Mortgage Banking Profitability

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

May 26, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA LPOs School Lenders on Lending To Incapacitated Vet Borrowers

Loan processing for incompetent veterans presents significant challenges to VA lenders, requiring strict compliance with special guidance on top of the basic VA underwriting rules. One challenge is dealing with legal appointees who assist and represent veterans in legal transactions, such as applying for a mortgage loan. There are ways to determine whether a veteran is incompetent, said Mark Jamison, loan production officer (LPO) with the VA Cleveland Regional Center, during the VA Lender Conference in Kansas City, MO, last month. The Department of Veterans Affairs or a probate court can deem a veteran incompetent due to severe injury, medical conditions, mental disorders, and financial instability, he said. A mortgage lender could make a determination of incompetency if the initial purchase contract documents were signed by an attorney-in-fact, the veteran divulged the incompetency, or the ...


May 26, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FCA Action Against Lenders Slows As DOJ’s List of FHA Targets Shrinks

False Claims Act enforcement against FHA lenders appears to have slowed with no new cases being filed by the Department of Justice or referred by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general for nearly a year. Neither agency has gone after any lender for alleged False Claims Act violations since May of last year when the Department of Justice intervened in an FCA case brought by a whistleblower against Guild Mortgage, an FHA direct endorsement lender. The complaint alleged that San Diego-based Guild Mortgage knowingly approved loans that violated FHA rules while falsely certifying compliance with those rules. The alleged violations occurred between 2006 and 2011, resulting in “tens of millions of dollars” in losses to HUD. The case is pending in federal district court in Washington, DC. Indications are the FCA cases involving FHA lenders have ...


May 26, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Housing Finance Reform Should Include FHA Lending Reform

The Financial Services Roundtable called for changes to FHA’s legal liability standards to encourage banks to make more FHA loans. Increased risks of False Claims Act enforcement and concerns about multi-million dollar penalties even for the slightest underwriting errors have forced banks to restrict their FHA lending. The top 10 FHA lenders, once dominated by banks, are now nondepository institutions, which accounted for 83 percent of FHA forward originations in the first quarter of 2017. Wells Fargo, once the leader in FHA lending, has dropped to a woeful 20th place in the rankings. “Some federal officials have expressed concern about the capacity of the government to evaluate the qualifications of lenders that are not subject to regulation by federal agencies,” the FSR said. The group also noted the credit overlays many FHA lenders have added to the loans due to ...


May 26, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Production Drops in 1Q17 as Refinancing Train Loses Steam

VA originations saw a significant drop during the first three months of 2017 as refinancing continued to slow, according to an Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis of agency data. Lenders closed $42.9 billion of VA loans in the first quarter, down 28.1 percent from the previous quarter The numbers show purchase mortgages continued to drive VA originations. A slowdown in VA refinancing appears to be the key factor in the decline. Refis accounted for 27.7 percent of total VA production, down from the fourth quarter of 2016. A change in Ginnie Mae’s pooling rules aimed at discouraging churning has taken much of the steam out of the once-booming VA refi segment. The steep drop in volume ended an upward quarter-to-quarter trend in VA originations last year. Eight of the top 10 VA lenders saw huge quarter-over-quarter declines in their VA lending, with top-ranked Freedom Mortgage posting the largest ... [ Charts ]


May 19, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

MSR Holdings Seen as Helpful for Nonbanks

As interest rates increase, nonbanks’ holdings of mortgage servicing rights will help offset losses tied to lower originations, according to analysts at S&P Global Ratings. “We expect market trends affecting nonbank mortgage companies to change dramatically now that rising interest rates are driving MSR valuations higher,” the rating service said in a recent report. Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association separately forecast that the average interest rate ...


May 19, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Newfi Hopes New Brand Will Spur Production

Newfi Lending, an online residential mortgage lender, is looking forward to a big origination year with the consolidation of its product lines under the “Newfi Lending” brand. A multi-channel lender, the Emeryville, CA-based lender previously operated as Nexera Holdings under two national brands – Newfi for its consumer-direct retail business and Bluestream Lending for third-party originations. In conjunction with the change, Newfi’s wholesale-broker business will now be ...


