Former FHA Commissioner And MBA President Remembered For Impact On Housing Industry

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Federal officials and members of the mortgage industry are mourning the loss of David Stevens, who helped the country navigate the aftermath of the 2008 housing crisis before serving as president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association for seven years. Stevens worked as the Federal Housing Administration Commissioner at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under former President Barack Obama. There from 2009 to 2011, he focused on restoring the administration to fiscal health and was a key player in drafting housing policy, according to an article by Reuters. HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge said on Wednesday in a statement, “This country is better because of David’s service and contributions.” “Over the course of his…

Reaching Millennials And Investing In Tech Considered A Recipe For Success

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Motivated millennials and the power of technology will shape the mortgage market in 2024, according to industry leaders who gathered this week to reflect on 2023 and strategize for the year ahead. During a “2024 Lender Strategies: What (Another) Unprecedented Year in Mortgage Taught Us” webinar hosted by Snapdocs, Michael Fratantoni, chief economist and senior vice president of research and industry technology at the Mortgage Bankers Association, said volume is predicted to increase by loan count to over five million this year. At the same time, total mortgage origination volume is expected to increase from $1.6 trillion to more than $2 trillion. Demographics will help contribute to a market rebound after a tough year in 2023. That’s…

Delinquencies Rise But Loss Mitigation Efforts Prevent Foreclosure

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Distressed homeowners who get behind on their mortgage bills are avoiding foreclosure. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s National Delinquency Survey was released last week and it showed that delinquencies increased in the third quarter to a rate of 3.62%, up 25 basis points from the second quarter and 17 basis points from a year ago. Marina Walsh, MBA’s vice president of industry analysis, said that despite the increase, later-stage delinquencies – those 90 days or more past due – declined to the lowest level since the first quarter of 2020. “The decline in later-stage delinquencies, along with a foreclosure starts rate of 0.14% – which is well below the historical quarterly average of 0.40% – suggest that distressed…

Ishbia Prepares For Market Rebound

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage says they are investing in technology and hiring new team members in preparation for a turn in rates. Leaders at UWM Holdings Corporation announced their third-quarter results on Wednesday. Total loan origination volume was $29.7 billion, of which $25.9 billion was purchase volume. Net income was reported at $301 million, which includes a $92.9 million increase in the fair value of mortgage servicing rights and diluted earnings at $0.15 per share. This was the second consecutive quarter of profits for UWM despite industry-wide challenges. Mat Ishbia, chairman and CEO of UWMC, said in a statement that the strength of the company and the broker channel is on full display. “While others…

Mortgage Rates Make Biggest One-Week Drop In More Than A Year

U.S. mortgage rates took their biggest one-week drop in more than a year last week. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported the contract rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage fell 25 basis points to 7.61%. That’s the lowest level since the end of September. Market watchers point to the Federal Reserve’s decision last week to hold interest rates steady as one reason for the slide in mortgage rates, adding to hopes the housing sector will improve in the coming months. The MBA also reported mortgage applications for home sales rose 3%. Mortgage brokers say it’s no surprise that with a tight market and plenty of frustrated would-be buyers, there was a surge in demand. Refinancing activity ticked up as the refinance…

Watching And Waiting For The Fed’s Next Move

By PATRICK LAVERY When the Federal Open Market Committee meets this week analysts will be looking for signs of what’s next and it may be anyone’s guess. At the Mortgage Bankers Association’s annual convention and expo in Philadelphia this month, MBA Chief Economist Michael Fratantoni told attendees that they expect the Feds will maintain the federal funds rate target range and do not expect an increase from them again this year. Fratantoni projected there will be at least two cuts in 2024, and possibly more in 2025. But then Patrick Harker, the president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, took the stage the next day and said rates may have to stay high in order for them…

Fannie And Freddie Leaders Talk About Artificial Intelligence

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Leaders at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac say they are using artificial intelligence to improve operational efficiencies. Fannie Mae CEO Priscilla Almodovar and Freddie Mac President Mike Hutchins talked about the benefits of using AI during an on-stage conversation last week at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s annual convention and expo in Philadelphia. Moderator Mark Jones, president of Union Home Mortgage and 2024 MBA Chairman, asked how the government-sponsored enterprises are thinking about using AI and what opportunities could arise as a result. Hutchins said they have embraced the use of AI for quite a while. “It’s an important part of our operations and we’re probably at the forefront of embedding AI into our models and into our…

Official: New ADU Policy Will Boost Supply Of Affordable Housing

By KIMBERLEY HAAS A new policy that allows lenders to count income from accessory dwelling units when underwriting a mortgage will help provide affordable homes for those who need them most, according to a top housing official. Julia Gordon, who serves as the assistant secretary for housing and federal housing commissioner at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, spoke about the changes last week during her remarks at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s annual convention and expo in Philadelphia. “We’re going to allow both existing rental income for ADUs, and prospective rental income, to be included in the underwriting process to allow more borrowers to purchase properties with ADUs, to rehab existing houses to add ADUs, and to construct…

CFPB Director Calls For End To Big Bank Bailouts

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says it’s time to take big bank bailouts off the table. Rohit Chopra shared his candid opinions on the subject during the Mortgage Bankers Association’s annual convention and expo last week during an on-stage conversation with MBA President and CEO Bob Broeksmit. Chopra said although the financial system is dependent on the banking system operating day-to-day without interruption, he doesn’t think the public should be on the hook for bailing banks out when they get into trouble. “Banks, especially big banks, get a lot of benefits from the public. Big subsidies, direct and indirect, and I don’t think the public should be on the hook for bailing them out…

Fed’s Policies Take Center Stage At MBA Convention In Philadelphia

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia knew he was facing a tough crowd when he took the stage during a Monday morning session at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s annual convention and expo. “I stand here this morning fully aware of the mood in this room and I am also fully aware of the way the actions we on the FOMC have taken over the past 18 months in our efforts to tame inflation to get it back to a 2% annual target have, in their own way, contributed to the current mortgage climate,” Patrick Harker said. Harker said he met with community members this summer to see firsthand the impacts that monetary…