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As Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue in one of their stated missions – reducing taxpayer risk through the offering of credit risk-sharing deals – the performance of the risk-sharing mortgage bonds remains strong, Fitch Ratings said in a new report.

The performance of the risk-sharing bonds has remained strong even as Freddie recently introduced risk-sharing deals that featured the first-loss position and the actual loss position, both of which were new risk-sharing deal structures.

According to Fitch’s report, the risk-sharing deals continue to feature strong credit characteristics, and some of the recent GSE deals even display a slight expansion of the credit box.

The weighted average FICO score of borrowers in risk-sharing deals issued in the first quarter of 2015 was 752, down from the 765 seen in the inaugural transactions issued in 2013, Fitch said in the report.

But even with the inclusion of slightly weaker borrowers, agency mortgages included in recent reference pools continue to show better credit attributes than historical averages, according to Fitch Director Sean Nelson.

“The drop in credit scores among GSE risk-sharing transactions since 2013 is notable, but the average FICOs in the most recent transactions are still 30 points higher than those seen in strong performing vintages originated prior to 2005,” Nelson said.

Fitch’s report also showed that the GSE risk-sharing bonds displayed clean performance to date – a reflection of the high credit quality of...

Read more: Fitch: Even in new forms, GSE risk-sharing bonds remain strong


Brena Swanson joined the HousingWire news team in February 2013. Prior to serving HW in the role as Reporter and Content Specialist, Brena attended Evangel University in Springfield, MO.

Forty-two percent of homebuyers say they are not at all concerned about having a lack of understanding about the mortgage process.

That’s a pretty substantial number for one of the biggest financial decisions a person will ever make. And yet, 42% feel completely fine with their ignorance.

How ignorant are they? When put to the test, just one in four buyers correctly answered a series of questions about homebuying — including how annual percentage rates work, down payments and lenders.

These are facts from a recent Chase survey that sampled 1,098 Americans with a qualifying age of 25 – 65, with a 500-respondent oversample among those who intend to buy a home within the next 18 months. 

This same group of uninformed borrowers is ready to jump into the housing market.

According to housing’s top economists, 2015 is the year of the Millennial.

“The story about Millennials not forming households and getting into homebuying is more of a 2012 and early 2013 story,” Realtor.com’s chief economist Jonathan Smoke told HousingWire in his forecast for 2015 at the start of the year.

“It’s outdated. Our view of 2015 is informed by strong trends and indicators of what’s happening today with Millennials. In 2014, it’s been a banner year for employment but parsed by age groups those under 35 have been...

Read more: Hey Millennials — You know nothing about housing finance

Walker & Dunlop has closed a $152,944,000, eight-property loan portfolio with a long-time repeat borrower based in Arizona.

The properties are located in Texas, Oklahoma and Arizona.

Alex Inman, vice president at Walker & Dunlop, led the team and closed the transactions within 48 days of the borrower signing the applications.

“The Walker & Dunlop team facilitated a seamless transaction while working with Freddie Mac to develop a customized loan structure for the borrower,” Inman said. “Freddie Mac and Walker & Dunlop expedited the loan process to meet the borrower’s specified timeframe.”

The borrower financed the portfolio via Freddie Mac’s Capital Markets Execution  program and utilized the seven year, floating rate Capped ARM product. Seven of the eight deals in the portfolio are structured with one year of interest only and a 30-year amortization thereafter.

The eighth deal is structured with a 30-year amortization. The average loan-to-value and debt-service-coverage ratio of the portfolio is 77% and 1.28, respectively.

Additionally, the borrower recouped a significant amount of equity at closing and the new loans provide a more favorable prepayment structure. The initial blended start rate of the pool is 2.39%.

Read more: Walker & Dunlop close $152M loan portfolio

Max Wagenblast, 35, Arlington, Virginia, pleaded guilty Tuesday to wire fraud in connection with a scheme to steal over $5 million from his company, which was the second largest special servicer of commercial real estate mortgages in the United States.

According to the his plea, Wagenblast was employed as an asset manager for a Bethesda, Maryland company that was the second largest Special Servicer of commercial real estate mortgages in the United States.

As a special servicer, the company was responsible for administering defaulted commercial mortgage loans and the real estate securing foreclosed loans. The company performed this service on behalf of the Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit trust that held the mortgage loans on behalf of the certificate holders of the trust.

In its capacity as a special servicer, the company collected borrower payments and property cash flow and remitted them to the REMIC trust, which was responsible for distributing those funds to the certificate holders. Wagenblast oversaw both the loans and properties that acted as security for the loans serviced by the company, including the application and utilization of funds generated by the properties he managed.

Wagenblast admitted that he redirected a portion of the funds collected from the properties he managed into the bank accounts of three limited liability companies he controlled. Those redirected funds should have been sent to the company and then forwarded to the REMIC trust bank...

Read more: Asset manager and mortgage servicer pleads guilty to $5M fraud scheme

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