October 30, 2014

Latest from Inside Mortgage Finance

Jumbo MBS issuance rose by 196.1% from the previous quarter according to estimates from Inside Nonconforming Markets

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Loan Origination Volume Up Again in 3Q14 But Trends Vary Widely Among Top Lenders

2014 is going to go down as the worst year in new mortgage origination volume since the turn of the century, but it’s clearly not as bad as many have feared. Mortgage lenders produced an estimated $335 billion in new single-family loans during the third quarter, a solid 9.8 percent increase from the previous period, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance ranking and analysis. Significantly, the first and second quarters of this year were...[Includes two data charts]


The Recent Rate Decline Isn’t Expected to Slow the Mortgage M&A Train; Guild is Still Hungry for Deals

When rates take a noticeable dive – as they have the past few weeks – mortgage lenders contemplating a sale sometimes have a change of heart, opting to ride the new production wave. But this time around, that doesn’t appear to be the case. “Most every lender I speak to understands this to be a very temporary event prior to a relatively cold and uncertain winter,” said M&A advisor Rick Roque of Menlo Company. Over the past two months, Inside Mortgage Finance has found 10 publicly announced M&A transactions with several more likely signed that weren’t disclosed. Roque, who’s working on several deals, said...

Underwriting, Compensating Factors Seen as Key For Limiting Risk When Originating Non-QMs

While originations of loans that don’t meet standards for qualified mortgages can subject lenders to increased liability, underwriting and compensating factors can help limit risks from non-QMs, according to Moody’s Investors Service. “Non-QM loans typically carry higher default risks than QM loans, but lenders can mitigate those risks by originating loans with attributes that compensate for the weaknesses that put the loans outside of the QM guidelines,” analysts at Moody’s said in a report published late last week. The rating service said...

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Inside Mortgage Trends

Industry Economists Have Mixed Views On Loan Origination Volume in 2015

Mortgage industry economists agreed that 2014 loan origination volume would be down significantly from 2013, tapering off to another drop in new business in 2015. With a surprising increase in production during the third quarter and an early October bond market rally, the outlook for next year is less clear. Mike Fratantoni, chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association, last week predicted that mortgage originations would grow by 7.4 percent next year ... [Includes one data chart]

Inside The GSEs

Lenders Encouraged by FHFA Buyback Relief, Want Details

Mortgage professionals seem cautiously optimistic about new policy proposals from the Federal Housing Finance Agency on buyback relief and high loan-to-value lending, but it remains to be seen whether they will have the desired impact. Speaking at the annual convention of the Mortgage Bankers Association last week, FHFA Director Mel Watt shared some concrete details about the new “life of loan” representation-and-warranty relief and outlined a number of other changes on tap.

Inside MBS & ABS

Fed Ends Quantitative Easing Program, As Expected, But Will Yields Rise Enough to Lure Other Investors?

The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee brought the latest installment in its quantitative easing programs to a conclusion this week, but the central bank will continue to reinvest principal payments back into agency MBS. The FOMC also reaffirmed the current 0 to 0.25 percent target range for the federal funds rate. “The committee anticipates … that it likely will be appropriate to maintain the 0 to 0.25 percent target range for the federal funds rate for a considerable time following the end of its asset purchase program this month, especially if projected inflation continues to run below the committee’s 2 percent longer-run goal, and provided that longer-term inflation expectations remain well anchored.” And as usual, the Fed left...

Inside the CFPB

CFPB Finalizes 'Right to Cure' Loans That Exceed 3 Percent Cap

In a noteworthy concession to the mortgage lending industry, the CFPB last week finalized a “right to cure” loans in which a lender inadvertently breaches the 3 percent cap on points and fees for a loan that would otherwise be deemed a qualified mortgage under the agency’s ability-to-repay rule. Under amendments finalized this past Wednesday, if a lender discovers after the loan has closed that it has exceeded the 3 percent cap, there are limited circumstances in which it can pay a refund of the excess amount with interest to the consumer and the loan will still be considered a QM. First, the refund must occur within 210 days after the loan is made. The lender must also maintain and ...

Inside Nonconforming Markets

QMs in Non-Agency MBS Exempt From Risk-Retention Requirements

The non-agency mortgage-backed securities market got clarity about risk-retention requirements in a new final rule approved this week by six federal regulators. Given current market conditions, it is unlikely to have any impact. The regulators created an exemption big enough to drive a truck through. Sponsors of non-agency MBS backed by qualified residential mortgages are not required to retain a 5 percent interest in the transaction. As expected, the QRM parameters were lined up with ...

Inside FHA Lending

GNMA Raises Net Worth, Liquidity Tests

Ginnie Mae this week provided new details to the long-anticipated plan for increased issuer net worth and liquidity and a new performance scoring method for issuer activity – changes that could adversely affect small issuers and portfolio servicers. In remarks at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s annual convention in Las Vegas, Ginnie Mae President Ted Tozer said the changes are part of a larger effort to ensure the continuing flexibility and availability of the agency’s mortgage-backed securities program to as many entities as possible. New types of issuers and counterparties have entered the agency-backed MBS market in the wake of the financial crisis, which called for adjustments and tailored approaches to the evolving housing finance market, Tozer noted. Tozer said both policy changes and staff expertise will ensure the success of ...


What is it going to take to convince lenders to loosen the credit box (i.e., remove underwriting overlays)?

The recent rep and warranty changes announced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency should go a long way in protecting lenders from future buybacks and help expand mortgage credit.
There won’t be any significant elimination of underwriting overlays until the government stops seeking huge mortgage-related penalties and settlements from lenders.
There shouldn’t be any expansion of the mortgage credit box since looser underwriting is what caused the recent mortgage crisis.

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