Today’s Mortgage News and Trends

What do employees of Federal Reserve Banks do all day? Sometimes they put out cool articles about mortgage banking that begin with, “On close inspection many of the most popular explanations for the subprime crisis turn out to be myths. Empirical research shows that the causes of the subprime mortgage crisis and its magnitude were more complicated than mortgage interest rate resets, declining underwriting standards, or declining home values.”

Have you heard the news? We’re out of the recession! (At least until the next time the market wants to focus on negative news.) Existing Home Sales rose for three months in a row, while foreclosure sales and the glut of homes on the market both declined. Interestingly, prices rose during that period in about half of those areas, but year over year prices are down about 15%. Foreclosures and short sales made up 31% of the sales in June. Lastly, nationwide there is about a 9.4 month supply of inventory out there waiting to be sold. More details please visit:-

How about the debt to be sold next week to fund the government? $42 billion in 2-yr notes, $39 billion in 5-yr notes, $28 billion in 7-yr notes, not to mention $96 billion in other instruments. Yowza! Where’s my checkbook? Anyway, the only news due out today is the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey. Rates have, overall, been pretty quiet all week. This morning, soon after the open, the 10-yr yield is 3.67% and mortgage security prices are slightly better than Thursday afternoon.

As far as investor news goes: Wells Fargo correspondent came out with their Reg Z/MDIA information, which takes effect on July 30th. Similar to everyone else’s, “The initial or early Truth-in-Lending (TIL) disclosure must now be provided to the borrower for all closed-end transactions, regardless of the loan purpose or lien position. This includes but is not limited to purchase money loans and refinances; first lien and subordinate lien loans; and principal dwellings as well as second homes…. Include the language ‘YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO COMPLETE THIS AGREEMENT MERELY BECAUSE YOU HAVE RECEIVED THESE DISCLOSURES OR SIGNED A LOAN APPLICATION.’, etc.

PNC Financial Services, which is where National City ended up late last year, will consolidate more than 90 National City mortgage processing operations into two (located in Pittsburgh and Chicago). They will retain their residential mortgage servicing operation in Miamisburg, Ohio. This is certainly good news for any unemployed mortgage folks in Pittsburgh and Chicago, but how about the 3,693 employees of National City’s mortgage processing operations?

Speaking of PNC, their residential mortgage banking channel earned $88 million in the second quarter 2009, down from $221 million in the first quarter. Why the drop? “Lower net mortgage servicing rights hedging gains” and “reduced loan sales revenue” were the culprits. They funded $6.4 billion, and their nonperforming assets as of June 30 increased to $4.5 billion, up $1 billion from the first quarter.

And while we’re talking earnings for the 2nd quarter, mortgage banking net revenue at Fifth Third Bancorp (in Cincinnati) was up 72% over the same quarter last year, $147 million vs. $86 million. They funded a record $6.9 billion, up from $4.9 billion for the first quarter 2009. As a result, Fifth Third had gains on mortgages sold of $161 million, and sold off some portfolio loans to make another $1 million. On the negative side, the MSR valuation adjustment, including mark-to-market of hedges, was a loss of $16 million, and they took a net charge off of $626 million for losses related to commercial and residential real estate loans in Michigan and Florida. GMAC Bank Correspondent clients should know that after today, Correspondent Funding will no longer be accepting new submissions via Genworth’s AU Central portal.

A husband and wife came for counseling after 27 years of marriage. When asked what the problem was, the wife went into a passionate, painful tirade, listing every problem they had ever had in the 27 years they had been married. She went on and on and on: neglect, lack of intimacy, emptiness, loneliness, feeling unloved and unlovable, an entire laundry list of unmet needs she had endured over the course of their marriage. Finally, after allowing this to go on for a sufficient length of time, the therapist got up, walked around the desk and, after asking the wife to stand, embraced and kissed her passionately as her husband watched with a raised eyebrow.

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