Mortgage Banking Profitability

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

February 27, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Bank Mortgage Banking Income Down in 4Q14

Commercial banks and thrifts earned $3.54 billion from their mortgage-banking activities during the fourth quarter of 2014, down 23.9 percent from the previous quarter, according to a new Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of call-report data. That was only slightly better than the $3.35 billion banks earned during the first quarter of 2014. For the year, the industry generated $16.41 billion in mortgage-banking income, down 36.3 percent from 2013. Last year was the second-worst year since the financial crisis in 2008; the worst was 2011, when Bank of America nearly sank the ship. BofA was...[Includes one data chart]

February 27, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Mortgage Banking Income Declined in 4Q14, Nonbanks Made Things Worse

A handful of nonbank mortgage companies reporting substantial losses during the fourth quarter weighed down industry-wide mortgage banking income, according to a new Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of earnings reports. A diverse group of 31 mortgage lenders that includes the biggest players in the market earned a combined $3.227 billion on their mortgage banking operations during the fourth quarter. That was down 8.2 percent from the group’s $3.516 billion during the third quarter. The fourth quarter was...[Includes one data chart]

February 26, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Guaranty Fee Income Keeps Growing at Fannie And Freddie, Buyback Volume Eased in 4Q14

Falling interest rates tripped up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during the fourth quarter, indirectly leading to sharp declines in profitability despite continuing gains in their key mortgage-backed securities guaranty fee operations. Together, the two government-sponsored enterprises earned $1.54 billion in net income during the fourth quarter of 2014, down 74.3 percent from the previous quarter. With their retained portfolios in shrinkage mode, net interest income was down 11.9 percent from 2013. The big factor was...

February 20, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

Ginnie Mae Servicing Up Slightly in 4Q, 2014

Ginnie Mae servicing volume gained a mere percentage point in the fourth quarter of 2014 from the previous quarter, capping a productive year for servicers of government-backed mortgages, according to Inside FHA Lending’s analysis of agency data. Servicing volume rose by only 1.0 percent to $1.5 trillion during the last three months of 2014 from $1.4 trillion in unpaid principal balance in the first quarter, and increased 4.0 percent year over year. Four out of the top five Ginnie Mae servicers were banks, of which three experienced declines in their servicing portfolios on quarterly and year-over-year bases. The leader of the pack, Wells Fargo, closed out the year with $416.0 billion in Ginnie Mae servicing and capturing 27.8 percent of the market. Its servicing portfolio fell ... [ 1 chart ]

February 20, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

VA to Issue Final ‘Qualified Mortgage’ Rule in May

The Department of Veterans Affairs expects to have a finalized Qualified Mortgage (QM) rule by May to help clear up some issues that have arisen since the agency issued an interim final rule last spring. The VA issued the interim QM rule for comment on May 9, 2014, to define which VA loans will have QM status under the ability-to-repay (ATR) rule. Issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the ATR rule provided temporary QM status to loans eligible for FHA insurance and guaranties by the VA and the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Service. Eligible government-backed loans must be 30-year fixed-rate with no interest-only, negative amortization or balloon features. Total points and fees must not exceed 3 percent of the total loan amount for loans of $100,000 or more. Loans that meet the definition of a temporary VA-eligible QM are considered as in compliance with the ATR rule. They are designated as “safe harbor QMs,” provided they are not ...

February 20, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

CFPB Takes Action Against Deceptive Advertising

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently sued a reverse mortgage lender and issued consent decrees against two other mortgage companies for misleading consumers with false advertising about FHA-insured mortgage products. The CFPB filed suit against All Financial Services (AFS), a Maryland-based reverse mortgage lender, in the federal district court in Baltimore alleging that the lender disseminated misleading ads for Home Equity Conversion Mortgage loans between November 2011 and December 2012. In addition, AFS allegedly failed to maintain copies of the ads as required by the CFPB under its reverse mortgage regulations. According to court filings, the CFPB alleges that the lender/broker mailed out ads using materials and language that seemed to indicate that it was a federal entity or an affiliate of a government entity. All AFS ads appeared as if they were ...

