April 17, 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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Both Purchase-Mortgage and Refinance Volume Down Sharply in Agency Activity

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae saw much lower business volume in both purchase-money mortgages and refinance loans during the first quarter of 2014, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance analysis and ranking. The agencies securitized a total of $95.9 billion of purchase mortgages during the first three months of the year, down 28.8 percent from the previous quarter. That was a steeper decline than in refinance volume, which slid 24.7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2013. Compared to a year ago, the purchase market continued...[Includes three data charts]

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Increasing Home Prices Seen as Hindering Purchase- Mortgage Originations, Factors Go Beyond DTI Ratios

Some industry analysts suggest that originations of purchase mortgages have been held back by potential borrowers’ debt-to-income ratios, which have increased along with rises in home prices. However, originations of purchase mortgages have increased in the past year as home prices have risen and it’s more than DTI ratios shutting certain borrowers out of the purchase market. Even though interest rates on mortgages remain at relatively low levels, housing affordability has been an increasing concern due to trends in home prices. Borrowers in parts of California, as well as Denver, Miami and Portland, could have difficulty qualifying for a purchase mortgage, according to a recent analysis by Zillow. Based on income, mortgage and home-value data for the fourth quarter of 2013, Zillow found...

Joint Venture Pros are Wary as Market Transitions Under the Weight of Dodd-Frank, Uneven Economy

Industry joint-venture professionals are trying to stay upbeat as they feel their way around a changing economic and regulatory landscape. A number of them are pulling back somewhat as they strategize to find their niche in a recovering market and a business redefined by the Dodd-Frank Act. “As everybody here knows, there have been a long-standing number of mortgage joint ventures that have exited the business over the last couple of years,” Gerard Griesser, president of The Trident Group, said in introducing a panel of industry executives at the Real Estate Settlement Providers Council’s 2014 annual conference this week in Washington, DC. Robert Moline, president and chief operating officer at HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate based in Minneapolis, said...

Feature Stories

Inside Mortgage Trends

Big Banks Report Huge Decline in Mortgage Banking Income in 1Q14

Mortgage-banking income at nine major banks declined by 27.7 percent in the first quarter of 2014 compared with the previous quarter, according to an analysis by Inside Mortgage Trends. The declines were driven by a lack of refinance volume, changes in valuations on mortgage servicing rights and litigation costs. “Despite a relatively favorable interest-rate environment, the market got off to a slow start in 2014,” said Marianne Lake, CFO at JPMorgan Chase, during the bank’s ...

Inside The GSEs

Growing Opposition to Senate GSE Reform Bill Could Delay Markup

While Congress is halfway through its two-week Easter/Passover recess, political pressure continues to build against the Senate’s bipartisan housing finance reform legislation, leading to growing doubt whether the scheduled markup of the bill will occur as scheduled later this month. At the moment, the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee has only the bare minimum majority of 12 of the 22 committee members pledged to support the GSE legislative reform bill crafted by Chairman Tim Johnson, D-SD, and Ranking Member Mike Crapo, R-ID.

Inside MBS & ABS

Despite Modest Rebound in Jumbo Issuance, Non-Agency MBS Starts 2014 on Life Support

The sputtering non-agency MBS market generated just $2.59 billion in new issuance during the first three months of 2014, one of the lowest quarterly marks since the market imploded in late 2007. New issuance in the first quarter was down 44.1 percent from the already-weak level in the fourth quarter of 2013, and it was off 65.6 percent from the same period a year ago. There was...[Includes two data charts]

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 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 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 ...

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%

Housing Pulse