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October 2013 Archive

GOP Holds Up FHFA Director Confirmation
Senate Republicans angered the White House Thursday when they successfully blocked his nomination to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Mortgage Rates Off Again, Likely to Hold
Interest rates on home loans fell again, and all signs point to similar rates in the next report.

EverBank Continues Shrinking Mortgage Business
Just a few months after disclosing plans to closed its wholesale lending channel, EverBank Financial Corp. announced an agreement to downsize its mortgage servicing business.

Wholesale Lenders Expand Offerings, Clients
Several wholesale mortgage lenders have recently widened their offerings and expanded their customer bases. Among the new offerings are loans with special pricing, jumbo products and no-escrow programs.

SunTrust Abandoning Mortgage Broker Business
SunTrust Banks Inc. has made a decision to close its mortgage broker lending business. The move is likely to reduce residential originations by more than 10 percent.

Serious Delinquency, Foreclosures Continue Falling
It's been more than a year and half since the rate of serious delinquency on home loans has deteriorated. The foreclosure rate has a similar record.

Midwest Bank Expanding Mortgage Staff
A regional bank in the Midwest is looking to capitalize on opportunities that it expects to be created as bigger competitors pare operations and leave some markets underserved. It plans to add hundreds of mortgage and small-business lenders across its 12-state footprint.

New American Fundings Fall as Staffing, Servicing Up
Even though quarterly mortgage production tumbled by nearly a third at New American Funding, the mortgage servicing portfolio grew, as did the size of its staff.

Financial Health of Prospective Borrowers Deteriorates
The financial health of prospective mortgage borrowers grew weaker on a quarterly basis thanks to increased financial pressure.

Fed to Maintain Agency MBS Purchases
Thanks to continued weakness in the U.S. economy, the Federal Reserve plans to continue its Quantitative Easing strategy at full speed.

MBA Throws Support Behind Obama's FHFA Director Pick
Although he could allow principal loan reductions on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans, President Obama's nominee to head the regulator of the two secondary lenders has gained the support of mortgage bankers.

HAMBS Hit Market
Investors of residential mortgage-backed securities will now have the option of buying securities with loans that have been modified through the government-supported loan modification program.

Bill Would Delay Higher Flood Insurance Premiums
Bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the Senate and the House to delay increases in premiums for the federal flood insurance program.

Mortgage Originations Slow Down at Quicken
New business was lower at Quicken Loans Inc. for the second consecutive quarter. But the online lender maintained its staffing and grew its servicing portfolio.

HomeStreet Originations Off, Servicing and Staffing Up
Residential loan originations were off at HomeStreet Inc., and the decline is likely to accelerate this quarter. But the company grew its servicing portfolio, increased its mortgage staffing and announced two upcoming acquisitions.

Home Prices Rise at Fastest Pace in 7 Years
Over the past year, home prices in large U.S. metropolitan areas increased at the fastest pace in seven years.

Huge Upward Revisions to Mortgage Banker Outlook
Mortgage bankers jumped up their estimate of last year's originations by nearly $300 billion, raised their expectations for this year's activity by $140 billion and increased the 2014 forecast by nearly $100 billion.

BofA GSE Settlement Could Double Chase's
The upper end of an estimate of the potential cost for Bank of America Corp. to settle lawsuits filed on behalf of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for losses on private-label mortgage-backed securities is double the amount recently agreed to by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Report Cautions About Rapidly Growing Servicers
Three fast-growing mortgage servicers are the focus of a ratings agency report that raises concerns about the operational risk that accompanies such rapid growth.

FHA Business, Delinquency Continue Falling
Government-insured mortgage originations were down again and look to be headed even lower -- though reverse mortgage activity is poised for an uptick. Delinquency on government loans was lower.

MGIC Cuts Rates, Eases Underwriting Requirements
Mortgage insurance premiums are being reduced at MGIC, while the mortgage insurance company is also loosening its underwriting guidelines.

Home-Equity Assets Decline
The amount of home-equity assets owned by lenders has fallen, but so has the volume of seriously delinquent loans.

VA Updating Submission Procedures
Mortgage lenders that make government-guaranteed loans to current and previous members of the military will soon be subject to new submission requirements.

