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April 24, 2014 - IMFnews

Ugly: Mortgage Originations Hit 14-Year Low in First Quarter

Despite the ugliness of the first quarter, there are signs that loan production may finally be firming up.

April 22, 2014 - IMFnews

MGIC Posts Strong Earnings, Stock Jumps 7 Percent

According to figures compiled by Inside Mortgage Finance, MGIC ranks second nationwide in terms of MI policies-in-force. Only Radian ranks higher.

April 22, 2014 - IMFnews

RMBS Prepays Approaching Post-Crisis Low

The conditional prepayment rate for prime jumbo, Alt-A and subprime loans dropped to 14.7 percent, 10.3 percent and 8.8 percent, respectively, in the first quarter of 2014, according to the ratings service.

April 21, 2014 - IMFnews

Short Takes: CFPB Releases Guide to RESPA and TILA Disclosure Forms/Fannie Forecasts Accelerated Economic Growth in 2Q 2014/FHFA 2014 Scorecard ‘Soon’/Congress Remains in Recess This Week

ICYMI: Late last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its guide to completing its integrated disclosure forms under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and the Truth in Lending Act.

April 18, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

FHLBank Agency MBS Investments Rise During Fourth Quarter 2013

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage-backed securities remained the preferred investment choice of the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks during the fourth quarter of 2013, though with a negligible increase from the previous quarter, according to a new analysis and ranking by Inside The GSEs based on data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Meanwhile, Ginnie Mae securities posted a sizable increase within the FHLBank system during the period ending Dec. 31, 2013. GSE MBS accounted for 74.9 percent of combined FHLBank MBS portfolios, 0.3 percent from the third quarter. The Finance Agency’s data do not separately break out Fannie and Freddie volume or share.

April 18, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Fannie, Freddie Refi Deliveries Continue to Decline in March

A sustained decline in GSE refinances, coupled with faltering purchase activity throughout the first quarter, helped contribute to an overall drop in the volume of single-family mortgages securitized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in March. In the first quarter of 2014, Fannie and Freddie combined for $355.8 billion in new single-family securitizations, down 63.7 percent year-to-date.In March, Fannie and Freddie produced just $37.6 billion of single-family MBS, down 15.6 percent from February. It was the lowest monthly volume since January 2009.

April 17, 2014 - IMFnews

Mortgage Production Slumped at Major Banks in First Quarter

Originations by six major banks in the first quarter of 2014 fell by 27.9 percent compared with the previous quarter.

April 16, 2014 - IMFnews

Purchase-Mortgage Volume Sank in Early 2014

Purchase mortgages securitized by Fannie, Freddie and Ginnie in the first quarter of 2014 were down by 76.3 percent compared with the first quarter of 2013.

April 14, 2014 - IMFnews

Although the MBS Market is Ice Cold, Non-Mortgage ABS Burns Red Hot

The first three months of 2014 represented the strongest quarterly ABS issuance number since the third quarter of 2009, when $53.27 billion of new deals were issued. It was up a modest 1.7 percent from the strong start in 2013.

April 11, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Around the Industry

HMBS Quarterly Issuance Down by 30 Percent. Issuance of securitized Home Equity Conversion Mortgages remained low as HMBS issuers created only $510.1 million in new HMBS pools during March, the third lowest total in almost five years, according to the latest market analysis by New View Advisors. This brought HMBS issuance in the first quarter of 2014 to $1.7 billion, the lowest quarterly total in nearly five years, said NVA. By comparison, HMBS issuance totaled $2.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013 and $2.4 billion in the first quarter of 2014. 1Q14 has the lowest HMBS issuance since 2Q09, when the program was at its infancy. In March, 86 HMBS pools consisting of 41 original issuances and 45 tail pools were issued. Original HMBS issuances refer to a pool of HECM loans securitized for the first time, while tail HMBS issuances are pools created from the uncertificated portions of HECMs that have ...

