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Tag Archives: MBS

Fannie Mae’s Portfolio Continues to Shrink

Fannie Mae released its September book of business, revealing further declines as new acquisitions came to their lowest level in more than a year. The GSE's book of business totaled $3.163 trillion as of the end of September, shrinking at a compound annual rate of 1.3 percent. The company's single-family serious delinquency rate slipped to 2.55 percent.

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Ally Settles with Government Agencies over Toxic Mortgages

Ally Financial is the fifth bank to reach a settlement with the federal government over soured mortgage bonds sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac prior to the housing and foreclosure crisis. The bank announced Tuesday that it settled the 2011 lawsuit brought by the Federal Housing Finance Agency over toxic mortgages. Ally also reached a separate settlement with the FDIC to resolve pending litigation related to the company's legacy mortgage dealings.

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JPM Settlement Means Banks May Need to Increase Litigation Reserves

JPMorgan Chase's $4 billion settlement with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reached late last week ""sets a relatively high bar"" for the 13 other banks still facing litigation from the federal agency, according to Fitch Ratings, which suggested Tuesday that some of the banks may need to increase their litigation reserves before settling. The $4 billion is about 12 percent of the original face value of the private-label mortgage-backed securities for which FHFA sought damages.

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JPMorgan Settles with FHFA, GSEs over Bad Loans

JPMorgan Chase reached agreements to resolve its mortgage-backed securities litigation with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and rep and warranty repurchase claims from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Altogether, the bank has agreed to pay $5.1 billion to the GSEs.

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Analysts Expect Specialty Servicers to Play Larger Role in Refi Market

FBR Capital Markets on Wednesday raised its projection for new mortgage volume in the third quarter to $400-$420 billion, largely due to more activity from special servicers as larger banks relinquish market share. FBR anticipates strong performance from these specialty servicers, partly because of their ability to effectually mine acquired portfolios for refinancing opportunities.

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Commentary: Whither the Fed

What's up with the Fed? The venerable, usually media-shy central bank came in for more than its share of attention in the past week and has no one to blame but itself. It started with the withdrawal of Larry Summers as a candidate to replace Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke who, by the way, has not said he's leaving. Then came the conclusion of a two-day, closed-door policy meeting that defied all market expectations.

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No Change in FOMC Policy; Slower Growth

While noting improvement in economic activity and labor market conditions, the Federal Open Market Committee voted Wednesday to continue its policy of near-zero interest rates and its $85-billion-per-month bond-buying program. At the same time, the Fed’s own economic projections suggested the economy might not grow this year as fast as it expected just three months ago.

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Stewart Fortifies Foothold in Capital Markets Space with Allonhill Buy

Stewart Lender Services announced Tuesday that it has acquired key assets of the due diligence and credit risk management firm Allonhill. Stewart will retain all Allonhill personnel as well as Allonhill's headquarter facility in Denver and the technology developed by the Allonhill team. The acquisition strengthens Stewarts offerings by adding due diligence, loan quality reviews, compliance solutions, and servicer performance management to its suite of products provided to the mortgage servicer and investment communities.

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Commentary: Solving the Wrong Problem

President Obama is trying to solve the wrong problem by calling, as he did in his speech in Phoenix, for the end of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as we know it. To be sure, Fannie and Freddie were not the hallmarks of responsibility in the mortgage meltdown, but have gotten a bad rap. For all their housing expertise, they missed all the signals of the housing bubble (but then again so did Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan and his successor Ben S. Bernanke who dismissed it when the first signs of the meltdown emerged). Instead of suggesting replacing Fannie and Freddie to restore the nation's housing markets, the president should be proposing to return them to their original charters.

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FOMC Issues Mortgage Rate Warning

The FOMC voted Wednesday to continue its policy of near-zero interest rates and its $85-billion-per-month bond-buying program. In a subtle change of language designed to assuage nervous stock investors, the FOMC statement said the committee ""reaffirmed its view that a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy will remain appropriate for a considerable time after the asset purchase program ends and the economic recovery strengthens.""

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