May 19, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Nonbanks Report Dour 1Q17 Earnings

Publicly traded nonbank mortgage lenders and servicers reported weak earnings during the first quarter of 2017, according to an Inside Mortgage Trends summary. The nine nonbank lenders posted a combined profit of $116.69 million for the first three months of the year. That was down 79.4 percent from the fourth quarter, although it represented a huge improvement from the $509.68 million loss the group recorded in the first three months of 2016 ... [Includes one data chart]


May 19, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Legacy Buyback Issues Fade Further Into the Rearview Mirror in Early 2017

Mortgage originators and the government-sponsored enterprises in the first quarter of 2017 continued to distance themselves from the contentious sparring over repurchase demands related to loans sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac prior to the housing market collapse. An exclusive Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of GSE repurchase disclosures shows a spike upward in total repurchases during the first quarter, but the move was linked to ... [Includes two data charts]


May 12, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Clarifies QM Safe Harbor Rules For Streamlined Refinancings

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ interim final rule on qualified mortgages (QM) implements the Dodd-Frank provision requiring creditors to make a reasonable and good faith determination that the borrower has a reasonable ability to repay the loan. The VA interim final rule defines QM to mean any loan that the agency guarantees, insures or originates. However, certain limitations apply to VA’s Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans (IRRRLs) in the rule’s guidance for “safe harbor.” Under the safe harbor requirements for an IRRRL, the loan being refinanced must have been originated at least six months before the new loan’s closing, and six payments must have been made. In addition, the veteran should not have been more than 30 days past due during the six months preceding the new loan’s closing. The QM rule’s six-month seasoning requirement, however, inadvertently created an ...


May 12, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Explains Characteristics of an ‘Egregious Loan,’ Discusses Cases

What is an “egregious” VA mortgage loan? Panelists at last month’s VA Lending Conference in Kansas City, MO, helped shed light on such loans by describing them as flawed and in violation of VA requirements. “But there’s more,” said Greg Nelms, VA chief of loan policy. Unstable income and use of active-duty income when that income will be extinguished within one year could taint a VA loan and make it egregious, said Nelms. High debt-to-income ratio, residual income that is below VA requirements and failure to consider a spouse’s debts or credit in a community-property state also could have an adverse effect on a VA loan, he added. The panel presented several “egregious loan” scenarios involving reviews of several mortgages from 2016 in which lenders were required to sign indemnification agreements. The first example consisted of a VA home loan for $102,047, which closed in ...


May 12, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Nonbanks Dominate FHA Primary Market; Volume Slowed in 1Q17

Nonbank lenders far out-produced depository institutions in originating FHA mortgages during the first quarter of 2017. A new Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis reveals that nonbank lenders produced over 83 percent of FHA forward loans endorsed during the first quarter. With over 8,000 entities listed as originators and sponsors in FHA loan-level data, the overwhelming majority of them were independent mortgage banks, mortgage brokers and other nonbank lenders. The 14 largest FHA originators were all nonbanks, led by Quicken Loans, Freedom Mortgage and loanDepot. One sign of the overwhelming fragmentation in the FHA primary market is the fact that these three lenders accounted for just 11.3 percent of first-quarter endorsements. The largest depository originator of FHA loans was PrimeLending, an affiliate of PlainsCapital Bank. It ranked 15th in production with a ... [charts ]


May 11, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Treasury Department Benefits Big-Time from GSE Dividends, But Watt Is Wary of Risk of Future Draws

Federal Housing Finance Director Mel Watt this week expressed strong reluctance to allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to be forced to take another draw on their Treasury line of credit. “FHFA has explicit statutory obligations to ensure that each enterprise ‘operates in a safe and sound manner’ and fosters ‘liquid, efficient, competitive and resilient national housing finance markets,’” Watt testified in a hearing at the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Development Committee. “To ensure that we meet these obligations, we cannot risk...


May 11, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

PHH, Ocwen and Walter All Have the Same Plan: Sell MSR and Continue as Subservicer

PHH Mortgage, Walter Investment Management Corp. and Ocwen Financial these days are all working from the same survival playbook: sell their most valuable asset – mortgage servicing rights – and remain as the subservicer of record. The idea is simple. All three hope to raise cash by selling MSR assets, eliminate the need to hold large sums for servicing advances and – importantly – buy some time. There’s...


May 8, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Rep. Barr Re-Introduces Portfolio QM Measure. Will it Fly This Time?

Rep. Andy Barr, R-KY, last week re-introduced the Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Access Act (H.R. 2226), legislation that aims to expand access to mortgage credit by conferring qualified mortgage status upon loans originated by a bank and held in portfolio. The bill sponsor also hopes that it will discourage the practices that led to the 2008 financial crisis and the resulting taxpayer bailouts of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and too-big-to-fail financial institutions. The legislation had some bipartisan support when Barr introduced it in the previous Congress, passing the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 255-174. However, the measure never made it out of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. Supporters hope this time around will be ...


