MBS Investors

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to MBS Investors.

July 21, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

Bipartisan Flood Bill Introduced in Senate. The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs will soon consider a bipartisan bill introduced this week that would keep the National Flood Insurance Program funded for six more years and create new risk mitigation procedures for communities to follow. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, R-ID, and ranking Democrat Sherrod Brown, OH, said the bill would serve as a template for consideration by the whole committee. The Senate bill does not include core provisions in the House version, including the development of a private flood insurance market to complement the NFIP. In addition, the bill does not call for cuts in the reimbursement rate for Write-Your-Own flood-insurance carriers that service NFIP policies. However, amendments are likely, according to Crapo and Brown. Meanwhile, the ...

July 21, 2017 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

PIMCO Calls for Non-Agency Reforms

Policymakers should make a number of changes to regulations to entice investors to buy new non-agency mortgage-backed securities, according to officials at Pacific Investment Management Company. PIMCO was a major investor in pre-crisis non-agency MBS. “Unlike the complexities of government-sponsored enterprise reform, a few minor, straightforward changes – some of which can be done through regulation, not legislation – can be made to bring private capital back to the market ...

July 21, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

After a Lull in Issuance, Strong Demand for New Single-Family Rental Security from Progress

Issuance of single-family rental securitizations has been lagging this year, but a new offering from Progress Residential suggests that demand for deals could be headed northward. In a somewhat uncommon move last week, Progress increased a planned issuance after presale reports on the deal were already published. “The transaction sponsor elected...

July 14, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Morningstar: Proposed REMIC Structure May Boost Liquidity, Lessen Counterparty Risk

The proposal to restructure the credit-risk transfer debt-note programs at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make them more attractive to real estate investment trusts likely won’t have a negative impact on the credit risk and quality of those deals, Morningstar said in a new report. The proposed changes to Fannie’s Connecticut Avenue Securities and Freddie’s Structured Agency Credit Risk programs would characterize them as real estate mortgage investment conduits. This would allow REITs and some overseas investors to participate more broadly in the programs. Currently, the structure of the government-sponsored enterprises’ popular CRT programs doesn’t meet...

July 14, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

MBS Trading Volume Increased in June, But Concerns Remain About Supply and What the Fed Might Do

The average daily trading volume of agency MBS reached $209.9 billion in June, the second highest reading of the year and a sign that liquidity is picking up, according to figures compiled by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. The increase in trading comes despite the fact that Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae issued a total of $317.7 billion of new MBS in the second quarter, a 6.1 percent decline from the first quarter. For the six-month period, 2017 holds the edge with volume up 3.5 percent. But it hasn’t been...

July 14, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Yellen Affirms Fed Balance Sheet Reduction to Start This Year, Analysts Try to Anticipate Market Impact

The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee is moving closer to beginning what is likely to be a long and drawn-out process to gradually and predictably unwind the U.S. central bank’s huge portfolio of agency MBS and debt – the sooner, the better, according to Fed chief Janet Yellen. “The FOMC intends to gradually reduce the Federal Reserve’s securities holdings by decreasing its reinvestment of the principal payments it receives from the securities held in the System Open Market Account,” she said this week in her semi-annual Humphrey-Hawkins testimony on monetary policy to members of Congress. “Specifically, such payments will be reinvested...

July 14, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Non-Agency MBS Trustees Expected to Follow Wells in Withholding Funds for Deals Subject to Clean-up Calls

Wells Fargo’s recent maneuver to hold back funds on vintage non-agency MBS subject to clean-up calls could have broader implications for the market, according to industry analysts. Other trustees appear likely to follow the lead set by Wells, which could limit clean-up calls by servicers. In June, Wells withheld $94.3 million in funds from investors in 20 non-agency MBS that were subject to clean-up calls by New Residential Investment. The deals in question are the subject of a lawsuit involving MBS investors alleging that Wells failed to perform its duties as trustee. Wells disputed the charges and withheld the funds to cover potential litigation costs. Analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch said...

July 7, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

Chicago HECM Lender Arraigned on Fraud Charges. Mark Steven Diamond, a mortgage loan originator with offices in Chicago and Calumet City, IL, was arraigned on fraud charges in connection with a $7 million reverse mortgage scheme that targeted elderly homeowners and FHA lenders. According to the Department of Justice, Diamond deceived lenders into making FHA-insured reverse mortgage loans to homeowners who did not apply for a loan or had been beguiled to do so by the smooth-talking suspect. Diamond allegedly pocketed title-company checks intended for the borrowers, with the help of an unindicted co-schemer. Cynthia Wallace, who posed as a representative of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, was indicted along with Diamond. Using at least three aliases, Wallace allegedly collected money from victims for home repairs, which she claimed Diamond would ...

