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Volume 2019 - Number 7

February 14, 2019

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Gov’t Market Rebounds in 4Q18, But PMIs Up in 2018

FHA and VA business saw a modest uptick in market share during the fourth quarter of 2018, but last year was all about the surge of the private mortgage insurance industry.

M&A Blues: Why Good Companies Aren’t Selling

The great mortgage M&A boom of 2019, so far, is turning out to be a bust.

FHFA Nominee Calabria to Carry Out Intent of Congress

In a remarkable political balancing act during his confirmation hearing Thursday morning, Mark Calabria, President Trumpís nominee to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency, told Senate Banking Committee members they need not worry about his history of controversial and inflammatory remarks on FHFA and the government-sponsored enterprises.

Is PE Firm Thoma Bravo Overpaying for Ellie Mae?

Private equity firm Thoma Bravo this week agreed to buy mortgage software giant Ellie Mae for roughly $3.7 billion in cash, a price some believe is too expensive based on the vendorís declining revenue base.

Appraisal Firm CoesterVMS Goes Out of Business

CoesterVMS, a nationwide appraisal management company, has folded its tent, the apparent victim of a slowing mortgage market and other woes. As the weekend approached, the front door of the Gaithersburg, MD-based company was locked, its website down, and calls to the vendor were put on hold almost immediately.

CA Court Certifies LOs’ Class Action Against Wells

A federal district court has certified a class-action lawsuit against Wells Fargo brought on behalf of loan officers for alleged clawback of commissions and overtime wages.

Ocwen Escalates Charges in Lawsuit Against FIS

Ocwen Loan Servicing on Wednesday filed an amended complaint in its lawsuit againstFidelity National Information Services. The complaint, filed in Californiaís Superior Court in Sacramento, dramatically escalates accusations of misconduct Ocwen first leveled against FIS in a 2017 lawsuit.

Earnings Decline for Fannie, Freddie in 4Q18

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reported lower earnings for the fourth quarter of 2018, the victims of a slowing mortgage market and, ironically, lower interest rates at yearend compared to Sept. 30, which resulted in hedging losses.

Ditech Files for Bankruptcy Once Again. A Sale Possible?

Fort Washington, PA-based Ditech Financial, the nationís 15th largest servicer of home mortgages, is headed into bankruptcy for the second time in a little over a year. A sale is a possibility, too.

Industry Split on Proposed Higher Appraisal Threshold

The industry is split over a federal regulatory proposal to waive full appraisals for a larger share of non-agency residential mortgages.

Grapevine: Freddie Getting Closer on CEO Pick; P-Mac

We continue to hear reports that Freddie Mac may have settled on a choice for a new CEO. Back in September, the GSE named David Brickman ó just promoted to the role of president from executive vice president/head of multifamily ó as a possible internal candidate to succeed retiring CEO Don Layton. Brickman is apparently very interested in the job, one associate told Inside Mortgage Finance. Layton, however, is still there and will be for a few more monthsÖ

Mortgage Market at a Glance, February 15, 2019

Weekly mortgage rates and application survey data.

Poll

Do mortgage lenders really need a new credit-scoring model or is the current FICO system adequate?

It’s fine. Stick with what works.

53%

Time for a change. Borrowers are different today.

35%

Undecided, still assessing the situation.

12%