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August 2013 Archive

Fannie's Delinquency Lowest Since '08
The last time serious residential delinquency was this low at Fannie Mae was in 2008. New business inched higher.

ARM Business Slows as Fixed Rates Retreat
New mortgage business mostly held up this week, though a decline was noted for adjustable-rate mortgages as fixed interest rates eased. Purchase financing also slowed.

Mortgage Market Index 191 for week ended Aug. 30

Mortgage Conference Calendar Filling Fast
Marketing, servicing and credit unions are among some of the topics scheduled for discussion at upcoming mortgage-related conferences. Other events will touch upon real estate valuations, quality assurance and the Federal Housing Administration.

New M.I. Business Increases
Mortgage insurers have improved their new business for five straight months now, though defaults have increased four months in a row.

Radian Deal Limits Liability on Freddie Loans
A deal reached by Radian Guaranty Inc. limits its exposure on home loans that are guaranteed or owned by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. and cuts its delinquency rate by around 119 basis points.

Hundreds More BofA Employees Laid Off in Ohio
Bank of America Corp., which has already been aggressively cutting jobs across the country, is eliminating hundreds more. Production employees in Ohio handling government refinances are impacted this time around.

Fixed Rates Down, Hybrid ARMs Up
The Middle East conflict helped pull down fixed mortgage rates this week. But the same could not be said for hybrid adjustable rates.

Mortgage Servicing Profits Soar
As independent mortgage servicers have grown their servicing portfolios, per-loan servicing profits have soared. Meanwhile, the average servicing employee is handling more loans.

Lenders Earn Less Per Loan Off More Originations
Although mortgage production picked up at independent lenders during the second quarter, per-loan earnings were lower and per-employee originations slacked off. Smaller firms earned more per loan, but larger lenders closed more units per employee.

Another Decline in Distressed Loan Levels
Serious mortgage delinquency declined for the seventh consecutive month, while the foreclosure rate retreated and completed foreclosures continued falling.

Fed President Doesn't See Dire Impact from QE Exit
A decision to scale back the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing purchases could come at an upcoming meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee. But the head of one of the Federal Reserve banks doesn't see rising rates killing the housing recovery.

Mortgage Broker Advantages
Mortgage brokers are touting five reasons why they can do a better job helping prospective borrowers than bankers.

Freddie's New Business See Saws
For four months, new business at the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. has bounced up and down within a fixed range. While the latest bounce was lower, secondary volume and delinquency both were better than a year earlier.

Fannie Addresses M.I. Bidding Instructions Discrepancy
The Federal National Mortgage Association has addressed situations where mortgage insurance companies are providing servicers with foreclosure bidding instructions that differ from its own.

Pending Home Sales Down 2nd Consecutive Month
The number of homes that are under contract dropped last month as increasing mortgage rates and rising home prices are taking a toll in some high-cost markets.

Revised QRM Rule Proposed
A revised risk retention rule has been proposed by federal regulators and agencies. While mortgage bankers are happy with some of the revisions, they still take issue with other aspects of the proposal.

Concern Lingers Amid Rising Home Prices
Despite another good report card for the U.S. housing market, there are some signs that are cause for concern.

Vendors Not Ready for CFPB Rules
A majority of vendors used by the mortgage industry have not indicated whether they are prepared for new mortgage rules. Community banks are most vulnerable.

Hotel Loans Lead CMBS Delinquency Decline
Past-due payments on commercial real estate loans that have been securitized fell to the lowest level in years, and hotel loans led the decline.

Top Fannie Servicers
The Federal National Mortgage Association has come out with its latest ranking of mortgage servicers by peer group.

New President at PrimeLending
The new president at PrimeLending has spent time at some of the nation's biggest residential lenders, while the resume of its new executive vice president includes tenure at some former mortgage giants.

2 promotions announced

MERS Wins Recording Fee Lawsuit
In its war with counties across the nation over recording fees, MERS has won a battle in Minnesota.

BofA Lawsuit Against FDIC Dismissed
A $1.75 billion federal lawsuit filed on behalf of investors of a former subsidiary of failed Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. has been dismissed.

Credit Product Promises Better Predictability
A new credit product utilizes more details about past credit behavior to do a better job of predicting future credit trends.

Mortgage Bankers Up Q3 Origination Outlook
Mortgage bankers moved up their expectations for residential loan originations during the current quarter -- with purchases and refinances both benefiting.

