The May 2013 edition of Progress in Lending published a byline by 360 Mortgage Group’s COO, Andrew Weiss-Malik. The byline, titled, “Recovery Tips, The Latest Mandate,” covers the need for innovation in the mortgage industry, and the key players who are at the forefront of providing this needed change.
The origination, processing, and closing of mortgage loans lacks efficiency – and the key question that all stakeholders need answered is what can be done to change this? Andrew Weiss-Malik firmly believes that the mortgage industry needs to innovate.
The problem continues to be that the industry’s major originators are not willing or able to commit such innovation. “The major players in the industry, the large traditional banks, are not only unable to leverage the technologies that already exist, but at times appear unwilling to support the development of new innovation that would improve the industry overall. This restraint in innovation, by the major banks, does impact the overall industry and consumers,” commented Andrew Weiss-Malik.
360 Mortgage is committed to providing innovation and leadership in technology, product, and service as we help third party originators build sustainable businesses.
The full Progress in Lending byline can be seen here.
360 Mortgage Group is committed to supporting the mortgage broker community with innovative products and services.
One such product is our FreeMI product, which is off to a very fast start. This first-of-its-kind product offers borrowers looking to purchase a home the chance to do it with a less than 20 percent down payment and without having to pay mortgage insurance or be exposed to interest rate adjustments or other price inflations.
We recently heard a great story from one of our mortgage broker partners that we would like to share. We met with this mortgage broker while we were in Georgia to explain the FreeMI product. During the presentation, the mortgage broker went back to her office and recalculated the DTI on a loan for a client. After removing the monthly mortgage insurance payment – her client qualified for an additional $52,000, which was just what they needed to make an offer on the home they really wanted to purchase. Dreams do come true!
Below is a sample of the mortgage broker’s email:
“I wanted to take a moment to say THANK YOU for this experience on the FreeMI loan. The buyers have a phenomenal rate and are thrilled. Believe it or not, we are closing two weeks early on this loan. The underwriting process was a breeze. The closing instructions went out within 24 hours! What else can I say but THANK YOU!!!! You guys made me look like a super star!!”
All we can say is thank you for your kind words and we look forward to helping all of our mortgage broker partners service their clients and build a sustainable business throughout all lending cycles.
Mark has been a significant supporter of HARP 2.0 and how it benefits borrowers, the economy, and mortgage brokers. “HARP has been a huge success for 360, Fannie Mae, and obviously the biggest winner is the consumer. Literally, you have endured good quality people with high integrity that did not look at their homes as an investment but homes for their families, and despite being upside down with this investment, they looked at the fact that they made an obligation and continued to perform on that obligation. Overall, HARP has been a win-win-win across the board.”
According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, HARP loans accounted for nearly a third of all refinancing applications last year (2012) and it will help many more borrowers as HARP 2.0 has been extended to December 31, 2015.
But unfortunately, there are still millions of borrowers with underwater mortgages who cannot refinance under HARP 2.0 because they have non-agency mortgages.
In the article, Mark Greco covers that, “By implementing HARP 3.0, it would allow borrowers who have non-agency guaranteed securities to qualify for a refinance through the program. We are seeing true signs on the street of an economic recovery and HARP 3.0 would certainly firm that up.”
The message is clear: HARP 3.0 would continue to improve an already strengthening housing market – and we all know this is something that would be a big positive for the entire U.S. economy.
The full National Mortgage News article can be seen below:
HARP Extends to 2015, But Not Enough for Some
By Evan Nemeroff
MAY 2, 2013 11:58am ET
Since the Home Affordable Refinance Program was introduced in April 2007 by the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Department of Treasury, more than 2.2 million borrowers have obtained a refinance to their mortgage loans.
With an estimated 2.7 million homeowners underwater on their mortgages throughout the country, there are many more borrowers eligible to benefit from HARP. That is why FHFA announced to extend the program, which was set to expire at the end of this year, by two years to last through 2015.
“Proving it a useful tool for reducing risk, we are extending the program so more underwater borrowers can benefit from lower interest rates,” said FHFA acting director Edward DeMarco in a written statement when he made the decision to prolong HARP.
To be eligible for a HARP refinance, a homeowner’s loan must be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and the mortgage must have been sold to one of the government-sponsored enterprises on or before May 31, 2009.
Additionally, the current loan-to-value ratio must be greater than 80% and the borrower has to be current on their mortgage payments with no delinquencies in the last six months as well as no more than one late payment over the course of one year.
According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, HARP loans accounted for nearly a third of all refinancing applications last year. MBA said approximately 1.1 million borrowers used the program in 2012, which was the same amount of consumers who took advantage of HARP during the first three years it was available.
Eventhough it is pretty resounding among many industry insiders that extending HARP is the right decision, there are some who believe even more needs to be done to the program so a greater amount of consumers can utilize it.
Mark Greco, president of 360 Mortgage Group, said HARP accounted for about 80% of the Austin, Texas-based privately owned mortgage banks production in 2012. He cited that the company does not have any LTV restrictions and the product is available as a “come one, come all.”
