HECM Endorsement numbers fell in September by 3.7% as volume has bounced around the mid-5,000s five months.  As the number of active lenders seems to be tapering off, some of the biggest players seem to be getting at least a temporary lift from the big bank exits.


According to the latest HECM Lenders report from RM Insight (RMI), endorsement volume in September was 5,590, down from 5,807.  The number of lenders endorsing loans in the month hovered around 200 with only a slight decrease.

Although Wells Fargo's endorsement volume as just begun to taper off, RMI suggests that some of the top players appear to be capitalizing on the exits of the big banks.  As the largest remaining player, MetLife Bank was obviously expected to be a magnet for the void left by the exits.  September was their largest month of the past year at 1,134 units. 

It appears that Genworth, Urban and Security One have gained as a result originators and third-party originators finding new homes.  The trend to watch will be whether they have gained temporary boosts existing books of business being redirected following the exits or if they have been successful in capturing market share opened up.

October numbers should present interesting results in both total volume and individual performance.  According to announcements, Wells Fargo ceased taking applications on June 30th, 2011.  Assuming 30-45 days to process and fund applications and then 30-60 days for funded loans to be endorsed and reported by HUD, the next month could be the first month that Wells exit is clearly indicated in the monthly reports.

Across the nation, seven out the ten regions did experience positive growth in September, although six of the ten remain in negative growth for the year-to-date.  The Rocky Mountain and Northwest/Alaska regions saw the largest increase, with the Rocky Mountain region having the largest year-to-date gains at 9.0%.  The Southeast/Caribbean region, which include Florida continues to be the highest producing region at 1,075 units, down from 1,175 the previous month.  The Pacific/Hawaii region, which includes California, is slowly closing the gap, up to 935 from 930 in August.

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