Cover Story
The Trend Toward Re-Shoring
Banks and other financial entities are increasingly announcing that they are opening call centers in the U.S. and creating domestic instead of offshore jobs. Some industry experts say this has been a trend for several years and is due to several factors, from regulatory pressure to cost savings to bad publicity. This summer, Dallas-based Nationstar [...]
Front Office
Ten Years and Counting
Will housing finance reform ever really happen? At this point, it has become a sad case of neglect. In early October, Mel Watt, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, told members of the House Financial Services Committee that government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) reform is needed urgently, mainly because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s Treasury “buffers” [...]
The Digital Transformation is Only the Tip of the Iceberg
Although it’s not happening with much fanfare or hyperbole, a once-in-a-generation change is sweeping the mortgage industry. After years of strategic focus on sales, revenue, product and growth, lenders and service providers alike are beginning to shift their focus. Compelled by both a volatile market and compliance-driven changes, processes and operations (as they relate to [...]
Secondary Market
Online Loan Trading: The Results So Far
We have been talking about a truly digital mortgage for some time, and it seems we may finally be getting close. Digital signatures, electronic recordings and even online notarizations are pushing originators nearer to a digital reality, which will have stunning implications for future generations of mortgage consumers. Yet a parallel innovation taking place in [...]
Supreme Court Decision Empowers Cities
After losing billions in property tax revenue during the foreclosure crisis, local governments notched a win earlier this year, when the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the City of Miami’s right to sue Bank of America and Wells Fargo under the 1968 Fair Housing Act (FHA). However, the decision is not a total win. The court [...]
How Much Skin Should Be in the Game?
Freddie Mac recently updated the requirements for its Home Possible Advantage low-down-payment mortgage program by prohibiting lenders from applying gifts or grants directly to the 3% minimum down payment requirement. As per a July 26 bulletin, the government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) is revising its requirements “to state that gifts or grants from the seller as the [...]
Mortgages: Too Much Risk? There’s constant pressure in the mortgage marketplace to make financing quicker, easier and more broadly available. After all, with reduced lending requirements, we did sell more than 7 million existing homes in 2005, which was about 1.5 million more units than we expect to market this year. Surely it would make [...]
Housing Markets
Do Regulations Really Increase New Home Prices by 25 Percent? The Internet, media reports and congressional testimony are always rife with rumors and tall tales. We can all rest easy now because, no, a U.S. destroyer did not collide with a building in downtown Houston during Hurricane Harvey and – no again – there’s no [...]
Secondary Market
What Do Hedging and the 1984 Bears Have in Common? In the 1984 NFL postseason, the Chicago Bears surrendered the fourth-most yards per game to its opponents (361.5) and the fifth-most points per game (21). That team lost the NFC championship to the eventual Super Bowl champions and offensive juggernaut: the San Francisco 49ers. The [...]