Mortgage Banking Profitability

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

September 19, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Brokers Originate Slightly Riskier Loans

Loans originated by mortgage brokers tended to have slightly lower credit scores and slightly higher debt-to-income ratios than production by retail lenders and correspondents. An Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of mortgage-backed securities issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae during the second quarter found that broker originations had an average credit score of 721.9 – compared to 728.5 for retail production and 723.4 for correspondent originations. The average DTI for ... [Includes one data chart]


September 19, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Experts: Credit Access a ‘Huge Problem’ in 2015

Look for the lack of access to credit, particularly among first-time homebuyers and at both ends of the credit spectrum, to be the most significant impediment to housing in 2015, industry experts said during the Bipartisan Policy Center’s housing summit in Washington. While a weak labor market and high levels of student loan debt have done much to hinder first-time homebuyers, demand remains strong – but not enough to overcome stringent loan standards, said Richard Smith, CEO of Realogy Holdings Corp ...


September 19, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Lenders More Glum About Future Profits

Most mortgage lenders expect profit margins to remain steady in coming months, but more of them are bracing for reduced earnings and fewer anticipate increases than in the past, according to results from a Fannie Mae survey released this week. Just over half (51 percent) of the 185 participants said they expect profit margins on loan production activity to be unchanged in the next three months. But a third of the lenders predicted tighter margins, up from 29 percent in the previous survey, mostly because of ...


September 19, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Mortgage Stock Prices Under Pressure

Almost across the board, the share prices of publicly traded mortgage companies are in the tank these days – and not just the “big three” nonbanks of Nationstar Mortgage, Ocwen Financial and Walter Investment Management. Stonegate Mortgage, for instance, which went public about a year ago, is trading at $14 a share compared to a 52-week high of almost $19 and a low of $12. PennyMac Financial Services is at $15, about $1 above its low and $5 below its high. And Impac Holdings ...


September 19, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Mortgage Sales Rebounded in 2Q14

After a historically slow start to the year, mortgage originations and loan sales rebounded during the second quarter but remained tepid. Commercial banks and savings institutions reported a total of $140.07 billion of loans sold by their mortgage banking operations during the second quarter, according to an Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of call-report data. That was up 11.4 percent from the dismal $125.71 billion in loan sales during the first three months of the year ... [Includes two data charts]


September 19, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Slowing Investor Purchases Boost Mortgage Share

Mortgage lending has gained significant market share in the home-purchase market in recent months due to a pullback by investors, according to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey. The combined market share for current homeowners and first-time homebuyers increased again in August, according to Tom Popik, research director of Campbell Surveys. The two groups accounted for 84.5 percent of the homes purchased in August, based on a three-month moving average ...


September 19, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Concerns About Buybacks, Legal Woes Continue to Keep Credit Box Narrow

A tremendous amount of uncertainty is causing mortgage lenders to be more restrictive with credit than they otherwise might be – mostly stemming from conflicts with investors, increased regulation and the ambiguity from major legal settlements. “Lenders are running scared,” said Paulina McGrath, president of Republic State Mortgage, during a conference sponsored by the Bipartisan Policy Center this week in Washington, DC. “It’s not just the regulation that’s causing a dramatic increase in ...


September 19, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

IG: Fannie, Freddie Not Ready for Rep & Warranty Change

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were not ready for the new representation and warranty framework that took effect early last year at the insistence of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, according to a new Inspector General audit. Announced in September 2012 and implemented Jan. 1, 2013, the framework relieved sellers from certain reps and warrants, including those relating to credit underwriting and eligibility of the borrower and the property that were formerly effective for the life of the loan.


September 19, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

FHLBank Membership Rule Foes Turn to Congress to Pressure FHFA

Hundreds of community banks, credit unions and community development financial intuitions within the Federal Home Loan Bank system will be adversely impacted and even face expulsion from the FHLBanks if a proposed Federal Housing Finance Agency rule change goes into effect, say rule opponents. The FHFA’s proposal, issued earlier this month, would change the FHLBank membership qualifications by imposing an ongoing asset test on FHLB members, requiring that they track and report on the mortgage-related assets they hold on their books.


