BofA Reverse Post Mortem – Wholesale Leaders May 2011

We promised a closer look at the impact of BofA exiting the industry in our Retail Leaders report earlier this month, so let’s dive in. We’ve heard in many conversations with clients and contacts that the industry has fully absorbed BofA’s volume and didn’t see any decline from the company’s exit. We would love to be wrong about our earlier predictions of losing almost 50% of BofA/Wells retail volume, but let’s see what the numbers say thus far.

The chart above shows applications through May which appear to have held mostly steady since BofA stopped taking applications in February. Since then, applications were up 8.5% in March, and down -9.5% and -8.3% in April-May.

This second chart shows applications per business day, which make a clearer statement of decline once we recognize that March and May had 3 and 2 more business days than February, respectively. Of course, there are always many other variables changing in our industry at the same time that make it tough for precise comparisons, but the broad trend seems pretty clear. With BofA comprising 10-11% of retail market share in endorsements before their exit, a case could be made that the industry has lost more than half of that volume since their exit. Keep in mind that remaining lenders have still gained share of the industry since

Our last chart puts the BofA exit in context with Wells and Financial Freedom. We expect that June application numbers will show a boost given that Wells Fargo allowed loan officers to close out their pipelines and take applications through month end. Once that’s behind us, these three will collectively represent 30-35% of recent retail market share and whatever figure you use for the ultimate net loss to the industry after other lenders step in, that’s a hefty headwind for applications in the last six months of the year. Endorsements won’t really show the impact of Wells Fargo’s exit until Q4, but anyway you slice it 2011 looks to be an unlucky third year in a row of declines in HECM endorsements.

Housekeeping: Since the recent change in licensing requirements for HECM lenders, this report is now the most accurate way to understand retail/broker endorsement activity by originating company. Our Retail Leaders report includes TPO business for wholesale lenders as part of their retail volume, whereas it is correctly attributed to wholesale channel on this report. As part of this change, we will be renaming these two reports and making other slight modifications in the near future. Please let us know if you have a suggestion for new names for these reports.

Click the image below to access the full report:

Wholesale Leaders