Mortgage Banking Profitability

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

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]

August 21, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

FHA Begins Registration of Lenders to Prepare their Transition to the EAD Portal. Lender registration for the transition phase of the new Electronic Appraisal Delivery portal began on Aug. 18. Lenders may select any of the seven onboarding phases, which FHA has established to ensure that lenders have more time to work within the EAD portal to ensure that their systems, data flow and operational process meet portal requirements before the June 27, 2016, mandatory-use date. Although lenders may enter at any phase they choose, the FHA strongly encourages lenders to register for the earliest onboarding phase, and to do it as soon as possible. That would give them more time to get ready for the full transition, the agency said. The first phase begins on Oct. 15, 2015, with additional phases beginning each month and running through the first half of 2016. Information on the onboarding phases as well as ...

August 21, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD Publishes Latest Updates to FHA Single Family Policy Handbook

The FHA will not issue a new case number for any FHA-to-FHA refinance if the current mortgage has a repair or rehabilitation escrow account in FHA Connection. The change, which is one of several updates to FHA Single Family Policy Handbook 4000.1, applies only to FHA streamline refis. It aims to ensure that escrow funds of the mortgage being refinanced are properly applied as well as conform to system requirements. The updated sections become effective on Sept. 14, 2015. Another change clarifies that the payoff statement for the mortgage being refinanced is the only document required when calculating the maximum mortgage amount for simple refi transactions. In addition, guidance for loan-to-value limits for cash-out refis has been updated to clarify that the 85 percent LTV restriction applies only to cash-out refis. HUD also noted that appraisers have flexibility in regards to when inspections should ...

August 21, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

MRB Penalizes TX Shops for MH Fraud; MF Lender to Face Board

Two FHA lenders in Texas have agreed to pay a total of $469,419 in civil money penalties to resolve government allegations they charged bogus fees to borrowers to inflate the purchase amount of newly built manufactured housing. Among 11 alleged violations of FHA rules, the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Mortgagee Review Board accused American Home Free Mortgage of Prosper, TX, of artificially increasing mortgage costs by an average of $12,000 per loan through improper fees. The fees were paid allegedly to a company owned and operated by AHFM’s sales manager. In addition, HUD alleged there were multiple violations of quality and annual certification requirements. As part of the settlement agreement, without admitting to any fault or liability, AHFM agreed to pay a $169,419 fine and to the permanent withdrawal of its FHA approval. In June 2014, the MRB also heard a ...

August 21, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD, IG Office at Odds Over Results Of Audit of 203(k) Rehab Program

Poor oversight of lenders participating in the Section 203(k) Rehabilitation Loan Mortgage Insurance Program has increased the risk to FHA’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund by more than $1.2 million for 40 active loans, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of the Inspector General. HUD’s Office of Housing questioned the findings of its independent auditors, saying that 203(k) lenders are monitored closely despite the limited staff and resources. The IG recommended to HUD that lenders be required to support or indemnify the department for any future losses on the 40 loans and to reimburse actual losses on two 203(k) loans totaling $83,332. An audit of HUD’s oversight of the program uncovered alleged weaknesses in the monitoring of lenders for compliance with the 203(k) program. In addition, HUD did not always ensure that loan-to-value ratios were ...

August 21, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

Fannie and Freddie Juggle Annual Caps on Multifamily Business With Goals to Increase Affordable Housing

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue to increase their focus on the multifamily segment, which generated growing income for the two government-sponsored enterprises during the second quarter. Freddie Mac’s comprehensive income for multifamily grew by $102 million to $366 million for the second quarter. The increase was primarily due to higher unrealized gains on available-for-sale-securities. New purchase volume remained...

August 14, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Study: Mortgage Finance Ripe for Disruption

A new research paper analyzing the risks and opportunities for disruption in the housing finance system notes that new business models and services make the entire mortgage industry ripe for change. Although the paper by the Collingwood Group notes that disruption is inevitable in any industry, it said it is most predictable in an industry faced with conditions where the current 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...

