Would You Invest in a Mortgage Banker?

My inbox was slammed by emails from readers who said “right on” to my commentary that the White House is (wrongly) using mortgage brokers as a whipping boy for the mortgage crisis. But some larger questions still loom: Does this White House even know what a loan broker is? I would guess not. Meanwhile, a handful of mortgage franchises are on the auction block and with the Obama Administration beating up on brokers and hailing the CFPB as the consumer’s “white knight” outside investors are asking themselves: Why do I want to be in this industry? Late this week we were hearing that there is no longer any serious interest in the mortgage banking franchise of MetLife, which forces another question: What’s next for this company? Have any insight, drop me a line at Paul.Muolo@SourceMedia.com…

Meanwhile, we understand that at least one large servicer is going to start lopping off large chunks of its mortgage servicing portfolio. Supposedly, Phoenix Capital of Denver has the contract. Phoenix executives haven’t returned a phone call in 10 years…

Supposedly, a somewhat troubled mortgage firm in the center of the nation will soon offer for sale nearly $1 billion of nonperforming and underperforming residential loans…

The FDIC recently sold a little over $900 million in NPLs and performing notes, sources said, through a “structured” deal…

IS THE CFPB’s RICHARD CORDRAY ILLEGAL? If you’re a Democrat (liberal) you applauded the president’s recess appointment of Richard Cordray to head the CFPB. If you’re a Republican (conservative) you condemned the move in harsh words. So, was the appointment illegal? Was the Senate “legally” (the key word here being illegally) in recess? I’ve heard the arguments both ways. I assume the GOP will sue, which is their right, adding to the already toxic environment. But is something else going on here? Did Obama pull a recess stunt to ignite his base and pave the way for it becoming a campaign issue? The Dodd-Frank Act—which birthed the CFPB—was passed by both Republicans and Democrats, as was TARP (under George W. Bush). Mortgage bankers have complained (rightfully so) that the qualified residential mortgage test (as it pertains to MBS) is a disaster. From what we hear the whole QRM issue won’t be settled any time soon…

On another front, CFPB architect Elizabeth Warren is running for the Senate in Massachusetts. Her opponent is former broker Scott Brown. Several years back in an op-ed piece Warren blasted loan brokers…

Some NAMB officials say that more lenders are expressing interest in the wholesale channel…

If you need a list of the nation’s top wholesale and correspondent funders drop an email to Deartra.Todd@SourceMedia.com and ask about our Quarterly Data Report. It’s a 50-page Excel spreadsheet…

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Efforts by Citigroup to unload its consumer finance unit, OneMain, are falling apart. According to one report, PE firms Centerbridge Capital Partners, Leucadia National Corp. and Berkshire Hathaway had been exploring a deal. One Main was formerly known as CitiFinancial. Its forebears include Associates First Capital and Commercial Credit.

WASHINGTON NEWS: Fannie Mae continues to send bills to servicers that are foreclosing much too slowly for its tastes. Freddie appears to be more benign in this regard.

MORTGAGE PEOPLE: Jerry Selitto has departed from PHH Corp. The CEO change was reported early in the week. But was he pushed or did he resign?

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, the Giants vs. Falcons, and Manchester United.

LAST WORD: Who says subprime lending is dead? Late last year Bank of America lent $25 million to the New York Mets. The Mets play in CitiField, named after Citigroup, a competitor of B of A. Go figure.

Article source: http://www.nationalmortgagenews.com/blogs/hearing/invest-mortgage-banker-1028212-1.html

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