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August 17, 2010

Federal Reserve Cuts Lender Paid Yield Spread Premium

The Federal Reserve was busy Monday eliminating commission opportunities for mortgage brokers across the nation. The Fed announced several new rules like banning YSP loan commissions in an effort to minimize abusive mortgage lending practices.  According to the Lead Planet, a mortgage marketing company in Southern California, the Fed actually said that mortgage lenders paying yield spread premium, also known as YSP led to the collapse of our housing sector.   The truth is that the Fed has had knowledge of broker paid commissions since it began well over a decade ago.

Will Banning Mortgage Rebates Help the Mortgage Industry?

These new home lending regulations are part of the new financial reform legislation mandated by Congress.  The new rules apply to mortgage loan originators, brokers and loan companies, including banks and mortgage firms employing them. Under the new regulations loan originators may no longer be paid a increased commissions for suggesting one home loan over another.

Will this be the end of No Cost Mortgages? The rule change is intended to prevent loan originators from receiving higher compensation at the cost of damaging consumers.  Mortgage lenders can still continue to receive fees that are based on a percentage of the loan amount, however, which is common in the mortgage business.  Many loan originators have been sharing their yield spread premium commissions with their borrowers in an effort to reduce or even eliminate closing costs.  Where do you think no cost mortgage loans originated from?

Loan originators will also be prohibited from receiving compensation from both the consumer and another party such as a bank or mortgage company. Consumers were typically not informed that loan originators and brokers often received payments for their work from both parties. The new rule seeks to protect consumers who agree to pay the loan agents through a higher interest rate or through fees such as points charged up front on a mortgage are not paying more as a result.

Another rule finalized Monday would require borrowers to be notified when their home mortgage has been sold or transferred.  The Fed also proposed a rule to make it easier for consumers to learn who owns their loans. Under the provision, once a mortgage servicer is asked by a borrower for that information, the loan servicer would have to provide it within a reasonable time, which generally would be 10 business days.

The new YSP rules are set to go into effect April 1, 2011.  Read the original article online > Fed Bans Lenders from Paying YSP to Mortgage brokers


June 20, 2010

Thrifty Tips for Buying Internet Mortgage Leads

Today, most mortgage brokers that have less to spend so it is imperative that they buy leads cautiously.  Internet mortgage leads can be a very cost effective form of marketing if you know how to purchase leads from lead generation companies.  Be careful of how and where you purchase leads. Ask the account executive at the lead company what their minimums are and be cautious when buying leads in bulk.  If a lead company is generating 50 leads a day and 15 leads a day that meet your filters, you have to wonder how a lead company could send you 250 leads in a 3-day span.  Clearly these are either old or brokered leads. In a recent article, Bryan Dornan the founder of mortgage lead generation company, the Lead Planet reminded mortgage companies to “Consider more than just the cost per lead.”  Dornan suggests that “the cost per funding is the bottom line.”  See the original mortgage lead buying post at the Mortgage Lead Vault > Cost to Funding Ratio Matters with Mortgage Leads


September 15, 2009

Federal Reserve Buying Up Bad Mortgage Debt

Category: Home Loan News,Mortgage Brokers,Mortgage Industry News – admin – 2:34 pm

The Federal Reserve, which meets next week to discuss their interest rate policy, is likely to stay the course to buy $1.45 trillion in mortgage loan securities despite potential resistance from a few regional Fed presidents.  Central-bank officials plan to discuss winding down those purchases over the coming months to limit disruption to the market when the buying comes to an end.  Some regional Fed policy makers have suggested the Fed might halt the program before it finishes its purchases of $1.25 trillion in mortgage-backed securities and $200 billion in bad credit mortgage debt from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced in the past year. But they are a small minority across the Fed system.  Top Fed officials believe such a move would tighten overall monetary policy at a time when they still worry about the durability of the economic recovery. The Fed has completed about two-thirds of its purchases, almost $1 trillion worth, and is likely to complete the rest unless prospects for the economy improve radically in the coming months.