September 18, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

The Mortgage M&A Train Finally Arrives; Stearns Lending Weighs Its Options…

Over the past few weeks, a handful of mortgage firms have announced acquisitions of smaller shops with an eye toward expanding their origination footprints or servicing portfolios. And investment banking advisors told Inside Mortgage Finance that between now and yearend, the mergers and acquisitions market should be brisk as owners of privately held companies finally head for the exits, realizing that when it comes to originations, 2015 likely won’t be much better than the current year. The largest nonbank to test the M&A market this year is...


September 12, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA FRM Lending Propels Overall Volume in 2Q

FHA single-family loan production picked up in the second quarter thanks to a surge in fixed-rate mortgage lending, according to an Inside FHA Lending analysis of agency data. A 15.2 percent increase in FHA fixed-rate volume helped propel overall FHA originations in the second quarter, which rose 16.0 percent from the first quarter. Adjustable-rate lending also was up 32.3 percent over the same period. FHA purchase originations increased 20.6 percent, while FHA-insured refinances rose by only 4.3 percent. On the other hand, conforming-to-FHA refinances were down 4.5 percent from the first quarter. FHA baseline lending (below $417,000) saw volume rise 17.6 percent, while FHA-jumbo loan amounts up to the statutory high-cost loan limit increased by 6.2 percent. On the other hand, the volume of jumbos exceeding ... [1 chart]


September 12, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Jumbo Production Slips Further in 2Q14

The first-quarter decline in FHA jumbo production spilled over into the second quarter as volume dropped another 21.7 percent, ending the first half of the year with $4.7 billion in new government-insured jumbo loans, according to an Inside FHA Lending analysis of agency snapshot data. On a year-over-year basis, volume fell 56.7 percent over the six-month period compared to the same period last year. Jumbo loans make up a tiny percentage of FHA’s overall portfolio. The FHA has been weaning itself away from jumbos after Republican members of Congress accused the agency of straying from its mission by subsidizing purchases of million-dollar houses. A statutory readjustment this year brought the FHA loan limit in high-cost areas down to $625,500, the same level as the high-cost loan limits for conforming mortgages in high-cost areas. The baseline loan limits for both conforming and FHA loans in 2014 ... [1 chart]


September 12, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Investors Lining Up for Sixth Distressed Note Sale

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is now qualifying investors for its sixth auction of non-performing loans (NPLs) amid nationwide protests calling for reform of HUD’s distressed note sale program. Single-Family Loan Sale SFLS 2014-2 includes 15,232 single-family, non-performing mortgages with a total unpaid principal of $2.3 billion. The sale consists of 10 loan pools ranging from $97 million to $825 million with collateral dispersed across the country, according to loan sale advisor DebtX. It is scheduled to bid on Sept. 30. On June 11, HUD sold a $4.8 billion portfolio of NPLs, the first of a two-part sale. The national offering consisted of approximately 23,200 loans divided into 16 pools ranging from $93 million to $1 billion. The loans are backed by properties across the ...


September 12, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Lending Back on Track with <680 Score

The average FHA credit score in the second quarter of 2014 continued to decline from the record highs of 2011, but remains well above the levels preceding the mortgage and credit crisis, according to FHA’s latest report to Congress on the state of the agency’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. The FHA’s second-quarter average credit score of 680 was 3 points below the previous quarter’s score and 13 points below the score during the same period last year. The report’s data suggest that FHA has accomplished its goal of shifting its market share to the 620-679 credit score bucket consistent with its target market while ceding its share of loans with scores exceeding 720 to the private MI sector. The last time borrowers’ average credit score hit 680 was in the second quarter of 2009. FHA officials said they are working to have 75 percent of the FHA lending in the ...


September 12, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

MMIF in Negative Cash Flow in 2Q14, Says Report

The FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund account balances fell by $0.5 billion during the second quarter of 2014 to $45.3 billion due to higher claim payments and property expenses. Observers, nonetheless, remain optimistic the fund will return to full stability in 2015 with no further change in the mortgage insurance premium charged to borrowers. The MMIF’s total balances peaked at $48.4 billion in the third quarter of 2013 and then slipped gradually over the last three quarters, according to data in the FHA’s latest report to Congress regarding the financial health of the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. Total revenues from premium collections, property sale, and note sale proceeds were $4.3 billion, while $5.1 billion was paid to cover claims and property expenses in the second quarter. This resulted in a negative$821 million cash flow in the quarter, the smallest outflow since ...


