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Edge: Potential for August Buyouts in Ginnie Mae

In the July prepayment report, many cohorts of GN2 multi-lender pools saw a substantial jump in speeds. These speeds were driven by large delinquency buyouts from banks, mostly Wells Fargo, which we summarized in our most recent analysis. Speeds on moderately seasoned GN2 3% through 4% were especially hard-hit, with increases in involuntary prepayments as high as 25 CBR.

The upcoming August prepayment report, due out August 7th, should be substantially better. Delinquencies for banks with the highest buyout efficiency are significant lower than they were last month, which will contribute to a decrease in involuntary speeds by 5 to 15 CBR, depending on the cohort. In the table below, we show potential bank buyout speeds for some large GN2 multi-lender cohorts. These speeds assume an 80% roll-rate from 60DQ to 90DQ and 100% buyouts from the banks mentioned above. The analysis does not include buyouts from non-banks, whose delinquencies continue to build.July prepay report

We have details on other coupon and vintage cohorts as well as buyout analysis at an individual pool level. Please ask for details.

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If you are interested in seeing variations on this theme, contact us. Using Edge, we can examine any loan characteristic and generate an S-curve, aging curve, or time series.


RiskSpan Vintage Quality Index (VQI): Q2 2020

The RiskSpan Vintage Quality Index (“VQI”) is a monthly index designed to quantify the underwriting environment of a monthly vintage of mortgage originations and help credit modelers control for prevailing underwriting conditions at various times. Published quarterly by RiskSpan, the VQI generally trends slowly, with interesting monthly changes found primarily in the individual risk layers. (Assumptions used to construct the VQI can be found at the end of this post.) The VQI has reacted dramatically to the economic tumult caused by COVID-19, however, and in this post we explore how the VQI’s reaction to the current crisis compares to the start of the Great Recession. We examine the periods leading up to the start of each crisis and dive deep into the differences between individual risk layers.

Reacting to a Crisis

In contrast with its typically more gradual movements, the VQI’s reaction to a crisis is often swift. Because the VQI captures the average riskiness of loans issued in a given month, crises that lower lender (and MBS investor) confidence can quickly drive the VQI down as lending standards are tightened. For this comparison, we will define the start of the COVID-19 crisis as February 2020 (the end of the most recent economic expansion, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research), and the start of the Great Recession as December 2007 (the first official month of that recession). As you might expect, the VQI reacted by moving sharply down immediately after the start of each crisis.[1]

riskspan-VQI-report

Though the reaction appears similar, with each four-month period shedding roughly 15% of the index, the charts show two key differences. The first difference is the absolute level of the VQI at the start of the crisis. The vertical axis on the graphs above displays the same spread (to display the slope of the changes consistently), but the range is shifted by a full 40 points. The VQI maxed out at 139.0 in December 2007, while at the start of the COVID-19 crisis, the VQI stood at just 90.4.

A second difference surrounds the general trend of the VQI in the months leading up to the start of each crisis. The VQI was trending up in the 18 months leading up the Great Recession, signaling an increasing riskiness in the loans being originated and issued. (As we discuss later, this “last push” in the second half of 2007 was driven by an increase in loans with high loan-to-value ratios.) Conversely, 2019 saw the VQI trend downward, signaling a tightening of lending standards.

Different Layers of Risk

Because the VQI simply indexes the average number of risk layers associated with the loans issued by the Agencies in a given month, a closer look at the individual risk layers provides insights that can be masked when analyzing the VQI as a whole.

The risk layer that most clearly depicts the difference between the two crises is the share of loans with low FICO scores (below 660).

riskspan-VQI-report

The absolute difference is striking: 27.9% of loans issued in December 2007 had a low FICO score, compared with just 7.1% of loans in February 2020. That 20.8% difference perfectly captures the underwriting philosophies of the two periods and pretty much sums up the differing quality of the two loan cohorts.

