July 21: State-level legal lending changes – they keep coming; AI, blockchain, and cyberattacks

There are countless bits of trivia about the United States. For example, there are two U.S. states where the temperature has never surpassed 100 degrees Fahrenheit: Alaska and Hawaii. I play catch-up on some state-level lending law changes below. Although there was plenty of griping about national-level rules and regulations, when you have 50 states with varying takes on things like notaries, signatures, documents, real property law, and licensing, it just makes things more difficult. But first…
Blockchain, technology, and cybercriminals – two steps forward, one step back
Bank of Canada’s senior researcher said blockchain does not currently have the cost-savings expected compared to a central banking system and still has the vulnerabilities of hacking and operational risks.
The CEO of one of the most technologically advanced banks in the world, BBVA, stated concerns about current blockchain technology. He noted things such as volatility of associated currencies and potential problems with tax and financial authorities’ systems. However, he noted that when this technology has resolved these challenges and regulators accept it, he is ready to use it.
And Wells Fargo joins Citigroup, JPMorgan, Bank of America and US Bank, as it prohibits customers from using credit cards to buy cryptocurrencies. According to a LendEDU survey, approximately 22% of bitcoin investors could not pay off their credit card balance after purchasing bitcoins.
Think about the term “artificial intelligence” for a moment. Fake. The intelligence of machines is what is generally known as artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML). AI and ML are all the rage right now and the biggest banks, and some non-depository lenders, are actively embracing these technologies for everything from customer service assistance to compliance. Many banks have been especially successfully at employing AI in their efforts to identify suspicious activities and transactions for BSA/AML.
However, a recent experiment found cybercriminals would be significantly more successful in their phishing efforts, if they were to start using AI. This experiment was conducted by scientists at security company, Cyxtera, to determine how AI could potentially be used to help cybercriminals perfect their phishing attacks.
According to “DeepPhish: Simulating Malicious AI,” a paper documenting the results of the experiment, bank systems that currently utilize AI to identify and fend off cybercrime are successful 99% of the time. But, when scientists applied AI to cybercriminals’ side of the equation, things changed. By using AI to generate synthetic phishing URLs, scientists were able to successfully circumvent security systems designed to flag false URLs 21% and 36% of the time vs. previous success rates of less than 1% and 5%, respectively.
Ignoring such findings could mean millions of dollars of losses for banks. According to last year’s “Cost of Cyber Crime Study” produced by Accenture and the Ponemon Institute, security breaches within the financial services industry cost attacked organizations an average of $18mm annually.
Though the efforts of cybercriminals aided by AI and ML will make IT efforts to secure sensitive information notably harder, there are lessons to be learned from these findings. The most important lesson is the fact that AI has the capacity to learn and evolve. That means anti-fraud security programs, incorporating AI and ML, should be consistently updated and re-trained using the latest data available. In the case of this experiment, scientists accomplished this by teaching existing anti-fraud systems to interpret URL creation strategies, which allowed these anti-fraud programs to identify existing patterns and recognize any new patterns created by potential fraudsters using AI.
Steve Brown with PCBB writes, “Given that AI and ML are now pretty available to everyone, it is only a matter of time until cybercriminals begin using these tools to enhance their endeavors to compromise financial information.”
State-level lending and policy changes
In the United States, four states are also referred to as commonwealths aside from its associated territories which include Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands which are also called commonwealths. The four states which are officially called commonwealths are Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Virginia, and Massachusetts. Did you know that Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, and Vermont are the only states that prohibit billboards? I snagged that legal note from economist Elliott Eisenberg. On to things a little less interesting, but more important to lenders.
Vermont Department of Financial Regulation, Banking Division, adopted provisions relating to Regulation B-2018-01 regarding privacy of consumer financial and health information replacing Regulation B-2015-02 and is effective immediately. It directs the handling of nonpublic personal information about consumers by financial institutions. “This regulation: Requires a financial institution to provide notice to individuals about its privacy policies and practices; (2) Describes the conditions under which a financial institution may disclose nonpublic personal information about consumers to nonaffiliated third parties; (3) Requires financial institutions to obtain consumer consent prior to disclosing that information, subject to the exceptions in Sections 14, 15, 16 and 17 of this regulation and 8 V.S.A. § 10204 and subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act and Vermont Fair Credit Reporting Act; and, (4) Provides an exemption from the provisions of 8 V.S.A. §§ 10201 et seq. for information about business customers.” Full text is available here.
Florida House Bill 639 relating to the equitable distribution of marital assets and liabilities in the event of a dissolution of marriage will become effective on July 1, 2018. This Bill establishes a more definitive statutory formula to calculate the marital portion of passive appreciation of a nonmarital asset that is subject to equitable distribution using methodology similar to the case law but uses the amount of mortgage principal paid down during the marriage instead of the amount of the mortgage at the time of marriage. The new bill modifies the current method for determining this valuation. Under current law, a method for determining the marital portion of passive appreciation that is subject to equitable distribution has been established by case law as dividing the amount of the mortgage at the time of marriage by the fair market value of the asset at the same time and multiplying that fraction by the amount of passive appreciation during the marriage. The bill also allows a party to argue that use of the formula would be inequitable under the facts of a specific case.
The Washington Department of Licensing adopted provisions relating to notaries that include replacing all existing sections as well as adding new sections to Chapter 308-30 of the Washington Administrative Code to implement the provisions of the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts. A notary public appointment will now be called a “notary public commission”. To apply for a notary public commission, an applicant must submit the application on forms provided by the Department. Once approved by the Department, it will issue the commission or endorsement upon the applicant’s fulfillment of the requirements for a notary public commission or an electronic records notary public endorsement. Specific requirements are outlined for a notary who has received an electronic records notary public endorsement, requirements for the journal of notarial acts, fee requirements, replacement of lost or stolen official seal or stamp and change of name and address, termination or suspension of commission or endorsement.
The state of North Carolina has recently enacted House Bill 852, which makes changes to various real property statutes and regulates the solicitation fees for copies of documents recorded. Section 1.1 clarifies that in a purchase-money mortgage transaction, the buyer’s spouse is not required to sign the mortgage instrument or deed of trust regardless of whether the secured party is the seller or a third-party lender. Section 1.2 clarifies the fee for recording subsequent instruments related to mortgages or deeds of trust. Section 2.1 of the bill clarifies that requiring the drafter’s name on the first page of an instrument as a requirement for recording applies only to a deed or deed of trust. This section also adds language requiring the register of deeds to accept written representations regarding the licensing status of the attorney who drafted the deed or deed of trust. Section 2.2 adds additional corporate officials whose signatures, when appearing on the face of instruments recorded in the register of deeds, are deemed as valid as if authorized directly by a board of directors. This section clarifies that the statute applies to limited liability companies and makes other technical changes. 3.1 regulates any person, firm, or corporation soliciting a fee in exchange for providing a copy of a record available at the register of deeds office. In addition, provisions regarding the notice of foreclosure sale cancellations have also been added.
