are forced to utilize more costly government-insured mortgages.

Mortgage Layoffs Linger
Hundreds of positions in residential finance have been, or are slated, to be eliminated. Mergers are behind job cuts at two firms.

Mortgage Banker Hires New President
A 300-employee mortgage banking firm in the Midwest has announced that it has hired a new president.

Conventional Leads Tightening in Home Credit Stds
Residential lenders ratcheted up guidelines on mortgage lending last month, though conditions have eased over the past year.

MTA Soars to Highest Since 2011
The last time that the Monthly Treasury Index was this high, Dodd had recently departed Congress and Frank was still in office.

New Servicing Tech Highlights Niche Arenas
New products, new clients and a new ranking -- these are the latest items from the loan servicing technology provider grapevine.

Top Home Lending Community Banks
Among small community banks that focus mortgage loans, the top one has had to curtail portfolio lending to comply with regulations.

FHA Claim Deadlines Proposed
Lenders that service home loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration will face new deadlines on insurance claims under a proposed regulation.

ARM, Jumbo Business Accelerates
New mortgage activity ascended last week, and a surge in adjustable-rate and jumbo business led the improvement.


Mortgage Market Index 148 in week ended July 3
15-Year Appeal Jumps as Mortgage Rates Rise
Fixed rates on residential loans rose this past week. The increase, however, was more pronounced on longer-term loans than on 15-year mortgages -- making the shorter term more attractive.

Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Inch Up
The number of new bankruptcy filings made last month was up minimally on a month-over-month basis, though activity slowed from a year earlier.

HECM Production Surges to 22-Month High
It's been more than a year-and-a-half since the production of government-insured reverse mortgages was as strong as it was last month.

Mortgage Jobs Jump as US Unemployment Sinks
Estimated total monthly staffing in the mortgage industry jumped by more than 6,000 jobs. Meanwhile, employment across all sectors expanded, and the unemployment rate fell to the lowest level in more than seven years.

Fannie Delinquency at Pre-Conservatorship Level
Serious residential delinquency at the Federal National Mortgage Association fell to the lowest level since before it was thrust into conservatorship. New secondary activity, however, was worse.

Elevated HELOC Risk for Banks
The country's banks face elevated risk over the next two years on their holdings of home-equity lines of credit.

Huge Raises for GSE CEOs
Compensation for the chief executive officers of the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. could increase by more than 500 percent under a new compensation plan.

Stonegate Adding Direct Lending Jobs in AZ
Dozens of jobs in real estate finance are being added by Stonegate Mortgage Corp. in the Grand Canyon state.

Quarterly Agency MBS Issuance Highest Since 2013
Securitizations of agency mortgages finished the first half of the year on an up beat, with quarterly volume surging to the highest level since 2013.

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