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Volume 9 | Issue 7 | Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Lede


MBA: 4Q Mortgage Delinquencies Drop to 18-Year Low

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported the delinquency rate for mortgage loans on one-to-four-unit residential properties fell in the fourth quarter to their lowest level since 2000, while foreclosure rates ticked up slightly.


News & Trends

Anatomy of a Victory: Behind MBA’s Work on IRS Pass-Through Deduction

On January 18, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service issued final regulations providing guidance on the section 199A pass-through deduction included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The final regulations provide clarity on certain matters of importance to the Mortgage Bankers Association and its members.

MBA Offers Recommendations to VA on Loan ‘Churning'

The Mortgage Bankers Association, in a Feb. 15 letter to the Veterans Administration, offered recommendations intended to strengthen an interim rule aimed at deterring loan "churning" against servicemembers and addressing serious implementation issues and operational challenges MBA believes VA needs to address surrounding new borrower disclosures.

CoreLogic: Delinquency, Foreclosure Rates Lowest for November Since 2000

CoreLogic, Irvine, Calif., said 4.1 percent of mortgages were in some stage of delinquency (30 days or more past due, including those in foreclosure) in November, down by 1.1 percentage point from a year ago, when it was 5.2 percent.

Remodeling Outlook Wavers as Challenges Mount

Growth in remodeling is fine, for now. But annual growth in the national market for home improvement and repair is expected to slow considerably by the end of the year, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity from the Joint Center for housing Studies of Harvard University.

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 School of Mortgage Servicing Mar. 4-14

MBA Education presents its School of Mortgage Servicing instructor-guided online course Mar. 4-14.

MBA Education Compliance Essentials State Mortgage Servicing Rules Deep Dive Workshop Feb. 25

MBA Education and the Compliance Essentials program present State Mortgage Servicing Rules Deep Dive Workshop on Feb 25 at the Hyatt Regency Orlando in conjunction with the MBA National Mortgage Servicing Conference & Expo.

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 Education Advanced Servicing Workshop in Orlando Feb. 25

MBA Education presents its Advanced Servicing One-Day Workshop on Monday, Feb. 25 at the MBA National Mortgage Servicing Conference & Expo in Orlando, Fla.

Top National News

U.S. Mortgage Delinquencies Hit 18-Year Low in Q4 2018--MBA

Reuters, Feb. 15, 2019
U.S. homeowners who fell behind on their mortgage payments dropped to the lowest levels in 18 years in the final quarter of 2018, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Friday.

Debt Funds Have Banks Struggling to Keep Pace, Fretful Lenders Declare

Commercial Observer, Feb. 12, 2019--Matt Grossman
The past decade has marked a great business cycle for lenders of all stripes. But bank executives at the Mortgage Bankers' Association‘s conference in San Diego yesterday betrayed a sense of wariness that they're being squeezed out of the running for good returns on palatable deals.

Debt Funds' Rising Influence Evident at MBA CREF

Commercial Property Executive, Feb. 12, 2019--Therese Fitzgerald
Debt funds originated about $67 billion in mortgages in 2018-about 10 percent of total originations, up from $52 billion in 2017 and $32 billion in 2016, according to Jamie Woodwell, vice president of Commercial-Multifamily Research at the Mortgage Bankers Association. "They are clearly a significant player," he said.

State AGs Assail CFPB Plan to Build Fintech Sandbox

American Banker, Feb. 12, 2019--Kate Berry (subscription)
Twenty-two Democratic state attorneys general said the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau lacks sweeping authority to create a fintech sandbox that provides immunity from state law.

Mel Watt Attempted to 'Coerce' Relationship While FHFA Director, IG Report Says

Washington Post, Feb. 15, 2019--Renae Merle
Former congressman Mel Watt misused his position as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency by attempting to "coerce or induce" a relationship with a female employee seeking a promotion, according to a previously unreleased inspector general's report. Watt has denied the allegations.

Reform of Fannie, Freddie Should Fall to Congress: FHFA Nominee

National Mortgage News, Feb. 14, 2019--Hannah Long (subscription)
The nominee to run the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Mark Calabria, appeared to lean toward having Congress reform the government-sponsored enterprises, despite recent speculation that the Trump administration was readying a plan that could be carried out without legislation.

House Lawmaker Warns of CECL's Impact on Fannie, Freddie

National Mortgage News, Feb. 14, 2019--Neil Haggerty (subscription)
Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., told acting Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Joseph Otting that he is concerned the Financial Accounting Standards Board's new model for estimating loan losses, which has long drawn industry criticism, could pose risk across the mortgage market.

Fannie Mae Reports Net Income of $16B in 2018

HousingWire, Feb. 14, 2019--Alcynna Lloyd
Fannie Mae reported Thursday it posted a comprehensive income of $3.2 billion in the fourth quarter, bringing full-year earnings to $15.6 billion in 2018.

Freddie Mac Reports Net Income of $8.6 Billion in 2018

HousingWire, Feb. 14, 2019--Kelsey Ramirez
After taking out market-related losses due to interest rate and spread volatility, Freddie Mac reported an income of $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018 and $8.6 billion for the full year.

Amazon's Pivot Raises Scrutiny of Incentive Deals

Wall Street Journal, Feb. 15, 2019--Valerie Bauerlein, Kate King, Cameron McWhirter (subscription)
The collapse of Inc.'s plan to build a second headquarters in New York City has the potential to damp some states' willingness to offer tax breaks. Spurred by Amazon's second-headquarters selection process, politicians and groups long opposed to incentive packages have launched legislative efforts to prohibit them in some states.

Echoes of the Subprime Era in Energy Efficiency Lending

Los Angeles Times, Feb. 17, 2019--Andrew Khouri
As stories piled up of homeowners beig smooth-talked into taking home improvement loans they couldn't afford, defenders of the PACE program cited its safety features. But some contractors apparently dance around those rules, as shown by the recent collapse of two firms.

Why PACE Has Become a 'Second-Look' Product in California

National Mortgage News, Feb. 15, 2019--Allison Bisbey (subscripition)
The state's tougher oversight has stripped Property Assessed Clean Energy of its go-to project financing status among contractors. That shift may result in adverse selection.

About Servicing 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

MBA Servicing NewsLink, a weekly electronic publication, is a member benefit free to employees of MBA member companies, and available by paid subscription to non-members. For membership information, click here.

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