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Larry Gray
Senior Mortgage Banker, Mason-McDuffie Mortgage Corporation
on Thu May 18 2017, 11:59 AM
The fact that refinancing during that time was at least as much to blame as risky purchase loans and sloppy underwriting, seems to be the forgotten part of the mortgage lending industry's share of the economic crisis of 2008. That more than 80% of fannie mae or Freddie mac refinances were cash out refinances tells part of the story of the high risk involved. That people at the top failed to notice or refused to notice what was happening is what makes most rational people who went through those times realize certain regulations need to be in place and enforced.
Ted Rood
Senior Loan Officer , MB Financial Bank
on Thu May 4 2017, 1:10 AM
It's not April 1, but thought for a minute it might be when I read of Nationstar's, uh, "creative" strategy to rebrand to "Mr. Cooper". Are they frantically recruiting male loan officers named Cooper, to complete the transformation?
Ted Rood
Senior Loan Officer , MB Financial Bank
on Thu May 4 2017, 1:07 AM
"Tight inventories" is the key. When there's more buyers than sellers, prices rise. In this case, can add "vastly" before "more", and "rapidly" after "rise."
Ted Rood
Senior Loan Officer , MB Financial Bank
on Thu May 4 2017, 1:04 AM
Wish my clients could find houses to buy, a sentiment all loan officers and realtors likely share. Have numerous buyers, motivated, realistic, and well qualified, but they're finding multiple offers, over list price, for homes they like. Great time to be a seller, not so much a buyer.
on Tue May 2 2017, 6:27 PM
Get NJ on the band wagon. They have prevented me from buying a house because they never credited my payments for 3 months. Why ? because I did not write the loan number on the check. I have lost many properties because of their error which they refuse to admit guilt. Appraisal fees lost, application fees lost, deposits lost. They also made me sell the property way below market value because they were threatening to foreclose meanwhile sending all letters to the wrong address. I am out so much money because of them. Some one needs to get them to pay up to the people whom they ruined their lives.
Larry Gray
Senior Mortgage Banker, Mason-McDuffie Mortgage Corporation
on Thu Apr 27 2017, 1:20 PM
Most of us who have been around for awhile know the tax reform plan is too radical for many politicians tastes. What Congress ultimately comes in to agreement with the President will seem somewhat radical in view of what we have had in place, for the most part, for many years. However, it is hard to imagine a sufficient number of republicans are going to vote for a tax plan that clearly will increase the deficit dramatically. It goes against everything they preach. Then, we have a President who clearly agreed that the very wealthiest including himself, should be taxed at a higher rate....until he got elected!
Larry Gray
Senior Mortgage Banker, Mason-McDuffie Mortgage Corporation
on Thu Apr 27 2017, 12:57 PM
OK, I do not know about any of you guys, but I attended a CA State University 1975 on, at $90/semester and a community college just before that for free. It is the one other thing that Bernie said, besides promoting single payer health care, I would have to agree with. I think a lot of Mellennials agree..."free stuff, yes!" Now that our government has graciously assisted thousands upon thousands of students with these student loans to pay for far higher costs than I could have imagined back in the day, do we leave them hanging with often a lifetime of debt they can never seem to pay off? I or my younger brother (who had board and room at a UC campus for an "unbelievable" price by today's standards) could never have imagined the cost in proportion to what the average parent could help out with, and a part time low paying job. Student loans were all ready being made back then, and my brother for whom Dad paid for his board and tuition. took out a student loan to cover pot, beer and miscellaneous expenses a student might have. It was small enough and decent paying jobs were plentiful enough back then that he paid the loan back in a few years time. OK, maybe free college is too far from what could ever be agreed to other than maybe community colleges, but we could lift that burden from many of our Mellennials, & others. In fact they can apply for loan consolidations and reduced payments now, though many still may end up paying on their student loans until they are old and gray. As banks have forgiven debt with offering short sales to underwater and over financially burdened homeowners, what could be wrong with working with each former student that might be struggling, and forgiving at least some portion of the debt and/or reducing payments and making the loan interest free?
on Wed Apr 26 2017, 11:08 AM
I seen this both ways in my 20 years. I have seen people with 10-15 year old student debt, but that $900 a BMW payment was more important. Many of these do have the means to pay these back. They just treat them like yesterdays leftovers. Yes, now there are some that are really in a pinch, however I think this has become more political than factual in the past few years.