Wholesale AE, Broker-Husband Admit to Mortgage Fraud
A subprime wholesale lending account executive and her husband, who was a mortgage broker, have admitted to defrauding her now-defunct employer using fake income and employment documents.

Health Care Property Lenders Among Top CRE Originators
Although quarterly commercial mortgage originations were little moved on a quarter-over-quarter basis, a healthy gain was made on a year-over-year basis. The strongest growth was delivered by originators of health care property loans, while multifamily originators turned in the weakest performance.

MBA Chief Troubled by Regulatory Environment
The current regulatory environment threatens to lock out low-income borrowers from the housing market and endanger the economic recovery, according to the head of the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Potential Criminal Prosecution Still Looms at Chase
The possibility of criminal prosecution by a federal prosecutor in California has brought the biggest U.S. bank to the table to discuss a potential $13 billion settlement with the U.S. government.

U.S. DOJ Choosing Calif. as Venue for MBS Lawsuits
California, with its residents who were hit hard by the real estate crisis, is turning out to be the venue of choice for federal prosecutors litigating against Wall Street firms.

Chase Reaches Settlement With GSEs
A multi-billion dollar settlement reached with JPMorgan Chase & Co. resolves pending litigation filed on behalf of the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. as well as outstanding repurchase demands from the pair of government-controlled enterprises.

Mortgage Refinancers Seize Break in Rates
Mortgage rates tumbled this week, and prospective borrowers immediately seized the opportunity to lock in their refinances. Jumbo business also surged.

Mortgage Market Index 190 in week ended Oct. 25

Fastest Growing Mortgage Employers
A ranking of the 100-fastest growing U.S. employers included nine mortgage-related businesses. The fastest growing mortgage firm added more than 1,500 new jobs over a one-and-a-half-year period.

MBA's 100th Annual Tops Upcoming Mortgage Events
The hundred-year anniversary of the mortgage industry's preeminent event is being hosted in the nation's capitol and will feature a former U.S. president. Several other upcoming events will address a myriad of new rules and regulations.

Mortgage conferences and events

Freddie Business Lowest in Over 1 Year
It's been more than a year since monthly business has been this bad at the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. But the company continued to make gains in its serious delinquency -- pushing the rate of late payments to the lowest level in more than four years.

FHFA Holds Off on Changes to Conforming Limits
Despite prodding from President Obama, the regulator and conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is holding off on any immediate decision to lower the limit on conforming mortgages.

Mortgage Insurer Could Rise from Dead
A mortgage insurance company that stopped insuring residential loans at the height of the housing crisis might make a go at the business again.

4-Month Low for Fixed Mortgage Rates
Fixed mortgage rates fell to their lowest level in more than four months thanks to renewed optimism about the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing strategy. Still, rates are expected to maintain a slow, steady rise over the next year.

Flagstar Mortgage Sales Staff Grows Despite Business Decline
The number of loan originators and account executives increased at Flagstar Bancorp Inc. even though mortgage production tumbled. The company increased its focus on purchase financing.

Latest Round of BofA Layoffs Push 2013 Total Past 6k
A new round of layoffs at Bank of America Corp. pushes to more than 6,000 the number of mortgage positions that will be eliminated this year, and the number could grow before the year is out.

LoanCare Unveils Borrower Complaint Site
LoanCare Servicing borrowers can now lodge complaints through a new consumer-facing customer advocate website. Complaint information is automatically routed to regulators.

Career Opportunity for Unemployed LOs
Loan originators that have recently been displaced as a result of declining refinance production could find success in another sector of the mortgage industry.

BofA Loses Government Lawsuit
A jury has ruled in favor of the U.S. government in a lawsuit filed against Bank of America Corp. and a former executive of Countrywide Financial Corp.

Prospect Mortgage Settles Rate Deception Charges
Prospect Mortgage LLC has agreed to pay millions of dollars to settle allegations that it misled borrowers about interest rate discounts. The company is also accused of using unlicensed branches and originators.

Mortgage Business Slows at Regions
In line with the overall industry trend, quarterly mortgage production at Regions Financial Corp., was lower. Also moving lower was home loan delinquency.

