Residential Mortgages and RMBS: 60-Second Market Review and Insights

Originations and Issuances, by the Numbers

New mortgage originations reached $428 billion in Q1 2018, down from $491 billion in Q1 2017 (a 12.9% decrease), according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. However, housing debt climbed to $8.94 trillion in Q1 2018, up from $8.63 trillion versus a year ago (an increase of 3.6%). Housing debt remains the leading source of consumer debt in the United States at 68% of the $13.21 trillion in national household debt. As such, it can be a bellwether for consumers’ financial health and the direction of the economy….

Ten Years Gone, but the Memory Remains

Litigation related to pre-financial crisis subprime mortgage lending and securitization has resulted in a decade-long hangover for many of those who participated in the boom times. The boom actually lasted only four or five years for most participants, but more than a decade later, many are just now drawing closer to resolution of legacy disputes.  The lingering headache for lenders, sponsors, trustees and investors explains the caution that has been the hallmark of subprime residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) post-financial crisis.

Since subprime lending started its comeback in 2009, …

Originations and Issuances, by the Numbers

New mortgage originations reached $421 billion in Q2 2017, down from $427 billion in Q2 2016 (a 1.41% decrease). Housing debt reached $9.14 trillion in Q2 2017, up from $8.84 trillion in Q2 2016 (a 3.82% increase). Housing debt, at 68% of the $12.8 trillion in national household debt, continues to be far and away the leading form of consumer debt in the United States. Even so, quarterly originations are less than half than they were at their peak of $869 billion in Q3 2005,…

When the Roman philosopher, Seneca, said, “Every new beginning comes from other beginning’s end,” he probably didn’t have litigation cycles in mind, but the quote is apropos of recent actions by defendants in RMBS litigation on the heels, or in anticipation, of their concluding litigation. The statute of limitations may have expired on new claims for repurchase or fraud based on alleged loan defects in pre-financial crisis subprime RMBS deals, but a settlement or litigation award paid out by a defendant may mark the beginning of a new six-year limitations period for the defendant to seek reimbursement or contribution from other deal parties….

This Banking Exchange article, prompted by the DOJ’s recent lawsuit against Barclays, discusses the longer statute of limitations available to the government, relative to private plaintiffs, to sue participants in the subprime mortgage securitization process. As Joseph states, for the immediate future “the 10-year statute of limitations remains an arrow in the government’s quiver.” Click here to view the full article.