Category Archives: Lending

Latest reverse mortgage data points to continued recovery

For the first time since the last year’s reverse mortgage program changes kicked in, the HECM industry saw growth in both its retail and wholesale channels.

According to the latest data from analytics firm Reverse Market Insight, HECM retail endorsements rose 8.2% while wholesale grew 12.1% in August. The month saw overall endorsements rise 9.8%.

RMI President John Lunde said the last time both channels experienced growth was in January, when industry volume was dominated by loans originated prior to the 10/2 changes.

It’s a positive sign that the industry is on the road to recovery, according to Lunde.

“This suggests more sustainable volume levels longer term than a more narrow recovery in just one channel or the other would,” Lunde said. “Obviously, it’s not as good as stronger growth, but I think it sets the stage for future growth and recovery.”

Of the top 10 HECM lenders, seven saw their volume increase from July to August.

Quicken Loan’s subsidiary One Reverse Mortgage led the charge with a 22% uptick, while Live Well Financial came in a close second with a 20% jump. Synergy One Lending, which merged with Mutual of Omaha Bank in July, came in third with 16%.

Lunde said the numbers indicate that lenders have gotten a handle on the new rules now that a year has passed.

“I’d say it’s reasonable to think some of the breadth of increases for lenders suggest they’re getting over some initial hurdles in adjusting to the new rules,” he said.

RMI’s HECM Lenders report has already revealed that September was a down month for the industry, but Lunde said it all adds up to a slow recovery.

“Our next year or two looks like a slow creep upward with plenty of bumps along the way,” he said.

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Taylor Morrison Home Funding integrates LodeStar tech

Taylor Morrison Home Funding, homebuilder Taylor Morrison‘s mortgage arm, integrated with LodeStar Software Solutions to quickly and accurately quote closing costs on new-home construction properties.

Under the new partnership, Taylor Morrison Home Funding employees can obtain quotes instantly through Ellie Mae’s Encompass digital mortgage solution.

“This integration will be a true time saver for our entire operations team,” Taylor Morrison Home Funding IT Project Manager and LodeStar implementation team member Rachelle Robarge said in a statement.

With LodeStar’s Loan Estimate Calculator, a quote can be generated without anytime duplicating data entry and guaranteed accuracy in the TRID format, and this can be done while including transfer taxes, municipal recording charges, etc. for all 50 states, the company explained in a press release. 

“LodeStar is delighted to partner with Taylor Morrison Home Funding. Until now, there did not exist a streamlined fee quoting solution for homebuilder properties on the market,” LodeStar CEO Jim Paolino said in a statement.

“Our secure, seamless integration with Encompass simplifies the manual fee-quoting process for the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure forms, so companies of all sizes can process mortgage loans faster and focus on growing their businesses,” Paolino added.

In a tough purchase market, companies across the industry are reaching for new tools to boost productivity and stave off origination blues. Taylor Morrison’s move is one of many in the industry’s rapidly accelerating race toward digital solutions.

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BMO Harris confirms face-to-face mortgage employee layoffs

BMO Harris recently confirmed that it is indeed cutting back its face-to-face mortgage operations with a round of layoffs.

According to a report from The Chicago Tribune, the company still won’t put a number on the amount of jobs it will eliminate, but the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said it could be 170 jobs based on an internal document it reviewed when the news of the cuts first broke.

BMO Harris cites consumers need for speed and efficiency in the mortgage process as the reason for the cuts, saying that it will readjust its structure to center around a call center strategy.

“People want speed now and fast turnaround,” BMO Harris Spokesman Patrick O’Herlihy said, according to The Tribune.

News of these cuts are all too familiar as banks and mortgage companies around the nation feel the squeeze of a tough season in the mortgage market characterized by low purchase volumes and an ailing refinance market.

Last week, JPMorgan Chase laid off 400 mortgage banking employees, and the day before, Movement Mortgage laid off 180 employees, its third cut of the year.

Wells Fargo, JPMorgan and Citi all posted significant decreases in their mortgage businesses last quarter, a clear sign that the industry is feeling the hurt.

But, there could be good news around the corner. According to Mortgage Bankers Association Associate VP of Industry Surveys and Forecasts Joel Kan, impending changes in macroeconomic factors like wage growth and housing affordability, could give the purchase market a 3% to 4% boost soon.

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