Mortgage Banking Profitability

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

October 2, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Prioritizes Certification, PACE, Delayed Claims Filing, MMI Fund

The FHA has a number of rulemakings in the regulatory pipeline and other policy topics related to mortgage origination and servicing, all lined for action in the fall. The program changes are geared towards FHA single-family priorities, such as expanding first-time homebuyers’ and underserved creditworthy borrowers’ access to credit, ensuring the long-term viability of FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund and making it easier to do business with the FHA. Agency data show that, as of July 31, 2015, first-time homebuyers accounted for 82 percent of FHA purchase loans compared to 72 percent in the prior year. FHA officials attributed the surge in purchase loans to the half percentage point reduction in the annual mortgage insurance premium, which they translated into a yearly savings of $900 for a household with an average mortgage-loan size of $180,000. On Sept. 15, the ...

October 2, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Clarifies Handbook’s Effective Date, Modifications, Claims Filing

VA loan servicers have until Nov. 1, 2015, to review and comment on the new VA Servicer Handbook and ensure compliance with the established policy and guidelines. The servicer handbook combines guidance issued via circulars and news flashes over the years. In addition, the agency has started hosting biweekly servicer calls to update VA servicers on policy changes and new developments, according to Andrew Trevayne, assistant director of loan management with the VA Home Loan Guaranty Program. VA-guaranteed loans are serviced through the VA Loan Electronic Reporting Interface (VALERI) system. The handbook also discusses roles and responsibilities for VA loan-administration staff and servicers. It does not change or supersede any regulation or law affecting the loan program. Servicers may submit comments on the updated handbook to ...

October 2, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

2014 HMDA Data Show Huge Chunk of Higher-Priced FHA Loans

The majority of higher-priced first-lien loans in 2014 were FHA-insured, according to the latest Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. Approximately 45 percent of FHA-insured, first-lien purchase mortgages had annual percentage rates in excess of the reporting threshold, similar to the percentage in the latter half of 2013, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council noted. Higher-priced loans are those with APRs that exceed the average prime offer rate by at least 1.5 percentage points for first-lien loans and at least 3.5 percentage points for subordinate-lien loans. The data on the incidence of higher-priced lending show that about 8 percent of first-lien purchase loans originated in 2014 have APRs that exceed the loan-price reporting thresholds, up from about 5 percent in 2013, the FFIEC said. The higher APRs for FHA loans were due to a slight increase in ... [ 1 chart ]

October 2, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD Slams loanDepot for Using Ineligible DPA Funds on FHA Loans

The Inspector General of the Department of Housing and Urban Development called for civil and administrative actions against loanDepot for allowing ineligible “gifts” on FHA-insured loans. Acting on a referral from HUD’s Quality Assurance Division, the IG focused on FHA loans originated by loanDepot that included downpayment assistance from the Golden State Finance Authority. A review of 75 loans endorsed from Oct. 1, 2013, to Jan. 31, 2015, determined that 62 loans involved gift funds that did not comply with FHA requirements. In addition, the privately held nonbank lender “inappropriately charged borrowers $25,700 in fees that were not customary or reasonable, as well as $46,510 in discount fees that did not represent the purpose of the fee,” the IG said. The IG blamed loanDepot’s overreliance on Golden State’s Platinum Downpayment Assistance Program as well as ...

October 2, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

MBA Chief Reveals Ongoing Talks Between Independent Shops, HUD

Certain unidentified independent mortgage bankers are in talks with the Department of Housing and Urban Development over alleged False Claims Act violations, according to a top mortgage industry executive. Speaking recently on the Internet radio program “Lykken on Lending,” Dave Stevens, president of the Mortgage Bankers Association and a former FHA commissioner, said the lenders are quietly negotiating and have avoided media attention, so far. On air, Stevens said he and a “certain group of individuals had met with HUD Secretary Julian Castro” to discuss the FCA complaints. The MBA official said the use of the FCA – which allows for treble damages – represents an “extraordinary overreach” by the government that is threatening the overall FHA program. Stevens did not name the lenders are or say how many there are, but he did mention an ...