Loan Performance Resumes Improving
Just a month after early stage delinquency shot up, servicers reined in late payments. Loans in foreclosure continued their retreat.

FHFA Wins Dispute With City of Chicago
A federal judge has ruled in favor of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a dispute over the government-sponsored enterprises' liability on properties in disrepair.

Downpayment Loans Available for Some CA Homebuyers
A new program for California borrowers will provide a no-interest downpayment loan to compliment purchase transactions with government-insured first mortgages.

Failed Banks Had Nearly $600 Million in Assets
Last week's failure of two banks that combined had nearly $600 million in assets is expected to result in $90 million in losses.

Mortgage Jobs Take Hit in Q2
Declining delinquency drove mortgage servicers to reduce headcount in the second quarter. The biggest casualties were suffered by the nation's largest servicers, while up-and-coming servicers added to their payrolls. Preliminary data for the current and upcoming quarters indicate the pain will deepen.

Slowing Refis, Falling Delinquency Behind Many Layoffs
When it comes to mortgage job cuts, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. A wave of layoffs in real estate finance are being driven by a decline in refinance originations and loan delinquency.

ARMs, FHA Lead Uptick in New Mortgage Business
New business picked up this week thanks to an increase in new activity for adjustable-rate mortgages, government-insured loans and purchase financing. Jumbo activity slowed despite more competitive jumbo pricing.

Mortgage Market Index 193 for week ended Aug. 23

Mortgage Broker Effects Fannie Short Sale Change
A Florida mortgage broker's personal efforts have prompted Fannie Mae to change its guidelines for borrowers who have been through a short sale.

Citi Eliminates SC Jobs
A decline in the volume of distressed home loans has prompted Citigroup Inc. to notify more than a hundred South Carolina employees that they will be laid off.

Time to Clear Distressed Inventory Worsens
Although the number of properties in the nation's distressed inventory has fallen, longer liquidation times have increased the number of months it would take to clear out the inventory.

Rates Not Finished Rising
With an end to quantitative easing in sight, fixed rates moved higher. All signs point to a continued run-up through at least the end of next year. But there was no increase this week for adjustable-rate mortgages.

5/3 Charged With Discrimination
Subsidiaries of Fifth Third Bancorp were charged along with a mortgage broker with discrimination because they required loan applicants to verify the duration of disability income.

Risk of Valuation Fraud Diminishes
The risk of mortgage fraud edged higher thanks to deterioration in occupancy fraud. But the risk of appraisal fraud was down on a quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year basis.

Fannie Lifts Refi Outlook
Despite an environment of rising rates, the latest mortgage finance forecast from Fannie Mae has refinance originations coming in nearly $100 billion more this year than in its last forecast. Even next year's refinance outlook was lifted.

Ocwen Servicing Portfolio to Exceed Half Trillion
Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC's mortgage servicing portfolio is projected to surpass $0.5 trillion in the next several months.

CFPB Examinations Uncover Servicer Deficiencies
A report released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau identified several deficiencies at mortgage servicers. Among non-bank servicers, compliance programs were inadequate or lacking.

Massive Mortgage Layoffs at Wells Fargo
Thousands of mortgage jobs are being eliminated by Wells Fargo & Co. as the lender reacts to declining home loan production. The latest round of layoffs is on top of more than a thousand job cuts disclosed since last month.

Merger to Create Retail Mortgage Powerhouse
The announced merger of two mortgage bankers is projected to create one of the largest independent retail lenders in the country.

Altisource Announces Acquisition
Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A. has disclosed an agreement to make an acquisition that could cost it up to $150 million.

Home Sales Exceed Expectations
Sales of existing homes came in stronger than originally expected, exceeded the prior month's rate and jumped to the highest level in nearly four years.

Loan Prospects Becoming Better Qualified
The pool of potential mortgage borrowers has increased in quality, according to a new report. Consumers in five states stand out among the most qualified -- with the financially healthiest borrower prospects located in the nation's capitol.

Mortgage Lenders Lower Standards
Faced with declining originations, mortgage bankers lowered their lending standards last month across the board -- approving borrowers with lower credit scores, higher loan-to-value ratios and higher debt-to-income ratios. Refinance share plunged to the lowest level in at least two years.

Servicer is Fastest Growing Mortgage Company
In all, nine mortgage-related businesses are among the country's 500 fastest-growing companies. While an appraisal management company was the fastest-growing mortgage-related company last year, this year's top spots were taken by two distressed loan service providers.

