Fraud Risk Is Up Due To Challenging Market Conditions

Ten of the 15 metros with the highest fraud risk saw an increase in risk compared to last quarter, CoreLogic reported in its Quarterly Mortgage Fraud Brief. The report analyzes the metros with the highest mortgage fraud risk in order to get a clear picture of trends found in residential mortgage loan applications processed by LoanSafe Fraud Manager. CoreLogic’s National Mortgage Application Fraud Risk Index was flat in Q1 2022, falling slightly from 138 in Q4 2021 to 137 this quarter. Year-over-year, the trend is up 15% at 119. The Poughkeepsie metro area topped the list for highest fraud risk, with risk up 16% quarter-over-quarter. It’s followed by the Miami, San Jose, Las Vegas, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Stockton,…

John Stewart Joins OriginPoint As EVP Of National Sales

John Stewart is joining OriginPoint as its new EVP of National Sales, the company announced in a press release. “When the opportunity to work at OriginPoint presented itself, I couldn’t pass up the chance to join the team,” said Stewart. “OriginPoint has a great value proposition for consumers and loan officers, which allows us to better serve homebuyers and deliver a hassle-free mortgage process.” OriginPoint is a digital origination venture between Compass and Guaranteed. In his new position, Stewart will oversee OriginPoint’s sales and recruiting operations. Stewart brings more than 30 years of mortgage and finance industry to the role.  Prior to this, Stewart served as a Division Manager at Guaranteed Rate. He is also the President and Co-Founder of…

Former GrubHub President Joins Houwzer

GrubHub’s Jonathan Zabusky is joining real estate brokerage Houwzer’s board as Executive Chairman, the company announced in a press release. Zabusky most recently served as the President and Board Director at GrubHub Inc., and is an advisor, entrepreneur, and investor. He was previously CEO of Seamless, which merged with GrubHub. He is also the Founder and Managing Partner of Bounce Ventures LLC and serves as an advisor and board director to a portfolio of venture and private equity-backed companies in the U.S. and Israel. “I am incredibly excited to join Houwzer’s Board as Executive Chairman and to have the opportunity to work alongside Mike and his outstanding team. I’m energized by our mission to elevate the home buying and selling…

Morning Roundup (4/16/2022)– Empty Desks Becoming More Common In The Mortgage Industry

Good Morning! Today is Monday, April 18. Russia is headed toward a default on its foreign debt for the first time since 1918. The World Health Organization estimates that fifteen million people have died of Covid. Police arrested a suspect in connection with a shooting Saturday at a Columbia, S.C., shopping mall that left 14 people injured. The Mortgage Note Reports Job Cuts: Writer Chuck Green reports that empty desks are apparently not so uncommon these days in the mortgage industry. Record HPI Annual Pace: Fannie Mae’s HPI accelerated in Q1 2022 to its fastest annual pace in the 47-year history of the index, measuring 20% YOY. Eco-Friendly Homes:A Zillow analysis found that homes with eco-friendly features can sell faster…

IMB Profits Fell In 2021, Layoffs Loom Heading Into 2022

After a record-breaking year for independent mortgage banks, profits declined by 75 basis points in 2021, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Annual Mortgage Bankers Performance Report. Independent mortgage banks and mortgage subsidiaries of chartered banks made an average profit of $2,339 on each loan they originated in 2021, down from the record $4,202 per loan in 2020. Average production volume totaled $4.9 billion per company, up from $4.5 billion in 2020. But production expenses took a toll on profits, reaching their highest level since 2008, the first year of MBA’s report. Personnel expenses for sales, fulfillment, and production support all rose while revenues fell. “2021 was another stellar year for independent mortgage bankers, with production profits well above…

Pending Home Sales Down For Fourth Consecutive Month

Pending home sales dropped for the fourth month in a row in February, down 4.1% from January and 5.4% YOY, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported. NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), which measures home sales using contract signings, fell in three of the major regions. The Northeast was the only region that saw an increase from January.  All four regions saw year-over-year declines. “Pending transactions diminished in February mainly due to the low number of homes for sale. Buyer demand is still intense, but it’s as simple as ‘one cannot buy what is not for sale,'” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.  The Northeast PHSI rose 1.9% to 85.0 in February, down 9.2% YOY. In the Midwest, the…

IMB Profits Dropped In Q4

Independent mortgage banks (IMBs) and mortgage subsidiaries of chartered banks made $1,099 on each originated loan in Q4 2021, dropping from Q3’s $2,594, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Quarterly Mortgage Bankers Performance Report. More than three-fourths (76%) of firms analyzed made a net profit in Q4, especially firms with servicing operations. Those benefited from slower prepayments and low delinquencies which boosted their MSR valuations. But it’s a decrease from Q3’s rate of 92%. Plus, if no firms in the study had servicing operations, only 58% would have made a net profit last quarter. “Production margins tightened substantially in the fourth quarter of 2021. After a two-year run of above-average profitability, pre-tax net production income per loan reached its…

Loan Applications Down

Mortgage loan application volume fell 1.2% last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) weekly survey shows. The adjusted Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, dropped 1.2%. The adjusted purchase index fell 1%, while the unadjusted purchase index fell 2% and was 8% lower YOY. The refinance index fell 3% and was down 49% YOY. Refinances made up 48.4% of total applications. Rising mortgage rates continue to impact application activity. Rates reached 4.27% last week, their highest since May 2019, and are adding to investor uncertainty. They’re also having an outsized impact on refis, which declined for both conventional and government loans. Refinances bounced up last week due to a brief drop in rates, though it was…

JPMorgan’s Cerita Battles To Chair NAHREP Corporate Board

JPMorgan Chase exec Cerita Battles has been appointed chair of The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals’ (NAHREP) 2022 Corporate Board of Governors. The organization made the announcement in a press release issued on March 14. “We are blessed to have Cerita join the NAHREP Corporate Board of Governors. Cerita’s many years of respected leadership and successes in expanding homeownership and generational wealth will steward the NAHREP legacy for a new generation,” said 2021 NAHREP President Sara Rodriguez. Battles will co-chair the board with Rodriguez. She brings with her 30 years of finance industry experience, of which 23 years were specifically dedicated to mortgages.  She currently serves as Managing Director, Head of Community & Affordable Lending, at JPMorgan Chase.…

AIME Teams Up With Lobbying Firm Forbes Tate Partners

The Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME) is teaming up with lobbying firm Forbes Tate Partners (FTP) to further broker representation in government affairs. The partnership is a step forward for AIME’s Government Affairs Committee, founded in 2021. “The broker community is thrilled that Forbes Tate will represent our interests in government affairs,” said Katie Sweeney, CEO of AIME.  “The strategies they’re advancing will effectively suit our needs by growing our footprint, increasing our impact, and building our reputation exponentially. Additionally, they will help us fight for a voice for the broker channel and champion consumers from all backgrounds.” FTP is a bipartisan public affairs firm specializing in government relations, traditional and digital communications, grassroots advocacy, third-party coordination, insights, polling,…