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April 2015 Archive


Mortgage Rates Inch Higher, Could Climb More
Mortgage rates moved slightly higher this past week, and there is a good chance they could continue climbing over the next week.

AMC Rule Finalized
Minimum state requirements for appraisal management companies have been outlined in a rule that has been finalized by federal regulators.

$1.2 Billion in GSE MSRs On the Market
Mortgage servicing rights on nearly $1.2 billion in government-sponsored enterprise home loans have just hit the market.

RESPA Violations Result in Settlements
More players have settled in a case involving alleged illegal kickbacks for referring borrowers to title insurance companies.

New Business Retreats at Radian
Radian Guaranty Inc. reported that quarterly business declined from the previous period. But insurance in force moved higher, and delinquency moved lower.

Alaska USA Lending Retreats, Servicing Rises
Though Alaska USA Federal Credit Union's quarterly mortgage production inched downward on a linked-quarter basis, the lender gained in servicing and staffing.

Guaranteed Rate Reports Growth in Mortgage Business
Quarterly home lending grew, the mortgage servicing portfolio expanded and staffing increased at Guaranteed Rate Inc.

Bank Foreclosing on Whistleblower
A former employee of a Wells Fargo & Co. subsidiary who blew the whistle on the company is now facing foreclosure by the very same company.

Keeping Up With Mortgage Servicing Regulations
Mortgage industry legal experts recently tackled changes to mortgage servicing regulations and had some advise for servicers that have not yet acted.

Servicing, Originations Ascend at Quicken Loans
New home lending activity accelerated at Quicken Loans Inc., while the company's mortgage servicing portfolio continued to expand.

Pending Home Sales at 21-Month High
Pending home sales moved higher last month, climbing to the highest level in 21 months. But some regions of the country saw declines.

New England Bank to Acquire Billion Dollar Lender
The acquisition of a mortgage banking firm that originates more than $1 billion a year is expected to expand the footprint of a bank in the Northeast.

Freddie Unloading Nonperforming Loans
Freddie Mac has announced the planned sale of severely distressed home loans that are currently being serviced by Ocwen Financial Corp.'s servicing subsidiary.

Home Price Index Reflects Solid Gains
House prices continued to strengthen on a national basis, according to a widely watched home price index. Two cities are seeing exceptional pricing gains.

Flagstar Raises Originations and Servicing
Quarterly residential loan production expanded at Flagstar Bancorp Inc., as did the home lender's mortgage servicing portfolio.

New FHA Applications Pile Up
Despite a solid increase in new applications during the first month of the year, Federal Housing Administration production moved lower in the second month. But applications have continued to pile up -- pointing to a strong gain ahead.

Ginnie MSR Portfolio Hits Market
A portfolio of mortgage servicing rights on nearly $1 billion in Ginnie Mae loans is being marketed for sale.

McLean Originations Inch Up as Staffing Slips
McLean Mortgage Corp. bumped up its quarterly loan production. The mortgage banking firm, however, trimmed its payroll.

Ohio Servicers Struggle With Foreclosure Litigation
Lenders take it on the chin in the latest round of Ohio foreclosure cases -- with several losing on appeal. Ohio's top court issued a ruling on proving standing, and, an Ohio appellate court observes that it has recently seen significant problems in the affidavits submitted by bank employees accompanying requests for summary judgment in foreclosures.

New Business, Delinquency Tumble at Freddie
New business moved lower last month at the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., though so did residential delinquency.

Originations, Staffing Grow at Churchill Mortgage
Churchill Mortgage Corp. lifted quarterly loan production, while it also increased the size of its staff compared to the end of last year.

Influencing Mortgage Regulation
Mortgage firms can do more to influence regulation, and they don't need lobbyists or lawyers, a pair of legal experts told attendees at a mortgage servicing conference.

Quicken Founder Says Gov Lawsuit Riddled W/Errors
In a conference call Friday, Quicken Loans Inc.'s founder and other company executives highlighted errors in the government's lawsuit against it.

Refis and Conventional Top Mortgage Activity Decline
Despite stronger business on a year-over-year basis, refinance activity took the hardest hit as new mortgage activity slowed this past week. Meanwhile conventional activity had the second worst week-over-week showing.