August 14, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Mixed Performance from Nonbanks in 2Q15

Nonbanks couldn’t keep pace with prominent banks in terms of mortgage earnings in the second quarter of 2015, according to a new analysis by Inside Mortgage Trends. A group of eight nonbanks had lower mortgage-related income in the second quarter of 2015 compared with the previous quarter, with large losses tied to servicing operations. PHH Mortgage was the main restraint on the group of nonbanks as the firm reported a $43.0 million loss from mortgage services in the second quarter of 2015 after $38.0 million in income the previous quarter. The loss for PHH included a $66.0 million loss in the servicing segment. The nonbank increased...[Includes one data table]

August 14, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Servicing Rebounded From Rough First Quarter, But Production Margins Fell

Mortgage bankers saw improved profitability in both servicing and loan production during the second quarter of 2015, according to a new Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of earnings reports from major lenders. A group of 13 publicly traded companies reported a combined $2.10 billion of production-related income during the second quarter. That was up 9.9 percent from the previous period, and raised their combined production earnings for the first half of the year to $4.01 billion, a 54.7 percent increase over the same period in 2014. Although all 13 reported positive earnings on their origination and sales activity, many noted...[Includes one data table]

August 14, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

Appeals Court Revives FDIC Lawsuits v. MBS Issuers; NY Judge Nixes GE’s Motion for Summary Judgment

A federal appeals court in New Orleans has overturned a 2014 district court ruling, reviving two government MBS lawsuits that were initially dismissed because they were filed past the state’s established time limit. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s separate lawsuits against RBS Securities Inc., on one hand, and against Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs, were both filed on Aug. 17, 2012. The complaints alleged that the banks misled investors about the credit quality of the mortgage loans that backed $840 million in non-agency MBS. The district court’s decision to dismiss, however, turned on...

August 13, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

PHH Mortgage May Renew Valuable Private-Label Contract With Merrill, But Other Hurdles Remain

Although PHH Corp. refuses to answer questions regarding a key private-label services contract to originate mortgage loans for Merrill Lynch, most analysts that follow the company believe the Wall Street giant will renew the agreement. To date, PHH will not say either way, but observers of the situation believe it’s more a technical matter than anything else. The general consensus is that Merrill has verbally agreed to renew, but hasn’t signed on the dotted line. On its recent earnings call, PHH management said...

August 13, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

IRS Cites Budget Cuts for Delays in Processing Income Tax Verification, MBA Pushes Back

Processing times for income verification provided by the Internal Revenue Service have slowed in recent months, causing problems for lenders. The IRS pinned the delays on budget cuts, prompting the Mortgage Bankers Association to call for an evaluation of the “true cause” of the delays. The IRS charges $2 per request to provide a taxpayer’s tax transcript to lenders via a third-party vendor. Stephen O’Connor, a senior vice president of public policy and industry relations at the MBA, said historically, the turn time for the Income Verification Express Service program has been around two business days or less. “In recent months, however, lenders have reported...

August 7, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

DOJ, NY Bank Seek to End Probe of FHA Loan Sale to Fannie, Freddie

M&T Bank is in talks with the federal government to resolve an investigation of a pre-crisis sale of FHA-insured and conforming mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that resulted in losses for the government-sponsored enterprises. The New York-based bank disclosed the settlement discussion in a second-quarter filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission and is cooperating with the investigation. The Department of Justice and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Inspector General are investigating whether M&T Bank complied with FHA’s underwriting guidelines as well as with guidelines for selling loans to Fannie and Freddie. It is unclear how much the FHA paid out in loss claims in this case but investigators said that, based upon their review of a sample of FHA loans for which a claim was paid, “some of the loans do not meet underwriting guidelines.” M&T Bank could be ...

August 7, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Securitization in Ginnie MBS Increases in 2Q but Not Like FHA

Sellers saw a modest increase in VA loans delivered to Ginnie Mae in the second quarter of 2015, most of which were streamline refinance loans, but FHA definitely took the cake, according to an Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis of agency data. Approximately $39.1 billion in VA purchase and refi loans were placed in Ginnie Mae pools in the second quarter, up 11.8 percent from the prior quarter. Of that amount, $20.9 billion were VA refinances, up 2.1 percent from the first quarter. Some 52 percent of the VA refis were originated in-house while correspondents accounted for 30.7 percent. Brokers brought in 17.3 percent of the securitized VA refi loans. VA purchase loans underlie an estimated $18.2 billion in Ginnie mortgage-backed securities in the second quarter, 48.4 percent of them retail. That number was up 25.5 percent from the previous quarter. VA loan correspondents were busy as well, accounting for ... [ 2 charts ]

