Ginnie Mae won praise from mortgage bankers last week for its plans to raise its profile on Wall Street and make it easier for lenders to originate loans for securitization.
The plans were touted at the national secondary market conference of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America.
Ginnie, formally the Government National Mortgage Association, is preparing to open an office in New York's financial district to be close to the investment banks and trading houses that run the market for its securities.
"Just as we have worked at our relationships with you, we will provide better service to the Street," , Ginnie Mae's president, told lenders at the Chicago conference.
To encourage lenders to submit more loans, Ginnie Mae plans to expand programs and reduce the cost of doing business, Mr. Chavers said.
Ginnie Mae last week introduced a multifamily Remic and has launched a pilot program using FHA Title I home-improvement loans as collateral.
The agency is also mounting a major drive to reduce paperwork for lenders, Mr. Chavers said.
An electronic signature system is at the heart of the paper-reduction effort. Lenders will enter their signatures into a computer; Ginnie Mae will call up the images instead of having lenders sign new paperwork for each pool of loans they submit.
The agency is beginning to test the program this month and expects to have it fully running by fall.
"We will have a totally electronic business environment," Mr. Chavers said. "From the application process through commitment requests, pool issuance, pool reporting, pool certification, transfers of servicing - all will be paperless."
Lenders welcomed the initiatives, saying they could put the agency on a par with Wall Street investment houses that have long used technology to make doing business easier.
"This is very, very good," said Gilbert F. Monzon, senior vice president at Puerto Rico Home Mortgage, Hato Rey.
"The problem in the past has been they didn't have the systems that others have," Mr. Monzon said. "This is a move exactly in the right direction and should improve efficiencies."
Mortgage-backed securities will make a comeback this year, an investment banker told lenders at the conference.
Home loans will form the backbone for $800 billion of mortgage-backed securities, up from $650 billion in 1995, said Howard Esaki, principal at Morgan Stanley, New York.
Morgan expects conventional loans to back $755 billion of securities issued by Fannie Mae, officially the Federal National Mortgage Association, and Freddie Mac, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. Securities backed by subprime and jumbo loans be the foundation for another $45 billion of securities, Mr. Esaki said.
John H. Fulford, Fannie Mae's new marketing chief, said the secondary marketing conference pointed up a disparity between smaller lenders, worried about their futures, and large lenders, seeing volume surge.
To help littler lenders who securitize their loans, "we need to better understand their needs," said Mr. Fulford, who was appointed to the marketing spot this year.
He said he had undertaken a stem-to-stern review of the company to see where improvements can be made.