On June 25, the New York governor announced the issuance by the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) of a final regulation that requires consumer credit reporting agencies (CRAs) with significant operations in New York to register with NYDFS and to comply with New York’s cybersecurity standard. Specifically, the newly promulgated regulation, entitled “Registration Requirements & Prohibited Practices for Credit Reporting Agencies,” 23 NYCRR 201, requires CRAs that reported on 1,000 or more New York consumers in the preceding year to register annually with NYDFS, beginning on or before September 1, 2018 for 2017 reporting, and by February 1 for every year thereafter. The regulation authorizes the NYDFS superintendent to refuse to renew a CRA’s registration for various reasons, including if the applicant or affiliate of the applicant fails to comply with the cybersecurity regulations; subjects the CRAs to examination by NYDFS at the superintendent’s discretion; and prohibits CRAs from engaging in any “unfair, deceptive, or predatory act or practice toward any consumer,” to the extent not preempted by federal law. Additionally, beginning on November 1, the regulation requires every CRA to comply with NYDFS’ cybersecurity regulation, which requires, among other things, covered entities have a cybersecurity program designed to protect consumers’ data and controls and plans to help ensure the safety and soundness of New York’s financial services industry.
Nebraska modified its provisions relating to real property and the recording of instruments and the rights and duties of secured creditors with respect to the Residential Mortgage Licensing Act effective on July 17, 2018. A “licensee licensed as a mortgage banker shall record or cause to be recorded a release of mortgage or in the case of a trust deed, record or cause to be recorded a reconveyance.” “The transfer of any debt secured by a mortgage shall also operate as a transfer of the security of such debt.” “Section 76-2803 shall govern a mortgagee’s obligation to record or cause to be recorded a release of mortgage and the liability of the mortgagee for failure to timely record or cause to be recorded a release of mortgage.” Section 4 also provides that the “beneficiary’s obligation to record or cause to be recorded a deed of reconveyance and the liability of the beneficiary for failure to timely record or cause to be recorded a deed of reconveyance shall be governed by Section 76-2803.” Section 5 provides that a secured creditor “shall record or cause to be recorded, a deed of reconveyance or a release satisfaction of a mortgage or other security instrument, as applicable,  in the real property records of each county in which the trust deed, mortgage, or other security instrument is recorded after receiving a full payment or performance of the secured obligation and a written request by the trustor, mortgagor, or grantor, or the trustor’s, mortgagor’s, or grantor’s successor in interest or designated representative or by the holder of a junior trust deed, junior mortgage, or other junior security interest.”
The Commonwealth of Kentucky amended its provisions relating to contracts; when parties are bound to the interest rate in a contract and the interest rate parties are entitled to receive after default effective July 12, 2018. A new section of Kentucky Revised Statutes Chapter 371 is created as part of these amendments. This new section states that the obligation of an obligor to pay a debt is not extinguished by any action taken by an obligee; an obligee has the right to maintain its own records and may consider the obligation as not collectible, but this will not remove the obligation from the obligor’s responsibilities. The obligor maintains the right to prove that it has fully or partially paid the obligation in accordance with the terms of the agreement.
Three men were sitting and loitering on a park bench.
The one in the middle was reading a newspaper.
The others were pretending to fish. They baited imaginary hooks, cast lines, and reeled in their catch.
A passing policeman stopped to watch the spectacle and asked the man in the middle if he knew the other two.
“Oh yes,” he said. “They‘re my friends.”
“In that case,” warned the officer, “you’d better get them out of here – they’re crazy!”
“Yes, sir,” the man replied, and he began rowing furiously.
Visit 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, “With Regulations, Be Careful What You Wish For.” 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.
(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 Copyright 2018 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.)

July 20: LO jobs, POS product; flood, volcano, hurricane, and disaster news and lender updates

A Small Business Administration analysis found that about 90 percent of the country’s damage costs from natural disasters happen in ZIP codes with less than 20 percent of the country’s population. If you’re in the mood to see what that looks like on a map — or want advice of where not to move — the New York Times has done yeoman’s work in compiling more than a decade of disaster data.
Employment & promotions
Movement Mortgage announced this week that Tony Taveekanjana has returned as its third National Sales Director. Tony previously was Head of National Retail Sales at a well-known lender, and before that he spent five years at Movement in a variety of leadership roles, helping build Movement’s West Coast sales culture and organization. In his new role, Tony will report to CEO Casey Crawford and lead Movement’s sales force in five western sales regions, including Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii and Alaska. He is actively recruiting in all territories. Reach Tony by email to learn about opportunities. Tony joins Ignacio Metcalf (Mid-Atlantic and Central U.S.) and Deran Pennington (Southeast, Midwest, Northeast and New England) as Movement’s three national sales executives.
Better Mortgage Corporation, #NMLS 330511, is seeking experienced mortgage underwriters, processors and closers in New York City and San Francisco. “We are a fast-growing, tech-driven lender looking to disrupt the mortgage industry. We’ve funded over $1B in home loans since our launch in 2016, and we’re just getting started. Come work at an amazing company with great people (4.5/5 on Glassdoor), career opportunities, and highly competitive salaries and benefits! If you’re interested, please apply directly through our careers page or submit a resume to” Better is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin or disability.
PrimeLending opened a new branch in Mesa, Arizona, a popular hot-spot for first-time homebuyers looking for an affordable Valley of the Sun neighborhood to settle into. Like the temperatures in the Phoenix-area, signs in the market are pointed up — home values are rebounding to 2006-level highs, there’s an increase in the number of active builders and continued solid job growth. Branch Manager Scott Mendez and the entire Mesa team are perfectly positioned to meet the growing demand of millennial homebuyers looking for financing options to fit their needs. Whether it’s a purchase, new construction or renovation purchase, the new Mesa branch has answered the call with more than 400 loan products, a user-friendly digital experience, streamlined loan processing, and reliable, on-time closings. When you have the products, the people, the process and the personal service, success is simple at PrimeLending. If you’re ready to dominate your local market and scorch the competition, make the move to PrimeLending. Call Sherri White (469.737.5743) to get started. 
Center Street Lending is excited to announce that Joe Koroncey has joined its Sales Team as a Relationship Manager. Joe comes to Center Street Lending from New York Community Bank where he was responsible for wholesales sales in San Diego county. With over 16 years of experience in the financial industry, Joe has held account executive positions at Ethos Lending, Provident Bank and New Penn Financial. Joe earned his degree in business and marketing from Arizona State University. Center Street Lending has built a reputation as a premier private money, portfolio lender, providing business-purpose loans through wholesale and retail channels for investments in: fix and flip, fix and rent, buy and rent; buy, tear down and build; new construction, and bridge loans. Contact Joe for more information.
Caliber Home Loans, Inc. is proud to welcome back Rick Elmendorf as a Team Sales Manager and Caliber Military & VA Lending Red Team Lead in Fair Oaks, Virginia. Rick, a nationally ranked Loan Officer in the industry, is one of over 20 retail producers who have returned to Caliber in 2018! Caliber’s leadership and its suite of Portfolio Lending products are some of what he describes as the lender’s “massive competitive advantages.” Loan Consultants interested in joining Rick and the national network of producers can contact Jeremy DeRosa
Lender products
“Fintech + Your Borrowers = More Leads, More Loans with Zip POS. Originators today know fintech drives competitiveness and relevancy among consumers. By leveraging Zip® as your mobile point-of-sale, you increase prospects, efficiencies, and production. It is the only digital origination tool you can launch in minutes without a cumbersome delay or contract terms. After all, fintech shouldn’t slow you down. We power your pipeline with an expedited pre-qual, automatic verification of assets, digital doc exchange management and deliver an experience that your borrowers will love. And like you, fearless LO, we like to be first. That’s why Zip customers are ahead of the game with access to the new 2019 URLA.  Be a hero to your borrowers and gain an edge your competition can’t touch. Get a Zip demo today or join our next webinar.
