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Downpayments at Record Highs as Home Prices Rise

December 13,2017
by admin

Homebuyers ponied up the highest downpayments on record to purchase homes in the third quarter of 2017. ATTOM Data Solutions’ (formerly RealtyTrac) Residential Property Loan Origination Report says that the median down payment for a single-family home or condo purchased with financing during the quarter rose to $20,000 from $18,162 in the second quarter of this year. In the third quarter of last year the median was $14,400. The most recent number is the highest in ATTOMs records which date back to 2000.

The $20,000 downpayment represents 7.6 percent of the median sales price during the quarter of $263,000. The percentage amount was also a recent high, up from 7.1 percent the previous quarter and 6.1 percent in the third quarter of 2016. It was the highest downpayment percentage since the third quarter of 2013.

ATTOM Senior Vice president Daren Blomquist says, “Buying a home has become a full-contact sport in many markets across the country, and buyers with the beefiest down payments – not to mention all-cash buyers – are often able to muscle out those with scrawnier savings. Despite the increasingly competitive nature of homebuying, the number of residential property purchase loans nationwide increased to a 10-year high in the third quarter.”

The median downpayment exceeded $50,000 in 12 of the 99 statistical areas included in the report. The four highest amounts were all paid in California markets, with San Jose on top at $247,00 followed by San Francisco at $170,000, Los Angeles ($118,000) and Oxnard ($105,000). The fifth city on the list was Boulder, Colorado, with a median downpayment just under $100K.

The report confirmed an expected downturn in refinancing originations in the third quarter, but purchase loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOC) originations rose. There were just under 2.4 million 1-4 family mortgage loans written during the period, an increase of 17 percent from the prior quarter but 5 percent fewer from the same quarter last year. Of the total, about 1.1 million were purchase loans, an increase of 8 percent and 7 percent from the two earlier periods, and the highest number since the third quarter of 2007.

Purchase mortgage originations rose by the largest percentage in Raleigh, North Carolina, a 55 percent increase. New York City, Roanoke, Honolulu, and Little Rock all posted gains of 34 to 39 percent. Fifty-eight metro areas saw purchase originations fall, with Atlanta declining 15 percent, Houston down 10 percent and both Boston and Detroit falling 7 percent.

Also, refinance loans fell 19 percent from the third quarter of 2016, to 981,773 but that was an improvement of 28 percent from Q2.

Just under 400,000 HELOCS were originated, a gain of 19 percent quarter-over-quarter and 12 percent on an annual basis. The quarter’s originations represented a nine-year high.

Among other financing trends noted in the report was a slight uptick in the number of purchase originations that involved multiple, non-married co-borrowers. Those loans were up from 22.8 percent in the second quarter and 21.1 percent a year earlier to 23.4 percent.

The share of loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) declined from 13.6 percent of all loans originated in the second quarter and 13.2 percent in Q3 2016 to 12.9 percent. VA loans accounted for 6.6 percent of originations compared to 6.5 percent and 7.5 percent in the two earlier periods.

ATTOM derived its loan origination report from publicly recorded mortgages and deeds of trust collected in more than 1,700 counties accounting for more than 87 percent of the U.S. population. Data was gathered for single family homes, condos, town homes and multi-family properties of two to four units for this report.

Mortgage Rates Quickly Lower After Inflation Data and Fed

December 13,2017
by admin

Mortgage ratesfell fairly quickly this afternoon following the Federal Reserves updated economic projections. While it is indeed true that the Fed “raised rates” this afternoon, there are two reasons that doesn’t matter.

First of all, the rate the Fed adjusts (aptly named, the Fed Funds Rate), governs only the shortest-time frames (overnight loans among big banks). Although its effects radiate to longer-term debt like mortgages, the two are far from joined at the hip. Short term rates often move one direction while long term rates move another.

More importantly, EVERYONE responsible for trading the bonds that govern interest rates (and I do mean every last person without a single exception) was well aware that the Fed would be hiking rates today. No Fed rate hike has been better telegraphed during this cycle.

When bond traders know what’s going to happen in the future, they’ll trade accordingly as soon as possible. That means rates had long since adjusted to today’s rate hike–so much so that the hike itself was a non-event. Again, it was the update economic projections that helped rates move lower this afternoon. Fed Chair Yellen’s press conference played a major role as well.