FICO trends before the crisis are also clearly different. In the 12 months leading up to the Great Recession the share of low-FICO loans rose from 24.4% to 27.9% (+3.2%). In contrast, the 12 months before the COVID-19 crisis saw the share of low-FICO loans fall from 11.5% to 7.2% (-4.3%).

The low-FICO risk layer’s reaction to the crisis also differs dramatically. Falling 27.9% to 15.4% in 4 months (on its way to 3.3% in May 2009), the share of low-FICO loans cratered following the start of the recession. In contrast, the risk layer has been largely unimpacted by the current crisis, simply continuing its downward trend mostly uninterrupted.

Three other large drivers of the difference between the VQI in December 2007 and in February 2020 are the share of cash-out refinances, the share of loans for second homes, and the share of loans with debt-to-income (DTI) ratios above 45%. What makes these risk layers different from FICO is their reaction to the crisis itself. While their absolute levels in the months leading up to the Great Recession were well above those seen at the beginning of 2020 (similar to low-FICO), none of these three risk layers appear to react to either crisis but rather continue along the same general trajectory they were on in the months leading up to each crisis. Cash-out refinances, following a seasonal cycle are mostly unimpacted by the start of the crises, holding a steady spread between the two time-periods:

riskspan-vqi-report

Loans for second homes were already becoming more rare in the runup to December 2007 (the only risk layer to show a reaction to the tumult of the fall of 2007) and mostly held in the low teens immediately following the start of the recession:

Finally, loans with high DTIs (over 45%) have simply followed their slow trend down since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, while they actually became slightly more common following the start of the Great Recession:

riskspan-VQI-report

The outlier, both pre- and post-crisis, is the high loan-to-value risk layer. For most of the 24 months leading up to the start of the Great Recession the share of loans with LTVs above 80% was well below the same period leading up to the COVID-19 crisis. The pre-Great Recession max of 33.2% is below the 24-month average of 33.3% at the start of the COVID-19 crisis. The share of high-LTV loans also reacted to the crisis in 2008, falling sharply after the start of the recession. In contrast, the current downward trend in high-LTV loans started well before the COVID-19 crisis and was seemingly unimpacted by the start of the crisis.

RiskSpan-VQI-report

Though the current downward trend is likely due to increased refinance activity as mortgage rates continue to crater, the chart seems upside down relative to what you might have predicted.

The COVID-19 Crisis is Different

What can the VQI tell us about the similarities and differences between December 2007 and February 2020? When you look closely, quite a bit.

  1. The loans experiencing the crisis in 2020 are less risky.

By almost all measures, the loans that entered the downturn beginning in December 2007 were riskier than the loans outstanding in February 2020. There are fewer low-FICO loans, fewer loans with high debt-to-income ratios, fewer loans for second homes, and fewer cash-out refinances. Trends aside, the absolute level of these risky characteristics—characteristics that are classically considered in mortgage credit and loss models—is significantly lower. While that is no guarantee the loans will fare better through this current crisis and recovery, we can reasonably expect better outcomes this time around.

  1. The 2020 crisis did not immediately change underwriting / lending.

One of the more surprising VQI trends is the non-reaction of many of the risk layers to the start of the COVID-19 crisis. FICO, LTV, and DTI all seem to be continuing a downward trend that began well before the first coronavirus diagnosis. The VQI is merely continuing a trend started back in January 2019. (The current “drop” has brought the VQI back to the trendline.) Because the crisis was not born of the mortgage sector and has not yet stifled demand for mortgage-backed assets, we have yet to see any dramatic shifts in lending practices (a stark contrast with 2007-2008). Dramatic tightening of lending standards can lead to reduced home buying demand, which can put downward pressure on home prices. The already-tight lending standards in place before the COVID-19 crisis, coupled with the apparent non-reaction by lenders, may help to stabilize the housing market.