February 20, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

Lenders Urged to Study Changes in New Handbook

FHA lenders should spend the next couple of months familiarizing their staff with the requirements in the FHA’s new Single Family Housing Policy Handbook to ensure proper implementation of the changes on June 15, 2015, according to compliance experts. The impending changes in the Single Family Handbook are complex and significant. Lenders will need proper legal guidance to navigate and understand hundreds of pages of consolidated housing policies and guidance, as well as substantive changes to FHA requirements, said K&L Gates experts in a recent analysis. The handbook is a consolidated, authoritative source of single-family housing policy and is meant as a one-stop resource for FHA lenders. It gathers and streamlines all FHA requirements, which are currently spread throughout various handbooks, mortgagee letters and other documents, making it easier for lenders to ...

February 20, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

Tech Issues Delay HECM Financial Analysis Rule

The FHA has delayed the effective date of new guidance that will require reverse mortgage lenders to perform a financial assessment of applicants for a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage. The FHA indicated that the change was necessary to allow vendors and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to align their respective software before the new system can be operational. Those familiar with the technology said delivering the required system enhancements should not take long. The FHA said a new effective date should be expected within 30 to 60 days of the original March 2 effective date. It will be announced in a new mortgagee letter, the agency added. The new guidance requires lenders to evaluate HECM borrowers’ willingness and capacity to meet their obligations and to comply with program requirements. “Financial assessment” means doing a much more ...

February 20, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

VA Lending Up in 4Q, Year Over Year

VA loan volume continued to rise in the fourth quarter of 2014, driven by low interest rates and a strong demand for the lower downpayment loans, according to an Inside FHA Lending analysis of Ginnie Mae/VA data. The volume of VA loans securitized in Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities rose 4.0 percent in the fourth quarter to $107.8 billion from the previous quarter, with more than half of the loans coming through the retail channel. Retailers accounted for $51.5 billion in VA loans securitized during the quarter while correspondents and brokers accounted for $44.4 billion and $11.9 billion, respectively. The overall average FICO score for VA loans was 707, with average loan-to-value and debt-to-income ratios of 95.0 percent and 38.2 percent, respectively, during the quarter. Correspondents came up big with VA purchase loans, accounting for $31.7 billion of the $65.1 billion in total purchase loans produced during the fourth quarter. Retail loan officers accounted for $28.5 billion while brokers brought in ... [ 1 chart ]

February 19, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Freddie Earnings Plunge

Freddie Mac earned just $227 million in the fourth quarter, blaming the 90 percent sequential decline in profits on derivative losses of $3.4 billion. In a briefing with the media, Freddie CEO Don Layton went out of his way to explain that when interest rates eventually rise, the government-sponsored enterprise could benefit greatly. “I wish that accounting was more tied to economics but it’s not,” he said. Layton stressed...

February 13, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Is Cash-Out Refinance Activity Coming Back?

Cash-out refinance mortgages accounted for a slightly larger share of the conventional refi market in 2014, according to Freddie Mac’s annual refinance report. The government-sponsored enterprise estimated that cash-out deals accounted for 6.8 percent of total refinance lending last year, up from 3.7 percent in 2013. It was the highest cash-out share since 2009. During the go-go years of 2005-2007, cash-out transactions accounted for more than ...

February 13, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Small Gains Expected for Housing Market in 2015

Industry economists expect modest gains in home sales and a spurt in single-family housing starts in 2015, but the market likely won’t reach full strength until next year. Fannie Mae is forecasting a 5.8 percent increase in total home sales from 2014 levels, with most of the increase coming in the smaller new-home category. The near-term outlook for sales is soft, the government-sponsored enterprise said in a new outlook, based on recent indicators such as ...

February 13, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Full Pipelines May Keep LOs from Jumping Ship

Mortgage loan officers are a hot commodity these days, but recruiting top producers is becoming problematic thanks to low interest rates and swelling pipelines. In short, many LOs are reluctant to accept an enticing new salary and bonus because they don’t want to leave money on the table when they depart. “It’s a trend that’s happening now,” said Chris George, president of CMG Mortgage, one of California’s largest privately held nonbanks ...