July 7, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Ginnie MBS Issuance Rides Rising Home Sales in 2Q17

Ginnie Mae issuers were moderately busier in the second quarter of 2017 than during the first three months of the year, according to a new analysis and ranking by Inside FHA/VA Lending. Issuers produced $112.71 billion of single-family mortgage-backed securities during the second quarter, including MBS backed by FHA home-equity conversion mortgages. It was a 5.5 percent increase from the previous period and brought year-to-date issuance to $219.51 billion, down 0.7 percent from the first half of 2016. The quarterly uptick in total issuance may not sound like much, but contrasts sharply with production at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which dropped 13.1 percent from the first to the second quarter. Ginnie volume was up because it had a deeper vein of purchase-money mortgages than there was in the government-sponsored enterprise market. Purchase loans accounted for 63.4 percent of ... [Charts]

July 7, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Wells Fargo Withholds MBS Recovery Funds; HSBC In Settlement Talks; WI Court Favors Countrywide

Wells Fargo is defending last week’s decision to hold back more than $90 million from investors attempting to recoup losses from legacy single-family MBS. The bank said it withheld distribution of reserve amounts to the plaintiffs in the 2014 trustee lawsuit “when certain RMBS transactions were liquidated at another party’s direction.” A Bloomberg report said New Residential Investment Corp. exercised its cleanup buyback option to reduce its own administrative expenses. “Cleanup buyback” refers to early redemption of the remaining issue amount by the seller when the principal has been paid down to an insignificant amount. In a statement, Wells Fargo explained...

June 30, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Policymakers Fault Fed’s QE Efforts, Mull Over Best Ways to Shrink Its Huge Portfolio Holdings

The Federal Reserve took some pointed criticism on Capitol Hill this week over its handling of monetary policy since the end of the Great Recession, including its support of the housing and mortgage markets through its unprecedented quantitative easing programs. “I don’t think the added gross domestic product growth we’ve had over the last 90 months will be proven to have been worth ballooning the balance sheet from $900 billion to $4.5 trillion,” Rep. French Hill, R-AR, said during a hearing this week by the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade. He also said...

June 30, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

SFIG Pushes Court to Support Payment Priority For MBS and ABS, Even in Bankruptcy Cases

The Structured Finance Industry Group called for an appeals court to enforce industry-established payment priority provisions in a significant case involving Lehman Brothers’ collateralized-debt obligations and a bankruptcy filing. Lehman Brothers Special Financing Inc. v. Bank of America N.A. centers on a “flip clause” included in 44 CDOs issued by the failed investment bank. SFIG noted that a flip clause redirects or reprioritizes cash flow upon bankruptcy, and is often incorporated in securitizations that include swaps. “As is common in the market, in structuring these transactions, the parties bargained...

June 30, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Fitch Updates Residential MBS Criteria on Bondholder Communication, Standards for Reps and Warrants

Communication among investors in non-agency MBS looks to be increasingly important. Fitch Ratings has included an assessment of a deal’s bondholder communication platform in revised criteria for residential MBS while the Structured Finance Industry Group continues to work on recommendations for bondholder communication. “Fitch views the inclusion of a bondholder communication platform as a best practice for rep-and-warrant frameworks, particularly in transactions that rely on bondholder votes to influence rep-and-warrant review decisions,” the rating service said. Fitch said...

June 23, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Jumbo Securitization Declines, FHA Jumbo Production also Down

Wells Fargo fell a notch as PennyMac raced to the top to become the leading VA jumbo securitizer for the first quarter of 2017 – a period in which VA jumbo loan securitization took a sharp nose dive. The volume of VA jumbo loans securitized during the first three months plunged 36.8 percent, compared to the meager 2.0 percent decline seen in the fourth quarter. The drop reflected a 32.9 percent drop in jumbo mortgage production during the first quarter, along with similar large drops in virtually every product segment in the mortgage market, according to an analysis by Inside FHA/VA Lending affiliate Inside Mortgage Finance. The agency jumbo market was down 39.1 percent from the fourth quarter despite the bump up in high-cost loan limits to $636,150, an increase of $10,650 that became effective in January. All components of the agency jumbo market took big hits in the first quarter, including ... [ Charts ]

June 23, 2017 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

Fee Structure Key to Adoption of Deal Agent

One of the most significant variables industry participants are working to address in terms of introducing a deal agent into non-agency mortgage-backed securities is the fee structure. Issuers are trying to balance paying for the services provided by a deal agent without diverting too much cash flow from investors in non-agency MBS. The fee structure will also play a key role in how rating services treat MBS that have a deal agent, with issuers looking for favorable treatment ...

