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November 2012 Archive

Refis Lead Post-Holiday Resurgence
Rates edged higher this week, but that wasn't enough to stop new mortgage activity from increasing after the Thanksgiving holiday. Refinances led the improvement, though all categories surged.

Mortgage Market Index 189 for week ended Nov. 30

PHH Could Have Hundreds of Mortgage Hires
An upcoming acquisition of a mortgage operation by PHH Mortgage Corp. will be followed by an office move that will equip the lender to potentially hire hundreds of new employees over the next three years in the state of New York.

Originator Ranks Grow
The national ranks of loan originators grew by more than 10,000 on a quarterly basis. The growth was evenly distributed among bank and non-bank loan officers, though non-bank originators grabbed a bigger share of the total.

Credit Union Growth Continues
Credit unions have experienced several consecutive quarters of loan growth and delinquency declines, while collective membership has increased by more than 2 million this year. But the sector continued to contract as fewer financial institutions are around to service more loans and members.

Mortgage Insurers Report Strong Month
New monthly business at U.S. mortgage insurance companies strengthened, and the latest application activity points to an even stronger subsequent month. Defaults were down as outstanding insured mortgages broke through a threshold.

Fannie Issues New Guidelines for Deeds in Lieu
Updated guidelines have been released by Fannie Mae for distressed borrowers who are looking to hand over their property titles and walk away from their residences.

Mortgage Rates Linger Near All-Time Lows
Fixed mortgage rates moved higher this week, but not by much -- leaving them very near their lowest levels on record. Market signals suggest that mortgage rates will be little changed in next week's report.

MGIC Settles Maternity Class Action
When a Pennsylvania attorney was rejected by Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp. for a mortgage insurance policy because she was on maternity leave, she hired attorneys and complained to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. A settlement in the case, which subsequently snowballed into a class action, has been approved by a federal judge.

Over a Quarter of Banks Intend to Acquire a Mortgage Lender
More than a quarter of recently surveyed senior bank executives indicated that they expect to acquire a company that originates mortgages soon. Among the most attractive shops are those that specialize in refinances.

Conforming Loan Limits Established for 2013
The maximum limit on mortgages originated for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has been released for next year.

Bill Proposes Higher G-Fees to Cover Immigration Reforms
U.S. lawmakers are considering federal legislation that would fund immigration reforms through higher guarantee fees on new home loans headed for the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. But mortgage bankers are pushing back.

FHA Anti Flipping Waiver Extended Again
An anti-flipping requirement on mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration that was waived during the depths of the housing market meltdown and subsequently extended has been extended again. This time around, the term of the extension was doubled.

HARP Share of Refis Falls
As the monthly volume of conventional conforming refinance transactions increased, the share of all refinances being closed through the Home Affordable Refinance Program was lower.

NMLS Renewals Streamlined
The deadline is fast approaching for the renewal process with the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry. Loan originators who are renewing can utilize a streamlined process.

IL AG Calls Higher G-Fees Unfair, Demands Reversal
The attorney general in Illinois is calling plans to increase guarantee fees on conventional conforming mortgages in her state unfair and wants borrowers in other states to continue footing the bill for Illinois' higher cost of loan liquidation. She -- along with her counterparts in other impacted states -- is demanding that the plans be abandoned.

Economists Differ on Benefit of Mortgage Interest Deduction
In their quest to cut the federal deficit, President Obama and Republicans have put the mortgage interest tax deduction on the table. But, depending on who you ask, removing or limiting the deduction could hurt home prices and stifle the fragile housing recovery.

Wholesaler Adding Over a Hundred Jobs in Q4
A wholesale mortgage lender headquartered in the Detroit area is hiring more than a hundred employees during the final three months of this year to help it keep pace with rapid growth in originations.

Freddie's New Business at 3-Year High
It's been more than three years since secondary volume was this high at Freddie Mac. In addition, residential delinquency fell to a three-year low at the government-controlled enterprise, and apartment loan delinquency was down.

