Archive for the ‘Finance’ Category

Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

December 15th, 2010 Comments off

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey Wednesday for the week ending December 10, 2010.  The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 2.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier.  On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 2.7 percent compared with the previous week. The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is down 4.7 percent.  The four week moving average is up 2.6 percent for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index, while this average is down 6.8 percent for the Refinance Index. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.84 percent from 4.66 percent, with points increasing to 1.34 from 0.94 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans.

Fannie Mae Opens Dallas Help Center

December 14th, 2010 Comments off

Housingwire reports that Fannie Mae will open a mortgage help center for troubled borrowers in Dallas on Dec. 17. Centers have also been opened in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and Phoenix. The report says Dallas-Fort Worth foreclosure postings at local county courthouses reached nearly 64,000 in 2010, a record high for one year, according to Foreclosure Listing Service, which tracks local numbers.

HAMP Not Preventing Enough Foreclosures

December 14th, 2010 Comments off

The Congressional Oversight Panel released its December oversight report this week, finding in the eight months since the Panel’s last report on the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), that Treasury has made minor tweaks to the program, but the changes have not resolved the Panel’s core concerns. The Panel now estimates that, if current trends hold, HAMP will prevent only 700,000 foreclosures—far fewer than the three to four million foreclosures that Treasury initially aimed to stop, and vastly fewer than the eight to 13 million foreclosures expected by 2012. While HAMP’s most dramatic shortcoming has been its poor results in preventing foreclosures, the report says the program has had other significant flaws. For example, despite repeated urgings from the Panel, Treasury has failed to collect and analyze data that would explain HAMP’s shortcomings, and it does not even have a way to collect data for many of HAMP’s add-on programs. Further, Treasury has refused to specify meaningful goals by which to measure HAMP’s progress, while the program’s sole initial goal—to prevent three to four million foreclosures—has been repeatedly redefined and watered down.

SAFE Act Oversight to be Transferred from HUD

December 10th, 2010 Comments off

MHI LogoProvisions in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act will bring about the transfer of oversight on the SAFE Act from HUD to the newly-created Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) in July. That brings to light several issues, including competing definitions of a mortgage originator in the SAFE Act and the Consumer Protection Act. The challenges were discussed during a webinar on the act and its implications by the Manufactured Housing Institute Thursday. MHI Executive Vice President Thayer Long says in the meantime, HUD is still the regulator until July and is working on a final rule for the SAFE Act. The competing definitions, he says, cause confusion and problems. “We’d like to see one definition and we’d like that definition to be consistent and address manufactured housing needs,” Long says. “What we’re going to be doing next year is seeking a uniform definition of mortgage originator in the hopes that it would supersede the definition found in the SAFE Act.” To hear Long’s own words, listen to the audio clip below.

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Berkshire to Sell $500 Million in Notes to Repay Clayton Debt

December 7th, 2010 Comments off

Businessweek reports that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. plans to sell $500 million of notes to repay debt used by its Clayton Homes manufactured housing unit. The magazine reported on its website that five-year senior notes may be issued through Berkshire Hathaway Finance Corp. and may pay about 87.5 basis points more than Treasuries maturing at about the same time. Proceeds will repay the finance arm’s existing 4.2 percent senior notes. Businessweek also notes Buffett’s firm sells bonds in part to finance mortgages for people who buy Clayton’s factory-built housing. In a letter accompanying Berkshire’s 2009 annual report, Buffett said Berkshire will continue backing the home-loan program.

