April 10, 2014

Latest from Inside Mortgage Finance

Total ABS issuance rose by 33.0% from the previous quarter according to estimates from Inside MBS & ABS

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GSE Purchases of Loans With Private MI Dropped Sharply in Early 2014, Biggest Drop in HARP Pace

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securitized just $29.95 billion of single-family mortgages with private mortgage-insurance coverage during the first quarter of 2014, a 30.9 percent decline from the previous period, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance analysis and ranking. The steepness of the private MI downturn was in line with the 29.1 percent downturn in overall business at the two government-sponsored enterprises from the fourth quarter of 2013. And the flow of private MI loans in early 2014 was down 40.2 percent from the first quarter of last year, a less severe drop than the 63.7 swoon in the overall GSE market over that period. The biggest decline in MI-insured business was in underwater mortgages that were refinanced while keeping their existing coverage under the Home Affordable Refinance Program...[Includes two data charts]

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Indicators Point to Historically Weak Origination Market in Early 2014, Potential Culling of Herd

Early indicators suggest that mortgage originations slumped by about 23 percent in the first quarter of 2014, a harbinger of tough times to come for companies that are running on fumes. According to a new Inside Mortgage Finance analysis of loan-level data in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac first-quarter securitizations, primary market originations for the first three months of the year totaled about $235 billion. Unless the pace picks up, 2014 could fail to reach $1 trillion for the first time since 1998. Lender surveys, which are the major factor in Inside Mortgage Finance originations estimates, are underway. Weak origination volume is...

Opposition to Senate GSE Reform Mounts as Shareholder Advocate Predicts Bill Will ‘Collapse Under Its Own Weight’

An array of advocacy groups – both well established and newly formed – have stepped up their lobbying efforts as the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee moves toward a scheduled markup of increasingly controversial mortgage-finance reform legislation. A lot of the noise is coming from disenfranchised investors in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac junior preferred stock and common stock who want to scuttle the bipartisan reform bill put together by Sens. Tim Johnson, D-SD, and Mike Crapo, R-ID. Their legislation is silent on the fate of public stockholders of the two government-sponsored enterprises, and it leaves intact the conservatorship arrangement that strips virtually all the capital from the two GSEs every quarter. In a press conference called by Investors Unite, a group of individual GSE shareholders, and consumer advocate Ralph Nader’s Shareholder Respect, CapWealth Advisor CEO Tim Pagliara predicted...

Feature Stories

Inside the CFPB

CFPB Requires $747 Million from BofA Over Credit Card Practices

Bank of America will have to pay $727 million in restitution to consumers who were harmed by practices related to its credit card add-on products, under the terms of a consent order announced last week by the CFPB. That is the single largest amount of money yet returned to consumers in such an action by the bureau. BofA also agreed to pay a $20 million civil money penalty to the CFPB. The bureau went after BofA on two fronts: allegedly deceptive marketing practices as well as unfair billing practices. The marketing practices at issue had to do with two credit-card payment-protection products, “Credit Protection Plus” and “Credit Protection Deluxe.” “The bureau found that the telemarketing scripts Bank of America used...

Inside FHA Lending

FHA Rejects Industry Plea to Lower MIPs

FHA Commissioner Carol Galante quashed any industry hope of seeing mortgage insurance premiums lowered at this time, saying that while the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund has shown some improvement, full recovery is still far off. In remarks during the Mortgage Bankers Association’s National Advocacy Conference this week, Galante also defended a provision in the president’s FY 2015 budget proposal seeking statutory authority for the FHA to collect an administrative fee from lenders to help fund quality control improvements. Both issues are high up on the MBA’s lobbying priorities as members gathered in Washington, DC, this week to meet with lawmakers and their staff to discuss FHA and other key industry concerns. Galante said the Department of Housing and Urban Development is currently focused on strengthening the MMI Fund and expanding access to credit for all qualified borrowers. The FHA raised pricing five times from ...

Inside Nonconforming Markets

Jumbo MBS Issuance Slump Continues; Investors Shrug Off Strong Performance

The jumbo mortgage-backed security market has yet to recover from the spike in interest rates seen nearly a year ago. Investor demand for the securities remains weak, even with the pristine performance of jumbo MBS issued since 2010. Four deals were priced in the first quarter of 2014 for a total of $1.29 billion in issuance, according to Inside Nonconforming Markets. While that was a 56.0 percent increase in issuance compared with ... [Includes two data charts]

Inside MBS & ABS

Non-Mortgage ABS Issuance Off to Strong Start In 2014, Big Gains in All Major Asset Categories

New issuance of non-mortgage ABS surged to $49.68 billion in the first quarter of 2014, a strong 33.0 percent increase from the previous quarter, according to a new Inside MBS & ABS market analysis and ranking. The first three months of 2014 represented the strongest quarterly ABS issuance number since the third quarter of 2009, when $53.27 billion of new deals were issued. It was up a modest 1.7 percent from the strong start in 2013. All the major asset classes posted...[Includes two data charts]

Inside Mortgage Trends

Secondary Marketing Activity Slowed Significantly in Late 2013, Pipeline Low

Commercial banks and savings institutions reported severe declines in secondary market mortgage sales during 2013, including a sharp 38.4 percent drop in the fourth quarter. Bank and thrift mortgage sales totaled $1.208 trillion last year, according to an Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of call-report data. That was down 16.5 percent from 2012. Banks and thrifts originated fewer loans as well, but loan sales declined more than total originations, indicating that many lenders retained new production for their portfolios. The industry reported $618.4 billion in retail originations through their mortgage-banking operations, along with $801.2 billion in wholesale production. Both figures were down from the previous year, and [includes a two-page chart]...

Inside The GSEs

Senate GSE Reform Faces House Competition, Growing Opposition

Mounting opposition from both the left and the right, a month-long wait to mark-up and newly filed competing legislation in the House could doom the already tenuous effort by two senior senators to move a GSE reform bill this year, say industry observers.Given the need for speed and a closing legislative window, last week’s announcement by Sens. Tim Johnson, D-SD, and Mike Crapo, R-ID, that the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee would mark up their housing finance reform package on April 29 – well over a month after the bill’s initial March 16 rollout – is not seen as a good sign.

Poll

What do you think is the biggest hurdle to meeting the new QM standards in the CFPB’s ability-to-repay rule?

A debt-to-income (DTI) cap of 43%.

48%

A 3% cap on points and fees.

29%

An interest rate cap of the average prime offered rate (APOR) plus 1.5%.

23%

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