September 12, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Obama to Seek Solutions to Credit Access

Obama will meet with top banking executives and industry trade groups on Sept. 17 to explore potential solutions to lender overlays and other problems that hinder first-time homebuyers and other qualified borrowers from obtaining an FHA or conventional mortgage. The meeting is expected to touch on key lender issues, including credit overlays, government enforcement actions, regulatory burden and risk-based versus FHA pricing. Lenders say they are willing to originate single-family mortgages to qualified borrowers and first-time homebuyers but they feel the post-crisis environment has turned hostile against them. Repurchases and indemnifications have dampened their willingness to lend to moderate- and lower-income borrowers, they admit. Regardless of policy changes designed to increase lending in the lower credit score range (620 to 679), FHA enforcement actions to ...


September 12, 2014 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

FHFA Proposes Booting REITs From FHLBanks

The few real estate investment trusts that currently have access to advances from the Federal Home Loan Banks would lose their ability to tap the attractive funding source under a proposal last week from the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The FHFA said the proposed rule is necessary because REITs with captive insurance companies pose risks to the FHLBank system. “FHFA is taking these actions to address supervisory concerns about certain institutions that are ineligible for FHLBank membership, but that are using captive insurers as vehicles through which they can obtain FHLBank advances to fund their business operations,” the federal regulator said.


September 5, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Bank Buybacks Decline, But Don’t Disappear

Banks and thrifts reported an 11.0 percent decline in the volume of mortgage repurchases and indemnifications they made during the second quarter of 2014, compared to the first three months of the year. An Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of call-report data found that bank and thrift repurchases and indemnifications totaled $1.012 billion in the second quarter, the lowest level since the first quarter of 2008. Buyback volume has been ... [Includes one data chart]


September 5, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Declining Homeownership Among Young Buyers

Homeownership among young adults under age 35 has dropped substantially, particularly among prime first-time homebuyers, despite the fact that owning a house has become less costly than renting in recent years, according to a Fannie Mae analysis. Specifically, the government-sponsored enterprise found that the homeownership rate of “prime” first-time homebuyers – defined as educated, married couples in their early 30s with kids and lots of money – fell by 8.6 percent between 2006 and 2012 ...


September 5, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Startup Wholesaler Stresses Tech, Service

Sindeo, a San Francisco-based startup wholesale lender, launched in August with plans to “transform the borrower experience.” “Our goal is to look at every aspect of our business to create a fair, transparent and modern experience for our clients,” Ori Zohar, executive vice president of marketing at Sindeo and one of the nonbank’s founders, told Inside Mortgage Trends. …


September 5, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Trends

FHFA IG Tells GSEs to Snitch on Bad Guys

The Inspector General of the Federal Housing Finance Agency has some sage advice for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: the next time you suspect one of your seller/servicers is up to no good, tell their rival and their regulator. This type of wisdom – and more – is contained in a recent IG post-mortem report on one of the most spectacular mortgage failures of the past decade: Taylor, Bean & Whitaker, a large nonbank that collapsed in the late summer of 2009 after it was discovered ...


September 5, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Trends

GSE PMI Plan Would Increase Costs, Report Says

Some of the features of the Private Mortgage Insurance Eligibility Requirements recently put out by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Finance Agency would probably increase costs and cyclicality in the mortgage and housing markets to an unnecessary degree, according to a new report by Moody’s Analytics and the Urban Institute. Study authors Mark Zandi and Cristian deRitis (Moody’s) and Jim Parrott (the Urban Institute) said the standards should succeed in ensuring that ...


September 5, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Profitability Surges on Rising Production Volume

There is nothing like a robust rebound in mortgage production activity to bolster mortgage banking profitability. New data from the Mortgage Bankers Association show that the average mortgage banking operation saw net income quadruple during the second quarter, jumping from a measly $342,000 net profit in the first three months of the year to $1.374 million. The MBA quarterly performance survey found that 81.5 percent of participating lenders reported positive pretax income ...


September 4, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Banks Report Mixed Results from Mortgage Banking Activities Halfway Through 2014

Banks’ mortgage banking efforts through two quarters in 2014 pale in comparison to the first half of last year, though income and other metrics improved in the second quarter, according to an analysis of call report data by Inside Mortgage Trends, an affiliated newsletter. Banks had a total of $4.91 billion in mortgage banking income in the second quarter, up 45.5 percent from the first three months of the year. However, mortgage banking income was well below levels seen in the first half of 2013, before the most recent refinance boom ground to a halt. Banks had...


