Is MetLife Home Loans Losing LOs Too?

When word leaks out that your company is for sale top producers – the smart ones at least – start weighing their options. Readers of this column and the National Mortgage News website have been kept abreast of all the LOs walking out the door at Bank of America. Of course, B of A isn’t for sale (per se), but it’s definitely in a shrinking mode. Meanwhile, MetLife Home Loans is for sale and nervous loan officers there are polishing their resumes and listening to offers, or so we hear. We understand there was a good deal of interest in the MetLife wholesale division, but at least one very serious buyer has backed away. As for the retail LOs at MLHL, Paul Hindman, managing director of Management Advisors Executive Search had this to say: “Although I’m certainly hearing that MetLife is doing what they can to retain their best retail folks, as a recruiter I can also confirm: those that don’t want all their eggs in one somewhat uncertain basket are exploring their options. It’s to their benefit to do so”…

We understand that Fannie Mae has been actively transferring servicing loan files to its two outsourcers, Seterus (IBM) and Green Tree. One source told us that in September Green Tree received 4,000 files from Fannie. In October Seterus was given 6,000 files. In November Green Tree was handed another 5,000 and in December Seterus got 4,500. These vendors were supposedly given loans that were the most likely to modify/refinance/get worked out. In total, Fannie bought 400,000 loan files from Bank of America. The question remains: where are the rest, especially the performing ones?..

And in case you missed the NMN exclusive (on our website this week), the IG’s office of FHFA is looking for a servicing evaluator. Is this assignment tied to the Fannie/BoA deal? The IG ain’t talking…

Is Hudson City Bancorp of New Jersey – a large correspondent buyer of already closed mortgages – in play? It’s hard to say but a new research note from Sandler O’Neill acknowledges “the company’s increasing takeover appeal.” Stay tuned…

A nonperforming loan company called (supposedly) Debt Market was bought by a firm called ICE. If you have any more information drop me a line at: Paul.Muolo@Sourcemedia.com.

Supposedly, Bank of America is working on a $4 billion (at least) sale of REO/loans. Details are unconfirmed and sketchy…

FOLLOW UP ON FALLING RATES: There has been a “pretty consistent downward trend” in rates and bond yields but “the spread between the actual rate to the borrower on the underlying mortgage yield on MBS has remained quite wide,” said Mahesh Swaminathan, head of agency MBS at Credit Suisse. Because of this primary/secondary market spread, the downward trend in mortgage rates has been relatively gradual as compared to movements seen in benchmark Treasury yields, he said. The primary-secondary spread also tends to compress and mute upward movements in yields as far as their effect on mortgage rates as well. Reporting by NMN‘s Bonnie Sinnock. If you have Wall Street related news drop a line to: Bonnie.Sinnock@SourceMedia.com.

WASHINGTON NEWS (THE BAH HUMBUG KIND): Rank and file workers at the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac this week were told that there will be no “merit salary” increases in 2012, according to a memo provided to National Mortgage News. The memo was penned by Fannie CEO Michael J. Williams, who makes seven figures in salary and bonuses. As one Fannie employee told us: “All of the non-management employees get zilch.” Pass the egg nog.

WASHINGTON NEWS (SPREAD THE CHEER): The National Association of Realtors spent $6.1 million in the third quarter to lobby the federal government.

WASHINGTON TO MORTGAGE BORROWERS: DROP DEAD It’s been quite a week. Congress wants to hike g-fees for both Fannie and Freddie. Oh, and now GNMA. Higher g-fees are passed onto Joe and Mary Sixpack at the closing table. Meanwhile, President Obama this past week once again equated loan brokers to used car salesmen. Of course, brokers don’t write the loan terms or underwrite. That’s where the wholesalers and Wall Street come in. But why sweat the details?

OH, AND SOME GOOD NEWS FOR LOAN BROKERS: Brokers amassed a 9.2% market share in the third quarter compared to an all time low of 6.8% in the third quarter. A final wholesale ranking is in the brand new edition of the Quarterly Data Report. To see a sample and order drop an email to: Deartra.Todd@SourceMedia.com…

MUST ATTEND MORTGAGE SHOWS: From April 17 – 19 National Mortgage News and SourceMedia will hold their annual Mortgage Servicing Conference at the Omni Mandalay Hotel in Irving, Texas. For more information see the ads on our website or click here http://www.nationalmortgagenews.com/conferences/ms/.

I’m on Twitter, discussing mortgage matters, books, soccer, vinyl. 

LAST WORD: Happy Holidays.

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