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Volume 9 | Issue 36 | Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Lede


Administration Releases GSE Reform Plan

The Trump Administration on Thursday released its long-awaited plans on reforming government-sponsored enterprises, offering nearly 50 recommended legislative and regulatory reforms aimed at limiting the federal government's role in the secondary mortgage market.


News & Trends

Wells Fargo, PNC/Midland Lead MBA 2019 Mid-Year Commercial/Multifamily Servicer Rankings

The Mortgage Bankers Association released its mid-year rankings of commercial and multifamily mortgage servicers' volumes as of June 30, showing Wells Fargo Bank NA, PNC Real Estate/Midland Loan Services, KeyBank NA, Berkadia Commercial Mortgage LLC and CBRE Loan Services with highest volumes.

MBA Study: Modest Growth Anticipated in Home Equity Lending

Home equity loan debt outstanding and borrower utilization rates declined in 2018, and mortgage lenders anticipate mixed activity this year and only modest increases in originations in 2020, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported yesterday.

Black Knight: Servicer Retention Rates Improve Significantly Among Rate-Driven Refinance Transactions

Black Knight, Jacksonville, Fla., said falling interest rates and easy access to refinance candidates pushed retention rates up in second quarter, with servicers retaining 24% of refinancing borrowers, the highest such retention rate since late 2017. More than Half of Foreclosure Sales to Third-Party Buyers Become Owner-Occupied, Irvine, Calif., said 56 percent of properties sold to third parties at foreclosure auction were owner-occupied one year after the foreclosure auction date, compared to 43 percent of properties that reverted to the lender.

Tracking Potential Multifamily Risks

Multifamily fundamentals remain healthy, demonstrated by record second quarter absorption. But the sector faces some threats, analysts said.

Low Interest Rates Spur Refinance 'Boom' for Millennials

Ellie Mae, Pleasanton, Calif., said falling interest rates in July led to an increase in Millennial refinance activity.

Dorian Marks Start of ‘Seasonal Risk' for Mortgage-Backed Securities Risk

Slow-moving, powerful Hurricane Dorian has dominated the news for nearly two weeks; now, as it moves off the East Coast and into history, analysts have begun to assess its impact.

MBA News

MBA Regulatory Compliance Conference 2019 in Washington Sept. 22-24

The Mortgage Bankers Association's annual Regulatory Compliance Conference takes place Sept. 22-24 at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C. 

MBA Risk Management, QA and Fraud Prevention Forum in Chicago Sept. 15-17

The Mortgage Bankers Association's Risk Management, QA and Fraud Prevention Forum takes place Sept. 15-17 at the Sheraton Grand Chicago.

MBA Education Advanced Risk Management Concepts Workshop in Chicago Sept. 15

MBA Education presents a special edition of its Advanced Risk Management Concepts Workshop on Sunday, Sept. 15 in conjunction with the MBA Risk Management, Quality Assurance and Fraud Prevention Forum in Chicago.

MBA Education/Compliance Essentials Managing the Risks of CFPB and State Examinations Sept. 15

MBA Education and Compliance Essentials present a workshop, Managing the Risks of CFPB and State Examinations, on Sunday, Sept. 15 at the Sheraton Grand Chicago, in conjunction with the MBA Risk Management, QA and Fraud Prevention Summit.

Top National News

Housing Industry Rallies Around Trump's GSE Reform Plan

HousingWire, Sept. 6, 2019--Kelsey Ramirez
"The reports recognize the need to better coordinate the roles of FHA and the GSEs," Mortgage Bankers Association CEO Robert Broeksmit said. "Such coordination must preserve affordable financing options for a wide range of borrowers and reflect the vital role FHA plays in the larger housing finance system."

Did Treasury's GSE Report Move the Needle?

American Banker, Sept. 6, 2019--Hannah Lang (subscription)
The Trump administration's report on the nation's housing finance system raised the goal posts for ending the conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but how officials get there is still highly uncertain.

Fannie, Freddie Getting Closer to Retaining Their Earnings

Wall Street Journal, Sept. 9, 2019--Kate Davidson (subscription)
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday he expects an agreement soon to allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to begin retaining their earnings, one of the first steps in the administration's plan to return the mortgage-finance companies to private hands.

