Slideshow 7 Salient Subjects from MBA Secondary

  • May 29 2015, 3:30pm EDT

Constraints on GSE loan volume and an overall dearth of liquidity were among the biggest issues at hand during the Mortgage Bankers Association's Secondary Market Conference in NYC. Here's a recap of the event's highlights.

Government Accountability Needed to Restore Mortgage Confidence

Politicians and regulators need to get with the times if they truly want to help mortgage lenders reach more borrowers. "Today's environment is not encouraging credit expansion. It's forcing lenders to be overly conservative — ultimately failing entry-level homeowners on every front," MBA CEO David Stevens told conference attendees.

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Big Shoes to Fill

Until details are fleshed out about new regulations on bank liquidity ratios and REIT membership in the Federal Home Loan Banks, private investors may be reluctant to fill the Federal Reserve's big shoes when it starts to taper its agency MBS activity.

Thirsty Servicers Look for Liquidity

Mortgage bankers facing new demands on their businesses are becoming increasingly interested in new sources of funding, particularly through mortgage servicing rights financing vehicles.

So Long, Low Rates

Mortgage volume is projected to reach a seven-quarter high in 2Q15, but will slide for the remainder of the year as interest rates rise on 30-year fixed-rate loans, according to MBA projections.

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What's Stifling Home Sales?

Lenders are counting on the purchase market to sustain originations after rate-driven refinancing drops later this year. But economists warn that home sales will continue to fall short of where they would be in a well-functioning housing market unless employment and wages rise broadly.

Tech Price Fight

Freddie Mac made a big splash at the conference when it announced it was making its Loan Prospector automated underwriting system free to use. While Fannie Mae hasn't followed suit, the MBA announced a number of new member benefits that include unspecified discounts on Desktop Underwriter fees.

Lawsky Touts Foreclosure Reforms to Ease Burden on Courts, Servicers

Calling his state's foreclosure process "badly broken and in need of change," New York banking regulator Benjamin Lawsky wants new policies enacted to fast-track vacant property foreclosures and reform the state's mandatory foreclosure mediation requirements. A day later, Lawsky announced he will resign from the Department of Financial Services in June.