Saturday, February 13, 2010

New Year, New Deal? Hardly

This year is shaping up to be one of the hardest yet in the mortgag business. There's going be many, many more REOs (foreclosed houses that the bank owns) on the banks' books, likely driving prices downward further.

That's not the problem if that increases buying activity, but with double digit unemployment (real unemployment), uncertainty, tightening underwriting standards, destabilizing appraised values and unknowns yet to come, it seems like a good year to hide under the desk if you are a Loan Officer.

Even good Loan Officers are heading for the hills, and here in NYC, they are jumping from bank to bank seeking greener grass that likely doesn't exist. Files are stacking up against the weight of regulations, underwriting that requires over documentation, and audit after audit of every file. Jumbos and High Balance Conforming loans are seeing the worst of it, but conforming loans can be painful too.

This business is tough, 7 days a week tough, but, sick as it may seem, I enjoy it.