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Planet Home Has Record March For Rate Locks

May 03, 2023
Rate Lock

Reports strong first quarter with rate lock volume of nearly $3.2 billion.

  • Residential servicing portfolio ends first quarter at $77 billion, up 5% from the previous quarter.
  • Total units rose 3% to 291,000.

Planet Home Financial Group said Wednesday it had a strong first quarter marked by a record month for rate locks.

The parent of mortgage lender and servicer Planet Home Lending said its residential servicing portfolio ended the quarter at $77 billion, up 5% from $73.6 billion in the prior quarter. Total units rose to 291,000, up 3% from approximately 283,000 at the end of last year. 

Planet's residential origination volume held steady at $6.5 billion for the first quarter, falling just 1% from the previous quarter and defying an industrywide origination decline of 17%, according to data from Inside Mortgage Finance (IMF). 

Planet said its rate lock volume for March set a company record of nearly $3.2 billion. IMF ranked Planet as the ninth-largest lender in the first quarter.

The company also saw continued growth in its owned mortgage servicing rights (OMSR) portfolio and assets under management. Planet's strong credit performance was exhibited in its lower-than-industry delinquency rates in its government OMSRs versus benchmark larger competitors.

Michael Dubeck
Michael Dubeck

"The first quarter 2023 was highly dynamic, yet Planet origination volume remained consistent," said Michael Dubeck, CEO and president of Planet Financial Group. "We also increased servicing and total assets under management by successfully navigating complex industrywide challenges while taking advantage of select opportunities we believe will yield long-term benefits."

For the first quarter, Planet posted a record number of loan boardings as the company's total special servicing book rose to $7.3 billion. For non-performing sub-serviced portfolios, Planet reduced serious delinquencies by approximately 4% during the quarter.

Planet said its specialized servicing practices for Non-QM products helped private clients keep Early Payment Default (EPDs) below the national reported average in the quarter. The practices include customized processes and reports and the application of Planet's high-touch customer contact during the pre-boarding servicing transfer dark period, it said.

During the quarter, Standard & Poor's Global Ratings affirmed Planet Home Lending's special and prime residential servicer average rankings and revised its outlook to positive from stable for both rankings, the company said.

Correspondent volume was $6.27 billion in the quarter, down slightly from $6.54 billion in the fourth quarter but up 20% from $5.22 billion in the first quarter of last year. 

As of March 2023, Planet's correspondent division had risen to be the fourth-largest correspondent lender, up from fifth at the end of last year; it also is the third-largest government correspondent lender, according to data from Refinitiv.

"We saw a flight to quality in the first quarter, with correspondent and co-issue lenders drawn to Planet's consistent pricing, ease of delivery, reliable funding, and strong balance sheet," Dubeck said. "We provide exceptional support to lenders as they scale up from selling to aggregators to becoming co-issuers who simultaneously sell whole loans to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae, and MSRs to Planet."

Retail direct originations totaled $270 million in the first quarter, down 12% from $308 million in the previous quarter. Retention originations totaled $93 million in the quarter, consistent with the previous quarter. The company's distributed retail channel originated $176 million in home loans in the first quarter, down 17% from $212 million in the fourth quarter.

Home equity second-lien volume and renovation loan volume picked up, as homeowners with low-interest-rate first mortgages committed to staying in their existing homes and buyers saw the benefits of purchasing and renovating in highly competitive housing markets, the company said.

"Planet continues to evaluate opportunities to acquire right-sized distributed retail companies with solid financials to expand our geographic footprint and enhance volume," Dubeck said.

Based in Meriden, Conn., Planet Financial Group is a fully integrated family of companies providing origination, servicing, and asset management solutions in the mortgage industry. Planet Home Lending LLC is an approved originator and servicer for FHA, VA, and USDA, as well as a seller and servicer for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and a full issuer for Ginnie Mae.

About the author
David Krechevsky was an editor at NMP.
May 03, 2023
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