May 8, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

CHOICE Act Would Interfere With Fixing CFPB Mortgage Rules: CMC

As the House Financial Services Committee prepared to begin marking up the Financial CHOICE Act last week, the Consumer Mortgage Coalition warned lawmakers that the bill would actually interfere with fixing the problems with the CFPB’s mortgage rules, despite the improvements it would otherwise make in the regulatory landscape. “A major problem facing the mortgage industry today is the Rube Goldberg morass of CFPB regulations that are so poorly written that no one knows how to comply,” the CMC said in a letter to lawmakers prior to the hearing. “The mortgage markets will not heal until the CFPB mortgage regulations are fixed. Fixing the regulations requires revising them through the normal notice and comment rulemaking process.” The problem, however, is ...


May 8, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

House Committee Passes CHOICE Act, Prospects in Senate Iffy

The House Financial Services Committee last week spent three days marking up the Republican majority’s alternative to the Dodd-Frank Act. H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act, introduced late last month by committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, would make a number of changes to the mortgage regulatory landscape. One provision would provide a safe harbor against litigation for residential mortgages held on the lender’s balance sheet since the origination of the loan if the mortgage fails to comply with ability-to-repay requirements. The measure also would revise the definition of “points and fees” under the Truth in Lending Act to exclude fees paid for affiliated business arrangements. Other language in the bill would exempt smaller creditors from TILA’s escrow requirements. Another provision ...


May 5, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

LO Compensation Gap for Retail, Consumer Direct

There are sharp differences in compensation structures for loan originators who work out of retail branches and those in the consumer-direct business, according to Strategic Mortgage Finance Group. Stratmor, an advisory firm, recently released details from its most recent “compensation connection” survey, covering compensation in 2015. The results focused on traditional retail LOs and consumer-direct LOs who tend to focus on call-center/online originations. Retail LOs were found to ...


May 5, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

MSR Market Looking Stronger

The updraft in mortgage interest rates following the November election has bolstered the secondary market in mortgage servicing rights, and business could quicken even more if independent mortgage bankers feel profit pressure from declining margins, according to industry experts. There are more bidders in the market than last year, said David Bennett, a managing director at MountainView Capital Holdings, during a panel session at this week’s secondary market conference ...


May 5, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Banking Sector Sees Significant Drop in Mortgage Banking Income in 1Q17

Nearly all publicly held commercial banks and savings associations continued to generate a profit on their mortgage banking activities during the first quarter of 2017, but in most cases it was less than they earned in the past, according to an exclusive analysis and ranking by Inside Mortgage Trends. A group of 26 national banking organizations and regionals reported a combined $2.295 billion in mortgage banking income for the first quarter. Not all institutions ... [Includes one data chart]


April 28, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Federal Shutdown or Not, No Major Disruption Anticipated for FHA

As of press time, Congress passed a one-week stopgap spending measure to keep the government open through May 5, averting a looming government shutdown. The House passed H.J. Res. 99 by a vote of 373 to 30. The continuing resolution has been sent to President Trump. The continuing resolution provides lawmakers sufficient time to negotiate an omnibus spending bill. The previous spending bill was scheduled to expire at midnight, April 28, which would have resulted in a government shutdown similar to the one that paralyzed the federal government in 2013. A shutdown can cause grief for sellers and homebuyers and severely delay processing of mortgage loans if lenders cannot verify a borrower’s tax data or Social Security number. This time, however, the FHA and VA are prepared for such an eventuality, said industry observers. A 16-day government shutdown in October 2013 sent millions of ...


April 28, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Issues New Loss-Mitigation Option to Help Vets Retain Homes

The Department of Veterans Affairs has issued new guidelines and instructions for modifying VA-guaranteed mortgages in lieu of previous guidance regarding the agency’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). VA has a long-standing policy of encouraging servicers to work with borrowers to explore all reasonable options to help them keep their home or reduce losses through loss mitigation. The agency requires lenders to consider VA-guaranteed loans for a VA Affordable modification (VAAM) when traditional home-retention options are not feasible. A VAAM allows a new monthly, fixed-rate mortgage payment no greater than 31 percent of the borrower’s monthly gross income. It can cover principal, interest, property taxes, insurance and condominium or homeowner association fees The rate must not exceed the most recent Freddie Mac benchmark rate for ...