Mortgage Market Index 171 for week ended April 24
Impac Mortgage Originations More Than Double
Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. expanded its wholesale sales staff and acquired a retail origination business -- helping it to more than double quarterly loan production.

Requirements Stiffened on FHA Distressed Loan Sales
Changes being made to a program to sell distressed mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration extend the amount of time investors must wait to liquidate the assets.

BB&T Home Lending Sees Tight Gains
While home loan production squeaked by prior quarterly results, pre-tax mortgage banking earnings took a hit at BB&T Corp. The mortgage servicing portfolio also fell.

Mortgage Rates Hold, Likely to Do the Same Again
Interest rates on residential loans moved little this past week, and all indications are that another quiet week is ahead.

Government Strikes Back at Quicken
Just days after filing a lawsuit against the government, Quicken Loans Inc. has become a defendant in an apparent retaliatory action.

Mortgage Earnings Soar at Huntington
Quarterly mortgage production nudged higher at Huntington Bancshares Inc. Far more impressive was the 64 percent surge in quarter-over-quarter mortgage earnings.

Northeast Leads Drop in New Home Sales
Following a surge during February, national new home sales slowed down last month. Sales in the Northeast took the biggest beating.

Wells Fargo Adding Correspondent Mortgage Jobs
Wells Fargo & Co.'s home lending unit is in the process of recruiting correspondent lending employees in the state of Illinois.

Stonegate Production Hurt By Correspondent
For the second time in a row, quarterly mortgage production fell at Stonegate Mortgage Corp., with the most-recent drop due to slowing correspondent business. Servicing and staffing also declined.

MSRs on Over $3 Billion in Loans Change Hands
The parent of Reverse Mortgage Funding LLC is acquiring mortgage servicing rights on more than $3 billion in loans.

Nearly $2 Billion in GSE MSRs Up for Grabs
Two separate offerings of mortgage servicing rights on nearly $2 billion in government-sponsored enterprise loans are on the market.

Strong Jobs, Low Rates Behind Surge in Home Sales
Improvement in U.S. employment and relatively low interest rates on home loans helped to jump start home sales at the start of the spring shopping season.

Wholesale HECM Production Up as Retail Slides
Although the monthly origination of government-insured reverse mortgages slowed through the retail channel, a modest gain was posted on the wholesale side.

Refis Drive Up Mortgage Originations at Regions
While purchase mortgage financing dropped, a rise in refinancing moved total home lending activity higher at Regions Financial Corp.

Regulator Digs In on HOA Super Priority Liens
The regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is standing firm on its position on super-priority liens by homeowners associations.

Mortgage Delinquency Drops as New Foreclosures Surge
Delinquency on home loans tumbled in March, while the foreclosure rate also improved. But new foreclosure filings leapt.

Green Tree Settles Allegations of Servicing Abuse
Green Tree Servicing LLC has agreed to pay more than $60 million to settle allegations that it abused distressed borrowers.

Fifth Third Mortgage Production Rises
Home loan activity jumped ahead at Fifth Third Bancorp. Meanwhile, the size of the financial institution's servicing portfolio shrank.

Serious Mortgage Delinquency Rate Tumbles
Serious delinquency on first mortgages tumbled last month, while the delinquency rate on second mortgages made an even bigger improvement.

Mortgage Bankers Increase Q2 Refi Forecast
Mortgage bankers are apparently more optimistic about refinance production for the current quarter, lifting their projection by $11 billion.

Securitization Among Largest of Its Kind
The closing of a securitization of seasoned residential loans has turned out to be one of the biggest ever of its kind.

Mortgage Insurance News
Last week's unveiling of new mortgage insurance company standards on conventional agency loans has the support of much of the M.I. industry, with most firms indicating that they will meet the requirements. Other updates in mortgage insurance include an enhanced online platform and loosening of requirements on refinancing of subordinate liens.

Standing Remains Issue in Florida Foreclosures
Lender losses on the basis of standing continues to show as a trend in Sunshine State mortgage litigation for the first quarter of 2015, while the question of whether a lender's/servicer's business records constitutes inadmissible hearsay is also beginning to show up in Florida foreclosure litigation.

