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Volume 2014 - Number 15

April 18, 2014

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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]

Preservation of TBA Market Under Johnson-Crapo A Concern as Markup in Senate Committee Looms

The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs held more than 10 hearings last year in advance of the housing-finance reform bill introduced in March by Sens. Tim Johnson, D-SD, and Mike Crapo, R-ID. However, the bill appears to be far from perfect, as industry participants are angling to make suggestions for changes as the committee plans a markup at the end of this month. Perhaps the biggest outstanding issue with S.1217 is that even though the Johnson-Crapo bill calls for the preservation of the to-be-announced market, the capital-markets execution contemplated under the new housing-finance system might not be compatible with TBA transactions. The Johnson-Crapo version of S. 1217 doesn’t have...

Market for US Dollar-Denominated Residential MBS From Foreign Countries Faltered in 2013, But Some Issuers Persist

Issuance of residential MBS from foreign countries aimed at investors in the U.S. dwindled in 2013 after a few years when it surpassed new issuance of domestic jumbo deals. Activity in the market for U.S. dollar-denominated foreign MBS has picked up somewhat this year due to issuance out of Australia. Some $1.63 billion in U.S. dollar-denominated foreign residential MBS was issued in 2013, according to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, a significant decline from the $10.70 billion in such issuance in 2012. The market for foreign residential MBS aimed at U.S. investors has been strong since the end of 2009, with $21.10 billion in such issuance in 2010 and $32.68 billion in issuance in 2011. After the financial crisis, issuance of U.S. dollar-denominated foreign MBS outpaced...

Judge Denies S&P’s Motion to Split DOJ MBS Fraud Case, Allows Discovery; BofA Pays $950M to Settle With FGIC

Standard & Poor’s earned a split decision this week in its counter-offensive against the federal government’s civil fraud lawsuit filed last year, which the rating agency claims is payback for its August 2011 downgrade of the U.S.’ ‘AAA’ credit rating. The Justice Department in February 2013 filed a $5.0 billion lawsuit against S&P accusing it of knowingly inflating its ratings of residential MBS and collateralized debt obligations to boost its revenue and market share in the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis. On Tuesday, a federal judge in the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, CA, denied...

Subprime Auto ABS Fully Recovered, Rising Issuance From More Players is Expected to Improve Liquidity

Major market indicators suggest the subprime auto ABS sector has finally returned to normal after the financial crisis, and prospects are good for a healthy market in 2014, according to research professionals at Wells Fargo Securities. “Subprime auto ABS has fully recovered from the recession, in our view,” John McElravey, head of consumer ABS research for the firm, and Bee Sim Koh, an associate in the unit, said in a recent market update. For example, new-issue volume in the sector rose...

Eminent Domain Proponent Mortgage Resolution Partners Has Lost Two Top Officers; Is it Toast?

Two of the top officers have left Mortgage Resolution Partners, the company that rattled Wall Street by trying to convince hard-pressed local governments to use eminent domain to seize underwater mortgages. The latest to depart is John Vlahoplus, who held the title of chief strategy officer. Vlahoplus, who could not be reached for comment, has taken a position with Credit Suisse. The other, more crippling departure is that of Graham Williams, CEO of the San Francisco-based private equity firm. He told Inside MBS & ABS that he officially cut ties with the company at the end of March. Steven Gluckstern, who serves as chairman of MRP, took on the title of acting CEO. At press time, he could not be reached for comment. Under the MRP scheme, local governments would offer...

Agency REMIC Volume Declined in Early 2014, But Not as Fast as MBS Issuance

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae issued a combined $60.2 billion of real estate mortgage investment conduits backed by single-family MBS during the first quarter of 2014, a relatively modest decline of 11.6 percent. New MBS issuance by the agencies fell by 26.2 percent from the fourth quarter of 2013 and was down 59.5 percent from the first three months of 2013. Freddie actually increased...[Includes two data charts]

MBS & ABS Issuance at a Glance

One page of issuance data.


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%.


A 3% cap on points and fees.


An interest rate cap of the average prime offered rate (APOR) plus 1.5%.


Housing Pulse