“HARP has been a huge success for 360, Fannie Mae, and obviously the biggest winner is the consumer,” Greco said in an interview. “Literally, you have endured good quality people with high integrity that did not look at their homes as an investment but homes for their families and despite being upside down with this investment, they looked at the fact that they made an obligation and continued to perform on that obligation. Overall, HARP has been a win-win-win across the board.”
But Greco thinks more can be done to enhance HARP beyond unlimited LTVs. Greco said he is a supporter of HARP 3.0, which would allow borrowers who have nonagency guaranteed securities to qualify for a refinance through the program.
Initially, Fannie Mae said approximately 3 million homes were eligible for HARP 2.0. If this program was expanded to include private securities, about 8 million households would be able to take advantage of today’s lower interest rates.
“If Congress would step up and facilitate HARP 3.0, it would open up the agencies to take in those securities and provide an outlet for those people to be able to refinance their homes even though they may be upside down or underwater on the equity in their home.” Greco added. “They keep ‘kicking the can down the road’ with HARP 3.0 and we’ve already seen interest rates rise from January of this year to now and over the last six weeks. If they don’t take action soon, a lot of those borrowers are going to miss the opportunity to take advantage of lower interest rates that the markets had to offer.” Greco believes interest rates will stay relatively low, somewhere in the 4.5% to 5.5%, compared to historical rates, through 2014. He added that it will all depend upon what the
Treasury does with buying mortgage-backed securities and if this continues, rates will stay low.
Another problem for HARP is that completing the loan application process has been time consuming for many lenders, lasting as much as much as four to five months, which only creates more tension between the parties involved in the transaction.
“Unfortunately, a too good to be true perception coupled with long lines to refinance and repeated ‘no’s’ from lenders who are not utilizing HARP to its fullest extent have left many disgruntled to enter another arduous loan process,” a spokesperson for Quicken Loans told Origination News is an email.
There remains discontent between borrowers and lenders despite a consumer obtaining an average savings from a HARP refinance around $200 month with an average rate reduction of 1.75%. At this rate, a lender would save $2,400 per closed loan per year and $74,000 per lifetime (assuming a 30-year mortgage), the spokesperson said.
Overall, the economic stimulus would be substantial, reaching up to $6.5 billion.
“We are seeing true signs on the street of an economic recovery and HARP 3.0 would certainly firm that up,” Greco said. “When people have extra money in their pocket, they spend it.”
Next week, 360 Mortgage’s President, Mark Greco, will be attending the Mortgage Bankers Association’s National Secondary Market Conference & Expo, in New York City.
The conference is being held from May 5-8, in New York City, and will cover the
state of the mortgage market, how it is changing, and how to continue leading in a constantly changing atmosphere. As housing regulations, demands, and offerings change on a regular basis, what is the smartest way to navigate a fluctuating market?
According to MBA’s website, industry professionals should consider attending to get “expert insight and practical industry intelligence you need to leverage hidden potential and get back to the business of doing business.”
As an industry leader who has written and provided extensive commentary advocating for HARP 3.0, Mark has valuable insight and advice to share. He looks forward to meeting, and being part of discussions, with numerous conference participants.
Driving to work today, John Fogerty’s song, Centerfield, came on the radio and it was clear, spring has arrived. With spring comes two great American traditions – the start of another Major League Baseball season, and of course, the rush throughout the U.S. to purchase a home.
2013 could be the strongest spring for the purchase market in many years. According to Housing Wire, despite some ongoing economic instability, housing appears to be continuing its upward trajectory. “The continued housing recovery and rising home prices are expected to provide a cushion for growth this year and present the most likely source of upswing in the economy.” Meanwhile, CNN reports that foreclosures are returning to pre-housing crisis levels and foreclosure filings fell 23 percent from a year earlier during the first quarter, the lowest level since the second quarter of 2007.
But, just as important as the spring buying season is the fact that baseball teams nationwide (even the one in Canada) have spent the last several months prepping themselves for the grind of the season. Will the San Francisco Giants retain their 2012 World Series title? Or will another team earn the right to call themselves World Champs?
Regardless of who is the next World Series champion, housing optimism brings an extra bit of sunlight to a previously cloudy housing market. So many buyers are on the sidelines waiting to get into the game because of the historically low interest rates and housing affordability. 360 Mortgage wants to play a large part in helping families looking to buy a home. That is why we recently launched our “FreeMI” product, a first-of-its-kind no mortgage insurance product that offers borrowers with a less than 20 percent down payment the opportunity to avoid mortgage insurance payments without interest rate adjustments or other price inflations.
With a product like FreeMI now available, many borrowers will be singing – put me in coach, I’m ready to buy!
360 Mortgage is pleased to announce the hiring of Ron Summers as the company’s newest Account Executive. Ron will focus on expanding relationships with high quality mortgage brokers throughout Northern California, and will report to Al Crisanty, our Vice President of National Wholesale Production.
