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Residential Briefs

MBA Staff
Fitch: U.S. Banks' GSE Mortgage Repurchases Weigh on Earnings; Private-Label Remains a Concern
Losses resulting from loan repurchases and any related settlements are unlikely to materially affect the capital adequacy of the largest U.S. banks, said a new report from Fitch Ratings, New York.
The report, U.S. Banks' Mortgage Repurchase Risks: GSE Claims Abate as Private-Label Remains a Concern, said while repurchase risk has limited the near-term upside momentum in the ratings of certain institutions, Fitch does not see any immediate negative rating implications at this point. However, growing litigation risk related to private-label residential mortgage backed securities may have negative rating implications if court rulings are decidedly on the side of RMBS investors. Fitch said it also expects repurchase losses will continue to weigh on bank earnings over the near term.
Fitch said recent settlements with the housing government-sponsored enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, have helped establish some certainty around a portion of the potential exposure at the largest banks. However, potential future claims from investors in private-label securities, financial guarantors and mortgage insurers represent a “growing concern.”
In August, Fitch estimated that the top four U.S. banks would sustain losses in the range of $17 billion-$42 billion, based on the amount of delinquent mortgages in the GSE portfolios and estimates for the put-back and recovery rates. While these estimates remain largely the same, it now seems that the lower end of the range is the most likely outcome given recently announced settlements between some banks and the GSEs.
FHFA Announces Consolidation of Office Locations
The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced it will consolidate its three office locations into one, moving to Constitution Center at 400 Seventh St. SW. FHFA anticipates the move beginning in November.

“This move will improve efficiency and will allow for expansion in, and greater integration of, our examination and supervisory personnel and programs,” said FHFA Acting Director Edward DeMarco. FHFA currently has employees in offices on G Street, Pennsylvania Ave and Eye St. NW in Washington.

DataQuick: California Foreclosure Activity Declines Further
The number of California homes going into foreclosure dropped again during the fourth quarter to its lowest level in more than three years, the result of shifting market conditions as well as evolving lender and mortgage servicer policies, reported DataQuick Information Systems, San Diego.

DataQuick said 69,799 Notices of Default were recorded at county recorders offices during the October-to-December period, down by 16.2 percent from 83,261 for the prior quarter and down by 17.5 percent from 84,568 in fourth quarter 2009. Last quarter’s activity was the lowest since 53,943 NoDs were recorded in the second quarter of 2007. It was just over half the record 135,431 default notices recorded in the first quarter of 2009.

“We don’t know how much of the decline is due to less household financial distress and how much is due to shifts in lender and servicer foreclosure policies,” said DataQuick President John Walsh. “The level of default activity would certainly be higher if it weren’t for alternative strategies such as short sales or even lengthening grace periods.”

The report said California's priciest zip codes collectively saw mortgage defaults buck the market-wide trend and rise slightly quarter-to-quarter, while their defaults fell less on a year-over-year basis than in the overall market. The state's 82 zip codes with median sale prices of $800,000 or more in 2010 logged a 2.0 percent quarter-to-quarter increase in default notices and a 9.3 percent year-over-year decline. At the other end of the price spectrum, zips with 2010 medians of $200,000 or less saw fourth-quarter defaults drop 22.2 percent from the prior quarter and drop 19.5 percent from a year ago.

NCREIF: Core Real Estate Returns Outperform S&P 500 by 1.3% in 2010
The National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries, Chicago, said fourth quarter and annual 2010 results of its NCREIF Fund Index/Open-end Diversified Core Equity Index total return for 2010 was 16.36 percent before fees, marking a “strong recovery” from 2009 and 2008 losses of (29.76 percent and 10.01 percent, respectively).

