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Volume 18 | Issue 34 | Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The Lede


Mortgage Applications Up in MBA Weekly Survey

Mortgage applications increased for the first time in five weeks as key interest rates held steady, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported this morning in its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending February 15.


Top National News

Fannie and Freddie Can Make Rental Housing Less Affordable, Critics Say

Wall Street Journal, Feb. 19, 2019--Konrad Putzier
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the dominant source for rental apartment mortgages. Critics argue that in a number of cases Fannie and Freddie's comparatively cheap loans intended to promote affordable rental housing have enriched landlords at the expense of tenants.

The Rise Of Online Mortgage Lending

Forbes, Feb. 19, 2019--Robert Farrington
Getting a mortgage is one of the most tedious financial activities out there. But technology is changing that, with several companies working to make getting a mortgage or refinancing your home a lot easier.

Four Lessons on Federal Crisis Respons from 10 Years of Foreclosure Counseling

Urban Institute, Feb. 19, 2019; Corianne Payton Scally, Camille H. Anoli, Patrick Spauster
The NFMC program was designed and implemented by NeighborWorks America, a Congressionally chartered nonprofit organization. Based on our analysis of the NFMC program and its implementation, we identified four lessons that national policymakers can use as guide posts when responding to the next national crisis.

Helping People Realize the Dream

Mortgage Media, Feb. 19, 2019
Kristy Fercho with Flagstar Bank, a former Fannie Mae SVP, talks about the various changes and challenges in the market, and how to meet them.

Mortgage Servicers to Take Center Stage in Shift to Uniform MBS

Bloomberg, Feb. 19, 2019--Christopher Maloney
Mortgage loan servicers will be thrust into the spotlight as the success of the so-called Uniform mortgage-backed securities set to launch on June 3 is highly dependent on the continued convergence of prepayment speeds seen in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securities.

The Eroding Barriers Between Forward and Reverse Mortgage Originators

Reverse Mortgage Daily, Feb. 19, 2019--Martin Olsen
As more reverse mortgage companies continue to expand their operations into the forward space in response to business changes and new realities, a shift appears to be taking place in what was once seen as conventional wisdom: the separation of forward and reverse mortgage business practices, in order for originators to remain specialized in one of the fields so that more dedicated service could be provided one way or the other.

White House is Making Hard Job of GSE Reform Even Harder

American Banker, Feb. 19, 2019--Victoria Finkle (free article)
It's understandable and even expected that an administration wouldn't be entirely forthcoming while it's developing a policy for overhauling something as large as the mortgage finance market, given the potential impact to so many facets of the economy.But that doesn't explain away the competing narratives of the last few weeks--narratives that actually seem to contradict each other.

Fed's Mester Says Another Rate Hike in 2019 is Possible

HousingWire, Feb. 19, 2019--Caroline Basile
The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester said she expects strong economy may warrant another interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve in 2019.

Residential Finance News

MISMO Seeks Public Comment on New Standards for Remote Online Notarizations

MISMO®, the mortgage industry's standards organization, announced new standards for remote online notarizations (RON) have been released for a 60-day public comment period through Monday, April 22.

Lower Interest Rates, Rising Consumer Confidence Boost Builder Sentiment

Builder confidence for newly built single-family homes rose in February by four points to 62, the National Association of Home Builders reported yesterday.

GSE Refi Volume Falls in 4Q; Finishes HARP with 3.5M Refis

The Federal Housing Finance Agency reported Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac completed 245,620 refinances in the fourth quarter, a slight decrease from 253,135 in the third quarter.

Commercial/Multifamily News

Single-Family Rent Prices Grew Faster in 2018

Rent prices in single-family rental properties grew faster in 2018 than in 2017, reported CoreLogic, Irvine, Calif.

Dealmaker: George Smith Partners Secures $46M for Multifamily

George Smith Partners, Los Angeles, secured $46 million in non-recourse bridge financing for a four-property Dallas-area apartment portfolio.

MBA News

MBA National Mortgage Servicing Conference & Expo in Orlando Feb. 25-28

The Mortgage Bankers Association's National Mortgage Servicing Conference & Expo 2019 (Servicing19) returns to Orlando Feb. 25-28.

MBA Education Foundational Concepts in Residential Mortgage Servicing in Orlando Feb. 25

MBA Education presents a workshop, MBA Education Foundational Concepts in Residential Mortgage Servicing, in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 25 in conjunction with the MBA National Mortgage Servicing Conference & Expo.

MBA Disaster Recovery Guide Now Available in Spanish

The Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals have developed a Spanish-language version of Disaster Recovery: A Resource for Homeowners, a consumer-facing informational guide.

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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