Even before the Fed news came out, a weaker reading on an important inflation report helped bond markets get into positive territory on the day. The net effect of the Fed and the economic data was a moderately quick move back to last week’s low rates.


Loan Originator Perspective

Bonds are rallying following the Fed announcement today and weaker inflation data. As of 4pm eastern, only a few lenders have passed along any of the gains. So, i favor floating overnight and evaluate pricing tomorrow. Hopefully this rally can continue, -Victor Burek, Churchill Mortgage


Today’s Most Prevalent Rates

  • 30YR FIXED – 4.0%
  • FHA/VA – 3.75%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED – 3.375%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS – 2.75 – 3.25% depending on the lender



Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations

  • 2017 had proven to be a relatively good year for mortgage rates despite widespread expectations for a stronger push higher after the presidential election in late 2016.

  • While rates remain low in absolute terms, they’ve moved higher in a more threatening way heading into the 4th quarter, relative to the stability and improvement seen earlier in 2017

  • The default stance for now is that this trend toward higher rates has the potential to continue. It will take more than a few great days here and there for that outlook to change.

  • For weeks, this bullet point had warned about recent stability inviting a bigger dose of volatility. That volatility is now here. As such, locking is generally the better choice until the volatility is clearly dying down.
  • Rates discussed refer to the most frequently-quoted, conforming, conventional 30yr fixed rate for top tier borrowers among average to well-priced lenders. The rates generally assume little-to-no origination or discount except as noted when applicable. Rates appearing on this page are “effective rates” that take day-to-day changes in upfront costs into consideration.

MBS RECAP: Bonds Cheer Weak Inflation Data and Fed Forecasts

December 13,2017
by admin

Heading into the day, we knew we were looking at 2 key market movers in the form of the CPI data and the afternoon’s Fed festivities (which include an announcement, economic projections, and a Yellen press conference).

The morning’s inflation data got the party started with Core annual CPI coming in at 1.7 again. This was notable it had just ticked up to 1.8 for the first time in 6 months when it was last reported a month ago. The move up to 1.8 looked like the start of a bounce back toward 2%. Today’s regression reminds markets of inflation’s intractability.

Bonds looked ready for the inflation data to tell a different story as rates were pushing against their recent ceiling. The weaker data led to an immediate surge back into the safety of the prevailing range. From there, we waited for the Fed.

As expected, the announcement itself was unimportant. The rate hike has long since been baked into bond markets and it was the forecasts that got the attention at 2pm. While the average Fed forecast was very slightly higher (for the Fed Funds Rate), the median Fed member didn’t change for the 2018 or 2019 time frames. There was noticeably less “migration” (movement of dots toward higher rates) on the Fed’s dot plot compared to September.

The dots were good for another rally in bonds. It wasn’t as big as the CPI-driven rally, but it had friends–namely, Janet Yellen. Yellen took her farewell opportunity to “let loose” (as much as she can, anyway) on a few topics that she might have phrased differently earlier in her tenure. Specifically, she noted that stock valuations were “high” even though she didn’t say that was a problem. She also pointed out that her colleagues had considered the probable impact of the tax bill in drafting their forecasts. That’s a bigger deal than it might seem because it means the fairly tepid Fed rate hike forecasts were potentially more aggressive than they otherwise would be in the absence of the tax bill.

10yr yields ended the day down more than 5bps and Fannie 3.5 MBS rose nearly 3/8ths of a point . Most of the gains came after the Fed, but at least half of the movement was attributable to CPI (the initial movement merely helped us get back into positive territory after morning weakness).

Mortgage Rates Slightly Higher Ahead of Fed

December 12,2017
by admin

Mortgage rates moved modestly higher for the 4th straight business day today. Last Wednesday saw the best levels in a month with some lenders in the best shape since early September. The recent move higher brings rates back into the higher part of the prevailing range.

If that all sounds somewhat dramatic, it’s not. The “prevailing range” is so narrow that it barely bears mentioning. In fact, quite a few loan scenarios would be quoted the same “note rate” on any day in the past several months. Why, then, are we talking about rates “moving?” Technically, it’s the “effective rate” that’s moving because lenders use upfront costs to make finer adjustments to the cost of financing.

In other words, if two people are quoted 4.0%, and everything about the quotes is the same except for a $200 difference in lender fees, the person who paid $200 less upfront technically has the lower rate, even though their payments will be the same.