October 2, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

GNMA Posts Record Quarter as VA Jumbos Drive MBS Issuance

Riding a wave of heavy purchase-mortgage activity, Ginnie Mae issuers produced a record $128.23 billion of single-family mortgage-backed securities during the third quarter of 2015, according to a new Inside FHA/VA Lending ranking and analysis. The third-quarter figure, which includes FHA home-equity conversion mortgage MBS, was up 6.5 percent from the second quarter of this year. The previous record was $125.68 billion, set back in the third quarter of 2009. Loan-level MBS data, which do not include HECMs and have truncated loan amounts, show hefty gains in purchase-mortgage activity that more than offset sharp declines in refinance business. The flow of FHA purchase mortgages jumped 37.7 percent from the second to the third quarter, and VA purchase mortgages were up 37.9 percent over the same period. Meanwhile, refinance volume fell ... [ 2 charts ]

October 1, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Regulators Push Back Against Claims that ATR Rule, QM Standards Had a Negative Impact on the Mortgage Market

Officials at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Reserve have gone on the offensive to refute claims from lenders and their advocates regarding the ability-to-repay rule. At a hearing this week by the House Financial Services Committee, CFPB Director Richard Cordray noted that he recently met with the CEOs of the top 40 mortgage companies as part of an event hosted by the Mortgage Bankers Association. Cordray said the CEOs revealed that none of the lenders have faced lawsuits alleging violations of standards for qualified mortgages. “All this foaming at the mouth about legal liability did not...[Includes one data table]

September 25, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Housing Market Slowing but Stronger than 2014

The housing market showed the signs of a typical seasonal slowdown in August, according to results from the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey. While purchase-mortgage lending could soften in the coming months, the home purchase market looks stronger than it was a year ago. Tom Popik, research director of Campbell Surveys, said comments from a number of real estate agents across the country suggest that the housing market ...

September 25, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

More Lenders Say They’re Easing Credit Overlays

Credit standards appear to be easing more than they have in the past few years in both the government-sponsored enterprise market and non-GSE lending, according to Fannie Mae’s most recent lender survey. Medium and large-sized lenders both reported a notable easing of credit standards for the first time in seven quarters. The gap between lenders reporting easing as opposed to tightening over the second quarter increased to 20 percentage points for ...

September 25, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

A Nonbank Buys Goldwater Bank in Arizona

It’s not every day – or every year, for that matter – that a nonbank purchases a federally insured depository. But it happened this month in Arizona. Well, sort of. This month, Kent Wiechert, owner and president of Westar Mortgage, Albuquerque, NM, closed on his purchase of Goldwater Bank, NA, a full-service bank with roughly $100 million in assets. The investment – no purchase price was disclosed – was a personal transaction entered into by Wiechert, but since he controls both ...

September 25, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Bank Mortgage Sales Increased Sharply In 2Q15, Not That Much Left in the Tank

Mortgage banking income rose substantially in the second quarter of 2015 mostly because lenders sold more loans in the secondary market, but the outlook for the second half of the year is murkier. Commercial banks and thrifts sold $198.64 billion of home loans during the second quarter, according to an Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of call-report data. That was up 19.9 percent from the first three months of the year, and it represented the busiest ... [Includes one data chart]

September 18, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD Collects on Whatever is Left of TBW – A Mere Slice of FHA Losses

The Department of Housing and Urban Development recently saw its long-running attempt to recover $179 million from a bankrupt FHA lender come to a disappointing close, receiving only a little over half-a-million dollars after liquidation. HUD’s Inspector General gave the agency the green light to book its share of funds available to pay an $89.9 million HUD claim against the now-defunct lender Taylor, Bean & Whitaker, ending further action against the company. In 2006, whistleblowers filed a “qui tam” lawsuit in federal district court in Georgia alleging that TBW and Home America Mortgage had falsely certified and approved poorly underwritten loans for FHA insurance. In 2009, the two mortgage lenders filed for bankruptcy separately but were later consolidated by the court into one bankruptcy case. In May 2010, the Department of Justice, on behalf of HUD, filed a ...

September 18, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HECM Lending Rises in First Half, HMBS Issuance Up Same Period

FHA lenders funded $7.8 billion in new Home Equity Conversion Mortgage loans during the first half of 2015, up 8.2 percent from the same period a year ago. HECM loan production was slower in the second quarter with originations down 1.1 percent from the prior quarter. Purchase loans accounted for 86.1 percent of all HECM transactions during the first six months. Interestingly, borrower bias against adjustable-rate loans appeared to have eased. Fixed-rate HECMs accounted for only 15.4 percent of originations during the first half of the year. Initial principal amount at loan origination totaled $4.6 billion over the same period. On a fiscal year-to-date basis, the FHA reported a total of 53,372 HECM endorsements, up from 47,662 HECM endorsements in fiscal YTD 2014. Meanwhile, HECM endorsed cases increased to 5,750 in August compared to ... [ chart ]

September 18, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HECM Servicer to Pay $29.6 Million To Resolve False Claims Violations

A major player in the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage market has agreed to pay $29.6 million to resolve allegations of submitting false claims related to the servicing of FHA-insured reverse mortgages. According to the Department of Justice, Walter Investment Management Corp., through its mortgage subsidiaries, violated the False Claims Act by submitting false claims for debenture interest from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. A debenture is a type of debt instrument not secured by physical assets or collateral. It is backed only by the issuer’s general creditworthiness and reputation. HUD requires lenders to self-report curtailment of debenture interest if it misses any foreclosure deadlines. Under the HECM program, a loan becomes due and payable when the home is sold, remains vacant for more than 12 months or upon the ...

