MBS Investors

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to MBS Investors.

August 18, 2014 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB Rule Impeding Return of Private Capital to Housing Finance

A number of mortgage finance industry groups have expressed concern about how the CFPB’s ability-to-repay rule is interfering with the return of private investor capital back into the sector – mostly because of the rule’s assignee liability provisions. The industry comments came in response to a request from the Treasury Department in June for suggestions to encourage private capital to return to the non-agency mortgage-backed securities space. The Association of Institutional Investors said the ATR rule’s assignee liability provision “unfairly punishes investors who have nothing to do with the origination of loans and oftentimes have limited insight into the origination practices.” The assignee liability provision therefore introduces a risk that is almost impossible to price for those not directly involved in ...


August 15, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

GNMA’s Conversion Plan: Devil is in the Details

Two industry trade groups expressed support for consolidating Ginnie Mae’s mortgage-backed securities program and creating a new MBS but they are at loggerheads on some of the details. Commenting on the Ginnie Mae proposal, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said the disagreements are mostly on how to resolve issues related to winding down the Ginnie Mae I MBS program and providing a conversion option for existing securities. “It is clear that further discussion is warranted, and direct engagement with key stakeholders should be beneficial,” the trade groups suggested. Ginnie Mae has received considerable support from a variety of industry players for its “straw man” proposal to shift to a single MBS program based on the existing Ginnie II. The program now accounts for more than 90 percent of all ...


August 15, 2014 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

SFIG Seeks to Improve MBS Transparency

The Structured Finance Industry Group has proposed investor-friendly standards for non-agency mortgage-backed securities in an effort to increase activity in the sector. The first “green paper” on Project RMBS 3.0 focuses on representations and warranties, triggers for independent reviews and disclosure of underwriting guidelines. “The goal here is to produce a proposal for standards that we would hope the industry adopts,” said Richard Johns, SFIG’s executive director ...


August 15, 2014 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

Significant Number of Issues Need Fixing To Restore Non-Agency MBS Market

Trustee responsibilities, the role of the government-sponsored enterprises, deal documentation, loan-level disclosures, servicing, ratings, assignee liability, regulatory uncertainty, lien priority, bondholder communication and incentives for banks. These are just a few of the issues that need to be addressed for non-agency MBS issuance to resume in a meaningful manner, according to industry participants. About 25 comment letters were submitted after a request from the Treasury ...


August 15, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

REITs Increased MBS Holdings During 2Q14 As Fed Leaves More Space for Other Investors

The gradual slowdown in agency MBS purchases by the Federal Reserve helped real estate investment trusts grow their MBS portfolios during the second quarter of 2014. A new Inside MBS & ABS analysis of REIT earnings reports found that the industry held $286.3 billion of MBS as of the end of June. That was up 9.7 percent from the previous quarter and marked the first increase in REIT MBS holdings since the third quarter of 2012, when the aggregate industry portfolio was $374.2 billion. At the top of the sector, Annaly Capital Management reported...


August 15, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Strong Demand in Secondary Market for Re-Performing Mortgages, Largely Without Ratings on MBS Deals

Investor demand for re-performing loans has been so strong in recent months that some firms are sitting on the sidelines as yields have become unattractive. Re-performing loans are being sold both as whole loans and in non-agency MBS, largely without ratings. William Gorin, director and CEO of MFA Financial, said the real estate investment trust has been investing in unrated non-agency MBS backed by re-performing loans that were originated between 2005 and 2007. “The average credit support is...


August 15, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

MBS Prices May Rise Further, Thanks to Concern About Economic Impact of the Ukraine ‘Situation’

MBS investors have been enjoying a nice little rally of late thanks to what analysts call “geopolitical” concerns, namely the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East. But how much further will bond prices rise and rates fall? It all depends on whom you ask. “We’ll see 2 percent on the long bond before 3 percent,” said Christopher Whalen, senior managing director of Kroll Bond Rating Agency. Over the past few weeks, MBS prices – based on the Fannie Mae 3.5 percent coupon – have neared...


