LenderNews by Rob Chrisman
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Jan. 31: LO jobs; originator & customer satisfaction surveys; upcoming events & training; Walter & reverse mortgages

January 31, 2017

As the old adage goes, “Women spend more time wondering what men are thinking than men spend thinking.” But certainly women spend a good deal of time thinking about other things, like…thinking about the global economy. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says blockchain "could make a big difference to the way in which transactions are cleared and settled in the global economy" and notes the central bank is exploring possible use of the technology. "We are looking at it in terms of its promise in some of the technologies that we use ourselves," Yellen said. And if there’s an industry that cries out for the efficiencies and data integrity that blockchain tech promises, it’s undoubtedly the US residential mortgage biz, also heading down the blockchain path.
 
In retail job news, “Envoy Mortgage grew production by 41% in 2016 and headed into 2017 with strong momentum. After a record-breaking year in production and growth, Envoy is building on its momentum as they kick off 2017. ‘The future has never been brighter at Envoy. The U.S. is in a period of sustained housing growth and Envoy is focused on serving its customers,” said Envoy CEO & President, Pat Walden. “2016 was a record-breaking year and you’ll see more records broken as we serve a growing, diverse market,” Walden said. By adjusting to the needs of changing demographics and with major focus on digital efforts to support several new key initiatives, the nearly 20-year old company expects to drive new volume and increase market share nationwide, positioning them for another strong year in 2017. To learn more about Envoy, contact recruiting@envoymortgage.com.
 
Republic Bank, a publicly traded Bank headquartered in Louisville KY, is expanding its retail mortgage operations and actively seeking seasoned sales managers and loan originators to join its Louisville, Nashville and Tampa Bay markets. Republic’s goal is to make banking easier for its clients, so a focus on creating a great customer experience, while offering an expanded credit box with competitive pricing, and unrivalled service! Offering an expanded credit box, nationwide footprint, portfolio products, and more 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 look for the Mortgage Lending tab. Republic Bank is an Equal Opportunity Employer-Minorities/Females/Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity.
 
Vendor information, surveys, and trends
 
How old are your originators on average?  Should you change your name to Methuselah Mortgage? STRATMOR Group is rolling out its 2017 Originator Census Survey which will cover 2016 data. Last year’s Census Survey (covering 2015 results) contained some surprising results. For example, would it surprise you to learn that the average age of the Top 20% is roughly equal to the average age of the Bottom 20%? So you thought the old folks were booking all of the loans while the youngsters were scrambling to keep up! The sample size has been growing each year and last year contained over 16,700 originators. This information enables participating lenders to understand their sales force demographics vs. peers with respect to productivity, turnover, age, tenure, gender, ethnicity, etc. For full details, visit STRATMOR’s website at 2017 STRATMOR Originator Census Survey or contact Nicole Yung.
 
“For LOs looking for affordable ways to increase production in 2017, consider reaching consumers on mobile devices and those searching for home buying information online. There are two new consumer portals that offer innovative ideas for home pros. YourHome1Source.com is a nationwide home resource portal that reaches millions of home owners. At $39 per month you upload your logo, up to 20 company and community photos, up to 20 product flyers, cycle video messages and post special deals for home buyers and home owners to browse. The website is like an online home show – informing people on home-related products & services with colorful images. It’s free for consumers – with no registration required – and no questions to answer. The site allows home pros to engage shoppers through product announcements. And there is Your Home Savings App which is free and already lists over 100,000 businesses and is projected to reach 150 million mobile users in 2017. The App is now available for home pros who can accept payments in the field; i.e. inspectors, HVAC, repair contractors, interior design, home furnishing, home security, home warranty, etc. The App will expand to home builders, real estate agents and mortgage lenders in March, 2017, allowing eGifts at closing.”
 
Private Eyes, CEO, Sandra James spread the word that, “We have added top executives with decades of multi industry experience and relationships to expand our market share nationwide this year! With exciting new programs like the Fannie Mae 1 Day Certainty to start 2017, we are continuing to provide best-in-class turnaround time and service for VOE’s, 4506-Transcripts and pre- and post-employment background checks. For more information, view our press release and www.4506-Transcripts.com. Please contact our new sales team to find out more at sales@pebackgroundchecks.com.”
 
InSellerate, in another effort to help the consumer direct mortgage industry, has released its three year comprehensive study on how lenders are responding to customer inquiries online. This study includes data from 1,940 mortgage companies and over 3,000 inquires. It’s a white paper on a summary of 3 years of our MBA contact study See how we are doing as an industry and some key best practices.  Download the study here.
 
Company-specific news
 
We’ve heard about, and will continue to hear about, changes in the forward mortgage market. One shouldn’t forget the changes in the reverse market either, and with 10,000 people a day turning 62 this market will only heat up. But in the flurry of “forward mortgage” news I plum forgot this news: Walter Investment Management Corp. exited the reverse mortgage origination business. Both the Reverse Mortgage Solutions and Security One Lending brands are being shut down, though the servicing of existing reverse mortgages will continue. Additionally, loans already in the pipeline will be fulfilled.
 
Events and Trainings
 
Starting with something fun, the 2017 Hurt Mor Ski Trip is coming up in Park City, Utah from March 8th-12th. “The Wasatch Range in Utah is enjoying an epic year this 2017 ski season: Alta just received a 3-day storm total of 7 FEET!!! We picked this week to not conflict with SIFG Conference in Vegas and the MBA Mid-Winter Depends Conference in Beaver Creek. The event offers skiing within 45 minutes of the Salt Lake City Airport as well as the very best powder in North America.” If interested, please contact Dave Hurt (202-437-5235) or Jeff Moran (720- 641-6259).
 
