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November 2006 Archive

Rates May Jump
Rates remained at the lowest level since late January as the holiday slowed application activity. But forecasts have the 30-year ending the year as much as a quarter percent higher.

Former NFL Player Originates
A Florida loan officer uses skills taught to him by his former Miami Dolphins coach to be a better originator.
read news story

LIBOR Retreats
The 6-month London Interbank Offered Rate retreated from its upward path -- following the lead of the 1-year Treasury bill.

Net Branch Launching
A California-based subprime wholesaler looks to expand into retail through a branch recruitment campaign -- a move that could increase its employee count by as much as 50.

Federal Fraud Prevention
Actions taken so far this year by the Federal Trade Commission include a settlement with a credit reporting agency that provided faulty reports to mortgage lenders and an injunction against a mortgage telemarketer. The moves were taken in line with the agency's objectives of identifying, stopping and preventing fraud.

Online Wholesale Shopping
Two Internet-based services promise to give mortgage brokers either the best loan program or the best pricing.

Legislator Accused of Foreclosure Fraud
The Maryland Attorney General is looking into claims that a state legislator duped a woman into selling her home to him.

Wholesaler Settles Class Actions
A Michigan-based nonprime mortgage lender has settled three class action lawsuits.

Amex Down Payments
Two New York condominium developments have begun accepting down payments from credit cards, and more projects plan to do the same.

Fannie Business Sinks
Mortgage purchases sank at Fannie Mae.

Wholesaler Layoffs
Wachovia Corp.'s consolidation of its wholesale operations will result in layoffs in Connecticut.

2007 Conforming Limit Set
Despite a decrease in home prices, next year's conforming loan limit will not be adjusted downward.

Mortgage Companies Expand
In the latest corporate activities, a net branch got larger and a new retail lender was born.

Ultimate Sales Manager
A sales manager is not just a boss. He or she is also a leader, a coach and a psychologist who must create an environment where salespeople can thrive, according to the latest sales book reviewed by

State Preempts City
Ohio's top state court has struck down the city of Cleveland's attempt to outlaw predatory lending.

Fraud Rises
Mortgage fraud activity increased during the first half of this year.

Mortgage Database Stolen
A mortgage broker has been jailed for stealing the customer database of a now bankrupt company.

Fannie Compromises on Tech Patent
Fannie Mae's patent loan customization technology will be available to all lenders, though it won't fully be in the public domain.

Freddie Business Holds
Freddie Mac sustained its monthly pace of loan buying.

Refis Gain Steam
Refinance requests rose to the highest level in almost two years as rates improved for the second consecutive week.

Warehouse Fraud at Flagstar
Flagstar Bancorp Inc. will take an $8.7 million charge related to a series of fraudulent warehouse loans.

FHA Audit
The Federal Housing Administration has been closing out some contracts as many as three years late -- hampering the budget and management processes, according to an audit of the agency. But FHA's own subsequent analysis of the contracts found otherwise, though it did acknowledge it may not be in compliance with the HUD Handbook.

Legal Battle Brewing
Two Virginia-based companies are fighting a legal battle over nearly $10 million in lost profits that allegedly resulted from mismanagement of a mortgage company.

Banks Post Strong Earnings
More than half of real estate loans held by federally-insured banks during the third quarter were residential. Net income during the latest period was the second-highest ever for the sector.

Armed & Dangerous
A former mortgage executive who is under indictment for selling the same loans multiple times on the secondary market escaped when federal agents tried to nab him.
read news story
Banks Forge Ahead
Dismal results in pockets of the mortgage industry haven't slowed corporate activity in banking. One bank acquisition will create the largest private wealth manager in the country.

Broker Sued for Faxing Prospects
When mortgage broker Shelly Piaggio looked to generate mortgage leads in 2003 for her newly hired loan officers, she decided that contacting prospective borrowers via fax machine was the way to go.

MTA Higher
The Monthly Treasury Average rose once again.

Secrets of Time Management
Effective time management can add at least an extra hour to a person's daily schedule and it begins with the morning's first "power hour," followed by a productive first hour of work and concludes with the last hour of consciousness.

Brokers Oppose National Registry
Mortgage brokers call a proposed national licensing system for loan originators "fatally flawed."

Foreclosures Worsen
Led by California, national foreclosures increased in October.

Thrift Production Holds
Amid emerging signs of weakness and a sinking share of adjustable-rate mortgages, thrift volume edged higher.

