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August 2014 Archive


Town, County Lose Appeals Against GSEs
A federal appeals judge ruled in favor of the government-sponsored enterprises in separate lawsuits filed by municipalities in two different states.

Wells Fargo Mortgage Files Stolen
More than a thousand customer files stolen from a dozen Wells Fargo Home Mortgage offices were used to rip off the identities of Wells Fargo clients.

BofA Says GSEs Knew What They Were Buying
Bank of America Corp. says the government sponsored enterprises knew what they were getting from Countrywide Financial Corp. and wants a jury verdict that left it with a huge penalty thrown out.

Portfolio Lender Formed From Acquisition
An acquisition by a Michigan financial institution provided a foundation for the creation of a portfolio lender that will invest in non-agency mortgages.

FHA Business Leads Drop in Mortgage Activity
An improvement in interest rates was overcome by the holiday effect, and new mortgage business slowed. Government-insured activity tumbled the most.

Mortgage Market Index 157 in week ended Aug. 29

Banks Expand Staffing, Increase Earnings
Even as the number of banks has diminished, staffing in the sector expanded from the previous quarter, and earnings improved.

Ocwen Servicer Rating Downgraded
A recent escalation in regulatory scrutiny of Ocwen Financial Corp. prompted the downgrade of a servicer rating at its subsidiary.

Mortgage Rates Hold at Year's Low
Long-term fixed rates, which already stood at a low for the year, maintained their position and are unlikely to rise in the next report.

Ginnie Updates ARM Requirements
Issuers of Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities will need to modify their disclosure practices on adjustable-rate mortgages.

Mortgage Complaint Database Could Be More Effective
While complaint data about financial services firms provide valuable information, the numbers need to be accompanied by perspective and the process should enhance consumer comparison shopping.

Pending Home Sales Exceed Expectations
Contracts for previously owned homes jumped to the highest level in more than a year and significantly exceeded analysts' expectations.

Freddie Could Save on Servicer Reimbursements
A government watchdog report indicates that the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. might be able to save millions of dollars by reviewing more servicer reimbursement reports before they are paid.

Alaska USA Increases Lending, Servicing
Alaska USA Federal Credit Union made quarter-over-quarter gains in lending activity. While servicing also increased, the credit union lost some staff members.

Home Repossessions Decline
The number of distressed residential borrowers to lose their homes to foreclosure last month was down. Serious delinquency held steady.

Fannie Requiring Seller-Servicer Employee Screening
Prospective employees of companies that are approved Fannie Mae sellers or servicers will need to be screened for exclusion from a regulatory list.

Freddie's Total Mortgage Portfolio Expands
Freddie Mac's new secondary business moved higher again, while both residential and multifamily delinquency, once again, moved lower. The firm's massive mortgage portfolio increased.

Servicing Income Holds as Portfolios Grow
Income from operations at independent mortgage servicers has been stable even as residential servicing portfolios have been growing.

Mortgage Lenders Lift Originations, Earnings
As residential loan originations at independent mortgage bankers moved higher, production earnings swung back into the black. But originations and earnings fell short of a year earlier.

Home Price Gains Lose Steam
Home price gains have lost strength, which could be a sign of more normalized housing market conditions. Federal Reserve actions, however, could break the calm.

Home Loan Delinquency Rate Sinks
The rate of past due payments on residential loans was down last month. Also improving was the foreclosure inventory rate.

Agencies, Regulators Missed Taylor Bean Red Flags
A report from the Office of Inspector General Federal Housing Finance Agency found that the housing finance agencies and regulators missed opportunities to avoid losses from the Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. debacle.

CMBS Delinquency Ticks Up in July
For the first time since 2012, the late payment rate on securitized commercial real estate loans moved higher. Out front of the deterioration were loans secured by office buildings.

Mortgage Bankers Cut Purchase Financing Forecast
The expected volume of loans used to finance home purchases was lowered for the current quarter and year.

Retail, Wholesale HECM Channels Both Off in June
A monthly drop in federally insured reverse mortgage production impacted retail and wholesale channels alike. Overall business has since moved higher.

