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Home | News | Secondary Market (page 203)

Deterioration in Jumbo Mortgage Market Continues: Fitch

Delinquencies on prime jumbo loans continue to climb, and Fitch Ratings says they could reach 10 percent as early as next month. Loan performance among high-end mortgages within private residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) showed further weakness in January, as serious delinquencies rose for the 32nd consecutive month. Meanwhile, sales of seven-figure homes last year in California hit their lowest count since 2002.

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Mortgage Investors Push for Principal Writedowns

Mortgage principal - to cut or not to cut - has grabbed a fair share of the media spotlight in recent weeks, with a number of experts plugging principal reduction as a practicable means of ensuring homeowners don't redefault on their modified loan. While lenders are often prohibited from trimming the principal by agreements with investors, one such group, representing holders of some $100 billion in mortgage securities, is lobbying Congress to enact legislation that addresses the problem of underwater mortgages by reducing the debt.

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Commercial Real Estate Lenders Looking to Rebuild Portfolios

The distressed commercial real estate market has made it difficult for potential property owners and opportunistic investors to secure funding for new deals, as widespread losses on such assets have led banks to shy away from extending credit in recent months. But according to new data from Jones Lang LaSalle that tide appears to have turned, with a growing number of lenders to the commercial real estate sector anticipating an increase in loan production this year.

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Minnesota Bank Shuttered by Regulators

Multiple bank closures have become commonplace on Friday evenings, but last week, regulators shut the doors on just one institution-1st American State Bank of Minnesota. The bank operated two local branches in Hancock, with $16.3 million in deposits and $18.2 million in total assets. It was acquired by Community Development Bank, also in Minnesota.

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State Street Pays out $313M in Subprime Mortgage Case

State Street Bank and Trust agreed Thursday to pay the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) $313 million to settle claims that it misled a select group of investors about their exposure to subprime mortgages. The company assured certain investors that fund assets were diversified, but at the same time, disclosed to more elite clientele that the fund's subprime investments were a money-loser and advised them to get out early.

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Biggert Bill Calls for Public Transparency into Fannie, Freddie Operations

U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert of Illinois has introduced new legislation designed to ramp up congressional oversight of the government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The bill would require the two companies to submit regular reports to Congress and the public disclosing the intricacies of their businesses, including executive bonuses, foreclosure mitigation, and investments.

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Defaults Continue to Plague Commercial Real Estate Market

Although government-approved programs and bailouts are in place for many sectors of the battered economy, the resources and solutions for property owners and investors in the heavily-distressed commercial real estate market are lacking. Help is available to commercial property owners, but it is not widely known about. As a result, commercial properties continue to face foreclosure, and commercial real estate is expected to remain a drag on the U.S. economy through 2010 and beyond.

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Comptroller Warns of Over-Regulating Secondary Market

A key Treasury official is publicly speaking out against new rules that would require lenders to retain some of the risk on mortgages and other assets sold to investors. At the American Securitization Forum's annual convention this week, Comptroller of the Currency John Dugan urged policymakers to focus reform efforts on improving loan underwriting standards, rather than risk retention proposals that could hamper an already-tenuous securities industry and further diminish credit availability.

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Commercial Real Estate Woes Continue

Amid possible signs of stabilization within the commercial real estate market, many real estate executives say the road to recovery won't be easy. Concerns regarding the future of the commercial real estate market were reported by many industry insiders in the 1st quarter Sentiment Survey completed by the Real Estate Roundtable, which brings together leaders in the real estate industry to address key national policy issues relating to real estate and the overall economy.

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