SunTrust Mtg Lending & Earnings Up, Servicing Down
While residential lending grew at SunTrust Banks Inc., the loan servicing portfolio shrank. Still, mortgage earnings climbed over the prior period.

Mortgage Origination Forecast Bolstered
The latest outlook for this year's residential loan originations has been raised by more than $100 billion. Even next year's forecast fattened.

Quicken Sues Gov Over DOJ Shakedown on FHA Loans
Quicken Loans Inc. has filed a lawsuit alleging that it is being pressured to settle with the government on compliant Federal Housing Administration loans.

Refis and Jumbos Lead Improved Mortgage Activity
After three consecutive weeks of decline, new home borrowing activity saw a boost -- with jumbo and refinance loans leading the week-over-week change.


Mortgage Market Index 189 for week ended April 17
New GSE M.I. Company Requirements Set
A new set of requirements for mortgage insurance companies on government-sponsored enterprise loans will soon go into effect.

G-Fees to Be Updated
More than a year after undertaking an analysis of the impact from increased guarantee fees on government-sponsored enterprise loans, changes are being made.

Integrated Disclosure Solutions Touted
More help has arrived for mortgage bankers to address upcoming requirements for the integrated disclosures. Technology is the primary tool being used.

CO, VA Among Top 5 States in Mortgage Originations
Data on mortgage licensing activity indicates that Colorado and Virginia were among the top-five states in residential loan production by state-licensed originators.

Mortgage Rates Hold
Mortgage rates moved little this past week, and more of the same is likely ahead -- though that's not a bad thing given how low rates currently are.

Loan Modification Activity Slows
Fewer home loans were modified on a monthly basis, and the decline hit both proprietary modifications and government-supported modifications.

Citi Originations Rebound
First-quarter home lending gained ground at Citigroup Inc., and the forward momentum is likely continuing into the next earnings period. The servicing portfolio, however, was scaled back.

Freddie Refinances Soar
The monthly number of government-sponsored enterprise-backed mortgages that were refinanced increased thanks to a spike at the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.

PNC Mortgage Lending and Servicing Rise
Mortgage business blossomed for The PNC Financial Services Group Inc. Loan production increased, the servicing portfolio grew and delinquency declined. While mortgage earnings swung to a profit, residential assets retreated.

U.S. Foreclosure Metrics Deteriorate
Not only did the number of new foreclosure filings increase last month, but total filings leapt, the foreclosure rate deteriorated and repossessions soared.


Total filings 122,060 in March
BofA Mortgage Originations Increase
Despite a drop in home-equity loan production, new mortgage lending surged at Bank of America Corp. -- gaining for the fourth consecutive period. As was the case in the prior quarter -- servicing, assets and staffing decreased.

Mortgage Management Moves Involve GSE, TX Execs
Among recent management moves at home finance firms is a current government-sponsored enterprises executive, a former GSE executive and a pair of Texas mortgage executives.

South Leads Rise in Home Builder Confidence
Home builders have grown more optimistic about market conditions, with builders in the South boasting the most improved view.

Mortgage Delinquency Down at U.S. Bank
Although there was little quarter-over-quarter change in mortgage originations and servicing at U.S. Bancorp, the rate of late payments on residential assets improved.

Chase Production Rises, Servicing Pulls Back
Quarterly home lending activity moved higher at JPMorgan Chase & Co. The size of the servicing portfolio, however, shrank.

Wells Fargo Mortgage Originations Up, Headed Higher
Quarterly refinance activity accelerated at Wells Fargo & Co., driving up overall lending activity. Indications are that elevated originations continued in the second quarter.

Across-the-Board Improvement in Mortgage Performance
Serious mortgage delinquency fell to the lowest level in nearly seven years, while it's been about the same amount of time since the foreclosure rate was so low.

Top Citi Mortgage Executive Changing Roles
The top home lending executive at Citigroup Inc. is being moved to a new job, leaving a vacancy at the global financial services firm.

Survey: 41% Of Lenders Unprepared for TRID
A survey conducted on mortgage banking technology executives found that 41 percent are not prepared for integrated disclosures.

