The latest economic and policy trends facing mortgage servicers

Join this webinar for an in-depth roundtable discussion on economic and policy trends impacting servicers as well as a look ahead at strategies servicers should employ in the next year.

2021 RealTrends Brokerage Compensation Report

For the study, RealTrends surveyed all the firms on the 2021 RealTrends 500 and Nation’s Best rankings, asking for annual compensation data for the 2020 calendar year.

A real estate professor weighs in on the future of MLSs

According to research done by Sonia Gilbukh, a real estate professor at Baruch College, there are some reasons to be concerned about the current number of real estate agents and the future of MLSs.

Lenders, it’s time to consider offering non-QM products

The non-QM market is making a comeback following a pause in 2020. As lenders rush to implement, Angel Oak is helping them adopt these new lending products.

Mortgage

Senators bargain on HARP expansion

Senate Democrats reintroduced a bill to expand refinancing for an estimated 13.5 million Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage borrowers.

Sens. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., will keep the origination cut-off date for the Home Affordable Refinance Program at June 2009 after a previous version expanded the program through June 2010.

“We made this change in a compromise with industry groups, and in response to issues raised by mortgage bond investors,” Menendez said in a conference call with reporters Monday. “We’ve addressed every objection raised to the previous version.”

The new version of the bill also eliminates previously proposed penalties for second lien holders and mortgage insurers who did not approve or transfer coverage in order to allow a HARP refinance to go through.

Both Menendez and Boxer expect to bring the bill to a vote either through committee or straight to the floor by the end of the month. Menendez said some Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee were attempting to attach “extraneous amendments.”

“I’ve been in conversation with several colleagues that have shown an interest in the bill. We’ll continue to court them,” Menendez said. “It is my hope that we can do this in this month to move forward and take advantage of the low rates. Time is of the essence.”

The new bill still allows a new servicer to avoid repurchase and warranty risk from the government-sponsored enterprises on the old loan. It also still prohibits the GSEs from charging any upfront fees to refinance a loan they guarantee, and it eliminates appraisal costs for all borrowers.

More than 1.5 million borrowers refinanced under HARP, since the program launched in 2009.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency eased guidelines last year to allow more deeply underwater borrowers to refinance, and the program spiked when lenders put in the new rules. Roughly 519,000 borrowers took advantage of HARP in 2012, already more than the 400,000 in all of last year, according to the FHFA.

The Obama administration renewed a push to get a new refinancing package through Congress. But despite some of the give by Menendez and Boxer Tuesday, enacting the bill remains a long shot in the Republican-controlled House.

jprior@housingwire.com

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So far this year, every existing home sales print has been higher in 2021 than the closing level of sales in 2020, which was 5,640,000. Even with the unhealthy home price gains that we have seen in the last two years, more Americans have bought homes with mortgages in 2020 and 2021 than any single year from 2008-2019, and this looks perfectly normal with our current demographics. HW+ Premium Content

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