States With Highest Monthly Mortgage Payments
A new report identifies the states with the highest average monthly mortgage payments. Also included in the report is the share of monthly income taken up by house payments.

ResCap Asset Sale Approved
A deal hammered out last month for bankrupt Residential Capital LLC to unload production and servicing assets has been approved by the bankruptcy court.

Servicing Portfolios Trade Hands
The acquisition of residential servicing rights by a mortgage servicer based in Texas will result in a 42 percent increase in its total servicing portfolio and create economies of scale.

All Signs Point to a Housing Recovery
Data from multiple sources indicate that U.S. home prices have been on an upswing for several consecutive months -- with increases coming in higher than they have been since 2006. The Phoenix area is leading the revival. Home sales and housing starts are also rising, and one estimate has home equity potentially increasing by $1 trillion next year.

Mortgage Insurance Guidelines Updated
Several mortgage insurance companies have updated their programs and guidelines, and many of the updates enable expanded coverage. Some of the changes impact loans covered by the Making Home Affordable initiative. A new mortgage insurer, meanwhile, is one step closer to becoming operational.

Mortgage Delinquency Turns Sharply Lower
Just one month after the rate of late payments on home loans shot up 36 basis points, delinquency tumbled by more than 60 BPS.

Appraisal Fraud Risk Leads Overall Risk Lower
With the risk of valuation fraud leading the way, the overall risk of mortgage fraud was lower in the third quarter. Communities in California and Florida continue to dominate the most risky areas. The correlation between a high risk of fraud and a high foreclosure rate is diminishing.

Report Looks at Judicial Foreclosure Process
The default process has evolved over hundreds of years and has its roots in medieval England. A new report takes a look at why foreclosures in states where the process is run through the court system take much longer than in states with non-judicial foreclosures.

Mortgage Employment Index Up 5 Straight Quarters
While some of the nation's biggest mortgage lenders eliminated thousands of jobs, hirings at other mortgage firms helped push the third-quarter 2012 Mortgage Employment Index from Mortgage Daily higher. Nearly half of the gain was attributable to hirings in Michigan.

High Forced Placed Premiums Prompt New Rules, Litigation
Lender commissions of up to 15 percent and premiums that can cost borrowers more than four times as much as standard coverage have prompted the proposal of new federal rules for forced-placed insurance. Exorbitant premiums have prompted the filing of a class action lawsuit.

Mortgage Layoffs Concentrated in Big States, Megabanks
Most of the recent mortgage-related layoff activity is happening at the nation's megabanks. California, Florida and New York are suffering the brunt of the job losses.

Mortgage Hirings Continue
People with experience in real estate finance are being recruited by mortgage lenders and the companies that provide services to them. Among the mortgage firms that are hiring are a reverse mortgage company, a distressed servicer and the nation's mega-lenders. A few of the prospective employers have been recognized as some of the best places to work.

Overtime Lawsuits Filed at Record Pace
Over the past five years, financial services employees have been frequently filing lawsuits against their employers alleging that they are being wrongly classified as exempt and not being paid for overtime.

Mortgage Bankers Lift Refi Forecast
The outlook for this year's refinance business just keeps getting better and better. The quarterly projection for purchase-money production, however, has been trimmed.

Mortgage Activity Sinks Ahead of Holiday
Mortgage rates slipped this week, but that wasn't enough to push business higher ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Refinances were hit especially hard.

Mortgage Market Index 136 for week ended Nov. 21

Record-Low Mortgage Rates Could Bounce Higher
Average fixed rates on home loans fell this week to the lowest levels ever recorded. While the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is expected to stay near its current level through the middle of next year, the short-term forecast is for an increase.

CMBS Delinquency Sinks
A 38-basis-point decline in the delinquency rate was recorded last month for securitized commercial real estate loans. While all categories were lower -- loans secured by healthcare, hotel and industrial properties saw a more substantial improvement.

