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May 2012 Archive


Fannie Business Plummets; Delinquency at 3-Year Low
As fast as it rose, secondary marketing activity at the Federal National Mortgage Association plunged last month. On the upside, it's been exactly three years since home-loan delinquency has been this low at the company.

Record 10-Year Treasury Points to Another 30-Year Mortgage Record
The 30-year mortgage has been in record territory for five consecutive weeks, while 15-year loans fell below 3 percent for the first time. A new record today for the 10-year Treasury yield likely means that a new low is ahead next week for mortgage rates.

Suitability Rulemaking in Process
An upcoming regulation will require mortgage lenders to ensure that prospective borrowers actually have the ability to repay loans before they get to closing. Input is being sought on new data obtained in connection with a proposed rule and on potential litigation.

Bankers Seeking Specialized Internet Addresses
Financial institutions around the globe hope to provide consumers with a more secure system to conduct banking services online by replacing the dot-com extensions on financial websites.

Fannie, Freddie Responsible for Housing Crash
The former chief economist for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. says that Freddie Mac and its government-controlled rival Fannie Mae were at the heart of the U.S. housing crash.

Video of former HUD economist testifying

Fannie Defrauded by New York Bank
A New York-based savings bank serving the Chinese community has been indicted along with former executives, loan originators and employees for defrauding the Federal National Mortgage Association.

Former Thornburg Execs Settle With Investors
Investors in Thornburg Mortgage Inc. have come to an agreement with former executives and directors of the one-time jumbo lender.

Ellie Shares Moving to Big Board
With its share price more than doubling since debuting a year ago, Ellie Mae Inc. has decided to move trading of its shares to the Big Board.

M.I. Business Holds Up
The number and volume of mortgage insurance policies written last month edged higher but has nearly doubled over a year earlier. Similarly, defaults were barely changed but have fallen by nearly half over the past 12 months.

Hotel Loans Drive CMBS Delinquency to Record High
Fueled by a more than 170-basis-point rise in lodging delinquency, the rate of past-due loans included in commercial mortgage-backed securities climbed to the highest level on record.

Risk of Appraisal Fraud Diminishes
Helped by a big quarter-over-quarter decline in the risk of property valuation fraud, the risk of mortgage fraud fell to the lowest level in nearly three years. California's Central Valley also contributed to the improvement. The close correlation between the risk of fraud and foreclosure rates continued into the latest period.

Wells Agrees to Pay Less than $8 Million to End Discrimination Suit
An agreement between Wells Fargo & Co., the city of Memphis, Tenn., and Shelby County, Tenn., puts an end to litigation between the parties. The deal will cost the lender less than $8 million.

MBA Chief Named President of SunTrust
David H. Stevens has had a front-row seat as the mortgage industry has gone from record-breaking production to a full-fledged meltdown.

10-Year Yield Trading Below Record Low
The European debt crisis is taking its toll on the U.S. stock market and sovereign debt yields. But it also has the yield on the 10-year Treasury note lower than any close on record -- creating more opportunity for U.S. mortgage originators.

Whistleblowers Cash In
Two whistleblowers have cashed in after turning in Bank of America Corp. for alleged illegal actions. The payout to one of the employees, a former appraisal manager, is nearly $15 million. Whistleblowers are being sought, meanwhile, in an attempt to uncover illegal activities by issuers of residential mortgage-backed securities.

MERS, Equitable Subrogation Dominate Title Litigation
The Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. has been on a role -- with the MERS model recently upheld by courts in several states. Idaho, New York and Oregon saw much of the favorable MERS activity. Meanwhile, lenders jockeying in court for lien position are frequently subjected to the doctrine of equitable subrogation.

Wells Settling Discrimination Lawsuit for $400 Million
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., has reportedly agreed to settle for $400 million charges of lending discrimination in a lawsuit filed by the city of Memphis, Tenn., and Shelby County.

BofA Tests Borrower-to-Tenant Program
Bank of America Corp. is in the process of completing mailings to a thousand distressed borrowers in Arizona, Nevada and New York inviting them to execute a deed in lieu of foreclosure and become renters.

Mortgage Inquiries Slide Ahead of Holiday
Fewer pricing inquiries were pulled by mortgage loan originators ahead of the Memorial Day weekend despite new record-low interest rates. But home purchase financing and government-insured activity held steady.

Mortgage Market Index 220 for the week ended May 25

New Business Tumbles at Freddie
New business sank to the lowest level since last summer at the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., and the book of business has fallen by more than $100 billion during the past year. While there was no change in the rate of residential delinquency, performance on apartment loans deteriorated.