June 23, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Weaker Investor Protections Detected in Newer Nonprime RMBS Transactions vs. Prime Deals

Investors in nonprime MBS may be more vulnerable to fraudulent or defective mortgages compared to prime transactions because of deficiencies or inadequacies in the related representation-and-warranties frameworks, according to a new report from analysts at Moody’s Investors Service. “The collateral backing these transactions is riskier than the loans in post-crisis prime jumbo RMBS, which also generally use stronger frameworks,” the report said. For starters, “Transactions in the re-emerging non-prime RMBS sector are...

June 23, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Deal Agent Negotiations for Non-Agency MBS Drag on, Moody’s Offers Some Insight

The development of a deal agent for new non-agency MBS has spanned years, with industry participants working toward the best way to compensate the new transaction party, among other issues. A deal agent would have a fiduciary duty to investors, oversee enforcement of representations and warranties, and monitor various participants in a security. The new role is significant because some major investors say that after suffering major losses on MBS issued before the financial crisis, a deal agent is required for them to buy new securities. Clayton Holdings was...

June 22, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

New House Legislation Would Allow REITs With Captive Insurers to Stay in the FHLBank System

Reps. Randy Hultgren, R-IL, and Gwen Moore, D-WI, want to restore Federal Home Loan Bank membership for captive insurance lenders that joined the system prior to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s rulemaking that restricted membership of firms that would otherwise be ineligible. H.R. 289, the Housing Opportunity Mortgage Expansion (HOME) Act, would allow FHLBank members that were booted from the system to rejoin it, as well as the retention of those whose departure is pending, if they can demonstrate a commitment to residential mortgage activities. Most of the affected companies are real estate investment trusts. The sponsors explained...

June 16, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

U.S. Appeals Court Rejects Claims that Would Have Extended ECOA Liability to Loan Purchasers

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit rebuffed arguments that would have subjected mortgage lenders and other secondary-market participants to increased liability under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. In a published opinion that appeared in the Banking Law Journal, the Fifth Circuit court rejected plaintiffs’ argument that mortgage investors that promulgate discriminatory lending guidelines could be held liable as the original creditor. ECOA prohibits...

June 16, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

MBS Trading Volume Hits a New Low for the Year; Meanwhile the Fed Hikes Rates and Prepares to Trim Its Portfolio

The average daily trading volume in agency MBS fell to $185.1 billion in May, the lowest reading of the past 17 months, according to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. Year-to-date, the average is still ahead of last year’s pace but not by much: $204.2 billion compared to $201.9 billion for 2016. But these are interesting times for investors as both bonds and stocks continue to rally near new highs. Earlier this week, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury fell to 2.12 percent, the lowest reading since the November election. It’s...

June 16, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Treasury Seeks Significant Regulatory Changes to Spur Non-Agency MBS Market, Boost ABS Issuance

The Trump administration wants to pare back regulations that inhibit the non-agency MBS and ABS market and tilt current securitization economics that favor the government-sponsored enterprises over private issuers. “In order to revitalize a responsible [private-label securities] market, it is important to improve incentives for issuers through reasonable reductions in costs and regulatory burdens,” the Treasury Department said in a new report released this week. In particular, it aimed at adjusting relative economics for the government-sponsored enterprises and FHA/VA mortgage programs. On the regulatory side, Treasury recommends...

June 16, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Fed Raises Rates, Announces Plan to Cap Reinvestment Of Cash Spewing From Its Massive MBS Holdings

This week, the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee provided a bit more information on the process it plans to follow in shrinking the size of its massive balance sheet, once it decides the time is right to finally begin. “Provided that the economy evolves broadly as the committee anticipates, we currently expect to begin implementing a balance sheet normalization program this year,” Fed Chair Janet Yellen said in her post-meeting press conference. The hope is to initiate an incremental and largely predictable decline in the U.S. central bank’s securities holdings. The FOMC intends...

June 16, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Ginnie Moves Past Freddie in Outstanding 1-4 Family MBS in Early 2017, Many Investor Classes Up Holdings

Ginnie Mae hit a milestone in the MBS market during the first quarter of 2017, edging past Freddie Mac to become the second-largest supplier of single-family MBS in the world. A new Inside MBS & ABS analysis reveals $1.705 trillion of Ginnie 1-4 family MBS outstanding at the end of March, a 2.2 percent increase in just three months. Meanwhile, outstanding single-family Freddie MBS rose 0.7 percent to $1.703 trillion. Both Ginnie and Freddie accounted...[Includes two data tables]