February 13, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Solid Correspondent Operation Helped Leading Lenders Tap Purchase Market

Having a busy correspondent program helped many of the top agency mortgage sellers cultivate purchase-mortgage business in 2014, according to a new Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of loan-level data on loans securitized by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae. Mortgages originated by loan correspondents accounted for 35.3 percent of single-family loans securitized by the agencies last year. Retail originations were the ... [Includes two data charts]

February 13, 2015 - Inside The GSEs

U.S. Judge Rebuffs Shareholder Attempt to Claim GSE Profits

A U.S. district court judge in Iowa recently dismissed a shareholder motion to vacate an amended agency agreement requiring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to pay nearly all their quarterly profits to the Treasury equal to their net worth. Filed by Continental Western Insurance Company, the lawsuit is similar to another case, Perry Capital, Inc. v. Lew, filed by the plaintiff’s parent, Berkley Regional Insurance Co., and Berkley Insurance Co. against the Federal Housing Finance Agency…

February 6, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

More Issuer Entry Prompts More Data Collection

February 6, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Adds Standard Language to Counseling Notic

The FHA has updated the contents of a notice to delinquent borrowers regarding the availability of approved housing counseling and provided a new template for lenders to explain, in simple terms, the benefits of housing counseling. The latest guidance, Revised Notification to Homeowners of Availability of Housing Counseling Services (Mortgagee Letter 2015-04), also provides a description of counseling services to delinquent borrowers. The revised requirements supplement those outlined in previous mortgagee letters and certain provisions in the HUD handbook. Lenders must comply with the new requirements by April 4, 2015. FHA lenders must provide delinquent borrowers with a notice about the availability of housing counseling by an approved provider and the principal mortgage lender. However, there is no standard language for such notices Hence, the FHA has ...

February 6, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Originations Significantly Down in 2014, Refis Up

Overall, 2014 was not a good year for FHA originations as tight underwriting and high loan costs narrowed the band of borrowers able to qualify for an FHA-insured residential loan, according to an Inside FHA Lending analysis of agency data. FHA total endorsements dropped to $35.2 billion, an 8.1 percent drop in the fourth quarter from the previous quarter, with fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages declining by 7.9 percent and 12.7 percent, respectively. FHA purchase originations suffered a decline of 11.3 percent. There was one bright spot: FHA refinances rose a meager 2.2 percent while the percentage of conventional loans that refinanced into FHA saw a more substantial lift of 13.0 percent quarter to quarter. FHA baseline lending (below $417,000) saw volume drop 8.4 percent in the fourth quarter. FHA jumbo loan amounts up to the statutory high-cost loan limit and ... [ 2 charts ]

February 6, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

Accounting Treatment of Past Due Loans Clarified

The Mortgage Bankers Association notched a win for small, independent issuers after the Financial Accounting Standards Board agreed with the group’s position on the accounting of seriously delinquent loans in Ginnie Mae pools. At issue is whether companies that service pools with loans that are 90 days or more delinquent should put those loans on their balance sheet even if they have no intention of buying the loans out of the pool. According to the MBA, a Big Four accounting firm issued controversial guidance which would have been burdensome for small mortgage-backed securities issuers that have limited funding and no incentive or history of buying defective loans out of pools. After months of exchanges, FASB staff finally agreed with the MBA’s view that the decision process involves two steps. First, a loan must be 90 days or more delinquent and trigger ...

February 6, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

HECM Policy for Non-Borrowing Spouses Revised

Reverse mortgage lenders now have the option to delay calling a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage due and payable where there is an eligible non-borrowing spouse and a case number assigned prior to Aug. 4, 2014. A delay would postpone foreclosure triggered by the death of the HECM borrower or the last surviving borrower and allow the qualified, non-borrowing spouse to stay in the house for a certain period until the HECM is resolved. Under revised FHA guidance, reverse mortgage lenders are allowed to assign eligible HECMs to the Department of Housing and Urban Development upon the death of the borrower. They have the option of foreclosing in accordance with the contract as endorsed or choose the “mortgagee optional election assignment (MOE).” MOE means the optional assignment selected by a lender for a HECM loan with an assigned FHA case number prior to ...