NovaStar Distances Itself from Subprime Era
With a new name in hand, NovaStar Financial Inc. is closing the book on its subprime mortgage past.

Huge Win in Quicken RESPA Case
A ruling Thursday by the U.S. Supreme Court on unearned fees is good news for Quicken Loans Inc. and for mortgage lenders in general. But the ruling was a setback for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

30-Year Establishes New Record as Volatility Lurks
Fixed mortgage rates were little changed from their record-low levels, though the long-term mortgage did set a new record. Interest rates are poised to maintain their current lows, but a looming European sovereign debt crisis remains a lingering threat to global financial markets.

Serious Delinquency Improves 4 Consecutive Months
Residential loans that are considered to be seriously past due have fallen each of the past four months. A similar trend is developing for real estate loans that are written off. The outlook for the current quarter is more of the same.

Bank Sector Strengthens
The nation's banks saw earnings increase, failures fall and troubled institutions ease. While the sector cut its residential loan assets, mortgage-backed securities investments have been on the rise. Bank earnings were concentrated at only three bank-holding companies, while staffing was concentrated at just four firms.

2012 Originations Now Expected to Exceed 2011
A nearly $0.2 trillion increase in mortgage bankers' forecast of residential originations this year now has volume exceeding production during 2011. All of the 2012 improvement is with expected refinance volume -- as the forecast for home purchase financing has been cut. But a real estate market recovery is expected next year with home purchase financing projected to surge by nearly three quarters.

Mortgage Lien Wiped Out in IL Bankruptcy
A recent decision in a bankruptcy case could have serious implications for mortgage holders in Illinois.

Fannie Back Peddles on Force-Placed Insurance Requirements
A decision by Fannie Mae to implement new guidelines on forced-placed insurance is now being put on hold.

Fannie Extends Repurchase Policy
A policy that allows seller-servicers more time to meet a repurchase demands has been extended by the Federal National Mortgage Association.

2012 Origination Outlook Raised by $50 Billion
This year's projected home-loan production was increased, with the outlook raised for both refinance and purchase originations. But the outlook was lowered for mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration or guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

$0.3 Billion in Repurchases from Freddie
More than $0.3 billion in mortgages are being repurchased from the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.

CMBS Delinquency Resumes Improvement
The rate of delinquency on loans included in commercial mortgage-backed securities was lower last month. Contributing to the improvement were loans secured by hotels, retail properties and apartment buildings. But late payments on healthcare properties shot up 150 basis points.

Appraisal Compliance Made Easy
Appraisers, appraisal management companies and mortgage lenders have been overwhelmed with new regulatory requirements during the past few years, but a host of offerings promise to make compliance almost routine. Meantime, a number of recent technology enhancements promise to improve the validity of appraisal values. Some appraisal firms are reporting extraordinary growth.

Citi Fined for Faulty Pre-Crisis RMBS Reporting
The investment banking unit of Citigroup Inc. has been hit with a regulatory fine because it provided inaccurate performance data on nonprime residential mortgage-backed securities in the two years leading up to the global financial crisis.

States Divert Servicer Settlement Funds
When the mortgage servicer settlement was announced earlier this year, state and federal officials said the states' cash portion of the agreement would mainly fund housing counselors and legal aid organizations. But a new report found that nearly 40 percent of the funds will be used to pay down budget deficits or fund programs unrelated to the foreclosure crisis.

Mortgage Firm Makes 10 Best Places to Work
One of the biggest mortgage originators in the country was ranked among the 10 best U.S. employers. Meanwhile, a growing mortgage hub was home to the four highest-ranking firms among all industries -- and three of those companies are in energy.

Wave of MERS Lawsuits Spreads to Illinois
In 2009, the president of the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems reportedly testified that the mortgage industry would save $2.4 billion in recording fees if each residential loan had been resold and recorded just once. But all of that savings will be wiped out if counties across the nation have their way.

Mortgage Crimes Yield Indictments, Convictions & Prison Sentences
Prosecutors in several mortgage-related criminal cases involving hundreds of millions of dollars have produced indictments, plea agreements and convictions. Attention was drawn to some of the cases because the banks where the crooked executives worked applied for federal bailout funds. Some of the defendants have been sentenced to more than a decade in prison.

New Delinquencies Inch Higher
Following four consecutive months of improvement, residential delinquency moved higher last month. Behind the deterioration were newly past-due loans.