The VQI was not designed to gauge the unknowns of a public health crisis. It does not directly address the lessons learned from the Great Recession, including the value of modification and forbearance in maintaining stability in the market. It does not account for the role of government and the willingness of policy makers to intervene in the economy (and in the housing markets specifically). Despite not being a crystal ball, the VQI nevertheless remains a valuable tool for credit modelers seeking to view mortgage originations from different times in their proper perspective.

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Analytical and Data Assumptions

Population assumptions:

  • Issuance Data for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
  • Loans originated more than three months prior to issuance are excluded because the index is meant to reflect current market conditions.
  • Loans likely to have been originated through the HARP program, as identified by LTV, MI coverage percentage, and loan purpose are also excluded. These loans do not represent credit availability in the market, as they likely would not have been originated today if not for the existence of HARP.

Data Assumptions:

  • Freddie Mac data goes back to December 2005. Fannie Mae data only goes back to December 2014.
  • Certain Freddie Mac data fields were missing prior to June 2008.

GSE historical loan performance data release in support of GSE Risk Transfer activities was used to help back-fill data where it was missing.

 

 

[1] Note that the VQI’s baseline of 100 reflects underwriting standards as of January 2003.

 


Edge: Bank Buyouts in Ginnie Mae Pools

Ginnie Mae prepayment speeds saw a substantial uptick in July, with speeds in some cohorts more than doubling. Much of this uptick was due to repurchases of delinquent loans. In this short post, we examine those buyouts for bank and non-bank servicers. We also offer a method for quantifying buyout risk going forward.

For background, GNMA servicers have the right (but not the obligation) to buy delinquent loans out of a pool if they have missed three or more payments. The servicer buys these loans at par and can later re-securitize them if they start reperforming. Re-securitization rules vary based on whether the loan is naturally delinquent or in a forbearance program. But the reperforming loan will be delivered into a pool with its original coupon, which almost always results in a premium-priced pool. This delivery option provides a substantial profit for the servicer that purchased the loan at par.

To purchase the loan out of the pool, the servicer must have both cash and sufficient balance sheet liquidity. Differences in access to funding can drive substantial differences buyout behavior between well-capitalized bank servicers and more thinly capitalized non-bank servicers. Below, we compare recent buyout speeds between banks and non-banks and highlight some entities whose behavior differs substantially from that of their peer group.[1]

In July, Wells Fargo’s GNMA buyouts had an outsized impact on total CPR in GNMA securities. Wells, the largest GNMA bank servicer, exhibits extraordinary buyout efficiency relative to other servicers, buying out 99 percent of eligible loans. Wells’ size and efficiency, coupled with a large 60-day delinquency in June (8.6%), caused a large increase in “involuntary prepayments” and drove total overall CPR substantially higher in July. This effect was especially apparent in some moderately seasoned multi-lender pools. For example, speeds on 2012-13 GN2 3.5 multi-lender pools accelerated from low 20s CPR in June to mid-40s in July, nearly converging to the cheapest-to-deliver 2018-19 production GN2 3.5 and wiping out any carry advantage in the sector.


Figure 1: Prepayment speeds in GN2 3.5 multi-lender pools: 2012-13 vintage in blue, 2018-19 vintage in black.

This CPR acceleration in 2012-13 GN2 3.5s was due entirely to buyouts, with the sector buyouts rising for 5 CBR to 29 CBR.[2] In turn, this increase was driven almost entirely by Wells, which accounted for 25% of the servicing in some pools.


Figure 2: Buyout speeds in GN2 3.5 multi-lender pools. 2012-13 vintage in blue, 2018-19 vintage in black

In the next table, we summarize performance for the top ten GNMA bank servicers. The table shows loan-level roll rates from June to July for loans that started June 60-days delinquent. Loans that rolled to the DQ90+ bucket were not bought out of the pool by the servicer, despite being eligible for it. We use this 90+ delinquency bucket to calculate each servicer’s buyout efficiency, defined as the percentage of delinquent loans eligible for buyout that a servicer actually repurchases.