Matthew Graham
Chief Operating Officer, Mortgage News Daily / MBS Live
on Mon Apr 24 2017, 1:27 PM
The more immediate issue with tax reform is that it will (might/could) juice equities markets at the expense of bonds. Jury's out on long-term inflation risk due to money-printing. So far, not as scary as billed.
on Mon Apr 24 2017, 12:04 PM
With the level of government regulation in the industry it's amazing that this stuff is still going on and the regulators either don't care or don't know. As far as I'm concerned Ocwen malfeasance has been well known in the industry for 10 plus years - why does it take so long for the regulators to notice?
Matthew Graham
Chief Operating Officer, Mortgage News Daily / MBS Live
on Thu Apr 13 2017, 12:26 PM
corrected. Thanks!
x x
on Wed Apr 12 2017, 12:17 PM
typo in the 2nd word of the article.
on Mon Apr 10 2017, 10:18 AM
The fact is that on time rental and utility payments are the BEST proof of ability to maintain a mortgage as they demonstrate that the renter/buyer not only has the ability to pay but also the dedication to make it a top priority. The NACA system does not use credit scores at all and has one of the lowest default rates in the entire mortgage industry.
on Wed Apr 5 2017, 12:23 PM
Since when is this going to be in effect? Consumers should have their fingers crossed...
on Wed Apr 5 2017, 11:48 AM
This will make it so more people have lower credit if you count utility bills. Credit scores play a small part in mortgages? Since when?
Larry Gray
Senior Mortgage Banker, Mason-McDuffie Mortgage Corporation
on Mon Apr 3 2017, 1:48 PM
I would not want the right of private lenders to decide on their own specific overlays to be removed by the FEDs as long as it meets current legal standards, even for government insured loans. Generally federally chartered banks have always been considered to be among the most conservative of lenders and also not a bad place at all for one to have their cash reserves held. I am not sure that deregulating banks to sell insurance, investments, etc. was necessarily a good thing. However, drawing up their own lending criteria while adhering to current laws ought to continue. If it becomes a problem that every direct lender is ignoring current minimum qualifying requirements from FHA and VA then maybe a solution to the problem needs to be found. However, there are direct lenders who have more lenient underwriting requirements simply because many banks choose to keep in place overlays they feel are more in line with their underwriting philosophy and practice. It provides more opportunity for other lenders. "Lenders are assured that they will be held responsible, under their representations and warrantees, only for errors in underwriting a loan, not for whether the borrower defaults on it." It is wonderful to have a 580 minimum requirement for an FHA or VA loan, but it does not necessarily mean I do not work with borrowers to still increase their scores for a better rate & better pricing. However, sometimes they need to buy NOW, or refinance NOW for one reason or other and you originate and close a loan if you can!
Larry Gray
Senior Mortgage Banker, Mason-McDuffie Mortgage Corporation
on Mon Apr 3 2017, 1:18 PM
Anyone who has been originating mortgage loans successfully for a long time understands why appraisers have to go inside a house being appraised and measure it. The public records do not always accurately show the proper measurement. If there is substantially more square feet in the appraiser's measurement, then is it allowable or done without permits? Or are the measurements just inaccurately recorded in Public Records? The appraiser needs to research this or sometimes I would be asked to produce a copy of original permits from my borrower. Or maybe it gets grandfathered in. The fact that public records and the MLS seem closely matched in reporting details seems a good thing, but for reasons cited by commenter Jcarlson corrections in data needed to be addressed and corrected.
Robert Jubran
Mortgage Banker, FirstBank Mortgage
on Wed Mar 29 2017, 1:38 PM
Great info!