CMBS Loan Performance Best in Nearly 4 Years
The rate of late payments last month on securitized commercial real estate loans declined to the lowest level in nearly four years.

Mortgage Delinquency Deteriorates
Although the rate of foreclosures was lower last month, overall residential loan performance still deteriorated -- though delinquency remains lower on a year-earlier basis.

How FHA Can Improve Capital Position
A pair of government reports offer recommendations that could help the Federal Housing Administration improve its capital position and avoid future shortfalls. One possibility is a stronger, more autonomous FHA structure, while another is to adopt some financial reporting practices used by private mortgage insurance companies.

Regulators Address QM Disparate Lending Concerns
Concerns about whether mortgage lenders would be liable for discriminatory lending because they originate Qualified Mortgages were addressed by federal regulators.

1.5-Year Low for Ginnie Issuance
Issuance of mortgage-backed securities fell to the lowest level in a year-and-a-half at the Government National Mortgage Association -- with the volume of jumbo issuance sinking 43 percent. Multifamily issuance, however, strengthened.

Cooperative Promises Leverage for Small Players
A new mortgage cooperative that hopes to improve the clout of its members has some big-name mortgage executives behind it.

Former Subprime Chief Returns to Wholesale
The former chief executive officer of a subprime mortgage wholesale lender has launched a new wholesale lending company.

California Lender Laying Off Hundreds
A California company that just two years ago was hiring hundreds of employees in two states is now laying off hundreds of employees.

U.S. Origination Outlook Increased by Freddie
Economists at the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. have raised their expectations for residential loan originations this year and next year.

New Tool Promises to Reduce Repurchase Risk
A new loan quality tool promises to help residential lenders improve their quality control and reduce the risk that they will receive repurchase demands.

Shellpoint RMBS Withdrawn
After scaling back on a residential mortgage-backed securities transaction filled with jumbo loans, the parent of New Penn Financial LLC is withdrawing the deal altogether. The move was made because market conditions are better for whole loan sales.

Mortgage Jobs Decline Despite U.S. Expansion
Although U.S. unemployment fell to the lowest level in nearly five years, jobs in real estate finance began what is likely to be a painful contraction.

Business Sinks at Provident as Servicing, Staffing Grow
Residential loan originations took a big hit at Provident Funding Associates LP, though the lender grew its mortgage servicing portfolio and expanded its staffing.

Some Servicers Unaware of Valuation Rule
Some mortgage servicers might not be aware that they could be subject to a new rule involving home valuations.

Layoffs at Huntington as New Business Slows
As quarterly home loan business slowed at The Huntington National Bank, hundreds of mortgage employees were laid off.

Mortgage Origination Outlook Soars
This year's projection for mortgage originations was lifted by more than $80 billion, while next year's forecast leapt by nearly $300 billion. Behind the improved outlook are lower interest rates.

Radian Improves Jumbo and Cashout Guidelines, Pricing
Several updates at Radian Guaranty Inc. include the doubling of available cashout, enhanced jumbo guidelines and lower premiums. Radian is also making changes that will help mortgage lenders comply with Qualified Mortgage requirements.

Production, Servicing Down at SunTrust
Like other mortgage lenders that have so far reported quarterly earnings, originations were lower at SunTrust Banks Inc. Also retreating was the size of the bank's servicing portfolio.

McLean Volume Down, Staffing Up
New quarterly mortgage production was lower at McLean Mortgage Corp., but the number of employees on the payroll inched higher.

Mortgage QC Firm Laying Off Hundreds
A mortgage service provider that offers quality control services is laying off hundreds of employees in the face of a changing environment.

Mortgage Rates Inch Up, New Activity Inches Down
The government shutdown and reopening had little impact on new mortgage business this week. But interest rates were slightly higher, though they could decline by the next report.

Mortgage Market Index 176 in week ended Oct. 18

Fifth Third Fundings Falter
New mortgage business at Fifth Third Bancorp plunged during the latest quarter, and residential delinquency inched up. The company, however, increased the size of the servicing portfolio.