Fannie Increases Foreclosure Attorney Fees
The Federal National Mortgage Association has raised the maximum allowable fees for foreclosure attorneys -- to more than $2,000 in at least one state.

Ginnie Extends Interest Forgiveness for Vets
The period for which issuers of mortgage-backed securities that are guaranteed by the Government National Mortgage Association can be reimbursed for interest forgiveness on loans to active-duty members of the military has been extended by three years.

Outstanding Mortgages to Fall Below $10 Trillion
Expectations for this year's residential loan originations have been nudged higher, while the boost to 2013's outlook is more significant. Next year, outstanding mortgages are expected to fall below $10 trillion for the first time in eight years.

HOEPA Threshold Raised
The dollar threshold for home loans that are subject to the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act of 1994 has been increased.

Low Appraisals Behind Lost, Renegotiated Home Sales
A significant share of real estate agents and real estate brokers recently indicated that one of their sales contracts was lost, delayed or renegotiated during the prior three months because of a low appraisal value.

Mortgage Employees Indicted, Tried and Sentenced
Among the crimes being committed by mortgage employees and real estate finance executives are mortgage fraud, embezzlement and misallocation of customer funds.

Failed Bank Executives Face the Music
Mortgage executives, bank managers and individuals outside the lending business are being indicted, prosecuted and sent to jail for their roles in financial institution failures. Also facing time behind bars are defendants accused of deceiving investors.

Foreclosure Crimes Land Investors in Jail
A growing number of investors who conspire with other investors to fix bid prices at foreclosure auctions are making their way to prison. But property investors aren't the only ones being incarcerated for foreclosure-related crimes.

CMBS Performance Strengthens
A nice improvement in the rate of late payments on hotel and industrial mortgages helped drive down delinquency on securitized commercial real estate loans last month. Thanks to one big loan in New York City, the rate of past-due payments on multifamily loans jumped 50 basis points.

Serious Mortgage Delinquency Jumps
The rate of past-due payments on the country's first lien portfolio jumped last month. Even late payments on second mortgages were higher. But both metrics were substantially better than a year earlier.

Investors, SEC Sue Mortgage Executives
Many of the defendants named in investor lawsuits are former executives of failed and acquired mortgage firms, while the Securities and Exchange Commission is frequently the plaintiff in such actions. Several cases involve investors of either the Federal National Mortgage Association or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.

FHA Eases Modification Requirements
Requirements are being loosened for modifications on loans that are insured by the Federal Housing Administration. In addition to higher debt-to-income ratios and expanded FHA claim amounts, borrowers who previously failed a trial-payment plan could be given another chance to try again.

Federal Regulators Target Mortgage Ads
After reviewing hundreds of Internet, newspaper and mail advertisements, two federal agencies have launched investigations and issued warning letters over potential violations of a federal advertising rule. In addition to mortgage companies, ads from lead companies, home builders and advertising agencies were targeted.

Progress Made on Mortgage Servicer Settlement
Progress is being made by mortgage servicers in meeting the requirements of the mother of all mortgage settlements, and expectations are for servicers to fulfill most of their obligations during the first year of the settlement.

2 Servicers See Success with Outsourcing
Despite a decline in international outsourcing by many servicers, two companies have found offshoring to be a cost-effective alternative. One of the two companies is acquiring the other.

Refinance Turn Times Deteriorate
The amount of time that it takes to close a refinance has been slowing over the past year and now stands considerably longer than for a purchase transaction. The good news is that a bigger share of refinance applications are converting to closed loans. Adjustable-rate share has diminished to almost nothing.

CFPB Delays Mandatory Deadlines for Disclosures
An upcoming deadline for a new set of mortgage disclosures has been extended. The delay was in response to industry comments "overwhelmingly" in support of extra time.

Subprime RMBS at Heart of $400 Million Settlement
A $417 million settlement has been reached between the nation's securities regulator and JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Credit Suisse. Units of the investment bankers allegedly didn't disclose in the sale of subprime residential mortgage-backed securities that some of the borrowers had defaulted. It's the second action JPMorgan has faced from the MBS working group.