At the Federal Open Market Committee’s September 22-23 meeting, the central bank’s policy makers including the 12 regional Federal Reserve presidents will assess the early signs of improvement now taking shape across the economy. Officials are encouraged by the rebound in financial-market conditions and initial indications that the housing market is coming out of its recession.  But they are hesitant to bank on a strong recovery. The sizable growth expected in the third quarter is due in part to short-term effects such as companies replenishing inventories and the government’s “cash for clunkers” auto-rebate program. Higher saving by households is casting doubt on consumer spending. And even the moderate growth that Fed officials expect next year wouldn’t be enough to bring down the unemployment rate substantially.  “The economy seems to be brushing itself off and beginning its climb out of the deep hole it’s been in,” San Francisco Fed President Janet Yellen said in a speech Monday. “But I regret to say that I expect the recovery to be tepid. What’s more, the gradual expansion gathering steam will remain vulnerable to shocks.”  The economy has so much slack that officials expect core inflation — excluding food and energy — to drift lower next year. Barring a surge in commodity prices or inflation expectations, most Federal Reserve officials see little reason to raise mortgage interest rates from near zero in the first half of next year as futures markets have forecast recently.


August 17, 2009

Encompass Increases Marketshare with Home Loan Companies

Steve Park of Mortgage Brokers Network was asked about Encompass and this is what he had to say. “Encompass certainly has made a dent in the loan origination software market that Calyx’s Point has dominated for so long.”  Lead Planet, a mortgage lead generation company have confirmed a surge in Encompass users with their lead buying clients.  “We’ve been using Encompass very successfully for quite some time, and this integration has made it exponentially easier for us to access what we feel is the most accurate product and pricing information available on the market,” says Craig Willis, chief technology officer for Amerifirst Financial, an Encompass and Mortgage Pricing Systems user. Read the complete article > Mortgage Lead Companies See Rise Encompass Use for Mortgage Management Solutions


August 10, 2009

Taylor Bean Freezes Wholesale Home Loan Division

Category: Broker Tips,Home Loan News,Mortgage Brokers – admin – 8:38 am

Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. lost its Freddie Mac approval and immediately halted their wholesale home loans operations. The company hopes a business restructuring will remedy its situation. The loss of Taylor, Bean and Whitaker as a wholesale lender is a major blow to U.S. mortgage brokers who say it means home loan applicants who were in process at the wholesaler will need to purchase new appraisals and potentially sit through new waiting periods. The action follows Taylor Bean’s suspension yesterday by the Federal Housing Administration and the Government National Mortgage Association or Ginnie Mae. 


July 20, 2009

Home Mortgage Rates Remain Low

Mortgage rates in the U.S. fell to the lowest since May as mortgage refinance loans surged on reduced borrowing costs. The average thirty-year rate fell to 5.14% from 5.20%, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac of McLean, Virginia, said today in a statement. The fifteen-year mortgage rate was 4.63%.   “It’s been stuck in this low-five range for a number of weeks,” Donald Rissmiller, chief economist at New York-based Strategas Research Partners, said. “This is still a good interest rate.”  

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s index of home loan applications rose 4.3% to 514.4 in the week ended July 10. Purchase applications fell 9.4 % while requests to refinance gained 18%, indicating prospective buyers are still wary of falling home prices while property owners are taking advantage of low rates to reduce their monthly payments.  Kelly Media Group Founder, Jason Cardiff of the Mortgage Lead Company, said, “The result of lenders cutting fees will trickle down to homeowners and eventually provide a hedge against inflation for the rest of 2009.”

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke is trying to reduce lending costs with a $1.25 trillion program to purchase securities backed by home loans. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, the worldwide credit crunch spurred by bad credit mortgages has cost the world’s financial firms almost $1.5 trillion in losses and more asset write-downs.

Last month, the Federal Reserve left the size of its buying program intact and kept the benchmark rate for federal funds at between 0 and 0.25 %. The rate will stay at “exceptionally low rate levels” for an “extended period,” the Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement June 24th.   “We’re going to see more of the same out of the Fed,” Rissmiller said. “They’ve been happy with what’s happened.”

