December 18, 2014

Latest from Inside Mortgage Finance

Total bank and thrift buyback activity fell by 82.0% from the previous quarter according to estimates from Inside Mortgage Trends

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Home-Equity Production Increased in 3Q14, But Not Enough to Offset Ongoing Decline in HEL Outstanding

Home-equity lending continued to grow during the third quarter of 2014 – in fact, it was the fastest-growing segment of the mortgage market – but depository institutions reported further declines in the unpaid balances of these assets on their balance sheets. Lenders funded an estimated $20 billion of new home-equity lines of credit during the third quarter, up 17.6 percent from the previous three-month period. That compared to a 9.8 percent increase in total mortgage originations during the period, and it was the best quarterly HEL production figure in five years, according to Inside Mortgage Finance estimates. Still, the supply of home-equity loans outstanding fell...[Includes three data charts]

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Subservicing Volumes Stay Relatively Flat, But Big Drops for BofA, Nationstar, Ocwen

The nation’s subservicers, as a whole, reported a modest decline in their business volume during the third quarter, though some firms experienced large declines compared to a year ago, according to exclusive survey figures from Inside Mortgage Finance. The biggest year-over-year decline came at Bank of America, which had just $5 billion in subservicing contracts at Sept. 30, a 78.3 percent drop compared to the same period last year. BofA’s decline in the subservicing sector is...[Includes one data chart]

CBO Projects Lenders Will Shift Some of Their Business Away from the GSEs in Coming Years

Lenders are likely to shift some of their business away from the government-sponsored enterprises and into the non-agency market in the coming years, regardless of GSE reform efforts, according to a report released this week by the Congressional Budget Office. “With house prices expected to trend upward, the balance sheets of lenders and investors should improve, as should borrowers’ financial positions,” the nonpartisan provider of analysis for Congress said. “Consequently, CBO projects that private companies will become more willing to make new loans and demand lower fees to compensate for the credit risks they take, which will reduce Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s pricing advantage over their private competitors.” If the private sector bears more mortgage credit risk, the CBO said...

Feature Stories

Inside Mortgage Trends

Bank Repurchases Tumble to Post-Crash Low in 3Q14; Is Industry Over-Reserved?

Commercial banks and thrifts reported a seventh consecutive quarterly decline in mortgage purchases and indemnifications during the third quarter but still hold hefty amounts in reserves against future buybacks, according to a new analysis by Inside Mortgage Trends. Banks and thrifts reported $998.8 million in mortgage repurchases and indemnifications during the third quarter, down 1.3 percent from the second. It was also the lowest quarterly repurchase figure reported since ...

Inside The GSEs

Slowdown in Purchase Market Cooled GSE MBS in November

Seasonal trends hit the GSE single-family mortgage-backed securities business in November, with new issuance of single-family MBS tumbling 15.1 percent from October. A new Inside the GSEs analysis of loan-level MBS disclosures reveals that a sharp 22.0 percent drop in securitization of purchase-money mortgages was the major factor in the November decline. Refinance loans delivered to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac MBS pools were off a milder 6.8 percent from the previous month. In fact, more than half of Fannie’s MBS flow in November came from refinance loans, the first time since March that purchase mortgages accounted for less than half of the GSE’s business. One sign of the increased refinance share of GSE business ... [with two exclusive charts]

Inside MBS & ABS

Mortgage REITs Report Decline in MBS Holdings During 3Q14; Analysts Not Ready to Give Up Yet

Naysayers have been predicting the demise of publicly traded mortgage real estate investment trusts for two years now and have been consistently disappointed. It’s hard to say whether things will be different this time around. According to figures compiled by Inside MBS & ABS, it appears that most REITs have been intentionally reducing their MBS holdings over the past several quarters, preparing for the day when bond prices finally fall. At Sept. 30, 16 publicly traded REITs held...[Includes one data chart]

Inside the CFPB

CFPB’s First Criminal Referral Brings Conviction, 9-Year Sentence

Michael Levitis, principal of the Mission Settlement Agency (a debt-settlement company), was slapped with a nine-year prison sentence and ordered to pay $2.2 million in restitution and a fine of $15,000 after pleading guilty to several charges brought in response to the CFPB’s first publicly announced criminal referral to the U.S. Department of Justice last year. Levitis pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, and another count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He has been ordered to surrender for service of his sentence on Feb. 23, 2015, at an institution to be determined by the state Bureau of Prisons. Upon release from imprisonment, Levitis will be on supervised release for a term ...

Inside Nonconforming Markets

Jumbo Originations Rose in 3Q14; Bank Demand Remains Strong

Originations of jumbo mortgages increased in the third quarter of 2014 compared with the previous quarter, according to a new ranking and analysis by Inside Mortgage Finance, an affiliated publication. Big banks continue to have a strong appetite for jumbos, prompting some smaller banks to sell jumbos to them and keeping some nonbanks out of the jumbo mortgage-backed security market altogether. An estimated $65.0 billion in jumbos were originated in the third quarter of 2014 ... [Includes one data chart]

Inside FHA Lending

Accounting of Settlement Receivables Spotty

The FHA’s accounting of receivables from settled legal claims and partial claim notes is so sloppy that the exact amount collected might be difficult to gauge, according to an internal audit of the agency’s FY 2014 and 2013 financial statements. Conducted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Inspector General, the audit concluded that the FHA had booked receivables from seven cash settlements totaling $1.2 billion in FY 2014 but collected only $466.4 million of those settlements. In addition, during fiscal 2014, as part of its loss mitigation efforts to bring delinquent loans current, the FHA paid $4.4 billion to lenders for partial claims but never received the required promissory notes from the lenders for $1.5 billion of the claim payments. FHA rules require lenders to provide the agency with promissory notes for the payments made or ...

Poll

What will Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s new 97 LTV programs mean for your business?

It will give our business a big boost as there is a lot of pent up demand for the product.
It will have only a minor impact on our overall business as we already are doing high LTV business through FHA and some of our high LTV FHA business is likely to shift to Fannie and Freddie.
It won’t have any impact on our business as we plan to steer clear of all high LTV business – particularly in the GSE market.

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