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Volume 8 | Issue 9 | Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Lede


FHA Expands Foreclosure Relief for 2017 Disasters

The Federal Housing Administration announced expanded mortgage relief to FHA-insured homeowners who live or work in areas impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria as well as California wildfires and subsequent flooding and mudslides.


News & Trends

MBA Chart of the Week: Homeowners' Equity and Home Equity Loans

Home equity has surpassed the previous peak of $13.4 trillion from first quarter 2006 during the past year, recovering from the great price correction that more than halved home equity positions.

January Composite Default Rates Up

Composite default rates, driven largely by a spike in bank card defaults but also in first mortgage defaults, increased in January, reported S&P Down Jones and Experian, New York.

CMBS Supply-Demand Fundamentals Stable; Delinquency Rate Declines

Commercial property market supply and demand fundamentals remained relatively stable in the third quarter, reported Moody's Investors Service, New York.

Black Knight: January Delinquencies Down Sharply

Black Knight, Jacksonville, Fla., said mortgage delinquencies fell sharply in January, although they remain higher than a year ago.

MBA News

MBA Legal Issues/Regulatory Compliance Conference in L.A. Apr. 29-May 2

The Mortgage Bankers Association's annual Legal Issues and Regulatory Compliance Conference takes place Apr. 29-May 2 at the J.W. Marriott L.A. Live in Los Angeles.

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.

MISMO HMDA Implementation and Reporting Toolkit Overview Webinar Mar. 1

MISMO hosts a new webinar, HMDA Implementation and Reporting Toolkit Overview, on Thursday, Mar. 1 from noon-1:30 p.m. ET.

MBA Education Advanced Servicing Workshop in Phoenix Apr. 4-5

MBA Education presents its Advance Servicing Workshop in Phoenix Apr. 4-5.

Top National News

Supreme Court Rejects Hedge Funds on Fannie, Freddie Suits

Bloomberg, Feb. 20, 2018--Greg Stohr, Joe Light
The U.S. Supreme Court dealt hedge funds and other big investors a blow Tuesday by refusing to revive core parts of lawsuits that challenged the federal government's capture of billions of dollars in profits generated by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

House, Senate Exploring How to Expand Reg Relief Bill: Top GOP Leader

National Mortgage News, Feb. 26, 2018--Ian McKendry (subscription)
"Lot of conversations happening between House members and Senate members on expanding the package" before the Senate takes it up, Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., told reporters.

Flagstar Bank to Acquire Santandar Bank's Mortgage Warehouse Loan Portfolio

HousingWire, Feb. 20, 2018--Caroline Basile
As part of the transaction, Flagstar will bring on Santander's existing relationship managers, adding the employees to its warehouse business. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Lawmakers to Equifax: Extend Free Credit Protection Services

Wall Street Journal, Feb. 20, 2018--AnnaMaria Andriotis (subscription)
Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform sent a letter to Equifax on Tuesday asking the company to extend its offer of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services to at least three years for breach victims.

Alternative Valuations Could Hurt RMBS Quality

Mortgage Daily, Feb. 20, 2018
In an effort to cut operational costs, increase efficiencies and address the declining number of real estate appraisers, home lenders are expected to use more appraisal alternatives.

CFPB Seeks Input on How Best to Engage the Public

National Mortgage News, Feb. 21, 2018--Kate Berry (subscription)
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking comment on how to engage the public in field hearings and town hall meetings as part of a broad review of all of the bureau's processes under acting Director Mick Mulvaney.

CFPB Wants Firms to Sound Off, But Openness Carries Hidden Risks

National Mortgage News, Feb. 22, 2018--Kate Berry (subscription)
Companies that have been investigated for wrongdoing by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are giving acting Director Mick Mulvaney an earful about how he should roll back enforcement practices. The big question is: Are they seizing on a golden opportunity to reshape the regulatory landscape, or are they shooting themselves in the foot?

Gloves Off in CFPB Tug of War Between Mulvaney, Warren

American Banker, Feb. 23, 2018--Kate Berry (subscription)
The war of words between acting Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Mick Mulvaney and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., the agency's architect, is escalating.

IRS Clarifies Home Equity Interest Deductibility

Mortgage Daily, Feb. 21, 2018
The Internal Revenue Service issued a clarification about the deductibility of interest that is paid on home-equity and junior-lien products.

More First-Time Buyers Using PMI as 3% Down Mortgages Make Gains

National Mortgage News, Feb. 22, 2018--Elina Tarkazikis (subscription)
PMI carriers insured 157,000 loans for first-time homebuyers at the end of 2017, the best fourth quarter since 1994, due largely to more lenders and borrowers taking advantage of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's 97% loan-to-value mortgage programs.

Many Lenders are Loosening Requirements for Prospective Home Buyers

Washington Post, Feb. 22, 2018--Michele Lerner
Pushback against overly tight credit after the housing crisis, a shrunken proportion of first-time buyers and worry about affordability as home values rose led to some tweaks to guidelines that could ease financing pressures for home buyers this year.

Mortgage Insurers Continue Taking Market Share from FHA

National Mortgage News, Feb. 22, 2018--Brad Finkelstein (subscription)
Total insurance-in-force for mortgage insurers--which included the three companies no longer actively underwriting--grew 10.6% last year over 2016, according to a Keefe, Bruyette & Woods report. FHA grew by 4.7% year-over-year.

Mortgage Refinance Share Jumps 5% Despite Rising Interest Rates

HousingWire, Feb. 23, 2018--Kelsey Ramirez
The refinance share of mortgage activity increased a full 5% from December to January, rising to 45% of all closed loans, according to the latest Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae.

Mortgage Payments Get Back on Track After Harvey and Irma

National Mortgage News, Feb. 23, 2018--Bonnie Sinnock (subscription)
Hurricane-related delinquencies are subsiding somewhat, and pre-storm foreclosures that were put on hold are resuming, said Black Knight.

The Mortgage Market Is Moving Into the Shadows

Bloomberg, Feb. 23, 2018
The last financial crisis occurred in part because unregulated lending in the mortgage market got out of hand. Believe it or not, it's starting to happen again, and could ultimately precipitate another disaster unless regulators get their act together.

GE Cites Possible U.S. Sanction over Former Mortgage Unit

The Hour, Feb. 26, 2018--Alexander Soule
In its annual report Friday, GE disclosed it may record up to an additional $500 million in losses as a result of its former U.S. mortgage lending unit WMC, which has been under DOJ investigation for potential violations of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act.

Prison for Mortgage Broker

Mortgage Daily, Feb. 26, 2018
Alfer Rodenburg was a mortgage broker in Houston. He arranged first and second mortgages between prospective borrowers and wholesale mortgage lenders.

Manhattan Landlords Cut Deals to Stave Off Vacant Storefronts

Bloomberg, Feb. 27, 2018--Sarah Mulholland
Just four years ago, the new owner of 115 Mercer St., a low-slung building in the heart of Manhattan's Soho shopping district, managed to swiftly replace its tenants and lure retailers willing to shell out record rents. Now, that same landlord has to fight to get one of them to stay.

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