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Volume 18 - Number 19

September 19, 2014

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Concerns About Buybacks, Legal Woes Continue to Keep Credit Box Narrow

A tremendous amount of uncertainty is causing mortgage lenders to be more restrictive with credit than they otherwise might be – mostly stemming from conflicts with investors, increased regulation and the ambiguity from major legal settlements. “Lenders are running scared,” said Paulina McGrath, president of Republic State Mortgage, during a conference sponsored by the Bipartisan Policy Center this week in Washington, DC. “It’s not just the regulation that’s causing a dramatic increase in ...

Slowing Investor Purchases Boost Mortgage Share

Mortgage lending has gained significant market share in the home-purchase market in recent months due to a pullback by investors, according to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey. The combined market share for current homeowners and first-time homebuyers increased again in August, according to Tom Popik, research director of Campbell Surveys. The two groups accounted for 84.5 percent of the homes purchased in August, based on a three-month moving average ...

Mortgage Sales Rebounded in 2Q14

After a historically slow start to the year, mortgage originations and loan sales rebounded during the second quarter but remained tepid. Commercial banks and savings institutions reported a total of $140.07 billion of loans sold by their mortgage banking operations during the second quarter, according to an Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of call-report data. That was up 11.4 percent from the dismal $125.71 billion in loan sales during the first three months of the year ... [Includes two data charts]

Mortgage Stock Prices Under Pressure

Almost across the board, the share prices of publicly traded mortgage companies are in the tank these days – and not just the “big three” nonbanks of Nationstar Mortgage, Ocwen Financial and Walter Investment Management. Stonegate Mortgage, for instance, which went public about a year ago, is trading at $14 a share compared to a 52-week high of almost $19 and a low of $12. PennyMac Financial Services is at $15, about $1 above its low and $5 below its high. And Impac Holdings ...

Housing Counseling Helped Reduce Losses

A housing counseling program funded with federal appropriations has helped reduce losses for servicers and helped borrowers, according to the Urban Institute. NeighborWorks America administers the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling program, which was launched in 2008. The Urban Institute tracked outcomes related to $172.56 million in funding for the NFMC program and determined that borrowers receiving counseling from the program realized $518 million in annual savings ...

Lenders More Glum About Future Profits

Most mortgage lenders expect profit margins to remain steady in coming months, but more of them are bracing for reduced earnings and fewer anticipate increases than in the past, according to results from a Fannie Mae survey released this week. Just over half (51 percent) of the 185 participants said they expect profit margins on loan production activity to be unchanged in the next three months. But a third of the lenders predicted tighter margins, up from 29 percent in the previous survey, mostly because of ...

Experts: Credit Access a ‘Huge Problem’ in 2015

Look for the lack of access to credit, particularly among first-time homebuyers and at both ends of the credit spectrum, to be the most significant impediment to housing in 2015, industry experts said during the Bipartisan Policy Center’s housing summit in Washington. While a weak labor market and high levels of student loan debt have done much to hinder first-time homebuyers, demand remains strong – but not enough to overcome stringent loan standards, said Richard Smith, CEO of Realogy Holdings Corp ...

Brokers Originate Slightly Riskier Loans

Loans originated by mortgage brokers tended to have slightly lower credit scores and slightly higher debt-to-income ratios than production by retail lenders and correspondents. An Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of mortgage-backed securities issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae during the second quarter found that broker originations had an average credit score of 721.9 – compared to 728.5 for retail production and 723.4 for correspondent originations. The average DTI for ... [Includes one data chart]

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.)

vote to see results
Housing Pulse