A Peek Inside Successful Lending Shops

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month in review Highs and Lows This month experienced a seesaw of activity that left some feeling great about the recovery and some without jobs because of it. AUGUST 5 Loan Officers Report Rising Demand for Non-Traditional Loans According to the Federal Reserve's latest quarterly Senior Loan Officers Opinion Survey, a net 3.1 percent of lenders responding said demand for "non-traditional" residential loans increased from the survey released three months ago, and a net 25 percent of respondents said demand for loans from subprime borrowers was higher than it was in May. At the same time, a net 6.3 percent of lenders said they had eased lending terms and standards for non-traditional mortgage loans. AUGUST 14 Mortgage Applications Back on Downward Slope According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, loan application volume decreased 4.7 percent for the week ending August 9. AUGUST 15 August Builder Confidence Up, Reaches Record High in Midwest The National Association of Home Builders' Housing Market Index—a measure of builder confidence—increased again in August, climbing three points to 59, its highest reading since November 2005, the group reported. The index has improved 15 points (34 percent) in the last three months. Economists had expected the August index to slip to 56 14 | The M Report from July's originally reported 57. The strong August numbers—following the strong June and July reading—gave further evidence to a recovery in the housing sector. AUGUST 19 Former Employee Accuses Stearns of Appraisal Violations TriMavin and parent corporation Stearns are dealing with litigation woes from a former chief appraiser who claims that the companies violated federal regulations and terminated her employment in response to her complaints. In her complaint against the two companies, Katherine Scheri alleges that Stearns developed a program to recruit mortgage brokers and loan officers by telling them they could provide their own personal list of appraisers to be included on TriMavin's panel. AUGUST 20 JPMorgan Chase Announces Layoffs as Borrowers Bounce Back In the wake of the recovering housing market, JPMorgan has decided to scale back its trouble loan assistance operations, forcing more than 500 employees out of a job in the North Texas area. According to documents released by the Texas Workforce Commission under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, Chase laid off 451 employees in its Fort Worth-based home lending office and an additional 52 employees at its mortgage banking operation in Coppell.

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