It is not hard to isolate most of the nation’s biggest mortgage lenders in LendingPatterns™. The Consumer Financial Protection Board has reserved the category of lenders with $10 billion in assets and above for itself, and there are a lot of familiar names there. The list doesn’t exactly duplicate the top lenders in the country, as some non-banks that are top mortgage lenders, like Quicken Loans and loanDepot, are not included due to smaller asset size.
The 127 lenders in the CFPB category made $600 billion in mortgages in 2015, almost a third of a national total of $1.85 trillion. They funded just about exactly half of the $1.2 trillion requested of them, Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data show.
The originations percentage was significantly lower, though, when looked at by numbers of loans. CFPB lenders took 4.5 million applications and originated 1.9 million of them, about 42 percent. But they also purchased 1.2 million of them, 27 percent of app volume. Denials were 17 percent of applications, with the rest going to categories like withdrawn and incomplete.
Wells Fargo Bank had the largest volume of mortgages for 2015, $140 billion. It was followed by JPMorgan Chase Bank, at $83 billion, and Bank of America at $56 billion. Wells and Chase had more than a third of CFPB originations between them. An interesting player was the number seven lender, a credit union. Navy Federal Credit Union originated $12.6 billion in home loans in 2015.
Many of these lenders have large portfolios. A full 59 percent of that $600 billion in production was not sold into the secondary market in 2015. Of the loan dollars that were sold, Fannie Mae was the biggest investor, at 15 percent, followed by Freddie Mac at 13 percent, Ginnie Mae at 6.3 percent, and non-agency investors at six percent.
Looking at the conforming/jumbo split gives good evidence as to why so many of those loan dollars were not bought by secondary agencies. CFPB lenders preferred big ticket mortgages to conventional mortgages in 2015, with 55 percent of dollars going for mortgages above the $417,000 conforming limit. Conforming loans took the other 45 percent.
First lien mortgages average $338,000, while subordinate liens averaged $114,000. First lien average spread of 1.9 percent and subordinate spread average of 4.6 percent isn’t very useful knowledge, as spreads were not reported on more than 99 percent of production.
CFPB lenders made 63 percent of their mortgage dollars to upper income borrowers, about nine times as much as to the low- and moderate-income categories (7.4 percent) combined.
More than 57 percent of loan dollars went to whites in 2015, the HMDA data show, with 17 percent going to minorities. More than 25 percent were in the “unknown” and “NA” categories. Of the minorities, Asians got the most mortgage dollars, at 8.7 percent of originations.
(Mark Fogarty is a journalist and analyst who has been covering the mortgage industry for more than 30 years.)