Wells Fargo Downsizing Mortgage Business As Pandemic High Wears Off

By TYRONE TOWNSEND and KIMBERLEY HAAS Wells Fargo leadership has laid off employees in a move that is being blamed on a dramatically smaller originations market. In a statement to The Mortgage Note, Spokesperson Jennifer Langan said the latest Mortgage Bankers Association forecast has total originations for 2022 at $2.4T, down 40% year-over-year, with refinances down over 70%. “The home lending displacements are the natural result of cyclical changes in the broader home lending environment, as has been acknowledged by most mortgage providers across the industry. Employees affected by these changes have each been an essential part of our success. We are carrying out displacements in a transparent and thoughtful manner and providing assistance, such as severance and career counseling,”…

Bad Behavior In Lending: Sham Job Interviews, “Rampant” Fraud

By CHUCK GREEN Alleged bad behavior and fraudulent activity in the mortgage industry have made news headlines in recent years and despite attempts to get lending leaders to shape up their ships, at least one person who reports on these issues says problems are common, even “rampant.” One of the most recent examples of these alleged incidents involved sham job interviews for Black and female candidates at Wells Fargo & Company. Wells Fargo in California has approximately $1.9 trillion in assets. They serve one in three U.S. households and more than 10% of small businesses in the United States. According to former executive Joe Bruno, company leaders at Wells Fargo allegedly put minority candidates through the interview process for positions…

Industry Leaders To Cover Travel Expenses For Employee Abortions

By KIMBERLEY HAAS At least four industry leaders will cover the travel expenses for employee abortions after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday. The New York Times named Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Zillow in a Tweet on Monday. There were 4,307 Retweets, 705 Quote Tweets, and over 17,300 Likes as of Tuesday morning. The media relations departments at Bank of America and JPMorgan put out press releases about their stress test results on Monday. Bank of America announced plans to increase its quarterly common stock dividend beginning in the third quarter of 2022. “Our responsible growth strategy over the last decade has put us in a strong position to support our clients…

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 at…

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…