Mother’s Day Factoid. Fed Bank Sues Citi, BofA. Lower Rate Impact on MBS.

The driving force behind Mother’s Day was Anna Jarvis, who organized observances in Grafton, W.Va., and Philadelphia on May 10, 1908. As the annual celebration became popular around the country in 1914 Congress designated the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

Mortgage security traders hardly know which way to turn as rates drop and make it so that loans originated (and securitized) in the past six months become refinance candidates. I read several divergent ideas about what is going on and where investors should place their bets – any of which can be confusing to anyone not well versed in MBS lingo. But this is more relevant for loan agents and consumers:

“Freddie Mac reported that 30-year fixed mortgage rates averaged 4.71% this week which matches the lowest level seen this year. Refi activity is likely to have increased this week as more of the 5% coupon enters into the refi window; however, a significant pickup is not expected unless mortgage rates rally to 4.50%, said a Credit Suisse report.”

Federal Home Loan Bank is suing Citigroup, Bank of America and other banks over originating and servicing mortgages. In their reports to the SEC, Citi and BofA said the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston sued them in state court in Massachusetts, alleging misstatements or omissions in connection with mortgage-backed securities. Other sued banks are Ally Financial, Capital One Financial, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, several foreign banks, and McGraw-Hill Co. Inc. (MHP) for losses on its $5.8 billion investment in private-label mortgage-backed securities issued by 115 securitization trusts. The FHLB, on its website, said it seeks “various forms of relief including rescission, recovery of damages, recovery of purchase consideration plus interest” and legal costs.

Citi said in its filing that the Union Central Life Insurance Co., Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. and Acacia Life Insurance Co. are suing it in federal court in Manhattan, seeking unspecified recovery of damages from losses sustained during the financial meltdown related to mortgage-backed securities. A slew of other banks are mentioned in the suit, including Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and several foreign banks.

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