Roll Rates for Bank Servicers, for July 2020 Reporting Date

roll rates

Surprisingly, many banks exhibit very low buyout efficiencies, including Flagstar, Citizens, and Fifth Third. Navy Federal and USAA (next table) show muted buyout performance due to their high VA concentration.

Next, we summarize roll rates and buyout efficiency for the top ten GNMA non-bank servicers.

Roll Rates for Ginnie Mae Non-bank Servicers, for July 2020 Reporting Date

roll rates

Not surprisingly, non-banks as a group are much less efficient at buying out eligible loans, but Carrington stands out.

Looking forward, how can investors quantify the potential CBR exposure in a sector? Investors can use Edge to estimate the upcoming August buyouts within a sector by running a servicer query to separate a set of pools or cohort into its servicer-specific delinquencies.[3] Investors can then apply that servicer’s 60DQ->90DQ roll rate plus the servicer’s buyout efficiency to estimate a CBR.[4] This CBR will contribute to the overall CBR for a pool or set of pools.

Given the significant premium at which GNMA passthroughs are trading, the profits from repurchase and re-securitization are substantial. While we expect repurchases will continue to play an outsized role in GNMA speeds, this analysis illustrates the extent to which this behavior can vary from servicer to servicer, even within the bank and non-bank sectors. Investors can mitigate this risk by quantifying the servicer-specific 60-day delinquency within their portfolio to get a clearer view of the potential impact from buyouts.

If you interested in seeing variations on this theme, contact us. Using Edge, we can examine any loan characteristic and generate a S-curve, aging curve, or time series.


[1] This post builds on our March 24 write-up on bank versus non-bank delinquencies, link here. For this analysis, we limited our analysis to loans in 3% pools and higher, issued 2010-2020. Please see RiskSpan for other data cohorts.

[2] CBR is the Conditional Buyout Rate, the buyout analogue of CPR.

[3] In Edge, select the “Expanded Output” to generate servicer-by-servicer delinquencies.

[4] RiskSpan now offers loan-level delinquency transition matrices. Please email techsupport@riskspan.com for details.


Edge: PIW and Prepayments

Inspection waivers have been available on agency-backed mortgages since 2017, but in this era of social distancing, the convenience of forgoing an inspection looks set to become an important feature in mortgage origination. In this post, we compare prepayments on loans with and without inspections.

Broadly, FNMA allows inspection waivers on purchase single-family mortgages up to 80% LTV, and no cash-out refi with up to 90% LTV (75% if the refi is an investment property). Inspection waivers are available on cash-out refis for primary residences with LTV up to 70%, and investment properties with LTV up to 60%.

Inspection waivers were first introduced in mid-2017. In 2018, the proportion of loans with inspection waivers held steady around 6% but started a steady uptick in the middle of 2019, long before the pandemic made social distancing a must.[1]

In the current environment, market participants should expect a further uptick in loans with waivers as refis increase and as the GSEs consider relaxing restrictions around qualifying loans. In short, PIW will start to become a key factor in loan origination. Given this, we examine the different behavior between loans with waivers and loans with inspections.

In the chart below, we show prepayment speeds on 30yr borrowers with “generic” mortgages,[2] with and without waivers. When 100bp in the money, “generic” loans with a waiver paid a full 15 CPR faster than loans with an inspection appraisal. Additionally, the waiver S-curve is steeper. Waiver loans that are 50-75bp in the money outpaced appraised houses by 20 CPR.

Next, we look at PIW by origination channel. For retail origination, loans with waivers paid only 10-15 CPR faster than loans with inspections (first graph). In contrast, correspondent loans with a waiver paid 15-20 CPR faster versus loans with an inspection (second graph).

We also looked at loan purpose. Purchase loans with a waiver paid only 10 CPR faster than comparable loans purchase loans with an inspection (first graph), whereas refi loans paid 25 CPR faster when 50-75bp in the money.