No. 50 Goes Down
This year's death toll for federally insured banks has reached 50. The latest casualty was in Georgia -- home to more of 2012's bank failures than any other state. But one bank sees opportunity in the Peach State's elevated activity.

Wells Says NY AG Misinterpreted Sandy-Related Actions
The attorney general of New York has issued a sternly worded letter to the chief executive officer of Wells Fargo & Co. warning about the lender's decision to suspend mortgage relief requests. But the West Coast-based bank said that New York is misinterpreting its actions, and it has no plans to make any changes.
Mortgage Activity Drops Despite Descending Rates
Already low interest rates found room to fall further this week, but the decline wasn't enough to overcome a holiday week slump that had new business slower. Leading overall activity down this week was financing for home purchases.
Mortgage Market Index 198 for week ended Nov. 16
Freddie Paying Borrowers, Servicers for Deeds In Lieu
Freddie Mac is delegating authority for its mortgage servicers to approve deeds in lieu of foreclosure. The program includes relocation assistance for eligible borrowers and increased incentive payments for servicers.

Pre-2010 Loans Leave FHA Capital Reserve Ratio Negative
The capital reserves for the Federal Housing Administration's mortgage insurance fund have turned negative, according to a report to lawmakers. Behind the deterioration were loans that were endorsed at least four years ago -- with seller-paid downpayment assistance loans continuing to dog the agency. While the deterioration wasn't unexpected, it does have FHA scrambling to avoid a government bailout.

Ratings Agencies Criticized in SEC Report
The nation's credit ratings firms have been blamed for playing a role in the financial crisis because of the ratings they issued on mortgage-backed securities.

Servicer Rating Issued for Provident Funding
A new servicer rating issued for Provident Funding Associates LP reflects a successful loan modification strategy and a tenured management team but was tempered by elevated employee turnover and customer call abandonment rates.

New All-Time Low for Fixed Mortgage Rates
Short- and long-term fixed-rate mortgages took a dip this week -- falling to the lowest levels on record. Expectations are that interest rates will stay near their current levels over the next week.

30-Day Rate Worse as Foreclosures and 90-Day Delinquency Down
Powered by an improvement in the 90-day delinquency rate, overall quarterly delinquency and foreclosure rates were lower. But there was an uptick in early-stage late payments on home loans.

California Foreclosures Fall as U.S. Rate Rises
While foreclosures in California outnumber filings in any other state, California reduced the number of foreclosures started and completed last month while the country as a whole experienced deterioration. Servicers in states that already had some of the longest foreclosure timetables face even longer completion times as a result of Hurricane Sandy.

U.S. foreclosure filings up 3% in October

Origination Process Improves
Mortgage lenders are doing a better job with the loan process. Those with the biggest improvements are attracting more borrowers -- who often put existing relationships and strong referral recommendations ahead of the lowest rate in deciding on a lender.

LOS for Smartphones
An application for a loan origination system is now available for smartphones. The new application works on the Apple platform and the Google platform.

Former Mortgage Association President Convicted
The former president of Iowa's mortgage broker association has been convicted by a federal jury.

Mortgage Production Peaking
Residential loan originations will climb in 2012 to their highest levels in three years then retreat each of the following two years. Quarterly refinance volume peaked in the third quarter, while purchase originations are forecasted to peak this quarter.

Mortgage Recruiting at Brisk Pace
Hundreds of mortgage employees are being recruited by lenders across the country, and most of the openings are in loan production. Mortgage branch recruiters have also been busy lately.

Over A Dozen Mortgage Executives Recruited
More than a dozen mortgage firms have named new senior and mid-level executives to lead their companies. Among the appointments are managers who worked for some of the nation's biggest mortgage lenders.

90-Day Delinquency Declines
Mortgages that were at least three months past due accounted for a smaller share of loans outstanding in September. A decline was also reported for the rate of foreclosures and the share underwater borrowers.