April 11, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Volume by State Drops, State HECMs Rise

Overall FHA production fell significantly in all 50 states in 2013 apparently due to mortgage insurance premium increases and policy changes that made it difficult for even qualified borrowers to obtain an FHA-insured single-family loan. FHA volume by state dropped 27.5 percent in the fourth quarter to $35.8 billion, from $49.4 billion in the previous quarter, with all states showing varying percentages of decline during the period. Year over year, production by state declined by 9.2 percent, data showed. Total FHA originations were $211.3 billion for 2013, with the first quarter ending strongly with $63.7 billion. Production, however, lost steam over the next three quarters. Among the top five FHA states, Virginia suffered the largest quarterly drop, 35.2 percent, in FHA volume. California was the top FHA producer state with $35.2 billion for a ... [2 charts]

April 11, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Industry Calls for Transparent Loan-Limit Process

The Mortgage Bankers Association is urging the Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide a transparent process by which interested parties could request a recalculation of the FHA loan limits and present supporting evidence. By statute, maximums for FHA loan limits in high-cost areas were reduced to $625,500 from $729,750 at the beginning of the year for one-unit residential properties, the same maximum loan limit for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for similar properties in high-cost areas. The MBA said HUD made further reductions in FHA FY 2014 loan limits in approximately 300 counties and county equivalents across the country, with many experiencing significant reductions. The trade group believes these changes were not required by statute. To the extent that the loan-limit reductions in those areas were discretionary, the MBA strongly urged HUD to moderate its ...

April 11, 2014 - IMFnews

What We’re Hearing: Mel Watt Doing His Homework? / Coming Soon (Maybe) From FHFA: LLPA Relief / RIP: The First-Time Homebuyer / Blame Sandra Thompson? / Bank of America Loan Officers Getting Cherry-Picked / Ocwen Hangs Up on Borrower

FHFA Director Mel Watt may have something to say soon on the topic of Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac loan level price adjustments, commonly known as LLPAs. As for the GSE 'Scorecard'...

April 11, 2014 - IMFnews

Final Tally: Just Four Jumbo MBS Deals Were Priced in the First Quarter

In 2013, nine firms issued jumbo MBS. In the past two quarters, the only issuers of jumbo MBS were Credit Suisse, JPMorgan Chase and Redwood Trust.

April 10, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Issuers Facing Federal Search and Seizure Warrants For MBS-Related Data May Soon Find Some Relief

Companies that have received government subpoenas for electronically stored information (ESI) in connection with federal investigations of financial fraud and other white-collar crimes might find some relief in two recent court rulings, according to a recent legal analysis. In a Dechert LLP legal update, attorneys Ben Barnett, Rebecca Kahan and Nathaniel Hopkins said heightened anti-fraud activities at the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission have resulted in increased criminal prosecutions, criminal probes and enforcement actions. Many of these actions have shown...

April 10, 2014 - IMFnews

GSE MI Business Declines, As Expected, But HARP Activity Plunges

The biggest decline in MI-insured business was in underwater mortgages that were refinanced while keeping their existing coverage under the Home Affordable Refinance Program.

April 9, 2014 - IMFnews

Short Takes: A Good Year for Lenders One, But… / Ocwen MSR Purchase Update / Ex-Provident Exec to Get Senior Post at Ethos / Citigroup’s Subprime Past / A Soggy Spring for Mortgage Applications

Will the Ocwen-Wells MSR deal ever get approved? In time, but...

April 7, 2014 - IMFnews

1Q14 Origination Preview: Ugly; At Least Brokers Are Hiring

Mortgage banking is an ugly business right now, but lenders are hoping that the first quarter will prove to be the nadir and that better times are ahead.

April 7, 2014 - IMFnews

A Popular Borrowing Tool for Banks: FHLB Advances

The nation’s banks and thrifts used a combined $406.1 billion in advances as of Dec. 31, 2013, up 26.7 percent from the third quarter and a 21.6 percent increase from the same period a year earlier.

April 7, 2014 - IMFnews

Banks and Thrifts Saw Secondary Market Activity Plunge Last Year

Despite the results, four of the top 10 depositories sold more loans into the secondary market in 2013 than they did the year prior.