Strong Rebound in Pending Home Sales

December 2nd, 2010 Comments off

Pending home sales jumped in October, showing a positive uptrend since bottoming in June, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Pending Home Sales Index rose 10.4 percent to 89.3 based on contracts signed in October from 80.9 in September. The index remains 20.5 percent below a surge to a cyclical peak of 112.4 in October 2009, which was the highest level since May 2006 when it hit 112.6. The trade group says last October, first-time buyers were motivated to make offers before the initial contract deadline for the tax credit last November. The data reflect contracts and not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said excellent housing affordability conditions are drawing home buyers. “It is welcoming to see a solid double-digit percentage gain, but activity needs to improve further to reach healthy, sustainable levels. The housing market clearly is in a recovery phase and will be uneven at times, but the improving job market and consequential boost to household formation will help the recovery process going into 2011,” he said, adding that more importantly, a return to more normal loan underwriting standards and removal of unnecessary underwriting fees for very low risk borrowers is needed and could quickly help in the housing and economic recovery.

Indiana Department Investigating for SAFE Act Compliance

November 30th, 2010 Comments off

The Indiana Department of Financial Institutions has been performing outreach to manufactured housing retailers and communities in order to insure compliance with the SAFE Act. Mark Bowersox, executive director of the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association (IMHA) told his organization was previously told by the state that enforcement would be complaint-driven, so the pro-active auditing was unexpected. Mark Tarpey, supervisor – Consumer Credit Division the Indiana Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) told the department has a certain responsibility as the regulator to insure compliance. In general, Tarpey says the outreach has found compliance to be  good. “Some people are in the process of figuring out what they are going to do moving forward, how they are going to structure transactions, etcetera,” Tarpey says. “We’re there to help people figure it out.” The DFI has agreed to meet with IMHA members December 16th for a SAFE Act roundtable. A Q&A on the SAFE ACT from the DFI is available at Read the full Industry in Focus Report by Eric Miller at

Cavco Announces Palm Harbor Asset Purchase Agreement

November 29th, 2010 Comments off

Cavco Industries announced Monday that Fleetwood Homes, Inc., a subsidiary owned 50 percent by Cavco and 50 percent by Third Avenue Value Fund, has entered into an agreement with Palm Harbor Homes to provide debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing to Palm Harbor and certain of its subsidiaries during the reorganization of Palm Harbor and such subsidiaries under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Palm Harbor and certain of its subsidiaries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on November 29, 2010. In conjunction with Palm Harbor’s filing, Fleetwood Homes committed $50 million, which may increase to $55 million if certain conditions are met, for a DIP credit facility. Subject to bankruptcy court approval, the credit facility will be used by Palm Harbor to extinguish its existing Textron Financial Corporation facility and to fund post-petition operations, commitments to customers, and employee obligations. Additionally, through a newly formed subsidiary of Fleetwood Homes, Inc., Cavco and Third Avenue have entered into an agreement with Palm Harbor and certain of its subsidiaries to purchase substantially all of Palm Harbor’s assets comprising its manufactured and modular housing construction and retail businesses and all of the outstanding stock of its insurance and finance subsidiaries, and to assume certain liabilities of Palm Harbor.

Centerbridge Said to Seek $1 Billion for Green Tree Servicing

November 28th, 2010 Comments off

Bloomberg reported recently that Centerbridge Capital Partners LLC is seeking to sell Green Tree Servicing LLC, the loan servicer it acquired in 2007, for about $1 billion. According to the report, Morgan Stanley is running the sale and has contacted private-equity firms and potential strategic buyers about purchasing Green Tree. According to the company’s web site, Green Tree is the largest servicer in the U.S. for manufactured housing loans, and also services residential mortgages, second liens and home-equity lines of credit. Green Tree has more than 1,800 employees in 29 offices. The story cited unnamed sources.

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Get Community Financing at the Louisville MH Show

November 28th, 2010 Comments off

Industry veteran Edward ‘Eddie’ Hicks, Lic. RE Broker, Lic. Mortgage Broker, is presenting his FHA 207(m) Private Financing Loan Guarantee Seminar at the 2011 Louisville Manufactured Home Show, 1-5 p.m. Thursday, Jan 13th, 2011. See what his plan for financing or refi on your community can do for YOU! Don’t take no as your answer! See

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