Mortgage Fraud SARs Sink
Reports of suspected mortgage fraud tumbled by a quarter last year thanks to fewer repurchases. The dollar amount of suspected mortgage fraud plummeted by nearly $10 billion.

Big City Delinquency Deteriorates
Three of the nation's biggest cities experienced significant deterioration in the performance of consumer credit last month, while the nation as a whole saw a far more moderate rise in seriously late payments. Junior liens outperformed first liens.

State Seizes Mortgage Firms
A pair of Texas firms that collected bi-weekly mortgage payments from borrowers and were supposed to forward them on to the servicers have been forced into receivership.

Mortgage Firms Still Hiring
Although rising interest rates and falling delinquencies are forcing many mortgage companies to scale back their staffs, some firms are still recruiting. Two mortgage employers will have an easier time attracting quality employees as a result of being recognized among the best local employers.

Bank Mortgage Subsidiary Mostly Suspending Ops
Business operations at the mortgage lending subsidiary of a Massachusetts bank are grinding to a halt thanks to declining production.

OIG Report Says GSEs Delaying Write-Offs
An inspector general report is critical of Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's delayed implementation of regulatory requirements that will result in billions of dollars in losses.

FHA Cuts Waiting Time for Bankrupt, Foreclosed Borrowers
Some borrowers who faced extenuating circumstances that forced them into a bankruptcy or foreclosure won't have to wait as long to qualify for a mortgage that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration under new guidelines.

Some Shifting Among Biggest Mortgage Lenders
Among the largest mortgage lenders in the country, two companies traded positions as industry-wide quarterly originations edged up. Initial indications are that the current quarter's production is on track for a decline. Meanwhile, the second- and third-biggest servicers traded rankings.

ARM Business Slows, Jumbo Pricing Jumps
A decline in new mortgage business this week was led by adjustable-rate mortgages. Meanwhile, the spread between conforming and jumbo mortgages widened by 8 basis points. But pricing on 15-year loans became more competitive -- though the outlook is for a big bump in fixed rates in the next report.

Mortgage Market Index 186 for week ended Aug. 16

Capital One Acquiring Multifamily Lender
Capital One Financial Corp.'s acquisition of a commercial real estate lender is expected to make the company one of the biggest multifamily lenders in the country.

Recent CRE Secondary Deals Include $1.6 Billion Pool
Among several recently announced secondary transactions that involve commercial real estate loans is a $1.6 billion pool. One player in the CRE secondary market noted that lately, prices are sharply higher.

Wells Fargo Turns Away Eminent Domain Protesters
In response to a group of protesters who demanded to speak to top officials, Wells Fargo & Co. denied their request and locked its doors "in order to protect the safety of our customers and team members."

Mortgage Insurance Success Story
For half a century, United Guaranty Corp. has been insuring the nation's home loans. It has survived some difficult times to become the top mortgage insurance company in the country.

Eminent Domain Dispute Deepens
Offers to buy non-agency securitized home loans at deep discounts from a California town that is threatening to use its powers of eminent domain have been rebuffed.

HUD Revised Guidelines on Outstanding Collections
Mortgagees will soon be required to take specific steps on loans that will be insured by the Federal Housing Administration when the borrower has outstanding collection accounts.

Mortgage Rates Set to Jump
Fixed rates on mortgages were mostly unchanged this week. But worries about the Federal Reserve's potential exit from its bond-buying spree have the 30-year mortgage poised to ascend.

The Case for Government Supported HECMs
While there is plenty of opposition to the government's support of the home-equity conversion mortgage program, there are also several reason why continued government support makes sense.

3 Straight Yrs of Gains for Home Purchase Financing
Three consecutive years of rising home purchase financing has next year's forecast for purchase mortgage production up more than 40 percent from 2011's recent low. The outlook for refinance originations, however, is far more dismal.

HUD Comments on Eminent Domain
In a letter to lawmakers, the Department of Housing and Urban Development expressed concern about the use of eminent domain by local governments to seize performing loans held in residential mortgage-backed securities to reduce the outstanding balances. But the agency said it is too early to determine whether loans modified through the eminent domain process can be insured by the Federal Housing Administration.

Foreclosures Rise
No matter which metric you consider -- new foreclosure filings, total foreclosure filings or real-estate-owned filings -- activity worsened last month. Florida maintained its standing as the worst state for foreclosures.

