FHA, VA

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to FHA, VA.

May 22, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Deephaven’s Nonprime Production a Mystery

Seven months ago, a fledgling nonprime lender called Deephaven Mortgage unveiled a $300 million investment in the firm by a global “alternative” hedge fund called Varde Partners, Minneapolis. But since then, not much has been heard about Deephaven. Then again, it might be said that the “new” nonprime industry is still trying to figure out how to operate in a world of tight regulation, non-QM lending and a securitization market that doesn’t want to touch its product. Matt Nichols, the former Goldman Sachs managing director who formed Deephaven two years ago, did not respond...


May 22, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Economists See Lending Surge in Fuzzy Outlook

Mortgage originations are already off to a better start in 2015, and industry economists are predicting, on average, a 15 percent increase from last year’s sluggish output. But uncertain prospects in the housing market point toward a decline in mortgage originations next year, according to forecasters at the secondary market conference sponsored this week by the Mortgage Bankers Association. 2015 should bring the strongest housing sales volume since 2007, said Leonard Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac. Sales activity was decent over the winter, despite severe weather in many areas, but the market has yet to get back to normal. Freddie looks...[Includes one data table]


May 21, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

First-Time Homebuyer Share Up Sharply This Spring, Helped By Reduction in FHA Insurance Premiums

The first-time homebuyer share of home purchases in April hit its highest level in more than four years, according to the Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance’s HousingPulse Tracking Survey. The purchases have been boosted by a reduction in the FHA’s mortgage insurance premiums and help rebut concerns about the demise of the first-time homebuyer. First-time homebuyers accounted for 37.6 percent of home purchases in April, up from a 34.3 percent share a year ago, based on three-month moving averages. The last time the first-time homebuyer share of home purchases was above 37.6 percent was in August 2010 at a 40.0 percent share. Tom Popik, research director of Campbell Surveys, said...


May 21, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Lenders Prevail in Novel Lawsuits Involving Loss Mitigation, Allegations of Predatory Lending

Separate lawsuits against major banks were dismissed last week, providing some insight on how lenders and servicers can defend against claims brought by consumer advocates under the False Claims Act and allegations of redlining and reverse redlining. In 2013, Advocates for Basic Legal Equality alleged that U.S. Bank’s servicing practices violated the FCA. U.S. District Court Judge Jack Zouhary dismissed the lawsuit, noting that the claims were barred by the “public disclosure doctrine.” Larry Platt, a partner at the law firm of K&L Gates, said...


May 21, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Refi Surge in Conventional-Conforming Market Helped Fuel Originations Uptick in Early 2015

The conventional-conforming sector led the mortgage market’s surge in production volume during the first quarter of 2015, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance ranking and analysis. Lenders originated an estimated $207 billion of conventional-conforming mortgages during the first three months of this year, an 18.3 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2014. The conventional-conforming sector accounted for 57.5 percent of the $360 billion in overall mortgage originations during the period. The $360 billion is a revision of our initial estimate and does not include home-equity lending. The government and jumbo markets were...[Includes two data tables]


May 15, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

House GOP’s Proposed Budget Rejects IT Administrative Fee, HTF. House Republicans withheld funding for a proposed administrative fee, which the FHA planned to invest in technology to improve quality assurance and reduce paid-claims losses. The Department of Housing and Urban Development first requested authority to collect the fee in the President’s FY 2015 budget request but was turned down. It appears House Republicans are on track again to reject the proposed fee in the FY 2016 appropriations bill, said HUD Secretary Juan Castro. Castro lambasted the House Republicans’ proposed budget cuts, saying they would hinder HUD from carrying out its mission and from investing in communities that most need help. The GOP bill also rescinds funding to the proposed Housing Trust Fund, which allocates a small percentage of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac profits to ...


May 15, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

PMAC-Blackstone Talks on Hold, Reason for Deal’s Delay Unclear

The Blackstone Group’s bid to acquire VA lender PMAC Mortgage, Chino Hills, CA, appears to have stalled. Talks between the two companies are now on hold and neither firm has commented. An industry source suggested that cash might not be the issue but a “clash of corporate cultures. PMAC Lending Services, which acquired Residential Financial Corp. last year, was ranked 61st on Inside FHA/VA Lending’s top 100 VA lenders in 2014. The company reported $328.2 million in total VA originations last year, reporting an 18.5 percent increase in the fourth quarter from the previous quarter and a 182.1 percent spike in loan volume year-over-year. It accounted for 0.3 percent of the VA market. Blackstone is a global investment firm with nearly $300 billion in assets under management. Last year, the company announced the hiring of 15,000 U.S. veterans across its portfolio companies in ...