How Fannie and Freddie Have Changed Since the Crisis

Wall Street Journal, Sept. 8, 2019--Ben Eisen, Andrew Ackerman (subscription)
The two mortgage giants have shed some risk, paid back their bailout and now report billions in income.

Cheat Sheet: Trump Administration's Road Map for GSE Overhaul

National Mortgage News, Sept. 5, 2019--Hannah Lang (free article)
The Treasury Department made clear in a much-anticipated report that its ultimate preference is for Congress to take up reform of the government-sponsored enterprises. That legislation would include an explicit government guarantee, and a new Ginnie-provided backstop for guarantors competing on par with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Enforcement Actions are Still a Tool in CFPB Arsenal, Kraninger Says

American Banker, Sept. 9, 2019--Hannah Lang (subscription)
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is stepping up its enforcement actions after her predecessor had temporarily frozen the agency's ability to use the tool, said Director Kathy Kraninger.

US Mortgage Interest Tax Deductions Plummeted in 2018

24/7 Wall Street, Sept. 6, 2019--Paul Ausick
The number of 2018 tax year returns claiming the mortgage interest deduction plunged from nearly 30.1 million in tax year 2017 to around 11.5 million in 2018, a drop of 62%. (MBA mention)

Ready to Refi? Expect It to Take Some Time

WTOP (Washington, D.C.), Sept. 3, 2019--Jeff Clabaugh
"On average, the industry is taking anywhere from 40 to 60 days for an application to close," said Joel Kan of the Mortgage Bankers Association. "Our estimate is for high volume to close in the third quarter with some of that being pushed into the fourth quarter just because of the high volume of applications we're seeing come in right now."

Judge Dismisses CFPB's Case Against Ocwen, But Will Let it Refile

National Mortgage News, Sept. 6, 2019--Brad Finkelstein (subscription)
A federal judge in Florida dismissed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's lawsuit against Ocwen Financial Services, stating the agency improperly asserted an excessive number of claims without specifying the particular count to which they applied.

Apple Cashes in on Boom in Debt Refinancing...

CNBC, Sept. 8, 2019--ERic Rosenbaum
For most homeowners who plan to stay in their residence for the long-term and received a mortgage in the last three years, it is worth looking at a refinance opportunity now, said Mike Fratantoni, chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Bank Industry Earnings Set Yet Another Record in 2Q: FDIC

American Banker, Sept. 5, 2019--Brendan Pedersen (subscription)
The nation's 5,303 FDIC-insured institutions earned net income of $62.6 billion, an increase of 4.1% from the same time in 2018 and another record $139 billion. The FDIC also attributed higher profits to growth in realized securities gains.

Has Removing Tax Lien Data from Credit Records Led to More Bad Loans?

American Banker, Sept. 3, 2019--Penny Crosman (subscription)
A year ago, the three major credit bureaus - Equifax, Experian and TransUnion - stopped including public information about unpaid taxes and court debts in consumers' credit reports. A year later, some say the absence of this data is contributing to poor lending decisions.

Home Equity Lending Set for Growth in 2020, Says MBA

Mortgage Professional America, Sept. 4, 2019--Steve Randall
The Mortgage Bankers Association's 2019 Home Equity Lending Study reveals that closed-end Home Equity loans are set for gains this year and next while open-ended HELOCs will decline this year before rising in 2020.

Syracuse Securities to Shut Down, Hand Off Loans to Premium Mortgage

National Mortgage News, Sept. 4, 2019--Bonnie Sinnock (subscription)
Syracuse Securities Inc., a family-run lender and servicer in New York, is planning to wind down and transfer its outstanding pipeline to Premium Mortgage Corp.

FTC to Block Fidelity's Acquisition of Stewart on Competitive Grounds

National Mortgage News, Sept. 9, 2019--Brad Finkelstein (subscription)
The Federal Trade Commission wants to block the merger of Fidelity National Financial and Stewart Information Services stating the deal would reduce competition for title insurance, including for large commercial real estate transactions.

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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