New filings up 6% in July

New Appraisal Offerings Promise More Accurate Valuations
Service providers are using alliances, technology and enhanced offerings to improve the accuracy of real estate valuations. The improvements are being made to automated valuation models as well as to the appraisal ordering process.

New HEL Lender Emerges
A company that has traditionally been known as a credit card lender is now venturing into home-equity loans.

Variety of Mortgage Lenders Report Growth
Strong production has been reported by mortgage lenders that originate purchase financing, reverse mortgages and housing finance agency products. Even a company that facilitates home loans through family members recently reached a milestone.

Servicers Complete Fewer Proprietary Modifications
Although there was an uptick in the monthly number of government-supported loan modifications, the level of proprietary modifications completed plunged.

3 Jumbo RMBS Issuances
Three residential mortgage-backed securities transactions are being securitized by three different issuers. Al three deals are backed by jumbo loans.

Secondary Marketing Program Expanded at Bank
The mortgage lending subsidiary of a bank operating from Kansas is enhancing its market presence with an expansion of its secondary market operations.

Top Commercial Mortgage Servicers
The three biggest servicers of commercial real estate loans as of the end of 2012 maintained their standing in a mid-year report -- though two saw the size of their portfolios decline. There was a shakeup among the fourth and fifth biggest players.

From Startup to Hundreds of Employees in 6 Years
An Andover, Minn., mortgage firm that launched during the heat of the mortgage meltdown has survived -- growing its ranks to hundreds of employees.

Operational Metrics Improve at Impac
A public filing by Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. indicates that staffing has expanded, servicing is growing and delinquency is declining. Quarterly originations were higher, and full-year production is projected to increase by a quarter. The re-entry into warehouse lending is expected to boost correspondent production.

Associated Bank Lifts Mortgage Production
Quarterly residential lending accelerated at Associated Banc-Corp, while the volume of home loans serviced managed to creep higher.

Credit Union Conference Tackles Mortgage Compliance
Dealing with federal regulations in daily operations and how to capture more and new mortgage market shares was high on the agenda at the 2013 CU Members Mortgage National Lending Conference in Dallas last month. The two-day conference sessions provided attendants with information and factors to consider when addressing current mortgage lending issues specific to credit unions.

HUD, DOJ Overstate Criminal Charges
Data previously reported by the Department of Justice, Department of Housing and Urban Development and Federal Trade Commission about the number of criminal defendants charged with allegedly abusing distressed borrowers was overstated by nearly 400 percent. The dollar amount involved was overstated by more than 900 percent.

New Law Impacts HECM Lending
Legislation passed last week will enable the Federal Housing Administration to take steps that will help eliminate a massive deficit in the government-insured reverse mortgage program.

Law Fails to Break Up Ratings Agency Concentration
Federal legislation that was intended to break up the oligopoly among credit ratings agencies actually made it harder for new players to enter the lucrative market for structured securities ratings -- with the three major ratings agencies capturing 97 percent of all ratings business during a recent 12-month period.

Losses on Bank's Failure Estimated at Third of Assets
Expected losses from the failure of a small Wisconsin bank are projected to amount to nearly a third of its total assets.

ARM Activity Increases, Jumbos Jump
Although there was little change in overall new mortgage activity this week, a nice increase was posted for jumbo transactions. Adjustable-rate mortgage volume was also higher -- nearly doubling from a year ago -- as a bigger share of prospective borrowers turned to ARM products. Rates could be lower in the next report.

Mortgage Market Index 192 for week ended August 9

HAMP Gain Increases
The latest report on government-supported loan modifications showed the biggest gain in active modifications in more than a year.

888,043 active loan modifications in June

Thousands of Mortgage Layoffs in Process at Chase
As the level of distressed home loans continues to fall at JPMorgan Chase & Co., the level of mortgage layoffs is soaring.

PennyMac Production Inches Higher
Residential loan production crept slightly higher at PennyMac Financial Services Inc. Growth in the mortgage servicing portfolio, however, was more aggressive.

MGIC Performance Improves
New mortgage insurance business increased, and the level of delinquency declined during July at MGIC Guaranty Insurance Corp.

UG Releasing QM-Ready Products
United Guaranty Corp. has unveiled a line of products that will make it easy to comply with new Qualified Mortgage regulations well ahead of the implementation date.