PIW and Prepayments in RS Edge

We also examined servicer-specific behavior for PIW. We saw both a difference in the proportional volume of waivers, with some originators producing a heavy concentration of waivers, as well as a difference in speeds. The details are lengthy, please contact us on how to run this query in the Edge platform.

In summary, loans with inspection waivers pay faster than loans without waivers, but the differentials vary greatly by channel and loan purpose. With property inspection waivers rising as a percentage of overall origination, these differences will begin to play a larger role in forming overall prepayment expectations.

If you interested in seeing variations on this theme, contact us. Using RS Edge, we can examine any loan characteristic and generate a S-curve, aging curve, or time series.


[1] Refi loans almost entirely drove this uptick in waivers, see RiskSpan for a breakdown of refi loans with waivers.

[2] For this query, we searched for loans delivered to 30yr deliverable pools with loan balance greater than $225k, FICO greater than 700, and LTV below 80%.


What The FHFA’s Forbearance Announcement Means for Agency Prepayments

On Tuesday, the market received a modicum of clarity around Agency prepayments amid the uncertainty of COVID-19, when the FHFA released new guidelines for mortgage borrowers currently in forbearance or on repayment plans who wish to refinance or buy a new home.

Borrowers that use forbearance will most likely opt for a forbearance deferment, which delays the missed P&I until the loan matures. The FHFA announcement temporarily declares that borrowers are eligible to refinance three months after their forbearance ends and they have made three consecutive payments under their repayment plan, payment deferral option, or loan modification.”

With the share of mortgage loans in forbearance accelerating to over 8 percent, according to the MBA, and retail mortgage interest rates remaining at historically low levels, the FHFA’s announcement potentially expands the universe of mortgages in Agency securities eligible for refi. However, mortgage rates must be sufficiently low as to make economic sense to refinance both the unpaid principal balance of the loan and the deferred payments, which accrue at 0%. We estimate that a 6-month forbearance means that rates must be an additional 25bp lower to match the same payment savings as a borrower who doesn’t need to refinance the deferred payments.  In turn, this will slow refinancing on loans with a forbearance deferment versus loans without forbearance, when faced with the same refinancing incentive. This attenuated refi activity is on top of the three-payment delay after forbearance is over, which pushes the exercise of the call option out three months and lowers the probability of exercise. In total, loans in forbearance will both be slower and have better convexity than loans not in forbearance. 

Today’s FHFA release also extends Fannie’s and Freddie’s ability to purchase single-family mortgages currently in forbearance until at least August 31, 2020. 


RiskSpan VQI: Current Underwriting Standards – March 2020

riskspan-VQI-report-March-2020

The RiskSpan Vintage Quality Index (“VQI”) indicates that we are entering the current economic downturn with a cohort of mortgages that were far more conservatively originated than the mortgages in the years leading up to the 2008 crisis. The VQI dropped three points for mortgages originated during March to finish the first quarter of 2020 at 87.77. This reflects generally tight underwriting standards leading into the COVID-19 crisis, though not nearly as tight as what was witnessed in the years immediately following the housing finance crisis.  

The VQI climbed slightly during the first two months of the year—evidencing a mild loosening in underwriting standards—peaking at just over 90 in February, before dropping to its current level in March. The following chart illustrates the historical trend of risk layering that contributes to the VQI and how that layering has evolved over time. Mortgages with one borrower—now accounting for more than 50 percent of originations—remain a consistent and important driver of the index and continued to climb during Q1. High-DTI loans, which edged higher in Q1, continue to drive the index today but not nearly to the degree they did in the years leading up to the 2008 crisis.  

riskspan-VQI-report

RiskSpan introduced the VQI in 2015 as a way of quantifying the underwriting environment of a particular vintage of mortgage originations. The idea is to provide credit modelers a way of controlling for a particular vintage’s underwriting standards, which tend to shift over time. The VQI is a function of the average number of risk layers associated with a loan originated during a given month. It is computed using:

  1. The loan-level historical data released by the GSEs in support of Credit Risk Transfer initiatives (CRT data) for months prior to December 2005, and
  2. Loan-level disclosure data supporting MBS issuances through today.

