‘What can I say about the mortgage industry that hasn’t already been said about Afghanistan, it’s bombed out and depleted’. -h/t Dave Chappelle
I’ve pretty much refrained from smacking the mortgage industry around on TXB since the middle of last year when ‘kicking the cat’ became en vogue and too mainstream. Many (many) others have taken the baton and carried it well, but this story was low hanging fruit and I couldn’t resist.
Fortune magazine has put together a list of the most admired companies in America and categorized them by industry, Mortgage Services included.
- Land America Financial Group
- Washington Mutual
- Fidelity National Financial
- First American
- Sovereign Bank
- Stewart Information Services
- Freddie Mac
- Countrywide Financial
and here come the darts…
Land America, Fidelity National, and Stewart Information provide ancillary services to the mortgage industry (title, escrow, credit, technology, etc)…none actually lend money or originate mortgages, which explains how they made this list.
First American is being sued for fraud by the New York State Attorney Generals office. They allegedly conspired with WAMU, where WAMU: “strong-armed them into a system designed to rip off homeowners and investors alike”.
Thornburg may be out of business soon, although recent news from The Fed (not K-Fed) has seemed to re-energize the REIT. “Thornburg Mortgage, which specializes in large adjustable-rate mortgages (the kind that wouldn’t qualify for backing by Fannie or Freddie), was brought to its knees last week after successive margin calls by banks.” - Forbes
Sovereign Bancorp and IndyMac are probably the ‘best off’ of the lenders on this list, but thats not saying much. Freddie had a $2.5B fourth quarter loss, and Countrywide…never mind, I digress.