PNC Discloses Disparate Impact Investigation
A government investigation underway at The PNC Financial Services Group Inc. is looking at foreclosure expenses on agency loans. A separate investigation is in process over potential disparate impact that resulted from loan pricing practices.

Mortgage Rates Move Little But Could Drop
There was little action with mortgage rates this week, though they could be lower by next week's report.

Delinquency High in SE, Foreclosures High in NE
The rate of delinquency, including foreclosures, was down on a national basis. States in the Southeast had some of the highest delinquency rates, while the Northeast was where some of the highest foreclosure rates resided. Although the government insured foreclosure rate improved, deterioration was noted in the delinquency rate.

Freddie Warns of Eminent Domain Lawsuit
In a conference call with investors, the general counsel for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. warned that the secondary lender could file a lawsuit to protect its interest in non-agency residential mortgage-backed securities.

Fannie Dividends to Treasury at Nearly 90% of Bailout Amount
With a more than $10 billion second-quarter profit, dividends paid by Fannie Mae to the Treasury Department will reach nearly 90 percent of the amount taxpayers have shelled out to keep the secondary lender in the black.

Confirmation of FHFA Director Uncertain
President Barack Obama's choice to run the regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is by no means a shoo-in.

Wisconsin Servicing Employees Being Laid Off by Chase
Declining defaults were cited by JPMorgan Chase & Co. as the reason it is eliminating nearly 100 positions in Wisconsin.

Decline in Distressed Loans Drives Chase SC Layoffs
After laying off nearly a thousand employees earlier this year at a South Carolina office, JPMorgan Chase & Co. has indicated that it will eliminate the remaining positions.

Chase Discloses Investigation by DOJ's Criminal Division
Among multiple matters facing JPMorgan Chase & Co. that are related to residential mortgage-backed securities is an investigation by the criminal division of the U.S. Department of Justice. The financial services giant is also dealing with alleged activity on whole-loan transactions.

Investors File Lawsuit Over Eminent Domain
A lawsuit filed on behalf of investors in private-label residential mortgage-backed securities has made its way to a federal court in California. Defendants include the company that has been peddling the use of eminent domain to seize performing loans and a California city that has already started offering discounted prices for securitized loans. The first batch of offers are discounted by as much as 89 percent of the current balances.

Walter Originations and Staffing Soar, Servicing Slips
Quarterly mortgage originations at Walter Investment Management Corp. skyrocketed and are poised to continue ascending. Staffing and earnings also soared. While the size of the mortgage servicing portfolio slipped, a robust pipeline of mortgage servicing rights is likely to reverse the decline.

Record Business at Radian
Radian Guaranty Inc. insured more home loans in July than at any other month in its history. In addition, delinquency was at its lowest level in at least four years.

Slowing Refis Behind Hundreds of Wells Fargo Layoffs
Increasing interest rates on home loans are driving down refinance originations and prompting production layoffs -- including more than 700 at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

BofA Narrowly Avoids $200k Fine in Botched Modification
A $220,000 fine imposed by a bankruptcy judge against Bank of America Corp. has been narrowly avoided thanks to an approved settlement. Still, the bank will fork over a hefty sum.

BofA Servicing Employees Being Laid Off
The planned closing of a center in Pennsylvania that handles servicing on home loans will result in hundreds of layoffs at Bank of America Corp.

Foreclosure Timelines to Increase More Rapidly in Non-Judicial States
A new ratings agency report indicates that increasing foreclosure timelines are eating into the wallets of investors of residential mortgage-backed securities. One surprising finding is that the rate of increase is expected to be higher in states where mortgage servicers are not required to utilize the courts to foreclose.

Multifamily Business, Profits Higher at Freddie
Quarterly secondary activity in Freddie Mac's multifamily business managed a small gain even as single-family business was slightly lower. Profits, meanwhile, were solidly higher.

Business Drops at Ginnie
Despite a slight increase in the securitization of jumbo loans and reverse mortgages, issuance at the Government National Mortgage Association slowed last month.

Florida Firm Defrauded Fannie, Freddie
The vice president of a Florida mortgage firm has admitted that he withheld millions of dollars in proceeds from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on loans that had been paid off.

Government Announces Mortgage Securities Actions
U.S. government agencies have announced multiple actions against issuers of mortgage securities that allegedly violated federal securities laws.

Mortgage Delinquency Headed to 5-Year Low
The quarterly rate of past-due payments on residential loans improved again, and the rate is expected to fall to the lowest level in five years during the current quarter.