New Home Sales Disappoint
New home sales unexpectedly declined last month, and it was the Northeast that created the biggest drag on the national market.

Goldman Agrees to $3 Billion in Repurchases
The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has agreed to repurchase more than $3 billion in residential mortgage-backed securities it sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Jumbo Mortgage Rates Surge
After hovering below conforming interest rates for more than four months, rates on jumbo mortgages leapt past conforming rates. Still, new jumbo business moved up more than any other category.

Mortgage Market Index 172 in week ended Aug. 22

Fastest Growing Mortgage Firms
Among America's 500 fastest-growing companies are a mortgage banker, a mortgage servicer and a property preservation service provider. A mortgage lead generation firm also made the list.

Several Industry Gatherings Slated Through December
Although the first half of the year is already over, opportunities for conferences still abound for mortgage industry professionals.

Younger Borrowers Have Lowest Mortgage Delinquency
Quarterly mortgage delinquency continued to improve, with loans to the youngest segment of the population performing the best.

CFPB Selects 12 Firms for eClosing Pilot
A dozen firms, more than half of which are lenders, have been selected by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to participate in a digital experiment.

Mortgage Rates Retreat, Unlikely to Rise
Long-term fixed rates on home loans declined to the lowest level so far this year, and all indications are that they won't be any higher in the next report.

Another Positive Real Estate Report
Sales of previously owned homes turned higher last month -- improving more than analysts had expected and adding another layer of optimism to the nation's housing market.

Proprietary Activity Drives Rise in Loan Modifications
The monthly volume of loan modifications that were completed edged up, though not much. The gain might have been stronger if it weren't for drop in government-supported activity.

Rebates on HECMs Could Benefit Seniors
The Department of Housing and Urban Development won't confirm if rebate pricing can be used to offset closing costs on home-equity conversion mortgages.

BofA's Government Settlement Biggest in US History
Bank of America Corp. has agreed to the largest single settlement between the government and any one company. The agreement resolves claims related to shoddy mortgage originations and securitizations.

Judge Rules RFC Lawsuits Can Proceed
Multiple lawsuits filed by a former unit of Residential Capital LLC against some big-name lenders over repurchase demands have been allowed to proceed.

MSRs On Over $5 Billion in Agency Loans for Sale
Two portfolios of mortgage servicing rights on more than $5 billion in agency home loans are on the market. One of the portfolios has far higher delinquency than the other.

GSE Refinances Bounce Up
After sinking in May, refinances of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans bounced higher -- though activity remains anemic compared to a year earlier.

Mortgage Servicer Hiring in Colorado
A mortgage servicer based in Colorado is running a recruiting campaign with plans to fill more than a hundred open positions.

Loan Processing Time, Refi Share at 3-Year Low
As refinance share fell to the lowest level in at least three years, so did the time it took to close a mortgage. Loan originators, meanwhile, closed fewer of the loan applications they started.

Ginnie Mae Lifts MBS Issuance 4 Months in a Row
For four consecutive months now, issuance of Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities has strengthened -- though annual activity is still set for a steep decline.

CFPB Expectations Outlined for Servicing Transfers
When the servicing on a home loan is being transferred, both the new servicer and the old servicer have certain obligations in order to ensure a smooth process for the borrower.

Housing Starts Exceed Expectations
A report on new home construction was stronger than had been expected by economists, breathing some life back into the nation's real estate market.

Serious Mortgage Delinquency Declines
The serious delinquency rate on first mortgages and junior liens moved lower last month and was also improved from a year earlier. Consumer delinquency plunged in Los Angeles.

Class Action Seeks to Shelter Strategic Defaulters
Class action certification is sought on a lawsuit filed on behalf of a borrower whose Florida property was foreclosed on and is now being sued for a deficiency balance even though he has moved to another state.

Nationstar Affiliate Cutting Mortgage Jobs
A financial services firm is unloading mortgage assets and eliminating mortgage jobs in North Texas. The company is affiliated with Nationstar Mortgage LLC -- which, itself, is laying off North Texas employees.

Biggest Mortgage Lenders Make Healthy Gains
Home lenders saw a healthy quarter-over-quarter increase in mortgage production -- with some companies making bigger gains than others. There was some jockeying for position among the top-10 players.