While the prevailing range has been narrow, there are never any guarantees it will stay that way. Tomorrow brings a few threats to the recent stability, for better or worse. There is important inflation data in the morning. A weaker reading could help rates start the day lower, but a stronger reading could lead to a challenge of the recent upper boundaries. Then the Fed Announcement is released in the afternoon, along with an updated set of Fed forecasts. Markets already know the Fed is going to hike rates, but the Fed’s future rate hike outlook is the more important info this time around.


Loan Originator Perspective

The trend is not our friend right now. There is solid support just over head of current levels which will hopefully prevent rates from moving any higher. With the Fed on tap tomorrow, it is highly risky to float. A rate hike is priced in but investors will be looking at the dot plot to gain insight on future hikes. If it shows fewer hikes than expected, we could see a nice rally tomorrow, but if it is more aggressive rates could move higher quickly. Not much to gain, but a lot to lose by floating so locking is the way to go here. -Victor Burek, Churchill Mortgage


Today’s Most Prevalent Rates

  • 30YR FIXED – 4.0%
  • FHA/VA – 3.75%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED – 3.375%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS – 2.75 – 3.25% depending on the lender



Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations

  • 2017 had proven to be a relatively good year for mortgage rates despite widespread expectations for a stronger push higher after the presidential election in late 2016.

  • While rates remain low in absolute terms, they’ve moved higher in a more threatening way heading into the 4th quarter, relative to the stability and improvement seen earlier in 2017

  • The default stance for now is that this trend toward higher rates has the potential to continue. It will take more than a few great days here and there for that outlook to change.

  • For weeks, this bullet point had warned about recent stability inviting a bigger dose of volatility. That volatility is now here. As such, locking is generally the better choice until the volatility is clearly dying down.
  • Rates discussed refer to the most frequently-quoted, conforming, conventional 30yr fixed rate for top tier borrowers among average to well-priced lenders. The rates generally assume little-to-no origination or discount except as noted when applicable. Rates appearing on this page are “effective rates” that take day-to-day changes in upfront costs into consideration.

MBS RECAP: Key Technical Ceiling Holds Firm After Auction

December 12,2017
by admin

It was a pretty straightforward day for bond markets, which CONTINUE to operate in an exceptionally narrow, sideways range. That’s been the case for close to 3 months now. As such, with yields approaching the ceiling today, a breakout would have been big news, and we haven’t quite gotten to the headlines and events that constitute “big news.”

All that to say that bonds didn’t do anything too surprising by maintaining the range today. Still, to see it happen in real time, it looked like our salvation depended upon the 30yr bond auction. Heading into the auction 10yr yields were pushing the key technical ceilings near 2.42%. After stronger auction results were released, bonds immediately found their footing, and managed to avoid returning to the higher levels.

On the other hand, bonds certainly weren’t eager to stampede back toward stronger levels–a fact that likely reflects the risky events on the calendar for tomorrow. These include the morning’s Consumer Price Index and the afternoon’s Fed Announcement (specifically the economic projections released at the same time–2pm). We’ll discuss these in greater detail in tomorrow’s Day Ahead.

MBS Day Ahead: Bonds Navigate Dual Landmines in CPI and Fed Dots

December 12,2017
by admin

Today brings 2 key developments in the form of the 8:30am CPI data and the afternoon’s Fed announcement. CPI–the Consumer Price Index–was one of the top inflation metrics in terms of market movement. Like other inflation metrics, it faded into obscurity for post of the decade following the financial crisis. Markets simply didn’t care about inflation data because the general notion of inflation was so far off the radar.

The Nov 2016 presidential election seemed to mark a sharp turning point for inflation hawks. With Trump seen as highly likely to increase deficit spending and perhaps even aggregate demand (via promises of stimulus and tax cuts), there was a legitimate reason to fear an uptick in inflation. But even before that, the Fed had begun to warn that inflation was inexplicably low and set to rise at any moment. The manifestation of that narrative is the marked rise in CPI heading into early 2016. The bond market impacts were muted for 2 reasons. First, traders would believe in the inflation bogeyman when it actually stuck around for a bit. Second, the Summer of 2016 was dominated by the Brexit trade and a snowball buying in bond markets around the world.

