Mortgage

Ginnie Mae ends 2022 with issuance charge far beneath pre-pandemic ranges

Ginnie Mae’s monthly issuance volume fell to $31.14 billion in December, down from $36 billion the previous month, and less than half of the $66.84 billion seen the same month a year earlier.

The government bond insurer’s issuance hasn’t been this low since before the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in the United States in March 2020. When the pandemic started in March 2020, issuance for the month was $55.21 billion.

The decrease was in line with numbers from Ginnie’s annual report for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. That report showed issuance for the period had fallen to $649 billion from $934 billion a year earlier and $749 billion in FY 2020, while the volume of outstanding mortgages on Ginnie’s books continued to grow. Ginnie’s outstanding portfolio ended the fiscal year at $2.28 trillion, compared to $2.13 trillion a year earlier and $2.12 trillion in FY 2020. With rates relatively higher, runoff was scarce in 2022.

Also of note in Ginnie’s updated report was a reduction in the share of Ginnie issuers that were top 5 banks last year.

Banking giant Wells Fargo, which recently confirmed it plans to stage a partial retreat from mortgages this year and has been the biggest depository issuer of Ginnie securitizations, slipped one notch to No. 4 in the 2022 rankings. Wells changed places with Nationstar, a nonbank that does business under the name Mr. Cooper, which had been two notches lower in the rankings in 2021. The only other depository that had been in the ranks of the top 10 Ginnie issuers in 2021, U.S. Bank, dropped entirely out of the rankings in 2022. It had previously been ranked eighth.

No issuers defaulted during the fiscal year, which ended prior to Ginnie Mae seizing servicing from the bankrupt Reverse Mortgage Funding. 

The updated report also made mention of the fact Ginnie plans to accelerate technology development this year. Initiatives it plans to make more progress on include the digital collateral program it opened up to new applicants in 2022. The dollar volume of electronic promissory notes in that program has grown to $15 billion in the past fiscal year.

During the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2022, 54,000 eMortgages were securitized, with 70% of the digital collateral involved consisting of loans guaranteed by the Department of Veteran Affairs. Loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration dominate Ginnie collateral, but VA-backed mortgages have become more prominent recently.

Increased development of automation around changes in the administrative responsibilities for portfolios also is on the technology roadmap for this year.

“The completion of Ginnie Mae’s migration to the cloud in the first quarter of fiscal year 2023 will enable us to accelerate the development of products and programs, such as the loan-level transfer of servicing capabilities,” said the bond insurer in the report it jointly issued with the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Ginnie is an arm of HUD.

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