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  • MBS RECAP: Calm, Resilient Day Maintains Calm, Resilient Week (and month)

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    In the shadow of October 15th--by some measures, the most volatile day in the history of Treasury trading--everything that's followed has been exceedingly tame by comparison. The correction leading back toward slightly higher rates was mechanical and non-threatening . And now November is slipping away with mortgage rates having held 4.0% the entire time and 10yr yields staying in the 2.3's. Today's session never had much of a chance to break the bigger-picture mold. To end the week on anything other than a sideways note, we would have needed to see such a big rally or sell-off that it wouldn't have made any sense in the current context. Overnight headlines from Draghi helped a bit and China's rate cut hurt a bit, but bonds ground to stronger levels very slowly. It's...(read more)

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  • Technically at November Lows, but That Doesn't Mean Much These Days

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    Mortgage rates improved again today , carving out another November low, albeit by only a small margin. For some lenders, rates are officially at "one month lows" with October 21st being the last day that similar rates were available. Actually, the rate has been available, but it's the COST required to obtain that rate that's fallen back to 10/21 levels. 4% remains the most prevalently-quoted conforming 30yr fixed rate for top tier borrowers. It's far less prevalent, but 3.875% is being quoted in some cases. History doesn't offer many examples of the phrase "lowest rates in a month" meaning much less than it does today. The entirety of the past 30 days saw no change in the most common rate quote of 4% and only very little change in the associated closing costs. In fact, "lowest in a month" is...(read more)

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  • Natural Disasters are now Measurable Default Risks

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    Growing numbers of severe weather events throughout the U.S. may be giving new meaning to "location, location, location" in the housing world. CoreLogic senior economist Kathryn Dobbyn writes in the company's blog "housing Pulse" that the $8 billion in property damage caused by severe weather in the U.S. in 2013 is causing the housing industry to think about the risk of any given location's exposure to natural disasters which are only expected to continue to increase in both frequency and intensity. In some parts of the country, such as Florida's hurricane prone Atlantic coast or the Mid-West's "Tornado Alley" the risk of unexpected property damage is always there and the mortgage industry has relied on required insurance to mitigate its risks. But for a variety of reasons, costs, a lack of...(read more)

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  • GSEs Cut Lenders a Big, Retroactive Break on Reps and Warrants

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have nailed down the promised details the life-of-loan exclusions related to their representation and warranty framework. Under the direction of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) the two government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) announced the changes on Thursday afternoon. Press releases from the two mortgage companies said the enhancements to the framework are expected to help reduce lender concerns about when a GSE may demand a loan be repurchased. While the framework provided relief as explained below there remained so-called "life of loan" exclusions which permitted the GSEs to involve repurchase requests as long as there was an unpaid balance on the loan. Freddie Mac said that concerns over these exclusions have caused some lenders to impose credit overlays...(read more)

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  • FHFA Tracks G-fee Evolution; Hopes You Won't Read Fine Print

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    A report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) says that while the average fee charged by the government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) for providing a loan guarantee (g-fee) has more than doubled since 2009, both pricing differences and fee equity have increased. The FHFA report is required for annual presentation to Congress. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the GSEs, acquire single-family loans from lenders, some of which they hold in their own portfolios but most of which are securitized in the form of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and sold to investors. The GSEs guarantee timely payment of interest and principal from borrowers to investors in these securities and in return charge the lender (seller) a g-fee to cover three types of costs they expect to incur. Costs include what they...(read more)

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  • CFPB Proposes New Foreclosure Rules

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has proposed some new measures affecting the way servicers handle mortgages in various stages of default. The changes will require servicers to: Provide certain borrowers with foreclosure protections more than once over the life of the loan. Currently a borrower is given certain protections such as the right to be evaluated under the CFPB's options to avoid foreclosure, only once during the life of the loan, even if they suffer separate financial hardships years apart. The proposal would require that servicers provide those protections for borrowers who have brought their loans current since the last loss mitigation application. Put in place additional servicing transfer protections. The proposal clarifies that a transferee servicer must generally...(read more)

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  • MBS MID-DAY: Bond Markets Start Weekend Early, Holding Modest Gains

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    Overnight events amounted to nothing more than noise for US bond markets. Tough talk from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi did more to help European bond markets earlier in the overnight hours, but Treasuries improved somewhat. The bigger disruption came after China's central bank announced a rate cut. Whether or not the disruption was warranted is another matter. Headlines with words like "surprise rate cut" and the like have understandable shock value. It certainly sounded like big news at first and markets responded that way at first. But the announcement was quickly qualified as something less dramatic than the headlines suggested (WSJ summed it up well with the headline: China Rate Cut Surprises, Doesn't Overwhelm ). Treasuries were weaker at first, but never...(read more)

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  • Fannie & Freddie Changes Will Help Lenders; Possible Changes for NY Lenders;

    Posted To: Pipeline Press

    In New York, the New York Mortgage Bankers Association's website is now live. The group is functioning and has already had meetings with DFS, so lenders looking for things to be done on an "industry vs. company" level should reach out to the NY MBA to make their industry issues known. And by visiting the site one can read comments about Benjamin Lawsky stepping down from the NY Department of Financial Services post he now holds. Speaking of which, the NY MBA spread the word to members that the NYDFS proposed regulation of force-placed insurance. "Under the proposed regulation, insurers and servicers are prohibited from: obtaining insurance in access of borrower's last known amount, unless that amount did not comply with mortgage requirements, issuing force-placed insurance on mortgaged property...(read more)

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  • MBS Day Ahead: Did Bond Markets Show up Early for December?

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    Have you ever had one of those awkward super early arrivals to an event? Did you wait in the lobby? Was the lobby even open? Did you hide the fact you were early? Did you wait in your car? Did you find something else to do in the area? Or did you ever simply just sit and wait it out? Bond markets might be doing the same thing right now. Here's a chart of 10yr yields with 2 technical overlays and a moving average. The top section with the actual yield candlesticks has Bollinger Bands and a 9-day moving average. The Bollinger Band study uses a 21 day moving average as it's middle line (that's the most common setting, and that's what this one is, but there's no rule that says it has to be). One useful application for moving averages is that when shorter term averages break and hold on one side...(read more)

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  • MBS RECAP: Volatility After Philly Fed, but Bonds Stay in Positive Territory

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    There was a metric ton of data on tap today, both at home and abroad. During the European session, most of the data was weaker. Given that Europe still responds logically to their economic data, that made for a strong overnight move in Treasuries (and of course in the European bond markets that were setting the tone for Treasuries). The domestic data at 8:30am was received in the same manner as most domestic data recently: nothing happened. That was more than acceptable considering we were in stronger territory, but the 10am data was too crazy to be ignored. The Philly Fed survey came out at the best level since 1993, beating the forecast by the largest amount ever . MBS and Treasuries lost ground at that point, though it's tough to say if the reversal wasn't already bound to happen...(read more)

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