Foreclosure Impact Minimal
The fallout from rising foreclosures and discounted REOs has not been as bad as anticipated, according to a new study.

WaMu Rating Improved
An integration of prime and nonprime servicing operations has made Washington Mutual Bank a better servicer.

Mortgage Banker May Shut Down
Summit Mortgage may soon close its doors.

Fraud King Caught
The most brazen outlaw in mortgage fraud has been arrested.
read news story
Mortgage Market Improves
Mortgage request volume improved as less worry over inflation pushed mortgage rates back down.

Mortgage Job Shuffle
HomeBanc Mortgage Corp. recently laid off administrative employees in an effort to cut costs. But the company is now recruiting production personnel.

Mortgage Banker, Movie Producer
A private mortgage banker for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is using his real estate financing skills to find funding for movies.
read news story
Foreclosure Scam Stopped
Maryland regulators have put the brakes on a foreclosure bailout transaction that they say may have left the borrower stripped of home equity.

Parent Bruises PHH Mortgage Rating
PHH Mortgage Corp.'s nonprime servicer ratings were lowered, reflecting a financial restatement by its parent.

Portfolio On the Block
More than $200 million in residential mortgages are on the block. The secondary marketing transaction will result in a loss for the seller.

Nationstar Servicer Rating Lowered
The former nonprime subsidiary of Centex Corp. saw its servicing rating lowered because of its new owner.

Collection Harassment Class Action
The mortgage lending subsidiary of Warren Buffett's corporate empire has been sued over alleged collection harassment.

Mortgage Fraud Edges Higher
Mortgage fraud and loan delinquency risk edged up over the quarter, with Ohio cities dominating as the top hot spots in the nation.

Best Mortgage Web Sites
Mortgage lenders still lagged behind other industries in building trust online for prospective customers but made an "impressive" improvement in communicating with them.

States Issue Exotic Guidance
Mortgage bankers commended the exotic loan guidance issued by state regulatory agencies.

Bad Legal Advice
From Florida to Hawaii, real estate attorneys continue to break the law. In one of the latest cases, a Georgia lawyer was charged in a mortgage fraud scheme designed to pump up his used car business.

Presentations Boost Broker Business
A wholesale lender is helping mortgage brokers turn more leads into mortgages with the help of an online presentation tool. But additional enhancements could improve consumer reach, according to one user.

Downey Reverses Decline
Downey Financial Corp. reversed a monthly production decline -- but the fundings are less than half the total a year earlier.

Foreclosures Rise
Monthly foreclosures rose, according to a tracking service that paints a dire outlook for the Midwest during the fourth quarter.

Originator Survival Guide
It will take innovation and adaptation for mortgage loan originators to survive today's market conditions, according to a book written by two mortgage industry veterans.

ditech Adding AZ Employees plans to boost its staff in the Grand Canyon State by as much as two-thirds.

NovaStar Faces YSP Lawsuit
Allegations of undisclosed yield spread premiums paid to mortgage brokers have NovaStar Mortgage Inc. facing thousands of borrowers in a class action lawsuit.

Wholesale 50/30 Program
A California-based wholesale lender has launched an adjustable rate mortgage with a 50-year amortization.

Mortgage & Banking Madness
Banking activity dominated the latest mortgage-related mergers, acquisitions and other corporate activity. Included in the activity were plans for the nation's largest originator to become a thrift, the disclosure of several financial restatements and NetBank Inc.'s agreement with banking regulators to change its strategy and preserve capital.

Lead Company Closing
A mortgage lead company will soon close its doors -- a move that will affect about 130 employees.

WaMu Adding Jobs
Washington Mutual Inc. is seeking hundreds of mortgage servicing employees in South Carolina.

Most Valuable Mortgage Brands
Mortgage-related firms are already the most desired companies in the country but could further benefit by not overdoing it on cross-selling products to borrowers.

Credit Scores Expanded
A newly launched credit scoring model promises to deliver "the first strong and reliable" credit score.

Sources say ABN AMRO Holdings NV, the Dutch international banking firm, may be interested in selling its mortgage division and is accepting bids.

LendingTree Sued for Lending
A lawsuit recently filed in California's state court claims LendingTree operates as a lender even though it claims otherwise. But the online giant says the lawsuit is only retaliation from a disgruntled former employee.

Mixed Mortgage Market
Ahead of rising rates, more prospective borrowers visited mortgage shops.

