LenderNews by Rob Chrisman
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Jan. 8: LO & sales jobs; database, Section 184 products; Lennar/Eagle lawsuit; M&A continues unabated nationwide

January 8, 2019

In HELOC news, “traditional” lenders know that online lender Prosper plans to offer home equity lines of credit this year. The threats to real estate agents’ business models also just keep coming. Besides Clever, Ribbon Home, Zillow Offers, and Open door, this is now www.HomeGo.com. Who wouldn’t want to sell their house in one day, and receive their cash in seven? Obtaining its true market value is a whole different issue, however. In that vein, recall that proposed banking regulations would allow real estate property valuations to be based on computer algorithms and not require evaluation by a licensed human appraiser for homes under $400,000. Data by the Census and National Association of Realtors finds 67% of US homes sell for $400,000 or less, so the proposal arguably makes the process of buying and selling homes cheaper, easier and faster. But many algorithms are untested.
 
Jobs & promotions
 
“The Real Estate market will always be shifting. The question is how will you compensate as the market continues to tighten? Revamp your marketing, extend your personal networking efforts, or distribute flyers to cars in the parking lot? (Please don’t. It makes us all look bad) Here’s a brilliant  idea to help manage market volatility in 2019: Increase your compensation.
How much money do you lose on every deal because you’re paying for the salaries for multiple layers of middle management? If you simply cut the fat, you’ll increase your take home! Canopy Mortgage is a flat organization that isn’t burdened with ‘legacy-costs’ meaning fewer people between you and your commissions. Canopy is currently hiring independent loan officers in AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MD, MI, MO, NV, NJ, NM, NC, OH, OR, PN, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI. Contact Josh Neumarker, Director of Business Development at Canopy Mortgage (888-696-9076).”
 
SocialSurvey wants to thank the mortgage industry for a fantastic 2018. We are excited to announce we surpassed 1mm reviews and now serve 150 lenders representing over 30,000 Loan Officers. Our platform has expanded from reviews and reviews sharing to now include social media monitoring and listings management. To keep up with the demand, we are hiring several Regional Vice-Presidents of Business Development with dedicated sales territories. If you have a proven track record of selling technology or services into the mortgage vertical, this is a unique opportunity to part of an amazing growth story. Send confidential resume and contact info to Gaby Mota to learn more.”  
 
Freddie Mac announced the election of Aleem Gillani to the company’s Board of Directors. Mr. Gillani recently served as CFO and corporate EVP of SunTrust Banks, Inc. Congrats!
 
Lender products & services
 
Want to start a WHOLESALE channel or need a better TPO Platform? Wholesale is expected to double in the next 24 months so it’s time to get into (or up) your TPO game. We can help. For a fraction of the cost of fancy, heavy, ‘legacy’ platforms, ReadyPrice can help you start or improve your channel and increase your profitability. The ReadyPrice all-in-one Pricing Engine, LOS and Wholesale CRM platform is fully configured out of the box, and up to 80% less expensive than other heavy, cumbersome competitors. It comes complete with D1C, deep Fannie DU integrations and can be stood-up in a couple of weeks. The ReadyPrice LOS/PPE has funded over 300k units for $70 billion and is leading the way forward for today’s mortgage bankers as we utilize essential mortgage tech. Call (408) 357–0931 or email to receive a free demo.
 
LegacyTexas Bank, Warehouse Lending is eNote Ready! LTB is a national warehouse provider with unparalleled service and a staff of industry veterans. eNote readiness adds to our streamlined and paperless process for funding a full suite of residential loan programs. If you need a warehouse lender who can fund your eNotes and provide competitive terms on warehouse lines up to $100 million, contact us today: Martha Reitz (972-801-5792) or Michelle Marrapodi (972-801-5781).
 
Happy New Year from Model Match! “As the industry’s leading strategic growth partner, we can help you recruit the quality talent your organization seeks to exceed your production goals in 2019. Model Match offers a full range of solutions to help our partners grow their business. Whether you’re looking to increase the effectiveness of your own recruiting efforts or need a trusted partner to attract high-quality talent for you, Model Match is your solution. Between our award-winning Talent Management Software and team of seasoned headhunting professionals, we ‘Model Match’ the right people, to the right company, at the right time. Click here to see the value we can create for you through our tailored recruiting solutions.”
 