Larry Gray
Senior Mortgage Banker, Mason-McDuffie Mortgage Corporation
on Wed Mar 29 2017, 12:31 PM
Without giving up sound underwriting principles but also understanding that making homeownership possible to more lower income borrowers, second chance borrowers, and borrowers in high rent areas with minimal savings can be good for the economy. These "eager to own a home" individuals and families help strengthen communities in gaining a foothold in real estate ownership. This is a terrific report on the importance of these lending criteria for those of us who still do a fair amount of FHA loans alongside other first time buyer loans. I am aware that more and more big banks are shying away from FHA lending as much as possible. There are lenders such as ourselves that fill that void currently by doing FHA loans with no overlays and competently so. Realtors and others need to wake up and respond to requests from mortgage consultants that fill this growing void in lending. Many of us can provide down payment and closing cost assistance in as short of escrow period as a stand alone loan.
on Fri Mar 24 2017, 4:10 PM
Shortly after this article was released, Speaker of The House Paul Ryan pulled the Healthcare Reform Bill from the House Floor, and postponed the Health Care Reform Vote, as Republicans currently do not have enough votes to "Repeal & Replace" the Affordable Care Act. Mortgage Rates and Stocks are trending down in response, due to Financial Market disappointment. Paul Ryan is scheduled to speak at 4 p.m. ET. You can follow that live at For update mortgage information in AZ contact AZ Mortgage Expert Steve Bernstein (480) 424-7144
Larry Gray
Senior Mortgage Banker, Mason-McDuffie Mortgage Corporation
on Fri Mar 17 2017, 3:00 PM
I too question the rate discrepancy pointed out between most FHA loans and ones that included down payment and sometimes closing costs assistance. In fact the rate could be better in using the Cal HFA State down payment assistance only. The rate was typically half a point higher when receiving closing cost assistance as well. However, that would often only be .250 higher then prevailing FHA rates. My experience and Michael Schwartz' experience based on his comment, covers two States. Nevertheless, I would still be surprised to see many State's in their DPA and closing cost assistance programs showing rates up to 80 BPS higher! The overall maximum debt to income ratio allowed is much lower than the maximum allowable on most standard FHA loans which makes sense since very little money has been risked by the home buyers. What ought to be considered in conjunction with qualifying factors, is how much it means for most of these borrowers to own their own home. I seriously doubt hardly any would end up foreclosing on their home loan unless they absolutely had no choice. Being of low to lower middle class incomes naturally more people will likely be affected by an economic or medical catastrophe than higher income classes. However, so far the FEDs have paid close attention and addressed FHA qualifying standards, needed adjustments to lessen risk to the insurance fund, and FHA insured lending has been successful thus far.
on Fri Mar 17 2017, 2:52 PM
These loans are at premium rates. It's time that OIG did step in to oversee these types of programs, that is a little too late. Although it's intention serves a purpose, the outcome is higher closing costs, higher interest rates and monthly payments. Affordability should not be justified by turning to these programs. The interest rate spreads are significant and I advocate for first time home buyers to look at all loan scenarios with and without the down payment assistance to encourage a longer term approach to these programs. DPA programs are the last resort and a first time homebuyer in California, should be conservative on their approach to purchase a home if down payment assistance is needed.
on Fri Mar 17 2017, 11:51 AM
I have written quite a few loans with community held seconds here in NJ and not one of them had any pricing adjustment whatsoever. The only pricing adjustment that I see for these borrowers is due to credit score but again that adjustment is made without any regard for a second or lack there of. I don't know if the OIG actually peels that layer back. Most community down payment programs that I come across are for first time buyers only and add to that the income caps which are well below the median income. That type of borrower will most typically struggle to maintain a higher credit score. I don't think the OIG realizes that.
Larry Gray
Senior Mortgage Banker, Mason-McDuffie Mortgage Corporation
on Mon Mar 13 2017, 1:17 PM
Sales & marketing that is ok under RESPA may not be ok when it comes to buying any leads from Zillow. Of course, for many years a large dominate real estate property information and education website was nonexistent. It seems if Zillow did not have the real estate licensing then it could only be considered an educational and marketing website that can sell leads in some manner and form. "The statute has always been vague, the regulations are not much better - " In a way maybe companies like Redfin, who have been adapting to maximize proftits in real estate sales while using their own network of real estate agents and real estate agent Assistants gain the edge if deciding Zillow is not allowed to sell leads. To my way of thinking, it seems highly anti-competition to leave out a company like Zillow whose investors decided to continue working with a broad range of independent real estate agents as opposed to hiring and controlling their own. It would be more fair to rewrite regulation to clearly include the right of website educational and marketing companies like Zillow to be able to sell rights to their own company received leads to real estate agents and mortgage loan agents.
