September 3, 2015

Latest from Inside Mortgage Finance

Total first lien broker mortgage originations rose by 15.4 percentage points from the previous quarter according to estimates from Inside Mortgage Finance

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Purchase-Mortgage Lending Likely Hit Post-Crisis High In 2Q15, But Refinances Continued to Show Strength

Purchase-mortgage lending provided most of the oomph that drove the 23.6 percent increase in total mortgage originations during the second quarter, but refinance activity still accounted for slightly over half of total production. Lenders funded $222 billion of first-lien purchase mortgages during the second quarter, a 59.7 percent increase from the first three months of 2015, according to Inside Mortgage Finance estimates. That was just shy of the $223 billion of purchase mortgages originated back in the third quarter of 2013, a figure that included some second-mortgage production associated with purchase loans. Meanwhile, refinance lending rose...[Includes three data tables]

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Larger M&A Deals Begin to Hit the Market; Stonegate May Be Headed for the Auction Block

Over the past year, small and medium-sized lenders have dominated the activity in the merger and acquisitions market, but all that could be changing as consolidation fever begins to gather steam and larger, struggling players consider a take-out strategy. Also, the recent announcement that the Blackstone Group would buy a majority stake in Stearns Lending – the nation’s 12th largest originator – has sparked hopes among investment bankers that potential sellers are finally lowering their expectations when it comes to price. An offering book on Stearns had been circulating for at least a year. Meanwhile, analysts who follow Stonegate Mortgage, which ranks 25th among originators, this week suggested...

Despite Changes, FHA’s Proposed Loan Certification Policy Creates More Uncertainty, Potential Liability, Lenders Say

The Department of Housing and Urban Development this week republished for comment new proposed changes to lender certification for FHA that would allow for minor lender errors while leaving the door open for government enforcement action under the False Claims Act. The proposed revisions, however, failed to impress mortgage lenders and raised the specter of increased overlays unless HUD makes clear assurances that, barring any significant mistakes, lenders will not be on the hook for millions of dollars for small glitches in the loan certification document. “The language in the certification lacks...

Feature Stories

Inside FHA/VA Lending

Stakeholders Say FHA’s Revised Loan Cert Proposal Lacks Clarity

Wells Fargo this week said it would reinstate certain credit overlays on its FHA business segment after expressing frustration over FHA’s republished proposal on loan-level certification. The lender, which ranked second on Inside FHA/VA Lending’s top FHA lenders for the first six months of 2015, reiterated the need for clearer rules in order to originate FHA-insured loans without fear of litigation or enforcement action. The bank said it is very disappointed with FHA’s revised certification proposal, which was republished in the Sept. 1 Federal Register. “In spite of much input to FHA from various consumer groups and lenders over a long period of time, [the] proposal falls short of what is needed,” said Mike Heid, head of Wells Fargo Home Lending. “As a result, this will now force us to add back certain credit overlays on the FHA single-family program.” Other FHA lenders could follow Wells Fargo’s lead as some did when ...

Inside Nonconforming Markets

Bank Holdings of First Liens Hit Levels Last Seen in 2009, Led by Wells and Chase

Bank and thrift holdings of first-lien mortgages continued to grow in the second quarter of 2015, according to an Inside Nonconforming Markets analysis of call reports. Most of the change occurred among the top three bank mortgage portfolios: Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase. Banks and thrifts held $1.81 trillion of first-lien mortgages as of the end of the second quarter of 2015. The holdings increased by 1.5 percent compared with ... [Includes one data chart]

Inside MBS & ABS

Agency MBS Issuance Tanked in August as Flow of Purchase and Refi Mortgages Ebbed

New issuance of single-family agency MBS dropped sharply in August as production slowed across the board at Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae. A new Inside MBS & ABS analysis reveals that the three agencies produced $109.34 billion of single-family MBS during August, a 15.1 percent decline from July’s level. August 2015 was the slowest month since March, though it was 20.2 percent higher than a year ago. Freddie posted...[Includes three data tables]

Inside The GSEs

GSE Buybacks Tumble in Second Quarter of 2015

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reported big declines in mortgage repurchases and their inventories of unresolved buyback requests during the second quarter of 2015, according to a new Inside The GSEs analysis of disclosures filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Freddie reported a 19.1 percent drop in repurchases from the first to the second quarter of 2015, while Fannie’s decline was a more modest 3.9 percent. Together, the two GSEs reported $436.3 million in repurchased or indemnified loans during the second quarter, the lowest amount since Fannie, Freddie and other “securitizers” began reporting repurchase activity in early 2012. On a combined basis, Fannie and Freddie reported new lows in pending repurchases ($732.2 million) and disputed buyback requests...

Inside Mortgage Trends

Banks Report Huge Increase in Mortgage-Banking Income During Second Quarter

Commercial banks and thrifts reported a hefty increase in profits from their mortgage-banking operations during the second quarter of 2015, according to a new Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of call reports. The industry generated $6.09 billion in mortgage-banking income during the second quarter, a 52.2 percent improvement over the first three months of the year. It was the highest income for the banking industry since the second quarter of 2013, when ... [Includes one data chart]

Inside the CFPB

Mortgage Lenders Again Call For TRID Transition Period

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council should institute an official transition period to provide lenders greater clarity and certainty in anticipation of the CFPB’s new TILA/RESPA integrated disclosure rule (TRID) slated to take effect Oct. 3, the American Bankers Association said in a letter to the financial regulatory group. The CFPB is one of the regulatory bodies that comprise the FFIEC. “We request that the FFIEC – on behalf of all banking regulators – formally establish a transition period and clarify how regulators will oversee and examine regulated institutions for TRID compliance during this time,” the ABA said in a recent letter to the council. “In so doing, the FFIEC would provide needed certainty to the credit markets and encourage lenders to ...

Poll

During the first half of 2015 all residential lenders originated a better-than-expected $805 billion of home mortgages, according to Inside Mortgage Finance. What do you expect in the second half?

Just as good. We like what we’re seeing.
Better. Applications are strong.
Worse. We’re worried about rates, seasonality.
A lot worse. The fourth quarter could be a killer.

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