Job Cuts Hit The Mortgage Industry

By CHUCK GREEN An apparently not so uncommon sight these days in the mortgage industry: empty desks. Not that their occupants are taking five for a foam latte. Instead, they might well have either been steeped in the pink slip blues or were compelled to submit their resignation. Over the past three months in the industry, there have been more than 3,500 job cuts, according to globalsg.com. In February, Bloomberg reported U.S. home mortgage lenders might have no other choice during the coming months that to initiate layoffs. Similarly, earlier this month, wolfstreet.com reported that not only are layoffs among mortgage lenders taking place, but they will also continue. “Layoffs and forced resignations are certainly imminent in the mortgage banking…

Opinion: Black Mortgage Denials Are Increasing. We Need Tech-Based Solutions To Reverse The Trend

By KEVIN B. KIMBLE Editor’s Note: This article was written by a contributor and contains the individual’s views, opinions, or personal experiences. The Biden administration recently unveiled an action plan to address racial bias in home appraisals and other areas of the American housing system.  As new research from Zillow shows, this couldn’t come at a better time. Zillow found that there is a widening mortgage approval gap along racial lines.  Specifically, Black applicants are denied a mortgage at a rate 84 percent higher than white applicants.  This figure has been worsening, representing an increase of 10 percentage points since 2019.  The approval disparity has contributed to declining Black homeownership, a crucial aspect of wealth building.  The negative trend in Black mortgage denials is…

Remote Work In Lending: Are UWM Employees Being Unreasonable?

By KIMBERLEY HAAS United Wholesale Mortgage turned heads in the industry last week when it was reported that health officials are investigating the company after receiving complaints about how they are handling COVID, which lead some people to ask why employees in lending are expected to be in their offices to begin with. Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration Director Bart Pickelman confirmed to The Mortgage Note Wednesday that his agency has received 50 complaints against UWM since November 1, 2021.  “MIOSHA currently has one open investigation and other investigations that are currently progressing through the appeals process. MIOSHA cannot provide information on an open investigation,” Pickelman said. A former employee told Fox 2 in Detroit that people who work…

OCC: Serious Delinquencies Down YOY At Major Banks

Seriously delinquent mortgages dropped by more than half year-over-year (YOY) at seven national banks, according to a report from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Though the findings are optimistic, the banks in the study– Bank of America, Citibank, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, PNC, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo– were handling almost 1,900 fewer loans YOY, complicating the final picture. Overall, the banks serviced about 12.5 million first-lien residential mortgage loans, totaling $2.59 trillion in unpaid principal balances. This is 23% of all U.S. residential mortgage debt. In Q3 2020, $2.866 trillion or 14,393 loans. The share of mortgages that were current at the end of Q3 2021 was 95.6%, up from 92.5% in Q3 2020. The seven banks…

Digital Mortgage Startup Maxwell Raises Additional $52.5 Million

Denver-based startup Maxwell, an online platform for mortgage loan officers and small lenders, raised $52.5 million in funding. The cash injection includes $28.5 million in equity funding from Wells Fargo and venture firm Fin VC. Maxwell announced the funding on their Facebook page. The additional funding comes on top of the $16 million it raised in its Series B round seven months ago. The money will be used to advance their tech, as well as hire sales, marketing, engineering, and product staff. The company’s goal is to change “lender operations and borrower expectations” by making mortgage applications, processing, and underwriting more efficient. “We’re really focused on modernizing the mortgage market, particularly for small and mid-sized lenders serving America’s communities,” Maxwell…

Home Builders More Confident Despite Continued Supply, Labor Shortages

Despite continuing supply chain issues and labor shortages, builder confidence rose in September thanks to falling lumber prices and high demand, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/ Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) reported. Builder sentiment in the market for newly-built single-family homes increased to 76, one point higher than last month. The data broke a three-month streak of downward expectations. “Builder sentiment has been gradually cooling since the HMI hit an all-time high reading of 90 last November,” said NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke. Fowke builds custom homes in Tampa, Fla.  “The September data show stability as some building material cost challenges ease, particularly for softwood lumber. However, delivery times remain extended and the chronic construction labor shortage is…

Morning Roundup (9/10/2021)- Equity Up in Q2, Wells Fargo Fined

Good Morning! Today is Friday, September 10. Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. US unemployment hit a new pandemic low as it continues to trend down. President Biden announced a new plan to require vaccinations in workplaces of 100 employees or more or face weekly testing. The Taliban allowed 113 Americans and other Western passport holders to leave Kabul. And in mortgage and housing news… Tap That: American homeowners gained a record $1 trillion in tappable equity in the second quarter of 2021, a single-quarter record according to Black Knight. Speeding Like A Bullet: The national median monthly mortgage payment for homebuyers rose 67% faster than rents year-over-year in August, but mortgage hikes are starting to…

Wells Fargo CEO Apologizes For Diversity Comments

Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf apologized for telling employees that the banking giant was failing to meet diversity goals because there were not enough qualified minorities in the industry. “While it might sound like an excuse, the unfortunate reality is that there is a very limited pool of black talent to recruit from,” Scharf said in a memo in June, Reuters reported. After significant blowback, including from members of Congress, Wells Fargo publicly released a follow-up message Scharf sent to employees Wednesday. “Some of you may have seen media stories referencing a comment on diverse talent from my June “Our commitment to change” memo,” Scharf wrote. “I apologize for making an insensitive comment reflecting my own unconscious bias. There are many…

Wells Fargo Joins JPMorgan Chase In Exiting HELOCs

Wells Fargo will take a break from offering new home equity lines of credit beginning Friday as credit continues to tighten during the coronavirus pandemic, according to media reports. The San Francisco-based banking giant joins JPMorgan Chase in backing off the loans known as HELOCs, which allow homeowners to borrow money against the equity in their houses. “Wells Fargo Home Lending will temporarily stop accepting applications for Wells Fargo Home Lending will temporarily stop accepting applications for all new home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) after April 30,” the company said in a statement shared with The Mortgage Note. “The decision to temporarily suspend the origination of new HELOCs reflects careful consideration of current market conditions and the uncertainty around…