April’s Record Low

Mortgage rates reached a record low 4.78 % twice in April after the central bank announced its plan to boost buying of both mortgage securities and Treasuries.   Those purchases brought down yields on government debt and mortgage-backed bonds issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae, allowing lenders to reduce mortgage rates on new home loans and still sell the securities at a profit. Home loan rates started climbing in May along with Treasury yields on investor concern that ballooning government debt would fuel inflation.


March 9, 2009

Report Suggest 20% of Home Loans Underwater from Declining Home Values

A new report from First American Core Logic suggested that more than 8.3 million U.S. home mortgages had negative equity as of year-end, compared with 7.6 million just a few months prior.  Another 2.2 million owner-occupied properties have homes worth only about 5% more than their debt, so they are approaching negative equity as home values slide. More than 20% of all properties carrying a mortgage nationwide have negative equity, with more owed on their home loans than the homes are worth, according to a report being released today.   Borrowers are having a difficult time qualifying for a refinance loans or cash refinancing for debt consolidation.


Over 30% of homes nationally are owned outright, and they were not included in the statistics. The near-negative equity homes, combined with the underwater homes, account for a full quarter of all U.S. mortgaged properties, the research company said. The numbers are ominous because negative equity is half of the formula that usually leads to foreclosure.  “Being underwater is a necessary but not sufficient condition for home loan default and foreclosure,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for First American in Washington, D.C. “The other necessary but insufficient condition is inability to make your mortgage payment due to job loss, divorce, a significant change in the payment because of an adjustable interest rate mortgage. The new loan modification plans are more aggressive with incentives for lenders to renegotiate the principal amount owed on the property.


Over the past year, the total value of U.S. homes has fallen $2.4 trillion, going from $21.5 trillion in December 2007 to $19.1 trillion at the end of 2008. California, where more than $1.2 trillion of housing value evaporated last year, accounted for half that decline. That’s vastly disproportionate to California’s share of the mortgage market, estimated to be 16% to 20%, Fleming said.  However, despite the steep declines, California overall is in better shape than some neighboring states because it still has a stock of mortgages taken out over two decades ago on homes that now have accumulated significant equity. On average, Californians with mortgage loans have 30% equity in their homes. By comparison, the average equity for all homes that still have mortgages in Nevada is just 3% – the worst in the nation. “Las Vegas is a city that exploded over the past 10 years,” Fleming said. Now that values have tumbled, “the last 10 years is a do-over.” 


February 9, 2009

Comparing Subprime Home Loans to Alt-A Mortgages

C.D. Davies discusses the difference between subprime home loans and Alt A mortgage financing.

The video talks about home mortgage industry and how mortgage lenders made bad subprime loans to risky borrowers that could not afford the mortgage payment as soon as it adjusted. Alt-A home loans were not much better because many of these loans were stated income with no income documentation required. Who could forget the ridiculous 1% teaser rate on loans that had negative amortization features that actually caused mortgage balance to rise.  Many of the foreclosures came from the no-money down home loans made from Alt-A and subprime lenders.


January 22, 2009

Did Countrywide Write Good Home Loans?

The Associated Press Mortgage financier has Freddie Mac has reported an $821 million second-quarter loss. The AP’s David Melendy reports on that and the rest of Wednesday’s business headlines. The mortgage financier has Freddie Mac has reported an $821 million second-quarter loss. The decrease of one dollar and sixty-three cents per share was more than three-times larger than Wall Street expected. The dismal results come just weeks after the government threw a financial lifeline to Freddie and its sister company Fannie Mae to ward off fears the pair could collapse and take down the U.S. mortgage market.

Connecticut is suing Countrywide Financial, alleging it misled borrowers into taking on risky home loans they could not afford. The state alleges the mortgage giant violated its consumer protection laws and charged unjustified fees to homeowners who defaulted. Many mortgage lenders believe that Countrywide wrote more poor credit mortgages because they were the top originator in the country.  People seem to forget that Countrywide also wrote more good loans than any other mortgage company for many years.