February 6, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

HUD Gives Controversial Fee One More Try

Federal housing regulators once again sought authority from Congress to impose an administrative fee on lenders to support information technology improvements and administrative functions at the FHA – a bid Congress rejected last year. As part of President Obama’s FY 2016 budget, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is proposing to charge lenders up to $30 million in fees to cover FHA salaries and expenses and information technology upgrades. The IT component will focus on strengthening FHA’s risk-management efforts through expanded quality-control reviews, enhanced tools and other risk-management initiatives. Separately, the president requests an appropriation of $174 million in administrative costs to enable the FHA to implement a risk management and program-support process – both critical for FHA’s oversight of ...

February 6, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

FASB Clarifies Accounting Guidance for Loans in Ginnie Mae Pools That are 90 Days or More Past Due

The Mortgage Bankers Association has secured a favorable clarification from the Financial Accounting Standards Board regarding the treatment of seriously delinquent mortgages in Ginnie Mae pools. The clarification was requested after one of the Big Four accounting firms began requiring lenders that service 90 days plus delinquent loans to put the loans on the balance sheet with an offsetting liability even if they do not intend to buy the loans out of the pool. The requirement would have been...[Includes one data chart]

February 6, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

Is a Rollup of Residential Mortgage REITs in the Works? Don’t Bet On It

A few months, back there was scattered talk in the market that a wave of consolidation might hit publicly traded real estate investment trusts that specialize in agency MBS. But thanks to continued low interest rates and the fact that mortgage REITs continue to trade below book value, such a rollup is looking highly unlikely. “I don’t see it happening,” said Credit Suisse analyst Doug Harter. “Why would you sell for below book value when you can just liquidate?” Jason Stewart, an analyst at Compass Point Research & Trading, agrees...

January 30, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Most Mortgage Lenders Want to Grow in 2015

The majority of mortgage lenders are forging ahead in 2015 to grow their origination and servicing businesses notwithstanding concerns about compliance and weak consumer demand, according to Fannie Mae’s fourth quarter 2014 survey of senior mortgage executives. The survey found that 88 percent of executives aim to grow their loan origination business by increasing the number of retail branches and loan officers and expanding their ...

January 30, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Refi Wave to Boost 1Q Results, But Can it Last?

The stars appear to be aligning for a wave of refinance activity in the first quarter, which is expected to boost the revenues and results for U.S. mortgage companies during the period, according to an analyst at Keefe Bruyette & Woods. Can it last? “With the 10-year [Treasury] now below 2 percent, the average effective conforming rate is below 4 percent,” analyst Bose George said during a recent KBW podcast. “That rate should continue to trend down as long as ...

January 30, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Regional Banks Report Falling Income From Mortgage Banking During 4Q14

Regional banks are reporting significant declines in mortgage-banking income during the fourth quarter, although nearly all institutions continue to earn a profit from the business. A diverse group of 20 regional banks posted a combined $684.2 million in mortgage-banking income for the fourth quarter of 2014, according to a new Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of earnings reports. That was down 13.5 percent from the group’s aggregate $790.5 million in ...

January 23, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

GNMA to Launch Issuer Scorecard in the Spring

Ginnie Mae will soon introduce the third prong of a strategy to improve its oversight of participants in its mortgage-backed securities program – a performance scorecard for issuers – and monitoring of its risk. Essentially a “scorecard,” the Issuer Operational Performance Profile (IOPP) will enable issuers to better understand and comply with Ginnie Mae’s expectations. It also provides a way for issuers to measure and improve their performance and compare it to the performance of their peers. Final testing and training for IOPP began this winter, with deployment expected “in early 2015,” the agency said. Issuers will be scored monthly based on a series of metrics. Each issuer will be rated against its peers by applying a weighting algorithm and, in some cases, adjusting for certain control factors. Each issuer will receive two scores: one for operational management and ...

