LenderNews by Rob Chrisman
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Feb. 28: LO jobs, product news, buyer of lenders; good training in subjects ranging from cybersecurity to taking an app; ECOA legal opinion

February 28, 2017

The last day of February, already? Wasn’t it just New Years? Time flies by, things progress. Yesterday the Chamber of Digital Commerce, the world’s largest trade association representing the blockchain industry, and the Structured Finance Industry Group (SFIG) announced the formation of a strategic partnership focused on advancing the use of blockchain technology in securitization markets. Heck, I barely know how a simple battery works…
 
In retail job news Republic Bank and Trust Company is seeking seasoned Sales Managers and Mortgage Loan Originators to join its Louisville, Lexington, Nashville and Tampa Bay markets. Republic’s goal is to make banking easier for its clients, by focusing on creating a great customer experience and unrivalled service!   Republic Bank offers an expanded credit box, nationwide footprint, portfolio products, and more, which allow you to maximize your earning potential!  Republic Bank enables the mortgage professional to serve the home buyer on a local level, while having the power, resources and flexibility to meet customer’s needs. So, if you are a Manager or LO who is committed to excellence, driven and focused, we want you! Resumes can be submitted online at www.republicbank.com/careers ; or  send to Adam Perito, VP Talent and Recruitment Advisor. Republic Bank is an EOE Employer-Minorities/Females/Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity
 
In product news, Alight, Inc. just announced that Goldwater Bank will use Alight Mortgage Lending for real-time, dynamic scenario comparison and analysis and continuing reforecasting. “Alight’s scenario analysis will help us better understand interest rate risk across the entire organization, more easily evaluate margin/volume profitability and quickly optimize overhead and other resources in changing markets,” said Michael Ragsdale, Executive VP and Chief Risk Officer of Goldwater Bank. “With Alight, we can proactively address the seasonality and volatility of the business and run the interest rate shock forecasting needed to satisfy regulatory requirements and achieve our strategic objectives.” Alight’s cloud-based solution provides mortgage bank CEOs, CFOs, branch managers and other key team members access to dashboard views of all key financial data to drive decision making. Jared Huff, Group Head of Alight Financial Services, noted, “Alight will help Goldwater Bank streamline branch reporting, facilitate efficient stress testing of potential branch acquisitions and afford management across all parts of the business the real-time information they need for decision making.” For more information, contact Ralph Armenta.
 
An entrepreneurial-driven investment firm is deploying significant long term capital in the mortgage space by acquiring portfolio of mortgage originators and complementary mortgage related service companies. Preferred companies are retail originators producing $750 million annually that are looking for patient capital to exponentially grow their business while operating independently and autonomously. Investment firm has experienced mortgage executives whose mission is to collaborate with growth-oriented entrepreneurs and provide capital and tools such as warehouse lending, MSR financing, acquisitions support, and secondary marketing. Serious inquiries from principals/owners only; contact me with a note of interest. 
 
Texas Capital Bank, N.A. announced that Matthew Mead has been promoted to national sales manager of its Correspondent Lending group. He joins the leadership team, headed by Jack Nunnery, Director of Correspondent Lending. Matthew is a well-known industry veteran, having been active in the correspondent space for the past 12+ years, and previously serving as regional sales manager for the bank’s Western Region. Texas Capital Bank’s Mortgage Finance division specializes in supporting mortgage lenders nationwide with warehouse and MSR credit, liquidity, and banking solutions and is consistently recognized as one of Forbes’ Best Banks in America.
 
A quick note of correction. Yesterday I published news regarding InHouseUSA’s presences at next week’s Ellie Mae Encompass event. Here is the correct website: InHouseUSA. The company will discuss Predictive Estimated Due Date (PEDD) technology, how they provide clear proactive communications during appraisal process and their secret to reducing appraisal turn times at the Ellie Mae Experience 17. One can have a live session by booking a meeting with an InHouseUSA team member here or sign up here to get on their invitation list to Senor Frogs.
 
And a quick congrats to MB Financial Bank’s Dan Aubuchon. Dan has joined MB as an Area Manager covering Southeast Michigan and Northeast Ohio.
 
