Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Wells, Chase dominate HARP 2.0
A look at stories across HousingWire's weekend desk, with more coverage to come on bigger issues:
The Federal Housing Finance Agency expanded HARP to allow more severely underwater Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac borrowers refinance. HARP refis doubled in the first quarter, and more than 4,400 borrowers with loan-to-value ratios above 125% were able to take advantage.
Wells and Chase issued nearly $6.3 billion of the $9.3 billion in 125% LTV refinances to date, according to a securities report from Chase analysts.
"As one might expect given their general success at implementing HARP, Chase and Wells have produced the lion's share," analysts said.
Bank of America (BAC) by comparison produced roughly $800 million in 125% LTV refis, "a smaller amount than their share of the outstanding super high LTV universe would suggest."
Moody's Analytics shaved its expectations for second-quarter GDP growth stateside to 1.9%.
"Even with the downgrade the risks to the forecast are to the downside and center on the possibility that businesses could pack it in as a result of heightened uncertainty," said Moody's economists Aaron Smith and Ryan Sweet.
Economists will be watching existing home sales and jobless claims data this week. Most attention will fall on the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke press conference Wednesday along with the Federal Open Markets Committee hearing minutes.
"We expect no new monetary easing, but this is a close call," according to the Moody's economists.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the New York Attorney General offices will unveil another plan to help struggling homeowners Monday afternoon.
Details of the program were not yet available.
Both have been busy during a presidential election year. New York AG Eric Schneiderman is leading a national mortgage investigation announced in January. HUD lifted upfront costs to its streamlined refinance program last week.
New York holds the longest timeline in the country, taking roughly 1,000 days to complete a foreclosure.
Three more banks failed Friday, bringing the total to 31 for 2012. This time last year, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reported 55 bank closings.
The Florida Office of Financial Regulation closed Putnam State Bank. The Harbor Community Bank agreed to absorb the $160 million in and purchase essentially all $169.5 million in assets.
The closing is expected to cost the deposit insurance fund $37.4 million.
The Georgia Department of Banking and Finance closed Security Exchange Bank in Marietta, Ga. Atlanta-based Fidelity Bank will assume all $147.9 million in deposits and agreed to purchase all $151 million in assets.
The FDIC estimates the closing to cost the DIF $34.3 million.
The Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions shuttered Farmers Bank of Lynchburg Friday. Clayton Bank and Trust in Knoxville, Tenn. will assume all $156.4 million in deposits and agreed to purchase all $163.9 million in assets.
The closing will cost the DIF $28.3 million.