Matthew Graham
Chief Operating Officer, Mortgage News Daily / MBS Live
on Fri Mar 10 2017, 2:21 PM
I don't see today as an indication of a bigger-picture bounce. We're not likely to see major movement until after next week's Fed. Lock/Float thoughts discussed in greater detail on MBS Live as well (take a free trial if you haven't already).
on Fri Mar 10 2017, 2:05 PM
So what are your thoughts on waiting on locks until mid next week?
on Fri Mar 10 2017, 9:15 AM
I have an expression, "every sentence ends with a comma, not a period." Having said that, I believe rising prices would send the message, "Prices are rising, you better buy now".
Dustin McAlister
Mortgage Loan Officer, KS StateBank
on Thu Mar 9 2017, 9:47 AM
Agreed on the IRRRL when it comes to the 3 year ARM. However what about the vets that took a higher rate because when they bought their home they were pushed to a realtor or builder preferred lender who had sub-par VA pricing because they do so few VA loans? You should be able to IRRRL out of a higher 30 year fixed rate into another 30 year fixed if your breakeven point is instant. If all of the costs other than pre-paids were covered with lender rebate there is zero financial harm done to the vet in those situations. This is who really gets hosed on the new rule requiring 6 months of payments.
on Mon Mar 6 2017, 11:46 AM
Rob - Saying appraisers charge $700 per appraisal and do two per day is absurd. What is your source for this info?
Larry Gray
Senior Mortgage Banker, Mason-McDuffie Mortgage Corporation
on Fri Feb 24 2017, 2:53 PM
Late to the comment party, but it is important to say lacking in the discussion is the absence of clarity on what exactly the 17% really was! Yes, the headline of the article states 17% of consumers unaware that mortgages involve closing costs. But if you read just a little further: "...some homebuyers still say their final closing costs caught them by surprise". "Some appear to have been unaware that closing costs were even required." WELL, DOES "SOME" MEAN 17%? Perhaps Jann, you meant to say 17% of respondents were caught by surprise at their closing costs, and some of them didn't even know that had closing costs? No question more loan officers could become educated about doing proper "mortgage planning" which includes keeping borrowers well informed on the numbers throughout the loan process.
Matthew Graham
Chief Operating Officer, Mortgage News Daily / MBS Live
on Fri Feb 24 2017, 1:29 PM
Not sure if it's "good," but numbers that low are "common" when it comes to mortgage/housing survey-based data.
Ted Rood
Senior Loan Officer , MB Financial Bank
on Fri Feb 17 2017, 7:46 PM
I'd be totally shocked if half of home buyers picked their title company. In my experience, it's almost universally the buyers' agent, or seller's attorney who picks title company. On another note, what does it say about TRID and "Know Before You Owe" if 17% of home buyers aren't aware of closing costs until they reach the closing table? It is ridiculous that ANYONE would make it through the mortgage process (and attendant multiple sets of LE's) without fully comprehending that loans involve certain costs, but 17%?
Ted Rood
Senior Loan Officer , MB Financial Bank
on Thu Feb 16 2017, 5:20 PM
Obviously, ARMs aren't for everyone, Larry, and I wasn't implying that they are. Not sure how many of us are overly concerned about rates rising to 18% (yes, I remember those days too). If someone was expecting dramatically higher rates in the coming decades, today's ARM adjustment rate caps would certainly provide a measure of comfort.
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on Fri Feb 10 2017, 11:53 AM
I'm closing on a house on March 23rd in Denver, CO. It's a new build and I started the build in Oct '16. As you know, rates shot up and now I'm at the point where I can lock in rates with a 45 day lock. I see rates bounced off resistance, so I'm thinking about waiting until they come down again. What are your thoughts?
Matthew Graham
Chief Operating Officer, Mortgage News Daily / MBS Live
on Thu Feb 9 2017, 2:48 PM
Juan, they didn't do it sooner because they adhered to almost the exact same time frame on the MIP cut as they did in 2014/2015. Specifically, the actuarial report came out in November 2014 and the MIP cut was announced in January 2015. Same story this time around, except that the actuarial report is even stronger this time. If Obama admin is to be faulted on a political level, the only case to be made is that they didn't try to include the incoming administration on the changes.
