Yesterday we mocked China for being desperate enough to push its tumbling housing market (which directly and indirectly accounts for some 80% of Chinese GDP per SocGen estimates) no matter the cost, that at least 20 developers were offering the kinds of mortgages that resulted in the first credit bubble crack up boom and collapse, namely "Zero money down."
Little did we know that the US, never one to lag in the financial innovation department had once again one-upped China, by bringing back from the dead the company that according to Housing Wire was "once a poster child for pre-crash subprime lending" - Ditech Mortgage Corp.
Don't remember ditech? Then you certainly were not in the housing market during the peak bubble years last time around: ditech, which hasn’t been in the news in nearly five years, will also be developing co-branded and joint-ventures with financial institutions that want to offer mortgages. Supposedly, ditech is one of the better-known brands thanks to its heavy consumer advertising in the first half of the 2000s – remember the “Lost another loan to ditech!” ads?
But best of all, ditech was known as a leader in subprime. The bulk of the mortgages were interest-only, low-documentation subprimes, and ditech was a pioneer in offering 125% loans allowing the borrower to borrow more than the sale price.
So just how does Ditech plan on making its grand (re)entrance? With a bang, of course: "Ditech Mortgage Corp. is launching a new three-pronged approach to staking out territory with direct consumer lending, retail lending and correspondent lending with their 600-plus institutional partners. (In all nonformal references, the company goes with a lower-case spelling.)
This new ditech was formed from the assets from the GMACRescap estate, purchased by Walter Investment Management Corp. (WAC)/Greentree Originations in November 2012, and sources tell HousingWire that the new ownership is going all in on taking advantage of the ditech brand and the clean slate afforded by resurrecting the company from the near-dead.
This puts ditech in the unique position of having a clean slate on their customer operation and experience side, while at the same time working with the benefits of an established brand.
According to Cook, ditech conducted extensive research around what consumers most want in a home-lending partner.
“The fact that the ditech brand was so recognizable and highly regarded convinced us that this was the name under which we wanted to do business,” Cook said.
ditech’s first focus will be on partnering with financial institutions that want to provide mortgage and refinance loans to their customers.
... and only then will it resume offering 125% LTVs again, assuming of course, that by then the second, and final (because this time the central banks themselves are all in), uber liquidity bubble hasn't popped of course.