2018 was a year of rapid change, as lenders set out to transform the customer experience. Customer expectations are changing faster than ever – making it even more critical to simplify and personalize the customer journey. Those that exceed customer expectations will yield massive returns by boosting customer retention and increasing profits. “Total Expert is proud to share key lessons on how organizations can deliver deeply personal content that adds big value for consumers. Read our top 10 blogs of 2018 to ramp up your marketing and sales efforts for 2019.
 
“One of the reasons Native Americans are so underserved financially is a lack of awareness of Section 184, a HUD program specifically for Native Americans. 1st Tribal Lending is the nation’s leading originator of Section 184 loans, having successfully closed thousands of loans for properties on the reservation, off the reservation, new construction and manufactured homes. 1st Tribal Lending views on-reservation lending as a great part of our mission and has considerable experience working with Tribes and the Bureau of Indian Affairs Offices. We’ve also helped thousands of Native American Tribal Members purchase homes in urban areas. 1st Tribal Lending is comprised of the most experienced Section 184 lending team in the nation. We understand this high touch, niche program, and our correspondent and broker programs are designed to support our customers throughout the process. Ready to get into Section 184 lending? Contact Brett Robinson to start.
 
It’s looking like 2019 will be a year filled with challenges to overcome. Still, winning is possible, but only if you are agile enough to embrace change and lean into the winds of market challenges to find the opportunity within. A new eBook, “2019 Mortgage Lending Resolutions,” is a great read for those lending leaders looking for a strong start in the new year. Exclusive to Rob Chrisman subscribers today, it’s a must-read for all mortgage leaders and their teams. Download Your Free Copy Here. 
 
Make 2019 the year you exceed all your production goals. Here’s how Anders G. increases his production with Usherpa: “Usherpa is awesome, and its training gave me great insight on how to mine my database for opportunities. Learning how to find and reach out to all the listing agents that I’ve done prior transactions with is incredible.” Learn how Usherpa can help you take your business to the next level.
 
Legal
 
Although news of lawsuits, settlements, and penalties have died down, they’re still simmering out there. The headline this week comes from a former employer’s allegations that builder Lennar Corp. and its mortgage subsidiary Eagle Home Mortgage made loans to unqualified buyers and violated federal laws.
M&A and new business rolls on
 
TMS announced it has sold its wholesale and retail origination lines to Atlanta-based AmeriSave Mortgage Corporation. TMS will turn its focus to correspondent, servicing, subservicing, and SIME (its servicing technology). “AmeriSave will welcome TMS employees associated with the business, and assume its new Plano, Texas and Chandler, Arizona offices… Recently, AmeriSave has embarked on significant expansion plans that include attracting top talent and considering other acquisitions.
 
“Beyond SIME, TMS has patents pending for artificial intelligence, block chain and has new versions of its one-of-a-kind servicing app scheduled for 2019. The company also plans to expand its client partner programs with custom apps, websites, as well as marketing and compliance consultative services. TMS will transition the originations business to AmeriSave in first quarter 2019.” TMS is a national lender and servicer licensed or exempt from licensing in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. AmeriSave has six locations across America and is a nationally-licensed consumer direct lender in 49 states, TPO and Retail.
 
Over in the depository arena, investment banking firm Keefe, Bruyette & Woods (KBW) downgraded its view of the banking industry. Reasons cited include the impact of higher interest rates and competition on funding, ongoing trade wars, slowing economic growth, weaker loan growth and a flattening yield curve. Certainly the bank mergers and acquisitions announced continued in December and through the holidays. We learned that…
 
In Georgia Heritage Bank ($502mm) will acquire both Providence Bank ($84mm) and The Heritage Bank ($532mm) for about $105mm in stock (100%), Colony Bank ($1.2B) will acquire Calumet Bank ($228mm) for $34.1mm in cash (45%) and stock (55%) or 1.72x tangible book, Ameris Bank ($11.4B) will acquire Fidelity Bank ($4.8B) for $750.7mm in stock (100%) or 1.76x tangible book, and Morris Bank ($718mm) will acquire Farmers & Merchants Bank ($190mm) for $23.6mm in cash and stock or about 1.6x tangible book.
 
In Ohio The Merchants National Bank ($711mm) will acquire The Citizens Bank of Logan ($200mm) for $33.3mm in cash (100%). First Savings Bank ($732mm, SD) will acquire Western Bank ($65mm, NM). In Illinois Wintrust Financial ($30B) will acquire 1031 exchange intermediary firm Elektra Holding Co., First Midwest Bank ($14.9B) will acquire Bridgeview Bank Group ($1.3B) for $145mm in cash and stock or 1.30x tangible book, and SENB Bank ($219mm) will acquire Gateway Community Bank ($90mm).
 
