When they asked Michelangelo how he made his statue of David he is reported to have said, "It is easy. You just chip away the stone that doesn't look like David." Maybe something similar is going on with bankruptcy filings: they're going down - but because things are improving, or because we've "chipped away" the individuals more likely to declare bankruptcy? Let's say it is the former, and in a sign of reduced economic stress among households and firms, total US bankruptcy filings are down. They fell from 104,537 last February to 82,285 this February, a fall of 21%. Consumer filings declined from 99,378 to 78,611 while commercial filings declined from 5,159 to 3,674. Personal bankruptcy filings peaked in 2010 at 1.54 million, declined to 1.22 million last year and will be about a million this year.
I have been asked to assist a large Southern California lender in its search for a Director of Loan Delivery/Post Closing. The candidate must have Fannie, Freddie, Ginnie, and MBS delivery experience, experience with ULDD, be well versed in custodian bank oversight, with Encompass experience being a plus. The lender is currently doing $500 million per month, with a mix of 85% retail and 15% wholesale, and is licensed in 25 states. The ideal candidate should either be in the Los Angeles area or be prepared to be relocated to that area. Please send confidential resumes to me at rchrisman@robchrisman .com.
First Preferred Mortgage Company, a full-service residential mortgage lender, recently announced that it has rebranded and will now be known as Michigan Mutual, Inc. In addition to a name change, Michigan Mutual, Inc. is expanding and actively seeking experienced mortgage retail sales professionals (senior sales leaders and loan originators) in Texas, Missouri, Kansas and Ohio to join its team of experts. Interested candidates can submit resumes to Tammi James at tjames@mimutual .com or send an email for more information. MiMutual Mortgage Company offers competitive compensation and benefit packages to those candidates selected to join its team of professionals; its website is mimutual.com.
Ginnie Mae announced that it guaranteed more than $38.27 billion in mortgage-backed securities (MBS) in January 2013. Issuance for Ginnie Mae II single-family pools led the way with more than $32.09, while Ginnie Mae I single-family pools totaled nearly $3.77 billion. Issuance for the Ginnie Mae Home Equity Conversion Mortgage-Backed Security (HMBS), included in Ginnie Mae II single-family pools, was $806 million. Total single-family issuance for January was $35.87 billion. In addition, Ginnie Mae's multifamily MBS issuance reached $2.39 billion for the month.
We tend to see a see-saw affect with FHA/VA fees and business versus that of conventional conforming production, and the cost of doing those loans in the higher LTV segment. Saturday's commentary discussed the current state of the mortgage insurance business - it has been interesting to watch the pendulum swing toward MI companies rather than away from them. For example, Essent and National MI have been growing. Radian, #1 in market share, recently raised $690 million in new capital - some stock analysts who like the housing market often recommend investors play through shares of mortgage insurer Radian Group, but only on a speculative basis. Jim Cramer of CNBC noted that, "The mortgage insurance business was in trouble for years for the very same reason that it's coming back with a vengeance right now: housing. When the housing market was in free fall, when no one was buying new homes and foreclosures were everywhere, the mortgage insurance stocks got killed. This entire industry was left for dead. Now that the housing market is coming back, the mortgage insurers that survived, like Radian, are coming right back with it." In the last year the stock has gone from $2 per share to $7 per share. In 2012 Radian wrote roughly $37 billion in new insurance, up some 139 percent from the year prior, and did $4 billion in January.
And investment bank Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. reported that on March 6, MGIC's parent priced a 135 million share equity offering and $450 million convert. "Including overallotments; the capital raise will generate $1.25 billion of net proceeds. The offering will meaningfully benefit MTG's (the stock symbol for the company) capital and liquidity position. We increase our price target to $5.50 from $4, which equates to roughly 1x our pro forma BV estimate of $5.39 including the DTA...MTG had $315 million of liquidity at quarter-end. This goes to $1.56 billion following the offerings. The new capital also meaningfully reduces MTG's financial leverage and takes the risk-to-capital down to an estimated 18x from 47.8x at year-end (combined company)."
Keeping on with vendor, agency, investor, training, and events news...
Republic Mortgage reported that it has come out with a new IPhone / Android App that is currently available to Republic Borrowers. "We spent a lot to time and money developing it in an attempt to create a more user friendly and timely interface for our borrowers." Here is yet another example of lenders using technology - more.
The California Mortgage Bankers Association will be hosting a CFPB Symposium today in San Francisco, CA that will cover recent federal and state regulatory changes, including the new rules on QM/ability to repay, loan origination compensation, servicing standards, high cost mortgages, appraisal issues, and escrow accounts. Register
For those with an interest in the political side of the mortgage industry, the CMBA's Legislative Day is scheduled for March 19th in Sacramento, CA, and provides participants with the opportunity to be part of the Association's lobbying team. More information and registration links can be found here.
The Oklahoma Mortgage Bankers Association will be holding its annual conference in Oklahoma City, on April 8th and 9th and will feature NMLS MLO and FHA underwriting/processing training, numerous speakers of repute, and a golf tournament. To register and find out more about the event, go here.