Firms See Opportunity in MGIC's Exit from Website Business
At least two companies hope to capitalize on Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp.'s upcoming exit from the business of providing websites for mortgage loan originators. One of the replacement offerings promises to boost lead generation results.

New PHH Mortgage President Hired from Outside Industry
The new president of PHH Mortgage Corp. was recruited from outside the mortgage business.

3 Consecutive Quarters of Mortgage Employment Growth
Mortgage industry staffing has expanded each of the past three quarters, according to the First-Quarter 2012 Mortgage Employment Index from Mortgage Daily.

3 Go Down
Two financial institutions failed last week, though associated losses will be minimal. In addition, the recent closing of a real estate lender resulted in hundreds of layoffs.

Refis Strengthen Again as Rates Plummet
It was the third week in a row that inquiries for refinances were higher as mortgage rates continued to descend to depths not seen before. All signs point to even lower mortgage rates in next week's report. But at least one category that did not participate in the rally was purchase financing.

Mortgage Market Index 233 for the week ended May 18

Freddie Sued by Its Biggest Mortgage Insurer
A lawsuit has been filed against the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. and its conservator-regulator by the secondary lender's biggest mortgage insurance counterparty. At issue is the interpretation of the maximum coverage for a pool of loans.

MGIC Loosens Restricted Markets Requirements
Credit and debt-to-income ratio requirements have been eased in the country's most struggling real estate markets by Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp. The move is a result of market improvement.

Record Mortgage Rates Poised for Another New Low
The good news is that fixed mortgage rates fell to the lowest levels on record and are already on their way to setting another new low -- with a sub-3 percent rate in site for the 15-year mortgage. The bad news is that the stock market is on its way to the lowest point this year. There were no records set, however, for adjustable-rate products.

Record Low for 10-Year Treasury Yield
Thanks to the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell to the lowest level on record.

Opposing Views on Principal Reduction
The various programs and proposals to reduce the principal loan balance on mortgages to deeply underwater borrowers would improve the equity position of some homeowners while leaving other seemingly similar borrowers with negative equity.

Program Promises Lowest Wholesale Rates in Industry
A growing wholesale mortgage lender has launched a new program for mortgage brokers that, it claims, has the lowest conventional pricing in the industry. But the offering is limited to larger loans and high-quality borrowers.

Origination Outlook Improved Considerably from Last Year
The forecast for 2012 residential loan originations by all U.S. lenders has been raised each month since October, and this month was no exception. This year's mortgage outlook now stands nearly $350 billion higher than it did seven months ago, and if the trend continues -- annual activity could exceed last year's production.

Foreclosures Fall to Lowest Level in Over 4 Years
The number of new foreclosure filings fell below 200,000 for only the second time in more than four years. California was responsible for more than half of the latest improvement. Meanwhile, Boston saw a major increase in new filings.

188,780 properties faced filing in April

BofA Goes National With Short Sale Payouts
After testing a program that pays delinquent borrowers to help unload their properties through a short sale, Bank of America Corp. is now expanding the program.

Subprime Foreclosures Improve Despite Rise in Overall Rate
Past-due payments on home loans have fallen for three consecutive quarters, though performance on mortgages to veterans deteriorated. But the rate of foreclosures was higher despite an improvement in subprime foreclosures.

Residential Issuance Drives Up Ginnie Activity
Thanks to strong residential activity, securitizations at the Government National Mortgage Association soared by a quarter last month. Even multifamily issuance was stronger. But reverse mortgage volume was lower.

Small Wholesaler Seeing Big Results from HARP 2.0
New business at a small Texas-based wholesale lender that operates in more than two dozen states has exploded since it began accepting applications for mortgages processed under the Home Affordable Refinance Program. Originations are so strong that the company is recruiting more employees to help it keep up with demand.

Lenders Take More Risk on New Originations
Credit scores decreased on mortgages closed last month, while loan-to-value ratios increased. Even debt-to-income ratios rose despite that the share of 15-year loans was lower and the share of adjustable-rate mortgages was higher.

Seasonal Slump for CRE Loan Originations
Compared to the final three months of last year, quarterly commercial mortgage originations fell an estimated $6 billion -- though the decline was seasonal. Health care properties, industrial properties and agency originations saw the biggest declines. Volume was better, however, than a year earlier -- with banks, retail properties and health care properties leading the way.

LOS Provider Acquiring Servicing Tech Firm
A company that provides loan origination system technology to mid-tier lenders is acquiring the same company that it was once owned by.

