Mortgage Banking Profitability

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to Mortgage Banking Profitability.

February 17, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

4Q16 Spike in FHA Delinquencies Justifies Trump’s Premium Action

The spike in FHA delinquencies in the fourth quarter of 2016 justifies the Trump administration’s decision last month to suspend and review the outgoing administration’s lowering of FHA mortgage insurance premiums, said House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-TX. Commenting on the Mortgage Bankers Association’s quarterly delinquency rate survey, Hensarling praised President Trump’s decision to set aside the 25-basis-point premium reduction, which Inside FHA/VA Lending reported first on Jan. 6, 2017. “Lowering premiums at this time was a big mistake,” said Hensarling. “The sudden increase in delinquencies makes it clear that President Trump was absolutely right to undo the previous administration’s irresponsible action.” Hensarling recalled that in 2013 “taxpayers had to spend $1.7 billion to bail out the FHA.” Going forward, the FHA must be fiscally sound, with a ...

February 10, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Can Walter/Ditech Find a Path Forward?

Walter Investment Management Corp. has yet to release fourth-quarter results, but if its nine-month performance is any indication, it has some major challenges ahead. Through September, the publicly traded nonbank – the nation’s eighth-largest servicer via its Ditech unit – lost $506.9 million, some of it tied to non-cash writedowns on its mortgage servicing rights. But if revenues are any indication of future earnings, investors shouldn’t brace for too much good news in its ...

February 10, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Recruiting Seasoned LOs Seen as Key

Lenders looking for originations as interest rates increase will likely have to put an emphasis on purchase mortgages. Seasoned loan originators with a track record of purchase-mortgage volume can help with that strategy, though retaining such LOs can be difficult because they are in demand. Matt Lind, a senior partner at Strategic Mortgage Finance Group, an advisory firm, noted that LOs often switch lenders, lured by incentives and higher compensation. He said nearly 60 percent of ...

February 9, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Fairholme Explains That It’s Not a ‘Speculator’ in GSE Stock; Waiting on a Resolution that May Never Come?

In a new annual letter to shareholders, Fairholme Capital Management once again lays out its argument for investing in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stock, trying to explain to its wealthy investors that it feels more secure in owning junior preferred shares than common stock. Among other things, Fairholme said the preferred stock “provide(s) us with greater security and certainty than the common stock and, as you know, we are not speculators.” When it comes to a liquidation preference, preferred shareholders are senior to common shareholders, who often receive nothing when a company goes bust. But Fairholme’s problem – one shared by other firms that still own this class of stock – is...

February 3, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Vet Agency Clarifies Student Loan Policy in Underwriting VA Loans

The Department of Veterans Administration has issued guidance to clarify its new policy regarding student loans in underwriting VA guaranteed home loans. Specifically, the guidance shows lenders how to calculate a student-loan monthly payment when figuring out a VA borrower’s ability to repay. The clarification in the guidance applies to deferred student loans and the new policy will provide guidance for student loans currently in repayment or about to begin repayment within 12 months of a VA loan closing. How should a lender calculate a student loan monthly payment for loan underwriting purposes? A monthly payment need not be considered if the borrower provides written proof that the student loan will be deferred at least 12 months beyond the closing date, the guidance said. If a student loan is under a repayment plan or is about to begin repayment, the lender must consider the anticipated monthly payment in the ...

February 3, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

MBA Concerned About Lack of Consumer Protections in PACE

The Mortgage Bankers Association has asked the Trump administration to help close a loophole in the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program that could put consumers at risk. In a recent public service video, Pete Mills, MBA senior vice president for residential policy and member engagement, said the MBA has been in contact with the president’s transition team to see if there is a way to incorporate consumer protections into the program. Mills noted a “significant void in consumer protection” due to the structure of PACE programs. The PACE program allows local or state governments, when authorized by state law, to finance the upfront cost of energy upgrades on commercial, residential or industrial properties. A PACE loan is repaid over a set period – typically 10 to 20 years – through a special assessment on the property on top of the owner’s annual property tax bills. It has seniority over all ...

February 3, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Endorsements Decline in 4Q16 VA Refinances Increase Slightly

FHA single-family endorsements declined 5.5 percent from the third to the fourth quarter of 2016, losing some market share, while VA saw a modest uptick in guaranteed loans, thanks to robust refinancing activity. The FHA endorsed a total of $68.3 billion of forward mortgages during the fourth quarter, according to an Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis and ranking. That brought total production over a 12-month period to $255.6 billion (excluding Home Equity Conversion Mortgage loans), a 7.3 percent increase over 2015. FHA activity in the purchase market fell 13.6 percent in the fourth quarter though annual volume was up 14.3 percent from 2015. While FHA historically has been stronger in the purchase market, 2016 proved to be a more competitive year for FHA streamlined refinancing. FHA-to-FHA refinance endorsements rose 15.6 percent in the fourth quarter from the prior quarter, but ... [ 5 charts ]

February 2, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Citigroup May Have Company as it Exits the MSR Arena; The First Step in an Eventual Withdrawal from Lending?

