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Volume 9 | Issue 9 | Tuesday, March 05, 2019

The Lede


MBA-Led Coalition Urges FHFA to Make Market Stability Priority in GSE Reform

The Mortgage Bankers Association, joined by 27 other organizations representing a cross-section of consumer and industry organizations, sent a letter Friday to Federal Housing Finance Agency Acting Director Joseph Otting on priorities for preserving access and affordability when undertaking administrative reforms to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.


News & Trends

MBA Vice Chair: Servicers at 'Front Lines' with Customers

ORLANDO--Mortgage Bankers Association Vice Chair Susan Stewart said mortgage servicers' relationships with their customers are more important than ever.

Senate Panel Advances Calabria Nomination to Head FHFA

On strict party lines, the Senate Banking Committee yesterday approved the Trump Administration's nomination of Mark Calabria as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Preparing for ‘When,' Not ‘If,' in Natural Disasters

ORLANDO--Floods. Hurricanes. Earthquakes. Volcanic eruptions. Wildfires. Tornadoes. And that was just 2018.

MBA Economic Forecast: 'Slow, Steady Growth' Amid Stronger Headwinds

ORLANDO--U.S. economic growth has been "slow and steady" for the past several years and is expected to stay that way, economists with the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday.

U.S. Homeownership Rate at Highest Level Since 2014

The U.S. homeownership rate rose to 64.8 percent in the fourth quarter, the Census Bureau reported yesterday, marking its highest rate since 2014.

FHFA Issues Final Rule on Uniform Mortgage-Backed Security

The Federal Housing Finance Agency yesterday issued a final rule that requires Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to align programs, policies and practices that affect the cash flows of "To-Be-Announced"-eligible Mortgage-Backed Securities.

CFPB Issues Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on PACE Financing

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau yesterday issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing.

Home Flipping Falls to 7-Year Low in 2018

ATTOM Data Solutions, Irvine, Calif., said home flipping activity fell in 2018 by nearly 4 percent from a year earlier to its lowest level since 2011.

Falling Rates Drive Jump in Loan Defect Risk

First American Financial Corp., Santa Ana, Calif., released its Loan Application Defect Index for January, showing frequency of defects, fraudulence and misrepresentation in the information submitted in mortgage loan applications increased by 4.6 percent compared December, the fifth consecutive monthly increase.

MBA News

MBA National Secondary Market Conference & Expo May 19-22

The Mortgage Bankers Association's National Secondary Market Conference & Expo returns to the New York Marriott Marquis May 19-22.

MBA Commercial/Multifamily Servicing & Technology Conference in L.A. May 14-17

The Mortgage Bankers Association's annual Commercial/Multifamily Servicing & Technology Conference takes place May 14-17 at the J.W. Marriott L.A. Live in Los Angeles.

MBA Education Advanced Risk Management for Pros June 3-5 in D.C.

MBA Education presents its popular Advanced Risk Management for Mortgage Pros Workshop, in conjunction with the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, in Washington, D.C. June 3-5.

Top National News

MBA Servicing: What Does the Future of Mortgage Servicing Look Like?

HousingWire, Feb. 26, 2019--Sarah Wheeler
So what does that future look like? More M&A, more tech investment and, if you've got a really long lens, more standardization.

7 Ways Borrowers are Changing Mortgage Servicing

National Mortgage News, Mar. 1, 2019--Elina Tarkaziks, Austin Kilgore (free article)
Innovating for the borrower was a consistent theme during the MBA's 2019 Mortgage Servicing Conference in Orlando, Fla. Whether through greater investments in technology and talent, or streamlining back-end processes to improve the consistency and speed of the decision-making process, servicers are doing more to prioritize borrowers in their businesses.

MBA Servicing: Mortgage Borrowers are Now Your Biggest Asset

HousingWire, Feb. 28, 2019--Sarah Wheeler
During the MBA's National Mortgage Servicing conference this week in Orlando, it was evident that in the current environment servicers are using the relative calm to take stock of their operations, train staff, shore up compliance and invest in technology.

