Trends & Profitability

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to Trends & Profitability.

July 21, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Millennials Seeking to Buy Homes In Affordable Markets, Data Show

Affordability and job availability are driving millennials to seek homes in more affordable markets, particularly in the upper Midwest, according to Ellie Mae data for the month of May. Ellie Mae’s Millennial Tracker, which monitors millennial mortgage applications during specific times, found that the higher percentages of loans made to millennial borrowers are in Hutchinson and Austin, MN, and Wahpeton and Williston, ND. Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL, rounded out the top-five markets. Ellie Mae defines millennials as applicants born between 1980 and 1999. Data showed that 48 percent of millennial borrowers who closed loans in May were single. In Hutchinson, for example, the majority of borrowers were single men. “This suggests millennials may be embracing homeownership in these areas for reasons other than what we have historically seen, which was family formation,” explained ...


July 21, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

House Panel Earmarks $50 Million For Home Counseling Assistance

The House Appropriations Committee has recommended $50 million to fund the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s FY 2018 housing counseling assistance to homebuyers, homeowners and low and moderate-income renters. The allocation is $3 million more than the Trump administration had requested and $5 million below the amount appropriated for housing counseling in fiscal year 2017. In its budget report, the committee noted the continued improvement in the economy, which has resulted in fewer foreclosures. Foreclosure filings from 2016 were reported on 933,000 properties, representing a 10-year low and a 14 percent reduction from 2015, the report pointed out. “The foreclosure rate has stayed within a historically normal range for three years, even with the pipeline of legacy foreclosures resulting from the housing bubble,” it said. In addition, the bill retains language that ...


July 21, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Clarifies, Underscores Use of Tidewater Process in Appraisals

The Department of Veterans Affairs is ratcheting up enforcement of its so-called Tidewater process to prevent veterans from paying more than the appraised value of the property when using a VA loan. In recent guidance, the VA reaffirmed its 2003 Tidewater Appraisal Initiative to help reduce the number of cases where appraisers have been asked to reconsider their initial appraisal, which had come in below the sales price. The guidance emphasizes procedures for improving communication of new sales data to VA fee and staff appraisers for a reevaluation of the low initial appraisal. “These guidelines should help limit the number of cases that reach the reconsideration-of-value phase and also provide a more timely response to those cases that are submitted for reconsideration,” the VA explained. The Tidewater procedure provides a designated “point of contact” (POC) the opportunity to ...


July 21, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

RHS Spells out Review Procedures For Approved Lenders, Servicers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Service has clarified procedures for reevaluating approved lenders’ and servicers’ eligibility under the RHS Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program. The guidance also provides procedures for updating lender information. The RHS intends to review and document lender eligibility in accordance with regulation and program requirements to protect government assets and minimize taxpayer losses. Office of Management and Budget regulations require federal agencies to reevaluate and record lender and servicer eligibility every two years. “For the [USDA single family loan guarantee program], it requires making sure that lenders and servicers participating in federal credit programs meet all applicable financial and program requirements,” wrote Richard Davis, acting RHS administrator. To meet the requirements, lenders must ...


July 21, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

MRB Suspends Lender’s Authority To Originate, Service FHA Loans

The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s lender disciplinary arm, the Mortgagee Review Board, has suspended a Pennsylvania FHA lender from originating or underwriting any new agency-insured loans. In addition, HUD’s enforcement center suspended owner John Seckel from doing business with the federal government. According to HUD, Seckle Capital of Newton, PA, and its owner submitted statements and certifications purporting to show the firm was properly audited by independent certified public accountants, when, in fact, it was not. The MRB said Seckel and his firm engaged in a “years-long pattern” of deceit and falsehoods. The action is the result of HUD’s ongoing effort to hold the mortgage industry accountable for the loans it originates, underwrites or services. According to HUD’s Neighborhood Watch website, Seckel Capital has a compare ratio of 164 percent. Of the 557 loans the ...


July 21, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

House Appropriators Pass HUD Funding Bill, Reject Proposed Fee

The House Appropriations Committee this week approved a FY 2018 spending bill for the Department of Housing and Urban Development with a $135 million allocation for information technology upgrades in lieu of a proposed lender fee. The set-aside also covers quality control and risk management improvements as well as other administrative costs. The recommended funding is $5 million more than the FY 2017 enacted level for administrative contract expenses and $25 million below the budget request. Approved by a vote of 31 to 20, the bill provides HUD with $38.3 billion in discretionary spending for FY 2018, down $487 million from the current level. The House bill authorizes $400 billion for loan guarantees under the FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, including the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program, and $500 billion for Ginnie Mae. Ginnie will also receive $25.4 million for agency staffing, which is ...


