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Tag Archives: Mortgage Applications

Mortgage Applications Ride 9.2% Increase on Low Interest Rates

A rash of new concerns in debt-saddled Europe drove investors to U.S. Treasury debt, keeping mortgage rates at all-time lows and leading mortgage application volume to tick up 9.2 percent. The Mortgage Bankers Association recorded an 8.7 percent increase in applications for the Market Composite Index on a seasonally unadjusted basis. Analysts credit an upset in Greek elections last week with the rush by investors to U.S. Treasury debt, with policymakers in the Mediterranean country likely seeing elections next week.

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HARP Means Savings, Less Debt for Homeowners: Freddie Mac

More homeowners continue to reap benefits from the newly modified Home Affordable Refinance Program, with 79 percent of homeowners with government-backed mortgages either keeping the same level of mortgage debt as before or reducing it over the first quarter. Of those homeowners, Freddie Mac found recently, 79 percent held onto the same level of debt for first-lien home mortgages, while 21 percent of homeowners shaved off dollars from their principal balance. The share of borrowers keeping their original loan amounts hovered at the highest level in the 26-year history of the survey.

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Obama Administration Pushes for New Refinance Expansions

The Obama administration made another push Friday to expand refinancing opportunities for homeowners, with HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan behind the effort to adopt any one of three bills currently in Congress. Officials told reporters in a teleconference Friday that President Barack Obama would appear with a family in Nevada later that day to tout the need for a wider refinance net. The HUD secretary outlined three bills before Congress that seek to streamline the refinance application process and increase servicer competition by reducing barriers.

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CFPB Pursues Screening Standards for Mortgage Originators

CFPB

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unveiled new rulemaking proposals Thursday that would require background checks for mortgage originators and complement a previous rule that prohibits loan officers from steering borrowers to higher-priced products. Together with these rules, others would provide consumers with discounts for paying mortgage origination points, mandate comparison plans for those interested in tracking different products, and ban brokerage firms from charging fees that vary by the loan size.

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Home Prices Rise for First Time Since March 2010: LPS

Home prices rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent in February, the first increase since March last year, according to Lender Processing Services. The analytics and data provider said that several other indicators posted solid gains in February. Home prices averaged $195,000, the same as seen in June 2003. LPS also projected a 0.3 percent increase in national home prices on the whole come March. Of 26 metro areas surveyed by LPS and the Labor Department, only cities in California ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô observed price declines.

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Capital Economics Sees Improvement Ahead for Housing

Noting some recent strengthening in demand in the housing market, Capital Economics suggests housing prices "are close to, or already through, their trough," and recovery will continue through the coming months. While acknowledging the decline in home sales in March, Capital Economics├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ó analysts remain optimistic due to the recent increases in pending home sales. The National Association of Realtors' latest Pending Home Sales Index in March reached 101.4, its highest level since April 2010. Recent data on mortgage applications also point toward a strengthening market.

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Mortgage Applications Increase Modestly, Largely Flat

Mortgage applications went up last week as most other measures of application activity declined or stayed flat, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The trade group found that mortgage application crept forward by 1.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis and 2 percent on a seasonally unadjusted basis. Government applications fell for purchases and conventional loans. Purchase indices ticked up 3.5 percent from the week before on 5.4 percent increase in conventional purchases. The Government Refinance Index dipped by 2.3 percent.

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MetLife Exits Reverse Originations, Selling Portfolio to Nationstar

Life insurer MetLife announced Thursday that it will exit the reverse mortgage origination business, with plans to sell the division responsible for these loans to Nationstar Mortgage LLC. It was not immediately clear how much Nationstar paid to buy the reverse mortgage portfolio from MetLife. The life insurer also said that it would cease receiving any new reverse mortgage loan applications and registrations. MetLife said that retail banking, including reverse mortgages, accounted for less than 2 percent of operating earnings for the company last year.

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Mortgage Applications Fell 3.8% Last Week: MBA

application

Mortgage applications fell 3.8 percent from the week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The trade group found that application volume waned by 3.3 percent on a seasonally unadjusted basis from the week before. Purchases went up 2.7 percent from one week earlier, climbing by a seasonally unadjusted 3.6 percent in the same vein. Refinance applications declined on the whole. The Refinance Index dipped by 5.6 percent from the week before, as conventional refis slipped by 6.1 percent and government refis climbed down by 2.1 percent.

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More Lenders Filed Suspicious Activity Reports in 2011

Financial institutions filed 31 percent more suspicious activity reports for mortgage fraud in 2011 than in the year before, according to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The agency released updates that showed lenders submitted 92,028 reports for suspected mortgage fraud activity in 2011, up from 70,472 seen in 2010. The report tracked increases alongside declines from the fourth quarter, observing a 9 percent decrease in suspicious activity reports by yearend 2011.

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