June 9, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

USDA Securitization Fell in 1Q17, Top-Ranked Chase Drops to Fifth

Ginnie Mae securitization of single-family mortgage securities backed by USDA loans fell in the first quarter of 2017. One-time leader Chase Home Finance was in fifth place after a whopping 31.6 percent decline in USDA activity and an even larger 87.4 percent drop year over year. A total of $4.6 billion in USDA loans were securitized in Ginnie Mae pools during the first three months of 2017, down 9.5 percent from the previous quarter. On the other hand, year-over-year securitization of USDA home loans rose 17.6 percent. Top-ranked Freedom Mortgage and 7th-ranked Ditech Financial each reported a tenfold increase in USDA volume year over year. Freedom Mortgage led the market with $887.3 million despite a 20.4 percent decline from the prior quarter Second-ranked PennyMac closed the quarter with $661.6 million of securitized USDA loans, while Wells Fargo reported a 9.3 percent decrease to ... [Chart]

June 9, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Ginnie Adds More Punch to IOPP to Improve Comparability, Monitoring

Ginnie is adding more muscle to a performance-measurement tool to help improve mortgage-backed securities issuers’ ability to compare their performance with other issuers in terms of meeting agency requirements. Other enhancements to the Issuer Operation Performance Profile (IOPP) would increase scoring transparency and make performance reports clearer and easier to understand, the agency said. Introduced in 2015, the IOPP is essentially a performance scorecard to gauge effectiveness as a Ginnie issuer. Issuers are scored based on a pre-determined set of metrics for performance and for default. Each metric is weighted in the issuer’s overall performance score and – for single-family issuers only – default management score. If an issuer fails in one metric, it may be required to develop a remediation plan to improve performance. The number, type and weight of the metrics may be ...

June 9, 2017 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

Redwood Preps New Jumbo MBS

Redwood Trust is set to end a slight lull in its issuance of jumbo mortgage-backed securities with a new $349.46 million deal. The firm issued one jumbo MBS per month in the first three months of the year while planned Sequoia Mortgage Trust 2017-4 is set to close at the end of this month, according to presale reports by Kroll Bond Rating Agency and Moody’s Investors Service. At a recent investor conference, Marty Hughes, Redwood’s CEO, said...

June 9, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Trustees Accept Lehman’s $2.4 Billion Offer to Settle RMBS Dispute; Wells Fargo Sues Investment Advisors

Trustees for 244 residential MBS trusts have accepted a $2.4 billion settlement offer from Lehman Brothers to resolve repurchase claims related to pre-crisis RMBS transactions that went bad. The trustees filed a notice of acceptance and a motion seeking bankruptcy court approval of the settlement on May 22. A hearing on the motion will be heard by Judge Shelley Chapman of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on July 6, 2017. The trustees in the settlement include...

June 9, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

SFR Vacancy Rates Rise Slightly; Invitation Homes Reports a Loss, But Its Cash-Flow Remains Strong

The vacancy rate on homes that collateralize single-family rental securitizations rose ever so slightly to 4.3 percent in May, but high renewal rates on tenant leases were strong, according to figures compiled by Morningstar Research. The firm noted that the average retention rate rose for the fourth straight month and now stands at 79.8 percent “for the most recent data available.” Two SFR securitizations, including one from market leader Invitation Homes, paid off...

June 9, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Agency MBS Investors Hold Their Noses; Overseas Demand is Robust; Call Risk Rising

Product valuations are not the most appealing to agency MBS investors right now – not enough to keep them from buying, perhaps, but enough to dry up whatever enthusiasm they might have, according to a new structured finance report from analysts at Wells Fargo Securities. “The core theme in the financial markets right now seems to be ‘reluctant buying,’” the report said. Most of the spread products at this point are trading at multiyear tights. And the bloom may be off the rose when it comes to the so-called Trump trade. “Some of the optimism around fiscal policy post-election that drove risk-premiums tighter is...

June 9, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Mortgage REITs Positive on Opportunities to Invest in Agency MBS Despite Tightening Spreads, Analysts Say

Mortgage real estate investment trusts are expressing optimism about investment opportunities in agency MBS despite tighter spreads on credit assets, according to industry analysts at a recent mortgage finance conference in New York City. Mortgage REITs were positive on investment opportunities and believed that interest rate increases were likely to be moderate in the months ahead, said analysts with Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, which hosted the conference. Industry executives, however, noted...

June 9, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

With Nonbank Mortgage Stocks Treading Water, Will Corporate Bonds Emerge?

When it comes to price performance, it’s been an ugly couple of years for mortgage stocks, particularly for struggling lender/servicers such as Ocwen Financial, PHH Corp., and Walter Investment Management Corp. In a nutshell, it’s been impossible for many firms to go public or issue additional shares, though there have been exceptions, such as the MBS-investing real estate investment trusts and Impac Holdings. But now there’s talk that some larger nonbanks, and even some smaller players, might be able to issue corporate bonds. According to investment banking advisors, one trend that favors such a development is...


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