MA Bill Would Tie Flood Insurance to Loan Amount
Some have called the new premiums for federal flood insurance catastrophic for borrowers who live in coastal regions. Massachusetts officials are proposing legislation that would lessen the impact.

Relatively Strong Quarter at BB&T
While BB&T Corp.'s quarterly mortgage originations were down in line with industry-wide performance, the bank pushed up volume from a year earlier. Delinquency improved, and the servicing portfolio expanded.

Bank Hiring LOs
As announcements of thousands of mortgage layoffs by U.S. lenders seem to roll in each week, a Canadian company is adding more than a hundred U.S. mortgages jobs.

Production Falls, Servicing Grows at Stearns
Residential loans originations slowed during the most recent quarter at Stearns Lending Inc. as the lender also trimmed its staffing. But the mortgage servicing portfolio continued to expand.

Mortgage Rates Poised to Drop
Although fixed mortgage rates moved higher this week, indications are that they could tumble in the next report. A widely used adjustable-rate product was lower this week.

PNC Originations Drop, Delinquency Improves
Residential loan production tumbled at The PNC Financial Services Group Inc. The company, however, boosted its home loan assets and cut its residential delinquency.

Many Loans Wouldn't Meet QM Safe Harbor Requirements
A new study prepared by a mortgage compliance service provider found that a good share of current originations don't meet the qualified mortgage safe harbor requirements.

PNC Making Job Cuts in Mortgage Lending
Thanks to diminishing mortgage production, The PNC Financial Services Group Inc. is laying off mortgage employees in four states.

GSE Refi Activity Down 4 Straight Months
Conventional agency refinance production was lower for the fourth consecutive month. The slowdown isn't hitting government-supported refinances quite as hard.

More Wells Layoffs Push Annual Total Past 6,700
Another round of layoffs at the nation's biggest residential lender pushed this year's total mortgage job losses at the company past 6,700.

Business Slides at U.S. Bank
Residential loan originations came in lower at U.S. Bancorp, though the company grew its mortgage servicing portfolio, increased its home loan assets and cut its delinquency rate.

BofA Employee Busted for Short Sale Bribes
A fired employee of Bank of America Corp. has pled not guilty to allegations he accepted more than $1 million in bribes.

BofA Leads Foreclosure Settlement Relief
Compared to its peers in the historic $25 billion foreclosure settlement reached last year, Bank of America Corp. is further along in meeting the terms of the agreement for distressed borrowers. But the company is lagging its counterparts with required refinances.

HAMPs Gain as Proprietary Modifications Diminish
The volume of government-supported modifications rose both on a month-over-month and year-over-year basis, while lenders' own proprietary programs saw declines from both earlier periods.

BofA Outperforming Peers
A quarter-over-quarter decline in mortgage originations at Bank of America Corp. was smaller than at any of its peers, while the company is the only residential lender so far to report a year-over-year increase. Home-equity loan fundings defied overall activity and have strengthened each quarter since 2011.

Closing Rate Worse Despite Better Credit Conditions
While the ongoing trend of mortgage lenders easing credit standards continues, a smaller share of loan applications are closing. Average credit scores on government-insured refinances fell four points last month.

SunTrust Slashing Mortgage Workforce
Hundreds of mortgage jobs are being eliminated at SunTrust Banks Inc. as a result of a slowdown in refinance originations.

CFPB Clarifies Servicing Rules
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has clarified several issues related to its mortgage servicing rules including the handling of deceased borrower loans, contact with delinquent borrowers and communication with bankrupt borrowers.

Servicing Discrimination Complaint Amended
A complaint filed by a Washington, D.C., group over allegations of servicing discrimination by U.S. Bank is being amended.

AMC Search Engine Launches
A new appraisal management company search engine promises to match up mortgage firms with the best available AMC.

Delinquency Takes Turn for Worse
The rate of serious delinquency was worse last month on both senior and junior liens, and the Big Apple led the deterioration.

Citi's Mortgage Business Slows and Headed Lower
Residential loan production was lower at Citigroup Inc., and indications are that business will fall even further in the current quarter. Mortgage and servicing assets grew within continuing operations, while legacy operations continued to cut holdings.