Bank Expands Mortgage Staffing Plans
Staffing at a mortgage center opened last year in Arizona was originally expected to reach a hundred. But that goal turned out to be too low for the bank that opened the center.

4 Months of Improvement in Serious Delinquency
First-mortgage delinquency improved for the fourth month in a row and stands at its lowest level since before the financial crisis. It's a similar story for second liens.

Quicken Correspondent Unit Reports Huge Growth
A relatively new division of Quicken Loans Inc. that provides production services to financial institutions is reporting "explosive growth." The unit is in heavy recruitment mode.

Nationstar Reports Growth
In its first earnings report since completing its initial public offering, Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. said its originations, earnings and employee count grew. Originations are already on track to set a new record this year. The residential servicing portfolio, meanwhile, slipped but is poised for massive growth with two upcoming acquisitions.

ARM Borrowers Flock to 15-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgages
Borrowers who are in adjustable-rate mortgages are flocking to 15-year fixed-rate mortgages at rapid clip, while borrowers in balloon-payment loans are migrating towards longer-term loans.

Record Production at Credit Unions
U.S. credit unions originated more first mortgages in the first-three months of 2012 than they did during any other first quarter on record. In addition, credit union assets reached a new milestone.

Mortgage Insurer Consolidating
A mortgage insurance company operating from North Carolina is being spun off and consolidated with its sister companies.

Stearns Reports Strong Production
Stearns Lending Inc. outperformed the industry as a whole during the first three months of this year and hopes to improve its market share further with the addition of a seasoned mortgage lending executive.

Quantum Leap for Nationstar
With the planned acquisition of assets from bankrupt Residential Capital LLC, Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. expects to become one of the industry's biggest non-bank mortgage firms.

ResCap Lands in Bankruptcy
Ally Financial Inc. has been considering the possibility of throwing Residential Capital LLC into bankruptcy for three years. Today, the auto-finance giant made the plunge. Joining ResCap in bankruptcy court were several other former big names in mortgage lending.

Business Closings Drive Mortgage Layoffs
Many of the recent layoffs in the mortgage industry have been driven by decisions to close down mortgage-related businesses. Hundreds of other recent layoffs are the result of expense cutting, mergers and outsourcing.

Recruiting Active in Mortgage Industry
Mortgage-related jobs are being added by a diverse group of companies including credit unions, service providers and reverse mortgage lenders. The hirings are spread throughout the country, though New York, Ohio and Texas are seeing more than their fair share of new recruits.

Option ARM Judgment Against Mortgage Broker
A Maryland borrower who lost his house to foreclosure sued his mortgage broker over allegations he wasn't aware of the terms of his payment-option adjustable-rate mortgage. A jury has awarded the borrower more than $300,000.

Refis Lead New Mortgage Business Higher
Thanks to record-low mortgage rates and a healthy boost in demand for refinances, mortgage activity climbed this week. Interest rates are poised to drop another 5 basis points by the next report. But the low rates weren't enough to increase demand for home purchase financing.

Mortgage Market Index 224 for the week ended May 11

FL Supreme Court Justices Grill Borrower's Attorney
An attorney for a delinquent borrower who settled with the lender after it was alleged that foreclosure documents were backdated is arguing before the Florida Supreme Court that mortgage companies shouldn't be able to dismiss a foreclosure case because they used fraudulent documents then re-file with valid documents. But the justices didn't seem interested in going along with her argument.

Fed Chief Says Mortgage Lending Too Tight
While standards for many types of lending have loosened up over the past few years, home mortgage lending remains "particularly sluggish," according to the head of the Federal Reserve.

Record-Low Rates Not Heading Higher Anytime Soon
For the second week in a row, fixed rates on mortgages fell to the lowest levels on record. Treasury market activity and market predictions suggest that no increase is ahead during the next week.

Freddie Confirms CEO Appointment
Published reports about a new chief executive officer at the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. have been confirmed by the secondary lender.

Deutsche Settles FHA Claims for $0.2 Billion
A settlement for more than $200 million has been reached between Germany's Deutsche Bank and the U.S. government over claims that a subprime subsidiary lied about the quality of mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration.

HARP a Boon for Big Lenders
Some borrowers aren't having any luck finding a lender to process their refinance through the Home Affordable Refinance Program, while others complain that the rates are too high. But the program is a windfall for big mortgage lenders who are reducing liability, being subjected to fewer requirements and earning around twice as much on the loans.

CFPB Considering Huge Change to L.O. Commissions
The traditional calculation for commissions earned by loan originators will disappear if the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has its way. Also on the table are discount points.

