MORTECH 2008: Lenders See Fannie/Freddie Takeover As Needed, But Fear It Will Make Business Harder

by 06 Nov 2008
Bend, ORE., Nov. 6, 2008 ? Early returns to the MORTECH 2008 survey shows lenders overwhelmingly thinking that the government had good reason to intervene in the operations of the GSE?s. ?We have been surveying lenders for more than twenty years,? said Jeff Lebowitz, owner of MORTECH, LLC, and publisher of the annual MORTECH survey on lender behavior and technology use. ?In our surveys, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac always found a great deal of grass roots support from the average mortgage lender. For an overwhelming majority (seventy five percent) of lenders to say that the federal takeover of the GSE?s was necessary, their on-the-ground experience must have contradicted their long held faith in the mission of the agencies.? Preliminary MORTECH survey results (116 company interviews) show that lenders are in agreement with the need for takeover. However, survey respondents are much less in agreement that they, or the public, will benefit from the federal intervention. In general, lenders doubt that doing business with the GSE?s will be easier and probably will be harder after the interventions. According to MORTECH 2008 results, lenders: More than half see the singular benefit of Treasury intervention will be improved mortgage market liquidity; More than half don?t think the added liquidity will result in lower interest rates to homebuyers; Two-thirds don?t believe that transacting business with the GSE?s will be less costly; Eighty percent hold that it will be harder to find and fit loans appropriate to the hard-to-qualify borrower. ?The GSE intervention focused on financial policy and was not aimed at reengineering transaction flows in the mortgage industry,? commented Lebowitz on the interim results. ?In our interviews, lenders foresee the unintended fallout of intervention leaving non-traditional borrowers shut out of the market. FHA lending will help. Yet the lenders? consensus is that either alternative mortgage structures or funds for expanding home ownership in this country will be destroyed.? About MORTECH, LLC Founded in 1987, MORTECH, LLC is the premier provider of research on lender attitudes and behavior and their use of technology. For more than twenty years, MORTECH has built a unique database and a special ability to quantify industry trends over time. Ultimately MORTECH is a stratified random sample of lenders that produces statistically reliable and representative observations on the mortgage banking industry and on size segments within it. Final reports will be published mid December 2008. For more information, visit the company's Web site at or contact Jeff Lebowitz at 203-738-9429.



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