Flood & disaster news
Let me be blunt – I’m jaded when it comes to Congress and the Administration doing something permanent when it comes to the flood program. It seems like every year or two the issue is punted. The National Flood Insurance Program is scheduled to expire July 31st. While I am sure Congress cares, is it going to do anything about this? Despite the industry’s best efforts, I’d say the odds of Congress, and the President, doing anything permanent about this (other than kicking the can down the road again) are nil.
But the industry can try, and the MBA, NAR, state organizations, and plenty of other special interest groups are asking members to contact their representatives and have Congress extend the program and avoid a lapse of coverage. Find your representatives (House of Representatives and US Senate) and ask them to do something!
Fannie Mae continues to support servicers with borrowers impacted by recent and future disasters, such as hurricanes and wildfires. Fannie Mae published Lender Letter LL-2018-04: Disaster Policy Reminders and Updates, reminding servicers it will reimburse for inspections required to confirm repairs on properties with an insured loss event for both current and delinquent mortgage loans. For properties inspected after the date of this Lender Letter, we will increase the maximum reimbursement limit of insured loss repair inspections from $30 to $60. It will reimburse servicers up to its existing allowable reimbursement limits for the costs to inspect properties impacted by a disaster for both current and delinquent mortgage loans when necessary to determine the extent and nature of the damage. The Fannie Mae Extend Modification for Disaster Relief (Extend Mod) and hazard loss draft proceeds disbursement policies found in Lender Letter-2017-09 remain in effect until further notice. Visit the Assistance in Disasters page for additional information and resources, including previous disaster-related Lender Letters, FAQs, and more
Freddie Mac is reminding Servicers to follow the requirements in Chapter 8404 of the Single-Family Seller/Servicer Guide (Guide) when servicing mortgages affected by eligible disasters. Also, servicers should remember that the following temporary servicing requirements for mortgages impacted by eligible disasters announced in Guide Bulletins 2017-21 and 2017-25 will remain in effect: Property inspection reimbursement, Freddie Mac Extend Modification for Disaster Relief, Changes to requirements for distribution of insurance loss settlements.
Review its Industry Letter for complete details.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued Hawaii Kilauea Volcanic Eruption and Earthquake (DR-4366) covering the entire island of Hawaii. For Conventional Conforming, Non-Conforming, and Guaranteed Rural Housing (GRH) Loans on properties located in Hawaii county as defined in FEMA DR-4366, Wells Fargo Funding is allowing Sellers to use alternative methods (lava flow maps, other mapping technology, etc.) to determine that no damage to the property has occurred.  This applies to FEMA declaration DR-4366 and does not extend to any other FEMA declarations issued for the Hawaiian Islands.  Sellers must still comply with Wells Fargo Funding’s representations and warranties, as well as investor requirements. There is no change to the exclusion that Wells Fargo Funding will not purchase loans on properties located in Lava Zones 1 or 2. Follow FHA and VA requirements for FHA and VA Loans on properties located in Hawaii county, as defined in FEMA DR-4366.
MBA and the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) are pleased to present a Spanish version of Disaster Recovery: A Resource for Homeowners, a consumer-facing informational guide. The guide outlines homeowner disaster preparedness and steps to recovery including who to communicate with about your mortgage, how to navigate the insurance process, and what forms of aid and disaster loans are generally available. (Stand by for Mandarin, French…)
Practically every investor’s disaster policies and procedures are driven off whether FEMA has declared a particular area a…disaster. And the best link is Floods, fires, volcanoes, or earthquakes, FEMA tracks them. And most lenders & investors have disasters policies that are triggered by FEMA’s declaring a disaster in an area.
For example, counties in Hawaii have been declared by FEMA as Major Disaster Areas for the Incident Period Date of May 03, 2018 and Major Disaster Declaration Date of May 11, 2018. FEMA announced federal disaster aid with Individual Assistance for 13 additional Indiana counties in the areas affected by Indiana Floods, DR-4363. Additional Counties in Hawaii, Honolulu county and Kauai county, have been declared by FEMA as Major Disaster Areas. 
Based on forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, CoreLogic has estimated that over seven million homes are at risk of storm surge during the upcoming hurricane season. This is the same forecast number as last year, when NOAA predicted a “near- or above-normal” hurricane season.
Pacific Union Financial is monitoring the impact of severe winter storms and flooding in Massachusetts, severe storms and flooding in Maryland, the impact of wildfires in Oklahoma, and the impact of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes in Hawaii. Lending partners with questions about Pacific Union and natural disasters should submit all questions to A response will be provided within 24 hours. (Only lenders may contact this email address. Do not share this email address with clients.)
PUF is monitoring the impact of severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides in West Virginia. Confirmation that the subject property has not been affected is required and includes borrower written certification of the condition of the property prior to clear to close by Pacific Union. FEMA has included West Virginia in its disaster declarations. Pacific Union requires certifications from Correspondents for properties in the affected county for purchase to occur.
Fifth Third Correspondent posted: the following areas have been declared a federal Disaster Area: severe storming and flooding for the Indiana counties of Carroll, Clark, Dearborn, Elkhart, Floyd, Fulton, Harrison, Jasper, Jefferson, Kosciusko, LaPorte, Lake, Marshall, Ohio, Porter, Pulaski, Spencer, St. Joseph, Starke, Switzerland, Vanderburgh and White. Tornado and severe storm in North Carolina’s Guilford and Rockingham Counties. Correspondent Lenders must adhere to Fifth Third’s Disaster Policy located in Chapter 7, Section C of the Correspondent Seller Guide Underwriting Guide and the disaster policy overlay in the Overlay Chart.
Sun West Mortgage posted an update regarding FEMA’s declaration of disaster for additional counties in Indiana.
Capital markets
As I mentioned yesterday, rates, up a little, down a little – not much moving them. Lenders are out there working on succeeding in their business models rather than reacting to rates moving. The 10-year closed -3bps to 2.85% as U.S. Treasuries ended Thursday with gains across the curve after three days of consecutive losses. Markets were roiled as President Trump said "I’m not thrilled" about the tightening path of monetary policy in a CNBC interview that will air today. On a more positive note, the low level of initial claims reported yesterday will feed expectations for another month of strong nonfarm payrolls growth.
Today sees no major economic releases of note, and we start with rates little changed from Thursday’s close: 2.85% on the 10-year and agency MBS prices up or down a few ticks based on coupon, maturity, and type.
Steven Wright quotes, part 3.
21 – Eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines.
22 – What happens if you get scared half to death twice?
23 – My mechanic told me, "I couldn’t repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder."
24 – Why do psychics have to ask you for your name.
25 – If at first, you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
26 – Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.
27 – The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread.
28 – To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.
29 – The sooner you fall behind, the more time you’ll have to catch up.
30 – If at first, you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.
Visit 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, “With Regulations, Be Careful What You Wish For.” 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.
(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 Copyright 2018 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.)

July 19: LO, corresp. jobs; jumbo & mfg. products; LO training & conferences; teams with different comp plans?

“Rob, are you hearing, now that the CFPB is perceived to have lost its teeth, that some lenders are providing their loan officers two different rate sheets?” Unfortunately, yes, I am hearing that, but hopefully it is an untrue rumor. It would certainly fly in the face of fair lending and would give another black eye to our industry. See note below from The Knowledge Coop’s Ken Perry regarding compliance issues on this. (By the way, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection has announced the appointment of Paul Watkins to lead the Bureau’s new Office of Innovation, and a confirmation hearing for Kathy Kraninger, President Trump’s pick to lead the CFPB, is scheduled today before the Senate Banking Committee.)
