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Mortech Heralds New Lending Platform

Mortgage software company Mortech, Inc., found cause to celebrate with the launch of an industry-first Lending Management Platform, available via a Web site devoted entirely to the brand-new MarksmanLMP. According to the company, the aim of the dual launch is to streamline and simplify online lending processes.

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MReport Exclusive: 6 Ways for Originators to Survive Today’s Market

Despite mortgage rates hitting rock bottom Thursday, few analysts expect an uptick in demand anytime soon, with consumers concerned about their job security, underwriting standards still tight, and a foreclosure glut competing with home construction. Given tough times, MReport canvassed the industry ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô online, in the field, and on the speaking circuit ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô and uncovered 12 strategies relevant to originators in a tough market. Six of these hot tips made it into MReport's online exclusive.

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New Pilot Program Targets Affordable Housing

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development recently announced a new pilot program targeting reduced regulatory burdens for those developing affordable housing. In conjunction co-creators of the project, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the initiative focuses on helping developers and individual owners, in addition to easing the way for state and federal agencies to serve low-income renters. The USDA-RD and HUD have approved a first draft of a Memorandum of Understanding.

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Bernanke On the Fed’s Future Economic Initiatives

The Federal Reserve has gone on record again regarding the current state of the U.S. economy. Chairman of the Fed, Ben Bernanke, spoke out recently confirming the organization's commitment to take whatever steps necessary should the nation's economic standing continue its slide. Noting the Fed's willingness to make non-traditional decisions and policy changes in light of the country's challenging economy, Bernanke emphasized efforts to fiercely monitor price trends during a speech in Cleveland, Ohio.

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CFPB’s New Mortgage Disclosure Initiatives Gaining Traction

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a strong supporter in the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents. Recently reviewing the updated mortgage disclosure forms produced by the CFPB, the NAEBA responded to the organization with a letter of commendation. Though citing the CFPB's thorough assessment of borrowers' needs within the project, the NAEBA also submitted some suggestions based on its evaluation of the mortgage disclosure initiative, which is part of the "Know Before You Owe" program.

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SEC Rolls Out New Legal Tactics Targeting Civil Suits

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced a new game plan when it comes to targeting companies and individuals under fire for allegations stemming from the mortgage meltdown. The SEC will now update enforcement procedures; moving away from difficult to prove filings that are geared to prove purposeful wrongdoing, recklessness, or fraud, the SEC will reduce its burden with civil cases that require only proof of negligence. The SEC has utilized similar tactics as as supplement to more intensive accusations.

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Basel Committee Carrys Out Rules Despite Criticism

New regulations targeting capital requirements are challenging big banks in the U.S. and abroad. While large American financial institutions have been grappling with more strenuous capital rules since the Dodd-Frank Act was released, European banks are set to experience similar adaptations with the news that The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision chose to ignore stringent lobbying, in favor of mandating extended capital funding for mega banks. The committee moved forward with capital surcharges from 1 to 2.5 percent for the biggest banks worldwide.

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SEC Puts S&P on Notice

Standard & Poor's is coming under heavy scrutiny from the Securities and Exchange Commission for it alleged misconduct in handling valuations for a $1.6 billion mortgage-bond deal. Regulators for the SEC are focusing on the company's possible exploitation of fictitious assets when rating the transaction in question. The bond deal became a debacle during the financial crisis, and this week, S&P's parent company, McGraw-Hill Cos., received notice from the SEC that it could be facing civil charges related to its potentially fraudulent actions.

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Prudential Initiates Second Large Multi-Family Deal

The specialized lending arm of Prudential Mortgage Capital Company, which targets Federal Housing Administration-based loans, recently announced the closing of a $77.2 million deal on the FHA's behalf. Prudential Huntoon Paige (PHP), the official moniker of Prudential├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós FHA-focused division, purchased the loan to refinance a multi-family development in Upland, California.

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Applications, Refis on the Rise According to Weekly Index

The weekly mortgage applications numbers are in, and current data shows an increase nationally. The Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ended September 23 demonstrated a 9.3 percent rise in mortgage loan application volume on a seasonally-adjusted basis, according to the Market Composite Index contained within the report. The Purchase Index rose 2.6 percent this week on a seasonally-adjusted basis and showed a 0.1 percent hike year-over-year.

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