July 31, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

‘Fix-and-Flip’ Market Looking a Bit Frothy

The market for “fix-and-flip” properties is starting to look frothy in certain metropolitan areas, but that isn’t stopping California Capital Real Estate Advisors from moving ahead with its plan to raise $100 million from investors. CalCap has carved out a specialty niche over the past five years of funding developers and contractors in California whose goal is to buy mostly distressed properties on the cheap, fix them and sell them quickly. The privately held nonbank ...

July 31, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Banks Post Strong Gains in Mortgage-Banking Income in Second Quarter

A broad sample of 25 publicly traded banks reported strong earnings from their mortgage-banking operations during the second quarter of 2015, a new Inside Mortgage Trends analysis reveals. The group, which includes the four megabanks and the major regionals involved in the sector, reported a combined $4.391 billion in mortgage-banking income for the second quarter. That was up 19.6 percent from the first quarter of this year, and it ... [Includes one data chart]

July 30, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

W.J. Bradley and RPM Mortgage Settle Suit Over Alleged Theft of Customer Information, But No Details Disclosed

W.J. Bradley Mortgage recently settled a civil suit filed against one of its competitors, RPM Mortgage, regarding the alleged theft of customer loan files by a top-ranked and recruited loan officer. In a statement, RPM said: “We are pleased that the litigation with W.J. Bradley has been settled. As always, the confidentiality of client information is of paramount importance to RPM.” W.J. Bradley, the original plaintiff in the matter, would not comment...

July 24, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

MPF Drops Certain Requirements For Government Streamline Refis

The Federal Home Loan Bank’s Mortgage Partnership Finance (MPF) Program has removed certain barriers to streamline refinancing of government-backed mortgages. Effective on July 6, 2015, the MPF no longer requires minimum FICO score, maximum loan-to-value ratios or appraisals for FHA streamlined refis, VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance loans and rural housing home loans with a U.S. Department of Agriculture guarantee. The MPF program’s participating financial institutions (PFIs) may now originate and underwrite streamline refis based solely on the requirements of the FHA, VA or the USDA’s Rural Housing Service. The program currently requires borrower and co-borrower income for government loan streamline refis for the purpose of loan presentment. “Presentment” refers to the right to require a lender to demand payment of amounts ...

July 24, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

DOJ’s False Claim Lawsuit Against Wells Fargo Now in Discovery Phase

A multi-million dollar false claim lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice against Wells Fargo in 2012 appears headed to trial unless both sides agree to renegotiate a settlement. Brought under the federal False Claims Act, the lawsuit has moved on to the discovery phase of the litigation following a failed attempt by the parties to reach a settlement. The DOJ has wielded the FCA effectively in the past couple of years in efforts to recover losses from lenders that allegedly committed loan fraud against the FHA. A string of FCA lawsuits against FHA lenders has resulted in approximately $4.5 billion in recoveries for the government. The 2012 lawsuit alleged that Wells Fargo misled the FHA as to the quality of underwriting on 6,320 FHA-insured loans, which later caused approximately $190 million in losses to the agency’s mortgage insurance fund. Wells Fargo has denied the allegations and maintains that, as a ...

July 24, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Proposed FHA Certification Form Triggers Democrat, Industry Ire

The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s proposal to remove a key disclosure in a standard HUD/VA form that comes with a residential mortgage closing document is getting flak from the mortgage industry and from some members of Congress. Leading Democrats on the Senate Banking and House Financial Services committees are pushing HUD to reconsider the proposal. They fear the proposed change would make it easier for lenders that have engaged in criminal behavior to re-enter the FHA and VA markets and continue their illegal lending practices. Among other things, HUD’s proposal would eliminate the requirement that FHA lenders certify on each loan application that they are not, or have not recently been, subject to certain charges or penalties. In their letter, Senators Sherrod Brown, D-OH, and Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA, urged HUD to ...