Texans to Vote on HECMs
A North Texas newspaper is recommending that the state's voters approve a proposed law that would enable borrowers to utilize home-equity conversion mortgages for a home purchase.

Multifamily Portfolio Sale Closes
A portfolio of nearly $200 million in loans secured by multifamily properties and other commercial real estate has traded hands amid strong investor interest.

Biggest HAMP Increase in More than a Year
The latest housing report from the Obama administration indicates that the number of active federally subsidized loan modifications increased by more on a monthly basis than it had in over a year.

Active HAMPs up 12,766 in August

Biggest VA Lender Closing
A Florida firm that claims to be the biggest originator of VA loans, has already laid off nearly 400 employees this year and agreed in June to pay a more than $7 million civil money penalty is now throwing in the towel. The cost of regulatory compliance is being blamed for the decision to close.

PRMI Business Down, Servicing Up
Quarterly business at Primary Residential Mortgage Inc. was down from the prior period, as was staffing. But the lender did manage to increase the size of its servicing portfolio.

Federal Ruling Could Impact Hundreds of HECMs
A federal judge's ruling in a case involving government-insured reverse mortgages has the potential to impact hundreds of other similarly situated borrowers.

Leading Proprietary Reverse Lenders
New data indicate that both wholesale and retail government-insured reverse mortgage fundings moved higher on a monthly basis. On non-government originations, Urban Financial Group led the pack.

New Mortgage Business Slips as Rates Inch Up
As mortgage rates crept higher, new mortgage activity drifted lower this week -- with refinances leading the decline. Adjustable-rate activity, however, improved.

Mortgage Market Index 173 in week ended Oct. 11

GSEs Update Servicing Policies
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are updating their policies on delinquency management and default prevention in response to a servicing rule issued earlier this month.

Originations Sink at Wells Fargo
Driven by plunging refinance activity, mortgage production tumbled at Wells Fargo & Co. and appears to be headed even lower. But the firm grew its first mortgage portfolio, cut its residential delinquency and pushed overall earnings to an all-time high.

Dismal Results from Chase
Although the origination of residential loans tumbled, JPMorgan Chase & Co. managed to increase its home-equity originations. Earnings significantly deteriorated on legal expenses. But Chase improved home loan performance and maintained its servicing portfolio.

SunTrust to Pay $1.5 bil to Settle Mortgage Issues
SunTrust Bank Inc. has agreed to pay $1.5 billion to resolve multiple issues related to its mortgage lending. It's not the first recent settlement for the company, nor is it the last.

Mortgage Rates Inch Up, Could Rise More
Mortgage rates, which seem to be currently focused on the federal government shutdown, inched up for the first time in more than a month and could accelerate.

Multifamily Issuance Sinks at Fannie
For the second quarter in a row, the issuance of multifamily securities was lower at the Federal National Mortgage Association. Even re-securitizations were down.

Business Retreats at Mortgage Master
Mortgage Master Inc. was the first lender to report third quarter operational data, and both mortgage production and staffing were lower.

Multifamily Originations Rise
The production of loans secured by apartment buildings grew last year, though most multifamily lenders closed just a handful of loans.

Former BofA Mortgage Chief Lands at Citi
The woman who at one point ran the biggest mortgage lender in the country has been hired by Citigroup Inc. as the chief operating officer of its banking unit.

Fannie Unloads Risk on SFR Loans
The Federal National Mortgage Association has moved risk off of its balance sheet to a mortgage insurance company. The risk-sharing deal follows a similar move by rival Freddie Mac three months ago.

Monthly Foreclosure Metrics Mostly Worse
Although year-over-year foreclosure metrics continued to improve last month -- total filings were higher than in August, the foreclosure rate worsened, and the time to complete a foreclosure grew longer. One bright spot was the month-over-month decline in completed foreclosures. Significant deterioration in Nevada's foreclosure rate was reported.

Filings made on 131,232 properties in September

Opportunity in Denied Refis
A new survey suggests that opportunity exists for borrowers who were previously turned down when they applied for a refinance.

Wholesaler Expands HARP Product
The Home Affordable Refinance Program has been enhanced at a privately owned wholesale mortgage lender. The company has also adapted its income verification requirements for the government shutdown.