September 18, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Frustration Prompts Wells Fargo to Reinstate Overlays on FHA Loans

Wells Fargo this week reinstated the 640 minimum credit score requirement, following through on its threat to re-impose credit overlays due to its frustration with FHA’s republished loan-level certification proposal. Officials said the re-proposed version of the proposal, which was initially issued for comment in May, still disappoints in spite of industry input to put concerned FHA lenders at ease (See next story for background). In 2014, Wells dropped the minimum credit-score requirement to 600 for FHA borrowers after talks with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and policymakers. The FICO readjustment applies to Wells’ FHA retail purchase loans, aligning it with the 640 minimum credit score requirement for the bank’s correspondent business. In a previous statement, Wells reiterated the need for clearer rules in order to ...

September 18, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

USDA Loan Securitization Drops In 2Q with Fewer Rural Loans Made

Ginnie Mae securitized fewer rural home loans guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the second quarter of 2015 compared to the previous quarter, according to analysis of agency data. A total of $8.4 billion of USDA loans were securitized during the first six months of 2015, down 2.1 percent from the same period last year. Securitization volume also dropped by as much quarter over quarter. Chase led all USDA securitizers with $2.6 billion in loans securitized during the first half of the year for a commanding 30.4 share of the market. Wells Fargo funneled $1.1 billion in USDA loans into Ginnie MBS, resulting in a 13.1 market share, while PennyMac delivered $609.7 million for securitization. U.S. Bank closed the first half with $260.3 million in securitized USDA mortgages despite a 31.4 percent drop in the second quarter. Pacific Union Financial rounded out the top five USDA loan securitizers with ... [ chart ]

September 18, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Second Quarter Originations Fuel FHA Jumbo Securitization Surge

FHA jumbo securitization continued to rise over the first six months of 2015 on the back of soaring FHA jumbo production in the second quarter. FHA jumbo originations in the second quarter more than doubled to $6.8 billion, according to the Inside Mortgage Finance database. FHA data showed that the jumbo share of originations was highest in conventional-to-FHA refinance (14.9 percent) and streamlined FHA refis (13.3 percent,) but just 9.0 percent for purchase loans. Delivery of FHA jumbos, including modified loans, into Ginnie Mae jumbo mortgage-backed securities rose 131.9 percent in the second quarter from the prior quarter and was up 115.8 percent compared to the first six months of 2014. Wells Fargo led the market in the first half with $1.4 billion in jumbos contributed to MBS, up 123 percent quarter over quarter. That was good enough for a 12.7 percent market share. PennyMac Corp. accounted for ... [ chart ]

September 18, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Jumbo Volume Up in 2Q15, Significant Gains Year-Over-Year

Ginnie Mae securitized $14.2 billion of VA jumbo loans in the first half of 2015, more than double the volume seen during the same period a year ago. VA securitization data for the first six months reflect an upward trend in VA loan originations, which lenders attribute to better outreach to veterans and servicemembers and aggressive marketing strategies. VA jumbo securitization in the first half of the year was up 120.7 percent from the same prior-year period. Volume also was up 13.9 percent in the second quarter from the previous quarter. All top-five VA jumbo securitizers reported large gains year over year, but four showed volume decreases quarter over quarter. Third-ranked PennyMac recorded a 3.4 percent gain in the second quarter from the prior quarter. The top five, in sequential order – Wells Fargo, Freedom Mortgage Corp., PennyMac Corp., U.S. Bank and Quicken Loans – accounted for ... [ chart ]

September 17, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Progress of Private MI Industry May Depend on Details of NAIC’s Risk-Based Capital Standards

A stable private mortgage insurance industry is expected to emerge as the residential real estate market continues its recovery but uncertainty related to new risk-based regulatory capital standards from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners could derail or hinder progress, according to a new analysis by Fitch Ratings. So far, the MI industry has returned to profitability with more stability in the market and the continued presence of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the residential market. Stronger regulatory standards bode well for the industry’s stability as well, Fitch noted. The long-term viability of the MI industry does not appear...