Nearly $600 Million Q4 Loss at Ocwen
Preliminary financial data indicate that Ocwen Financial Corp. suffered a nearly $600 million loss during the final three months of 2014.

Mortgage Service Providers Spotlight New Leaders
Service providers to the mortgage industry have been busy aligning their executive ranks as they jostle for market share. Mortgage insurance firms were prominent in recent activity.

Lender Settles Allegations of Cheating on Exams
Executives at a mortgage banking firm are accused of collecting information about test exams and passing them on to loan originators. A multi-million-dollar, multi-state settlement includes the ouster of the chief operating officer.

Retail Drives Origination Growth at Guild Mortgage
A healthy improvement in retail mortgage production pushed overall business higher at Guild Mortgage Co. Also growing were servicing and staffing.

Mortgage Lending Migrates to Phones
Mortgage technology service providers are continuing to develop applications that move more of the home lending process to wireless phones.

Bank Executives Battle Criminal Charges
Embezzlement, loan fraud and schemes to hide poor loan performance set the stage for the latest round of legal actions involving criminal allegations and prosecution against former bank officials.

New HECM Rule Effective this Month
Lenders on reverse mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration are subject to a new rule. Some Georgia professionals weighed in on reverse mortgages and the changes.

Jumbos and Refis Lead Declining Mortgage Activity
Borrowing activity on home purchases was down for the fourth consecutive week, though jumbo and refinance were the hardest-hit categories on a week-over-week basis.


Mortgage Market Index 173 for week ended April 10
Mortgage Bankers Make LOS Choices
Several home lenders have made recent decisions about their loan origination systems. For those who remain undecided, recent LOS enhancements could sway their decisions.

FHA Settlement at First Horizon
A settlement on government-insured mortgages at First Horizon National Corp. is similar to another such agreement by a mortgage unit it used to own.

Lender Fined for Deceptive Ads
Deceptive advertisements that violated the Truth in Lending Act and the Mortgage Acts and Practices Advertising Rule will cost a California company a quarter-million dollars.

Mortgage Rates Retreat, But Rise Likely to Follow
Disappointing job numbers drove down interest rates on home loans. But the latest indication is that mortgage rates could be back on the rise.

Freddie Increases First-Half Refi Forecast
Freddie Mac raised its expectations for first-half 2015 refinance originations and lifted its estimate for the final quarter of last year. The first-half forecast for purchase financing, however, was cut.

Annual CMBS Issuance Leaps by One Third
The origination of commercial real estate loans increased last year, with securitized CRE loans leading the gain. Favorable conditions have continued into this year.

Bank Buying Texas Mortgage Banker
A deal has been negotiated for a home lender out of North Texas that funds nearly $0.2 billion a year to be acquired by a bank out of Abilene, Texas.

FHFA Lawyer Testifies on NV Super Priority Liens
The general counsel at the Federal Housing Finance Agency is advising state lawmakers in Nevada about the hazards of super-priority liens.

Home Equity Delinquency Down
In the final quarter of last year, the past-due rate on home-equity products improved. But overall consumer performance wasn't so good.

Surge in MGIC's New Business as Delinquency Drops
Last month turned out a solid performance by MGIC Guaranty Insurance Corp., where new business surged and delinquency continued to decline.

Fannie Offers Huge Sale of Distressed Loans
A big pool of distressed home loans is being offered for sale by the Federal National Mortgage Association.

Founders Re-Acquire FBC
After three years under the ownership of another company, the founders and management of FBC Mortgage LLC have taken the company back.

Quicken Hiring 1,000
A thousand people are being recruited by Quicken Loans Inc. to work in the company's adopted home town.

Agencies Dominate Non-Agency Mortgage News
While non-agency loans have recently been securitized without agency backing, planned sales by the government-sponsored enterprises dominated non-agency news.

Ginnie MBS Issuance Highest Since 2013
Monthly issuance of mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by the Government National Mortgage Association climbed the highest level since 2013.

HLSS Acquisition Converted to Asset Sale
Instead of completing an acquisition agreement with another company, Home Loan Servicing Solutions LTD will now sell off its assets.