September 4, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

IG: Freddie Could Save Millions by Expanding Reviews of Servicer Reimbursement Claims

Freddie Mac could save millions of dollars a year in faulty reimbursement payouts to its servicers by investing additional resources in a wider selection of reviews, according to an audit issued last week by the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of Inspector General. In 2013, Freddie reimbursed 460 of its servicers $1.4 billion but identified and denied $126 million in what the IG calls “erroneous” claims. The IG noted that Freddie’s top 10 servicers, relative to total reimbursements, accounted for 87 percent of all reimbursements made by Freddie in 2013. Servicers of Freddie and Fannie Mae loans often maintain...


August 29, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Around the Industry

Revised HUD/VA Addendum to the Uniform Residential Loan Application. On July 30, the FHA has posted on its HUDCLIPS website a revised Addendum to the Uniform Residential Loan Application (Form HUD-92900-A/VA Form 26-1802). This form is used for both FHA and VA mortgage originations.The Department of Veterans Affairs has updated its form to clarify what constitutes a valid marriage for the purpose of obtaining VA benefits. Although the changes to the form do not apply to FHA-insured mortgages specifically, lenders should begin using the revised form for new FHA mortgage originations as soon as possible, the FHA recommended. Processing Request for Execution of VA Quitclaim Deeds. The Department of Veterans Affairs has issued guidance (Circular 26-14-19) for handling of requests for execution of quitclaim deeds. A quitclaim deed is a legal document that is used to transfer a person’s rights to real estate to ...


August 29, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Views Sought on Draft Appraiser Requirements

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is requesting feedback from stakeholders regarding proposed policy drafts covering appraiser eligibility and oversight, and conducting appraisals, among other things. The documents will be part of the FHA’s Single-Family Housing Policy Handbook, a consolidated and authoritative agency handbook that will make it easier for stakeholders to do business with the FHA. The drafts also cover appraiser requirements for performing an FHA appraisal, including property eligibility requirements for Title II forward and reverse mortgages, as well as forms and data delivery requirements. Comments must be submitted by Sept. 2, 2014. The Single-Family Policy handbook is a multi-phased initiative to develop a single, comprehensive source for FHA single-family housing policy using clear and direct language and an improved organization structure. In fall 2013, the FHA posted its first draft section, Application Though Endorsement for Title II Forward Mortgages. The FHA is finalizing ...


August 29, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

State Legislatures Pass Reverse Mortgage Bills

Two states have passed legislation placing varying spins on the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s counseling requirements for lenders and borrowers of FHA-insured reverse mortgages. In California, the state Senate unanimously approved AB 1700, which would mandate a seven-day “cooling off” period between the time a borrower receives counseling and when an application is taken. AB 1700 passed the CA Assembly by a vote of 73 to 1. In addition, the bill would require a lender to provide a worksheet guide that addresses certain issues the borrower should consider and discuss with the counselor, such as income and ability to repay as well as taxes and insurance. The counselor and the borrower are both required under the bill to sign the worksheet guide before any reverse mortgage application is taken. No schedule has been set for ...


August 29, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FASB Updates TDR Guidance for FHA, VA Loans

The Financial Accounting Standards Board has updated its guidance on troubled debt restructurings (TDRs) to provide lenders some uniformity in accounting for government-backed mortgages upon foreclosure. The changes to FASB’s rule, “Receivables – Troubled Debt Restructurings by Creditors,” affect FHA and VA lenders and would take effect for public entities with reporting periods after Dec. 15, 2014. All other entities will have to comply after Dec. 15, 2015. “In addition to accounting consistency, the updated rule provides greater certainty as to the amount that can be expected to recover through the government guarantees,” the board said. The changes became necessary because the accounting varied among lenders, resulting in diverse practices, according to the Emerging Issues Task Force, which promulgates implementation guidance within the ...