In Kansas GNBank ($629mm) will acquire The First National Bank of Girard ($80mm). In Kentucky Stock Yards Bank & Trust Co ($3.3B) will acquire King Southern Bank ($195mm) for $28mm in cash (100%) or 1.77x tangible book. Berkshire Bank ($12B, MA) will acquire Savings Institute Bank and Trust Co ($1.6B, CT) for $180mm in stock (100%) or 1.18x tangible book. The Bank of Delmarva ($738mm, DE) and Virginia Partners Bank ($420mm, VA) will combine in a merger of equals valued at $55.1mm. The deal is about 1.35x tangible book of Virginia Partners. In Missouri Citizens Bank ($121mm) will acquire Bank of Minden ($28mm).
 
In California United Business Bank ($1.3B) will acquire Uniti Bank ($344mm) for $63.9mm in cash (57.6%) and stock (42.4%) or about 1.37x tangible book, and Faciam Holdings Inc. will acquire Summit Bank ($281mm) for $56.13 per share in cash (100%). Cambridge Trust Co ($2.0B, MA) will acquire Optima Bank & Trust Co ($524nnm NH) for $67mm in cash (5%) and stock (95%) or 1.91x tangible book. In Texas Alliance Bank ($740mm) will acquire The First National Bank of Mount Vernon ($189mm), and Spirit of Texas Bank ($1.1B) will acquire The First National Bank of Beeville ($412mm) for $63.7mm in cash (51%) and stock (49%) or about 1.78x tangible book.
 
People’s United Bank ($44B, CT) will acquire Belmont Savings Bank ($3.0B, MA) for $327mm in stock (100%) or 1.6x tangible book. In Iowa FreedomBank ($267mm) will acquire Farmers and Merchants Savings Bank ($158mm). CenterState Bank ($12.3B, FL) will acquire National Bank of Commerce ($4.1B, AL) for $850.4mm in stock (100%) or about 1.99x tangible book. Don’t forget that Maryland’s Middletown Valley Bank ($429mm) will acquire residential mortgage lender Millennium Financial Group, thus offering loans to homebuyers throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.
 
Capital markets
 
The U.S. 10-year closed Monday yielding 2.68% as Treasuries and other fixed-income securities across maturities began the week all moving higher (rate-wise). Rates slid higher despite the release of a weaker than expected Non-Manufacturing ISM for December, reflecting a deceleration in non-manufacturing business activity in the final month of 2018 following the ISM Manufacturing Index in showing a slowdown in activity in December. The slowdown in the ISM figures threaten to bleed into a slowdown in earnings growth.
 
Internationally, China Daily noted that the People’s Bank of China will have room for additional cuts after the 50 bps cuts planned for later this month. The markets are keeping an eye on the U.S./China trade talks. And more than 200 British lawmakers have signed a letter urging Prime Minister Theresa May to rule out the possibility of a no-deal Brexit ahead of next week’s parliamentary vote. Leaders from Northern Ireland’s DUP have maintained their opposition to the backstop provision.
 
Today’s economic calendar kicked off early with the release of the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for December, down for the fourth straight month. November’s trade deficit figures are postponed due to the partial government shutdown. November Job opening from JOLTS will be released at 10AM ET with expectations for 7.063 million versus 7.079 million previously. Finally, November consumer credit will be released at 3:00pm. We begin today with the 10-year yielding 2.70% and Agency MBS prices are down/worse a smidge.
 
 
(Thank you to Jerry D. for these, “Why I Love Getting Older;” Part 1 of 2)
1. My goal for 2018 was to lose 10 pounds. Only have 14 to go.
2. Ate salad for dinner. Mostly croutons & tomatoes. Really just one big round crouton covered with tomato sauce. And cheese. FINE, it was a pizza. I ate a pizza, are you happy?
3. How to prepare Tofu:
a.  Throw it in the trash
b.  Grill some meat, chicken, or fish
4. I just did a week’s worth of cardio after walking into a spider web.
5. I don’t mean to brag, but I finished my 14-day diet food supply in 3 hours and 20 minutes.
6. A recent study has found women who carry a little extra weight live longer than men who mention it.
7. Kids today don’t know how easy they have it. When I was young, I had to walk 9 feet through shag carpet to change the TV channel.
 
 
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, “Low Down Payments Can Help Borrowers AND Lenders.” 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 hundreds of 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 2019 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.)