Rising Debt Ratios may Level
California led the nation with the highest debt-to-income ratios last year, according to a recent government report. But economists predict that leveling house prices, moderating interest rates and increasing incomes will push debt ratios lower.

Countrywide Fundings Improve
Countrywide Financial Corp. improved production, but its pipeline of loans indicates a downturn is ahead.

Impac Originations Up
As quarterly fundings improved for Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc., derivative activity destroyed earnings.

HELOC Activity Diminishing
Home equity lines of credit are not only becoming less popular than equity or second loans, but a growing share of outstanding HELOCs are becoming inactive, according to a recent banking study.

Worsening Jumbo Performance
Serious jumbo delinquency rose sharply for the second consecutive month.

Nonprime Performance Deteriorating
Delinquency on nonprime mortgages -- especially those securitized this year -- are increasing, a recent report indicates.

Record NovaStar Activity
Quarterly originations inched up to a new record at NovaStar Financial Inc.

Broker Originators Disadvantaged
Mortgage brokers seek a level playing field for all loan officers who originate exotic loans.

MortgageIT Business Nudges Down
Quarterly volume edged down for MortgageIT Holdings Inc.

Building a Successful Mortgage Business
A good mortgage business starts with foresight and good people.

FHA Production Grows
While fewer FHA-insured mortgages were funded during the most recent fiscal year, higher balances pushed the dollar volume higher. The activity contrasts that of the overall mortgage market.

REIT Sector Meltdown
Tough times for the mortgage industry have prompted another lender to drop its real estate investment trust status.

Fundings Up at New Century
Monthly volume improved at New Century Financial Corp. But the company is taking steps to compete successfully as overall mortgage industry volume declines.

Option One Offering
Option One Mortgage Corp. may be divested from its parent. Meanwhile, the nonprime wholesaler plans to close a dozen branches.

Subprime Unit Closing
NetBank Inc. is winding down its nonprime mortgage subsidiary.

Wachovia Chief Out
A restructuring of operations led to the resignation of Wachovia Corp.'s mortgage chief.

IL Licensing Crackdown
Illinois regulators have found six mortgage companies illegally originated hundreds of loans through unlicensed employees.

Expansion Creating 300 Jobs
In a massive expansion move, a California-based company has applied for mortgage licenses in 13 states and the District of Columbia and has already opened a Houston office.

Banks Wheel and Deal
Two mortgage units were recently launched, but it was a game of musical chairs being played by some regional bankers that dominated the latest mergers, acquisitions and corporate activity in real estate finance.

Accredited Improves
Quarterly production edged up at Accredited Home Lenders Holding Co.

Mortgage Leads Background Check
A California company has started policing the mortgage lead industry.

Mortgage Employment Higher
Mortgage employment increased as unemployment decreased to the lowest level in over five years -- sending a benchmark Treasury yield surging.

The Mozilo Survey
The CEO of the nation's largest mortgage lender recently picked up his phone and began calling the company's pay-option borrowers.

Flagstar Descends
Quarterly mortgage originations slipped at Flagstar Bancorp Inc., which is churning out barely more than half of the production it was a year earlier.

FTC Stops Mortgage Lead Calls
Two Maryland-based companies have settled with the Federal Trade Commission allegations of illegally calling consumers to offer mortgages.

Rates Improve
Mortgage demand descended even as weaker-than-expected economic data pushed mortgage rates down.

WaMu Continues Trimming Staff
More mortgage job layoffs are scheduled at Washington Mutual Inc.

IndyMac Originations Continue Up
IndyMac Bancorp Inc. achieved several mortgage milestones during the latest quarter, including record fundings -- again.

New Correspondent Buyer
A new national correspondent lender has launched.

Originator Races
An Arizona originator is integrating a mortgage career with her love of racing -- and gaining ground in both arenas.
read news story
Fannie Technology Draws Concern
Fannie Mae, facing pressure from trade groups who are attacking its patent on a new loan customization system, is beginning to address the groups' concerns.

Decade High Cashouts
Cashout activity remained strong, but the amount of equity extracted declined and is expected to continue weakening amid adjustable-rate loan resets and alternative financing options.

Bulk MI Volume Soars
Bulk mortgage insurance boosted the overall monthly volume of private mortgage insurance.

New CFO at New Century
New Century Financial Corp. has named a new financial chief.

ARM Indexes Ascend
West Coast- and London-based adjustable-rate mortgage indexes headed higher.

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