August 29, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

U.S. Court Upholds HUD Suspension of Lender

A decision by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to suspend a Texas mortgage firm and its top executive was not “arbitrary and capricious” and did not violate due process, according to a recent Houston district court ruling. The court granted HUD’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed all of the plaintiffs’ claims with prejudice. In Allied Home Mortgage Corp. v. Donovan, (No. H-11-3864, 2014 WL 3843561, S.D. Tex. Aug. 5, 2014), a U.S. Attorney’s Office sued Allied Home Mortgage Corp. and its chief executive officer, James Hodge, in Manhattan federal district court for allegedly lying about its compliance with FHA requirements. Specifically, the former Houston-based mortgage net branch operator (currently doing business as Allquest Home Mortgage Corp.) allegedly violated the False Claims Act and the Financial Institutions Reform, recovery and Enforcement Act by ...


August 29, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Over $65B in FHA Loans Securitized in 1H14

An estimated $65.5 billion of FHA-insured mortgages, excluding reverse and modified loans, were included in Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities issued during the first six months of 2014, according to an Inside FHA Lending analysis of agency securitization data. Ginnie Mae FHA MBS issued during the first half of the year nearly matches the total number of new FHA loans originated over the same period (see related chart, p. 4-5). FHA purchase home mortgages served as collateral on 76.3 percent of Ginnie Mae MBS issued over the six-month period, while loans to first-time homebuyers accounted for 63.0 percent of Ginnie MBS issued during the period. The FHA loans in Ginnie pools over the last two quarters showed an average FICO score of 681, a loan-to-value ratio of 92.5 percent and an average loan amount of $169,093. Except for fifth-ranked Freedom Mortgage, the rest of the top five ... [1 chart]


August 29, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Lending to Low FICO Borrowers Increases

FHA lenders have been lending more aggressively to borrowers with FICO scores below 679 than to more affluent borrowers, according to recent research by an independent housing and consulting firm. Using data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and interviews with mortgage industry executives, researchers at John Burns Real Estate Consulting found that homebuyers with less-than-stellar credit are finding it easier to buy a home below the FHA loan limit. In contrast, the study also found that automated underwriting prevents many highly qualified borrowers from obtaining a home loan because their “income situation does not fit squarely in the credit box.” This segment includes affluent retirees, self-employed, or commissioned salespeople. “In the aftermath of the housing crisis, the reality is that we are lending aggressively to the poor and conservatively to the rich,” said Lisa Marquis Jackson, senior vice president at John Burns. The study’s findings challenge ...


August 29, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Volume Drops in First Half of 2014

FHA loan volume continued to decline in the first half of 2014 despite continuing improvement in the quality of new originations and a high demand for purchase mortgage loans, according to Inside FHA Lending’s analysis of agency data. Overall, FHA production for the first six months of the year, excluding reverse mortgages, totaled $61.1 billion. While originations were up 16.0 percent in the second quarter, it was down a hefty 51.8 percent on a year-over-year basis. Purchase loans accounted for $47.3 billion of new FHA-insured loans made over the six-month period while an estimated $58.4 billion of loans had fixed interest rates. For FY 2014, volume was down 19.0 percent. “In FY 2013, approximately 702,000 FHA-insured loans were originated and this year we’re running at 560,000 loans, which is roughly 20 percent of last fiscal year’s total,” said an FHA analyst. “In the first quarter, approximately ... [1 chart]


August 29, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Bars Post-Payment Charge on Prepaid Loans

The FHA has issued two final rules enhancing consumer protections – one prohibiting lenders from charging additional interest on FHA-insured mortgages that are paid in full and another ensuring that borrowers of adjustable-rate mortgages receive earlier notice of rate changes. Both rules were published in the Aug. 26 Federal Register. The first rule eliminates the practice of charging the borrower a full-month’s interest even if the mortgage is prepaid in full before the end of the month. It adopted the proposed rule, which was issued for comment on March 13, 2014, without change. Effective Jan. 21, 2015, charging borrowers post-settlement interest, which is broadly defined by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a “prepayment penalty,” will be prohibited for all FHA single-family mortgage products and programs. In the rule’s preamble, HUD said it expects lenders to ...