September 17, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Institutional Investors Spurn Certain Public Mortgage Firms; Still, Rumors of a Large IPO in the Works

Institutional investors are beginning to have major doubts about certain mortgage stocks, reducing their positions in companies such as PHH Corp. and Ocwen Financial as they struggle to present convincing evidence that better days are ahead – especially with 2016 just months away. Ocwen, in particular, has been savaged by investors over the past 18 months, its share price falling from an all-time high of $60 to $5.66. This past summer, Ocwen’s share price stabilized somewhat before getting clobbered early this week after disclosing that it expects to post a loss for all of 2015. For many investors it has...

September 11, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Guaranteed Rate Acquires Call Center

Guaranteed Rate, a retail mortgage lender, continued to expand its business with the acquisition of new call centers and 75 loan officers from Discover Home Loans, which recently announced its decision to exit the mortgage origination business. The new loan officers will join Guaranteed Rate and help generate more loans through its new Digital Mortgage technology, which the company launched in June. The software uses encrypted cloud storage and ...

September 11, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Bank Repurchases Up Slightly in 2Q15

Banks and thrifts repurchased $977.6 million of single-family mortgages during the second quarter of 2015, a 6.6 percent increase over the first quarter, according to an Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of call-report data. Bank repurchases, which include indemnifications, totaled $1.894 billion for the first half of the year, down 1.2 percent from the first six months of 2014. Bank of America still leads the industry in buybacks with $539 million on a ... [Includes one data chart]

September 11, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Tight Underwriting Limiting GSE Repurchases

In the years after the financial crisis, lenders have tried to limit the amount of repurchase demands from the government-sponsored enterprises by tightening underwriting requirements, according to an analysis by the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center. The HFPC noted that the percentage of mortgages that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have put back to lenders due to violations of representations and warranties for originations in recent years ...

September 11, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Loan Mod Tactics Could Lead to More Defaults

Declines in negative equity and improvements to the economy have prompted a shift in the types of loan modifications offered by servicers. Industry analysts have raised concerns that the increased reliance on capitalization loan mods could lead to an increase in defaults. With a capitalization mod, servicers add unpaid mortgage interest and other costs to the unpaid loan balance and amortize the new balance, potentially with a new loan term or interest rate ...

September 11, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Mortgage Employment Holds Steady

When autumn rolls around, most mortgage firms begin paring staff where they can and start focusing on what lies ahead for the new year. But this time around – thanks to the recent drop in rates – cost-cutting measures may be put on hold, at least for a little while. One area where there could be a spate of new hiring is in senior management positions. Rick Glass, who runs the mortgage recruiting firm RT Glass & Associates, Carmichael, CA, said his phone ...

September 11, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Mortgage Banking Profits Surged in 2Q15

Improved production efficiency and a favorable outcome on hedges for mortgage servicing rights helped drive a significant increase in mortgage banking profits during the second quarter. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that average net pretax income jumped 55.7 percent from the first quarter to $3.50 million in the second. That was the best pretax income figure since the first quarter of 2013, when the average in the MBA quarterly performance survey was ...

September 10, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Mortgage Bankers Association Turns the Corner Financially; As for that Old Office Building Debt…

The Mortgage Bankers Association ended its last fiscal year in the black with $7.7 million in net assets, a marked improvement from the negative $3.8 million it had when the year began. However, according to a review of MBA’s past tax returns by Inside Mortgage Finance, the trade group has its work cut out if it wants to return to the halcyon days before the housing bust when it boasted $63.3 million in net assets, a cushion that was depleted thanks to the industry’s downturn and a disastrous investment in a new headquarters building back in 2010. MBA officials continue...

September 4, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Crafting New Standards for Insuring Loans with PACE Liens

The FHA is developing standards that would allow FHA financing on homes with existing Property Assessed Clean Energy liens going forward. Specifically, the guidance would require subordination of PACE financing to first-lien FHA mortgages. The FHA is also working on a monitoring mechanism to track the number of PACE loans with FHA insurance in the future, said a HUD spokesman. Mortgage market analysts say FHA’s action could lead to broader adoption of the PACE program for FHA-insured single-family homes. The Mortgage Bankers Association, in a statement, applauded the move. “This modification should allow some homeowners to install energy improvements in their home but not impede the rights of the first lien, something the original PACE program failed to consider,” said David Stevens, MBA president and CEO. PACE programs allow local governments to raise bond-funded financing to ...

