- Mortgage News Headlines

    Refinances Wipe Out Weekly Purchase Gains
    A nice up tick in purchase financing activity was wiped out by a weekly decrease in refinance business. Similarly, an increase in government volume was more than offset by a drop in conventional activity.

    An indicator of upcoming originations, the U.S. Mortgage Market Index from Mortgage Daily, was 113 during the seven days ended Friday. The index is determined based on average per-user rate locks by OpenClose clients.

    Compared to the preceding week, the MMI slipped more than a percent. No adjustments are made for seasonal factors to the index, which has plummeted 24 percent versus the same seven days last year.

    Quicken Pushes Servicing Portfolio Past $300 Bil
    For the first time since it began reporting mortgage servicing data six years ago, Quicken Loans Inc. has pushed the servicing portfolio past $300 billion. Originations and staffing, meanwhile, held steady.

    The aggregate unpaid principal balance of residential loans that were serviced by the Detroit-based mortgage banking organization as of Sept. 30 was $306.0 billion.

    It was the first time that Quicken, which provided the data as part of the Mortgage Daily Third Quarter 2018 Mortgage Origination Survey, pushed the portfolio past $300 billion.

    Retail Drives Down SunTrust's Home Lending
    A sharp decline in quarterly retail originations at SunTrust Banks Inc. drove overall home lending lower as mortgage earnings sank. But the size of the financial institution's mortgage servicing portfolio has increased over the past year.

    Atlanta-based SunTrust revealed in its third-quarter earnings report that it generated $849 million in income before the provision for income taxes.

    Results improved from the same three-month period in 2017, when pre-tax earnings were $765 million. But the bank-holding company fell short of its prior-quarter income of $895 million.

    Universal American Whistleblower to Receive $2 Mil
    A whistleblower will receive nearly $2 million for her role in a lawsuit alleging Universal American Mortgage Company LLC approved loans for government insurance that didn't qualify.

    As a mortgagee with direct endorsement authority from the Federal Housing Administration, Miami-based Universal American was empowered to approve FHA loans itself.

    The lender, a subsidiary of home builder Lennar Corp., is required to follow FHA program rules to ensure proper underwriting, certification and quality control to prevent and correct underwriting deficiencies.

    FHA Endorsements Edge Higher, Book of Biz Grows
    Monthly residential government-insured mortgage production was nudged up, though commercial real estate endorsements plunged. The book of business continued to grow.

    At the end of August, the Federal Housing Administration had insurance in force on 8,622,052 residential loans for $1.3376 trillion based on monthly operating data.

    Making up the most-recent total were $1.1924 trillion in single-family loans, $0.1442 trillion in home-equity conversion mortgages, and $0.0010 trillion in Title I loans.