Flagstar breaks into RMBS market with “high-quality” first offering

Closes $444 million securitization of jumbo prime, high-balance conforming loans

Flagstar Bancorp is officially in the mortgage securitization business, as the bank announced Monday that it closed its first residential mortgage-backed securitization and said that this won’t be its last one either.

According to details provided by the bank, the $444 million offering is backed by 668 jumbo prime (75%) and high-balance conforming (25%) mortgages.

The underlying loans are “high-quality,” the bank said. That characterization is shared by Fitch Ratings, which handed out $416.06 million in AAA ratings on the deal.

As Flagstar notes, the collateral pool consists of 30- and 15-year, fully amortizing high balance conforming and jumbo fixed-rate Safe Harbor Qualified Mortgage loans to borrowers with “strong credit profiles and low leverage.”

The pool carries a weighted average FICO score of 771 and an original combined loan-to-value ratio of 63.5%. The average loan balance is $664,357.

According to a Fitch’s presale report, nearly two-thirds of the underlying loans are in California. Specifically, approximately 60% of the pool comes from California.

Roughly 47.5% of the pool is located in the top three metropolitan statistical areas – Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose – with 27.5% located in Los Angeles.

According to Flagstar, the loans were originated through its retail, broker and correspondent channels.

In a statement, Alessandro DiNello, Flagstar’s president and CEO, said that the bank views securitizing its own mortgages as a strong route for the company’s future and plans to grow the program.

“We believe that the RMBS program offers a more efficient way of selling jumbo mortgages into the market, which should help us competitively,” DiNello said.

“This competitive advantage should help us, especially with the recent acquisition of Opes Advisors and our continued efforts to recruit top-tier mortgage loan producers,” DiNello added. “I expect that over time, and if we're successful, we could expect to expand the RMBS program to other residential mortgage loan products.”

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