Housing Secretary Ben Carson Says He Intends to Leave After First Term

Washington Post, Mar. 4, 2019--Tracy Jan
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson says he intends to leave his post at the end of President Trump's first term.

Industry Sees Benefits From CFPB Sandbox

Inside Mortgage Finance, Feb. 27, 2019 (subscription)
The mortgage industry would likely benefit from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's proposed new policy on its no-action letter and sandbox program,analysts said. (MBA mention)

Servicers Not Providing Enough 'Wow Factor' to Keep Borrowers Loyal

National Mortgage News, Feb. 27, 2019--Elina Tarkazikis (subscription)
Mortgage servicers are not doing enough to keep borrowers loyal when it comes to the next loan. Only 17% of borrowers will use their same servicer to originate or refinance a mortgage loan, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

How Chairman Crapo's Outline for Housing Finance Reform Can Work

Urban Institute, Feb 27, 2019--Jim Parrott, Dave Stevens, Mark M. Zandi
The authors (including former MBA President and CEO) analyze Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho's outline for housing finance reform.

Overuse of GSE Tools in the Private-Label Market Adds Risk: Moody's

National Mortgage News, Feb. 26, 2019--Brad Finkelstein (subscription)
Being too dependent on the automated underwriting tools created by the government-sponsored enterprises to originate loans underlying private-label mortgage-backed securitizations could negatively affect their credit quality, Moody's said.

Altisource Takes Losses as it Realigns Its Business, Reduces Ocwen Ties

National Mortgage News, Feb. 26, 2019--Bonnie Sinnock (subscription)
Altisource Portfolio Solutions recorded multimillion-dollar net losses in the fourth quarter and the full year for 2018, due to the reduction of the Ocwen Financial servicing portfolio and other repositioning activities.

Ocwen Reports $70.8M Loss for 2018

The Mortgage Leader, Feb 27, 2019
Ocwen Financial Corp. reported a net loss of $70.8 million, or $0.53 per share, for the full year 2018 compared to a net loss of $128 million, or $1.01 per share, for the full year of 2017, a $57.2 million improvement.

GSE Reform Proposals have Small Lenders on Edge

National Mortgage News, Feb. 28, 2019--Hannah Lang (subscription)
As lawmakers shop plans to overhaul the housing finance system, small lenders are still skeptical that any of the various legislative proposals will work for them.

Fannie Mae Escapes Lawsuit over Foreclosure Misreporting

Reuters, Feb. 28, 2019--Dena Aubin
A federal judge in San Francisco has ruled in favor of housing finance giant Fannie Mae in a 2017 lawsuit accusing it of falsely reporting that thousands of consumers' homes had been foreclosed on.

REITs Take On New Shine Amid Fed's Softened View on Rates

Wall Street Journal, March 4, 2019 --Jessica Menton (subsription)
The Federal Reserve's dovish tilt this year has been a boon for real estate shares that had been pressured by a threat of higher interest rates. Investors are scooping up REIT shares because of their large dividends and strong earnings growth.

Banks Won't Be Able to Remain on Sidelines of Privacy Debate

American Banker, Mar. 3, 2019--Victoria Finkle (subscription)
The data breach at Equifax and Facebook's scandals have made data privacy a big issue to state and federal lawmakers. Here's why banks need to be worried.

New Study Shows Financial Potholes in House Flipping

National Mortgage Professional, Mar. 1, 2019--Phil Hall
Just because house flipping looks like fun on HGTV doesn't mean the actual process is a breezy escapade. According to a new study from, would-be flippers often flop when it comes to strategy planning.

Goldman Sachs Surpasses $1.25 Billion in Customer Relief in Massive Toxic Mortgage Bond Settlement

HousingWire, Mar. 4, 2019--Ben Lane
Goldman Sachs recently surpassed the $1.25 billion mark in the $1.8 billion in customer relief the company is required to provide as part of its $5 billion settlement reached in April 2016 over toxic mortgage bonds.

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

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