August 15, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Investors Want Overhaul of Non-Agency MBS Market, Issuers Willing to Make Some Changes

Potential investors in non-agency MBS are calling for significant changes to the market before they’re willing to resume investing in new non-agency MBS. Non-agency MBS issuers indicate that they are willing to make some changes to attract investors, while other adjustments will require action by federal regulators or Congress. In June, the Treasury Department requested comments on how to increase non-agency activity and decrease the agency MBS share of mortgage financing. The comment period closed late last week, with about 25 industry participants submitting feedback. John Gidman, president of the Association of Institutional Investors, said...


August 14, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Incentives for Bank Portfolio Holdings a Factor in Effort to Increase Non-Agency Mortgage Activity

Banks need incentives to issue non-agency mortgage-backed securities instead of holding loans in portfolio, according to boosters of the non-agency MBS market. The Federal Reserve’s monetary policies and capital requirements set by federal regulators have played a role in the shift from non-agency MBS issuance to banks holding loans in portfolio. “Historically, major banks were the predominant sponsors of private-label securities transactions, especially for 30-year jumbo fixed-rate loans, which are not a good asset/liability match for their balance sheets,” officials at Redwood Trust noted in a comment letter submitted to the Treasury Department. In June, the Treasury issued a request for comments on how to increase non-agency activity in the mortgage market. In 2013, only 4.8 percent of the estimated $272.0 billion in non-agency jumbo originations were included...


August 8, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

ICE Seeks Partnership with MERS to Expand Into Mortgage Derivatives Clearing, Trading

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), a global network of exchanges and clearing houses and a top energy trader, is reportedly seeking to gain a foothold in the mortgage market via the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS). ICE is negotiating a partnership agreement with MERSCorp Holdings, parent company of MERS, as part of its plan to add mortgages to its primary derivatives business, Bloomberg reported recently. Both ICE and MERS declined to comment on the story. According to the report, the Atlanta-based ICE has been studying...


August 8, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Trustees Ask Court to Clear $4.5 Billion Settlement With Chase, Goldman Sachs Faces $1.2 Billion Hit

Mortgage trustees are still awaiting state court approval of a $4.5 billion settlement with JPMorgan Chase in relation to faulty residential MBS issued by the bank and the now-defunct Bear Stearns between 2005 and 2008. If approved by the New York State Supreme Court, the agreement would resolve representation and warranty claims as well as servicing claims related to loans in 330 mortgage securitization trusts, as well as claims over document delivery. In addition, the bank agreed to change its servicing procedures with respect to mortgage loans in the trusts. The proposed settlement does not resolve...


August 8, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Ocwen Plans to Use Its Clean-Up Call Option On Vintage Non-Agency MBS It Services

Officials at Ocwen Financial announced late last week that the company plans to use its clean-up call option on loans backing vintage non-agency MBS that it services. Officials see strong profits in paying off non-agency MBS investors at par and then liquidating real estate owned properties whose loans were included in non-agency MBS. “The opportunity results from the arbitrage of the underlying loans in REO being worth more than the securities,” William Erbey, Ocwen’s executive chairman, said during the servicer’s earnings call for the second quarter of 2014. “In other words, the whole is worth less than the sum of the parts.” He said...


August 8, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

SFIG Proposes Standards for Non-Agency MBS, Seeks Industry-Driven Solution for Stalled Market

The Structured Finance Industry Group this week proposed the first in a planned long line of standards aimed at increasing transparency for non-agency MBS investors and boosting new issuance. The first edition in the SFIG’s series of “green papers” covers certain representations and warranties, triggers for repurchase, due diligence and communication with investors. Richard Johns, SFIG’s executive director, said about 200 individuals from about 50 organizations involved in the non-agency MBS market have participated in Project RMBS 3.0. “The goal here is...


August 1, 2014 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

Two Harbors Set to Return to Jumbo MBS Issuance

Two Harbors Investment is preparing to issue a $267.67 million jumbo mortgage-backed security, according to a preliminary term sheet obtained by Inside Nonconforming Markets. The deal is scheduled to close Aug. 5, nearly a year after the only other jumbo MBS issued by Two Harbors. Agate Bay Mortgage Trust 2014-1 is backed by 30-year fixed-rate mortgages from a variety of lenders, led by RPM Mortgage with a 12.8 percent share, New York Community Bank ...