Rates had slowly begun to creep up heading into the Fall. Trump won the election. Rates spiked on inflation expectations (and spending fears, which implied more bond market supply). Then early 2017 saw a rapid decline in core annual inflation. Before revisions, Core y/y CPI was hanging out at 1.6% for several months. Subsequent revisions brought the number to 1.7% for 5 straight months–still frustratingly low given that the Fed is targeting 2.0% (or slightly higher), and that other economic metrics suggest 2.0% should be a done deal based on a conventional understanding of monetary policy and economics.

The last CPI report marked the first lift-off from the 5 months spent at 1.7%. Today now runs the risk of Continuing that trend.

The afternoon brings its own landmines in the form of the Fed’s rate hike outlook (via the economic projections, or “dots,” due to their dot plot format) only 4 times a year. At some point, the median Fed member will forecast a plateau in rates (for now, that member has seen higher rates at each of the past 3 sets of forecasts). Whenever that happens, it will likely be a big deal for bonds–at least in the short term.

Conversely, the risk can’t be ruled out that the Fed continues to see hikes happening a bit faster or ending at slightly higher levels compared to their September outlook. If that happens, it would likely put pressure on rates to challenge the upper boundaries of the recent range, even before finding out the fate of the tax bill. The dots are released at 2pm along with the announcement itself. The Fed’s rate hike is fully priced into bonds. Any 2pm volatility will be due to the dots (rate hike forecasts) or some implication in the announcement’s verbiage.

For Purchase Applications, This December is Better Than The Last

December 12,2017
by admin

Applications for mortgages, both for home purchases and refinancing, declined during the week ended December 8. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its Market Composite Index, a measure of loan application volume, was down 2.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis compared to the volume a week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 4 percent.

Applications for purchases decreased 1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week ended December 1, and the unadjusted version of the Purchase Index was down 6 percent. The unadjusted index remained 10 percent higher than during the same week in 2016.

The Refinance Index was 3 percent lower than the prior week, but the share of applications that were for refinancing increased to 52.4 percent from 51.6 percent. It was the second largest share garnered by refinancing thus far in 2017, only slightly below the 53 percent share during the week ended January 13.

Refi Index vs 30yr Fixed

Purchase Index vs 30yr Fixed

Applications for FHA mortgages increased to 11.8 percent of the week’s total from 11.1 percent the previous week. The VA share dipped to 10.3 percent from 10.7 percent and USDA applications decreased to 0.7 percent from 0.8 percent.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with conforming loan balances of $424,100 or less increased to 4.20 percent from 4.19 percent. Points declined to 0.39 from 0.40 and the effective rate was higher than the previous week.

The rate for jumbo 30-year FRM, loans with balances greater than $424,100, averaged 4.11 percent, down from 4.16 percent. Points were unchanged at 0.28 and the effective rate declined.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year FRM backed by the FHA was the highest since April, 4.13 percent with 0.39 point, and the effective rate moved higher. The prior week the rate was 4.11 percent with 0.40 point.

Fifteen-year FRM rates rose to the highest average level since March, 3.61 percent compared to 3.59 percent the prior week. Points were down from 0.48 to 0.44, but the effective rate increased.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) decreased by 6 basis points to 3.42 percent. Points increased to 0.48 from 0.46 and the effective rate moved lower. The ARM share of applications decreased to 5.6 percent from 5,7 percent.

MBA’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts. Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100 and interest rate information is based on loans with an 80 percent loan-to-value ratio and points that include the origination fee.

Lender/Appraiser Product; Investor Disaster Updates; Movement’s Penalty

December 12,2017
by admin

Word on the street has House and Senate negotiators agreeing to scale back the mortgage interest deduction in the latest version of the GOP tax bill. The move means homeowners will now be able to deduct interest on the first $750,000 of a new mortgage, down from the current limit of $1 million. Legislation has been introduced in Congress recommending that the CFPB employee pay structure be aligned with the rest of the government. In the meantime, in other government related news besides Alabama’s vote, Movement Mortgage must pony up $1.1 million for California mortgage servicing violations. “Overcharged borrowers and serviced loans without a state license” – not a long-term recipe for success.

Fire and Disaster Updates

One should always start with the FEMA website for the latest on Federal declarations. It is these declarations that drive lender and investor policies and procedures.