July 21, 2017 - IMFnews

What We’re Hearing: A Good Quarter for Angel Oak, MBS Plans for Citadel / Sprout Sprouting? / Freddie About to Make Splash in SFR Market? / Trump, the Russians (Soviets) and a Housing Solution? / Not-Happy Birthday: Dodd-Frank Turns Seven

A housing crisis in America? Maybe the Russians can help...


July 21, 2017 - IMFnews

Solid Gains for Non-Mortgage ABS in 2Q17 – Thanks, in Part, to Pizza

A lot of the ABS oomph came from the $2.08 billion whole-business securitization by Domino’s Pizza...


July 21, 2017 - IMFnews

New Legal Settlement Will Prove Costly to Ocwen

However, the legal settlement likely will ding sector quarter earnings by $34 millon to $36 million…


July 20, 2017 - IMFnews

An Early Look at 2Q17 Production: A Mixed Bag at the Mega Banks; Nonbanks like UWM are Bullish

“Last year we did about $23 billion in originations and this year I expect us to hit between $27 billion and $30 billion,” said UWM CEO Mat Ishbia.


July 20, 2017 - IMFnews

Ginnie Mae Continues to Lead the Pack in Agency Servicing Growth

Outstanding MBS servicing at Fannie actually declined slightly in the second quarter…


July 20, 2017 - IMFnews

A Tale of Two MSR Investors: Seneca’s End Draws Near, Pingora Slated for Sale Yet Again

The Seneca portfolio is so clean that it has attracted the interest of Chase, which hasn’t bought a bulk MSR package in years…


July 19, 2017 - IMFnews

Mortgage Applications Heat Up for the Week

Applications are heading northward again...


July 19, 2017 - IMFnews

Utah-Based Nonbank Buys Industry Vet’s First Mortgage of Oklahoma

A press statement on the sale included no production or servicing information for either company…


July 19, 2017 - IMFnews

2Q17 Results: A 10 Percent Gain in Originations for U.S. Bancorp

The bank’s servicing portfolio remained just about flat at June 30, coming in at $232.4 billion...


July 19, 2017 - IMFnews

Bank Mortgage Repurchases Trend Lower

Bank of America once again reported the biggest volume of residential loan repurchases: $421 million…


July 18, 2017 - IMFnews

Short Takes: EverBank CEO Now the Head of LenderLive / Strong Volumes at Skyline / Refi Shops Hurting / Walter Files Layoff Notice on Irving Office / loanDepot Snatches Top LO from Guaranteed Rate

Walter Investment filed a WARN notice with the Texas Workforce Commission, saying it will close its Irving, TX, office and cut 437 workers...


July 18, 2017 - IMFnews

Walter’s Warehouse Lenders Show Patience – but for How Long?

In late May, Walter disclosed in an SEC filing that some of its previously issued financial statements could not be relied upon because of what it called an “accounting error.”


July 18, 2017 - IMFnews

Residential Production at BofA Rises 16 Percent; MSR Balances Continue to Fall

Compared to the same period a year ago, servicing balances have fallen by 19.5 percent.


July 17, 2017 - IMFnews

Short Takes: LOs, You’ve Been Put on Notice / Citigroup’s MSR Holdings: Down 68 Percent / GOS Outlook / Two Harbors Prices Preferred Shares / Castle & Cooke Hires Compliance Manager

Mortgage gain-on-sale margins likely will be flat...


July 17, 2017 - IMFnews

MBS Trading Volume Increased in June, but…

It hasn’t been pretty the last couple of weeks for MBS values…


July 17, 2017 - IMFnews

Retail Channel Losing Steam in 2Q17 Agency Business; Brokers Rising

Agency mortgages produced by mortgage brokers actually rose 4.4 percent in the second quarter, even as the overall market was falling 6.1 percent.


July 17, 2017 - IMFnews

Walter Now in Danger of Getting Kicked off the NYSE

Walter, the parent of Ditech Financial, said it expects to “acknowledge receipt” of the compliance violation and “notify the NYSE of its intention to seek to cure the deficiency…”


July 14, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

California Sees Shift in Purchase-Mortgage MI

California remains the biggest purchase-mortgage market for private mortgage insurers, and it looks to be shifting away from FHA, according to a new Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of agency mortgage-backed securities data. In the second quarter of 2017, private MIs wrote coverage for $5.20 billion of California purchase mortgages – or 36.0 percent of insured loans in the state. A year ago, the private MI share was 33.1 percent. Over that period ... [Includes one data chart]


July 14, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Underwater Borrowers in Decline, Equity Rising

New research from Black Knight Financial Services finds that the underwater homeowner population has fallen to 1.8 million borrowers, dipping below 2.0 million for the first time since 2006. Researchers also expect “tappable equity” to hit a record high this summer, according to their new report on data from the first four months of 2017. “The steady upward trajectory of home prices continues to improve the equity positions of many homeowners,” said Ben Graboske, executive vice president ...