September 4, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Stakeholders Say FHA’s Revised Loan Cert Proposal Lacks Clarity

Wells Fargo this week said it would reinstate certain credit overlays on its FHA business segment after expressing frustration over FHA’s republished proposal on loan-level certification. The lender, which ranked second on Inside FHA/VA Lending’s top FHA lenders for the first six months of 2015, reiterated the need for clearer rules in order to originate FHA-insured loans without fear of litigation or enforcement action. The bank said it is very disappointed with FHA’s revised certification proposal, which was republished in the Sept. 1 Federal Register. “In spite of much input to FHA from various consumer groups and lenders over a long period of time, [the] proposal falls short of what is needed,” said Mike Heid, head of Wells Fargo Home Lending. “As a result, this will now force us to add back certain credit overlays on the FHA single-family program.” Other FHA lenders could follow Wells Fargo’s lead as some did when ...

September 4, 2015 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

Mixed Trends for ARM Originations in 2015

Adjustable-rate mortgage originations increased by 19.5 percent during the second quarter of 2015, but ARM production this year trails 2014 levels significantly. An estimated $49.0 billion in ARMs were originated in the second quarter, bringing the total for 2015 to $90.0 billion. That represented just 11.2 percent of total first-lien originations for the first half of the year, compared with 18.9 percent over the first six months of 2014. Interest rates ... [Includes one data chart]

August 28, 2015 - Inside The GSEs

GSE Buybacks Tumble in Second Quarter of 2015

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reported big declines in mortgage repurchases and their inventories of unresolved buyback requests during the second quarter of 2015, according to a new Inside The GSEs analysis of disclosures filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Freddie reported a 19.1 percent drop in repurchases from the first to the second quarter of 2015, while Fannie’s decline was a more modest 3.9 percent. Together, the two GSEs reported $436.3 million in repurchased or indemnified loans during the second quarter, the lowest amount since Fannie, Freddie and other “securitizers” began reporting repurchase activity in early 2012. On a combined basis, Fannie and Freddie reported new lows in pending repurchases ($732.2 million) and disputed buyback requests...

August 28, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Stock Market Swoon Could Spell More Refis

With the stock market suffering major losses the past 10 days, investors in equities are bleeding red ink, but mortgage bankers are salivating at the prospect of higher application volumes thanks to declining interest rates. “We’re at the tail-end of the home-buying season when volume drops, but my members are anticipating an increase in refis,” said Glen Corso, executive director of Community Mortgage Lenders of America. The newfound optimism comes courtesy of China ...

August 28, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

MBA Pushes Back on Basel Interest Rate Proposal

A proposal from the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision regarding banks’ interest rate risk includes provisions that would be “a step backward,” according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. In June, the BCBS issued a consultative document on the risk management, capital treatment and supervision of interest rate risk in its banking book. The committee of 28 regulatory bodies, including the United States, said the proposal aims to ...

August 28, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Report: Mortgage Finance Ripe for Disruption

The Collingwood Group says disruption may come to the mortgage finance industry because the current business model is too challenging, inefficient, costly and unresponsive to customer and business needs. “With no fundamental changes to origination processes in decades, lost efficiency, growing regulatory hurdles, high costs and low profits, there is little doubt the mortgage industry is ripe for disruption,” the firm said in a recent paper. Marketplace lenders and crowdfunders ...

August 28, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

All Eyes are on Blackstone: What Did They Pay?

The Blackstone Group has emerged as the “Big Kahuna” of mortgage company acquisitions this year, gobbling up – or agreeing to gobble up – at least five mortgage banking firms or a majority of their assets. To date, most of the purchases have centered on small- to medium-sized originators, except for its latest conquest: a majority stake in Stearns Holdings, LLC, parent company of Stearns Lending, the nation’s 12th largest originator. Although Blackstone is publicly traded ...

August 28, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

GSE Buyback Activity Slows Again in 2Q15

Mortgage sellers doing business with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac saw a sharp decline in repurchase activity in the second quarter of 2015 as the buyback focus continued to shift toward more recent production. The two government-sponsored enterprises reported a total of $436.3 million in mortgage repurchases during the second quarter, down 11.2 percent from the previous period. It was the lowest quarterly buyback number since ... [Includes two data charts]

August 28, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Banks Report Huge Increase in Mortgage-Banking Income During Second Quarter

Commercial banks and thrifts reported a hefty increase in profits from their mortgage-banking operations during the second quarter of 2015, according to a new Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of call reports. The industry generated $6.09 billion in mortgage-banking income during the second quarter, a 52.2 percent improvement over the first three months of the year. It was the highest income for the banking industry since the second quarter of 2013, when ... [Includes one data chart]


Which mortgage issue, in particular, keeps your management team up at night? (Check one only.)

TRID (Integrated Disclosures)
Uncertainty regarding "marketing service agreements"
Getting sued by HUD/DOJ for alleged underwriting violations
Declining loan volumes

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