May 15, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Borrowers Suffer in the Long Run as Servicers Try to Avoid FHA Penalties

Mortgage originators are foregoing lending to borrowers who are more likely to become delinquent to avoid strict and unrealistic FHA timelines and cost limits, according to an Urban Institute study. Results of the study, which was issued in December, were again highlighted during a recent Housing Finance Policy Center seminar on servicing at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC. Citing the study she wrote, Laurie Goodman, director of the HFPC, said regulatory uncertainty and a broken servicer-compensation model were partly responsible for tight credit. The high cost of servicing non-performing mortgages and regulatory uncertainty regarding the treatment of delinquent borrowers have made lenders apprehensive about making loans that have even a slight chance of defaulting, she said. Long foreclosure delays in judicial states, burdensome foreclosure guidelines and apparently ...


May 15, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD System Failed to Identify Ineligible FHA-HAMP Partial Claims

An internal audit of the FHA/Home Affordable Modification Program’s partial-claim option uncovered flaws that cost taxpayers millions of dollars in ineligible claims. According to a recent report by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of the Inspector General, HUD’s claim-payment controls were inadequate. As a result, the agency paid more than $22 million in unsupported claims and $103,925 in ineligible claims, the report concluded. Auditors said HUD did not design and implement strong safeguards to detect and prevent improper claims. Because of the flaws, the system allowed payment of more than one claim with a modification or FHA-HAMP option in a 24-month period, the report said. In addition, auditors found duplicate claims, partial claims in excess of 30 percent of the unpaid principal balance at initial default, and non-HAMP partial claims after HUD ...


May 15, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Delinquency Rate Drops in 1Q, VA Delinquencies, Foreclosures Up

The FHA overall delinquency rate for single-family mortgages fell by 63 basis points to 9.10 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis in the first quarter of 2015 from the previous quarter, while VA loans recorded the only increase across all loan types over the same period, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Overall, mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures continued to fall in the first quarter and are now at their lowest levels since 2007, according to the MBA’s quarterly delinquency-rate survey. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the overall delinquency rate fell 14 bps to 5.54 percent from the fourth quarter of 2014, and 57 bps from one year ago, the MBA said. The serious delinquency rate – the share of mortgages that are 90 days or more past due or in foreclosure – likewise fell 28 basis points to 4.24 percent from the previous quarter and down ...


May 15, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA, FHA Purchase Applications Up, Refi Loan Applications Decline

The VA share of total loan applications (purchase and refinancing) for the week ending May 8, remained unchanged at 11.9 percent while FHA’s share fell to 13.8 percent from 14.0 percent the week prior, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest weekly survey of applications. VA purchase loan applications were up a smidgen, 0.2 percent, for the week while FHA purchase applications were up slightly higher, 0.6 percent. Refi applications at both agencies, however, were down for the week – 11.5 percent for FHA and 5.1 percent for VA. Meanwhile, the Rural Housing Service’s share of total applications rose to 0.9 percent as of May 8, from 0.8 percent the week prior. While there was no change in RHS’ share of refi loan applications during the week, its purchase loan applications was up 8.6 percent, a hefty increase for an agency that accounts for only a ...


May 15, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Robust Refi Activity Propel VA Past Private Mortgage Insurers in 1Q

The Veterans Administration’s home loan guaranty program has racked up some serious refinance numbers in recent months, causing primary mortgage insurers to lose some market share during the first quarter of 2015, according to an Inside Mortgage Finance analysis of guarantor activity. Streamline refinance loans accounted for 59.0 percent of VA loans securitized by Ginnie Mae during the first three months, compared to just 32.8 percent of private MI loans securitized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over the same period. In addition, the VA had the highest average loan size among insured mortgages in the first quarter, approximately 7.2 percent larger than the average loan with private MI. Private mortgage insurers provided coverage on $45.2 billion of mint conventional mortgages during the first quarter, down 5.3 percent from the fourth quarter of last year. VA and FHA originations also increased over the same period by 6.0 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively. FHA forward originations surged ... [1 chart ]


