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  • Chronos Solutions acquires UPF Services

    Chronos Solutions announced its latest business move, finalizing its acquisition of UPF Services. Matt Slonaker, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Chronos Solutions, first alluded to the acquisition in an interview with HousingWire back in July. Now only a few weeks later, Slonaker and Andrew Gladston, senior vice president of corporate development at Chronos Solutions, revisited with HousingWire to give the full details of the acquisition. Click the headline to read what this means for their mortgage business.

Borrowers Overwhelmingly Pick Fixed-Rate Refinancings in Q4

Record-low interest rates in the fourth quarter of 2009 -- thanks in large part to government intervention in both the primary and secondary mortgage markets -- drove refinancing borrowers towards fixed-rate loans almost exclusively. Freddie Mac (FRE) reported Monday that 95%of refinance loans during the last quarter of last year were of the fixed-rate variety. And while traditional 30-year fixed-rate mortgages are still the most preferred product among refinancings, 15-year fixed-rate mortgages gained favor among borrowers who previously held 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, balloon mortgages and adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), the GSE said in a statement. “The lowest fixed-rate interest rates in more than a generation, coupled with the comfort that a constant monthly principal and interest payment provides the homeowner, are important drivers in fixed-rate product choice," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac. “While homeowners are choosing the safety of fixed-rate mortgages in large numbers, at the same time many borrowers are now looking at paying down their mortgage balances faster by choosing a shorter mortgage term of 15 or 20 years instead of 30." Borrowers also chose to pay down principal during refinancing at a record clip in the fourth quarter. Freddie reported at the end of January that 33% of borrowers paid down their original principal by $1,000 or more during the process of refinancing their mortgage -- the highest such "cash in" refinancing volume in the history of the GSE's survey. "When you can only earn a very low interest rate on your CD or money market accounts, and returns on other investments remain extremely uncertain, it can make sense to pay yourself 4.5 or 5 percent by eliminating some mortgage debt whether by making extra payments or going for a shorter loan term," Nothaft said.

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