Lenders Collecting More in Origination Fees
A new report on closing costs indicates that U.S. mortgage originator fees are averaging 8 percent more this year than in 2012.

Lending Standards Ease, Demand Up
A quarterly survey of banks indicates that as lending standards on commercial and residential mortgages have loosened, demand has grown stronger.

MetLife, SunTrust Reach CRE Origination Deal
MetLife Inc. and SunTrust Banks Inc. have reached a deal where SunTrust will fund commercial real estate loans originated by MetLife.

Record Originations, Earnings at Nationstar
Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. reported record mortgage originations and record earnings. Growth slowed, however, for the mortgage servicing portfolio -- which came in more than $100 billion less than Nationstar expected three months ago.

Stonegate Grows Business
New loan fundings accelerated at Stonegate Mortgage Corp. In addition, the lender's mortgage servicing portfolio expanded and staffing grew.

11-Month Low for MTA
The Monthly Treasury Average fell to its lowest level in nearly a year and is likely to fall further this month.

Ally Stiffed on Warehouse Line
The owner of a California mortgage banking firm is facing criminal charges for allegedly defrauding Ally Financial Inc. on a $10 million warehouse line of credit.

2013 Bankruptcies On Pace for Post-Crisis Low
Despite an uptick in the number of bankruptcy filings last month, this year is on pace to see fewer filings than at any point since the financial crisis erupted.

Credit Conditions Continue to Thaw
A recently launched index indicates that credit conditions in real estate finance have continued to ease for several months now. The latest improvement was helped along by product offerings for cashout, high loan-to-value ratios and low credit scores.

Failed Fla Bank Had High Concentration of CRE Loans
A Florida bank with a heavy concentration of commercial real estate assets failed last week -- bringing this year's mortgage-related casualty count to more than three dozen.

U.S. Bank Adding Hundreds of Mo. Jobs
Hundreds of new jobs in mortgage servicing and technology are planned by U.S. Bancorp for a location in the St. Louis region.

Independent Firm Tops Reverse Lending in July
Federally insured reverse mortgage production moved higher on a monthly basis and has surged by nearly half on a year-over-year basis. Although reverse lending subsidiaries of larger mortgage lenders have recently dominated the sector, a 77 percent month-over-month increase at an independent firm thrust it into the top position during July.

Bank Loses Dodd Frank Lawsuit
A federal lawsuit filed last year by a Texas bank and two other groups challenging the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act has been dismissed. But an appeal might follow.

Led by Refis, Mortgage Business Slows as Rates Rise
Refinance activity led an overall decline in mortgage activity thanks to higher interest rates. As jumbo pricing became less competitive, 15-year pricing was more attractive.

Mortgage Market Index 197 for week ended August 2

Ocwen Originations Off, Servicing Subsides
Residential loans originations were down at Ocwen Financial Corp., and the mortgage servicing portfolio was lower as the company moved some of its servicing to related entities. Earnings, however, surged.

Mortgage Lending Employment Expands
Monthly employment in the mortgage business expanded and has grown by 9 percent over the past year. The job market for all U.S. industries also improved.

Mortgage Originations, Staffing Increase at Fairway
Quarterly mortgage production improved at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. In addition, the mortgage banker grew its staffing level.

Office Loans Lead Improvement in CMBS Delinquency
Delinquency on securitized commercial real estate loans, which had already reached a nearly three-year low, fell even further. Loans secured by office properties had the greatest improvement, though apartment loans weren't far behind.

Fixed Mortgage Rates Rise, Set to Surge
Fixed mortgage rates moved higher this week and appear likely to jump more than 10 basis points by the next report. One-year adjustable-rate mortgages, however, moved lower.

GSEs Win Alabama Fee Lawsuit
A judge has ruled in favor of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and their regulator in a federal lawsuit alleging that the secondary lenders skirted real estate transfer taxes.

Rental-Backed Securitizations Emerge
Investors have recently had success acquiring portfolios of rental properties, and securitization of those assets could help increase the size of that market.

New Program Pairs Investors With Borrowers
A new program enables investors to take equity positions in residential properties while reducing borrowing costs for homeowners.

2013 Agency Issuance Exceeds $1 Trillion
Fixed-rate agency issuance during the first seven months of 2013 topped a trillion dollars. Volume would have been even greater had it not been for a decline last month at the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. and the Government National Mortgage Association.

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