May 15, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Premium Reduction Helped Fuel 1Q Jump in FHA Loan Production

Price reduction and improving economic factors helped push FHA volume up in the first quarter of 2015, according to an Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis of agency data. Production of forward single-family mortgages insured by FHA increased by 12.3 percent in the first quarter to $39.5 billion from $35.2 billion in the prior quarter, powered by a sharp uptick in refinances. FHA’s total refi business jumped from $2.29 billion in endorsements in February, a month of record snowstorms in the Northeast, to $8.15 billion in March. Total FHA forward-mortgage business rose by 83.8 percent from February, data showed. FHA streamline refis rose a whopping 144.1 percent quarter-over-quarter while conventional-to-FHA refis jumped 29.2 percent over the same period. Falling purchase loan volume, which was the reason for the overall decline in FHA originations last year, spilled over into ... [2 charts]


May 14, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHA Recaptures Some Market Share in Recent Months, Thanks to Premium Price Cut, Economic Factors

FHA volume in Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities rebounded in April because of the agency’s price cut in late January and improvements in the economy, according to industry participants. Recent data from the FHA show a sharp uptick in refinance business, which jumped from $2.29 billion in endorsements in February to $8.15 billion in March. Total FHA forward-mortgage business rose by 83.8 percent from February. The surge came...


May 14, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Fresh Faces, Ideological Differences Continue To Darken Outlook for GSE Reform Legislation

Realtors want Congress to tackle reform of the government-sponsored enterprises, but they are keenly aware of the huge difficulties facing the effort, according to participants at this week’s annual legislative conference held by the National Association of Realtors. “I think what we want to get through to people in Congress is that these [GSE] programs were designed to be around and to be effective in times of a recession and prosperity in every single section of the country. That’s what they were there to do,” said Jerry Giovaniello, NAR’s senior vice president of government affairs. He said...


May 14, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Government Mortgage Insurance Programs Make a Run on Private MIs; First-Timers Shifting the Scales

The volume of new mortgage originations with primary mortgage-insurance coverage held steady during the first quarter of 2015, but there was a noticeable shift toward the government MI programs, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance analysis and ranking. Private mortgage insurers wrote coverage on $45.24 billion of new conventional originations during the first quarter, a 5.3 percent decline from the fourth quarter of last year. But FHA and Veterans Administration loan originations were up over the same period, by 5.5 percent and 6.0 percent, respectively. Based on Ginnie Mae securitization data, the volume of new rural-housing loans insured by the Department of Agriculture fell...[Includes three data charts]


May 8, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

FHA Market-Share Drop Lowers FTHB Share

Researchers at the Urban Institute found that, although the percentage of first-time homebuyers increased from 2011 to 2014, the national share of first-time homebuyers in the agency mortgage market fell from 57 percent in 2011 to just 54 percent last year. Researchers Bing Bai, Jun Zhu and Laurie Goodman, director of the Housing Finance policy center at the Urban Institute, attributed the change to a decline in FHA’s market share. From 2001 to 2003 ... [Includes one data chart]


May 8, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

Agency MBS Activity Springs to Life in April As Purchase-Mortgage Volume Begins Growing

The agency MBS market in April had its strongest month of new issuance in 20 months thanks to the combination of strong refinance volume and a surge in purchase-mortgage lending. A new Inside MBS & ABS analysis and ranking reveals that Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae issued a total of $121.10 billion of new single-family MBS last month, an increase of 22.1 percent from March. It marked the strongest output since August 2013, when new agency MBS was tapering off from a huge influx of refinance business. Refinance loans continued...[Includes two data charts]


May 7, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Mortgage Performance Continues to Improve In First Quarter, Nearing Pre-Crisis Levels

The share of mortgages that were delinquent or in the foreclosure process at the end of the first quarter of 2015 declined to levels last seen in 2007, according to new data from Inside Mortgage Finance and the Mortgage Bankers Association. The Inside Mortgage Finance Large Servicer Delinquency Index hit 5.81 percent for the first quarter of 2015. Nearly every servicer tracked by the index posted improved performance compared with the previous quarter. “More recent loan vintages, specifically loans originated in 2012 and later, continue...[Includes one data chart]