August 1, 2014 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

Plenty of Suggestions for Reform of Non- Agency Market; Revival a Long Way Off

Efforts to reform the non-agency market may be gathering momentum as the Structured Finance Industry Group is set to reveal its preliminary recommendations for changes to non-agency mortgage-backed securities and comments on the sector’s reform are due to the Treasury Department shortly. Industry participants have plenty of suggestions for how to fix the market, but any revival looks to be years away. On Aug. 4, the SFIG will release “green papers” as part of its Project RMBS 3.0 initiative ...


August 1, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Non-Agency MBS Investors Continue to Complain About Loan Mods Provisions in Legal Settlements

A trade group representing non-agency MBS investors continues to raise concerns about settlements that give servicers credit for completing loan modifications on mortgages in non-agency MBS. Regulators and others counter that the settlements include protections for the investors, who ultimately benefit from loan mods completed under the settlements. The latest flare-up involves $4.0 billion in loss mitigation actions required of JPMorgan Chase under a recent settlement with federal and state regulators. Last week, the settlement’s monitor credited Chase with $6.31 million in consumer relief under the settlement, with 56 percent of the relief completed on Chase’s own holdings and the remainder completed on loans serviced for others, likely mortgages in non-agency MBS. The settlement prompted...


August 1, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Commercial Mortgage REITs Show Promise As Long as Originations Continue to Improve

The immediate future is looking mostly bright for publicly-traded real estate investment trusts that toil in the commercial real estate sector – that is, as long as origination volumes remain healthy. Several high-profile commercial REITs – including Starwood Property Trust, Colony Financial and Ladder Capital – do not report second quarter results until next week, but hopes are high that earnings will be mostly positive. One commercial REIT that did report this week was...


July 24, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Strong Investor Demand Seen for BlackRock’s Large Auctions of Vintage Non-Agency MBS

In the past two weeks, BlackRock has completed auctions of vintage non-agency MBS with a total unpaid principal balance of $8.1 billion. While the sales had the potential to push too much supply into the market, investor demand for the securities appears to have been strong. The market absorbed the first auction, for $3.7 billion in mostly subprime MBS from 2006, “without a hiccup,” according to analysts at Barclays Capital. Credit Suisse submitted winning bids on all of the non-agency MBS auctioned by BlackRock in the past two weeks, with most of the securities quickly being placed with other investors, indicating strong demand. Of the $3.7 billion in non-agency MBS auctioned last week, 96 percent of the balance was placed...


July 18, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

House Democrats’ Bill Features Amped-Up GNMA

Ginnie Mae would play a greater role in a private-market partnership model envisioned in proposed housing finance reform legislation introduced recently by House Democrats. However, many in the industry doubt whether a Democrat-sponsored reform bill will pass in this Congress. Sponsored by Reps. John Delaney (MD), John Carney (DE) and Jim Himes (CT), the Partnership to Strengthen Homeownership Act would put Ginnie Mae in charge of all single- and multifamily mortgage-backed securities with government backing. Among other things, H.R. 5055 would create a new Ginnie Mae MBS for conventional mortgages backed by the full faith and credit of the federal government with minimum support from the private sector. Under the proposed model, private entities would assume up to 5 percent of the first-loss capital on the MBS. The remaining 95 percent would be shared between ...


July 18, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Ginnie Mae Servicing Remains Flat in 2Q14

Ginnie Mae servicing remained flat in the second quarter of 2014, continuing a trend that began in the third quarter of last year as FHA refinancing fell and purchase activity slowed, according to Inside FHA Lending’s analysis of Ginnie Mae data. Servicing volume rose by only 0.7 percent from the first quarter, slightly lower from the 0.9 percent increase reported by Ginnie Mae servicers for the first three months of 2014. On the other hand, volume was up modestly by 5.9 percent year-over-year, data showed. Ginnie Mae servicers ended the second quarter with a total of $1.46 trillion in unpaid principal balance, up from $1.45 trillion in the prior quarter. Four out of the top five Ginnie Mae servicers were banks. Wells Fargo closed out the second quarter with $425.9 billion in servicing volume, a 0.2 percent decrease from the previous quarter but up 2.1 percent from a year ago. Its 29.2 percent market share put it ... [1 chart]


July 18, 2014 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

Loan Quality Remains Pristine in Jumbo MBS, But It’s Still Hard to Get Deals Done

