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Volume 2017 - Number 12

March 24, 2017

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Ratings Services Skeptical About Former S&P Official’s Proposal to Address Rating Shopping

A proposal from a former high-ranking official at S&P Global Ratings to reduce incentives for rating shopping has been met with skepticism and resistance from officials at other rating services. Howard Esaki, the former global head of securitization research at S&P Global Ratings, and Lawrence White, a professor of economics, NYU Stern School of Business, recently published a proposal to reform the process for how rating services are selected to grade MBS and ABS. They said...

Fitch Ends 2016 as Top Rating Service in Both Residential MBS and Non-Mortgage ABS

Fitch Ratings was the most active provider of credit ratings for non-mortgage ABS and non-agency MBS in 2016, a new Inside MBS & ABS analysis reveals. Fitch edged out Standard & Poor’s in a busy ABS market, garnering a 54.8 percent share of rated transactions last year. The company boosted its ABS ratings business by 4.6 percent compared to 2015, based on dollar volume, nudging its market share up 1.9 percentage points. Fitch’s deepest penetration was...[Includes two data tables]

FHFA Sets a Date to Launch Final Stage Of Single Security, Details Project Costs

Sometime during the second quarter of 2019, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will begin issuing the new uniform MBS, a completely fungible security that will replace the separate to-be-announced MBS currently issued by the two government-sponsored entities. The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced the deployment date for Release 2 of the single-security initiative this week. The new implementation date was moved back from the previous estimate of some time in 2018. The delay was...

MBS Trading Volume Weak in February as Demand Declines; Market Nervous About Stocks, Trump’s Business Agenda

The average daily trading volume in agency MBS declined to $202.4 billion in February, one of the worst readings over the past six months, according to figures compiled by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. In January, volume was a bit healthier at $229.8 billion, but that was before concerns began to mount about President Trump’s business agenda and how successful the new White House might be in rolling back regulations – financial and otherwise. As Inside MBS & ABS went to press this week, fears were...

Delinquencies on Subprime Auto ABS Surpass Levels Of the Financial Crisis as Lenders Loosen Underwriting

Observers of the subprime auto ABS market are raising concerns as delinquencies rise above peaks seen during the financial crisis as lenders have loosened underwriting standards in search of market share. According to Fitch Ratings’ index of subprime auto ABS, 60+ day delinquencies on loans backing the securities hit 5.45 percent at the end of 2016. Delinquencies were up from 4.70 percent at the end of 2015 and 41 basis points higher than the peak for the sector in 2009. The index tracks an outstanding balance of $38.6 billion from 149 transactions. There were 21 active shelves in the index, up from 12 active issuers in 2010. “Smaller lenders along with recent new entrants are...

Moody’s Weighs Impact of Fannie, Freddie Reform Proposals on Private-Label MBS

Housing finance reform, especially if it weakens mortgage underwriting standards, could have a negative impact on private-label MBS as well as the government-sponsored enterprises’ credit risk-transfer transactions, according to a newly published report from Moody’s Investor Services. Analysts said that various reform proposals could reduce the influence that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have in the market and likely increase credit risk in new MBS in the short-term. Combined with a rising interest rate environment, such reform could have a credit-negative effect. Loan origination processes and the kinds of loans produced could become...

Banks to Settle Legacy MBS Case; Deutsche Bank’s Class Bid Rejected; Court Favors Collateral Manager

Wells Fargo, Deutsche Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland have agreed to pay investors $165 million to resolve allegations of misrepresenting the quality of mortgage loans underlying securities issued by now-defunct subprime lender NovaStar Mortgage. The agreement was announced last week subject to approval by Judge Deborah Batts of the U.S. District Court for the Second District of New York, according to a report by Reuters. At issue is $7.7 billion in residential MBS delivered into various trusts and sold to investors, including pension funds, prior to the housing crash. A multi-employer union pension plan led by the New Jersey Carpenters Health Fund filed...

Student Loan ABS Strength Jumps from Last Year’s Level, Especially in the Refi Sector, Analysts Find

Last year was a decent enough year for the student loan sector, and so far this year, the space is looking dramatically more robust, according to analysts at the DBRS ratings service. New issuance so far in 2017 is more than twice that from the same period last year, with volume exceeding $4.5 billion, according to Jon Riber, a senior U.S. ABS ratings analyst at DBRS. “There are...

MBS & ABS Issuance at a Glance

One page of issuance data.


With the spring homebuying season in full swing, what percentage of your March 2017 application volume has been for “purchase” loans?

75% or higher
50% to 74%
30% to 49%
Under 30%

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