May 1, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

VA Clarifies HUD-1 Itemization Requirements. The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Home Loan Guaranty office has issued guidance clarifying HUD-1 documentation and itemization requirements. The HUD-1 is a statement lenders furnish to borrowers at closing showing the actual settlement costs, including amounts paid to and by the settlement agent. The guidance clarifies and establishes VA policy regarding the following: itemization of lender/seller credits in the 200 series of the HUD-1; itemization of line 801 on the HUD-1; clarification that credits reflected on line 803 of the HUD-1 cannot offset allowable fees’ and itemization of line 802 on the HUD-1. Ginnie Mae Announces Update to Securitization of USDA Section 538 Multifamily Loans. Ginnie Mae has enhanced the securitization of rural, multifamily housing loans with a Department of Agriculture guaranty to make affordable housing available to ...


May 1, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Analysts Caution MIs Against Premature Forays into FHA Arena

The reduced capital requirements for certain vintage mortgages under recently issued financial standards for private mortgage insurers might embolden MI companies to step up competition with the FHA, according to a new Barclays Research analysis. Such a move, however, would be bad for private MIs at this time, Barclays analysts warned. Buoyed by the changes in the final Private Mortgage Insurer Eligibility Requirements (PMIERs), MI firms could attempt to steal away market share from FHA by going after the agency’s traditional base, the lower-FICO borrower segment. “Such a move would entail significantly more credit risk, something the MI companies may not be comfortable with just a few years after the recent housing downturn,” said analysts. In addition, analysts estimated that return-on-equity after taxes on the lower FICO cohorts are already below the MI’s targeted ...


May 1, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD Bares Changes to DASP, Delays Foreclosure for a Year

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is requiring servicers of FHA-insured mortgages to delay foreclosure for a year and to evaluate all borrowers for the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and other similar loss-mitigation programs. The move is one of the improvements to the FHA Distressed Asset Stabilization Program, a direct-sale pilot program that allows pools of foreclosure-bound mortgages to be sold to qualified bidders. Bidders are encouraged to work with borrowers to help cure the loan – a less costly alternative to foreclosure or an REO (real estate-owned) sale. An FHA servicer can place a troubled loan into a DASP pool if the borrower is at least six months delinquent on their mortgage and the servicer has exhausted all FHA loss-mitigation options. Previously, servicers could foreclose six months after they received the loan. They were also encouraged, though not required, to ...


May 1, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA to Repair Defect in Processing Transfers of Property Custody

The Department of Veterans Affairs has found a defect in “transfer of custody” (TOC) processing, wherein TOC reports are being rejected when submitted to the agency. The reports are not being accepted apparently because servicers are not filling out the “Date of Confirmation/Ratification of Sale” fields, the agency said. Servicers have 15 days after loan termination to report if they want to transfer custody of a foreclosed property to the VA. Loan termination for a foreclosure and loan termination for a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure are defined separately under VA rules. The VA said the defect will be fixed once the agency’s VALERI (VA Loan Electronic Reporting Interface) Manifest 3.4 is released in June. VALERI 3.4 comes in the wake of VALERI 3.3, which the VA deployed on April 11, 2015. The updated version included a revised description of a ...


May 1, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Grassley Seeks HUD’s Explanation For Controversial Appointments

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-IA, chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, has asked the Department of Housing and Urban Development to explain the duties and functions of two officials who were appointed as “principal deputy assistant secretary.” The appointments make it appear that HUD is deliberately circumventing the nomination process by creating new official titles for appointees without obtaining Senate confirmation, said Grassley. If that is the case, HUD Secretary Julian Castro may be in violation of the Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, the lawmaker warned. The statute provides several mechanisms to fill job positions that require candidates to be nominated by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. “The Vacancies Act also declares that those mechanisms are the exclusive means of filling vacancies,” Grassley said. “Creating new job titles is not ...


May 1, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Announces 90-Day Delay in SF Policy Handbook Effective Date

The FHA Single-Family Policy Handbook’s effective date has been changed from June 15 to Sept. 14, 2015, the agency has announced. The affected sections include the following: Doing Business with FHA – Lenders and Mortgagees; Doing Business with FHA – Other Participants – Appraiser; and Quality Control, Oversight and Compliance. The section for Origination through Post Closing/Endorsement (OTPC/E) becomes effective for FHA case numbers assigned on or after Sept. 14. All applicable existing single-family handbooks, mortgagee letters and policy documents continue to apply until the OTPC/E section becomes effective, the agency said. A number of competing initiatives prompted the change of effective date. The FHA expects lenders to be fully compliant by Sept. 14. The FHA will continue to issue mortgagee letters periodically to ...