Wells Fargo Funding spread the word to clients, “If your operations are impacted by the California fires, please contact your Regional Sales Manager or a member of your regional team to discuss options around suspense fee relief on Best Effort and Mandatory Loans. Watch for communications from Wells Fargo Funding with details for handling properties in case they are affected by the fires. For more information, refer to our Disaster Policy in Seller Guide Section 820.19, FHA and VA Handbooks, and the FEMA websitefor disaster declarations. As always, contact a member of your regional sales team with any questions.”

Pacific Union is monitoring the impact of the wildfires currently occurring in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties in Southern California. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has not published impacted counties but has declared a state of emergency in California due to the wildfires.

Weslend Financial posted a map of current affected area from Ventura County Sheriff OES, Office of Emergency Services. Thomas Incident Map and Ready Ventura County and is asking clients to review all pipelines to identify those properties that may be affected. All properties within the Fire Perimeter and Mandatory Evacuation Zones are subject to its disaster area policy. All other properties within the county, especially those within close approximation to this fire, will be evaluated by Underwriting / Credit Risk to determine if the subject property falls under current disaster area policy.

Due to the wildfires currently burning in California, Flagstar Bank is suspending loan closings and funding for properties located in certain zip codes. Once closing and funding has resumed, Flagstar will provide the re-inspection requirements, as applicable. Loans that have already been issued a Final Approval Clear to Close status will be placed in an Approved with Conditions status until a re-inspection is performed. Appraisal re-inspections are not required to be completed by the original appraiser; however, a Flagstar Bank eligible appraiser must be utilized. For loans that have an appraisal that was ordered via Loantrac, an appraisal re-inspection may be requested via the Appraisal Management module by selecting “Yes” to the “Do you need a Property/Disaster Inspection” question.

Lenox/WesLend Disaster Area Property Valuation Requirements are as follows: If the effective date of the appraisal was on or prior to the Disaster Date Then the valuation must be validated with the following (interior and exterior only): 1004D (Disaster), CDAIR or interior and exterior Disaster report. Effective for Conventional Loans, Non-Conforming / Jumbo loans, Non-QM and All FHA, VA and USDA. Appraisals on or prior to the Disaster Date and a Property Inspection Waiver (PIW) or other alternative valuation tool was used, a full appraisal with interior and exterior inspection is required. Appraisals effective on the day after the Disaster date until the expiration of the disaster notice (generally 120 days from the date of the original event, but may be extended), a full appraisal with interior and exterior inspection is required.

New Leaf Wholesale: For the California wildfires, if the subject property is in the counties/impacted areas with a completed appraisal dated prior to the incident start date, a 1004D re-inspection completed by the Appraiser must certify that the property is free from the applicable natural disaster damage. For appraisals in the impacted areas dated during the incident period, the Appraiser must: Comment on the condition of the property and any effects on the marketability AND Add detailed language into the body of the appraisal confirming that the property is free from the applicable natural disaster damage OR provide a 1004D re-inspection to certify that the property is free from the applicable natural disaster damage. For appraisals in the impacted areas dated after the incident end date*, the Appraiser must: Comment on the condition of the property and any effects on the marketability AND Add detailed language confirming that the property is free from the applicable natural disasters damage into the body of the appraisal. *NOTE: This requirement is necessary for 30 days after the incident end date.

Although AmeriHome is not requiring countywide disaster inspections for properties affected by the Southern California wildfires, Sellers are reminded that they are responsible for determining potential impact to a property located in an area where a disaster is occurring or has occurred, irrespective of whether a property was included in the area covered by a disaster declaration. If a Seller has reason to believe that a property might have been damaged in a disaster, the Seller must take appropriate action to ensure that the property is free from damage and meets AmeriHome requirements at the time of purchase by AmeriHome.


Capital Markets

Turning to rates, the 10-year closed at 2.40% and yesterday’s curve flattening reversed as spreads widened. Prices declined following a stronger PPI of +0.4% vs +0.3% m/m expected. With producer prices rising, profit margins will come under pressure if the increases cannot be passed along to consumers. Earlier in the morning the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index soared to 107.5, a level that has not been seen since 1983, though the index did hit 107.4 in 2004. Of course, this optimism is resting on whether Washington can follow through on tax reform.