The value is then normalized to assign January 1, 2003 an index value of 100. The peak of the index, a value of 139 in December 2007, indicates that loans issued in that month had an average risk layer factor 39% greater (i.e., loans issued that month were 39% riskier) than loans originated during 2003. In other words, lower VQI values indicate tighter underwriting standards (and vice-versa).

Build-Up of VQI

The following chart illustrates how each of the following risk layers contributes to the overall VQI:

  • Loans with low credit scores (FICO scores below 660)
  • Loans with high loan-to-value ratios (over 80 percent)
  • Loans with subordinate liens
  • Loans with only one borrower
  • Cash-out refinance loans
  • Loans secured by multi-unit properties
  • Loans secured by investment properties
  • Loans with high debt-to-income ratios (over 45%)
  • Loans underwritten based on reduced documentation
  • Adjustable rate loans
FICO less than 660
DTI greater than 45
adjustable rate share
cashout refinance
loan occupancy
one borrower loans

Modeling Delinquency Deluge

RiskSpan’s CEO Bernadette Kogler recently spoke with Simon Boughey of Structured Credit Investor (SCI) to discuss COVIDー19’s impact on the mortgage market & securitizations of mortgage assets. Simon’s article has been republished here with their permission.


Wednesday 8 April 2020 17:45 London/ 12.45 New York/ 01.45 (+ 1 day) Tokyo

Mortgage market advisers and consultants are struggling to find any models that work for the current crisis, but they are telling clients that they should prepare for a worst case scenario in mortgage market and securitizations of mortgage assets.

“Our clients are modeling a range of scenarios but are preparing themselves for the worst case including sustained levels of unemployment. Hopefully it won’t be that bad, but they need to prepare themselves,” says Bernadette Kogler, Chief Executive Officer of RiskSpan, a Washington, DC-based analytics and modeling firm which has particular expertise in mortgage markets.

RiskSpan clients include firms prominent in the mortgage securitization industry, such as lenders and servicers like Wells Fargo and Flagstar, as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It also has clients on the buy-side, such as Barings, Northern Trust and Fidelity.

Both buy-side and sell-side clients are struggling to assess what the economic devastation of the last two weeks, with more to come, will mean for the MBS markets.

The “worst case” could be very bleak indeed. Economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis have predicted that the dislocation elicited by COVID-19 could cause 47M job losses in the US. This translates to an unemployment rate of 32% – comfortably worse than the rate of 25% recorded in the Great Depression of 1930-33.

Other economists are not quite so pessimistic, but Kogler agrees and she is advising clients to prepare for an unemployment rate of 30% in the worst affected regions of the USA. Las Vegas, Nevada, for example, is particularly exposed to the collapse of the hospitality industry, while Texas has been hit with a double whammy of a Coronavirus lockdown and a precipitous decline of oil and gas prices.

Metropolitan Las Vegas has a population of over 2.5M while the state of Texas is home to over 12.5M people.

An unemployment rate of 30% could lead to a mortgage delinquency rate of around 30%. Data provided by the Bureau of Labor shows that the correlation between unemployment and mortgage delinquency is very high – virtually 1:1. So, for example, both unemployment and mortgage delinquency peaked at around 10% in the Great Recession.

mortgage delinquency rate and unemployment rare

At the moment, a delinquency rate of 10% looks a lot better than what might be seen in a few months from now. Of course, foreclosure rates will be substantially lower than delinquencies, but if delinquencies do hit 30% foreclosures might be as high as 30%. The effect on the MBS market, both agency and non-agency, of delinquency rates of this magnitude is hard to over-estimate.