August 29, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

GNMA Unable to Use $200 Million Windfall

Roughly $1 billion in damages will flow through to the FHA and Ginnie Mae from Bank of America’s record $16.65 billion global mortgage-backed securities settlement with the Department of Justice. Although most of the DOJ’s case centered around faulty private-label MBS that BofA and its forbears (namely Countrywide and Merrill Lynch) underwrote during the housing boom, a small piece of the settlement is tied to servicing chores that the bank did for Ginnie Mae. And apparently, BofA didn’t do a very good job of servicing the underlying product. The bank took over as the subservicer on roughly $26.2 billion in mortgage servicing rights that once belonged to Taylor, Bean & Whitaker, a large nonbank based in Ocala, FL. When TBW went bust in the second half of 2009, BofA was given the subservicing contract. “BofA serviced the loans for us,” said Ginnie Mae president Ted Tozer. “And they did a ...


August 22, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

GSE Shareholder Group Calls on FHFA to End Conservatorship

The head of a group of disenfranchised Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac investors has called on Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt to end conservatorship of the two GSEs and undo what stakeholders consider the illegal government “net worth sweep” of Fannie and Freddie profits. Tim Pagliara, executive director of Investors Unite, followed Watt to Atlanta to seek a meeting with and to put pressure on the director to acknowledge the concerns of GSE shareholders.


August 22, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Trends

FASB Clarifies TDR Guidance for FHA, VA Loans

The Financial Accounting Standards Board has announced changes to the way it accounts for government-backed mortgage loans upon foreclosure. The change, which is being made through FASB’s rule, “Receivables – Troubled Debt Restructurings by Creditors,” is aimed at reducing diversity in the accounting treatment of FHA and VA loans that have been subject to foreclosure, according to FASB’s Emerging Issues Task Force. The EITF ...


August 22, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Mortgage M&A is Making Tiny Bubbles

Mid-sized nonbanks the likes of Prospect Mortgage and Guaranteed Rate reportedly have teams of employees whose job it is to look at company acquisitions, but whether any deals of size get completed by year end is another matter. According to interviews conducted by Inside Mortgage Trends, investment banking firms appear to be quite busy with buy- and sell-side clients. Many advisors believe smaller transactions could be plentiful in the second half of the year ...


August 22, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Real Estate Agents Strongly Prefer Local Lenders

Real estate agents put an emphasis on local lenders over call center lenders, according to qualitative survey results from the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey. Real estate agents indicated that delayed closings are much more common when a buyer is obtaining a mortgage from a call center lender than from a lender with a local office. “Agents crave information and certainty of closing,” said Tom Popik ...


August 22, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Trends

2Q14 Profits Climb on Both Sides of Ledger

Mortgage banking income rose significantly in the second quarter of 2014 for both production and servicing activities, according to a new Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of earnings reports from 11 major lenders. The group, which includes most of the top publicly owned companies in the mortgage industry, reported a combined $1.371 billion in production-related income during the second quarter. That was up 57.0 percent from ... [Includes one data chart]


August 22, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Banks Report Solid Gains in Mortgage Banking Income During Second Quarter

A new Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of bank call-report data confirms that mortgage banking profits strengthened significantly during the second quarter of 2014. Banks reported a combined $4.910 billion in mortgage banking income for the second quarter of this year, a 45.5 percent increase over the first three months of the year. Earnings releases from 21 publicly traded banks and thrifts showed a 31.5 percent increase in ... [Includes one data chart]


August 15, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Reverse Mortgages Reportable Under HMDA

Reverse mortgages would be included in Home Mortgage Disclosure Act reports under a proposed rule published recently by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The proposed rule would expand the definition of a “covered loan” under HMDA to include reverse mortgages and home-equity lines of credit (HELOCs), which include reverse mortgages structured as open-end HELOCs. Currently, HMDA regulations do not require reporting of HELOCs, although lenders may do so if they choose. Currently, financial institutions only have to report information on a closed-end reverse mortgage if the transaction involves a home purchase, home improvement or refinancing. Among other things, the CFPB has proposed to require that all reverse mortgages and HELOCs be identified by loan type to distinguish them from other categories of ...