Slowing Reverse Sector Could Slow More
Reverse mortgage production, including government-insured and non-insured loans, was slower on a monthly basis. With the upcoming exit of the biggest player in the sector, more deterioration can be expected in overall volume. The wholesale channel put in the worst performance -- down by more than a quarter.

Judicial States Bloat U.S. Shadow Inventory
While the nation's pool of distressed loans remains historically high, there have been some positive signs with the shadow inventory. Hurting the numbers are states that require judicial foreclosures, where it takes two-and-a-half times as long to clear out non-performing mortgages as it does in non-judicial states. The problem is much worse in the Big Apple -- where the distressed supply would take far more than a decade to clear.

Shadow Inventory Falls
The latest data on the nation's shadow inventory of homes indicates that the time it will take to clear out the inventory has fallen by one month. There was also some other good news for the shadow inventory.

PrimeLending Parent to Merge
The parent of the company that ranked as a top-20 residential lender during 2011 has agreed to be acquired.

AMC Shutting Down
Struggling mortgage service provider CoreLogic is closing down its appraisal management company. The business, which now faces more regulatory scrutiny, is in ongoing litigation over appraisals performed for Washington Mutual Bank.

Delinquency at Lowest Level in 3 Years
The rate of home loans that were past-due at least two months fell to the lowest level in three years. Some of the biggest improvement was seen in states with the worst delinquency rates.

Treasury's GSE Holdings Improve Over $4 Billion in Q1
Fannie Mae turned in a quarterly profit, paid nearly $3 billion in dividends to the government and required no bailout funds for the first time since being seized by the government. Thanks to healthy first-quarter earnings at both Fannie and Freddie Mac, the government's position in the two companies improved by more than $4 billion.

Freddie Finds New CEO
Despite severe limitations on compensation to its top executive, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. has reportedly located a new chief executive officer. A formal announcement is expected this week.

Serious Improvement in Serious Delinquency
The rate of serious delinquency on residential loans fell more than 40 basis points during March. Past-due payments on the country's outstanding mortgages have improved more than 90 BPS from a year earlier.

MGIC Delinquency, New Business Better
The number of mortgage insurance policies written last month at MGIC Investment Corp. increased, and delinquency improved for the third consecutive month.

Wells Discloses Fair Lending Investigation
A disclosure by Wells Fargo & Co. indicates that the nation's biggest mortgage lender is under investigation for potential violations of fair lending laws. But a settlement has been reached with mortgage-backed securities investors.

California Borrowers Receiving Principal Reduction
A revision to the requirements for a California program that reduces principal for underwater borrowers paves the way for much-needed participation by the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Bank Corp.

HAMP Volume Slips
Mortgage Daily incorrectly reported on Monday that the number of active modifications completed through the Home Affordable Modification Program had the biggest month-over-month increase ever. In fact, the gain in active HAMPs was slower than the previous month and also worse than the same month during the previous year.

Active HAMPs increase 80,769 in March

Radian Has Strong April
Defaults were down and new business was up last month at Radian Insurance Inc. All in all, it was a good month for the mortgage insurance company.

New Record Low for MTA
Borrowers whose adjustable-rate mortgages utilize the Monthly Treasury Average will likely see lower rates and payments as the index descends deeper into uncharted territory.

HSBC to Outsource Production, Servicing
HSBC Bank USA, N.A., has disclosed an agreement to outsource all of its mortgage processing and loan servicing.

Policy Covers Repurchases
Residential lenders can now purchase insurance coverage for loan buy-backs. Word of the new policies came as mortgage bankers meet at their annual secondary marketing conference.

Genworth Cuts Pricing, Eases Guidelines
Mortgage insurance premiums are being reduced at Genworth Mortgage Insurance. In addition, the mortgage insurance company said that changes to its underwriting guidelines are expected to enable more borrowers to qualify.

California Mortgage Bill Sparks Heated Campaign
Democrats in California's legislature are divided over a bill that, some say, would increase regulatory burdens on mortgage servicers and threaten the state's real estate recovery. The issue is so heated that a video has been produced portraying a legislator on one side of the issue as selling out to the banking industry.

Florida Bank Fails
The country's regulator of national banks took down a Florida financial institution last week. The bank had already been hit with three regulatory actions including a cease-and-desist order.

Originations Slip as Correspondent Lenders Retreat
First-quarter mortgage closings slowed and could fall further during the current quarter, according to Mortgage Daily's Mortgage Lender Ranking. A third-party retreat at two big lenders hurt business, but another firm sees opportunity in buying loans closed by other companies.