Not only did Citigroup shock the market this week with its decision to exit residential servicing operations, but the move could be the start of an eventual withdrawal from all mortgage banking. For now, the nation’s sixth-largest servicer – and 13th-largest originator – is strongly refuting such talk, but that isn’t stopping the industry from speculating on the megabank’s next move. “If they firmly believe they can’t make money in servicing and cross-selling, then this is...

January 27, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Survey: Fewer Lenders Satisfied with Their LOS

A survey gauging lender satisfaction with their loan origination systems (LOS) has shown mixed, if not downright depressing, results, according to the Stratmor Group. Only 28 percent of the more than 250 lenders that responded to the 2016 survey reported they were “very satisfied” with their current LOS and have no plans to replace them. They were commenting on commercial off-the-shelf and proprietary loan origination systems, the scope of their functions and their track record of ...

January 27, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Vendor Offers Insights on Lost Originations

Credit Plus, a company that offers mortgage-information services, recently launched a product that can help lenders determine why a loan applicant ultimately chose a different lender. The Lost Sales Analysis product was developed by Equifax, a credit bureau. Among other features, the Lost Sales Analysis from Credit Plus can help lenders determine if applicants closed a mortgage with a competitor. Credit Plus can provide the name of the lender associated with the lost sale and a number of ...

January 27, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Bank Mortgage Banking Income Down in 2016

Commercial banks saw a sharp drop in mortgage-banking income during the fourth quarter of 2016 that pulled full-year profits below the level reached in 2015, according to a new Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of earnings reports. A group of 25 top publicly traded banks (including one thrift) reported a combined $13.36 billion in mortgage-banking income for all of 2016, down 7.0 percent from 2015. The sector had a chance of topping last year’s ... [Includes one data chart]

January 26, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Lenders Turn Focus to LOs that Produce Purchase Mortgages as Refinances are Expected to Decline

With interest rates on mortgages expected to go up this year, some lenders are putting an emphasis on loan originators who can close purchase mortgages. Economists at the Mortgage Bankers Association predict that the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage will climb from 3.70 percent last year to 4.50 percent in 2017. The higher rates will help prompt a 47.7 percent decline in refi volume in 2017 compared with the estimated $901.0 billion in refi originations last year, according to the MBA. Dave Stevens, president and CEO of the MBA, said...

January 20, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

E-Submission Required for VA Prior-Approval Loan Documents

Effective Feb. 13, 2017, VA lenders will be required to submit prior-approval mortgage loans electronically through the WebLGY system to improve the prior-approval process. Currently, lenders mail their prior-loan approval packages to the regional loan center that has jurisdiction over loan underwriting – a tedious, time-consuming process. Electronic submission will help speed things up, the VA indicated. Lenders must follow the guidelines for prior approval and stacking order in the VA’s Lender Handbook. In addition, lenders must furnish a cover letter with the uploaded package stating the reasons for the prior approval and explaining any unique circumstances. The cover letter also must include the submitting underwriter’s name, phone number and email address as well as contact information for the underwriter’s manager. The lender must ensure that the file contains the correct and complete ...

January 20, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Lenders Expect VA Refis to Drop in 2017, Rising Demand for Purchase

VA originations have been trending upward over several quarters, thanks to an unusually heavy share of refinance business, but all good things, at some point, must slow down, lenders say. The refinance business overall has fallen to 45 percent from 55 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016, and that will have an effect on VA originations in the first quarter of 2017, said Andy May, chief operating officer of the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association Mortgage Division. Going forward, May expects VA originations to fall by 10 percent in the first quarter due to rising interest rates. But even though rates have been trending up, May saw an uptick in VA loan applications in January as fence-sitters jumped into the market to take out a loan before rates went any higher. “The MBA estimates rates will rise above 5 percent in the next 24 months and then down to 4.8 percent by the end of 2018, and up to 5.3 percent at the ...

January 20, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA/VA Default Rates Spike Up In 4Q16, Nonbanks Still Growing

Mortgage default rates appeared to spike higher in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to a new analysis and servicer ranking by Inside FHA/VA Lending. Some 5.51 percent of FHA loans in Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities pools were reported as 30- to 60-days past due at the end of December. That was up 80 basis points from the previous quarter and was easily the highest default rate in the past three years. FHA default rates were also up in more serious delinquency categories: loans 60- to 90-days past due and those over 90-days late. The figures are based on loan count and are not seasonally adjusted. Similar trends occurred in the VA home loan guaranty program. The 30-60 category was up 41 bps, while 90+ delinquencies jumped 19 bps. The supply of Ginnie single-family MBS outstanding continued to set new records. The total, not including multifamily and FHA home-equity conversion ... [4 charts]

January 19, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

A Mixed Quarter for the Banks: Decent Production, Sweet MSR Marks but Unclear Road Ahead

The nation’s largest banks revealed better-than-expected residential origination figures (for some) and mouth-watering markups on the value of their servicing portfolios. That’s the good news. But it wasn’t all wine and roses. On the servicing front, BOK Financial revealed that fourth quarter income was reduced by $17.4 million because it left servicing-related hedges on the books for too long, betting that rates would stay low for an extended period of time. PNC Bank saw...[Includes one data table]

January 13, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Black Knight Developing Mortgage Credit Score

Black Knight Financial Services is developing a mortgage-specific credit score that could be more useful for lenders than traditional credit scores. It’s not clear how much traction the score will gain, considering that Fair Isaac’s FICO score remains the dominant metric for assessing the creditworthiness of mortgage borrowers. Wesley Winter, a senior modeler at Black Knight, said a traditional credit score may not be the best predictor of mortgage default. “The FICO score is trying to ...