July 24, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

IG’s Audit of a DAP Lender Causes Friction with HUD, Other Lenders

Department of Housing and Urban Development program staff and the agency’s inspector general are reportedly at loggerheads over an IG recommendation to deny FHA insurance to loans that receive downpayment assistance from programs funded through premium-pricing mechanisms. Responding to critics, the HUD OIG is standing by its audit findings, which could force the HUD deputy secretary to intervene in order to resolve the issues raised by the audit report and restore lender confidence. The report’s recommendation has alarmed lenders that participate in downpayment assistance “gift” programs run by housing finance agencies (HFAs). This prompted Ed Golding, HUD’s principal deputy assistant secretary for housing and head of the FHA, to issue a clarification of the FHA’s position on the issue. Golding’s note reaffirmed FHA’s support for certain downpayment assistance programs (DAPs), “like those run by ...

July 24, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Utah Lender Plans to Expand VA, FHA Segments Nationwide by 2016

FHA/VA lender Castle & Cooke Mortgage is embarking on a major expansion that could boost their standing in the government-backed market if things work out as planned. The Salt Lake City-based retail lender is in the midst of an aggressive expansion plan to be in 48 states by the end of 2016, according to Adam Thorpe, who was named president and chief operating officer in late 2014. C&C’s government-backed lending activities are mostly in the West with licenses to operate in 18 states. Recently the company, which entered the mortgage market in 2005, opened a new branch office in Anaheim, CA, bringing to 36 the number of C&C branch offices across the country. Orange County and the Southern California housing market are among the priciest in the nation, and the high demand and lower inventory in those areas can be good for government and ...

July 24, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Plans to Improve Quality Control Process, Appraisals a Huge Issue

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Home Loan Guaranty program is planning to expand its quality-control process to help VA lenders improve the origination process. The goal is to make the VA program, which has seen a sharp spike in lending, work better for servicemembers and veterans, according to Michael Frueh, director of the VA home-loan guaranty program, during a recent panel discussion of government-backed mortgage insurance programs hosted by the Urban Institute. There are still obstacles to overcome, however, Frueh said. Delayed appraisals are a top complaint among VA lenders, who have to contend with the long wait to get VA appraisals back from appraisal management companies or appraisers. Lenders say that, in some of the hot real estate areas in the country, they have seen a number of contracts extended because appraisals were ...

July 17, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Celebrities, in Theory, Can Be Good Mortgagors

When dealing with celebrity clients – TV and film stars in particular – mortgage loan officers rarely interact directly with the star talent over the loan details. Instead, they deal with a celebrity’s business manager or another intermediary, according to Barry Habib, CEO at MBS Highway and a well-known mortgage trainer and motivational speaker. Habib should know – besides being a mortgage professional, he’s also an actor and producer, whose credits include ...

July 17, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Is the 25-Day Loan Closing a Myth?

Although some mortgage originators might brag – or even advertise – that they can close a loan in under 30 days, it’s not likely to happen, at least not in practice. According to interviews conducted by Inside Mortgage Trends over the past two weeks, a variety of factors can derail a closing – including many circumstances that an originator just cannot control. Such circumstances can include insufficient funds on the part of the borrower, scheduling mix-ups ...

July 17, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Earnings, Originations Up in 2Q15 for Big Banks

The nation’s megabanks reported modest to strong growth in residential production for the second quarter, a likely harbinger of what might be a stellar showing by some of the nation’s nonbanks, which have been steadily gaining market share the past few years. According to a tally from Inside Mortgage Trends based on earnings reports issued this week, Wells Fargo was not only the market leader in originations with $62.0 billion in the second quarter ... [Includes one data chart]

July 17, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Small Banks Quietly Building Share In the Residential Mortgage Industry

Big banks have attracted considerable attention as they have reduced their footprint in the mortgage market. Although nonbank lenders and servicers have taken up most of the slack, a new Inside Mortgage Trends analysis reveals that small banks have been taking a bigger role in the industry. Commercial banks and thrifts have been building their holdings of unsecuritized home loans at a time when the overall supply of mortgage debt has been ... [Includes one data chart]


During the first half of 2015 all residential lenders originated a better-than-expected $805 billion of home mortgages, according to Inside Mortgage Finance. What do you expect in the second half?

Just as good. We like what we’re seeing.
Better. Applications are strong.
Worse. We’re worried about rates, seasonality.
A lot worse. The fourth quarter could be a killer.

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