April 4, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Secondary Marketing Activity Slowed Significantly in Late 2013, Pipeline Low

Commercial banks and savings institutions reported severe declines in secondary market mortgage sales during 2013, including a sharp 38.4 percent drop in the fourth quarter. Bank and thrift mortgage sales totaled $1.208 trillion last year, according to an Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of call-report data. That was down 16.5 percent from 2012. Banks and thrifts originated fewer loans as well, but loan sales declined more than total originations, indicating that many lenders retained new production for their portfolios. The industry reported $618.4 billion in retail originations through their mortgage-banking operations, along with $801.2 billion in wholesale production. Both figures were down from the previous year, and [includes a two-page chart]...

April 4, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

FHLB Bank, Thrift Advances Rise in Fourth Quarter, 2013

The use of Federal Home Loan Bank advances by bank and thrift members at the end of 2013 rose on both quarterly and yearly bases, according to the Inside Mortgage Finance Bank Mortgage Database. The nation’s banks and thrifts used a combined $406.1 billion in advances as of Dec. 31, 2013, up 26.7 percent from the third quarter and a 21.6 percent increase from the same period a year earlier. Two of the top three members posted virtually no change on a percentage basis between the third and fourth quarters but all three posted significant increases on a year-over-year basis.

April 4, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

GSE MBS Business Activity Drops In First Quarter, Year-Over-Year

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac generated $129.2 billion in single-family mortgage-backed securities during the first three months of 2014, the lowest quarterly volume in 14 years, according to a new Inside The GSEs analysis. That was down 29.1 percent from the already weak production of the fourth quarter and off 63.7 percent from the same period of 2013. GSE production – and mortgage originations – have been tumbling since the beginning of 2013 as the last great refinance wave washed away.

April 4, 2014 - IMFnews

What We’re Hearing: The Sound of Mortgage Bankers Dying / Why the CFPB is Hated / Prospect Stealing Loan Officers From a Top Five Lender / Should Ellie Mae Call the FBI? Has it Already? / Ocwen Goes For Some Force-Placed Insurance Profits

One ad on the radio sounds like The 60 Plus Association is doing the Lord’s work for the pension funds of fire fighters and policemen. After all, public pensions owned GSE stock prior to the crash and lost a bundle.

April 4, 2014 - IMFnews

Mortgage Securitization Continues Freefall, Weakest Start Since 2000

The only spurt of growth in the MBS market was in the non-agency sector, where new issuance was up 36.5 percent from the fourth quarter.

April 3, 2014 - IMFnews

Ginnie MBS Issuance Gets Clobbered Too

Also, new single-family MBS production by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac plummeted 15.6 percent from February to March as the GSEs posted their lowest quarterly production total in 14 years.

April 3, 2014 - IMFnews

Nonbanks Outnumber Banks in Top 100 Sellers to GSEs

Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase both had huge drops exceeding 40 percent on mortgages sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

April 2, 2014 - IMFnews

Certain Megabanks, Such as JPM, Increase Mortgages Held In Portfolio

Borrow short and lend long? Is there a problem with that? Don't tell that to Jamie Dimon of JPM.

April 1, 2014 - IMFnews

S&P Tops in Ratings of Non-Agency MBS

In its heyday, S&P used to rate more than 90 percent of new issuance of non-agency MBS, but in 2013 it accounted for just 40.0 percent of the market by dollar volume.

April 1, 2014 - IMFnews

March Fannie/Freddie MBS Issuance Weakest Since January 2009

Most industry fortune tellers expect the mortgage market to rebound somewhat as home-buying season warms up. (There are daffodils in Washington.)

March 28, 2014 - IMFnews

Banks’ Use of Principal Forgiveness Declining, Transfers to Nonbank Servicers a Factor

The serious delinquency rate on servicer portfolios hasn’t improved much in the past year, from 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 5.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.

March 28, 2014 - IMFnews

Looking for Higher Yield, Investors May Increase Their Holdings of ‘Esoteric’ ABS

In the end, it's all about yield, which is why investors are going after "esoteric" ABS. Will non-prime MBS ever stage a comeback, even a mini-comeback?