Nations Direct Mortgage has partnered with MGIC to sponsor a webinar highlighting their “Affordable Lending” purchase initiative for 2017. Per the Mortgage Bankers Association, the purchase market is projected to increase by 11% to $1.1 trillion this year, and Nations Direct Mortgage is ready to help brokers capture a significant share of that business!  “62% of our business was purchase in 2016, in a heavy refinance market. We understand the purchase segment and are prepared and excited to help brokers around the country claim their fair share of this business” said Martin Warren, Director of Lending. Join Martin Warren and Jim Labbé of MGIC on February 8th at 9:30 am PST for the webinar that could change the way you do business this year. Register here.
 
Today is the last day to secure the early bird registration discount for The Mortgage Collaborative’s Winter Conference at the Omni Resort & Spa at Montelucia in Scottsdale, AZ March 1-4. Always interactive and innovative, TMC’s Winter Conference will feature several notable general session speakers, over 40 breakout sessions, and a host of different networking sessions and events. The full agenda and additional details on the event can be found here or you can contact Rich Swerbinsky. See you in Scottsdale!
 
Register for the MMLA’s Southeast Chapter luncheon, February 2nd, and learn about Dower Rights.
 
In Southern California affordable housing is difficult to find. Join the Southland Regional Association of Realtors from 8:30-4 on Wednesday, February 8 in Van Nuys for a forum to discuss plans to reverse the trend. This forum is multi-hosted with the National Association of Realtors, The Valley Economic Alliance, and BizFed Institute.
 
Interested in Building Your Origination Business? Join Plaza’s Webinar, Monday February 6th, presented by Genworth for strategies. Plaza’s February 6th webinar will show you how to use Radian’s MI tools to identify cost saving options that will differentiate you in the market today.
 
In fact Plaza offers a wide variety of webinars to fit every lending need. View its February webinar calendar to find a training or two that fits you!
 
Join the Silicon Valley Chapter of CAMP for its February 10th breakfast meeting at the Pizza Factory. Donna Chetner, Renovation Loan Specialist from Plaza Home Mortgage will be discussing the benefits of Home Renovation Loans. 
 
MGIC offers free training webinars every month. Check out its training calendar and just click on the topic that interests you.
 
Register now for the NMMLA February Luncheon on the 9th to hear HBA updates and guest speaker John Garcia.
 
TMBA’s February 8th Educational Webinar Series highlights Kalen Richey and Jennifer Hannah with Richey May & Co., reviewing the accounting and tax updates that have taken place in 2016 relevant to the mortgage industry, as well as expected changes to come in 2017.
 
National MI will host a one-hour webinar, "Reaching the African American Home Buyer" on Thursday, February 16th, 3PM Eastern. Kristin Messerli will be presenting. Webinar participants will gain an understanding of critical buyer nuances and how to use practical steps to develop a winning multicultural strategy.
 
Capital Markets: Pretty Quiet Out There
 
Mortgage backed securities got beat up last week after Brookings released an article by former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke that discussed ending the practice of re-investing the cash from maturing bonds and MBS back into the market. The good news is that we always knew this would happen, and the markets have plenty of lead time to adjust, right?
 
The Fed’s balance sheet has been stuck at $4.5 trillion since QE ended, and they purchased about 360 billion worth of MBS last year to maintain their exposure. Given that total originations were probably around $2 trillion, that number is not insignificant. Does that mean spreads will widen once the Fed ends this practice of re-investing maturing proceeds? The short answer is "probably not" The spread between the 10 year and the mortgage rate is about 165 basis points or so. Prior to QE (Quantitative Easing), it was around 166, and you didn’t really see any decrease in that spread when QE was active. The end of reinvestment should be a nonevent for the mortgage market.
 
We started off the week with some U.S. Treasuries trading higher, the 10-year unchanged, and the 30-year bond lagging behind. The long end of the curve is dependent on supply and demand, and yesterday news hit that Microsoft would be selling $17 billion in a debt offering across 7-maturities from 3-40 years. And we are part of a global economy: sovereign debt yields of Eurozone periphery countries traded sharply higher after the IMF said that Greece’s public debt burden was unsustainable. The IMF’s participation is considered a prerequisite by some Eurozone countries for their agreement to continued debt relief for Greece
 
This morning we’ve already had the first of the week’s three central bank decisions where the Bank of Japan held steady on policy, as expected. In this country, we’ve seen the Q4 Employment Cost Index (+.5% in the 4th quarter, below forecasts). For anyone interested in home prices from back in November we’ll have the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index. Chicago PMI for January will be released at 9:45AM ET, and then Consumer Confidence. And day one of the two day FOMC meeting will get under way in Washington, DC. We start the day with the 10-year at 2.49% and agency MBS prices up a shade compared to Monday afternoon.
 
 
(Thanks to Stephen S. for this one.)
A lawyer named Strange passed away. His friend asked the tombstone maker to inscribe on his tombstone, "Here lies Strange, an honest man, and a lawyer."
The inscriber insisted that such an inscription would be confusing, for a passerby would tend to think that three men were buried under the stone.
However, he suggested an alternative. He would inscribe, "Here lies a man who was both honest and a lawyer."
That way, whenever anyone walked by the tombstone and read it, they would be certain to remark, "That’s Strange."
 
 
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.)