January 13, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Homebuyers Remain Optimistic

While mortgage interest rates remain at historic lows, an increase of even one percentage point is not going to have a dramatic effect on affordability and any negative homebuyer response to rising rates is likely to be short-lived, according to a new Redfin survey. Even if mortgage rates climb to 5 percent, homebuyers would lower their expectations and shop for less expensive homes, said 49 percent of the 827 Redfin real estate agents who responded to the survey. Redfin conducted ...

January 13, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Prospective Homebuyers Sending Mixed Signals

The recent run-up in mortgage rates appears to have suppressed short-term home purchase expectations among prospective homebuyers, who nonetheless otherwise feel optimistic about the housing market over the longer term, according to new data from government-sponsored enterprise Fannie Mae. Fannie’s latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI), released earlier this week, dipped 0.5 points to 80.7, the fifth consecutive monthly decline. The index is down ...

January 13, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Higher Rates May Mean Staff Cuts

With interest rates up 75 basis points since the election – and staying there, at least for now – residential production is likely to slip in the quarters ahead, leading to layoffs, especially at firms that focus on refinancings. “It’s coming,” said industry consultant Don Henig, a former top sales executive for loanDepot, a top-10 ranked originator. “Maybe we haven’t seen too many layoffs quite yet, but just look at volume numbers and do the math.” Henig added: “Right now, a lot of shops ...

January 13, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Blackstone Files IPO Documents on Invitation Homes, a Pioneer in SFR Securitizations; But IH Is Losing Money

The Blackstone Group this month filed its long awaited initial public offering document on its Invitation Homes unit, a pioneer in single-family rentals and securitization of these assets. The 1,300 page Form S-11 is chock full of financial details on the real estate investment trust, including the revelation that the company continues to lose money. Through the first nine months of 2016 – the latest available data – Invitation Homes posted a net loss of $51.6 million compared to a $121.7 million loss in the same period a year earlier. The numbers and commentary in the filing indicate...

January 6, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

VA Extends Making Home Affordable Program. The Department of Veterans Affairs has extended the Making Home Affordable program to Oct. 1, 2017. The program was set to expire on Jan. 1, 2017. USDA Approves NewFed Mortgage to originate Section 52 Guaranteed Rural Housing Loans. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved NewFed Mortgage Corp., a multi-state residential mortgage lender, to originate USDA loans. Based in Danvers, MA, retailer NewFed offers FHA, VA, USDA, conventional and jumbo mortgage products. Reviews Genworth Financial’s Proposed Sale to Chinese Conglomerate. Fannie Mae has approved Arch Capital’s acquisition of ...

January 6, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Michigan Lender Agrees to Pay $48 Million to Resolve FCA Claims

United Shore Financial Services of Troy, MI, has agreed to pay $48 million to resolve allegations of FHA-related fraud, adding to the more than $7 billion in settlements and judgments the Department of Justice has collected since 2009. United Shore, parent company of United Wholesale Mortgage and Shore Mortgage, was accused of improperly originating mortgages and falsely certifying compliance with FHA requirements. Originated between Jan. 1, 2006, and Dec. 31, 2011, the loans eventually turned bad, resulting in significant losses to the FHA insurance fund. The complaint did not specify the number and total amount of the bad loans United Shore originated or the size of FHA’s losses on those loans. United Shore was charged with violation of the False Claims Act, becoming the latest financial institution to join a growing list of FHA lenders that have opted to settle, rather than litigate, ...

January 6, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA to Implement Methodology for Finding, Classifying Loan Defects

The FHA this year will focus mainly on the completion and implementation of the Defect Taxonomy to help lenders easily identify and categorize loan defects found in FHA-insured loans. At least that was the plan announced by the outgoing Obama administration. The agency urged lenders to be on the lookout for detailed information about Defect Taxonomy and other process improvements in the coming months. “As we begin to implement these changes and transition from current processes, some lenders may experience a temporary decrease in loans selected for review,” the FHA noted in Lender Insight, which updates lenders on the latest rulemakings and policy changes. Announced in June last year, Defect Taxonomy is part of the Blueprint for Access, which embodies three core concepts: identifying a defect, capturing the sources and causes of a defect, and assessing the ...


With rates higher this year, there has been talk of lenders liberalizing their underwriting standards in an effort to increase volume and make up for lower refis.

Do you think your shop will loosen standards over the coming three months?

Yes, but not by much.
Yes, by a lot.
Yes and, heck, we may even do non-QM lending.
No, not at all.
No and we may even tighten credit.

vote to see results