Kogler suggests that around 1M Federal Housing Authority (FHA) loans could be affected by unemployment levels like that.

The GSEs, of course, offer largely guaranteed debt to capital markets investors in the TBA market, so their position could become particularly painful.

On January 23, when COVID-19 was still something to be not too bothered about, Federal Housing Finance Authority (FHFA) director Mark Calabria gave a speech to National Association of Homebuilders and reminded his audience that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had a leverage ratio of 300 to 1.

“Given their risks and financial position, even in a modest downturn, Fannie and Freddie will fail,” he said.

Part of the problem in modeling for a disaster of this proportion is that there are still many unknowns. Though the Federal Reserve has intervened with a stimulus package, but no-one knows how much it will continue to do, or can do, as the crisis persists.

Certain areas of the mortgage industry are still without any Federal aid. Mortgage originators and servicers hope to receive some backing, but nothing has been divulged as yet.

Models based on natural disasters provide no firm clue about this crisis will unfold. In disasters of that kind, insurance companies intervene at some juncture, distorting the appropriateness of disaster-based models for the COVID-19 world.

“No models are sufficient. Predictive models are based on historical data, and to the extent that we have not seen anything like this before they are not going to work,” says Kogler.

Simon Boughey

08/04/2020 17:45:18

Copyright © structuredcreditinvestor.com 2007-2019.

This article was published in Structured Credit Investor on 08 April 2020.

Structured Credit Investor

RS Edge: Loan-level Delinquencies in GNMA Pools

With the rapid rise of social distancing and a looming recession, investor thoughts are turning towards mortgage delinquencies and defaults. In GNMAs, loans that are 90+ days delinquent may be bought out of the pool by the servicer. When a servicer does this, the repurchase shows up as an involuntary prepay for the investor. GNMA servicers may buy the loan out a pool when it turns 90 days delinquent or more but must do so using their own capital. Given this, we may start to see a separation in buyout behavior between well-capitalized bank servicers and more thinly capitalized non-bank servicers, with longer liquidation timelines for some entities over others.¹

The GNMA loan–level data shows each loan’s delinquency status, listed from current to 180+ days delinquent.² In Edge, users can run either a single pool or a portfolio and separate the loans into buckets by individual servicer. Users can simultaneously overlay other filters such as loan guarantor, geography, mark-to-market LTV, and other. Doing this at portfolio level can help quantify a portfolio’s exposure to various bank and non-bank servicers segregated by different loan characteristics. 

It is difficult to predict the exact repurchase differential we will see between bank and non-bank servicers, but for MBS investors, it will certainly be important to quantify the exposure at both pool and portfolio level as a first step. Most market participants expect a substantial uptick in the number of involuntary prepayments in the GNMA space. Edge lets users rapidly assess delinquency exposure across many different loan characteristics for an entire portfolio, which may matter more now than it ever has in recent history. 

RS EDGE: Loan-level Delinquencies in GNMA Pools

Loan-level delinquency by servicer for 2019-vintage GN Multi-lender pools, broken out by FHA/VA. This search is simple to execute in the Edge platform. Contact us for details. 


¹ In 2011-12, the market saw significant differences in buyout behavior, for example Bank of America was slow to buy out delinquent loans.

² On Bloomberg, the delinquency states 90 days onward are compressed into a single 90+ state.


RS Edge: S-curves Over Different Refi Cycles

Over the last six months, TBA speeds have progressively accelerated and are poised to print even faster given the recent lows in primary rates and near doubling in the Refi Index. But how do these speeds compare against previous refi cycles? In this short piece, we compare today’s S-curve against the 2012-13 cycle and the massive refi wave in 2002-03. 