March 27, 2014 - IMFnews

Short Takes: Now Let Us Praise Servicing Profits / Is the Default Management Business Headed for a Crackup? / Okay, Who’s Looking at PHH? / The Waters Bill Is Not Half-Bad / Giving Carrington Some Credit

Speculation continues to grow concerning which nonbanks have looked at buying PHH Mortgage. Our sources caution that “looking” doesn’t mean a deal is close. PHH is based in Cherry Hill, NJ, not too far from Philadelphia. One advisor suggested we look at who has been flying in from points south.

March 27, 2014 - IMFnews

Home Equity Lending Has its Best Year Since 2009

The top three HEL lenders in the market – Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Chase – originated a combined $17.8 billion in home-equity loans last year, but they still saw a $32.1 billion decline in their total holdings of HELOCs and closed-end seconds.

March 21, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

GSEs Report Dramatic Increase in Total 2013 Buyback Settlements

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2013 wrapped up most of the massive amount of repurchase demands they made on legacy loans originated before 2008, but the GSEs are looking more closely at new production and, increasingly, servicer performance. Together, Fannie and Freddie reported a total of $37.87 billion in mortgage repurchases and other settlements of buyback claims, which typically means the lender indemnified the GSE for its losses.

March 21, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Fannie, Freddie Refi Deliveries Continue to Decline in February

A continued decline in GSE refinances, in concert with faltering purchase activity midway through the first quarter, helped contribute to an overall drop in the volume of single-family mortgages securitized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in February. Fannie and Freddie issued $44.6 billion in single-family mortgage-backed securities in February, a 5.1 percent decline from January and a steeper 62.0 percent drop for the first two months of 2014 compared to the same period in the previous year.

March 20, 2014 - IMFnews

FHA Lenders Report Lower Volume

FHA lenders reported $8.7 billion in new originations in January, down from $10.9 billion in December and $23.7 billion from a year ago. Most were fixed-rate mortgages and 77.1 percent were purchase transactions.

March 20, 2014 - IMFnews

Banks Increase Their Holdings of ARMs

A number of lenders said they have put an increased emphasis on jumbo ARMs due to the rise in interest rates that started in May of 2013.

March 20, 2014 - IMFnews

Has Wells Fargo Lost Its Jumbo Focus?

Other firms had more of a jumbo focus. Second-ranked PHH Mortgage reported that 50.0 percent of its originations in 2013 were non-agency jumbos.

March 18, 2014 - IMFnews

A Sign of the Times: Highest MBS Securitization Rate Since 2010

The only sector that has a higher securitization rate is the government-insured market, where Ginnie Mae production represented 98.5 percent of FHA and VA lending.

March 17, 2014 - IMFnews

Final Tally: The Fed Grew MBS Holdings by 61 Percent in 2013

The Fed has promised to “taper” its MBS and Treasury investments in the months ahead, but with MBS issuance on the decline because of falling originations, the central bank likely will maintain or even increase its market share of purchases.

March 17, 2014 - IMFnews

Jumbo Production Jumped 21 Percent Last Year, Driven by Bank Portfolio Appetite

An estimated $272 billion of non-agency jumbos were originated in 2013, accounting for 14.4 percent of total production.

March 14, 2014 - IMFnews

REIT MBS Holdings Fell Sharply in 4Q; Can You Smell the Fed?

The five largest REIT MBS investors all reported double-digit drops during the final three months of 2013, while the mid-range companies generally had smaller declines and three smaller firms actually grew their portfolios.

March 13, 2014 - IMFnews

Total Mortgage Servicing Shrank in 4Q; What Next?

It may be temporary, but residential mortgage debt outstanding fell in the fourth quarter. For buyers of servicers that means less product is available (in theory).


What do you think is the biggest hurdle to meeting the new QM standards in the CFPB’s ability-to-repay rule?

A debt-to-income (DTI) cap of 43%.


A 3% cap on points and fees.


An interest rate cap of the average prime offered rate (APOR) plus 1.5%.


Housing Pulse