Upcoming events, training, conferences, webinars, and the like, in no particular order:
 
A free webinar titled, “The NY Cybersecurity Regulation – How It Impacts You and Your Company” is being held this Friday, 3/3, at 1PM ET. On March 1, the New York State Cybersecurity regulation goes into effect. “This first-in-the-nation cybersecurity regulation requires banks, insurance companies and other financial services institutions regulated by the NY Department of Financial Services to establish a cybersecurity program that protects consumer data. Join industry experts Joe Kelley, Privacy Attorney, Offit Kurman, Bob Olsen, CEO, Compass Cyber Security and Monique Jean, General Counsel, Strategic Compliance Partners for a FREE webinar as they discuss what New York Lenders and Brokers must do going forward to meet NY State regulation standards. Webinar topics will include who is covered by the regulation, new standards, and the impact to your company. If you are licensed in New York state, you MUST understand this new regulation.”
 
Guaranty Trust reminds everyone that “the MBAs of AR, MO, MS, and TN invite you to join them for the annual Great River Conference. The 2017 Great River Conference promises 3 full days of impactful sessions, motivating speakers, and endless opportunities for networking. Represent your state, your market, and your company. And position yourself for great things in 2017. Sessions include:  Day 1 Certainty, Consumer Direct and Retail Marketing, Loan Officers Sales Training, Fraud, Trended Data and Podcasting! The conference will be May 9-11th at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, TN. For more information click on the link above or email info@greatrivermba.com; sponsorship opportunities are still available.
 
Are you tired of losing loans to a competitor over as little as 1/8? With the increased competition, many loan officers are struggling to win the business. On Thursday, March 23rd at 1 p.m. EDT, Ron Vaimberg, President and Head Coach of nmpU, one of the nation’s leading loan officer trainers, will be presenting a 90-minute private live stream video training broadcast "How to Win the Rate Battle Against Your Competition"Master in just 90 short minutes the sales presentation that keeps borrowers from shopping you against other lenders. One low price and you or your entire office can attend this national live stream video broadcast. (This is NOT a Webinar). Click Here for Details & save $100 with discount code “Chrisman”.
 
The International Union for Housing Finance is having its biannual Congress in Washington DC highlighting developments in mortgage markets around the world, and may be of interest for US lenders looking for a different perspective. MBA’s Research Institute for Housing America is hosting a reception for this event. MBA members may register at the IUHF member rate for this conference.
 
On Wednesday March 1st, join Plaza’s webinar designed to teach you how to navigate its reverse mortgage online software, Bay Docs.
 
Taking an application is just like creating the blueprint for a new home. Complete, quality information ensures everyone knows the plans for successful execution. Join Plaza’s March 2nd webinar to learn why certain information is required, how an AUS decision is impacted, and key questions you can ask to help your borrower feel more open to sharing financial details.
 
Franklin American just published its March Wholesale “Monthly Customer Training Calendar”.  This month’s calendar offers a variety of training opportunities such as “Seizing Market Share”, “Getting Your Name Out”, “Understanding Credit Reports and Credit Scores”, “How to Review an Appraisal”, and “Detecting and Avoiding Fraud in Loan Files”, to name a few. To access FAMC’s Wholesale “Monthly Customer Training Calendar” click here:  https://wholesalestorefront.franklinamerican.com/calendar/  (be sure to scroll to the March calendar to view our new courses).
 
Join Morrison Foerster for its 7th Annual Financial Services, Regulatory and Compliance Conference on March 8th at the Ritz Carlton Charlotte. Their attorneys will offer insights regarding the future of financial services regulation. The morning sessions will focus on consumer financial services and privacy and cybersecurity developments. The afternoon sessions will focus on wholesale, capital markets and tax developments.
 
Tailored for originators, check out the exciting line-up of March conferences. March 16-18 NAMB East will hold its 2017 conference in Atlanta. Sunday through Thursday, March 19-23, the Regional Conference of Mortgage Bankers will be held in Atlantic City, NJ. And from Thursday through Sunday, April 6-9, the National association of Minority Mortgage Bankers of America (NAMMBA) inaugural conference will be held in Atlanta.
 