2 Mortgage Company IPOs This Week
Two mortgage companies are completing initial public offerings this week. One of the companies will use proceeds to expand its mortgage servicing portfolio, while the other will make business investments.

CFPB Hands Out $459k in Penalties for HMDA Violations
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a five-figure civil money penalty to a Washington Financial Institution, while a mortgage lender out of Massachusetts was hit with a six-figure CFPB penalty in addition to a state fine. Both firms are accused of misreporting loan data.

Small Mortgage Banker Acquiring Texas Bank
The owner of a small mortgage lender based in the Lone Star State has disclosed a deal to acquire a savings institution in the state.

Alabama Bank Enters Mortgage Business
An improving local real estate market has prompted an Alabama bank to move forward with plans to open a new mortgage division.

Yellen to be Nominated as Head of Central Bank
President Barack Obama's pick for chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, if confirmed, would be the first woman ever to head the central bank.

HEL, HELOC Performance Diverge
While quarter-over-quarter delinquency on lines of credit secured by residential properties moved lower, closed-end home-equity performance was worse.

MGIC's New Business Worse, Defaults Better
A pattern is developing among mortgage insurance companies including MGIC Guaranty Insurance Corp. where both new business and defaults are declining.

Mixed Month at Radian
New business slowed last month at Radian Guaranty Inc. but remained elevated compared to the same month in 2012. Loan performance was better.

Mortgage Lenders Tighten Purse Strings
For the second month in a row, residential lenders have been more restrictive in their mortgage lending practices. But the changes are minimal compared to changes from pre-crisis levels.

Residential Loan Performance Metrics Continue Improving
The share of home loans that are considered seriously delinquent continued to fall, as did the number of foreclosures.

Mortgage Lender's Guide to Government Shutdown
With the federal government in shutdown mode for more than a week now, the impact to the mortgage sector is growing. Contingency plans at government mortgage agencies and temporary guidance from the government sponsored enterprises have become more relevant.

Milestones Reached in Development of Securitization Platform
A year after unveiling plans for a private infrastructure that can handle the nation's secondary mortgage market, the regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is reporting the achievement of significant milestones.

MTA Sets New Record
The Federal Reserve's retreat from tapering its bond buying sent Treasury yields lower last month and drove the Monthly Treasury Average to a new all-time low.

Private Mortgage Insurer Capitalizes on Shutdown
At least one private mortgage insurance firm sees opportunity in the shutdown of the federal government and the uncertainty surrounding government-insured lending. Accommodations are also being made for furloughed applicants.

Impact of Nevada Short Sale Law Unclear
A new law in Nevada that is intended to make it easier for borrowers to complete short-sale transactions to related parties has created confusion.

Mods Improve Seriously Delinquent Loan Performance
Seriously delinquent residential loans that were modified performed better than loans that weren't modified, though loans already in foreclosure were less likely to be modified. Modified loan performance varied by servicer.

Due Diligence Business Launches
The launch of a due diligence business promises to help mortgage firms deal with delays in foreclosure timelines and increased secondary market activity.

Movie Critical of Fed Policies
A new film is critical of the Federal Reserve's easy money policies and how the Fed has gone beyond its mission to preserve the value of a dollar and maintain full employment.

NHL Coach Sues BofA Over Mortgage Investment Scheme
A National Hockey League coach with a championship title is suing a unit of Bank of America Corp. for convincing him to use high-rate mortgage financing to fund a money-losing investment.

New Mortgage Activity Drops
As the government shutdown took effect, new mortgage activity turned lower despite an improvement in interest rates. Jumbo and adjustable-rate mortgages took the biggest hits.

Mortgage Market Index 183 in week ended Oct. 4

Walter CFO Leaving
The chief financial officer of Walter Investment Management Corp. is leaving his post at the fast growing company.

Ohio Layoffs at PNC
Mortgage employees of The PNC Financial Services Group Inc. in Ohio have been advised that their positions are being eliminated.

Reverse Mortgage Foreclosure Canceled
A Texas woman who was on the verge of losing her home that secures a reverse mortgage has won a reprieve.