July 14, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Bank Mortgage Repurchases Trend Lower

Commercial banks and thrifts reported a decline in the volume of home mortgages they repurchased in the first quarter of 2017, according to an Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of call-report data. The industry repurchased, or provided other indemnification, related to $801.3 million of home mortgages during the first three months of the year. That was down 1.5 percent from the previous period. First-quarter repurchases were actually up 4.9 percent from ... [Includes one data chart]


July 14, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Fed Study: Refi Ads Work, Could be Improved

Direct-mail advertising campaigns touting refinances help prompt borrowers to refi, according to a study by economists at the Federal Reserve. They added that policymakers should consider making it easier for lenders to target borrowers for refis. Seran Grundl and You Suk Kim, economists at the Fed, authored a recent working paper that examined how borrowers react to receiving ads in the mail for refinances. They said the effect of advertising on consumer mistakes and ...


July 14, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Consumers’ Average Credit Score Hits Record High

The national average credit score tracked by Fair Isaac (FICO) recently reached a record high in April: 700. And the share of consumers seeking new credit is actually declining, according to an analysis by FICO. Ethan Dornhelm, a senior principal scientist in the analytic development group at FICO, noted that the average FICO score as of April was 10 points higher than the reading in October 2006, before the financial crisis. Average scores fell to 686 in October 2009 and have ...


July 14, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Mortgage Firms Looking for Tech Workers

Mortgage firms of all types continued to add to their payrolls late this spring, with many firms reporting they’re searching for technology workers. Overall, nonbank lender/servicers added 1,400 full-time positions in May, bringing total sector employment to 242,900 positions, the best reading since December 2007, according to figures compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Separately, loan brokerage companies also added 1,400 jobs during the month, bringing their employment ...


July 14, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Retail Losing Steam in 2017 Agency Mortgage Business, Brokers Rising

With refinance activity tapering off, the retail production channel lost some of its edge during the second quarter of 2017, according to a new Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of agency mortgage-backed securities. Retail production accounted for 50.6 percent of the $290.63 billion of single-family mortgages securitized by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae in the second quarter. Including modified loans and those with no channel identification ... [Includes one data chart]


July 14, 2017 - IMFnews

Other MBS Trustees May Follow Wells Fargo’s Lead on Withholding Funds

Analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch said the action by Wells was “the most talked about topic” among market participants recently.


July 13, 2017 - IMFnews

Short Takes: A Big Earnings Boost for Fannie and Freddie? / The Greenwich-Ameriquest Connection / IMA Selling GSE ‘Flow’ Package / Progress Ups its SFR MBS Deal / PHH Hires LenderLive Executive

The $5.5 billion (to be) paid by RBS should boost GSE earnings big time...


July 12, 2017 - IMFnews

Short Takes: Apps Decline / Wells Prevails in Cincinnati Lawsuit / Delinquency Trends / New Single-Family Rental Security

Mortgage applications last week were down 7.4 percent compared with the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association...


July 12, 2017 - IMFnews

Prime Non-Agency MBS Issuance Tumbles a Bit in 2Q17; JPM Leads the Market

Some 15.2 percent of the mortgages in Chase’s second-quarter MBS were eligible for sale to the government-sponsored enterprises.


July 11, 2017 - IMFnews

CFPB Issues Final Rule to Ban Mandatory Arbitration in Consumer Financial Contracts

However, Congress has already prohibited arbitration agreements in the largest market the agency oversees: residential mortgages.


July 11, 2017 - IMFnews

Mortgage REIT Annaly Agrees to Sell MSR Unit Pingora to Bayview. No Servicing Rights Change Hands

In the SEC filing, Annaly reveals that it owns servicing assets through an “ongoing joint venture with a leading sovereign wealth fund.” The SWF was not identified…


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

FHA Provides Additional Guidance For Using New Loan Review System

The latest issue of FHA’s Lender Insight provides additional information to lenders regarding the new Loan Review System that was launched on May 15, 2017. FHA urged lenders to keep their contact information current in FHA Connection and in the Lender Electronic Appraisal Portal so that they receive automated system notifications on time. Also, lenders should review current FHAC user access for appropriate roles, the agency added. Lenders’ in-house FHAC application coordinators are authorized to grant access to, and assign roles within, the LRS. Having the correct roles should enable users to access the system from the FHAC menu, the FHA said. In addition, the lender must take a photo of any error messages that might appear on screen before contacting the FHA Resource Center, the agency advised. Be prepared to provide the date and time of the attempted login, user ID, lender user ID and the ...