Fannie Mae has successfully made the transition to a new reporting environment, an important step toward implementing industry standards that will save servicers time and effort. Throughout March, it will host weekly live webinars to highlight and share best practices about reporting while enabling servicers to ask questions about the process. Be sure to review the Navigation Tips Checklist to stay on track with reporting compliance. Register for a webinar and learn more on the Fannie Mae Changes to Investor Reporting page.
 
For you legal eagles out there…
 
Law firm BuckleySandler reported that on February 16, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an opinion addressing whether Section 8 mortgage applicants may claim discrimination under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) by both a mortgage originator and a subsequent investor in the secondary mortgage market. See Alexander v. AmeriPro Funding, Inc. No. 15-20710, 2017 WL 650193 (5th Cir. Feb. 16, 2017). At issue before the Appellate Court were claims alleging that both the mortgage originator that interacted with borrowers, made credit decisions, and actually gave mortgages to home buyers, and the investor, engaged in the business of investing in or buying mortgages originated by the mortgage originator, were subject to liability for discriminatory conduct in violation of ECOA based upon plaintiffs’ allegations that “they applied for mortgages through [the mortgage originator] and that [the mortgage originator] did not consider their Section 8 income in processing the application because it intended to sell the mortgages to [the investor].”
 
Capital markets
 
Greystone Real Estate Advisors announced it closed over $1 billion in multifamily investment sales in 2016. This volume, which represents the multifamily division’s first full year in operation, caps an active year of expansion during which the team extended its reach and capabilities in affordable housing and market rate multifamily advisory. During 2016, Greystone Real Estate Advisors added several notable sales advisory teams in Atlanta, Austin, Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco, “further establishing Greystone’s nationwide presence as a preeminent commercial real estate lending, investment sales and advisory firm.” The team expanded its capabilities in affordable housing advisory, with a specialization in Section 8 and LIHTC disposition and redevelopment advisory services.
 
Up until yesterday the markets were pricing in an approximate 40% chance of a rate hike, with a move in May more likely than March. In addition, President Trump gives his State of the Union address tonight which many investors are focused on. Why? For details surrounding tax cuts and other economic plans, which could influence economic activity, the demand for capital, and therefore interest rates.
 
With the bond market and interest rates moving around the same range now for many weeks, however, most of the attention is focused on the stock markets. In equities, the Standards & Poor 500 Index and Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up on the day yesterday. The DJIA has now hit 12 consecutive daily highs which is the longest streak since 1987.
 
Back to rates & lending! Residential lenders reported locks coming in higher last week, 15-25% week over week. But U.S. Treasuries, and MBS prices along with them, sold off as investors revised up their probabilities for a rate hike at the March 14-15 FOMC meeting. The U.S. economic data Monday wasn’t great, with pending home sales unexpectedly falling in January and the durable goods orders data slightly missing forecasts. Pending Home Sales increased in the Northeast and South but fell in the Midwest and West. On the supply and demand side of things we still have the Fed buying $1-2 billion a day (they’ve been very transparent about this – a good thing), and the usual entities selling and delivering mortgage-backed securities.
 
This morning we’ve had the second estimate for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers for the 4th quarter: +1.9%, unrevised, with inflationary targets moving closer to the government’s target. Coming up are the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, February Chicago PMI and the February Consumer Confidence numbers, along with three speakers from the Fed in various parts of the country.
 
For those numerically inclined, yesterday the 10-year note closed 14 ticks lower on the day to yield 2.37%, and 5-year T-notes and agency MBS prices worsened about .250. This morning agency MBS prices are nearly unchanged and the 10-year at 2.36%.
 
 
At about 6 minutes I realize this video is a little on the long side for a work day, but is a good reminder why one should never, ever bet against a magician.
 
 
Visit www.robchrisman.com for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “Are You Sure that Rates are Going Higher?” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
Rob
 
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are over 300 mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2017 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)