AIG, the parent of UG, turned some heads last week when it announced the creation of a new business unit - Connective Mortgage Advisory Co. - to acquire residential whole loan mortgages as investments. AIG plans to buy loans backed by its United Guaranty Corp. unit, the largest seller of traditional private mortgage insurance last year, according to Donna DeMaio, 54, the unit's chief executive officer. The debt will be held as long-term investments by AIG insurance companies. Connective Mortgage Advisory will evaluate loans made by other lenders for purchase by AIG, said DeMaio, who joined the insurer last year and previously ran MetLife Inc.'s bank. Connective, part of Greensboro, North Carolina-based United Guaranty will use data compiled by the mortgage insurer to help AIG determine which loans to buy. It won't originate loans or bundle them into securities. AIG CEO Benmosche has said AIG needs to cut reliance on Wall Street and increase control over the risks the company takes with its investments as part of a strategy to generate better returns. More
While we're in the Carolinas, two of the top banks in South Carolina, including the oldest and largest based in the Charleston region, are merging to accelerate growth, cut costs and further expand their reach through acquisitions. First Federal owner First Financial Holdings Inc. and SCBT Financial Corp. announced that they have agreed to a stock swap expected to close in the 3rd quarter. It will create the fifth-largest lender in South Carolina based on deposits. Columbia-based SCBT, a growth-minded company that has expanded into North Carolinas and Georgia in recent years, is the buyer.
Version 3.1 of the FHA-HUD TOTAL Scorecard, which was released recently, is now being used to score any loans submitted for the first time or previously submitted with case numbers. Users are reminded that the revamp affects several risk-related adjustments, which in turn may affect AUS results. comprises Loans with case numbers submitted prior to March 2nd will be grandfathered and eligible to being scored under Version 3.0 for 90 days following March 2nd.
Fifth Third has expanded the LTV limits for HASP Open Access and DU Refi Plus loans and is now permitting 125 LTVs and unlimited CLTV/HCLTVs. The maximum allowable for affected ARM products is 105. Guidance has also been updated to require Open Access and DU Refi Plus transactions with mortgage insurance to maintain the same percentage of coverage for the refinance. In cases where there is a discrepancy between the coverage on the MI certificate and the AUS findings, the MI certificate should be used to obtain the correct value. Copies of the MI certificate and/or modification certification are required to be included in loan files where applicable.
Effective for all new loans registered after February 25th or currently in the pipeline, Fifth Third will be suspending properties subject to deed or re-sale restrictions apart from age-restricted subdivisions or projects that meet the Fair Housing Act eligible property type requirements. Deed or re-sale restrictions are considered to be "a right for an infinite or specified number of years, stated in the form of a restriction, easement, covenant, or condition in any deed, mortgage, ground lease, agreement, or other instrument executed by or on behalf of the owner of the land." This includes income limits, employment-related properties, principal residence requirements, first-time homebuyer requirements, or re-sale price limits. HASP Open Access and DU Refi Plus transactions are excepted.
Fifth Third is now requiring all appraisals to include an aerial photo and commentary from the appraiser on any positive or negative influence. This applies to all subject properties, regardless of appraisal form used.
The week of 3/11 promises to be among the most quiet of the year w/very few big macro or micro events. We can continue to hear a lot of noise around budgetary matters here in the country; Italy brings in a new parliament Friday. The Fed will publish part II of the bank stress tests Thursday, and it will let banks know how much capital they can return to shareholders. For scheduled news in this country, there is none today, and on Friday we'll see the first March numbers with Empire Manufacturing. Wednesday is Retail Sales, along with Export & Import Prices, Thursday is Initial Jobless Claims, the Producer Price Index, and Friday is the Consumer Price Index - everyone keeps waiting for something to talk about on the inflation front, but both are expected to be roughly unchanged - and the Industrial Production/Capacity Utilization duo. Here in the early going (and boy does it seem early!) the 10-yr.'s yield is sitting around 2.04% and agency MBS prices are not doing much either versus Friday's close.
All the guys were at a deer camp. No one wanted to room with Bob, because he snored so badly. They decided it wasn't fair to make one of them stay with him the whole time, so they voted to take turns.
The first guy slept with Bob and comes to breakfast the next morning with his hair a mess and his eyes all bloodshot.
They said, "Man, what happened to you? He said, "Bob snored so loudly, I just sat up and watched him all night."
The next night it was a different guy's turn. In the morning, same thing, hair all standing up, eyes all bloodshot.
They said, "Man, what happened to you? You look awful! He said, 'Man, that Bob shakes the roof with his snoring. Couldn't sleep, so I also watched him all night."
The third night was Fred's turn. Fred was a tanned, older cowboy, a man's man.
The next morning he came to breakfast bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
"Good morning!" he said. They couldn't believe it. They said, "Man, what happened?"
He said, "Well, we got ready for bed. I went and tucked Bob into bed, patted him on the butt, and kissed him good night. Bob sat up and watched me all night."
With age comes wisdom.