December 23, 2008

National Association of Mortgage Brokers Sues HUD Over RESPA

The National Association of Mortgage Brokers took the RESPA fight to a new level.  It’s bad enough that the banks and lenders have gotten away with slandering brokers for predatory lending.  HUD should be comparing home loans to home loans…The fact that HUD thinks it’s ok for mortgage lenders and banks no to disclose the yield spread premium paid by the investors, yet mortgage brokers should have be required to disclose the YSP, is nothing short of astonishing! 

NAMB’s argument is that HUD has overlooked the rights of mortgage brokers and bankers in helping the consumer at the closing table. The lawsuit against HUD states that the Final Rule is “arbitrary and capricious,” contrary to the intent of Congress, and fails to offer any rational reasons for its rejection of alternative approaches. NAMB says the Final Rule discriminates against mortgage brokers with the required broker-only disclosure of yield spread premium (YSP), placing them at a permanent disadvantage in the marketplace.  Read the complete article > NAMB Sues HUD Over RESPA



September 12, 2008

How the Mortgage Market has Changed Lenders and Brokers by Larry Nielsen

Category: FHA,Home Loan News,Mortgage Brokers,Mortgage Lenders – admin – 9:08 am

How the Mortgage Market has Changed Lenders and Brokers


The current mortgage market mess is a direct result of the subprime mortgage meltdown and foreclosure phenomenon. It all began with the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble, which launched the high default rates on subprime adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) and spread to the exotic hybrid ARM (negative amortization and interest-only loans). Now, even the prime mortgage market is experiencing high default rates.


Loan incentives, such as easy initial terms, in conjunction with an acceleration in rising housing prices encouraged borrowers to assume difficult mortgages on the belief they would be able to quickly refinance at more favorable terms. But, when housing prices started dropping in 2006, refinancing these loans became difficult. The default and foreclosure rate started rising dramatically upon expiration of the initial teaser rates and upon ARM interest rates adjusting higher as home prices failed to appreciate. Foreclosures accelerated in the United States in late 2006 and triggered a global financial crisis through 2007 and 2008. During 2007, nearly 1.3 million U.S. housing properties were subject to foreclosure activity, up 79% from 2006.


Subprime mortgage lenders were the first to be affected by the borrowers unable or unwilling to make their payments. Major banks and other financial institutions around the world have reported losses of approximately U.S. $435 billion as of July 17, 2008. But, as the securitized loans sold in the form of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and collateralized debt obligations (CDO) declined in value, Corporate, individual and institutional investors holding MBS or CDO started getting hit with heavy losses, and stock markets in many countries declined.


Countrywide almost going under before being bailed out by BOFA (Bank of America) and IndyMac going under seemed to spark off a trend of mortgage companies going bankrupt that seems to be continuing. As a result of the significantly increased credit risk and decreased confidence in the financial market, lending activity decreased, credit standards tightened down and the spread on higher interest rates widened–the current “credit crunch”.


Now, in order to get a conventional mortgage loan, whether you’re looking to buy or refinance, you now have to have excellent credit. Down payment and equity requirements are now tighter, as well. And, while the interest rates have now dropped below 6%, the lending standards haven’t loosened up at all. To purchase a home with a conforming Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan, you need a credit score of at least 660 if you’re putting 20% down and a score of at least 700 if you’re starting with less than 20% equity. Refinancing has similar standards–you need an excellent credit score and low loan to value (LTV), typically around 75% to 80%.


As a result of the conventional loan tightened lending standards, and the new increased lending limits under the Economic Stimulus package passed earlier this year, FHA loans have been making a serious comeback. The lower interest rates that resulted from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae being taken over by the government has also benefitted FHA because FHA rates have also decreased. But, the advantage that a home buyer has with FHA loans is that the credit standards are nowhere near as stringent for FHA loans as they are for conventional loans. You’re eligible if you have a score of around 580 and a good 12-month payment history on your bills. Plus, if you don’t have credit, FHA accepts non-traditional forms of credit like a positive rent paying history and positive payment histories with your utilities and cell phone.


For those looking to refinance, FHA allows you to refinance up to 95%, which is a lot better than the 75-80% LTV on conventional loans. Credit standards are reasonable for refinance loans, as well. As long as you have a positive 12-month payment history (particularly on your mortgage) and you are current on your mortgage, you’re eligible.