May 1, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Creates Borrower Disincentive With Delays, Longer Closing Time

A high percentage of VA loans are not closing on time, potentially creating a disincentive for borrowers to use the product and opt for the competition instead, according to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance’s HousingPulse Tracking Survey. Data showed that the share of VA loans closing on time declined to 55 percent in March 2015 from 70 percent in April 2014. This suggests that 45 percent of VA loans are experiencing serious delays in closing. “For VA, this is a significant change for the worse,” said Tom Popik, designer of the survey. The VA’s average closing time is 41 days as of March this year, up from around 39 percent a year ago. Comparatively, 75 percent of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans with private mortgage insurance are closing on time as of March 2015, up from 68 percent a year ago. When delayed, VA closing takes a lot longer, 29 additional days, up from ...


May 1, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Jumbo Volume Suffers Steep Decline in 2014 as Activity Slowed

FHA jumbo loan production dropped significantly in 2014, according to an Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis of agency data. The volume of jumbo loans insured by the FHA – loan amounts exceeding $417,000 up to the national ceiling of $625,500 – fell 41.9 percent from the prior year, and 4.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 from the previous quarter. FHA jumbo production for 2014 totaled $10.5 billion, with purchase loans accounting for nearly 80 percent of volume and fixed-rate loans comprising 87.1 percent of jumbos originated last year. Seventy-two percent of lenders saw their jumbo volume decline, including Provident Savings Bank, which suffered the largest year-over-year drop (84.9 percent). An analysis of FHA endorsements by loan amount show that loans above $417,000 up to $499,000 accounted for 2.12 percent of loans endorsed in the first quarter. Additionally, loans from $500,000 to ... [1 chart]


May 1, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Quicken Lawsuit Can Help Clarify FHA Rules, Government Use of FCA

Quicken Loan’s lawsuit against the government could help provide some certainty to lenders as to the proper legal standard for evaluating compliance with FHA rules and whether loan sampling is a permissible post-endorsement review strategy, according to legal experts. The adjudication of Quicken’s case against the Department of Justice in a public forum should clarify FHA policies, procedures, and the degree of future liability risks, experts said. Quicken Loans, the top FHA lender in 2014, sued the Department of Justice in federal court in Detroit April 17, accusing it of high-pressure tactics to admit wrongdoing and of using a small sample of flawed loans as a basis for claims under the False Claims Act. Up to that time, Quicken Loans had been the subject of an ongoing DOJ probe, which began three years earlier, in relation to its FHA lending practices. Quicken also asserted that, before filing its lawsuit ...


May 1, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Refis Help Boost Volume of Ginnie MBS Backed by VA Loans in 1Q15

VA home loan guaranty originations nearly caught up with FHA single-family volume in the first quarter of 2015, thanks to a strong pickup in veteran loan refinancings, an Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis of Ginnie Mae issuance data indicated. Refi loans accounted for 58.5 percent of VA loans securitized in the first quarter compared to just 34.4 percent of FHA loans in Ginnie mortgage-backed securities. Approximately $35.0 billion in VA loans were securitized in Ginnie Mae MBS in the first quarter, up 5.5 percent from the fourth quarter of 2014. On the other hand, $35.6 billion of FHA loans were securitized during the same period, down 1.8 percent from the prior quarter. Of the VA loans in Ginnie MBS, $14.5 billion were purchase mortgages, mostly delivered through retail and loan correspondents. Brokers accounted for only 8.5 percent of the purchase loans. Securitized VA purchase volume, however, was ... [2 charts]


May 1, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

HUD Appropriations Bill Cracks Down on Eminent Domain, Blocks Federal Involvement

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development this week approved a fiscal 2016 HUD appropriations bill, with language that would bar FHA, Ginnie Mae or HUD from deploying federal funds to foster the use of eminent domain to seize mortgages. “None of the funds made available in this act shall be used by [the three agencies] to insure, securitize or establish a federal guarantee of any mortgage or MBS that refinances or otherwise replaces a mortgage that has been subject to eminent domain condemnation or seizure, by a state, municipality or any other political subdivision of a state,” states Section 229 of the legislation. The Structured Finance Industry Group said...