Servicing Off at Ocwen, U.S. Staffing Sinks
Although originations edged up at Ocwen Financial Corp., the servicing portfolio shrank. U.S. staffing was down, though offshore employment soared.

Nationstar Reducing Servicing Staff
Increased efficiency within its residential loan servicing division has Nationstar Mortgage LLC cutting mortgage jobs in three states.

Purchase Financing Forecast Reduced
This year's projected purchase production has been lowered, while next year's outlook was cut for both purchase financing and refinancing.

Bank Sues BofA Over Handling of Servicing
A small financial institution has filed a lawsuit against Bank of America Corp. over its handling of the servicing of loans acquired from Countrywide Home Loans.

BofA's Countrywide Losses Exceed $50 Billion
Bank of America Corp.'s 2008 acquisition of Countrywide Financial Corp. has cost it $50 billion, and the total continues to grow.

Mortgage Lenders Report Strong Activity
One mortgage lender has experienced record origination activity thanks to its correspondent division, while another lender that made a recent wholesale acquisition is also reporting record activity.

Freddie Changes Seller Approval Requirements
Changes are being made to the approval requirements for subsidiaries of some Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. seller-servicers.

Mortgage Business Fails to Bounce Back
Even as fixed mortgage rates dipped below 4.5 percent, a resurgence remained illusive. Adjustable-rate mortgages delivered the weakest performance.

Mortgage Market Index 170 for the week ended Aug. 15

MLOs Among 100s of Planned Hirings at Citizens
With some of the proceeds from an anticipated initial public offering, Citizens Financial Group Inc. plans to hire hundreds of sales people -- including mortgage loan originators.

Failed Bank's Founder, Directors Agree to Settle
The founder of a Florida bank that failed four years ago and seven of its former directors have agreed to settle for more than $5 million allegations that they played a role in the bank's demise.

Tax Break Takes Some of Sting Out of BofA Settlement
Bank of America Corp. is reportedly on the verge of a massive settlement with the government over toxic mortgages securities, and a chunk of that amount could be tax deductible.

Appraisal Service Providers Team Up
Several valuation firms have joined forces to improve client product offerings. One service provider is supporting trade groups, and individuals at two other firms have been recognized for achievements.

Rates Slip and Could Ease Further
Interest rates on home loans moved moderately lower this past week and could continue that trend into the next report.

Investor Class Action Filed Against Ocwen
A federal lawsuit has been filed on behalf of investors of Ocwen Financial Corp.'s stock -- some who have seen their investments tumble by more than a third during the past two months.

Continued Improvement in Radian Performance
For five straight months, new business has improved at Radian Guaranty Inc. -- with last month's activity reaching the highest level in nearly a year. Delinquency also continued to improve.

Sequential New Foreclosure Filings Up In July
New foreclosure filings moved up on a month-over-month basis, as did total filings. A Texas town led the deterioration. But activity was down across the board from a year earlier.

Loan Production, Headcount Increase at Churchill
This year's second-quarter mortgage originations spiked for Churchill Mortgage, while the home lender also grew its staffing.

2nd Recent Disability Discrimination Settlement
For the second time in as many weeks, a large home lender has agreed to settle allegations of discriminating against persons who receive disability income.

Mortgage Origination Forecast Trimmed
Expected originations for this year and next year have been reduced -- impacting the outlook for both refinancing and home purchase financing.

Lender, AMC Settle With CFPB
A national home lender is accused of using bait-and-switch tactics, overcharging prospective borrowers for services provided by its appraisal management company and not disclosing third-party affiliation.

Home Price Gains Fall to Lowest Level Since 2012
It's been more than two years since residential properties prices have increased as little as they did in the second quarter.

Input Sought on Single GSE Security
A single security that would be issued and guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac for trading in the to-be-announced market has been proposed.

BECU Beats Year Earlier Lending Activity
Of lenders covered to date by Mortgage Daily, A Tukwila, Wash.-based financial institution became the first credit union this quarter to see positive year-over-year origination growth. Loan servicing and employee count also jutted ahead.