NCREIF said the 2010 return was driven by a 9.23 percent appreciation return, the highest since 2007; and an income return of 6.64 percent. ODCE’s performance compares favorably to the S&P 500’s 15.06 percent total return for the year. The ODCE total return before fees for the fourth quarter of 2010 was 4.99 percent compared to 5.45 percent last quarter. The current quarter total return consisted of 1.50 percent income and 3.48 percent appreciation.

“New construction risk is low, occupancy rates seem to be stabilizing and price levels remain below peak levels,” said Mark Roberts, NCREIF chair-elect and global director of research with Invesco Real Estate. “As a result, it’s reasonable to expect sustained investor demand and additional capital flows into the asset class in 2011.”

XINNIX Launches Recruiting Class as Standalone Course
XINNIX, Atlanta, announced availability of its Recruiting Class as a standalone course. The web-based course, traditionally offered as part of LEADERSHIP Online, teaches managers effective recruiting strategies for attracting and retaining qualified and talented loan officers in the shortest amount of time.

Recruiting Class details five fundamental elements that ensure success in the recruiting process: how to locate productive loan officers, profile how to qualify potential prospects, how to screen effectively via the phone, how to conduct a behavioral-based interview and how to conduct the critical follow-up after the interview.

Gerner Mayersohn May PLLC forms Florida Office
David Gerner of Ohio-based Gerner & Kearns Co. LPA and Ted Eric May of New York-based Sheldon May & Associates PC partnered with Florida attorney Leah Mayersohn of the Mayersohn Law Group PA to form Gerner Mayersohn May PLLC, based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.,

The firm will provide legal counsel to clients throughout Florida with a focus on the mortgage banking, default services and collections marketplaces. Mayersohn will serve as the firm’s managing partner.

Advantage Systems Launches Auto Import Application for AMB System
Advantage Systems, Irvine, Calif., released its new Interface Services module, a server-based application that automatically imports data from disparate data sources, such as loan origination or servicing systems, into the Accounting for Mortgage Bankers system.

The auto import application, built using Microsoft .NET, provides the capability of automatically performing predefined imports to AMB without user intervention. The application enables authorized users to configure, control and monitor the auto-importation process. AMB is an accounting system that was specifically designed for mortgage bankers to provide loan-level detail of accounting transactions. The system provides general ledger, accounts payable and report writing capabilities.

Maverick Funding Implements Mortgage Builder
Mortgage Builder Software, Southfield, Mich., announced implementation of its platform by Maverick Funding Corp., Parsippany, N.J., with offices on both the east and west coasts. 

Maverick Funding Corp. is a member of Lenders One consortium, the national alliance of 175 mortgage bankers based in St. Louis. Mortgage Builder is the cooperative’s sole approved LOS vendor partner.

EverHome Mortgage Renews Agreement for LPS Mortgage Servicing Package
Lender Processing Services Inc
., Jacksonville, Fla., announced that EverHome Mortgage Co. has signed a long-term contract extension for LPS' Mortgage Servicing Package. EverHome Mortgage and its predecessors, which have used LPS technology for more than 45 years, is LPS' longest-tenured MSP client.

EverHome Mortgage uses MSP technology to automate all areas of mortgage servicing, including loan setup and maintenance, cashiering, escrow administration, investor accounting, default management, regulatory reporting and tax services.

Avista Solutions Completes Integration with FHA Connection
Avista Solutions, Charleston, S.C., announced its latest integration with FHA Connection, an online portal that gives FHA-approved lenders direct access to HUD’s FHA loan origination functions.

The interface allows customers to assign FHA case numbers and request CAIVRS authentication without leaving the Avista Agile LOS. With applicable user rights, Avista users can edit, submit and view FHA case files through FHA Connection’s Case Number Assignment feature, and request CAIVRS authentication for FHA loan applicants using FHA Connection’s CAIVRS Authentication tool. The interface is also designed to automatically populate the 1003 forms of corresponding FHA loans with Case Number Assignment and CAIVRS Authentication data.