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 FHA Lending

Private MIs, VA Overtake Faltering FHA Program

Weighed down by high premium costs and lender overlays, FHA lost more primary market share to private mortgage insurers and the Department of Veterans Affairs during the second quarter of 2014. Although June’s FHA endorsement numbers have not yet been released, the trend seen in April through May, along with Ginnie Mae securitization data, suggest that FHA business was up a modest 11.5 percent from the first quarter. But that increase provides no comfort to FHA, which saw its market share go down to 33.7 percent, a six-year low. From April to May, FHA forward endorsements rose by 2.4 percent to $10.61 billion. On a year-over-year basis, however, endorsements were down from $21.9 billion in May 2013, according to an Inside FHA Lending analysis of agency data. On the other hand, private MI companies reported a total of $44.19 billion of new insurance written (NIW) during the ... [2 charts]


August 15, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

More Indemnification Demands Anticipated

The False Claims Act (FCA) and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA) not only have become strong enforcement tools in the fight against FHA mortgage fraud but also an efficient means of recovering taxpayer losses. Having used both federal statutes effectively to wrangle huge settlements from large banks, federal prosecutors now have their eyes set on mid-level banks, according to compliance experts during a recent webinar hosted by Inside Mortgage Finance Publications. “Because these FCA [and FIRREA] lawsuits have been a cash cow for the Department of Justice and the Inspector General of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, I think these agencies will target mid-level banks next,” said ...


August 15, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

IG Audit Finds Flaws in Indemnification Recovery

The Department of Housing and Urban Development failed to bill lenders for 486 loans with enforceable indemnification agreements that created losses for the FHA, according to the HUD Inspector General. The loans were originated between 2004 and 2014 and were either in the Accelerated Claims Disposition program or the Claims Without Conveyance of Title program, or they went into default before an indemnification agreement expired. Due to procedural errors and apparent lack of oversight, HUD failed to recover $37.1 million for 486 loans that had enforceable indemnification agreements. The unbilled loans represented 8.0 percent of total activity in the programs during that period. In addition, HUD did not ensure that indemnification agreements were extended to 64 of 2,078 loans that were streamline financed. As a result, HUD incurred losses of ...


August 15, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Chief Galante to Resign in the Fall

FHA Commissioner Carol Galante has announced plans to step down from her current post, leaving behind a Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund that appears well on its way to recovery and a slumping FHA business. Industry response to Galante’s Aug. 12 announcement was mixed. Some stakeholders applauded her toughness and resolve in steering FHA through hard times, while others criticized her for policies that made it more difficult and costly for first-time homebuyers to obtain an FHA-insured mortgage loan. Galante’s nearly three-and-a-half year stint as FHA commissioner was highlighted by her efforts to stabilize the FHA’s ailing Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, reduce losses and improve lender oversight. She achieved these goals by creating a comprehensive risk-management structure at FHA, revamping FHA pricing and credit policies, and ...


August 14, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Fannie, Freddie Post $5.0 Billion Profit in 2Q14 As GSEs ‘Substantially Achieve’ Repurchase Goals

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reported a combined $5.0 billion in net income during the second quarter of 2014, down 46.2 percent from the first three months of the year as the two government-sponsored enterprises reported a significant downshift in repurchase activity. Through the first six months of the year, GSE profits were down nearly 81.7 percent from the first half of 2013. But Fannie and Freddie reaped huge profits in 2013 through hefty legal settlements, the capture of deferred tax assets and seller buybacks. “When you look back on 2013, our goal was...


August 14, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Private MI Market Share Reached Post-Crash High In 2Q14; Industry Profitability Continues Climbing

Private mortgage insurance companies continued their roll during the second quarter of 2014, capturing a larger share of the primary MI market away from the faltering FHA program, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance analysis. Private MIs reported a total of $44.19 billion of new primary mortgage insurance written during the second quarter, a 38.0 percent jump in new business from the first three months of 2014. Private MIs accounted for 41.4 percent of total primary MI new business, the industry’s highest share of the market since the second quarter of 2008, when the housing market landslide was gaining speed. The Veterans Administration’s home loan guaranty program is also building...[Includes three data charts]


August 8, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Fannie, Freddie Post ‘Normal’ 2Q Profit Minus One-Time Boosters

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reported a combined $5.0 billion in net income during the second quarter of 2014, down 46.2 percent from the first three months of the year. Compared to the first half of 2013, GSE profits were down nearly 82 percent, though both companies posted strong earnings during the three-month period ending June 30, 2014. Both GSEs are coming off a banner 2013 when each company’s earnings were super-charged by several one-time items – including the capture of each company’s deferred tax allowance, and numerous non-agency lawsuit settlements.


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