Non-QM Product Launches
A new program has been launched that provides home financing for borrowers who don't necessarily meet the requirements for a Qualified Mortgage.

Ocwen Restating Income
Ocwen Financial Corp. has disclosed that it will restate its financial statements. The adjustment will effectively move income reported for this year to 2013.

New American Lifts Lending, Servicing and Staffing
Broker Services Inc. DBA New American Funding became just the second lender of those reported to date by Mortgage Daily to see upward growth in annual quarterly comparison. Servicing and staffing also spiked.

Servicing Down, Earnings Worse at Walter
While Walter Investment Management Corp. was able to expand staffing and push production higher, its servicing portfolio was down and earnings deteriorated.

FHA Commissioner's Departure a Loss for Industry
The departure of the head of the Federal Housing Administration is considered a loss to the agency and the mortgage industry by her peers on both sides of the isle. Word of the departure comes as the agency has been criticized for its handling of indemnifications.

Guaranteed Rate's Originations, Staffing Climb Over Q1
With the three months ending June, Chicago-based Guaranteed Rate Inc.'s home loan production shot up over the first quarter. Staff count also increased, but servicing for the lender decreased.

Impact from FICO Changes Won't Be Immediate
Upcoming changes to the nation's dominant credit scoring model are expected to benefit some prospective borrowers, though the impact won't be immediate.

Biggest Mortgage Insurers
New business during the second quarter at the nation's mortgage insurance companies moved solidly higher from the first quarter. American International Group's M.I. subsidiary was the biggest, while a company based in the Caribbean saw the biggest gain.

Allied Loses Lawsuit Against HUD
A former mortgage net branching giant has lost its legal battle with the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

MGIC Performance Best in Years
New business at MGIC Guaranty Insurance Corp. hasn't been this good since at least 2009 -- and likely longer. The same can be said for delinquency.

Refi, ARM Activity Up as Purchases Slip
Prompted by declining rates -- refinances and adjustable-rate mortgages led an increase in weekly mortgage activity. Purchase financing, however, didn't fare quite so well.

Mortgage Market Index 174 in week ended Aug. 8

Impac Servicing Slips as Originations Increase
Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. pushed up mortgage production from the previous period but saw the size of its servicing portfolio fall.

Taxpayers Net Over $31 Billion From GSE Bailouts
Earnings at the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. were down as settlement proceeds diminished. Taxpayers have reaped a $31 billion return from their bailout of the two government-sponsored enterprises.

HELOC Default Threat Heightened in California
A wave of defaults forecasted in the next few years on home-equity lines of credit are expected to hit California especially hard.

Fannie Pursuing Florida Deficiency Balances
Hundreds of lawsuits have been recently filed in South Florida against foreclosed borrowers on loans owned by Fannie Mae.

SunTrust Discloses Federal Probe
On the heels of two major settlements over foreclosures and loan modifications, SunTrust Banks Inc. has disclosed that it is being probed over attorney expenses on foreclosures.

10-Year Yield At 13-Month Low
It's been more than a year since the yield on the 10-year Treasury note has been this low, positioning fixed mortgage rates to wipe out the past week's increase.

PennyMac Staffing, Servicing and Originations Up
Compared to the previous quarter, PennyMac Financial Services Inc. grew its headcount, expanded its servicing portfolio and pushed up its mortgage production.

Ellie Mae to Acquire AllRegs
The mortgage industry's curator of lending guidelines is being acquired by the developer of widely used origination software.

Mortgage Delinquency, Foreclosures at Pre-Crisis Levels
Both the rate of delinquency and the rate of foreclosures have retreated to the lowest levels since prior to the onset of the financial crisis.

FIRREA Saves Chase Again in Lawsuit
For the second time in the past month, JPMorgan Chase & Co. has prevailed in litigation because of provisions in the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989.

Big Jump in First Choice Originations
Mortgage originations at First Choice Loan Services Inc. jumped from the first quarter and fared well compared to a year earlier. Meanwhile, employee headcount increased.

