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KBW: Mortgage putback risks and costs remain elevated

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Repurchase risks on private-label and agency mortgages continued to challenge banks in the second quarter as put-back demands remained elevated.

Analysts with Keefe, Bruyette and Woods made that conclusion after studying mortgage industry results from the second quarter.

Loan repurchase demands in 2Q hit $2.34 billion at Fannie Mae, down from $2.9 billion a year earlier and $2.36 billion in the first quarter. At Freddie Mac, repurchase requests hit $1.17 billion in 2Q, up from $854 million in 1Q, and down from $1.2 billion a year earlier.

Outstanding repurchase requests hit $14.5 billion at Fannie during the second quarter, up from $12.1 billion in 1Q. Meanwhile, at Freddie, outstanding requests hit $2.9 billion, down from $3.23 billion in Q1.

"Outstanding rep and warranty repurchase demands remain elevated driven by requests from the government-sponsored enterprises," KBW wrote. "During 2Q, the most meaningful increase in new mortgage repurchase claims was at Bank of America (BAC); however, the increase was driven by private label put-back requests, as well as its ongoing dispute with Fannie Mae."

KBW expects repurchase claims to remain elevated throughout 2012, but believes it's likely GSE putback claims reached their peak in 2011.

"However, given the high level of outstanding requests, lenders are likely to see elevated levels of provisions for the next 18 to 24 months, in our view," KBW added.

Mortgage banking results for the second quarter remained relatively positive overall, the research firm said.

Mortgage originations hit $405 billion in 2Q, according to data cited from Inside Mortgage Finance. That is up 5.2% from originations of $385 billion in the first quarter and 44.6% from $280 billion last year.  

kpanchuk@housingwire.com

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