Industry Briefs Aug. 17, 2021
FHFA: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Pass Stress Tests
The Federal Housing Finance Agency released reports providing the results of the 2020 and 2021 annual stress tests Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under the Dodd-Frank Act.
Under the Severely Adverse Scenario Results, the report said both Enterprises reported comprehensive income. Key drivers were portfolio growth and strong house price appreciation in 2020 and a less severe house price decline in the 2021 planning horizon. Additionally, the provision for credit losses was the largest expense at both Enterprises. The second largest expense at both Enterprises was the global market shock impact, including the counterparty default scenario component.
Redfin Reports Balance Slowly Returning as Homebuying Demand Recedes
Redfin, Seattle, said the share of homes for sale with a price drop rose for the 15th consecutive week to 4.9%. The report said home sellers are also beginning to notice that the market is no longer heating up, and buyers are seeing that homes are staying on the market a little longer—a median 17 days—as more homeowners are listing their homes and at more realistic prices.
The report said the median home-sale price increased 17% year over year to $362,642, a record high. Asking prices of newly listed homes were up 11% from the same time a year ago to a median of $355,389. This is down 1.6% from the all-time high set during the four-week period ending June 27, and the lowest since early May. Pending home sales were up 5% year over year, the smallest increase since the four-week period ending June 28, 2020. Pending sales were down 10% from their 2021 peak during the four-week period ending May 30, a faster fall than the 5% decrease over the same period in 2019.
The report also said 50% of homes that went under contract had an accepted offer within the first two weeks on the market, well above the 44% rate during the same period a year ago, but down 7 percentage points from the high point of the year, set during the four-week period ending March 28. Thirty-six percent of homes that went under contract had an accepted offer within one week of hitting the market, up from 32% during the same period a year earlier, but down 7 percentage points from the high point of the year, set during the four-week period ending March 28.
“For the first time in over a year, homebuyers don’t need to feel rushed,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “Although the market still feels tight and competitive, the number of homes for sale keeps creeping up as more homes are listed. Those home sellers are adjusting their price expectations or seeing their homes sit on the market. There could be even more listings coming on the market as mortgage forbearance ends and homeowners with missed payments decide to sell. And mortgage rates remain near all-time lows with no signs of an increase on the horizon.”
Ginnie Mae Extends Submission Deadline for Issuer Eligibility Request for Input to Oct. 8
Ginnie Mae extended he comment period on its Request for Input on Eligibility Requirements for Single-Family MBS Issuers by an additional 60 days, to Oct. 8.
Ginnie Mae said this extension recognizes the significance of and interest in the proposal, stakeholder requests for more time and Ginnie Mae’s commitment to carefully considering input, analyzing data, and ensuring a collaborative comment process. In addition, Ginnie Mae removes references in the RFI suggesting that revisions to existing financial requirements will take effect for calendar year 2021 audited financial statements as it may take more time to review and finalize potential changes.
HUD, FHFA Collaborate on Fair Housing/Fair Lending Enforcement
HUD and the Federal Housing Finance Agency entered into a collaborative agreement regarding fair housing and fair lending coordination. Under the Memorandum of Understanding (https://www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/PA/documents/FHFA-HUD-MOU_8122021.pdf), the Agencies will focus on enhancing their enforcement of the Fair Housing Act, which HUD is primarily charged with administering and enforcing, and their oversight of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks, all of which FHFA regulates.
The MOU strengthens the Agencies’ ability to enforce fair housing and fair lending requirements, by promoting information sharing, coordination on investigations, compliance reviews and the ongoing monitoring of the Enterprises. The Agencies anticipate that the MOU will lead to stronger oversight that will help advance vigorous fair housing enforcement that can begin to redress our nation’s history of discriminatory housing practices.
MAXEX: RMBS Issuance Remains Strong
MAXEX, Atlanta, released its August Market Report showing residential mortgage-backed securities issuance continues to be strong. However, it also reported average loan amounts were down by $117,000.
The report said cash-out refis still very strong as home prices keep rising and people take advantage of higher valuation and lower rates on jumbos.
Black Knight: Forbearance Decline Intensifies
Black Knight, Jacksonville, said loans in forbearance saw their second consecutive weekly decline last week, falling by 83,000, in addition to the 71,000 decline seen in the first week of August.
According to Black Knight’s McDash Flash forbearance tracker, 1.74 million (3.3% of) homeowners remain in COVID-19-related forbearance plans of Aug. 10, including 1.9% of GSE, 5.8% of FHA/VA and 3.9% of portfolio held and privately securitized mortgages. However, improvement was seen across the board. Portfolio and PLS plans saw the strongest reduction, with a 43,000 (-7.8%) decline in active plans. FHA loans in forbearance fell by 25,000 (-3.5%) from the week prior, while GSE loans saw a 15,000 (-2.7%) decline.
