Stronghill Expands Into Residential Lending

Dustin Wells has been named Co-President of Stronghill Capital as it expands into residential lending, the company announced in a press release. Wells, an industry veteran with more than two decades of experience, will head a new executive team focused on expanding Stronghill’s business from commercial into the non-QM, non-agency jumbo, and investor residential spaces. His leadership experience includes many executive-level roles, including COO at Wesley Mortgage, Head of Lending at Knock, and EVP, Mortgage Director at Keystone Bank. “We have a clear purpose as we grow into the Non-QM space and I look forward to bringing depth to Stronghill’s market presence at the residential level with this dynamic leadership team,” said Wells. “This crossover empowers our industry partners by…

First Community Mortgage Expands In Midwest

Tennessee-based First Community Mortgage is expanding its retail business into the Midwest, the company announced in a press release. The expansion comes as FCM celebrates its 20th anniversary. New team members have largely signed on since September 1. “We are excited to add these talented professionals to the First Community Mortgage family,” Keith Canter, CEO and one of the founders of FCM, said. New hires include Bret Head, who comes from Prime Lending where he served as SVP and Regional Director of Retail Sales. He joins FCM as EVP and National Director of Sales. The majority of new team members are based out of branches in Cincinnati, Chicago, Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Indianapolis. They include Branch Managers Ryan Kiefer and…

Jason Scott Returns To Regions Bank

Jason Scott is returning to Regions Bank and its subsidiary Sabal Capital Partners as managing director and head of Conventional Loan Production, the companies announced in a press release. Scott previously worked with Regions as director of originations for its Real Estate Capital Markets Group, where he originated permanent commercial real estate loans. In that role, he closed more than $1 billion in Fannie Mae, HUD, and CMBS transactions, among others. “The Regions Bank and Sabal Capital Partners family is a recognized leader in multifamily and commercial real estate finance, having grown considerably in the last few years,” he said.  “I am excited to return to this incredible team and begin this new role to further expand the Real Estate…

Credit Availability Falls To Lowest Point Since 2013

Mortgage credit availability dropped to its lowest level since March 2013 in September, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI). The MCAI fell by 5.4% to a reading of 102.5 last month. This is the seventh straight month of tightening lending standards. The Conventional MCAI fell 4.9%. Its component indices also declined, with the Jumbo down 5.8% and the Conforming down 3.6%. The Government MCAI also dropped by 5.8%. This index has fallen in seven of the last eight months, and is now its lowest point since April 2013. Most of these indices have fallen to their lowest levels in more than a year. “With the likelihood of a weakening economy, which would lead to…

One In Five Borrowers Report Issues With Their Mortgage Transaction

Mortgage lenders are constantly working to make the borrowing process painless for their customers. But one in five borrowers still encounters an issue with their transaction, according to new research from Snapdocs and STRATMOR Group. The “State of Borrower Experience” report surveyed 7,000 Americans who completed a mortgage transaction in the last nine months. The researchers found that borrowers are typically happy with the application process. Data suggests this is the result of dedicated efforts by mortgage lenders in the last decade, and that effort has paid off: 67% of respondents rated the experience of filling out a loan application an 8 or above on a 10-point scale, where 10 represents a “very easy” process. “Lenders have made significant strides…

Half Of Mortgaged Homes Are Equity-Rich

Nearly half of mortgaged homes in the U.S. were equity-rich in Q2, with the most equity gains concentrated in the South, according to ATTOM’s Q2 2022 U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report. The report found that 48.1% of mortgaged residential properties had an estimated worth that topped their loan balances by 50% or more. That’s up from 44.9% in Q1 2022 and 34.4% YOY. At least half of all mortgagees in 18 states were equity-rich, up from just 3 states at the same time last year. It’s the ninth consecutive quarter in which the number of equity-rich homes increased. ATTOM also found that only 2.9% of mortgaged homes were considered seriously underwater in Q2, down from 3.2% in Q1 and…

Seasoned Vets Join Better.com For “Next Stage Of Growth”

Multiple new executives have joined Better.com to bolster its leadership team and forge long-term growth, the company announced in a press release. Better’s biggest pulls are Sushil Sharma as Chief Growth Officer, the first for the company, and Steve Riddell as Head of Sales. Sharma is an industry veteran with two decades of experience in product management and software engineering. Prior to Better, he served as Chief Product Officer at both LendingTree and Match. “Better’s mission to make homeownership simpler, faster, and more affordable instantly drew me in,” said Sharma. “A home is much more than a place to live: it provides stability to raise a family and is one of the biggest financial assets an individual can own. I…

Overall Mortgage Lending Down, Though HELOCs See Boost

Overall residential lending activity dropped 32% YOY, the fastest decline in eight years, according to ATTOM’s Q1 U.S. Residential Property Mortgage Origination Report. The report found that 2.71 million mortgages secured by residential property were originated in Q1 2022. This is a drop from Q4 and the fourth consecutive quarter of declines. Refinances were down 22% and purchase mortgages fell 18% quarter-over-quarter. Lenders originated $892.4 billion in loans in Q1, down 17% from Q4 and 27% YOY. The quarterly dip in dollar volume was the largest in five years, and the annual dip was the largest in eight years. Declining refis drove the declines, with only 1.45 million residential loans refinanced during Q1 2022, down 22% from Q4 and a…

Lending Dropped For Third Straight Quarter In Q4 2021

Mortgage lending dropped at its fastest pace in almost three years in Q4 2021, down for the third quarter in a row and the largest decrease since late 2018, according to ATTOM’s Q4 2021 U.S. Residential Property Mortgage Origination Report. The report found that 3.27 million mortgages were originated in Q4 2021, or $1.06 trillion worth of mortgages. This is down 11% from Q3 2021 and 13% from Q4 2020. All three categories of conventional loans– purchase, refi, and home equity– saw quarterly declines, with only purchases remaining up year-over-year (YOY). Refis were down 11% from Q3 2021 and 23% YOY, with 1.81 million home loans refinanced. Q4 was the third straight quarter of refi declines. The dollar volume of…

Mortgage Fraud Attacks And Costs Rose During The Pandemic

Mortgage lending is a hot target for fraudsters in the U.S., and the situation has grown worse since the pandemic began, according to a new report from LexisNexis. The LexisNexis True Cost of Fraud Study: Financial Services and Lending examines fraud trends in North American financial services and lending sectors. The 2021 edition is based on responses from August and September 2021. The report revealed that U.S. banks and mortgage lenders saw an increase in fraud costs and attack volumes compared to before the pandemic. Every $1 of fraud loss now costs financial service firms $4, compared to $3.25 in 2019 and $3.64 in 2020. For mortgage lenders, fraud costs $4.40 for every $1, 23.5% higher than before the pandemic…