Loan Inquiries Inch Up as Low Rates Could Dip More
A few more people were out shopping for a home loan this past week, with home purchase financing inquiries putting in the strongest week-over-week performance. Already-low rates are poised to fall a little further.

Mortgage Market Index 207 for the week ended May 4

Mortgage Production Report Card
Several firms are on their way to becoming billion-dollar players -- some at a rapid pace -- while others are already there. A few of the players are achieving the big numbers through commercial mortgage originations.

Home-Equity Business Slows, Performance Improving
A decline in the origination of home-equity products during the past few years has dragged down the nation's collective portfolio. While loan performance had deteriorated, falling credit risk has helped reverse that trend.

Wells' Market Dominance a Concern
By a wide margin, Wells Fargo & Co. is the biggest residential lender in the country. But its dominance of the home-loan finance market is a concern because a potential disruption at the mammoth lender could have a negative impact on an already ailing U.S. real estate market.

Mortgage Jobs Gain as U.S. Employment Falters
The news wasn't so good for the U.S. economy, with nonfarm payrolls seeing a lackluster gain. But for people working in the mortgage industry, the news was much better. In addition, government statistics for the home-loan business a year ago were revised up more than 25,000 jobs. Meanwhile, U.S. unemployment hasn't been this low since President Obama first took office.

Record-Low Rates Likely to Hold
Never before in the record-keeping annals of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. have fixed-rate mortgages been this low. The outlook is for more of the same.

Cases of Principal Reduction Growing
The mortgage servicing sector has an uphill battle cleaning up its image. But while some in the business acknowledge shortcomings early in the housing crisis, they also have seen improvement since. Among those improvements are more cases of borrowers who are seeing principal reduction through loan modifications.

Former MBA Chairman Launches New Lender
The former chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association is at the helm of a newly launched New York-based lender. Production is being generated from direct lending and mortgage broker channels.

PennyMac's Correspondent Acquisitions Continue to Accelerate
Correspondent originations at PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trustnearly doubled compared to the prior quarter and are expected to increase even more. The healthy pace of correspondent growth has the company adjusting its outlook for the year.

Hardly Any Taxpayer Support for Freddie in Q1
Virtually no government support was required by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. during the first three months of 2012. The quality of the company's portfolio has improved significantly over the past seven years.

Struggling Reverse Sector Manages a Gain
After falling to the lowest level in more than six years, the number of reverse mortgages that were insured by the government bounced up last month. But the sector faces an uphill battle with yet another exit by a big player.

Correspondent Lender Reports Strong Growth
Less than a year after launching a correspondent division, a Chicago-area lender is reporting stellar growth at the business.

Office Loans Push Up CMBS Delinquency
Only one category of commercial real estate saw an increase in delinquency last month. But the degree of deterioration in that category was enough to hurt the overall level of delinquency on securitized commercial real estate loans.

GMAC Servicer Rating Hurt By ResCap Standing
The possibility of bankruptcy at its parent has GMAC Mortgage's servicing ratings on watch for a possible downgrade. Prime and nonprime ratings are affected.

Flagstar Lifts Production, Grows Staff
Fundings at Flagstar Bancorp Inc. increased by 10 percent during the first quarter of this year, while staffing for mortgage sales expanded. Also increasing was the mortgage servicing portfolio and net earnings.

Correspondent Retreat Hurts PHH Production
An 11 percent quarterly decline in mortgage originations at PHH Corp.was primarily the result of an earlier decision to reduce its reliance on the correspondent lending channel. The company's pipeline of locked applications ready to close point to an even slower second quarter. But with widening profit margins and a "robust" retail pipeline, PHH's chief was happy with the results.

Democrats Go On Offensive Against FHFA Chief
A pair of House Democrats has lobbed an allegation at the regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that his congressional testimony on principal reduction is contradicted by internal documents from Fannie.

Serious Delinquency Holds at Lowest Level Since 2009
The proportion of home-loan borrowers who are considered seriously delinquent hasn't been this low for nearly three years. Delinquency in states that don't require judicial foreclosures has significantly improved.

Agency Issuance Evaporates
As fast as it rose, total issuance of mortgage-backed securities by the nation's housing finance agencies slid 30 percent last month. But activity at one agency, the Government National Mortgage Association, was respectably higher.

Maternity Discrimination Leads to Another Settlement
During the past year, charges of lending discrimination involving people on maternity leave have led to settlements with at least four companies. The latest to reach an agreement is a mortgage insurance company.

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