Employment & promotions
The RuraLiving team at Compeer Financial is pleased to announce the promotion of Jessica Sacre to Relationship Manager of the Midwest, and the addition of rural lending veteran Doug Gibney as the East Coast RM. “Jessica and Doug join West Coast RM Matt Feigner as we continue to champion rural home lending. Are your clients dreaming of living the country life to enjoy nature or to own an income producing hobby farm? Contact Compeer today.”
Planet Home Lending, LLC has an opening in its Correspondent Division. “We are looking for a Regional Sales Manager for the Northwest Region which includes northern California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska. Eligible candidates must reside in the region. Responsibilities will include maintaining, and growing Planet’s current customer base along with establishing new customer relationships to assist in Planet’s continued growth in the region.” If interested, please forward your resume to Eli Bennett.
Mortgages are moving digital and competitors are clamoring to keep-up. Houston-based Cornerstone Home Lending’s in-house Technology Innovation Team identified the digital need years ago, and now celebrates the 4th anniversary of rolling-out its proprietary LoanFly technology that leverages digital technology for anytime mobile access, improved Loan Officer efficiencies and better service. Cornerstone Loan Originators use their mobile devices on-the-go to pre-qualify borrowers, submit documents, check loan status, access their data bases, and get the information they need instantly in real time to close loans quickly, on-time, all the time. Innovative technology is one of the reasons that Cornerstone Loan Officers rank so high in Funded Loans per Loan Officer, averaging 8.2 funded units per Loan Officer in May 2018! Contact Tom Lott for more information.
Looking for a Great Place to Work? Find it at Evergreen Home LoansThe company continues its focus on being the best place to work in the industry. It was named the #1 BEST Place to work in Financial Services and Insurance and a top Best Workplace for Millennials by Fortune and Great Places to Work®. It was also recognized for the fifth straight year as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in Washington state by Seattle Business Magazine. Evergreen is passionate about their culture and to them, it’s more than just talk to get you in the door. Surveys show that their associates believe in the culture of Evergreen and are a central part of shaping who they are as an organization. Evergreen is hiring loan officers and candidates can learn more about the Evergreen culture here and find the latest job openings on the Careers page.
InterLinc Mortgage Services announced that Gene F. Thompson III, who has served as President since 2010, is now the Chief Operating Officer (COO). A 20-year veteran of the mortgage lending industry, Gene has been with InterLinc since 2007, where he has served as both Executive VP and President.
Velocity Mortgage Capital, a nationwide, direct portfolio lender that provides investment property loans for residential 1-4, multi-family, mixed-use and small balance commercial properties, has hired marketing veteran Michael Oddi as its Chief Marketing Officer.
Lender products
Mr. Cooper Correspondent is excited to announce the addition of Manufactured Home Loans to its product offering. This is an additional solution for lenders working with borrowers needing home financing options beyond traditional single-family dwellings. The product is Conventional and FHA eligible. “Aligned with our product roadmap, Mr. Cooper is in development of Temporary Buydowns, E-Notes, FHLMC HomeOne and Renovation Loans. We’re also pleased to announce Jennifer Verrilli, a seasoned mortgage industry executive, has joined Mr. Cooper Correspondent as VP of Underwriting and Credit Risk. Her immediate focus is the evaluation and implementation of new product initiatives, as well as continuing our emphasis on enhancing efficiencies. Mr. Cooper is a premier Correspondent and Co-Issue investor and the largest non-bank servicer with a servicing portfolio exceeding $500B.”
New Penn Financial’s Dream Big Jumbo loan provides “unparalleled jumbo financing so more families can secure their dream home. With generous criteria and expanded guidelines, the Dream Big Jumbo suite of 20, 25, and 30-year fixed rate mortgages offers quality borrowers up to $3 Million or financing up to 90% LTV. FICO 680+. The $750k cash out option really will allow your borrowers to fulfill their biggest DREAMS! Call your rep for more information or go to”
Do you know if your top originators are leaving at a faster pace than originators working for your peers? Many lenders maintain that they keep their core group and that turnover is limited to lower producing quintiles. Is this true? According to STRATMOR’s Originator Census, originator turnover in 2017 was 29.1 percent, and the rate varied dramatically for the top 20 percent versus the bottom 20 percent. What is your originator turnover, overall? Find out the answer to this question and more by participating in the 2018 STRATMOR Originator Census survey, now open for registration for Retail and Consumer Direct channels. Participants receive a customized summary report comparing their company data to industry averages. To participate in the survey, or to learn more about the Originator Census study, visit STRATMOR’s website or email STRATMOR Group.
Upcoming events and training
It may be July, but it is time to start getting ready to finish the year strong. Purchase business has slowed, and experts believe that to achieve higher volume in purchase originations, you MUST make sure you gain the competitive edge. This is an ultra-private success event presented by nmpU, a division of National Mortgage Professional Magazine, in which attendance is limited so reserve early to save your seat. The last nmpU Purchase Bootcamp in San Diego was sold out with originators from across the United States. 
Regardless of whether you earn $50,000 or $500,000 a year, this program will elevate your current production.  You will learn how to master the skills to unleash your power to develop a 100% purchase-based business. nmpU Purchase Bootcamp is backed by a $100,000 Income Increase Guarantee. Use discount code “Chrisman” and save an additional $200 off your tuition at the Purchase Bootcamp being held Saturday and Sunday, September 15-16 at the San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront Hotel. Learn more about this program here
Now is the perfect time to learn how HomeReady® mortgage can help more of your low- to moderate-income borrowers become homeowners with as little as 3% down. Join Fannie Mae on July 19th at 2PM ET for a live webinar geared toward loan officers (but open to all lenders and housing professionals). Learn how HomeReady features can help you serve more borrowers and close more loans with plenty of time to answer your questions.
Join CAMP Silicon Valley Chapter for its 2018 Installation Board Lunch, July 20th at Morton’s Steak House in San Jose. Lunch begins 11:30.
On July 24th at 9AM PT, join MWF for its webinar “Advantages of Using High Balance Loans in Today’s Marketplace” presented by Dale Delliquadri and Paul Isola.
On Monday, July 30th in Boston, the day before the AARMR Conference at the Park Plaza; join MCPAOA for its second annual workshop.
The Lenders One 2018 Summer Conference will be in Salt Lake City, Utah, August 5-8, at The Grand America. Attendees will be able to select from 16 curated education sessions led by industry experts. Topics include:  improving margins, generating business through MarTech, rethinking your compliance strategy and five Secondary Market panels.
The National MI trainings for the month of August feature three webinars. 1) August 8th, Freddie Mac’s Underwriting Income & Employment, 10 AM PST 2) August 9th, Advanced Self-Employed Borrower training 10 AM PST and 3) August 16th, Next Generation Marketing & Sales, 12:00 PM PST.
FHA is providing a free on-site training: FHA Credit Underwriting in Atlanta on August 14th. And FHA’s free, on site FHA Condominium Training in Atlanta on August 15th as well as a review of requirements for underwriting Standard 203(k) and Limited 203(k) products and related procedures.
The Mortgage Collaborative will be holding its 2018 Summer Conference at the fabulous Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago, IL from Sunday, August 19th through Tuesday, August 21st. That is also the weekend of the Chicago Air & Water Show, America’s largest air show. TMC has done something pretty neat with their conferences, they allow their lender members to dictate the content, format, and agenda of their events. The result? A myriad of lender-led, discussion-based breakout sessions each day on (very specific) topics and issues viewed as the most pertinent by their national network of lenders. Pretty cool events if you’ve never been. For more details, visit TMC or contact TMC COO Rich Swerbinsky.
