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Patrick Barnard
Patrick Barnard is a seasoned journalist with more than 20 years of experience in newspapers, magazines and online media. Prior to becoming editor for, as well as Secondary Marketing Executive and Servicing Management magazines, he worked as a regional editor for AOL's Patch Media, covering daily news in lower Fairfield County, Conn. He also held editor roles with Technology Marketing Corp. and Penton Media. He started his career in journalism as a reporter for The Darien Times, a weekly newspaper servicing Darien, Conn., eventually rising to the rank of editor. He has also done freelance work for a number of publications. He can be reached at
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Ellie Mae: Refinance Share Of Mortgage Volume Fell To 35% In April

Posted by Patrick Barnard on May 18, 2017

Refinances fell to 35% of all loans passing through Ellie Mae’s Encompass loan origination platform in April – down from 37% in March and down from 43% in February, the mortgage software firm reports. The closing rate for all loan [Read More]

Freddie Mac: Mortgage Rates Edged Back Down; 30-Year Still Pinned At Around 4.0%

Posted by Patrick Barnard on May 18, 2017

Mortgage rates edged back down during the week ended May 18, with the average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) at around 4.02%, down from 4.05% the previous week, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. A year [Read More]

NAR: 2017 Will Be Best Year For Existing-Home Sales In A Decade

Posted by Patrick Barnard on May 18, 2017

During the Realtors Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), predicted that existing-home sales would reach an annual pace of 5.64 million by the end of this year – an increase [Read More]

New York Fed: Q1 U.S. Household Debt Surpassed Peak Set In 2008

Posted by Patrick Barnard on May 18, 2017

U.S. household debt increased 1.2%, or $149 billion, in the first quarter compared with the fourth quarter to reach $12.73 trillion, according to the New York Fed’s Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit. That surpasses the peak of $12.68 [Read More]

First Choice Loan Services Selects Alight For Continuous Reforecasting

Posted by Patrick Barnard on May 17, 2017

First Choice Loan Services Inc., a Berkshire Bank Company, is the latest mortgage lender to sign up for Alight Inc.‘s cloud-based applications for real-time, dynamic scenario comparison and analysis. First Choice, a $2.6 billion mortgage lender headquartered in New Jersey [Read More]

Castle & Cooke Mortgage Opens New Branch In Danielson, Conn.

Posted by Patrick Barnard on May 17, 2017

Castle & Cooke Mortgage reports that it has opened a new location in Danielson, Conn. The new location expands the company’s footprint in the state and will complement its sister branch in Columbia. The new branch is managed by Todd [Read More]

FirstClose Hires Jorge Ponce As Director Of Business Development

Posted by Patrick Barnard on May 17, 2017

Jorge Ponce has joined FirstClose, a provider of end-to-end technology solutions for refinance and home equity lenders nationwide, as director of business development. Ponce has more than 15 years of experience in bank operations, mortgage and risk-based consumer lending. He [Read More]

Flagstar Closes Acquisition Of Retail Mortgage Originator Opes Advisors

Written by Patrick Barnard on May 17, 2017

Flagstar Bancorp Inc. reports that it has closed its previously announced acquisition of certain assets of Opes Advisors Inc., a retail mortgage originator and wealth advisory firm headquartered in Cupertino, Calif. Terms of the deal, which was announced in early [Read More]

MBA: Mortgage Delinquency Rate Continued To Fall In Q1

Posted by Patrick Barnard on May 17, 2017

The mortgage delinquency rate (30 days or more past due) as of the end of the first quarter stood at about 4.71%, down nine basis points compared with the previous quarter and down six basis points compared with the first [Read More]

OneWest’s Financial Freedom Fined $89M For Improperly Servicing HECM Loans

Posted by Patrick Barnard on May 17, 2017

OneWest Bank, which was founded by Department of the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other investors after they took over failing mortgage lender IndyMac, has reportedly agreed to pay $89 million to settle allegations that its Financial Freedom division improperly serviced [Read More]

MBA: Mortgage Applications Fell 4.1%

Posted by Patrick Barnard on May 17, 2017

After increasing slightly last week, mortgage application volume fell 4.1% on an adjusted basis during the week ended May 12, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey. Applications for refinances fell 6%, while applications [Read More]

E-Signature Firm DocuSign Hit With Email Phishing Scam

Posted by Patrick Barnard on May 16, 2017

DocuSign, which provides e-signature technology to the mortgage industry, reports that some of its ancillary systems were recently hacked; however, only email addresses were accessed, and the malicious activity appears to be limited to an email spoofing campaign. “Last week, [Read More]

Housing Starts Fell Again In April

Posted by Patrick Barnard on May 16, 2017

And, yes, labor shortages are part of the cause…

MERS To Provide LEI Registrations And Renewals To Mortgage Industry

Posted by Patrick Barnard on May 15, 2017

In order to help the mortgage industry comply with expanded reporting requirements under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), MERSCORP Holdings Inc., which operates the MERS e-registry, has entered into an agreement with The Depository Trust & Clearing Corp.’s (DTCC) [Read More]

Philadelphia Sues Wells Fargo For Alleged Fair Housing Act Violations

Posted by Patrick Barnard on May 15, 2017

The bank’s practices “disproportionately affected minority borrowers” and resulted in foreclosures throughout the city, Mayor Jim Kenney says.

Supreme Lending Opens Another Branch In Kansas City

Posted by Patrick Barnard on May 15, 2017

Fast-growing mortgage lender Supreme Lending recently opened a new branch in Kansas City, Kan., that is being managed by industry veteran Scott Somerville. Somerville, who has built a reputation for fast, personalized service, has been originating residential mortgages for 17 [Read More]

Bob Dougherty: Data-Driven LOS Will Gain Favor Among Mortgage Lenders

Written by Patrick Barnard on May 15, 2017

PERSON OF THE WEEK: The loan origination system (LOS) is the core system and “workhorse” of any mortgage software ecosystem. These central software applications control the bulk of the mortgage origination process, from application through closing, including the automated processing [Read More]

Alterra Home Loans Recruits Tom Middleton As SVP Of Business Development

Posted by Patrick Barnard on May 15, 2017

Mortgage industry veteran Tom Middleton has joined Alterra Home Loans, a national mortgage lender, as senior vice president of business development and national expansion. Middleton was previously vice president of talent acquisition and business development for On Q Financial Inc. [Read More]

MBA: Applications For Mortgages For New Home Purchases Sank 20% In April

Posted by Patrick Barnard on May 15, 2017

Applications for mortgages for new home purchases decreased 20% in April compared with March and decreased 4.3% compared with April 2016, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Builder Applications Survey. The change does not include any adjustment for typical seasonal [Read More]

Optimal Blue Partnering With Media Center CRM To Develop New Prospecting Tool

Posted by Patrick Barnard on May 12, 2017

Optimal Blue recently announced that it is partnering with Media Center CRM to offer a new prospecting tool that can be used by both mortgage professionals and their Realtor partners. This integration enables mortgage professionals to deliver real-time loan pricing [Read More]