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Volume 17 | Issue 88 | Monday, May 07, 2018

The Lede


MBA Advocacy Update

The House and Senate were in recess and return this week. And, although the Federal Reserve held interest rates steady at its May meeting this past Wednesday, the Fed's Federal Open Market Committee did acknowledge inflationary pressure, which signals future interest rate hikes are coming.


Top National News

U.S. Job Growth Picks Up; Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.9 Percent

Reuters, May 4, 2018--Lucia Mutikani
U.S. job growth increased less than expected in April and the unemployment rate dropped to near a 17-1/2-year low of 3.9 percent as some out-of-work Americans left the labor force.

Drop in Nonbank Mortgage Employment Erases Earlier Gains

National Mortgage News, May 4, 2018--Bonnie Sinnock (subscription)
Nondepository origination firms employed 337,200 workers in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's down from 339,500 jobs from February, revised BLS estimates show. In March 2017, there were 331,500 full-time workers in the nonbank mortgage industry.

Robert Klein, Founder and Chairman of Safeguard Properties, Dies at 65

Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 4, 2018--Michelle Jarboe
Klein started Safeguard in 1990 and was its chief executive until 2010, when he handed the reins to Alan Jaffa, his son-in-law. The company works for banks, securing and maintaining homes that are in the foreclosure process or that have been taken back by lenders.

Wells Fargo Agrees to Pay $480 Million to Shareholders to Settle Fake Accounts Suit

HousingWire, May 4, 2018--Ben Lane
The bank announced Friday afternoon that it reached a new settlement over its sales practices and will pay $480 million to a group of shareholders who accused the bank of making "certain misstatements and omissions" in the company's disclosures about its sales practices.

Fidelity National's Earnings Rise as Title Orders Increase

National Mortgage News, May 4, 2018--Brad Finkelstein (subscription)
An increase in title orders opened helped Fidelity National Financial improve its first-quarter net income by 59% over the same period last year.

Mortgage Lenders are Making it Easier for You to Buy a House. But Are They Repeating Last Decade's Mistakes?

Philadephia Inquirer, May 4, 2018--Caitlin McCabe
Dana Wade, the acting Federal Housing Administration commissioner, minced few words in testimony last month before a U.S. House of Representatives committee. The FHA, the federal housing agency that insures mortgages made to first-time and lower-income buyers, has seen "certain trends and indicators of potential defaults," Wade said.

Mortgage Compliance is About More than Keeping Regulators Happy

National Mortgage News, May 4, 2018--Brian Fitzpatrick (subscription)
The author, CEO of LoanLogics, says lenders just don't have the luxury of going back in time to fix bad loans after they've already closed. Nor can they simply hope that their loan origination systems or staff caught every problem. Today's loans must be done right the first time. The game has changed, and lenders it need to play differently before it's too late.

Banks are Working to Woo New Doctors into Home Mortgages

CBNC, May 5, 2018--Helen Zhao
Mortgages tailored to doctors have grown more popular in the last few years, according to the lenders who offer them. Bank of America said it has seen the dollar volume of physician mortgages it issued between 2008 and 2017 increase ninefold because of greater awareness from consumers.

New York's Storied Plaza Hotel Is Set to Sell for $600 Million

Bloomberg, May 4, 2018--Gillian Tan
New York's iconic Plaza Hotel is about to change hands. Its buyers are Shahal Khan, founder of Dubai-based family office White City Ventures, and Kamran Hakim, of New York landlord Hakim Organization. They agreed to pay $600 million for the hotel, at the southeast corner of Central Park, in a deal that is set to be completed on June 25.

Weekly Mortgage Biz Rises, ARM Share Balloons

Mortgage Daily, May 4, 2018
A barometer of prospective mortgage production, the U.S. Mortgage Market Index from Mortgage Daily, climbed more than a 10th during the seven-day period that finished on May 4 from one week earlier.

The More Bathrooms, the Better

UExpress, May 4, 2018--Lew Sichelman
It's a good bet that your next home will have at least two bathrooms, and perhaps more. Of all the new houses built in 2016, only a scant 3 percent had 1-1/2 baths or fewer, according to the latest figures from the Census Bureau. Even the number of new places with 2-1/2 baths or fewer fell in 2016.

Residential Finance News

MBA Chart of the Week: Percent of IMBs with Pre-Tax Net Income

In April, MBA Research released its Annual Performance Report containing 2017 data. Including all business lines, 80 percent of the 253 independent mortgage bankers in the study posted pre-tax net financial profits in 2017, down from 94 percent in 2016.

MBA Welcomes 36 New Members in February, March

The Mortgage Bankers Association welcomed 36 new regular members to its ranks, which currently numbers more than 2,300 member companies.

The Week Ahead

The Mortgage Bankers Association's Legal Issues and Regulatory Compliance Conference is underway in Los Angeles, running through Wednesday, May 2.

Commercial/Multifamily News

Retail Sector Weakens As Brick-and-Mortar Fundamentals Slip

The retail sector's long and slow recovery, already well behind other commercial real estate sectors, is definitively sputtering to a halt, reported Ten-X, Irvine, Calif.

Dealmaker: Continental Partners Secures $21M for Office, Retail

Continental Partners, Los Angeles, secured $9.2 million for a Class A office and retail property in Orange County submarket Tustin, Calif.

MBA News

MBA National Secondary Market Conference & Expo May 20-23

The Mortgage Bankers Association' National Secondary Market Conference & Expo returns to the Marriott Marquis in New York May 20-23.

MBA Mortgage Action Alliance Action Week May 14-18

MAA Action Week is an annual week-long event dedicated to helping real estate finance professionals learn how to become more engaged in political advocacy that supports our industry.

MBA Education Checklist for Effective Compliance Management Systems Webinar May 15

MBA Education presents a new webinar, A Checklist for Effective Compliance Management Systems, on Tuesday, May 15 from 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET.

About MBA Newslink

President and CEO: Robert Broeksmit, CMB

Publisher: Marcia Davies, Chief Operating Officer

Vice President of Public Affairs: John Mechem

Editor: Mike Sorohan 202/557-2855 

Editorial Director: Michael Tucker 202/557-2851 

Senior Editorial/Advertising Specialist: Lesley Hall 202/557-2856

Advertising Opportunities: Bill Farmakis 203/834-8832

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