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Volume 2015 - Number 38

October 8, 2015

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Fannie/Freddie Business Volume Weakened in 3Q15 Despite Growing Strength in Purchase Mortgages

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac saw a modest decline in the flow of home loans into their mortgage-backed securities programs during the third quarter of 2015, according to a new analysis and ranking by Inside Mortgage Finance. The two government-sponsored enterprises issued a total of $223.47 billion of single-family MBS during the third quarter, a 3.8 percent decline from the previous quarter. Freddie had a slightly larger downturn (4.1 percent) than Fannie (3.6 percent). Although overall MBS volume was down, lenders delivered...[Includes three data tables]

Industry Scrambled Up to Last Minute to Get Ready for TRID; Real Market Impact Expected in Weeks Ahead

Some mortgage lenders and their vendor partners scrambled until late in the night this past Friday to get all their ducks in a row for the Saturday effective date of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s integrated disclosure rule. Many in the industry were relieved when the CFPB and other federal regulators issued last-minute guidance affirming that they will recognize the good-faith efforts of the mortgage industry to comply with the new rule. “During initial examinations for compliance with the rule, the agencies’ examiners will evaluate...

Mortgage CEOs Depart Stonegate, Walter, Lenders One and NMI. Who’s Next? PHH?

Over the past few months, the chief executive officers at two publicly traded mortgage firms and a private cooperative have departed, creating uncertainty in the market while underscoring what might seem obvious to some: It’s not easy running a mortgage business these days. CEOs heading for the exits – either on their own accord or via a management edict – include Jim Cutillo of Stonegate, Jeff McGuiness at the Lenders One Cooperative, and most recently Mark O’Brien, who headed nonbank lender/servicer Walter Investment Management Corp. And rounding out the “departure club” is...

PMIER Rules Become Effective at Year End, But Some MIs Fear the FHFA May Lower the Boom on Reinsurance Deals

The nation’s seven active mortgage insurance firms expect to be fully compliant with the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s new capital eligibility rules by the yearend deadline – if they aren’t already – but now there’s a new worry: more regulations may be on the way. According to sources inside the MI sector, the FHFA is taking a close look at the use of reinsurance by private mortgage insurers with an eye toward capping it. “FHFA is worried that reinsurance firms may not pay,” said one MI official who spoke extensively on the topic under the condition he and his firm not be identified. “They want to reduce the credit you get for using reinsurance firms.” “The FHFA is trying...

GSEs Take Next Step to Reduce Buyback Risk By Defining Categories of Defects and Options

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac this week announced a new “origination defects and remedies framework” designed to give lenders more clarity about underwriting problems that could lead to a repurchase demand. The framework sets three categories of loan defect: findings, price-adjusted loans and significant defects. Findings are negligible defects that had no effect on whether the loan was acceptable to the government-sponsored enterprise. The GSE will not require a price adjustment or other remedy from the lender, though it may request updated data regarding the loan. Price-adjusted loans are...

Home Loan Servicing Agrees to $1.5 Million Penalty to Settle Conflict-of-Interest Charges, Income Misstatement

An acquirer of mortgage servicing rights has agreed to pay $1.5 million and to stop committing further violations to resolve charges of misstating net income and misleading the Securities and Exchange Commission about its relationship with servicer Ocwen Financial Group. The settlement agreement between the SEC and Home Loan Servicing Solutions is the latest twist in the long-running federal and state investigations of Ocwen and its relationships with affiliated companies, which have included HLSS, Altisource Residential, Altisource Portfolio Solutions and Altisource Asset Management. The common thread in all five companies is...

BPC Housing Finance Reform Panelists Want More Upfront GSE Credit Risk-Sharing Deals

While there may be some dispute in the industry regarding front-end versus back-end transactions, it’s clear that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac credit-risk transfer programs are here to stay and will only intensify, according to Bob Ryan, the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s acting deputy director of the division of conservatorship. “The FHFA and the enterprises are committed to credit risk on a routine basis. It is not a pilot; it’s a routine part of our ongoing activity,” he said during a Bipartisan Policy Center seminar on mortgage finance reform. Ryan re-emphasized...

Mortgage Regulatory Burden Rhetoric Doesn’t Match Lending Trends at Community Banks

Community banks continue to raise concerns about how regulations are hampering mortgage originations, according to the results of a survey by state regulators. While some community banks have ceased originations, lending data and forward-looking projections suggest that community banks have adapted to the post-crisis regulatory environment. The Federal Reserve and Conference of State Bank Supervisors released a report late last week detailing a survey of 868 banks with $10 billion or less in total assets. Single-family mortgages were named as a primary line of businesses by 69 percent of the surveyed banks in 2015, down from a 75 percent share last year. “Considerable variation in mortgage market conditions was reported...

Inspector General Says FHFA Needs to Do Better Job Overseeing Fannie and Freddie Spending

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has skimped in its oversight of Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s budgets, in most cases not approving them until well after the start of the government-sponsored enterprises’ fiscal years, according to the Inspector General of the FHFA. The FHFA’s budget review and approval process for Fannie and Freddie is seriously flawed and plagued with cursory-level analysis and inadequate resources, the IG said. The agency generally agreed with the IG report and overhauled its budget-review process in July 2015. The IG noted...

Potential Homebuyers Seen as Burdened by Student Loan Debt, Lack Understanding of Mortgage Market

The results of a new survey conducted for NeighborWorks America suggest that student loan debt is an obstacle for a growing share of potential homebuyers. The congressionally chartered organization with a focus on housing counseling also found confusion among potential homebuyers regarding the mortgage market. Some 57 percent of respondents said student loan debt was an obstacle to purchasing a home, up from a 49 percent share last year. The survey involved 1,000 adults. And 76 percent of respondents with student debt said the homebuying process is complicated, up from a 70 percent share in 2014. The greatest obstacle for potential homebuyers continues...

Mortgage Market at a Glance

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


Which mortgage issue, in particular, keeps your management team up at night? (Check one only.)

TRID (Integrated Disclosures)
Uncertainty regarding "marketing service agreements"
Getting sued by HUD/DOJ for alleged underwriting violations
Declining loan volumes

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