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The MReport Webcast: Friday 2/6/2015

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported Thursday that its Mortgage Credit Availability Index increased 1.8 percent to a reading of 117.8 last month. The group’s chief economist, Mike Fratantoni, attributed the increase to recently introduced initiatives aimed at making credit more available and affordable, including the introduction of new low down payment programs and a reduction in FHA annual insurance premiums.

All of the component indices measured by MBA increased month-over-month, with the gauge of conventional loan availability climbing 3 percent and the government index rising 0.9 percent. The MBA also introduced two new components this month: the conforming mortgage index, which rose 1.8 percent in January, and the jumbo index, which was up 1.9 percent.

Weeks ahead of the anticipated release of Ocwen's fourth-quarter earnings report, CEO Ron Faris has issued a notice that the company expects to see a loss on mounting regulatory pressures and expenses.

In a note to stakeholders, Faris reviewed a handful of the regulatory hurdles Ocwen has had to deal with in the past year, including a long-running investigation from New York's top financial regulator that eventually resulted in a $150 million settlement. Also expected to take a toll on Q4 earnings is an expected increase in servicing expenses and uncollectable receivables and a $13 million expense for third-party monitoring costs.