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VA Drives Up Weekly Mortgage Market Index


An improvement in weekly mortgage business was driven by a surge in prospective loans to veterans. Despite deterioration of 3 basis points in fixed rates, the share of people seeking a rate-term refinance grew to the widest level in six months.

Based on average per-user rate-lock volume by clients of OpenClose, mortgage business ascended 4 percent during the seven days ended Sept. 21 -- leaving the U.S. Mortgage Market Index from Mortgage Daily at 126. The index reflects activity from Friday through Thursday at midnight.

The week-over-week improvement is an indication that single-family loan originations from rates locked last week will likely be greater than those from the preceding week. No adjustments are made for seasonal factors.


Stream of Mortgage Layoffs Continues


In addition to some of the high-profile rounds of mortgage layoffs previously reported, a stream of less prominent staff reductions are beginning to add up for the industry.

In August, Wells Fargo & Co. disclosed that it was eliminating 638 mortgage positions. While details about impacted locations were initially sparse, reports subsequently emerged providing a clearer picture.

In a filing with the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation as required by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, Wells revealed that 43 of the layoffs were in Frederick.


Free Credit Freeze From All 3 Bureaus


Following last year's disclosure by Equifax that information was stolen on an estimated 143 million U.S. consumers, a provision for free credit freezes was included in legislation to roll back some of the more burdensome provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

While the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act -- which was signed into law by President Donald Trump in May of this year -- was viewed as good for financial services entities and bad for consumers, it required that the credit bureaus provide consumers with the ability to freeze their credit at no charge.


Mortgage Staffing, Servicing Grow at Alaska USA


Mortgage employees on Alaska USA Federal Credit Union's payroll increased from the prior quarter and a year prior, as did residential loan servicing.

At the middle of 2018, the financial institution serviced 27,385 single-family loans with an aggregate unpaid principal balance of $5.272 billion.

Anchorage, Alaska-based Alaska USA revealed the details as part of the Mortgage Daily Second Quarter 2018 Mortgage Origination Survey.


Best Mortgage Jobs


Among the hundred best jobs in the nation are several that are found at home lenders -- including positions in compliance and technlogy. Also making the list were loan originators.

At the top of the ranking among all industries was software developer, according to U.S. News & World Report LP's The 100 Best Jobs in America.

Software developers have a median salary of $100,800. There are a projected 253,400 positions expected to be filled in the sector over the next decade, and the unemployment rate is 1.6 percent.