The number of active plans is down 125,000 (-6.7%) from the same time last month and has fallen below 1.8million for the first time since early in the pandemic.
First American Docutech Integrates with SimpleNexus
First American Docutech, Scottsdale, Ariz., integrated its ConformX loan document generation technology and Solex eSignature solution with SimpleNexus’ homeownership platform.
Lenders using SimpleNexus and First American Docutech can now provide their borrowers with the ability to eSign initial mortgage disclosures through a single sign-on experience. Borrowers and lenders benefit from a simplified experience that provides secure access to disclosures, progress tracking and eSignature functionality through the SimpleNexus web platform or mobile app. Lenders can make the disclosure signing process faster, more secure and more convenient for their customers.
LoanScorecard Integrates with Oaktree Funding
LoanScorecard, Irvine, Calif., a provider of non-agency automated underwriting systems, is now integrated with Oaktree Funding Corp., a leading wholesale lender.
Oaktree is integrating LoanScorecard’s technology into its broker portal to help brokers determine whether non-QM loan scenarios meet Oaktree’s guidelines.
FFIEC Issues Guidance on Authentication, Access to Financial Institution Services and Systems
The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council issued guidance that provides financial institutions with examples of effective authentication and access risk management principles and practices for customers, employees and third parties accessing digital banking services and information systems.
• Highlights the current cybersecurity threat environment including increased remote access by customers and users, and attacks that leverage compromised credentials; and mentions the risks arising from push payment capabilities.
• Recognizes the importance of the financial institution’s risk assessment to determine appropriate access and authentication practices to determine the wide range of users accessing financial institution systems and services.
• Supports a financial institution’s adoption of layered security and underscores weaknesses in single-factor authentication.
• Discusses how multi-factor authentication or controls of equivalent strength can more effectively mitigate risks.
• Includes examples of authentication controls, and a list of government and industry resources and references to assist financial institutions with authentication and access management.
FHFA Announces Inclusion of Rental Payment History in Fannie Mae’s Underwriting Process
The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Fannie Mae will consider rental payment history in its risk assessment processes. With the update to Fannie Mae’s systems, future borrowers will have the benefit of a positive rental payment history being included in an underwriting decision. There is no additional burden – either for the borrower or for the lender – to make use of this feature.
“For many households, rent is the single largest monthly expense. There is absolutely no reason timely payment of monthly housing expenses shouldn’t be included in underwriting calculations,” said Acting Director Sandra L. Thompson. “With this update, Fannie Mae is taking another step toward understanding how rental payments can more broadly be included in a credit assessment, providing an additional opportunity for renters to achieve the dream of sustainable homeownership.”
Arc Home LLC Implements Indecomm’s BotGenius
Arc Home LLC and Indecomm Global Services announced implementation of Indecomm’s BotGenius suite of automation platforms. BotGenius is a collection of software robots pre-built to emulate human computer interaction for specific, standardized middle office tasks, processes and workflows in the mortgage industry.
Arc Home chose to employ BotGenius to automate various manual tasks, including ordering and reviewing flood and fraud checks, reviewing appraisals, validating the completion of compliance tests (such as the QM test & NY Subprime test), checking for borrower(s) signatures on LEs & CDs, ordering and retrieving Collateral Desktop Appraisals and verifying loan programs with the automated underwriting system (AUS) runs to ensure salability.
Yardi Launches Mortgage Relief Homeowner Assistance Fund Software
Yardi Systems, Santa Barbara, Calif., released Mortgage Relief, a Homeowner Assistance Fund software platform. Targeted toward state agencies that manage American Rescue Plan homeowner assistance programs, the Mortgage Relief platform streamlines the management of homeowner assistance applications, payments and funds into a single site.
Yardi also recently released Rent Relief, a platform that has been used to manage more than $1 billion in emergency rental assistance payments. Rent Relief simplified the agencies’ management of emergency rental assistance while making the process of receiving aid for tenants and landlords more transparent by clarifying available remaining funds and simplifying the application process.
First American Title Opens Clear2Go Automated Title Decision Engine to Title Agents
First American Title Insurance Co., Santa Ana, Calif., announced that its Clear2Go automated title decision engine is now available to title agents that underwrite with First American. Clear2Go is based on the technology behind First American Title’s internal automated title production.
Title commitments powered by Clear2Go are backed by First American’s underwriting rules and vetted against property and title data resources. Clear2Go was designed to meet applicable state-level title plant requirements by including title plant data obtained from First American’s title plant coverage.
Ginnie Mae Reports July MBS Issuance of $74 Billion; More than 274,000 Homes Financed
Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities issuance volume totaled $74.29 billion in July. Nearly 274,882 homes and apartment units were financed by Ginnie Mae guaranteed MBS in July.