January 23, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Tweaks Rules for Doing Business with Agency

The FHA has proposed key changes to rules for 203(k) consultants, direct endorsement (DE) underwriters and nonprofit groups that do business with the agency. The changes are part of a draft section, “Doing Business with FHA – Other Participants,” which will be incorporated into the overall Single Family Policy handbook. The draft contains information regarding eligibility, approval and recertification requirements for 203(k) program consultants, direct endorsement (DE) underwriters and nonprofit groups. The FHA posted the draft versions of “Doing Business with FHA – Other Participants in FHA Transactions” and “Quality Control, Oversight and Compliance – Other Participants in FHA Transactions” on its SF Housing Policy Drafting Table for public review and comment. The draft consolidate various existing Department of Housing and Urban Development handbooks, mortgagee letters, housing notices and ...

January 23, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

Low Rates, High Demand Power VA’s 3Q14 Surge

Production of loans with a VA guaranty was moderately strong in the third quarter of 2014, thanks to lower rates and increased demand for the no-downpayment loans, according to Inside FHA Lending’s analysis of the latest agency data. A 14.1 percent quarter-to-quarter surge helped the industry end last year’s first nine months with a total of $76.3 billion in VA loans, mostly purchase home mortgages taken out by a younger generation of war veterans. VA streamline refinancing also accounted for a substantial chunk of originations, 19.2 percent. Volume jumped from $19.5 billion in the first quarter of 2014 to $26.5 billion the following quarter. Lenders closed out the third quarter with $30.2 billion. Stanley Middleman, chief executive officer of Freedom Mortgage, said VA lending is on the upswing, driven by low interest rates. He thinks the VA home loan guaranty program has been ... [ 1 chart ]

January 23, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Likely to Reclaim Share with Premium Cut

The half-percent annual premium reduction the FHA announced recently will likely enable the agency to reclaim the high loan-to-value segment of the mortgage market from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to analysts. Speaking with some originators that have been looking at the best way to securitize high LTV loans, Deustche Bank securities analysts said the lower FHA annual premium would put pressure on the government-sponsored enterprises to lower the cost of their guarantees. “The grapevine has anticipated for months that [g-fees] have little chance of going up and more chance of going down,” the analysts said. “But the specific risk triggered by the FHA move is that the cost of credit will now drop for high-LTV conventional borrowers.” Even before the FHA policy shift, private mortgage insurers have been pressuring the Federal Housing Finance Agency to ...

January 23, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

Lenders Expect Modest Refinance Wave

FHA lenders are gearing up to meet an anticipated increase in demand for purchase and refinance loans with mortgage rates falling to near-historic lows coupled by a 50 basis point cut in FHA’s annual insurance premium. Lenders hope the combination of lower mortgage rates and the revised FHA pricing structure will create sufficient incentive for more borrowers to purchase a home or refinance an existing mortgage. For example, Freedom Mortgage, 32nd in Inside FHA Lending’s 2014 ranking of FHA lenders, is looking to hire as many as 500 new employees to handle the anticipated surge following the FHA action. Stanley Middleman, chief executive officer of Freedom Mortgage, expects a robust FHA refinance market during the first half of 2015, tapering off in the second half. “Lower rates, coupled with premium reduction, put a lot of FHA borrowers in a position to get their ...

January 23, 2015 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

Rent-to-Own Lender Cove Out of Business

Cove Financial, a lender that offered a unique rent-to-own program, went out of business at the end of 2014. The company recently notified loan originators offering its Mortgage Alternative Program that Cove “is no longer conducting business or offering MAP.” Officials said vendors and others that have partnered with the company will be contacted by an assignee for the benefit of creditors. The lender added that the closure doesn’t impact borrowers ...


With the recent dip in interest rates, how do you feel about loan volumes this year?

We see loan production ending 2015 flat compared to 2014.
We’re optimistic that our originations will rise by 10 to 20 percent year over year.
We’re really optimistic: We expect production to increase by 20 percent or better from last year.
We’re not so bullish. Originations for us may actually fall.

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