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Tag Archives: Refinance

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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As Refi Activity Fades, LPS Predicts Rise in Home Equity Loans

The number of homeowners eligible for refinancing has shrunk from about 10 million in December 2012 to about 5.7 million as of August, according to Lender Processing Services' (LPS) latest Mortgage Monitor report. LPS cites heightened refinance activity over the past few years and rising interest rates as reasons for the decline and sees a market ripe for home equity lines of credit as a result of rising prices.

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Weak Third Quarter Expected for Mortgage Banks

Investment bank FBR Capital Markets released its preview of third-quarter earnings for major U.S. banks Monday, with a cloudy outlook for mortgage banking. In general, bank stocks have underperformed the broader market by about 2 percent over the third quarter; and zeroing in on the mortgage market, FBR is not optimistic about Q3 results.

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Refinances Decline, HARP Refis Still Higher Than Last Year in Q2

As mortgage rates climb, refinances are on the decline. However, refinances through the government's Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) remain elevated compared to last year's volumes, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) Refinance Report for the second quarter of 2013. HARP refinances totaled about 280,000 for the quarter, down slightly from about 290,000 in the first quarter of this year, FHFA reported.

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Reports: Wells Fargo to Cut Over 2,000 Mortgage Jobs

Wells Fargo, the nation's biggest mortgage lender, is reportedly getting set to cut more than 2,000 production jobs in response to the drop in refinance demand. According to a report from Bloomberg, people with knowledge of the matter said the bank is removing 2,300 jobs--about 20 percent of its 11,406 loan officers as of March 31.

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Refinancers Largely Favor Fixed Rate Loans; Cash-Out Share Stays Low

Homeowners who refinance continue to overwhelmingly opt for fixed-rate mortgages, and by historical standards, fewer homeowners are using refinances as a means of putting more cash in their pockets, according to Freddie Mac's 2013 Second Quarter Refinance Report. More than 95 percent of homeowners who refinanced their mortgage loans in the second quarter of this year chose fixed-rate loans. At the same time, ""[t]he cash-out amount, while increasing, continues to remain low by historical standards,"" according to Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist at Freddie Mac.

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Four California Men Sentenced to Jail for Mortgage Modification Scams

Four California men face jail time, probation, and restitution fees for alleged mortgage modification scams. The men defrauded hundreds of homeowners of more than $130,000, according to an announcement Tuesday from the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP). The four defendants sent promotional letters to homeowners offering to modify or refinance their home loans. They collected upfront fees for their services and did not deliver on their promises.

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Obama Reveals Proposals for Housing Finance Reform

In a speech Tuesday, President Barack Obama will stress the need for a new housing finance system based on specific core principles that include putting private capital first, ending Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's ""failed business model,"" and ensuring broad access to the 30-year fixed rate mortgage, according to a fact sheet from the White House. ""Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be wound down through a responsible transition, and the government role during normal times should be no bigger than necessary to achieve the principles laid out here,"" officials stated in the fact sheet released prior to the speaking event in Phoenix.

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FHFA OIG: Borrower Outreach Critical to HARP’s Success

Undoubtedly, broadening eligibility for the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) has allowed more borrowers to benefit from the program. However, HARP rules aren't the only obstacles stunting refinance volume. A report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General (FHFA OIG) found a lack of borrower education is also a critical barrier to the program. ""[M]any borrowers have not heard of the program, confuse the program with other government housing programs, or do not realize that they are eligible,"" the report stated.

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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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