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  • MBS RECAP: Trump Tax Talk Tanks Treasuries (and MBS) Fri, 21 Apr 2017 21:23:24 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    Today was shaping up to be very slow and boring, with bond markets making some inconsequential gains as traders shed risk ahead of this weekend's French election. How did France get important? In a nutshell, one of the candidates (Marine Le Pen) is billed as a populist who wants France to divorce the EU, or at least to work out some sort of separation agreement. Anything that calls the stability of the EU into question tends to be a big deal for markets. Brexit was one thing (because Great Britain was never part of the monetary union), but a Frexit would be a much bigger deal. We're not necessarily sure a Le Pen victory would result in France exiting the EU, but the mere possibility of such things has traders on edge. Markets are fairly sure LePen won't win, but they'd like...(read more)

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  • Mortgage Rates End Week Roughly Unchanged Fri, 21 Apr 2017 20:28:00 GMT

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    Mortgage rates were sideways to slightly higher this week as global financial markets braced for volatility surrounding this weekend's French election. While it may seem like a world away from the domestic mortgage market, events that potentially impact the stability of the European Union have a strong track record of filtering through to movement in domestic bond markets. And bond markets are the primary driver of day-to-day movement in mortgage rates. In addition to preparations for the weekend's events, traders also reacted to today's headlines concerning tax reform . Just before 2pm, the Associated Press reported that Trump would announce his tax plan next week and that it would be bigger than "any tax cut ever." In general, the promise of tax cuts has fueled stock market gains at the expense...(read more)

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  • Lenders Speed Up Loan Processing -Ellie Mae Fri, 21 Apr 2017 14:32:12 GMT

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    The share of purchase loans originated in March climbed to 63 percent of all originations from 57 percent in February. Ellie Mae's Origination Insight Report for the month noted that this was the highest share for purchase mortgages since July 2016 when they made up 65 percent of the total. The average time to close all loans decreased to 43 days in March, down from 46 days in February, the shortest time to close since February of 2015. Similarly, the time to close a refinance dropped to 43 days from 47 days and the timeline for a purchase mortgage was 43 days, down from 45 days in February. All types of loans had shorter timelines. Closing or pull-through rates were lower for all loan types except FHA refinances. The rate for all loans fell from 70.6 percent in February to 67.9 percent. The...(read more)

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  • Existing Home Sales Highest Since 2007 Fri, 21 Apr 2017 14:30:00 GMT

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    Sales of existing homes roared back in March after suffering an unexpected setback in February. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said sales of existing single-family houses, townhouses, condominiums, and cooperative apartments were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.71 million, an increase of 4.4 percent from the downwardly adjusted February number of 5.47 million (from 5.48 million). The March results were toward the high end of analysts' estimates. Those polled by Econoday were looking for sales in the range of 5.49 to 5.80 million units with a consensus of 5.61 million. The pace of sales was up 5.9 percent from that of last March and surpasses this past January to become the best month for sales since February 2007. Sales then were at the rate of 5.79 million units...(read more)

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  • Servicing News; Fannie/Freddie News; Another Blow for Ocwen Fri, 21 Apr 2017 13:28:16 GMT

    Posted To: Pipeline Press

    The origins of job interviews? Here you go . And speaking of employment, yesterday the commentary mentioned companies coming and going. Here in Florida, thank you to Genworth's Karen M. for passing along Sir Richard Branson's well-written tribute to his Virgin America brand which is being eliminated in its merger with Alaska Airlines. Servicing news & trends MIAC Capital Markets is offering an MSR package totaling $2.1 billion of government servicing rights. The seller has a nationwide footprint and is a well-capitalized non-bank originator. Key pool characteristics are: $123,290 average loan size, 23% GNI and 77% GN2. WA rate is 3.806%, WA loan age is 53 months. WA FICO is 672. The bid date is May 9, 2017 by 5pm EST. Please contact Dan Thomas , Steve Harris or your MIAC sales representative...(read more)

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  • MBS Day Ahead: Dearth of Data as Bonds Wait For Weekend Events Fri, 21 Apr 2017 13:11:24 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    It remains to be seen whether all the hype is justified, but for whatever reason, markets are transfixed by this weekend's French election. Several recent polls indicate that Marine Le Pen has no chance while several other polls suggest it's too close to call. If Brexit and the US election are any clue, it's probably best not to get too wrapped up in what the polls say. All we know is that it's a close race and that markets are seemingly ready to react. If Le Pen wins, the ostensible reaction will be good for bonds and bad for stocks because she's seen as a potential risk to the long-term stability of the European Union. It's not her political agenda, but simply the fact that she'd be another success story for global populist sentiment-- not exactly what the EU needs...(read more)

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  • MBS RECAP: More Focus on Europe. More Weakness For Bonds Thu, 20 Apr 2017 21:30:17 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    Europe has been the driving force for US bond markets over the past 2 days. Perhaps this will continue to be the case or perhaps it's simply due to US bond markets reaching an important technical level and hopping on to the nearest bandwagon of trading inspiration. To be sure, France is not the US when it comes to the country's impact on the global economy. And Marine Le Pen is not Donald Trump. Nonetheless, markets have viewed a Le Pen victory as a potential destabilizing factor for the European Union. Unlike the paradoxical Trump trade, markets are pretty sure this one wouldn't suddenly turn out to be horrible for the bond market and amazing for stocks. As such, European stocks and bonds have been under varying amounts of pressure as Le Pen's chances have ebbed and flowed...(read more)

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  • Mortgage Rates Up Modestly From 5-Month Lows Thu, 20 Apr 2017 20:44:00 GMT