A breakdown includes $70.19 billion of Ginnie Mae II MBS and $4.11 billion of Ginnie Mae I MBS, which in turn includes $3.99 billion of loans for multifamily housing. Ginnie Mae’s total outstanding principal balance as of July 31 was $2.121 trillion, up from $2.112 trillion in the prior month, and up slightly from $2.115 trillion in July 2020.
Rocket Mortgage Expands Resources, Support for Detroit Homebuyers
Rocket Mortgage, Detroit, announced a suite of programs to help Detroit residents who are interested in buying a home in the city, regardless of where they are on their homebuying journey. The initiative includes $2,500 in lender credits when purchasing a primary residence in Detroit, along with resources for residents who are underbanked or can benefit from credit counseling and homebuyer education.
Rocket Mortgage’s initiatives start with those who have a desire to buy a home but need some help along the way. If a Detroiter does not have a bank account, or needs to boost their credit score, Rocket Mortgage will connect them with MoCaFi, a Black-owned Fintech company. Detroiters in need of additional support will be connected to the Detroit Housing Network – a conglomerate of six Detroit-based nonprofits providing wide-ranging housing services for renters, homebuyers and homeowners. Clients will get hands-on support from trained specialists to prepare them for homeownership.
Fannie Mae: Homebuying, Selling Sentiment Remain Polarized Amid Affordability, Supply Concerns
The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index decreased 3.9 points to 75.8 in July, as consumers continue to report concerns related to high home prices and a lack of homes for sale.
While all six components declined month over month, the “Good Time to Buy” and “Good Time to Sell” components once again produced the most notable results. On the buy-side, 66 percent of respondents said it’s a bad time to buy a home, up from 64 percent last month; while on the sell-side, 75 percent of respondents said it’s a good time to sell, down slightly from 77 percent last month. Year over year, the overall index is up 1.6 points.
“Historically prime homebuying groups appear to be increasingly sensitive to the lack of affordability, as home prices continue to increase and homes for sale remain in short supply,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “While all surveyed consumer segments have reported increased pessimism toward homebuying conditions over the past several months, two of the segments perhaps best positioned to purchase — consumers aged 35-44 and those with middle-to-higher income levels – have indicated even more pessimism than other groups.”
Adwerx Launches Motion
Adwerx launched Adwerx Motion, a new feature that allows for display advertising to be animated using HTML5 technology, an ad type proven to drive higher engagement and improved click-through rates.
Adwerx Motion combines targeting listing ads to specific individuals who have demonstrated interest in buying real estate with the power to create content that is seen by more prospective buyers, increasing the visibility of each listing while helping real estate agents drive an increased number of referrals.
Adwerx Motion is now available to any current or future real estate broker who automates their listing advertising with Adwerx, and will soon be available to any company in any industry that automates their advertising through Adwerx.
Black Knight Enhances Servicing Digital Platform
Black Knight Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., enhanced its Servicing Digital platform by integrating it to several of the company’s other products, including its loss mitigation, automated valuation model and product, pricing and eligibility platforms.
Servicing Digital, an interactive, consumer-facing web and mobile platform, provides Black Knight servicing clients’ customers with customized information about their mortgages and homes, as well as a wide variety of self-service capabilities. The new integrations add features and enhance capabilities that benefit both customers and servicers, while providing consumers with a more transparent and consistent mortgage experience.
MOVO Partners with ENACOMM
MovoCash Inc., a creator of ON-DEMAND Mobile Banking with End-to-End CONTACTLESS payments, all in one app, has chosen Fintech enablement company ENACOMM to deploy a modern customer self-service platform, including Interactive Voice Response. Through the partnership, MOVO will integrate ENACOMM technologies to its fully patented financial service ecosystem.
MOVO enables customers to instantly and securely deposit, mint, pay, receive, save, send, spend money and convert crypto to USD from their mobile phones, in real time. Via a self-contained ecosystem, MOVO delivers a comprehensive set of “digital cash” financial platforms on-demand, all in a contactless environment.
ENACOMM’s data-powered IVR platform responds to verbal customer requests with human-like understanding. The technology uses customer intelligence to efficiently direct calls, personalization to help retain customers and context preservation to offer fast, seamless self-service.
Oaktree Funding Joins Calyx Point as Participating Lender
Calyx, Dallas, a provider of mortgage software platforms for banks, credit unions, mortgage bankers, wholesale and correspondent lenders and brokers, announced Oaktree Funding, a wholesaler, has become a participating lender in Calyx Point.
Brokers can connect with a participating lender directly from their LOS to search eligible loan programs prior to loan submission. Oaktree Funding offers a wide range of mortgage products, including non-QM and non-agency programs: for example, low-document bank statement and investor loans with limits as high as $4 million.