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RBS Shrinking Mortgage Biz; Bank M&A; MBA's New Compliance Class; Reverse Mortgage Update
Posted to: Pipeline Press
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 7:03 AM

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The "over 65" crowd is large, but the current number pales in comparison to expectations in the coming years. The US Census Bureau writes, "In 2050, the population aged 65 and over is projected to be 83.7 million, almost double its esti­mated population of 43.1 million in 2012. The baby boomers are largely responsible for this increase in the older population, as they began turning 65 in 2011. By 2050, the surviving baby boomers will be over the age of 85." I have it on good authority that Denny's has already started thinking about moving their early-bird dinner specials back to 2pm starting in 2035. We should all be so lucky.

In "forward" mortgages, "one of the nation's premiere mortgage companies, Gold Star Mortgage Financial Group, is interested in speaking with the industry's finest loan originators and branch managers. Headquartered in Ann Arbor, MI and expanding from coast-to-coast, Gold Star has become one of the fastest growing companies and top 50 lenders in the nation. Founded in 2000 and currently operating in 21 states, Gold Star's commitment to relationship-based customer service, cutting edge technology and a superior operations infrastructure fuels its stability and success. Gold Star has been recognized as an Inc. 500/5000 company, and most recently by Mortgage Technology Magazine as one of the nation's Top Tech-Savvy Lenders. Very simply, Gold Star realizes what top industry leaders are seeking." To learn more, contact Shawn Sirko at ssirko@goldstarfinancial. com.

And Maverick Funding Corp. is rapidly expanding! Headquartered in New Jersey, Maverick is currently in the process of recruiting the best mortgage professionals in the industry for up and coming branch locations. Management is looking for qualified self-sourced loan officers and aggressive sales teams to help Maverick continue its tremendous growth streak and propel its success to new heights. Mortgage Executive Magazine recently declared Maverick one of the 50 Best Companies to Work For! "Over the last 60 days, we added a total of 77 employees and have recently added over 6,000 sq. ft. of workspace to our Corporate Headquarters Office. We are currently licensed in 32 states and hold GNMA, FHA, and FNMA approval. Join our award winning team!" For Retail Branch Management, Team, and Loan Officer Opportunities contact Careers@Maverickfunding. com. For wholesale AE positions, contact National Wholesale Manager Reno Heine at Rheine@maverickfunding. com. And for opportunities in Maverick's Newport Beach Marina, CA Division, contact Careers@Maverickfunding. com.

Maybe these, and other companies, will pick up some employees from RBS. The Royal Bank of Scotland has become the latest overseas bank to shrink its business in the United States, citing the regulatory environment. Let me know when the borrower starts being better off...

How much is 90-minutes of your time worth? How about that of your originators, underwriters and processors? MBA recently launched a new web course to train front-line staff on the Ability to Repay/Qualified Mortgage (ATR/QM) rule in just 90 minutes. This engaging, online course fills an immediate need for compliance training - as the CFPB has stated on several occasions that they expect mortgage lenders to train their employees on new rules like this one. Those that complete the course and pass a test receive a certificate of completion, a great tool for lenders to illustrate that their personnel fully understand how to do business within the QM requirements. MBA plans to launch similar courses this summer on mortgage servicing and loan originator compensation. Volume discounts are available for MBA members. Contact Barbara Hanson at bhanson@mba. org or Mike Wheeden at mwheeden@mba. org to learn more about this course and how to save on training your staff.

And for some sad news, the industry lost Kansas' Linear Title's Mark Selbee this weekend. "Mark Selbee was a tremendous person and a huge influence in the online direct to consumer title and settlement side of the business. He was a 'larger than life' personality and everyone that worked with him enjoyed a great business relationship and the best settlement and closing services.  Mark oversaw many large mortgage company accounts that totaled over 1000 settlements/mortgage closings every month." A fund-raising campaign for his children's educational fund has been established.

As an industry, how can we clear up the mounting paperwork and compliance hindrances when we can't even agree on what simple terms mean? Forget the difference between "funding" and "closing", or how to draw docs on ARM loans with correct margins and indices. In Saturday's edition I repeated a definition of modular versus manufactured homes, and it struck a nerve with a couple folks.

Jill Hoogendyk volunteers, "I disagree with Mountain West Financial's distinction between modular vs manufactured homes. (Manufactured homes are relatively small, inexpensive, mobile residences that require a smaller commitment than is required by modular and site-built homes.) The true distinction between manufactured housing and any type of site built housing (including modular) is that a manufactured house leaves the factory as a vehicle on wheels and axels, and does not become real property until physically and legally affixed to a piece of real estate. Once so affixed, a manufactured home is like any site built home both in size and value. Lack of understanding and failure to properly affix manufactured homes have led to the reluctance in the industry to finance manufactured homes which is a real shame given their practicality in many non-urban communities." Gracias Jill.

And Arizona's Dave Koch contributes, "Mountain West's description of Manufactured and Modular homes is more evidence that the further up the food chain you go, the less anyone knows about anything besides forming, implementing and following policies.  The first and foremost distinction between manufactured and modular or pre-fabricated housing is that manufactured housing is constructed according to HUD minimum standards, first set forth on June 15 1976. Modular homes on the other hand are built according to the same standards as site-built homes, the most common standard being the IBC (international building code). Standing inside some modular homes it is difficult to distinguish them from a manufactured home. Standing inside others it is difficult to distinguish them from a site-built home. Manufactured homes are not limited to three sections either, I've personally seen a four-section manufactured home and I've seen modular home on a permanent chassis. Many realtors call manufactured homes modular because modular sounds, well, less 'mobiley', however most realtors that call manufactured homes modular don't know the difference." Thank you Dave.