CRE Originations Diminish
Slower business at conduits and life insurers led overall quarterly commercial real estate loan originations lower. A variety of property types were impacted by the slow-down. One factor behind the weaker business was the number of maturing loans.

More ARM Borrowers Move to Fixed Rates
Among third-quarter refinance transactions, the share widened for borrowers who refinanced from an adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage. Fixed-rate refinance borrowers were less likely to shorten their terms than in the past.

Foreclosure Deadline Fast Approaching
Borrowers only have until next month to request a review of faulty foreclosures in order to be considered for compensation. The reviews were required as a result of consent orders issued last year against the biggest mortgage servicing firms.

Mortgage Delinquency Maintains Improving Trend
Mortgage delinquency has fallen more than 40 basis points over the past year and improved each of the past three quarters. The forecast is for another 10-basis-point decline before the year is out.

Principal Reductions Harder to Come By
With the recent strengthening of the U.S. real estate market, fewer negative-equity borrowers are being given loan modifications that include a principal reduction.

Fast-Growing Servicer Lays Off Hundreds
Hundreds of employees are being laid off at a rapidly growing specialized mortgage servicer. But the job cuts are merely a bump in the road, and continued growth is expected, according to the firm's founder.

Basel III Delay a Good Sign
With the delay in the implementation of Basel III rules, a mortgage catastrophe was averted. Industry groups warn that the rules threaten to raise the cost of credit and reduce available credit.

Former Subprime CEO Hired by Growing Firm
A California company that is looking to expand its correspondent lending program and improve its mortgage servicing capabilities has hired the former chief of a subprime mortgage lender to oversee growth.

Amy Brandt tapped to oversee expansion

IndyMac Executives Fight FDIC Lawsuit
A lawsuit filed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. accuses three former executives of failed IndyMac Bank of approving bad loans to home builders and developers in order to earn volume bonuses.

FL Loan Modification Jobs Being Cut
Hundreds of Florida employees that handle loan modifications are being laid off next month.

Q3 Mortgage Business Up, Market Share Slips at Biggest Lenders
Market share was a little less concentrated at the top during the third quarter, according to mortgage lender ranking data compiled by Mortgage Daily. Business improved from the second quarter and looks likely to hold through yearend, though the biggest lenders lost a little market share. The landscape for the largest mortgage servicers is undergoing a transformation.

FHA Flounders in Final Month of Fiscal Year
The government insured fewer loans during the final month of its fiscal year, and subsequent months could see a further decline. Delinquency on government mortgages has worsened by nearly a hundred basis points during the past year.

Weekly Mortgage Activity Jumps
Rates improved and pushed weekly mortgage activity higher. Refinances were a big beneficiary of falling interest rates this week, but it was jumbo activity that had the best improvement. Market signs point to mortgage rates that are around 10 basis points better in next week's report.

Mortgage Market Index 227 for week ended Nov. 9

Select Portfolio Servicing is a HAMP Superstar
The number of active loan modifications completed through the Home Affordable Modification Program increased more at Select Portfolio Servicing during September than at any other HAMP servicer. Government and proprietary loan modification volume for all mortgage servicers has recently slowed.

Industry HAMP volume slows in September

Business Slows at Mortgage Insurers
The monthly volume of mortgages that were newly insured turned lower in September. But early returns from October indicate an uptick. Although defaults increased, insurance policies in force have grown each of the past four months.

Ginnie's Monthly Issuances Off
Issuance of mortgage-backed securities that are guaranteed by the Government National Mortgage Association was lower last month. But pockets of strength included reverse mortgage issuances, jumbo loan securitizations and multifamily loan transactions.

MGIC Reports Improvement in October
Last month, MGIC Guaranty Insurance Corp. increased its new business, reduced the number of past-due policies and saw its delinquency rate decline. The mortgage insurance company, however, has continued to watch its book of business diminish.