Mortgage Credit Conditions Best in Years
Credit conditions in home lending eased to their least restrictive level in years, though mortgage credit remains extremely tight compared to the pre-crisis era.

Services Help Comply With Collateral Underwriter
Several valuation service providers have enhanced existing products or developed new ones to help appraisers cope with Collateral Underwriter.

5th Consecutive Rise for MTA
For five months in a row, the Monthly Treasury Average, which determines rate changes on some adjustable-rate mortgages, has moved higher.

Nearly 100 FHA Mortgagees Face HUD Actions
Nearly a hundred mortgagees faced some sort of action by the Department of Housing and Urban Development over deficiencies in their origination or servicing practices.

Navy FCU Projects Record Purchase Production
The largest financial institution of its kind anticipates that purchase financing will ascend to a record level this year. First-time buyer activity is behind the favorable forecast.

ARMs, Refis Lead Mortgage Decline Ahead of Easter
New home borrowing activity was curtailed by seasonal events, and the adjustable-rate and refinance categories had the steepest declines. But business was stronger than a year earlier.


Mortgage Market Index 186 for week ended April 3
BofA Settles Taylor Bean Lawsuits
A pair of lawsuits filed against Bank of America Corp. for its alleged role in losses suffered by note holders of a Taylor Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. unit have been settled.

Layoffs Resulting from FHLB Merger
An upcoming merger of two government-sponsored enterprises will result in the layoff of more than a hundred employees.

Bankruptcies Deteriorate in March
The number of new bankruptcy filings took a turn for the worse in March -- climbing to the highest level in 10 months.

U.S. Employment Growth Sinks, But Mortgage Jobs Up
A bump in the number of broker jobs lifted overall non-bank mortgage employment. A weak U.S. employment report is having a favorable impact on bond yields and could help to further expand staffing in real estate finance.

Credit Scores for Those Lacking Traditional Credit
An estimated 15 million people could move into the world of credit thanks to a new credit scoring model that considers alternative forms of credit. But its applicability to home finance is unclear.

Mortgage Rates Little Changed and Might Stay Put
There was hardly any change in fixed mortgage rates over the past week, and more of the same could be ahead -- though upcoming economic data could shatter that forecast.

Standing at Issue in N.Y. Foreclosure Cases
Standing, which is gaining ground in Florida as a successful legal defense against foreclosure, is also showing up in the latest round of cases in New York. Some lenders are seeing foreclosures dismissed because they were not able to prove that they were the assignee or had physical possession of the mortgage and underlying note. In another instance, a lender failed to lay the proper foundation in getting hearsay evidence admitted, causing the evidence to be thrown out of court. And, in another instance, not only did a lender lose on the standing issue, but the court ruled that the defendants were not properly served.

Mortgage Gatherings Pinpoint New Rules
With recent regulatory policies and implementation deadlines taking hold, several industry conferences and workshops are geared towards helping lenders manage a successful business in the age of compliance. Appraisals, banking and reverse mortgages are among other topics being covered at upcoming events.

HECM Production Down
Reverse mortgage lenders had another month-over-month decline in government-insured originations as fewer lenders were active last month.

18-Month High for Agency MBS Issuance
Issuance of agency mortgage-backed securities rose to the highest level in a year-and-a-half, though one of the three housing finance agencies didn't participate in the rally.

Big Banks Avoid Mortgage Risk, Lose Market Share
New data indicate that as large banks have cut their risk on agency mortgage lending, they have lost market share.

Hotel CMBS Delinquency Sinks, Industrial Lates Jump
A nice improvement in the performance of securitized lodging and office loans was offset by deterioration on industrial, retail and multifamily loans.

New Business, Delinquency Decline Again at Fannie
For the second month in a row, new business was down at the Federal National Mortgage Association. Improvement in residential loan performance, however, continued unabated.

Agency MSRs Being Sold on Flow Basis
Mortgage servicing rights on upcoming originations are being offered on a flow basis in a deal that will provide MSRs on at least $300 million in agency loans.

11-Month High for COFI
The 11th District Cost of Funds Index climbed to its highest level in nearly a year yet remains within 4 basis points of its all-time low.

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