April 28, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Issues Guidance for Recording Fees, Charges on TRID-CD Form

The Department of Veterans Affairs has issued guidance regarding documentation of allowable fees and charges under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Truth in Lending Act-Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Integrated Disclosure Closing Disclosure, or TRID-CD form. Under the guidance, VA lenders must document all allowable fees and charges assessed against the borrower as well as any lender and seller credits on the TRID-CD. VA now requires documentation because it no longer accepts a separate, itemized list of credits and charges, as previously allowed with the HUD-1 form. In completing the closing-cost section of the TRID-CD, fees charged to the veteran must be listed in the “Borrower Paid” column. Lender credits should be listed in the “Paid by Others” column, the agency said. Closing costs that are paid for by either the seller or the lender must be placed in either the ...


April 28, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA/VA Default Rates Down In Seasonal Shift in Early 2017

Mortgage default rates for FHA and VA loans followed seasonal trends and shifted significantly lower in the first quarter of 2017, according to a new analysis and servicer ranking by Inside FHA/VA Lending. While both portfolios showed strong growth in the dollar volume of loans outstanding in Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities, there were also huge declines in the number of loans past due. Some $1.036 trillion of FHA forward mortgages were in Ginnie pools at the end of March, up 1.1 percent from the previous quarter. But delinquency rates for the less-severe categories of late payment were down sharply. The number of FHA loans 30-60 days past due, for example, declined by 28.4 percent, lowering the delinquency rate by 1.51 percentage points, leaving it just about where it was a year ago. The same thing happened in the VA sector. Total VA supply grew 3.2 percent to ... [Charts]


April 27, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Mortgage Execs at Public Firms Got Big Paychecks In 2016 That Didn’t Always Match a Lender’s Results

In general, 2016 was a banner year for loan production with some publicly traded nonbanks turning in their best results ever – and thus rewarding their top executives handsomely. According to an analysis of available proxy statements by Inside Mortgage Finance, Penny Mac Financial Servicers founder and Executive Chairman Stanford Kurland was the industry’s top earner at $9.12 million in 2016. His firm – the nation’s number-four ranked originator – had a good year: net income of $336 million, a 26.0 percent improvement from the year before. Back in 2015, Kurland took...[Includes one data table]


April 21, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Economics Drives Choice in Lender, Study Finds

What some people might call “hard-core economics” – closing costs and interest rates – along with a lender’s reputation for excellent customer service, play a decisive role in most consumers’ choice of a mortgage lender, according to a new survey from Ally Bank. “Four in five Americans (81 percent) who ever had a mortgage or plan to apply for one in the future said the total amount of closing costs did/would factor into their lender decision,” the bank said in announcing the results ...


April 21, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Buyers Interested in Mortgage Businesses

With 2017 shaping up to be a so-so year for originations, the list of potential buyers of other companies is beginning to grow. Usually, firms that are in the hunt to purchase other shops tend to keep it quiet. Over the past few months, however, several companies have admitted that they’re open to pulling out the checkbook. Included in that camp, at least for right now, are Flagstar Bancorp, Freedom Mortgage, and Impac Mortgage Holdings. Others that are said to be open to deals ...


April 14, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

GNMA Servicing Market Thawing? Stakeholders Hope as Market Stirs

When it comes to selling Ginnie Mae mortgage servicing rights the past two years, it’s been mostly a bear market, but all that may be changing soon. At least that is what sellers and their merger and acquisition advisors hope. Mark Garland, executive vice president of MountainView Financial Solutions, Denver, said that of late, “We have seen a few Ginnie trades go off at a level closer to full value.” Garland told Inside FHA/VA Lending that he expects this trend to continue with prices tightening over the summer “provided rates hold and [prepayment] speeds stay largely in line with expectations.” And if that happens, there could be an increase in the ability of FHA/VA lenders to securitize excess cash flows. But that’s getting a little ahead of the equation. Over the past 24 months, the Ginnie MSR market has been difficult for two reasons: the fear of lawsuits/sanctions tied to FHA lending, and fast ...


April 14, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

GNMA Officials Attribute Decline in VA Refis to Anti-Churning Policy

A steep drop in VA-backed securities issuance in the first quarter of 2017 suggests that Ginnie Mae’s efforts to curb serial refinancing of VA loans are working, according to agency officials. Speaking on a panel at the annual VA Lenders Conference in Kansas City, MO, this week, Ginnie executives said that a change in pooling requirements for streamlined refinance mortgages appears to have curbed a destructive appetite for refinancing new VA loans within six months of closing. The practice has caused faster prepayments in Ginnie mortgage-backed securities pools and smaller payouts to investors. VA refi volume fell 42.7 percent from the previous quarter (see chart on page 2), contributing significantly to the 32.2 percent decline in total VA loan securitization during the period. John Getchis, senior vice president at Ginnie Mae, said he does not think the churning trend will continue because the ...


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