It’s time to register for the 2018 MMLA Annual Lending Conference, August 15th–16th,
“Rolling with the Changes.” There will be nationally recognized industry and motivational speakers. A full schedule of golf, educational sessions, social receptions and indulgent dinners. Also, there is built-in time to make those important business connections, free time to catch up on work…or just relax at the resort. 
On September 13th, OMBA is hosting its first annual Loan Production Conference. Trainings include growing your business utilizing LinkedIn, staying compliant using Social Media and Turn Up the Volume with a 3-hour sales training experience.
The Northeast Conference of Mortgage Brokers and Professionals is coming up September 23rd-25th in Atlantic City. This years’ conference highlights topics such as the impact of recent court decisions and CFPB enforcement actions on mortgage servicing agreements, wire fraud and how to avoid it, and the current structure of and future planning for the CFPB.
LO’s have two rates sheets? Ken Perry with The Knowledge Coop sends, “In this incredibly competitive market we are seeing companies sharpen their pencils and unfortunately they are factoring in the decreased risk of BCFP (CFPB) enforcement and stretching their comp plans in dangerous ways. What people need to remember is that liability for illegal comp plans lies on the head of both the loan officer and the company. One example of risk we are seeing is when the company allows 2 different pay plans using teams. If a borrower doesn’t like the rate, the loan originator can refer the deal to somebody on a lower comp plan to fund in their name. The LO still gets the whole payment. So, the rate is tied directly to the comp plan and it is changing based on loan terms. It’s exactly what the CFPB wrote about in the comp rule. It will take a state to enforce this as the bureau has backed off so much, but I do expect to see something on this in the future.”
Capital markets
Rates, up a little, down a little – not much moving them. Lenders are out there working on succeeding in their business models rather than reacting to rates moving. Yesterday U.S. Treasuries, and MBS prices, ended on a modestly lower note and the 10-year closed yielding 2.87%. The slope of the yield curve steepened a touch, as the 2s10s spread widened by a basis point to 26 bps while the 2s30s spread ended the day two basis points wider at 38 bps. But does the slope of the yield curve matter any longer?
We had disappointing Housing Starts and Building Permits numbers – unfortunately at a time when each should show strength. More talk of the difficulty builders have finding labor, as well as the constraints they are facing with higher land, labor, and material costs. Yet the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book for June noted that contacts in ten out of twelve districts reporting moderate or modest growth.
This morning we’ve had weekly jobless claims (-8k to 207k, lowest since 1969) and the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Survey (25.7 – strong). Ahead are June’s leading economic indicators and the NY Fed’s report on MBS purchases for the week ending July 18 (expect a total of $2.9 billion net). Rates are up from last night’s close with the 10-year yielding 2.90% and agency MBS prices worse .125.
Steven Wright quotes, part 2.

11 – I almost had a psychic girlfriend, …… But she left me before we met.

12 – OK, so what’s the speed of dark?
13 – How do you tell when you’re out of invisible ink?
14 – If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
15 – Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
16 – When everything is coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.
17 – Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.
18 – Hard work pays off in the future; laziness pays off now.
19 – I intend to live forever… So far, so good.
20 – If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?
Visit 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, “With Regulations, Be Careful What You Wish For.” 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.
(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 Copyright 2018 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.)

July 18: LO & AE jobs, pricing, efficiency, & operations products; California DRE changes

“Your loan officer should be given the opportunity to succeed elsewhere.” Ever heard a CEO recommend that to a branch manager regarding a poorly performing LO? Here in San Francisco, at the Western Secondary Conference, the talk is focused on secondary marketing and Fannie’s lower estimate of 2018’s volumes ($1.69 trillion). But LO performance and compensation creep into the conversation any time you have owners and CEOs in one room. Recently I wrote, “No one wants to be ‘the first penguin in the water’ when it comes to making LO compensation changes. But done the right way, these changes can have a very positive impact on an independent’s bottom line and chances of survival.” Lenders are heading toward taking LO comp monies and putting them toward better leads, better back office services, and better pricing. 80 basis points on something is better than 140 basis points on nothing, right?
Level One Bank, a community bank headquartered in SE Michigan, remains committed to the growth of its Mortgage Division. After nearly doubling the size of the Mortgage Sales and Operations team in 2018, “Level One Bank is looking to add experienced producing teams or high producing individuals to join our family of mortgage professionals. We have a collaborative culture providing access to all decision makers including management, processing, and underwriting. In addition to our full suite of conventional/government loans, we offer great portfolio products like construction, physician, and jumbo loans. The Mortgage team has the support of our marketing department, executive team and Board of Directors. Contact us today to learn more about the career opportunities at Level One Bank.”
Wintrust Mortgage is growing its correspondent lending division by adding two experienced Account Representatives to help cover the country. Sam Alecci has been brought on to develop the Northeast region (NJ, NY, PA and CT) and Marisa Murphy will help spearhead the West (UT, CO, WY and NM). If you are interested in working with a first-class organization that treats their customers like family while offering a diverse menu of loan products, give Julie Janssen, Wintrust Mortgage’s Correspondent Account Manager, a call at 847.939.9390. She will be happy to make sure you get the attention you deserve! And, if you are a Retail group looking for a new home with a bank-owned mortgage company, contact Bob Shield, EVP of National Sales (847.939.9361) for a confidential discussion.
Strong History. Bold Future. Stearns Lending, LLC, has entered into an agreement to acquire an equity interest in Certainty Home Loans, LLC, as part of the Stearns Preferred Partnership Program. This move will broaden Stearns market presence and geographical footprint resulting in accelerated growth in the Stearns retail channel. “These types of partnerships bring together complementary businesses with similar cultures, values and a joint commitment to delivering exceptional service,” said Stearns CEO David Schneider. Combining Stearns industry leading technology, direct access to capital market expertise, and operational excellence with Certainty’s retail platform will result in a partnership beneficial to both companies. This structure leverages the experience Stearns has with its current Joint Venture business model which currently operates under ten different brands nationwide. As many struggle to adapt to the changing market, Stearns is taking bold steps to build a stronger business model in the industry. Don’t just watch us, join us.
GSF Mortgage announced the immediate expansion of its Conventional Single Close Construction product: primary and second homes, one unit, 95% LTV, 680 FICO, 45% DTI. This product does not require requalification of the borrower at conclusion of the build. No interest paid during the construction phases and it is a true one time close. For Retail Branch Opportunities please reach out to Chad Jampedro.  Correspondent Lender Opportunities please reach out Bruce Olster.
MorVest Capital has a new EVP for expansion of liquidity and MSR advisory services: Ruth Lee. MorVest Capital is a financial services advisory firm specializing in liquidity and capital solutions for mortgage bankers, including MSR accumulation, valuation, finance and brokerage. “As our clients experience more liquidity challenges, we bring trusted, seasoned experience to bear in managing either the leverage or disposition of their MSR assets.”