Although at 8:30AM we will have the Consumer Price Index, a measure of inflation, today the market will be focused on the FOMC decision at 2PM EST with a 25bps increase in the Fed Funds Rate mostly priced in. Updated dot plots for rate hike expectations in 2018 will be released as well. (What’s a dot plot? Here’s one from September.) Current projections forecast 3-4 rate hikes for the upcoming year as the Fed continues to move slowly to unwind the post-crisis stimulus. Tax reform and its potential positive impacts on the economy, however, could influence the Fed to move quicker in 2018. Rounding out the economic calendar today are weekly mortgage applications (-2.3%, , CPI at 8:30am, and the latest Weekly Petroleum Status Report. We’re starting the day with the 10-year’s yield near 2.41% and agency MBS prices worse a smidgeon versus last night’s close.


Employment, Promotions, and Business Opportunities

PennyMac is launching its wholesale lending division, PennyMac Broker Direct, and is looking for motivated candidates to join its growing sales team in Westlake Village, CA. As one of Fortune’s Top 100 Fastest-Growing Companies, the account executive roles will fill up quickly, so please contact Matt Sjolund (805.225.7352) to learn more and get in on the ground floor! You can also apply directly on LinkedIn: Client Success Specialist and Senior Client Success Manager – PennyMac Corporate NMLS ID# 35953.

“Freddie Mac is Reimagining the Mortgage Experience to create a smarter, simpler, and less costly origination process. We’re using big data and advanced analytics to offer an automated alternative to an appraisal through our new automated collateral evaluation (ACE) for certain loans submitted through Loan Product Advisor, our next-generation automated underwriting system and the gateway to Loan Advisor Suite. As of Sept. 1, ACE is available for purchase and refi transactions. This means you can potentially shave 7-10 days off the time it takes for loans to close, and save your borrowers in some instances up to $300 to $700 on the appraisal fee (Source: Freddie Mac Strategic Delivery and lender feedback). Ready to learn more? Visit the Loan Advisor Suite web page.”

Floify, the mortgage automation app for modern LOs, has just reached another major milestone by surpassing 253,000 registered users on their industry-leading platform. This staggering and widespread adoption of Floify has proven the system’s unique ability to meet the diverse needs of LOs and borrowers alike. Since its inception, Floify has grown into a full-fledged mortgage automation solution that streamlines nearly every aspect of the mortgage process. Many of Floify’ssuccesses have been attributed to their robust platform, a customer-first and customer-funded business model, and successful partnerships and integrations with industry titans, including Equifax, DocuSign, AccountChek, and more. If you’ve been considering Floify, now is a great time to take advantage of this incredible solution. Check out how Floify has helped LOs close loans an average of 8x faster and increase annual loan volume by more than 11%. To experience the power and efficiency of Floify, request a live demo.

Built continues its winning ways after being named Best in Show at the 2017 Digital Lending + Investing Conference, hosted by SourceMedia. The conference brings together the brightest minds in lending, loan investing and fintech to discuss what’s next in the consumer finance industry. Earlier this year, Built was named to the HousingWire Tech 100 and won NTC growth company of the year in Nashville. Watch the winning presentation for a peek at their platform or learn more about Built.

Is there an answer to the riddle “are there too few appraisers?” YES, & DVS has the solution! Have appraisers work directly for YOU, the lender, utilizing DVS Direct – meaning your appraisers put your assignments first – producing high quality reports with turn times of less than a week. It’s compliant, efficient, cost effective and does everything – appraiser panel management, assigning the most motivated, responsive, and skilled appraiser within seconds, communicating with all parties (even the borrower or realtor on the transaction), keeping everyone informed as to status, delivering the appraisal to the UCDP/EAD and your borrower. DVS Direct even takes care of all the accounting functions such as borrower payment processing and appraiser payments weekly via ACH Direct Deposit, while building the cost into the borrower paid appraisal fee. Couple with integrated LOS’ and DVS Review Services, DVS Direct is THE complete solution and it’s easy to adopt and deploy. Is 2018 the year you move your company forward and put appraisal issues behind you? Make 2018 exceptional & successful. Contact us – we can help (888.931.0040).

Congrats to Mike Lee! Planet Home Lending LLC announced that he has joined the company as the Senior VP of National Production. Mike leads all sales activities in distributed retail and third-party origination channels throughout the U.S. He is responsible for strategically building and managing corporate and branch franchises, including recruiting, on-boarding and transition activities. Lee will directly recruit and hire top-tier distributed retail branch managers and loan originators in the company’s key markets.

Headquartered in California, Sierra Pacific Mortgage Company, Inc., which has retail, wholesale, and correspondent channels, has announced the company’s launch of its new Builder Division which will be focused on providing mortgage services for homebuilders, across the nation.