Harland Financial Solutions, Harland Clarke Announce Marketing Program for Financial Institutions
Harland Financial Solutions and Harland Clarke, both part of Harland Clarke Holdings Corp., Lake Mary, Fla., launched enCompass, a marketing strategy and multi-channel campaign execution program for banks and credit unions.

The program integrates Harland Financial Solutions’ business intelligence offering with Harland Clarke’s Marketing Services. These capabilities include business intelligence, analytical services, multi-channel integration, as well as direct marketing design, production and fulfillment. 

Interthinx Launches ‘Direct from D.C.’ Audio News Service 
Interthinx, Agoura Hills, Calif., launched “Direct from D.C.,” a new audio news service featuring Interthinx industry expert Ann Fulmer.

In its first podcast, “Direct from D.C.” offers information and insights on pressing issues surrounding regulatory reform, the future of the government-sponsored enterprises, qualified residential mortgages and the latest mortgage fraud trends.\

The podcast can be accessed through the “Events” page on the Interthinx web site,, with a transcript available for download. Additional “Direct from D.C.” podcasts will be created regularly as mortgage industry issues develop. Aligns with Motivity Solutions on Customized Data Reporting Technology, Hockessin, Del., announced an integration agreement with Motivity Solutions, Denver, for its Movation Business Management Platform.

Through the integration agreement, customers using its loan origination software InHouse Mortgage can use Movation’s business intelligence functionality to understand the performance and status of their loan production and overall operations through real-time scorecards, dashboards and real-time reporting capabilities.

MortgageDashboard Launches New Online Community
, Austin, Texas, announced launch of its new online community at The website offers marketing and tech support material and adds an online community, a community page with blogs and forums .

CCG Catalyst Offers Vendor Contract Review Services
CCG Catalyst, Phoenix, announced it offers contract review services to ensure financial institutions are being charged in accordance with all contractual terms.

As part of this service, CCG Catalyst reviews financial institutions’ invoices and audits all relevant components within each contract that present a challenge. This service was developed to meet the needs of financial institutions that are unable to keep up with the intricacies of vendors’ contracts. CCG Catalyst’s contract review service identifies errors and enables the financial institution to make corrections.

Fitch Launches New Loss Model for Rating New Issue U.S. Prime RMBS
Fitch Ratings, New York, has published an exposure draft introducing its new rating model for determining losses on pools of newly originated U.S. residential mortgage loans.
Fitch’s new model framework includes updates and improvements, including application of a proprietary sustainable home price model to measure a property’s effective or sustainable value. By comparing the sustainable value to the actual price, Fitch is able to take a forward view on the potential for negative equity that has shown to strongly influence borrower default.
The updated framework also incorporates data from the recent recession and national home price decline. The model is also countercyclical and based on home price movements where credit enhancement increases as risk enters the system and decreases when risk is neutralizing. 

Wingspan Portfolio Advisors Expands Partnership with IndiSoft
IndiSoft, Columbia, Md., announced that Wingspan Portfolio Advisors LLC, Dallas, expanded its partnership with IndiSoft by selecting additional RxOffice portals to address the needs of homeowners who do not qualify for loan modification or who are unable to retain their homes. Using these additional portals will continue to ensure transparency, accountability and efficiency for all parties involved in short sale transactions.
Wingspan also added IndiSoft’s RxOffice Realtor Portal, which enables realtors to work with homeowners to manage the short sale process by collecting hardship documents and listing and marketing the property. The RxOffice Realtor Portal, working in conjunction with the RxOffice Short Sale Vendor Portal is designed to help the homeowner, real estate agent and Wingspan assemble a package for servicer approval.

Taza Corp. Launches Online Platform
Taza Corp., San Diego, launched TAZA360 an online platform and network of agents to process evaluations. It enables users a virtual portal to manage, market, track expenses and closing processes of residential and commercial developments in-house.
Capabilities include encryption links, multiple user access, a margin and risk forecast system, various evaluation output formats and 24-hour live support.