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Volume 2014 - Number 36

September 25, 2014

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Ginnie Mae Announces New Initiatives to Strengthen Liquidity, Assess New Issuers, Preserve Servicing Rights

Ginnie Mae this week unveiled a position paper outlining its views and new strategies for its mortgage-backed securities program with greater emphasis on liquidity and on the preservation of servicing rights both as an activity and as an asset class. During a conference it sponsored this week, Ginnie announced a number of initiatives that would help the agency adapt its complex financial and operational structures to a post-crisis secondary mortgage market in which non-depository and smaller institutions are playing a bigger role. Ginnie underscored...

FHFA Official: Congress Should Be Main Arbiter Of the GSEs’ Share of Mortgage Market Activity

Efforts to reduce the government-sponsored enterprises’ footprint using guaranty fees and loan limits should be left to Congress, according to Bob Ryan, a special advisor to the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Meanwhile, officials at the Treasury Department suggest that the FHFA does have a role in setting policy that will inform any housing finance reform action by Congress. In comments this week at the ABS East conference produced by Information Management Network in Miami Beach, Ryan said the FHFA looks to Congress for direction when considering how to run the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. “There is nothing in the legislation that suggests the FHFA should shrink the footprint [of the GSEs],” he said. Ryan said...

Look for a Boom in Mortgage Servicing Sales as Lenders Try to ‘Make Their Numbers’ by Yearend

With loan originations beginning to taper off this fall and expected to continue that way through yearend, lenders of different stripes likely will step up their sales of mortgage servicing rights in an attempt to make earnings projections. “There’s a ton of activity out there now,” said Tom Piercy, managing member of Interactive Mortgage Advisors, Denver, an MSR advisory and brokerage firm. “We’re the busiest we’ve ever been all year.” Mark Garland, president of MountainView Servicing Group, concurs...

Mortgage Servicing Market Contracted Again In Second Quarter, But Portfolio Holdings Grew

The supply of 1-4 family mortgage debt declined again in the second quarter of 2014 despite an uptick in whole loans held in bank, thrift and credit union portfolios, according to an Inside Mortgage Finance analysis. The Federal Reserve Board late last week reported $9.855 trillion in single-family mortgage debt outstanding at the end of June. That was down $4.9 billion from March – a scant 0.05 percent decline, but the second straight quarterly downturn. The increase in mortgage debt outstanding in the third quarter of 2013 increasingly looks like an aberration rather than a turning point. The most recent figure is...[Includes one data chart]

Ocwen-Wells Fargo MSR Transfer Expected to Be Completed Eventually – But Deal Is Getting Smaller

Ocwen Financial – once the largest buyer of “legacy” mortgage servicing rights in the secondary market – is mostly sitting on the sidelines these days when it comes to buying new product. According to servicing advisors and industry officials familiar with the company, the nonbank has been selectively bidding on smaller pools, staying away from larger deals. Meanwhile, Ocwen still hopes...

GSE Shareholder Plaintiffs Demand Full Transparency From Treasury, FHFA Over Profit ‘Sweep’ Documents

Attorneys for a group of disenfranchised Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac junior shareholders have joined another shareholder group’s motion in federal court asking the government to come clean with all of the documents and records regarding the Treasury’s “Third Amendment” and “net-worth sweep” of nearly all government-sponsored enterprises’ profits. In papers filed last week in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Perry Capital lead attorney Ted Olson asked to join Fairholme Fund’s request for “supplementation” of the record. Both plaintiffs contend the government has failed to provide for court review of the “whole record” as required under the Administrative Procedures Act. “The government is...

Much for Lenders to Consider as They Eyeball Entering the Non-QM Space, Current Players Say

The market outside the pristine parameters of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s qualified mortgage offers less-competitive opportunity and potentially sizeable legal risk, according to panelists participating in a webinar sponsored this week by Inside Mortgage Finance. Brian Simon, chief operating officer for New Penn Financial, noted that the regulatory environment makes a move into non-QM lending much more complicated than in the past because the risks for the originator and the purchaser now are greater than they’ve ever been. However, Simon added: “A high degree of difficulty usually results in higher yield and opportunity.” The New Penn executive predicted...

HMDA Originations Fell 12 Percent in 2013, As Application Denial Rate Edged Higher

Mortgage lenders reported $1.762 trillion in new purchase-money and refinance originations during 2013 under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance analysis of the data released by federal agencies this week. HMDA purchase and refinance originations were down 12.4 percent from 2012, with the biggest decline in refi activity, off 26.2 percent. Purchase-mortgage lending was up in both the government-insured market (up 1.3 percent) and conventional originations (up 32.5 percent). Even with the sharp downturn in business, refinance originations accounted...[Includes one data chart]

Congress Acts to Extend Info-Sharing Privilege to State-Licensed Mortgage Companies, State Agencies

Last week, the Senate passed legislation that would extend to state-licensed mortgage companies – and the state regulatory agencies that oversee them – the same kind of protections against waivers of privilege for information provided to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that was previously extended to federal agencies that supervise depository mortgage lenders. The measure, H.R. 5062, the Examination and Supervisory Privilege Parity Act of 2014, would require the CFPB to coordinate its supervisory activities with state agencies that license, supervise or examine those who offer consumer financial products or services. Currently under the Dodd-Frank Act, the bureau is only required to coordinate with federal and state banking regulators. The legislation also would provide...

Mortgage Market at a Glance

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

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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Housing Pulse