Commercial bank M&A continues onward and upward. TS Banking Group (IA), a newly formed joint venture between Treynor Bancshares ($286mm, IA) and TS Contrarian Bancshares (IA) designed to acquire community banks in the Midwest will acquire The Bank of Tioga ($140mm, ND) for an undisclosed sum. In Illinois Better Banks ($246mm) will acquire First National Bank of Chillicothe ($67mm) for an undisclosed sum. Kansas' The Stockton National Bank ($112mm) will acquire First Security Bank & Trust Co. ($63mm) for about 1.0x book at closing date plus an additional $1.5mm. Over in Wyoming Platte Valley Bank ($236mm) will acquire a branch (including all deposits and loans) from Buffalo Federal Savings Bank ($121mm). The Boards of Directors of Valley National Bancorp (NYSE:VLY) and 1st United Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq: FUBC) announced that the companies have entered into a merger agreement.

KBW announced that First Business Financial Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:FBIZ) and Aslin Group, Inc. announced the signing of a $30.1 million definitive agreement for First Business to acquire Aslin Group, including Alterra Bank, Aslin Group's wholly owned subsidiary. "Alterra's competitive position & talented team focus on commercial clients and complementary limited branch business model will expand the Wisconsin-based First Business' growth into the attractive Kansas City metropolitan market, where First Business already operates its national equipment finance business."

But everything isn't peaches and cream in banking. Last Friday Columbia Savings Bank, Cincinnati, Ohio, was closed by the Ohio Division of Financial Institutions, which appointed the FDIC as receiver and who in turn found United Fidelity Bank, fsb, Evansville, Indiana, to assume all of the deposits of Columbia Savings Bank.

Reverse mortgages sometimes are the topic du jour; some banks consider them a viable product, while others consider them more of a headache than anything (liability is too strong a word). I can see both sides of the argument. Nearly a month ago Senator Schumer and Senator Boxer sent a letter to HUD Secretary Donovan informing him that reverse mortgage companies are threatening heirs with foreclosure instead of following HUD's rules and allowing them to satisfy the loan at 95% of current appraised value. Buckley Sandler writes, "The Senators' letter asks HUD to: (i) issue a mortgagee letter making clear that a matured reverse mortgage loan can be extinguished by the mortgagor, the mortgagor's estate, or personal representative by paying 95% of the home's market value; (ii) develop a letter that servicers can send to a borrower's family members and heirs that outlines options for satisfying the loan; and (iii) enforce existing rules and require that any servicer that fails to offer this option within the required time allow a family member or heir to pay the lower of 95% of the home's value at the time the loan became due or 95% of the home's value at the time the error was corrected." The confusion here may lie with HUD itself, as it appears to stem from a mortgagee letter HUD issued in 2008 that would have limited lenders' ability to accept less than the full mortgage balance as payment from family members or heirs. HUD rescinded that letter in 2011 and stated at the time that it would issue a replacement letter, but has yet to do so.

How 'bout these rates?! Well, they're not doing much, in spite of a fair amount of news Tuesday - all of it pointing to an upswing and which helped equities. Durable Goods Orders unexpectedly Increased 0.8% to $239.9B in April, the third consecutive monthly increase and is a sign U.S. factories will help the world's biggest economy strengthen. And the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index improved in May, increasing to 83 in May from 81.7 in April, and is the second-highest level since 2008. The FHFA House Price Index rose for the 11th consecutive quarter, rising by 1.3% in 1Q 2014 for this purchase-only, seasonally adjusted index. And finally the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price indices rose in March.

On the lock side of things, I am definitely hearing mixed reports out there. Smaller and mid-sized lenders are seeing decent lock days, but larger lenders and banks are seeing things slow down (for the most part). And if the demand for MBS continues to be strong, and supply starts to drop as banks hold product in their portfolios or just aren't seeing the business, well, we would expect mortgage rates to drop relative to Treasury rates. Yesterday, for example, the 10-yr T-note improved by .125 in price whereas agency MBS prices improved by a shade more than that (depending on coupon).

The only scheduled news today was the MBA's application numbers (which were down 1.2% last week), but ahead of us for the week we'll still have the preliminary read on Q1 GDP on Thursday and Chicago PMI and final May Consumer Sentiment on Friday. In addition, there are two housing-related reports, mortgage applications tomorrow and Pending Home Sales Indexes (Apr) on Thursday, that are potentially relevant for the short-term housing and supply outlook. In the early going the 10-yr, which closed at 2.52%, is down to 2.50%, and agency MBS prices are a shade better than Tuesday's close.




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Mortgage Rates:
  • 30 Yr FRM 4.01%
  • |
  • 15 Yr FRM 3.17%
  • |
  • Jumbo 30 Year Fixed 3.93%
MBS Prices:
  • 30YR FNMA 4.5 108-07 (-0-02)
  • |
  • 30YR FNMA 5.0 110-19 (-0-02)
  • |
  • 30YR FNMA 5.5 111-20 (0-02)
Recent Housing Data:
  • Mortgage Apps 11.56%
  • |
  • Refinance Index 23.29%
  • |
  • FHFA Home Price Index 0.67%