Quicken Loans Retains Indian Mortgage Lead

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Wells Fargo fell to second, followed by Freedom Mortgage Corp.

Quicken Loans retains its status as the top lender to American Indians in early reporting of 2016 mortgage data to the federal government.

The Michigan mortgage bank made $480 million in mortgages last year to Native Americans, putting it ahead of traditional leader Wells Fargo Bank for the second year.

Wells made $417 million in Native mortgages last year, according to an “Early Look” at 2016 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data by LendingPatterns, a database maintained by fair lending and technology firm ComplianceTech, McLean Virginia.

All mortgage lenders have reported their 2016 data to the Federal Financial Institutions Examinations Council, a unit of the Federal Reserve, but the Fed will not issue the data until the fall. In the meantime, ComplianceTech has asked lenders to divulge their data to them now. The Early Look comprises a sizeable sample of the total.

Freedom Mortgage Corp. of New Jersey was the third-largest lender to Indians last year, at $349 million, according to the Early Look data. Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase were fourth and fifth.

In all, 113 lenders have reported making $2.4 billion in mortgages to Indians during 2016.

“Race” and “ethnicity” are separate categories in HMDA reporting, with ethnicity referring to Hispanic or non-Hispanic heritage (a third category is unknown). These numbers include those who declared race as American Indian and ethnicity as Hispanic, accounting for nearly a third of all dollars loaned ($772 million).

Indian applications for mortgage money were approved slightly more than half the time (51.5 percent). Loans were denied in 19 percent of the cases. The other applications not funded were due to factors such as withdrawn, incomplete, or loan offers that were rejected by applicants.

Indian veterans got a substantial amount of the loan originations, a full 20 percent of the total. They are eligible both for the regular Department of Veterans Affairs home loan program and a second program specifically for Native veterans. “Conventional” (non-governmental) mortgages made up 64 percent of volume while those guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration made up 15 percent.

Indian borrowers used 59 percent of the money to refinance mortgages and 38 percent on mortgages on purchased homes.

More than half (50.1 percent) of loan dollars went to Indians in the upper income category. Loans to borrowers in the combined low- and moderate-income categories came to about 15.5 percent.

About 19 percent of Indians got mortgages in amounts higher than those bought by the government agencies. The limit for such agencies as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was $417,000 in 2016, meaning this 19 percent of borrowers got mortgages for more than that amount.

Most Indian mortgages were sold to agencies like Fannie (22 percent), Freddie (16 percent) and Ginnie Mae (28 percent) last year. (The Department of Housing and Development section 184 Indian mortgage can be packaged into Ginnie Mae securities.) About 12 percent were sold to non-agency investors and another 23 percent was not sold and remained on the balance sheets (in portfolio) of the originating lenders.

The average loan amount made to Natives in the Early Look data for 2016 was $211,000, and $42,000 for a subordinate lien such as a home equity loan or line of credit.

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