Lenders Repurchase $3 Billion in Mortgages from GSEs in Q1: DSNEWS

BY: CARRIE BAY DSNEWS.com

With home loans going bad at a still-staggering pace and losses mounting for the GSEs, the nation’s two largest mortgage financiers are pursuing several avenues to recover money, including returning poorly underwritten loans to lenders. During the first three months of this year,Fannie Mae and Freddie Mae required lenders to buy back $3.1 billion in mortgages they’d sold to the two firms.

Lenders repurchased approximately $1.8 billion in loans from Fannie in Q1, measured by unpaid principal balance, according to a recent filing by the GSE with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). During the same period last year, Fannie forced lenders to buy back $1.1 billion in bad loans.

“We conduct reviews of delinquent loans and, when we discover loans that do not meet our underwriting and eligibility requirements, we make demands for lenders to repurchase these loans or compensate us for losses sustained on the loans, as well as requests for repurchase or compensation for loans for which the mortgage insurer rescinds coverage,” Fannie wrote in the regulatory filing.

Freddie Mac sent $1.3 billion in faulty home mortgages back to the loan sellers during the January to March period, the GSE said in its Q1 SEC filing. That compares to repurchases of $789 million during the first quarter of 2009.

“We are exposed to institutional credit risk arising from the potential insolvency or non-performance by our mortgage seller/servicers, including non-performance of their repurchase obligations arising from breaches of the representations and warranties made to us for loans they underwrote and sold to us,” Freddie Mac explained in the regulatory document.

Freddie says some of its seller/servicers failed to perform their repurchase obligations due to lack of financial capacity, and many of the larger seller/servicers have not completed their buybacks “in a timely manner.”

“As of March 31, 2010 and December 31, 2009, we had outstanding repurchase requests to our seller/servicers with respect to loans with an unpaid principal balance of approximately $4.8 billion and $3.8 billion, respectively,” the GSE said.

As of the end of March, approximately 34 percent of Freddie’s outstanding purchase requests were more than 90 days past due.

“Our credit losses may increase to the extent our seller/servicers do not fully perform their repurchase obligations,” Freddie Mac wrote in the filing. “Enforcing repurchase obligations with lender customers who have the financial capacity to perform those obligations could also negatively impact our relationships with such customers and ability to retain market share.”

According to regulatory filings made by the GSEs earlier in the year, the two companies are expecting to return as much as $21 billion in home mortgages to banks in 2010. The nation’s four largest lenders – Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan Chase – are the largest sellers of home loans to Fannie and Freddie and will likely take the biggest hits.

A recent report from Bloomberg noted that these banks sell mortgages to the GSEs at full value, which means they must buy them back at full value. But the news agency says at least one bank, JPMorgan Chase, says most of the loans repurchased must be immediately written down, sometimes by as much as 50 percent.

Fed’s Mortgage Purchase Program Sunsets (Exits)

 The TRILLION dollar question – if the Fed bought those *securities*, who is the Real Party in Interest/Holder in Due Course of the right to *foreclose*?

And were the assignments legally enforceable and *recorded*??  (Obviously not!!!!!!) 

By: Carrie Bay (DSNEWS)

The Federal Reserve’s role as buttress, crutch, and benefactor of the nation’s mortgage debt market came to an end Wednesday. Since November 2008, the central bank has been the market’s No. 1 patron, buying up $1.25 trillion in mortgage-backed securities (MBS) from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae.

There’s been chatter that the Fed’s exit could leave a gaping hole in the secondary market for mortgage bonds, causing interest rates for home loans to spike and buyer demand to dwindle. But the central bank has been prepping the market for its absence for some time now in the hopes of diminishing such effects, and has indicated that it will be keeping a close eye on market reactions, hinting that it could step back in if conditions begin to falter.

Most market observers, though, are predicting that won’t be necessary. It appears that private investors’ appetites for agencies’ mortgage bonds are piquing. Analysts are

saying private equity will step in to pick up the slack and mortgage interest rates will rise less than a quarter of a percentage point over the next quarter.

It’s expected that there may be some price volatility in the mortgage securities space after the Fed’s withdrawal, but analysts don’t expect prices to plunge or issuers’ yields to start heading upwards. One reason for this assumption is that traditional MBS buyers now have money to burn.

Christian Cooper, an interest rate strategist at Royal Bank of Canada’s RBC Capital Markets, explained to American Banker, “As the [U.S.] government has become the world’s largest buyer of mortgage securities in the last year, they’ve effectively squeezed all other buyers out of the market. The natural mortgage-backed securities buyer has been accumulating cash, effectively waiting for the program to end.”

Economists also say that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s decision to pull seriously delinquent loans from securitized pools, which they announced in February, is making the prospect of purchasing such bonds more appealing to investors. Over the next few months, the GSEs plan to buy back loans in MBS that are 120 days or more overdue – some $127 billion in loans for Fannie, and $70 billion for Freddie.

The New York Times noted that while the mortgage market appears to be taking the end of the Federal Reserve’s MBS buying in stride, any talk from the central bank about actually selling its recently-acquired holdings should be a cause for greater concern than the Fed simply ending further purchases, since the Fed now owns about 25 percent of the outstanding stock of mortgage bonds.