Potential borrowers were more than twice as likely to see their applications for refinancing dollars denied in 2015 as apps for purchase finance.

A look at LendingPatterns™ shows $280 billion of refi denials that year, with just $127 billion of requests for purchase money turned down.

In all, $426 billion in denials was registered in 2015, up about 22 percent from $350 billion for 2014. These numbers include only denials and not other ways an application could go unfunded, such as it being withdrawn or incomplete or rejected by the applicant.

The same pattern can be seen on the numbers side. More than twice as many loan apps for refis (1.3 million) were rejected as for purchase loans (627,000). In all, 2.3 million applications were denied by lenders in 2015. Some 7.4 million applications were funded for the year.

Fewer mortgage lenders denied apps in 2015 than in the year before, but not by many. There were 6,249 lenders that denied at least one application in 2015 whereas 6,361 financial institutions denied mortgage applications in 2014.

Loandepot.com rejected the most requests for mortgage money in 2015, at $38 billion, followed by Wells Fargo Bank at $34 billion and Quicken Loans with $26 billion. For 2014, Wells was first and Quicken Loans second.

Whites got the most rejections, at 57 percent of dollars ($241 billion) and 57 percent of numbers (roughly 1.3 million). For minorities, Hispanics led with 10 percent denials by dollar ($42 billion) and 12 percent by number (274,000). Blacks were second in minority percentage by both dollar and number.

Upper income borrowers had nearly half of their applications for dollars rejected at 47 percent. They led by numbers as well, though with a far lower percentage, just 33 percent. That might indicate an appetite for jumbo mortgage requests, and indeed jumbos made up a significant percentage of denials. Nearly three in ten denied mortgage dollars was for a jumbo (28 percent), with 72 percent in the conforming range. On the numbers side, jumbo apps made up seven percent of the total.

Low-moderate income borrowers account for 22 percent of the denied dollars which represents 37 percent of denied loans by counts for 2015.

More than 75 percent of denied loans for money were for conventional mortgages, with the balance going to government loans. The Federal Housing Administration had the highest percentage (15 percent) among the guvvie agencies.

Ten percent of denied dollars came from investors (non-owner occupied) while owner-occupied applications had an 87 percent share.

Average loans requested came to $211,000 for first liens, $48,000 for subordinate liens, and $14,000 for other liens. Just about all the dollars asked for (98 percent) were for first liens.

On the gender rollup (percentage of applications with one male versus apps with females and no males), males asked two-thirds of denied mortgages while females made up 24 percent of denials. On the dollars side, the male percentage was even higher at 70 percent.

(Mark Fogarty is a journalist and analyst who has been covering the mortgage industry for more than 30 years.)

Articles - News