Penalty Prompts Tentative $17 bil BofA Settlement
The chief executive officer of Bank of America Corp. was prompted to reach a tentative $17 billion settlement with the Department of Justice after it was hit with a $1.3 billion penalty last week.

Stonegate YOY Origination Growth Surpasses Industry
While most lenders' home loan originations trekked downhill in second-quarter annual comparisons, one company bucked the trend.

Nationstar Lags Industry Gain in Originations
While most of the rest of the industry enjoyed a nice quarter-over-quarter gain in home loan production, business at Nationstar Mortgage LLC slowed. Its mortgage servicing portfolio was also lower.

Multifamily Issuance Sinks from 2013 at Fannie
The Federal National Mortgage Association's quarterly securitizations of apartment loans tumbled from a year earlier. Business was up, however, on a quarter-over-quarter basis.

Month-Over-Month Increase in Bankruptcy Filings
While consumer and business bankruptcies have retreated from a year ago, filing activity deteriorated from the previous month.

Genworth Enhances M.I. Premiums
Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corp. is improving rates for some borrowers and raising them for others. It's also accommodating Fannie Mae's guidelines on sales of real-estate-owned properties.

PHH Production Grows as Servicing Shrinks
Quarterly mortgage production picked up at PHH Mortgage and could move higher again. Losses were cut, as was its servicing portfolio.

Former Fannie Employee Gets Break on Prison Sentence
A former Fannie Mae employee who was caught taking a bribe got a break on the amount of time he'll spend behind bars when the prosecutor relented on pursuing him as a public official.

FHA, VA Help Push Up Credit Availability
With a little help from government mortgage programs, access to home financing last month was at its most flexible level in three years.

New Regulations Blamed for Higher Closing Costs
The cost to finance a home purchase went up this year, and new regulations were blamed. The state with the highest costs wasn't even among the five-worst last year, while 2013's lowest cost state is now among the five highest.

Jumbo, Nontraditional Lending Take Biggest QM Hit
Some banks have seen lower approval rates for conforming borrowers as a result of Qualified Mortgage and Ability-to-Repay requirements. Jumbo and nontraditional borrowers fared far worse.

Microscopic Drop in MTA Enough for New Record
By less than one tenth of one basis point, the Monthly Treasury Average managed to establish a new all-time low.

Resources Help Lenders With Mortgage Compliance
From toolkits to templates, a handful of mortgage service providers offer products aimed at helping lenders keep current on regulatory rules already in effect or slated for nearing implementation dates. As well, some service providers feature free information hubs aimed at helping mortgage professionals with their workflow while staying compliance savvy.

Wholesale Lender Offering Alt-QM Program
A new program accommodates higher debt-to-income ratios, self-employed borrowers and jumbo investor loans -- among other things.

HECM Originations Remain Weak
Originations for the government's reverse mortgage program moved slightly higher last month but remained anemic by historical standards.

CMBS, Hotel Originations Strongest Among CRE
Hotel loans and securitized commercial mortgages saw the biggest quarter-over-quarter production gains, while health care loans and securitized activity made the most headway from a year ago.

Freddie Unloading Distressed Portfolio Loans
A sale of distressed mortgages is the first of its kind for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.

Rising Rates Hold Back New Mortgage Business
Deterioration in fixed rates helped keep new mortgage activity from improving this past week. Jumbo business was the worst performer as jumbo rates lost some of their edge.

Mortgage Market Index 169 in week ended Aug. 1

Genworth M.I.'s Biz, Delinquency and Income Improve
Quarterly new business jumped by more than half at Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corp., while loan delinquency declined and earnings increased.

Agency MBS Issuance at Highest Level in 9 Months
The volume of mortgage-backed securities issued on behalf of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae was stronger than during any month since last fall.

MGIC Extends PreQual Periods, Adds Credit Tiers
Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp. has extended the amount of time its pre-qualifications are valid and enhanced its credit tiers.

Mortgage Employment Expands
Mortgage jobs at banks and non-banks expanded by an estimated 5,600 positions in June. Across all industries, the unemployment rate inched up last month.

Best Month This Year For Fannie
New business rose to the highest level this year at the Federal National Mortgage Association, while delinquency was at its lowest level in nearly six years.

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