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Volume 2015 - Number 12

March 26, 2015

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Home-Equity Market Continued to Warm Up In Late 2014 Despite Handful of Warning Flares

Home-equity lending gained modest momentum during the fourth quarter of 2014, although the outstanding supply of second-lien mortgage debt continued its seven-year decline. Mortgage lenders originated an estimated $21 billion of home-equity loans, including home-equity lines of credit and closed-end second mortgages, during the fourth quarter. That was up 5.0 percent from the third quarter and brought full-year production ... [Includes one data chart]

Call-Center Lending Getting Begrudging Acceptance by Some Real Estate Agents

Real estate agents prefer to work with lenders that have a local presence, but call-center operations have improved their reputations among agents, according to new research by Campbell Surveys, based on a national survey sponsored by Inside Mortgage Finance Publications. “Survey results show that Quicken Loans’ call-center model can be an accepted alternative to the local branch/local loan officer model, at least for some homebuyers and real estate agents ...

RoundPoint Mortgage Sale Hits a Snag; Ocwen Not Likely to be Sold as a Going Concern

With the first quarter coming to a close, the mortgage mergers and acquisitions market shifted into high gear this week as Ocwen Financial stepped up its auction of agency servicing rights and new revelations surfaced that RoundPoint Mortgage was almost sold, but the deal hit a snag over pricing. According to investment banking officials familiar with the RoundPoint situation, a buyer backed away from the transaction because the servicer’s owner, Tavistock Group ...

Lender Pleas for ‘Soft’ Enforcement of TRID Falling On Deaf Ears, Industry Complains About Complaints

The mortgage industry isn’t achieving any more success than lawmakers on Capitol Hill in convincing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to take it easy on lenders when it’s time to start enforcing its integrated disclosure rule. Speaking at the American Bankers Association’s government relations event in Washington, DC, earlier this week, Virginia O’Neill, head of regulatory compliance for the trade group, recounted for attendees the experience of one community bank ...

FHFA Likely Will Keep Base Fannie/Freddie Guaranty Fees Unchanged, but Look for a Cut in Certain LLPAs

In early April, the Federal Housing Finance Agency is expected to issue its long-awaited proclamation on guaranty fees with the likely outcome of no change whatsoever in the base fees charged by the two government-sponsored enterprises, according to officials tracking the issue. Few lenders are counting on a reduction in the current “ongoing” GSE fee, which increased from 13 basis points in 2009 to 40 bps in 2013, according to the FHFA. But there could be relief on ...

Fed Researchers Find that Lenders’ Staffing Levels Are Tied to Demand for Purchase Mortgages, Not Refis

Lenders make adjustments to staffing levels based on demand for purchase mortgages while demand for refinances spur little increase in mortgage employment levels, according to new research from staff at the Federal Reserve. Steve Sharpe, an economist at the Fed, and Shane Sherlund, an assistant director at the Fed, said mortgage processing capacity constraints caused by refi booms reduce originations to borrowers with low to modest credit scores ...

FHA’s Loan Sales Resolve Large Share of Problem Loans, Help More Borrowers Avoid Foreclosure

Nearly half of the troubled loans that were sold through the FHA’s single-family loan sale program have been resolved, and a significant portion of them are now re-performing, according to an agency report on the Distressed Asset Stabilization Program. Of the 48.6 percent of distressed loans that have been resolved, 43.5 percent have avoided foreclosure, the report said. The single-family loan sale (SFLS) has proven to be a borrower-friendly alternative to the ...

State Regulators Propose Standards for Nonbank Servicers That Align with GSE Rules on Capital

State regulators proposed prudential standards for nonbank servicers this week, including provisions that would apply solely to “large, complex” servicers. Many of the standards align with generally accepted business practices and existing standards, including those established by the government-sponsored enterprises. “State regulators have primary credentialing and licensing authority over nonbank mortgage servicers, and are working to ensure ...

Mortgage Market at a Glance

Weekly mortgage rates and application survey data as well as indexes for ARMs.


With the recent dip in interest rates, how do you feel about loan volumes this year?

We see loan production ending 2015 flat compared to 2014.


We’re optimistic that our originations will rise by 10 to 20 percent year over year.


We’re really optimistic: We expect production to increase by 20 percent or better from last year.


We’re not so bullish. Originations for us may actually fall.


Housing Pulse