PHH Cutting Florida Jobs
Faced with weakening demand for its mortgage products, PHH Mortgage Corp. has advised hundreds of Florida employees that they are no longer needed.

Correspondent Lender Offers Performance Incentives
A correspondent lender has launched a new program that provides its clients with lower fees and better pricing based on the execution of their submissions.

No Increase for 30-Year Mortgage Rates in 4 Weeks
Long-term mortgage rates have fallen each of the past three weeks, while there has been no increase for four consecutive weeks.

Wells Loses Round in LO Commission Lawsuit
A federal judge has ruled against Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., in a lawsuit filed by a former loan originator who seeks to collect unpaid commissions.

Consumer Bankruptcies Continue Lower
Lower interest rates and weak spending by consumers helped drive down the number of consumer bankruptcy filings last month.

Government Shutdown Has Growing Impact on Lending
Mortgage bankers are warning of the increasing impact that the shutdown of the federal government will have on real estate finance the longer it lingers.

Correspondent Program Launched for Small Lenders
A new correspondent program caters to smaller mortgage lenders while at the same time providing access to proprietary loan programs.

FHLB San Francisco Back in MPF Program
Following a seven year hiatus, one of the government-sponsored enterprises will begin utilizing the Mortgage Partnership Finance program again.

New Terms for Servicer Settlement
Federal and state officials, as well as borrowers and housing counselors, complain that mortgage servicers are not holding up their end of the multi-state servicer settlement reached last year.

Wells Being Sued Over Execution of Foreclosure Settlement
Wells Fargo & Co. is being sued by New York's attorney general over its execution of the foreclosure settlement terms, while Bank of America Corp. has reached an agreement with the state. The settlement administrator has also taken new action.

BofA Slashes Servicing Portfolio
A strategy implemented three years ago by Bank of America Corp. has significantly reduced its mortgage servicing portfolio, staffing and outsourced activity.

CMBS Delinquency Continues to Improve
For four consecutive months now, the rate of past-due payment on securitized commercial real estate loans has retreated. Leading the latest improvement were mortgages secured by office properties.

Servicers Get Help With Mortgage Compliance
A new product promises to help mortgage servicers comply with final rules issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

GSEs Coordinate Ability to Repay Requirements
Notices have been issued to seller-servicers by both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac about the Ability to Repay rule.

Big Drop in Reverse Mortgage Production
Federally insured reverse mortgage originations took a big hit last month, falling to the lowest level this year.

Mortgage Insurer Settles Discrimination Charges
The Department of Housing and Urban Development is continuing its crusade against maternity discrimination with its latest target being a mortgage insurer for credit unions.

Capital One Settles Discrimination Charges
A settlement with Capital One Financial Corp. brings to three the number of recent lending discrimination settlements reached with the U.S. Department of Justice.

New Penn Parent Acquiring Servicer
The parent of New Penn Financial LLC is acquiring a mortgage servicer that will operate as New Penn's servicing arm.

SunTrust Settles Repurchase Demands
Another mortgage banking firm has decided to settle outstanding repurchase demands with the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.

Home Price Growth Reaches Pre-Crisis Level
National home prices, including distressed sales, increased by the highest annual rate since February 2006, according to data released Tuesday.

Wells Agrees to Repurchase Settlement
Wells Fargo & Co. announced a settlement for nearly $1 billion that will resolve repurchase demands on agency mortgages. The deal is just one of several reached this year by the nation's largest residential lenders.

HELs, HELOCs Outstanding at 5-Year Low
The dollar amount of first mortgages, home-equity loans and home-equity lines of credit outstanding were all down from a year ago, while the number of HELs and HELOCs outstanding fell to a five-year low. Delinquency has also fallen.

M.I. Business Slows
Fewer mortgages were insured by private mortgage insurers on a monthly basis. Loan performance on insured loans, however, improved.

Agency MBS Issuance Plummets
Last month's issuance of mortgage-backed securities for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae plunged to the lowest level in two years.

Impac Returns to Warehouse Lending
In a sign of how much the mortgage industry has recovered since some of the darkest days for real estate finance, Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. has ventured back into warehouse lending.

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