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IBM's Wilshire Credit to Receive Major Mortgage Servicing Portfolio from Fannie Mae

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Wilshire Credit Corp., the mortgage servicer bought by IBM (IBM) in October, is set receive a substantial servicing portfolio from the mortgage giant Fannie Mae (FNM), according to industry sources. “It will be up to tens of billions of dollars of unpaid principal balance,” according to one source at a mortgage firm who asked not to be named. IBM's new servicing platform is expected to board the Fannie Mae loans sometime later this year, although the exact timing is unknown, according to sources that spoke with HousingWire. The Fannie Mae gross mortgage portfolio totals $752bn, according to the most recent monthly update provided by the GSE for November 2009. Its single-family serious delinquency rate climbed to 4.98% in October. Any mortgage servicing put with Big Blue and Wilshire Credit, however, would not include management of bank-owned properties within the portfolio. REO Insider, a sister publication, broke the news Wednesday morning that Wilshire Credit would shed its REO operations by March 1 -- seemingly to gear up for the weight of the Fannie portfolio. IBM bought Wilshire in October 2009 from Bank of America (BAC). A spokesperson at BofA confirmed on Tuesday that the bank will retain servicing rights on the loan portfolio managed by Wilshire, and the loans weren’t part of the sale. Wilshire currently receives a $323m potential cap incentive through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), according to the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) transaction report. Under HAMP, the U.S. Treasury Department gives capped incentives to servicers for the modification of loans on the verge of foreclosure. On Dec. 30, 2009, the Treasury adjusted Wilshire’s cap to $323m from $203m, according to the report. In the Treasury's HAMP progress report for December, Bank of America provided 3,183 permanent modifications and held active trial modifications on more than 200,000 of the 1 million eligible loans in its portfolio. According to the report, the BofA numbers include statistics from BofA Home Loans Servicing, Home Loan Services and Wilshire Credit. The pull-through rate, or the ratio of permanent modifications to active trial modifications, equaled 1.5%. Wilshire's operating platform is set to become part of IBM’s Lender Business Process Services unit, according to a release from IBM. A spokesperson for the company said that the information in the press release announcing the purchase was all the company could provide regarding its plans for Wilshire Credit. “For IBM to make the purchase, this deal had to have been in the works well before then,” according to a source that spoke with HousingWire. Fannie Mae declined to comment for this story, and phone calls to Wilshire Credit were not immediately returned. Write to Jon Prior. The author held no relevant investments.

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