Lender products
Adam Mason, Executive Vice President, COO at Gershman Mortgage (St. Louis, MO) notes, “We were fortunate to have the foresight to utilize the services of DocProbe in advance of the current margin compression the industry is experiencing. DocProbe allowed us to move our Trailing Docs function to a variable cost model while adding operational efficiency. This move allows us to focus on building our business and cut operational costs. Our dedicated DocProbe account rep knows our business and ensures that all documents are error free and sent to the investors in time. Great company, great service, great team.” Here at the Western Secondary the last few days, we heard much about cost cutting by moving to a variable cost model. Find out why correspondents and investors are working with DocProbe, specifically in today’s climate, to cut costs and work with a partner who understands the business. To learn more, reach out to Nick Erlanger or Steve Rimmer
My cat Myrtle is quite prolific on social media these days. Most lenders are allowing loan officers to use Facebook and LinkedIn to promote their services. How is your company monitoring those posts to ensure compliance with your own company policies? It’s been a challenge. Until now. SocialMonitor is now live in beta testing. SocialSurvey partners may monitor all connected social media feeds in their account. This simple & smart monitoring platform works like an inbox. It can focus on specific keywords in posts. Since LO users have already connected SocialSurvey to their social networks for reviews sharing, launching the product takes only minutes. It was designed by SocialSurvey customers and is available to partners now! Click to read the full article.
New technology and digital mortgage services have flooded the industry recently, and for good reason. For years, many mortgage lenders have procrastinated adopting digital technology to improve efficiency in their operations, making it harder to attract and satisfy new customers. Late-bloomers are finally coming around, though, as we are seeing more and more lending teams actively researching and purchasing technology solutions to help their business. With this, it’s hard to know the right questions to ask to help you find the right technology vendor. A newly released eBook – “Digital Mortgage Buyer’s Guide” – shines light on this process, touching on questions to ask and areas to focus on for those considering adopting new digital mortgage technology in their business. An exclusive to Rob Chrisman subscribers today (and a must-read for all lending professionals), Download your complimentary copy here.
Floify, the mortgage industry’s #1 point-of-sale solution, understands the need for LOs to have an efficient way to consolidate borrower documentation, without the stress of moving from application to application to collect files. With their comprehensive, end-to-end mortgage automation platform, Floify has been helping LOs save time and money by allowing them to eliminate the need for third-party document storage services like Dropbox or Google Drive, by safely housing an unlimited number of your borrowers’ files within the fully-encrypted Floify platform. Floify even auto-converts mobile photos to PDFs upon upload, which means you can seamlessly deploy to your LOS in the blink of an eye. When you implement Floify into your mortgage operation, you can focus on generating new business and keeping clients engaged, while letting their robust point-of-sale solution handle the heavy lifting. To experience to power of Floify’s document management system, request a live demo today.
Does your pricing seem a little bit too high? Are you losing deals over rates? Is your ability to earn money limited by your company’s high pricing? If you answered yes to any of these, chances are your company has too much padding or extra margin built into their rates, costing you money, deals, and possibly even referral relationships! Even worse, some companies build even more padding into your rates when their business slows down to keep their ‘high-profit appetite’ fed. Now there’s a way to see ‘behind the curtain’ to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. Check out this "Pricing Lie Detector" –a free tool that shows you in 10 seconds how much money you may be leaving on the table due to over-inflated rate sheets from your company.
State (California), legal and compliance
Here’s a story worth some attention about bankers calling for TRID revisions for single family construction loans. (Good in theory, but critics will say, “Just what we need: lenders who can ill afford it spending huge sums to have different compliance procedures and policies based on property.”)
Since California accounts for nearly ¼ of residential origination volume, it’s good to know what’s happening there.
From California Josh Rosenthal with Medlin & Hargrave writes, “I wanted to let you know, that as of July 9, 2018, the commissioner of the (now) Department of Real Estate is no longer Wayne Bell.  As of July 16, 2018, there still has been no official announcement. The new acting commissioner will be the Chief Deputy Commissioner, Daniel Sandri. There is conjecture that this leadership change is in some way connected to the reorganization of the agency from the Bureau of Real Estate, a bureau within the California Department of Consumer Affairs, back to the California Department of Real Estate, an independent agency. We are happy to talk to your readers about licensing issues and if this shakeup could affect enforcement and discipline.” (Also, Medlin & Hargrave has a new web site.)
A symposium in Los Angeles is one of several planned to discuss how to increase the supply of affordable housing in California, and nationwide. Co-hosted by Fannie Mae and the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate, information on the discussion is available here.
Capital markets
Long-term rates are a product of supply and demand, as are housing prices. Thousands of single family homes have been removed from the first-time home buyer market by being purchased by large firms – such is life. The REO-to-Rental Trade was a big winner over the past several years as hedge funds and pension funds bought foreclosed properties for pennies on the dollar, fixed them up and rented them out, earning high single digit returns. As home prices rise, you would think these people will start ringing the register. Turns out they are doubling down. Professional investors are buying up homes in urban areas with good schools. This is making things even tougher for the first-time homebuyer who is struggling to find a starter home. As Brent Nyitray points out, “That said, it isn’t a ridiculous number – last year major investors bought 29,000 homes, which is a drop in the bucket compared to total existing home sales of 5.45 million.”
Looking at the bond market, rates were unchanged yesterday as Fed Chairman Jay Powell delivered the semiannual testimony on monetary policy to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, without surprise. Chair Powell, who faces the House Financial Service Committee today, shared an optimistic view of the U.S. economy, making the case for continued gradual hikes to the federal funds rate range. The capacity utilization rate ticked up to 78.0% in June from a downwardly revised 77.7% in May, narrowly missing expectations. Manufacturing output bounced back sharply, reflecting good underlying demand, after a low May reading.
Today’s economic calendar started with MBA mortgage applications for the week ending July 13: -2.5% with refis accounting for a little over 1/3 of all applications. We’ve also had June Housing Starts (-12.3%, worse than expected) and Building Permits (-2.2%). Fed Chair Powell returns for another go-around on the Hill at 10AM when he testifies before the House Financial Services Committee. Finally, the Fed will release the latest Beige Book at 2PM ET. Today’s earnings releases include updates from US Bancorp and Morgan Stanley before the open with Dow components IBM and American Express scheduled to report after the close. The day begins, surprise, with rates little changes from where they’ve been for weeks: the 10-year is yielding 2.85% and agency MBS prices are up a couple ticks versus last night’s close.
Steven Wright quotes, part 1.
1 – I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.
2 – Borrow money from pessimists-they don’t expect it back.
3 – Half the people you know are below average.
4 – 99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
5 – 827% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
6 – A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.
7 – A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
8 – If you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain.
9 – All those who believe in psychokinesis, raise my hand.
10 – The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
Visit 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, “With Regulations, Be Careful What You Wish For.” 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.
(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 Copyright 2018 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.)

July 17: Teams looking for homes, AE & LO jobs; sales & broker products; Freddie & Fannie updates

“What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.” While you ruminate on that one, there continues to be evidence and reminders that potential home buyers are having trouble coming up with “skin in the game,” aka, a down payment. It would take an average of 36 years for someone earning the median income in D.C. to save for a 20% down payment on a median-priced house, according to a recent report from U.S. Mortgage Insurers. Of course, LOs will tell you that a common misconception borrowers have is that 20% is the minimum down payment. Still, try being a teacher in San Francisco earning $70k/year saving up for a median-priced $1.6 million home.
Employment and personnel moves
Recognized by Inc. 5000 as one of the fastest growing private companies in the nation for six years running, AmeriFirst Home Mortgage has added Brian Morris to its team as Area Manager and Loan Officer of the Raleigh, N.C. area. Throughout his career Brian has made it a priority to build relationships and successfully help his customers achieve homeownership success. A top producing loan officer, he and his team will provide a full range of purchase and refinance loan options.  Coming soon…Real Estate Digital Marketing / Social Media Classes. For more details contact Brian Morris (919-624-7077).