First, we start by running an S-curve on loans in recently issued Majors¹, filtering for loans that were 2019 vintage and at least 6 months seasoned. Below, we plot prepay speeds against refi incentive². In aggregate, fully in-the-money mortgages pay around 55 CPR, with actual speeds varying from pool to pool. 

s-curve-in-rs-edge

Next, we overlay a TBA S-curve during the 2012-13 refi wave, covering the period both pre– and post–QE3 (September 2012). Traders during that time will remember top speeds in the mid to upper 30s. Clearly the 2019-20 prepay experience has exceeded these speeds for similar refi incentive. 

s-curve-in-rs-edge

Finally, we compare the current refi environment against the 2002-03 environment—the gold standard for refinancing waves. Traders active during that period will remember this as a time of high cash-out refis, which drove both in– and out-of-the money prepayments higher. Out-of-the-money mortgages paid in the mid-teens as homeowners tapped their homes like an ATM, while in-the-money mortgages paid in the high 60s to low 70s in aggregate, with some sectors paying in the 80s for several months. 

s-curve-in-rs-edge

The 2002-03 refi wave also featured a surge driven by the “media effect.” With nearly the entire mortgage market in–the–money, a combination of aggressive advertising plus frequent news reporting reminded homeowners at every turn that they could save hundreds of dollars per month if they refinanced their loans. In early 2003, 95% of the mortgage market was 50bp or more in the money, compared with 80% today.  

We conclude that with Fed easing and recession fears, 2020 could see a renewed media effect, which may help drive prepayments higher at every point on the S-curve. 

If you are interested in seeing variations on this theme, contact us. Using RS Edge, we can examine any loan characteristic and generate a S-curve, aging curve, or time series. 

¹ We did a similar analysis on multi-lender Giants. Please contact us for details.

² To be included, the loan had to be at least 6 months old, higher than $225k balance, LTV < 80, and FICO > 700.


RiskSpan VQI: Current Underwriting Standards – February 2020

riskspan-VQI-report

The RiskSpan Vintage Quality Index (“VQI”) edged higher for mortgages originated during February despite remaining low (90.41) by historical, pre-crisis standards. Low-FICO and high-LTV loans continued to trend downward, while high-DTI loans, investment properties, and cash-out refinances continued to rebound after declining through much of 2019.

As the historical trend of risk layering (see below) shows, mortgages with one borrower—now accounting for more than 50 percent of originations—remain a consistent and important driver of the index. High-DTI loans today drive the index more than they did during the years immediately after the 2008 crisis but not nearly so much as they did during the years leading up to it. High-LTV loans continue to be originated in abundance, while adjustable-rate mortgages and loans with subordinate financing, in contrast, have practically vanished.

riskspan-VQI-report

RiskSpan introduced the VQI in 2015 as a way of quantifying the underwriting environment of a particular vintage of mortgage originations. The idea is to provide credit modelers a way of controlling for a particular vintage’s underwriting standards, which tend to shift over time. The VQI is a function of the average number of risk layers associated with a loan originated during a given month. It is computed using:

  1. The loan-level historical data released by the GSEs in support of Credit Risk Transfer initiatives (CRT data) for months prior to December 2005, and
  2. Loan-level disclosure data supporting MBS issuances through today.

The value is then normalized to assign January 1, 2003 an index value of 100. The peak of the index, a value of 139 in December 2007, indicates that loans issued in that month had an average risk layer factor 39% greater (i.e., loans issued that month were 39% riskier) than loans originated during 2003. In other words, lower VQI values indicate tighter underwriting standards (and vice-versa).

Build-Up of VQI

The following chart illustrates how each of the following risk layers contributes to the overall VQI:

  • Loans with low credit scores (FICO scores below 660)
  • Loans with high loan-to-value ratios (over 80 percent)
  • Loans with subordinate liens
  • Loans with only one borrower
  • Cash-out refinance loans
  • Loans secured by multi-unit properties
  • Loans secured by investment properties
  • Loans with high debt-to-income ratios (over 45%)
  • Loans underwritten based on reduced documentation
  • Adjustable rate loans
riskspan-VQI-report
riskspan-VQI-report
riskspan-VQI-report

   

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