The characteristics of mortgages included in jumbo mortgage-backed securities remained strong in the second quarter of 2014, according to a new analysis by Inside Nonconforming Markets. However, the high quality of jumbo MBS has not attracted enough investors to make issuance more appealing for banks than retaining the loans in portfolio. Debt-to-income ratios on loans included in the $1.03 billion in jumbo MBS issued in the second quarter averaged ... [Includes one data chart]


July 18, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Single, Numerical Scale Suggested as the Fix For Structured Finance Transaction Ratings

As the Securities and Exchange Commission continues to consider how to reform the rating process for structured finance transactions, including non-agency MBS, industry analysts affiliated with the Brookings Institution suggested that the fix doesn’t require altering the issuer-pay model that has been in place for more than 40 years. Instead, the SEC should help establish transparent, numerical benchmarks, according to two industry participants, shifting away from the current system of letter-based ratings that are also used for corporate debt and sovereign debt. Ann Rutledge, a founding principal at R&R Consulting, a credit rating service, and Robert Litan, a nonresident senior fellow at The Brookings Institution, detailed their proposal in an economic study recently published by Brookings. “Securities that are rated only in an ordinal fashion – in order of likelihood of default – can be...


July 18, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Issuance of Re-REMICs on the Rise in 2014, Deals Are Offering Enhanced Returns Compared with Vintage Non-Agency MBS

Re-securitization activity is above levels seen last year because of compressed yields on vintage non-agency MBS, according to industry analysts. Re-securitizations – all of which are privately placed and typically without a rating – can offer investors more credit risk and leverage than vintage non-agency MBS. In the first half of 2014, 20 re-securitizations of real estate mortgage investment conduits totaling $5.90 billion were issued, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Activity is picking up: June alone accounted for 28.3 percent of the issuance. “In an environment where yields have compressed in the vintage non-agency space, subordinate re-REMIC classes can offer...


July 11, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Walter Moves Toward ‘Capital-Light’ Model

Walter Investment Management took steps last week to transition to a business model that requires less capital by funding Walter Capital Opportunity and completing an excess servicing spread sale with WCO. WCO is a real estate investment trust that Walter formed in November to hold mortgage servicing rights. Last week, WCO acquired 70 percent of the excess servicing spread from a pool of loans serviced by Green Tree Servicing ...


July 11, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

MBS Investing REITs Have Been Paying Hefty Dividends the Past Few Years, But How Long Can the Gravy Train Last?

Real estate investment trusts that have been gobbling up MBS the past few years – and paying hefty dividends in the process – may have some more room to run, especially if interest rates remain relatively benign. “Given the tailwinds of lower prepayment speeds and Fed purchases, we believe that payout levels should remain stable in the near term,” said one veteran analyst who works for a top five bank. This analyst, who tracks several large REITs that invest in agency securities, added...


July 11, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

‘Flood of Litigation’ Expected Against Non-Agency MBS Trustees for Failing to Pursue Buyback Claims

The six lawsuits filed in June by institutional investors against non-agency MBS trustees are just the beginning of actions against trustees, according to an attorney who has pursued representation-and-warranty claims against non-agency MBS issuers. “We are likely to see a flood of litigation against trustees alleging that the banks sat on their hands and blew the statute of limitations on valuable putback claims,” according to Isaac Gradman, an attorney at Perry Johnson Anderson Miller & Moskowitz. The June lawsuits by BlackRock, PIMCO and other institutional investors targeted...


July 10, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Although the MSR Market for ‘Legacy’ Product Remains Weak, ‘Flow’ Deals Rule the Roost

Thanks to lousy origination profits posted over the past six months, mortgage bankers increasingly are boosting earnings through servicing-released arrangements, causing a mini-boom in flow transactions. “You might say we’re back to a normal operating environment where originations are cash-flow negative,” which is forcing lenders to book profits through MSR sales, said Jeff Levine, managing director of Houlihan Lokey, an investment banking firm. But Levine is...


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Home-equity lending is beginning to show new life. My company (pick one):

Plans to enter this market over the next 12 months.
Is already making home equity loans and hopes to increase the offerings.
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Is not making second liens and has no plans to do so.

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