An Atlanta-based Executive Management team with nearly 100 years of expertise, which includes cradle to grave originations and servicing, is looking for their newest opportunity to grow and build a culture of excellence. The team is experienced in wholesale, distributed retail and Consumer Direct lending and has a successful history of achieving substantial growth by building high performing management/ops teams, managing P&L expectations and focusing on continuous improvements. The results driven team is experts at strategic planning to optimize processes, improve customer service while staying focused on profitability, risk and the regulatory environment. If you are looking to take your organization to the next level, please email
A current EVP/CXO executive is looking for new opportunities. The Candidate is licensed and experienced in Consumer Direct, Process Design & Improvement, Data Analytics, Digital Transformation, Artificial Intelligence, Technology Stacks and their integration, Operations, Marketing, Vendor Management & proficient in Sales Training, Sales Management, and Telephony. Interested parties can send me a note; please excuse delays in response due to travel.
Caliber Home Loans, Inc. is committed to increasing opportunities for home ownership, which is why they launched an innovative jumbo financing option, Caliber Elite Access. Caliber created Elite Access in response to rising property prices to benefit buyers in high-cost markets. Elite Access borrowers may qualify for up to $3 million in loan funds with a little as 5% down, 700 FICO score and 90% LTV. New home owners may save even more after closing, as mortgage insurance is never required. This is an example of how Caliber can respond to the changing needs of the marketplace faster than mainstream banks. Loan Officers seeking to work for a leading lender with such a wide range of competitive products, should visit or contact Jeremy DeRosa. Elite Access is part of the Caliber Portfolio Lending suite of loan solutions and is currently available.
Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions is fresh off another record quarter! To better support the substantial growth and the expected future growth, AOMS is announcing several staff promotions. Tom Hutchens is now EVP, Production and will be charged with continuing the expansion of both the Wholesale and Correspondent channels. Mel Freyre takes over management of the wholesale sales channel as Senior Vice President, Wholesale Sales. In addition, John JeanmonodJohn Wise and Moises Bonet have been promoted to Regional Sales Managers. Jeanmonod is taking over Florida and Texas. Wise is responsible for the Northwest with Bonet taking over management of the Inside Sales team. All have been instrumental in the extraordinary growth over the past 12 months and will have an even greater impact in their new roles. To continue to educate and promote non-QM to brokers and correspondents, Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions is looking at add Account Executives across the country. Join the leader in non-QM by visiting to learn more! 
Roostify announced three executive appointments: Syed Ijaz as Chief Customer Officer, Kevin Levitt as VP of Sales, and Eric Drattell as General Counsel. “The leadership expansion takes place as Roostify continues to grow its footprint in the lending industry, processing more than $6B monthly in loans across its platform.”
Lender products
In today’s competitive housing market, lenders need to exploit every opportunity to be more efficient in their loan process. Lenders can spend a lot of money out-of-pocket early on to help applicants – even when those applicants end up not qualifying for a loan or go with another mortgage company. So losing potential borrowers at the beginning of the mortgage process leaves lenders footing the bill for these expenses, adding unnecessary costs to an already overstrained business model. To help save on upfront costs, download this whitepaper from Informative Research and learn about how you can start investing in more qualified borrowers and read about real-world case studies. By understanding the market and utilizing the best techniques, lenders can start saving right away and have more impact on the ratio of applications to closings – ultimately helping their margins.
Looking to improve operational efficiency, but don’t have an in-house IT Department? Spruce, the leading digital title & escrow company has got it covered. Spruce’s zero-cost integration caters to lenders of all shapes and sizes, from an out-of-the-box solution using their web interface to a fully built-out API solution. Whether you’re doing e-closings or not, leveraging Spruce’s technology, including an easy-to-use borrower portal, will set your consumer experience ahead of the pack. To find out more or schedule a demo, click here.
After implementing two other solutions, Intercoastal Mortgage has found success using Total Expert to accelerate its sales and marketing efforts. “Since implementation in January, the Total Expert Marketing Operating System has propelled our sales and marketing efforts while ensuring we abide by industry regulations,” said Tom Pyne, President & COO at Intercoastal Mortgage. “The platform has positioned us for growth by enabling personal branding within the enterprise and encouraging co-marketing. This will differentiate our loan officers’ marketing efforts to borrowers and referral partners. After implementing two other solutions, we are extremely satisfied with the Total Expert MOS and consider them a true technology partner.” Intercoastal Mortgage Company, NMLS ID # 56323, Equal Housing Lender.
New Penn Financial announced the launch of a new piggyback product, now available in its Wholesale Lending division and coming soon in the Direct-to-Consumer and Retail Lending business channels. “Find solutions for your borrowers up to 95% financing with this piggyback loan! The New Penn HELOC is paired with a wide variety of first lien products. Qualifying at a lower LTV can mean lower rates. And no MI puts more of your borrowers’ money directly into their investment each month! First time buyers can qualify for low down payment options. Solid financial options for solid borrowers! Call your rep for more information or go to”
What’s a digital app worth? “Stearns Wholesale thinks it’s worth .125 bps. That’s right! Borrowers who complete a digital 1003 through our digital mortgage app, bsnap, receive a .125 bps pricing improvement. What better reason to push this ultimate broker tool to your borrowers now! Our bsnap mobile app keeps things moving quickly and securely, and can be branded with your company logo and info. Not only can borrowers can complete a digital 1003 and get .125 bps back, they can, e-sign forms, share photos of loan documents, and view loan details like loan type, rate, term, payments, closing date and more. Built-in communications and reminders make it easy for borrowers to get in touch with their mortgage team. Did we mention your logo and branding are included, at no cost? Get bsnap and get an edge – sign up for training July 18th or reach out today to learn more.
Fannie & Freddie news
Fannie Mae announced that Antony Jenkins has been elected to the Board of Directors. Mr. Jenkins served as Group Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the Board of Directors at Barclays PLC, one of the world’s largest banks, and is a digital banking technology executive with extensive fintech expertise. He has been appointed to the Strategic Initiatives and Technology Committee and the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee.
Fannie Mae rolled out its Enterprise-Paid Mortgage Insurance (EPMI) Option. Fannie Mae announced a new Enterprise Paid Mortgage Insurance (EPMI) pilot that provides lenders with another option, alongside borrower-paid or lender-paid mortgage insurance, for obtaining MI that meets Fannie Mae’s requirements for high loan-to-value loans (>80% LTV loans). The new lender option enables Fannie Mae to streamline participating lenders’ operational requirements, increase certainty of coverage for the company’s credit investor partners, and help Fannie Mae better manage counter party risk. The EPMI pilot was created based on the company’s mandate to identify new opportunities to transfer credit risk away from Fannie Mae and taxpayers, and was based on input from lenders and private mortgage insurers. Benefits of the program include eliminating the exposure that a lender has to rescission risk and establishing a level playing field for participating lenders by offering competitive and consistent pricing. “We’re trying to develop options for lenders to simplify their processes,” said Rob Schaefer, Vice President, Credit Enhancement Strategy & Management at Fannie Mae. “EPMI was created for lenders of all sizes: small, medium, and large. Lenders will decide whether this option makes sense for them and that will determine the success of the pilot. We expect most lenders will continue to buy MI the way they currently do. No lender will be forced to use EPMI. And, our existing MI partners will continue to play a key role in providing insurance coverage to lenders, as they do now through BPMI and LPMI coverage, or by participating through their affiliates on the reinsurance panels writing coverage for EPMI.”