Frank Ceizyk
Producing Branch Manager, Own It Home Loans
on Tue Feb 7 2017, 9:24 AM
Little bit of political spin on this one. The narrative before the election was Trump would be an unmitigated disaster for the market and cause it to plummet—while the kneejerk overnight trading the night of the election certainly seemed to confirm that, by the morning the sentiment changed, and hasn’t stopped as the market breaks record after record. Granted, the rally seems a bit overdone, and hasn’t helped rates. On the flip side, if this administration is successful in cutting back some of the absurd Dodd Frank implementations, we could see low lending costs. And with house prices continuing to rise, negative equity will be less of a problem for more and more borrowers.
on Thu Feb 2 2017, 2:25 PM
Also, FWIW, buyers primarily see active listed properties and submit their offers based upon what's currently available as opposed to what's sold and closed...
on Thu Feb 2 2017, 9:40 AM
After 50 yrs. in the Mortgage business I still marvel at the "greed" that exists. In most instances, those found guilty of these different charges are financially successful. WHY then do they do these things?
Matthew Graham
Chief Operating Officer, Mortgage News Daily / MBS Live
on Tue Jan 31 2017, 4:12 PM
Our official stance and our specific assumption for the purpose of this article is that an appraisal is an objective assessment of value--nothing more, nothing less. "Appraisal fails" referenced the "failure of a piece of collateral to appraise at the value agreed upon in the purchase contract." The article refers to "purchase mortgage applications that failed approval." The failure in that case is triggered by the valuation--the appraisal--simply because it serves as the objective verdict on price. It is neither inherently good nor bad. It simply "is." Certainly, the root cause of the failure is more appropriately argued to be overestimation of value on the part of buyer/seller, among other things. The analysis in question concerned itself with instances where the discovery of value triggered the failure of the mortgage approval. Nonetheless, I went ahead and changed the title to reference "valuations" as opposed to "appraisal fails."
on Tue Jan 31 2017, 1:09 PM
Matthew Graham, here is why I take this article as a knock on appraisers: 1) the part of title "appraisal fails still causing issues" is very much blaming appraisals for a "failure" and "issue". The title could easily have been appraisals save borrowers from buying above market value or appraisals save lenders from investing above market value. 2) the article quotes Yanling Mayer stating "appraisals coming in below the contract selling price is common."; however the article fails to point out the fact that the statistics cited in the article prove exactly the opposite. 11.3% is not common in fact it is rather uncommon when you realize that 88.7% were not below contract price. It is not an appraisers charge to match or verify the contract price. The appraiser is providing an opinion of market value as defined. The investors should be grateful when they learn that the amount they are being asked to invest is above market value. Unfortunately this article leaves the impression that the investors just want the deal to go through regardless of market value.
on Tue Jan 31 2017, 11:30 AM
Why doesn't this read "Brokers Fail at Price Negotiations Causing Issues..."
on Tue Jan 31 2017, 11:25 AM
Does this mean 85% or so of people are paying below market value for their homes?
on Mon Jan 30 2017, 4:29 PM
If it was so great, why didn't Obama do this sooner? Before the election? This isn't the only "land-mine" he left the incoming administration... there's more
on Mon Jan 30 2017, 11:51 AM
Maybe it is due to the title of the article. "Appraisal Fails" If one of our reports comes in below the contract price I wouldn't consider it a fail. It's the market speaking. Also keep in mind that, of all the people involved in the transaction, the appraiser is left holding the liability for the life of the loan. This is just even more incentive for appraisers to get it right regardless of a sales contract. I am certain there are instances out there where some appraises are overly cautious when valuing in increasing markets. Perhaps just some, not all, of the liability should be shifted off of the appraiser's shoulders.
Matthew Graham
Chief Operating Officer, Mortgage News Daily / MBS Live
on Mon Jan 30 2017, 9:53 AM
It's interesting that appraisers view this objective reporting as some sort of knock on them. The point of the story is that contract prices are higher than valuations suggest. I'm not sure there was any subjective assessment of the quality/accuracy of those valuations.

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