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Volume 7 - Number 19

September 12, 2014

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Obama to Seek Solutions to Credit Access

Obama will meet with top banking executives and industry trade groups on Sept. 17 to explore potential solutions to lender overlays and other problems that hinder first-time homebuyers and other qualified borrowers from obtaining an FHA or conventional mortgage. The meeting is expected to touch on key lender issues, including credit overlays, government enforcement actions, regulatory burden and risk-based versus FHA pricing. Lenders say they are willing to originate single-family mortgages to qualified borrowers and first-time homebuyers but they feel the post-crisis environment has turned hostile against them. Repurchases and indemnifications have dampened their willingness to lend to moderate- and lower-income borrowers, they admit. Regardless of policy changes designed to increase lending in the lower credit score range (620 to 679), FHA enforcement actions to ...

MMIF in Negative Cash Flow in 2Q14, Says Report

The FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund account balances fell by $0.5 billion during the second quarter of 2014 to $45.3 billion due to higher claim payments and property expenses. Observers, nonetheless, remain optimistic the fund will return to full stability in 2015 with no further change in the mortgage insurance premium charged to borrowers. The MMIF’s total balances peaked at $48.4 billion in the third quarter of 2013 and then slipped gradually over the last three quarters, according to data in the FHA’s latest report to Congress regarding the financial health of the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. Total revenues from premium collections, property sale, and note sale proceeds were $4.3 billion, while $5.1 billion was paid to cover claims and property expenses in the second quarter. This resulted in a negative$821 million cash flow in the quarter, the smallest outflow since ...

FHA Lending Back on Track with <680 Score

The average FHA credit score in the second quarter of 2014 continued to decline from the record highs of 2011, but remains well above the levels preceding the mortgage and credit crisis, according to FHA’s latest report to Congress on the state of the agency’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. The FHA’s second-quarter average credit score of 680 was 3 points below the previous quarter’s score and 13 points below the score during the same period last year. The report’s data suggest that FHA has accomplished its goal of shifting its market share to the 620-679 credit score bucket consistent with its target market while ceding its share of loans with scores exceeding 720 to the private MI sector. The last time borrowers’ average credit score hit 680 was in the second quarter of 2009. FHA officials said they are working to have 75 percent of the FHA lending in the ...

Investors Lining Up for Sixth Distressed Note Sale

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is now qualifying investors for its sixth auction of non-performing loans (NPLs) amid nationwide protests calling for reform of HUD’s distressed note sale program. Single-Family Loan Sale SFLS 2014-2 includes 15,232 single-family, non-performing mortgages with a total unpaid principal of $2.3 billion. The sale consists of 10 loan pools ranging from $97 million to $825 million with collateral dispersed across the country, according to loan sale advisor DebtX. It is scheduled to bid on Sept. 30. On June 11, HUD sold a $4.8 billion portfolio of NPLs, the first of a two-part sale. The national offering consisted of approximately 23,200 loans divided into 16 pools ranging from $93 million to $1 billion. The loans are backed by properties across the ...

FHA Jumbo Production Slips Further in 2Q14

The first-quarter decline in FHA jumbo production spilled over into the second quarter as volume dropped another 21.7 percent, ending the first half of the year with $4.7 billion in new government-insured jumbo loans, according to an Inside FHA Lending analysis of agency snapshot data. On a year-over-year basis, volume fell 56.7 percent over the six-month period compared to the same period last year. Jumbo loans make up a tiny percentage of FHA’s overall portfolio. The FHA has been weaning itself away from jumbos after Republican members of Congress accused the agency of straying from its mission by subsidizing purchases of million-dollar houses. A statutory readjustment this year brought the FHA loan limit in high-cost areas down to $625,500, the same level as the high-cost loan limits for conforming mortgages in high-cost areas. The baseline loan limits for both conforming and FHA loans in 2014 ... [1 chart]

FHA FRM Lending Propels Overall Volume in 2Q

FHA single-family loan production picked up in the second quarter thanks to a surge in fixed-rate mortgage lending, according to an Inside FHA Lending analysis of agency data. A 15.2 percent increase in FHA fixed-rate volume helped propel overall FHA originations in the second quarter, which rose 16.0 percent from the first quarter. Adjustable-rate lending also was up 32.3 percent over the same period. FHA purchase originations increased 20.6 percent, while FHA-insured refinances rose by only 4.3 percent. On the other hand, conforming-to-FHA refinances were down 4.5 percent from the first quarter. FHA baseline lending (below $417,000) saw volume rise 17.6 percent, while FHA-jumbo loan amounts up to the statutory high-cost loan limit increased by 6.2 percent. On the other hand, the volume of jumbos exceeding ... [1 chart]

Around the Industry

$835 Million Ginnie Mae Servicing Portfolio Hits Market. Mountain Servicing Group (MSG), a residential mortgage servicing rights transaction and valuation advisor, has announced an $835 million Ginnie Mae bulk-servicing offering. The company is the exclusive advisor to the seller, described only as “one of the premier mortgage bankers in the country.” The portfolio includes 99.7 percent fixed-rate and 100 percent first-lien, government-backed loans, with a weighted average original FICO of 691. Its weighted origination loan-to-value ratio is 94 percent, and its weighted average interest rate is 4.0 percent. The average loan size is $205,309. Top states for the portfolio are California (23.9 percent), New York (9.6 percent), Florida (4.7 percent), and Pennsylvania (4.5 percent). “It’s an exceptionally clean GNMA portfolio, with very low coupon and low delinquencies,” said Robert Wellerstein, managing director at MSG. “We expect this package to ...

Poll

Over the next six months we plan to hire this many more additional loan officers:

1 to 10 (We're being careful.)
11 to 30 (We're optimistic.)
More than 30 (We're in a growth mode as the banks get out.)
We're cutting back. (Are you nuts? It's ugly out there.)

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