July 7, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VRM Wins 10-Year Contract to Oversee REOs, Service VA Loans

The Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded a 10-year contract to VRM Mortgage Services to manage VA’s real estate-owned assets and service its loan portfolio. The contract requires VRM, a 10-year-old California-based real estate services contractor, to manage, market and sell VA REO properties, and provide other real estate services as well. The new contract was negotiated from a previous five-year contract that was awarded to VRM when VA consolidated both REO management and portfolio servicing into a single contract.VA has often sold conveyed properties with seller loan financing, known as vendee loans, to help keep distressed vet homeowners in their homes. Vendee lending is an arrangement whereby a buyer uses VA financing to purchase a property in the agency’s REO inventory. “Once a loan is sold under the vendee financing program, we would monitor that loan as well as ...


July 7, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

DOJ, HUD Expand FCA Scrutiny to FHA Servicing, Reverse Mortgages

Mortgage compliance experts are cautioning FHA servicers to tread carefully around loss mitigation, annual certifications and reverse mortgages, which could be a potential minefield for False Claims Act lawsuits. While FHA lenders’ exposure to FCA risk remains, the Department of Justice and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have increased their scrutiny of FHA servicing practices for potential violations, according to Phil Schulman and Kristie Kully, both partners in Mayer Brown’s Washington office. In a recent podcast, Schulman warned of increasing DOJ and HUD scrutiny of FHA servicing practices in the last 18 months, a worrisome shift from the origination side, which has seen an estimated $5 billion in settlements and penalties since 2011 for violations of the FCA and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act. Since 2008, mortgagees participating in ...


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 - IMFnews

After a Significant Lull, Credit Suisse Returns as a Player in Non-Agency MBS

Quiet no longer in non-agency MBS: Credit Suisse...


July 7, 2017 - IMFnews

Employment Reading: With Purchase-Money Lending on the Rise, Mortgage Hiring Increases

According to interviews conducted by Inside Mortgage Finance, several large nonbanks continue to hire, including Amerihome, Quicken Loans, and United Wholesale Mortgage, among others.


July 3, 2017 - IMFnews

Short Takes: Home Point Has Expansion Plans / Private Deals / The Biggest Impediment to Owning a Home … / Advisors Named in Freedom-NYCB Deal

We haven’t see a whole lot of servicing auction notices the past two weeks...


June 30, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Bank Mortgage Banking Activity Slowed in 1Q17

Mortgage-banking activity slowed significantly at commercial banks and savings institutions in the first quarter, according to a new Inside Mortgage Trends analysis. Banks reported a total of $71.99 billion in retail 1-4 family originations in their mortgage-banking operations during the first three months of 2017, down 40.1 percent from the fourth quarter of last year. Loan sales volume also fell off sharply, dropping 29.1 percent to $163.75 billion during ... [Includes one data chart]


July 3, 2017 - IMFnews

Just 100 Digital Mortgages Close Per Month. What’s Up with That? loanDepot Sees Gains Ahead Though

The slow adoption rate suggests the problem is more a management and personnel issue than a technological challenge…


June 30, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

CoreLogic: Escrow Accounts Trending Up

Mortgage escrow accounts are getting more popular among lenders and borrowers on both state and national levels, according to CoreLogic, a provider of financial analytics and business intelligence. The analysis confirms a trend observed over the past several years to move borrowers to mortgage escrow accounts, said CoreLogic Principal Dominique Lalisse. In a blog, Lalisse noted that nearly 80 percent of borrowers have established escrow accounts from which ...


June 30, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

loanDepot Looking to Drive More Digital Closings

loanDepot would like to see more digital closings, according to Dominick Marchetti, the firm’s chief technology officer. The loanDepot official said there has been very little use of e-closings since he first witnessed one over a decade ago in 2002. “It’s fairly disappointing, actually,” Marchetti said, adding that fewer than 100 digital mortgages are closed per month. Only 1,600 of the nation’s 3,800 counties are equipped to handle digital closings, he added. The slow adoption rate ...


June 30, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Nationstar Moves Offshore Operations to the U.S.

Nationstar Mortgage has moved its offshore call centers back to the U.S. to improve service to customers, particularly those who prefer to deal with domestic company representatives. The Dallas-based nonbank described the move as part of its two-year plan to become more customer-centric and provide more personalized service to its more than 3 million customers. The shift starts with rebranding, which appears designed to create the impression that the customer is dealing with ...


July 3, 2017 - IMFnews

When it Comes to Mortgage-Tech ‘Disruptors,’ Failing is Part of the Innovation Process. Right?

As one veteran mortgage consultant put it: “There are no Amazons in this industry,” a reference to the online giant…


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