Ron comes to 360 Mortgage with more than 12 years of experience in the mortgage and real estate industries. He has held Account Executive positions at a variety of mortgage lending companies, including New Century Mortgage, Encore/Bear Stearns, ABC, and Sun Trust. He has also held business, real estate, and internet sales positions at companies including Blackhawk Development, DeBene Properties, and Chase Business Group.
Ron’s deep experience will make him a valuable resource and partner to the mortgage broker community as he builds on his existing relationships and works to expand 360 Mortgage’s presence in Northern California. He will also focus on offering the mortgage broker community best-in-class technology and service, as well as products such as HARP 2.0 and our new FreeMI product.
360 Mortgage is excited to add Ron to our growing team of talented Account Executives, especially in the key California marketplace.
A recent National Mortgage News article provided an update on Fannie Mae’s most recent and projected HARP loan acquisitions. The GSE, which has continued to see a strong demand for HARP refinancings, purchased $120 billion in HARP refinances from lenders and servicers in 2012. This amount more than doubled its 2011 total.
Of those 2012 HARP refinances acquired by Fannie, more than 20% had loan to value (LTV) ratios greater than 125%, which is something the GSE expects to see more of this year.
According to the article, “Fannie acquired nearly 640,500 HARP loans in 2012, including 129,600 loans with loan-to-value ratios greater than 125%.”
“The average original LTV ratio of single-family loans we acquired in 2012, excluding HARP loans, was 68%, compared to 111% for HARP loans,” Fannie stated in its 10-K securities filing.
And we recently had some additional good news on HARP. As we covered in a recent blog post, the Federal Housing Finance Agency extended HARP to December 31, 2015; a two year addition to the program that was originally intended to expire on December 31, 2013.
360 Mortgage sees a continued demand for HARP refinancings, and expects this trend to continue with the extension of this program for two additional years.
The full National Mortgage News article can be seen here.
The regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), has asked that the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) be extended two years to December 31, 2015. Originally, the program was set to expire on
December 31, 2013.
In a FHFA news release distributed on April 11, 2013, FHFA Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco commented on the importance of extending HARP. “More than 2 million homeowners have refinanced through HARP, proving it a useful tool for reducing risk,” said DeMarco. “We are extending the program so more underwater borrowers can benefit from lower interest rates.”
Moving forward, the FHFA plans to setup a nationwide campaign aimed at informing homeowners of the benefits of HARP, as well as discussing what the program entails. This campaign will educate consumers about HARP and its eligibility requirements and motivate them to explore their options and utilize HARP before
the program ends.
Since its inception in 2009, more than two million homeowners have refinanced through HARP.
360 Mortgage is one of the leaders in HARP 2.0 and is pleased to see the program’s extension – but continues to advocate for a HARP 3.0 program that would benefit additional vulnerable American homeowners. In the current and previous versions of HARP, the borrowers falling under the “poor underwriting guidelines” programs known as “Alt-A” and “Subprime” have been excluded. A HARP 3.0 would be an opportunity to expand refinances to include these borrowers who have been diligent on their payments.
For more on the HARP extension, please see the official FHFA news release here.
360 Mortgage Group just launched a first-of-its-kind No Mortgage Insurance Loan, or “NOMI Product,” to borrowers purchasing a home, which has garnered significant media attention in National Mortgage News, Housing Wire, National Mortgage Professional, Mortgage Orb, and Mortgage Daily. This NOMI product was designed to offer borrowers with a less than 20 percent down payment the opportunity to avoid mortgage insurance payments without interest rate adjustments or other price inflations.
As we know, many lenders currently offer a NOMI-type product, but add on a pricing adjustment that increases the borrower’s interest rate and overall cost of owning a home. Our unique NOMI Product has no pricing inflations or adjustments to interest rates. This product allows borrowers with a less than 20 percent down payment to avoid the cost of mortgage insurance rates and take advantage of the lowest potential interest rates available in the marketplace.
The key product guidelines for our NOMI Product are:
- Purchase transactions only
- Minimum 740 FICO score
- Maximum LTV 95%
- No mortgage insurance underwrite
For more information on the No Mortgage Insurance Loan Product, visit our website: https://www.360mtg.com.
360 Mortgage is committed to offering our mortgage broker partners relevant products with competitive pricing, extensive product knowledge, and best-in-class technology and service. Our objective is to enable all third-party originators to offer borrowers the best mortgage solution and operate efficiently within our model, which is based on service, speed, and sustainability.
360 Mortgage achieved a record-setting month for production in February 2013. This record production is directly related to the dedication of all our employees and our ongoing partnership with the top third party originators in the United States.
At 360 Mortgage, we are all focused on delivering the gold standard in responsible lending through third party originators by delivering consistent, competitive pricing, extensive product knowledge, and best-in-class technology and service. Our goal is to enable third party originators to operate efficiently within a model based on service, speed, and sustainability. And, we deliver on these value propositions every day because our team has a complete understanding of the mortgage business and
how to execute in secondary marketing, risk management, communication, and marketing.
As we approach the end of March 2013, our production continues to expand, and we are projecting another record-setting month.
Thank you to everyone that continues to be part of 360 Mortgage’s success.