Expanded Regulation Hurts Independent Lenders Most
Loan origination systems are moving to mobile devices -- enabling loan officers to send information directly to their office computers and maintain regulatory compliance. The efficient process is making it easier to focus on servicing the customer -- a priority that was becoming secondary.

Conference addresses issues faced by small and mid-sized mortgage bankers

Mixed Performance at PHH
While performance metrics have improved from a year ago at PHH Mortgage, delinquency increased and the mortgage servicing portfolio contracted from the second quarter. But quarter-over-quarter gains were made in home-loan production, as quarterly corporate losses were cut.

New Record Lows Possible for Mortgage Rates
Mortgage rates remained near record-low levels this week and are positioned to break into record territory in the next report. Rates began plummeting following the election.

No Need for Draws at Fannie
Another profitable quarter at the Federal National Mortgage Association means another quarter that U.S. taxpayers won't have to fork over more capital to keep the company afloat.

Correspondent Channel is Roaring at PennyMac
Through a thriving correspondent channel, PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust is nearing the quarterly volume of some of the 10 biggest residential lenders.

Walter Investments Positioned to Become a Player
Included in Walter Investment Management Corp.'s share of the joint acquisition of assets from the Residential Capital LLC bankruptcy are mortgage servicing rights on more than $50 billion in agency loans -- potentially positioning the company for a spot among the nation's 10-biggest mortgages servicers. As if that weren't enough, the firm has hundreds of billions of dollars more in its servicing rights pipeline. In addition, Walter Investment is picking up the former lending giant's residential origination platform.

MBS Settlement Between SEC, Chase in Works
JPMorgan Chase & Co. disclosed that it has agreed to settle two investigations into its role, as well as the roles of subsidiaries it has acquired, in the issuance of mortgage-backed securities.

Retail HECM Originators See Biggest Decline
The ongoing decline in reverse mortgage production was evenly distributed among retail and wholesale originators during September compared to a month earlier. But when compared to a year earlier, retail lenders have taken the hardest hit. The biggest reverse mortgage lender during the latest month is under contract to be sold.

Plaintiffs Vary in MBS Investor Lawsuits
Defendants in more than a dozen lawsuits accused of violating the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 have had varying degrees of success fighting mortgage-backed securities cases in court. In addition to foreign banks, plaintiffs include pension funds, bond insurers and securitization trustees.

MBS Litigation Complicated by ResCap Bankruptcy
Plaintiffs in lawsuits involving mortgage-backed securities tied to Residential Capital LLC are sometimes finding themselves fighting their battles in bankruptcy court.

Goldman is Big Target in MBS Litigation
Goldman Sachs is named as a defendant in several lawsuits alleging violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 in connection with the issuance of mortgage-backed securities. One of the actions involved a groundbreaking judicial decision.

Regulators File MBS-Related Lawsuits
Regulators are frequently acting as plaintiffs in lawsuits against defendants who allegedly played various roles in deceiving investors of mortgage-backed securities.

Mortgage Bankers Congratulate Obama
The nail-biter presidential election predicted by the pundits never materialized, and President Obama clearly garnered a majority of popular and electoral votes to secure his administration and its policies for four more years.

Jumbo Loans Originated for Non-Agency Issuance
Originations from a new jumbo product are being aggregated for private-label securitizations.

Judge Finds Failed Firm's Principal Personally Liable to Fannie
An opinion and order has been issued by a federal judge in favor of the Federal National Mortgage Association that holds the owner of an insolvent seller-servicer liable for company debt.

Radian Reports Strong Month
Monthly performance metrics managed to strengthen in each category at Radian Guaranty Inc. New business has nearly doubled over the past year, the mortgage insurer's book of business continues to expand, and the number of delinquent policies was reduced.

Record Production at Nationstar
Originations were up, earnings improved and the mortgage servicing portfolio expanded at Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc.The growing firm is poised for major expansion of mortgage servicing rights.

Freddie Reports Stellar Performance
Secondary activity was stronger, earnings remained in the black and delinquency was down during the latest quarter at Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. The secondary lender is canceling more of its repurchase requests than it is collecting.