Fannie and Freddie Will Wait Until Jan 2nd to Evict You

December 12,2017
by admin

Both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae announced this week that evictions from foreclosed single-family and two-to-four-unit properties owned by the GSEs will be suspended during the holiday season. The moratorium will begin on December 18 and extend through January 2 of next year.

The two companies said that legal and administrative proceedings for evictions can continue during the period as well as other foreclosure-related activities. Families, however, must be allowed to continue living in the homes.

“We’re taking steps to support families and to extend the timeline of help for struggling borrowers during the holidays,” said Jacob Williamson, Vice President of Single-Family Distressed Assets at Fannie Mae. “We also encourage homeowners who may be struggling with their mortgage to reach out to Fannie Mae or their servicer to get help. Options are available to avoid foreclosure, and we want to help pursue those options whenever possible.”

Freddie Mac also reaffirmed that all foreclosure sales have been suspended in eligible disaster areas impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Realtors Raise Last-Minute Red Flags Over Tax Bill

December 12,2017
by admin

Realtors are expressing concern over three measures that exist in either the House or the Senate versions of the Republican tax cut bill and have sent a letter to Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Kevin Brady (R-TX), chairs of the Senate Banking and House Ways and Means Committees respectively, about these issues. The letter was sent as a conference committee is about to begin discussions of changes to the bills that will allow passage of a single version by both side of the Congress. Signed by, current National Association of Realtors (NAR) President Elizabeth Mendenhall, the letter stresses the important of homeownership to the U.S. economy and says the Congress needs to keep in mind where their decisions “can create a tremendously better outcome, not only for current and prospective homeowners, but for communities and the economy.”

The first concern is a revision to a capital gains exclusion for the sale of a principal residence which was added to the tax code in 1997. Under that provision a homeowner can exclude from capital gains taxes a profit of $250,000 (or $500,000 for a couple filing jointly) if the home has been owner occupied for two of the most recent five years preceding the sale. Not only does this provision shelter a substantial amount of housing wealth, it also eliminated the need for homeowners to maintain tenure-long records of money spent on capital improvements to the home. The bill under consideration would change the period of occupancy to five of the last eight years and add income limits for eligibility.

Mendenhall said the existing provision is simple, straightforward, and greatly encourages the buildup of household wealth. Increasing the timeline “will create hardship to millions and unfairly penalize them by changing the rules in the middle of the game.” Experienced Realtors, she said, know that most people sell their homes because of legitimate and pressing needs such as a job-related move or a change in family size. “Further, the income limits in the House bill would punish many in higher-cost areas of the nation simply because they happen to live where incomes, and the cost of living, are above the average.”

In addition, some portion of those affected would be less likely to sell their homes, exacerbating the low inventory problems currently hampering many markets. She said the association’s research shows that as much as 22 percent of recent sales were by homeowners who had owned their homes for two to five years. “If just one in five of these affected homeowners choose to forgo a trade-up purchase of another home, GDP could decline by more than $7 billion per year,” the letter says.

The second area of concern is a proposed reduction of the cap on mortgage interest deductibility. Currently that limit is $1 million which the House bill would cut in half. This, Mendenhall says, would have an immediate and very negative impact on many high cost markets. “Home buyers in these areas often have little choice but to take out a very large mortgage, simply because finding a residence priced below the limit that meets their needs is practically impossible.” That this cap lacks an index for future inflation guarantees the limit “will pinch more and harder over time.” NAR estimates that in 20 years fully a third of the U.S. housing stock will be valued over $500,000. “Responsible tax reform should not unfairly punish more and more taxpayers simply because of inflation.”

Mendenhall also urged that the conference, as it seeks ways to make the limits on the deductibility of state and local taxes (SALT) less “unsavory,” also include income or sales taxes in the mix. There is a concern that if property taxes are the only ones that will be deductible, she said, it will encourage state and local governments to shift more of the tax burden onto real property owners.

NAR advocates for two other areas that appear in the Senate bill. One is a provision which would adjust the depreciable lives of real property. NAR says this would lower barriers to investment in real estate and thus generate more economic growth. The Senate’s version for pass-through entities better matches the tax rate reduction that corporations receive under the bill than does the House bill, and would be less likely to incentivize Realtors, brokers, and developers to convert to corporate status.