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Volume 18 - Number 21

October 17, 2014

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3Q14 Preview: Solid But Unspectacular Earnings, Unexpected Growth in Volume

Most mortgage industry experts had expected loan origination volume to drop off significantly in the third quarter of 2014, but early indicators suggest just the opposite. An Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of earnings reports from seven large banks with major mortgage operations shows their combined loan originations increased by 8.7 percent from the second quarter. Together, the group racked up $97.4 billion in mortgage originations during the third quarter ...

Mortgage M&A Could Free Loan Officers

When two mortgage companies combine forces, the merged operation may have to deal with redundancies in operations, fulfillment, human resources and other areas that result in staff cuts. However, loan officers can see opportunity if the companies are combining to reach new markets. Not all LOs stay. In fact, once word leaks out that a company is a takeover target, many LOs start weighing their options, contacting competitors and sales managers who tried to ...

Performance of Nonprime Borrowers Improving

With most “easy” refinance business long gone, some lenders have turned their attention to lower credit-quality borrowers. New research from Fair Isaac suggests that borrowers with the lowest credit scores are showing improved performance, helping to ease some concerns about lending to such borrowers. Ethan Dornhelm, principal scientist at Fair Isaac, said average FICO scores tend to decline during an economic downturn, as consumers have more difficulty meeting loan obligations ...

GSE Seller Repurchases Surged in 2Q14

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac customer buybacks totaled $1.269 billion during the second quarter of 2014, according to an Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of Securities and Exchange Commission disclosures made by the two government-sponsored enterprises. Lender buybacks had declined to just $522.5 million in the first three months of 2014, but the repurchase volume jumped 142.8 percent in the second quarter. While Fannie and Freddie reported that they ... [Includes two data charts]

New Regs Pressure Lender Profitability

New regulations in the mortgage industry have wreaked havoc on the business, with lenders facing higher compliance risk and growing compliance costs, according to Fannie Mae’s third quarter survey of mortgage lender sentiment. The results show that 72 percent of lenders reported that recent regulations, among them the qualified-mortgage rule and the risk-based capital rules for banks, have had a “significant” impact on their business. Only 22 percent reported “minimal” impact ...

Distressed Mortgage Investor Touts Benefits

American Homeowner Preservation, a hedge fund that invests in distressed mortgages and helps some borrowers with loan modifications, said it proves distressed mortgage sales can be “preservative and profitable.” Officials at AHP said the fund has now helped more than 500 distressed borrowers avoid foreclosure via loan modifications. Investors in AHP also earn strong returns from the firm’s purchases of distressed mortgages. AHP started as a nonprofit in 2008, buying short sales ...

E-Close Project to Start Shortly

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is poised to formally launch its e-closing pilot project shortly, with an eye towards simplifying the mortgage closing process for both borrowers and lenders and eliminating many of the “pain points” associated with it. “We are looking to kick off the pilot later this year and run it for about three months,” said Brian Webster, program manager for the bureau’s Office of Mortgage Markets, during a meeting of the CFPB’s Community Bank Advisory Council ...

Loan Review App Offers Buyback Protection

Credit Plus, a provider of credit verification and automated loan file review services, has announced a new software application that will help lenders of agency loans defend against potential losses, indemnifications and repurchase demands. The program, QC Review, enables lenders to run pre-closing quality assurance and post-closing quality-control tests to ensure that loans they originate meet Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA/VA requirements. QC Review’s comprehensive ...

Poll

Over the next six months we plan to hire this many more additional loan officers:

1 to 10 (We're being careful.)

31%

11 to 30 (We're optimistic.)

10%

More than 30 (We're in a growth mode as the banks get out.)

31%

We're cutting back. (Are you nuts? It's ugly out there.)

29%

Housing Pulse