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    Mortgage rates moved higher today as global financial markets shifted ahead of this weekend's election in France. One of the candidates--Le Pen--is a populist whose victory is seen as potentially destabilizing the entire EU. Whether or not that's actually the case remains to be seen, but for now, stocks and rates have generally moved higher as polls show Le Pen falling behind (instability and uncertainty push rates and stocks lower). French politics are far from the only thing guiding the movement in interest rates. If anything, there are too many potential sources of inspiration competing for attention. These include geopolitical risks, fiscal policy uncertainty, currency fluctuations, a possible shift in the tone of economic data, tax reform hopes/headlines, and quite simply the preexisting...(read more)

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  • Ocwen Sued, Shut Down in Multiple States Thu, 20 Apr 2017 19:44:40 GMT

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    There are bad days, and worse days, and there are days like Ocwen Financial Corporation (OFC) had on Thursday. The company was not only sued on multiple grounds by both the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the State of Florida, but saw its operations effectively shut down by the North Carolina Commissioner of Banks. According to CFPB, Ocwen, headquartered in West Palm Beach, Fla., is one of the nation's largest nonbank mortgage servicers. As of Dec. 31, 2016, it serviced almost 1.4 million loans with an aggregate unpaid principal balance of $209 billion. It services loans for borrowers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. First, the North Carolina commissioner, Ray Grace, issued a cease and desist order against the company after a determination that it "has engaged...(read more)

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  • MBA Sets Out Plan for New Housing Finance System Thu, 20 Apr 2017 15:29:20 GMT

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    Calling the reform of the government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac "the last piece of unfinished business from the 2008 financial crisis" the Mortgage Bankers Association today presented its proposal for the future of the housing finance system . The paper, which MBA says is the product of more than a year's work by a Task Force of individuals from MBA member companies, suggests and end-state model that ca also fulfill an affordable housing/duty to serve mission. The group sets forth a lengthy list of policy objectives which include: Maintaining the liquidity and stability of the primary and secondary mortgage markets, and keeping the bright line between them. Replacing the implied government guarantee of the GSEs with an explicit one at the mortgage-backed security...(read more)

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  • HUD Settlement in CA; Webinars on Reverse Mortgages, Digital Mortgages, Etc. Thu, 20 Apr 2017 13:41:46 GMT

    Posted To: Pipeline Press

    Do you think your small competitor is going to be around at the end of 2017? Perhaps. But I am reminded of some Deloitte research from late 2015 that finds only 12% of Fortune 500 companies around in 1955 are still in business! Inc. reports 25% of new businesses don't make it past the first year and 50% fail within 5 years. Taking a look at start-ups, Russia just set up its equivalent of Freddie and Fannie , and, although not a start-up, Impac Mortgage Holdings sold $56 million of its common stock as part of a plan to securitize non-qualified mortgage loans. Legal and government news The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced an agreement with a group of California mortgage lenders to resolve allegations they discriminated against a mortgage applicant based on his...(read more)

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  • MBS Day Ahead: Levels to Watch as Bonds Continue Consolidating (Hopefully not Correcting) Thu, 20 Apr 2017 13:11:28 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    "Consolidation" has a bit of a different connotation when it comes to financial markets (as opposed to the dictionary definition of "the process of making something stronger or more solid"). As far as financial markets are concerned, consolidation is what follows a sustained move in certain direction. This tends to take the shape of "correction" (a push back in the other direction) at first, but can be considered a consolidation if the push doesn't take the security in question too far back in the other direction. In that sense, "a push back in the other direction, but not too far" could be seen as legitimizing or strengthening the case for trading levels having just reached whatever levels the recent trend helped them reach. If we think of a mountain...(read more)

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  • MBS RECAP: Europe Convinces Bond Rally to Take a Break Wed, 19 Apr 2017 20:47:21 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    There are a lot of pieces on the board at the moment for the bond market rally that's been intact since mid-March. That rally began with a friendlier-than-expected set of Fed rate hike forecasts, but the baton was quickly passed to political drama and geopolitical concerns (healthcare bill, Syria, North Korea, French election, British general election, etc). Over the past few days, we've seen the US-related issues fade to the background while European issues have taken the spotlight. Yesterday it was British PM May's call for an accelerated general election that hurt EU stocks and helped bonds. Today it was a partial rethink of yesterday's gut reaction combined with several other factors (increased supply, strong data, French election forecasts) that pushed European markets...(read more)

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  • Mortgage Rates Hold Near Lows Despite Market Weakness Wed, 19 Apr 2017 20:01:00 GMT

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    Mortgage rates were steady to slightly higher today, depending on the lender, despite bond market weakness. Typically, bond market weakness results in rates moving higher, but the timing of market movements can be important. Specifically, yesterday saw bond markets move to their best levels of the day in the afternoon--too late in the day for many lenders to react with lower rate offerings. Today's bond market weakness was intact right from the start of the trading session. As such, lenders simply kept rates close to unchanged as opposed to offering moderate improvements (something they likely would have done if bond markets held steady). Most lenders continue to quote conventional 30yr fixed rates of 4.0% on top tier scenarios. The more aggressive lenders are now back into the high 3% territory...(read more)

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  • Fannie Mae Sees Faster Fed Rate Hikes Wed, 19 Apr 2017 15:27:06 GMT

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    Fannie Mae has moved its projected timeline for further Federal Reserve price hikes forward by several months. The company's Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group points to an increase in the Fed's favored measure of inflation, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) deflator, which increased by 0.1 percent in February, bringing it 2.1 percent higher than a year ago. This was the first time in nearly five years the PCE had exceeded the Fed's 2.0 percent target. Combined with the unemployment rate which was down 0.2 percent to 4.5 percent in March, the ESR says "firming inflation will prod the Fed to raise the fed funds rate in June and September, compared with September and December in the prior (ESR) forecast." The minutes of the March Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting...(read more)

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