May 1, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

Analysts Expect New PMIERs Rules to Have No Material Impact on GSE Issuance, Prepayments

New capital requirements for private mortgage insurers are a positive for the industry and should not cause a big change in MI premiums, high loan-to-value prepayments or net issuance of conventional MBS, according to a new analysis from Barclays Research. The reason for analysts’ optimism is that the effective rate for conventional conforming mortgages with private MI has been more attractive than on an FHA loan for borrowers with FICO scores above 700 and original LTVs of 80-95 percent. The opposite has been true for borrowers with low FICO scores. Consequently, issuance of conventional loans over the past year has largely favored...


April 30, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

GSE Low-Downpayment Programs Off To Slow Start; Lenders Have Mixed Views

The new government-sponsored enterprise low-downpayment programs have met a mixed reaction among lenders. While some said they expect to see an uptick in mortgage activity, others noted the product accounts for just a small percentage of their firms’ business and won’t have much of an impact on origination volume. Fannie Mae’s low-downpayment program kicked off in December 2014, and Freddie Mac implemented its program in March 2015. So far, the volume of low-downpayment purchase loans in GSE business is relatively small. Fannie securitized...


April 30, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Quicken Loans Ponders Future As FHA Lender After DOJ Answers Its Preemptive Suit With FCA Complaint

Quicken Loans said it will be evaluating whether it should continue participating in the FHA single-family mortgage insurance program after the federal government formally accused the lender of improperly originating and underwriting mortgages that cost the FHA losses in paid claims. The Detroit-based mortgage lender two weeks ago took the unprecedented step of filing a lawsuit against the government for alleged harassment in what it deemed a long-running fishing trip to drum up charges against the company. Last week, the empire struck back. The Department of Justice filed...


April 30, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Mortgage Origination Volume Picked Up Speed In Early 2015; Most Lenders Report Solid Gains

Mortgage lenders originated an estimated $370.0 billion of first-lien home loans during the first three months of 2015, lifting the market to its strongest quarterly volume since the third quarter of 2013, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance analysis and ranking. The first-quarter total originations estimate does not include home-equity lending, which many lenders consider a separate business from traditional mortgage lending. In the past, Inside Mortgage Finance included home-equity in total originations, and those market estimates are not being revised. In 2014, about 5.7 percent of total originations ($71.0 billion) were home-equity loans. A number of survey participants have reported...[Includes two data charts]


April 23, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Man Bites Dog: Will Quicken’s Lawsuit Against the Feds Stem the Tide of FHA Charges Against Lenders?

Quicken Loans this week went where no lender in the mortgage industry has gone before: Suing the U.S. government for suggesting it’s been doing a crappy job of originating FHA loans. Its legal action not only caught most of the industry by surprise, but resulted in loud applause from the Mortgage Bankers Association and K&L Gates partner Larry Platt. A number of major lenders have paid...


April 23, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Modest Changes to GSE MBS Guaranty Pricing Likely To Have Little Impact on FHA, Jumbo Originations

The Federal Housing Finance Agency late last week directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to stop charging the 25 basis point “adverse market” fee assessed on all loans since the financial crises, but most lower-risk loans won’t get any reduction in loan-level pricing adjustments. As expected, the FHFA did not make any changes to the “base” guaranty fees charged by the two government-sponsored enterprises. Current fees, on average, are at an “appropriate” level. “We are going to monitor this on an ongoing or quarterly basis and we’ll adjust based on market conditions,” said Sandra Thompson, FHFA’s deputy director. The regulator instructed...


April 17, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Servicing Sector is Growing, While FHA Market Shrinks

The outstanding supply of VA home loans in Ginnie Mae pools continued to grow during the first quarter of 2015, climbing 2.9 percent from the end of last year, according to a new Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis of loan-level mortgage-backed securities disclosures. Meanwhile, the supply of FHA loans in Ginnie pools fell 0.5 percent during the first quarter. Similarly, FHA loans in Ginnie MBS declined by 2.2 percent from the first quarter of 2014 while VA loans ... [Includes three data charts]


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