Bankruptcy Filings Turn Higher
More consumers resorted to bankruptcy last month, though this year is still on pace to come in with fewer bankruptcy filings than any year since the financial crisis erupted.

Zillow to Acquire Pricing Engine
Zillow Inc. has reached a deal that will make it a player in the product and pricing engine business and expand its presence in the mortgage leads marketplace.

MTA Climbs Higher
The Monthly Treasury Average hasn't seen a decline for six months now. The movement contrasts another index for adjustable-rate home loans that recently set a new record.

CMBS Performance Improves Again
For the third month in a row, the rate of past-due payments on securitized commercial real estate loans has moved lower. Last month's improvement was the biggest in more than a year.

Compliance and Mobility Dominate LOS Advancements
Loan origination systems are moving to mobile devices -- enabling loan officers to send information directly to their office computers and maintain regulatory compliance. The efficient process is making it easier to focus on servicing the customer -- a priority that was becoming secondary.

Failed Bank was Nearly 150 Years Old
A nearly $1 billion bank in Illinois that almost achieved the 150-year mark failed on Friday. But the sizeable institution's demise won't cost as much as the seizure earlier in the day of a much smaller bank. The nation's corporate credit union system, which nearly collapsed three years ago, is reportedly on stronger footing.

Servicing Acquisition Moves Chase Closer to No. 2
An upcoming acquisition of mortgage servicing rights will strengthen JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s position as a trillion-dollar servicer and potentially position it to ascend to the No 2 spot.

Mortgage Business Drops in Wake of Storm

As the Northeast began recovery efforts from Hurricane Sandy, weekly mortgage business tumbled even as interest rates were lower. This week's worst performers were inquiries for jumbo and adjustable-rate mortgages.

Mortgage Market Index 198 for week ended Nov. 2

Ally Originations Increase
Driven by strong refinance activity, quarterly home-loan production jumped by more than a third at Ally Financial Inc. -- though year-over-year activity was down by nearly half as a result of lost correspondent business. Mortgage and corporate income significantly strengthened.

Wells Says Government Wrong for Filing FHA Lawsuit
Wells Fargo & Co. is trying to convince a federal judge that a lawsuit alleging it disregarded requirements on loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration violates the terms of the massive mortgage servicer settlement reached earlier this year.

Reverse Mortgage Lending Slump Persists
The origination of federally insured reverse mortgages lingered last month near the lowest level in at least six years as the loss of biggest players in the sector continued to cut into production.

Mortgage Job Growth Continues
The collective staff size for the country's mortgage firms has expanded for five consecutive months. The picture was mixed, however, for all U.S. industries -- with unemployment worsening and job expansion improving.

Mortgage Rates Linger Near Record Lows
Interest rates on home loans slipped this week and stand very near their all-time lows. More of the same is likely in next week's report based on Treasury market activity.

Fannie Maintains Performance in September
Residential delinquency eased in September at Fannie Mae, while overall issuance of mortgage-backed securities moved higher. But multifamily performance deteriorated, and new secondary activity took a dive last month.

M.I. Unit Not on Block at Genworth
Despite its agreement to unload its reverse mortgage unit, Genworth Financial Corp. has no plans to sell its mortgage insurance business -- which is expected to swing to a profit next year.

National Mortgage Database in Development
Two powerful federal regulators have joined forces to create the first national database of residential mortgages. Information to be made available includes loan origination data, servicing statistics and market trends.

Private Equity Firm Sees Opportunity in Mortgage Acquisition
An agreement to sell a national mortgage banking subsidiary will help a Wisconsin bank bolster its capital position while enabling a private equity firm to take advantage of an improving mortgage market. The transaction will position the mortgage unit for growth.

Fannie Issuance Sinks
Overall agency issuance stumbled last month thanks to a sharp decline at the Federal National Mortgage Association. Business was better, however, at the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.

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