American Pacific Mortgage

American Pacific Mortgage

Friday, March 27, 2020

Holy Moly! Hang On Tight!

The current environment is unprecedented on many fronts. Quarantines and Social Distancing, unemployment is mounting, and the havoc in the mortgage industry is staggering. Mortgage lenders are under tremendous pressure on multiple fronts: volume, rate drops, market volatility and "churning" of their loan portfolios, e.g. early payoffs and rate lock abandonment. This causes a lack of liquidity since once locked, lenders hedge their positions and if the lock is broken, it is costly. Servicing income drops dramatically and forbearance (forgiveness of loan payments) isn't going to help.

APM is NOT a loan servicer, so we do not face the risks of the large servicing companies or "aggregators" of mortgage loan pools. However we do have interest rate risk, which is the risk of not being able to sell loans, once closed, at low rates if pricing and rates increase.

The Fed move to drop the fed rate did not, and does not directly affect mortgage loan rates. But the stimulus package to buy Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) DOES have a downward effect on rates. This in reality is NOT helping since it is motivating so many borrowers to break current locks and/or refinance their loans, causing huge losses to the above mentioned servicers/aggregators.

What does it all mean? We all need to be patient, and wait for the markets to normalize. This may take a few weeks or months. In the meantime, The Card Team and APM are diligently working through our pipeline of refinance loans and, as always, prioritizing purchase loans. One of the steps we have taken is locking all refinance loans for 60 days on a 30 day lock price, to handle the high volume.

We are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have. We continue to open new refinance loans for our clients, and prep them for processing, floating the rate and not locking yet, while waiting for the market to settle down.