The Developer Portal release added two new API equivalents of existing Fannie Mae Connect™ servicing reports. You can use the Whole Loan Purchase Advice and Committing and Draft Fee Notifications APIs to automate workflows and customize Fannie Mae Connect report data for your business processes. Find these and other APIs on Fannie Mae’s catalog and learn more in the Quick Start Guide.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (GSEs) have announced additional details for Phase 3 of the Uniform Loan Delivery Dataset (ULDD). This announcement outlines new enumerations and updates to ULDD data points. For more information, view the updated Loan Delivery FAQs and ULDD FAQs, ULDD Specification Appendix A and Appendix D, and more on the ULDD page.
The 2018 income limits have now been implemented in Desktop Underwriter® (DU®) and the HomeReady Income Eligibility Lookup tool. The updated census tract lookup spreadsheet and income eligibility summary are available on the Fannie Mae website.
Fannie Mae has updated its fraud alert, "Misrepresentation of Borrower Employment" (originally posted on May 24), which identified apparently fictitious employers being used on loan applications in Southern California. Updates include the addition of two more apparently non-existent employers, the removal of one entry on the list, and an expanded "red flags" list with sample exhibits. View the updated fraud alert and other resources on its Mortgage Fraud Prevention page.
Capital markets
Rates? Every day, a little up, a little down, although many days borrowers wouldn’t notice the difference on rate sheets. Yesterday they went up a little bit as bond prices dropped (there’s an inverse relationship) after a solid Retail Sales report for June nudged the yield on the 10-year up to a close of 2.86%. An increase in consumer spending is going to factor prominently in driving a strong acceleration in Q2 GDP growth. The United States filed complaints against China, the EU, Canada, Mexico, and Turkey at the World Trade Organization over the imposition of retaliatory tariffs. Really?
For thrills and chills today, we have round one of Fed Chair Powell’s visit to the Hill to speak on the semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress starting with the Senate Banking Committee, where his prepared remarks are due for release at 10AM ET followed by Q&A. June industrial production and capacity utilization will be released, as well as the July NAHB Housing Market Index. Tuesday starts with the 10-year at 2.85% and agency MBS prices nearly unchanged versus Monday’s close.
A woman went to the doctor’s office where she was seen by one of the younger doctors. After about four minutes in the examination room, she burst out screaming as she ran down the hall. An older doctor stopped her and asked what the problem was, and she told him her story.  After listening, he had her sit down and relax in another room. The older doctor marched down the hallway back to where the young doctor was writing on his clipboard.
"What’s the matter with you?" the older doctor demanded. "Mrs. Terry is 71 years old, has four grown children and seven grandchildren, and you told her she was pregnant?"
The younger doctor continued writing and without looking up said, "Does she still have the hiccups?"
Visit 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, “With Regulations, Be Careful What You Wish For.” 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.
(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 Copyright 2018 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.)

July 16: Ops & LO jobs; broker & POS products; blockchain transaction; input on DACA loans

When Costco rolled out its mortgage option to members, many lenders were very concerned. But despite great potential, Costco/First Choice has not become the #1 lender in America. I heard something interesting last week: Costco doesn’t make much money selling products, it makes all profits from membership fees. Despite Bank of America’s great quarterly results this morning, lots of lenders aren’t making much money selling their products either, unfortunately, and the number of residential lenders who haven’t adjusted their headcount, compensation plans, or business models in reaction is dwindling. (The latest example is job cuts at State Farm.) If a branch or channel hasn’t been profitable for a while, ask what’s going to happen, if anything, to reverse that? CEOs are asking, “Unless revenue moves higher, or costs lower as we wrap up summer and head into autumn, why hang on to that branch or division?”
Jobs & personnel moves
Nations Direct Mortgage is pleased to announce the addition of three veteran Regional Sales Managers: Colin Field (West), David Grosteffon (Mountain), and Brian Gillespie (Northeast). NDM specializes in residential mortgage loans including FHA, conventional, USDA, 203K, VA, Non-QM and jumbo through its Broker and Mini-Corr offering. Despite today’s market challenges, NDM continues to grow each month by leveraging its skilled operations team that closes loans at an average of 20 days. EVP Rey Maninang, states “We’re proud to have a best-in-class AE comp plan, positive atmosphere and honored to be named a Top Workplace in Orange County for the past three years. Adding these high caliber sales leaders further strengthens our growth strategy.” If you’re interested in joining a talented team that truly values their employees, send your resume to Director of Lending, Martin Warren.
Better Mortgage Corporation, #NMLS 330511, is seeking experienced mortgage underwriters, processors, and closers in New York City and San Francisco. “We are a fast-growing, tech-driven lender looking to disrupt the mortgage industry. We’ve funded over $1B in home loans since our launch in 2016, and we’re just getting started. Come work at an amazing company with great people (4.5/5 on Glassdoor), career opportunities, and highly competitive salaries and benefits! If you’re interested, please apply directly through our careers page or submit a resume to Better is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin or disability.”
National employee survey results conducted on companies throughout the U.S. by Hearst Publications named Cornerstone Home Lending to its exclusive list of TOP WORKPLACES in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Denver, Oklahoma City and Austin. In addition, CEO Marc Laird was honored as the Houston company CEO of the year. Cornerstone’s President and COO Judy Belanger says, “What an honor to win these awards based upon our team member ratings. Having a written Mission, Vision and Convictions statement as our guide, continuously seeking valuable input from our team members, and implementing their ideas for company improvement are the keys to Cornerstone’s ongoing success — with the added benefit of Happy Team Members!”
Congrats to Debra Montgomery who Union Bank Home Loans has added as managing director and Pacific Northwest region manager for its private mortgage division. She will be managing the team of private mortgage consultants who specialize in offering home lending products and services to the bank’s private bank clients and prospects.
Lender products
TMS Wholesale continues to Grow Happiness for its broker partners by creating a unique digital mortgage experience. The latest from TMS is a new online LE feature that allows brokers to generate and disclose an LE in a matter of minutes—and in just a couple of clicks—inside their proprietary LOS system KISS (Keep It Super Simple) for all new submissions starting July 2, 2018. As an added benefit, TMS has announced they will continue to accept external LEs, generated in the broker’s LOS. According to James Hooper, TMS SVP of Wholesale Sales, “We understand some clients like that control and, in today’s market, it’s all about ease of use. We also love to give clients options to keep them happy.” Visit to learn more or contact James Hooper SVP of Wholesale to learn more.
Effective today, Alight, Inc. — parent company of Alight Mortgage Solutions, the leading provider of cloud-based applications for budgeting, forecasting, financial reporting and scenario analysis for the mortgage industry — has changed its name to Riivos, Inc. “Unlike most software companies, Riivos is dedicated to the unique needs of specific industries, combining cutting edge cloud technology with the insight of industry experts, and our name change is part of a broader strategy designed to position Riivos for continued success. In mortgage, Riivos connects your organization to the data that comprises the mortgage value chain — GL, LOS, payroll, BI and other systems — allowing you to see your whole business in a way that is natural to you, enabling collaborative discovery, exploration, analysis, and tracking of opportunities that optimize financial performance and value creation. At Riivos Mortgage, we are committed to the mortgage industry and building a stronger future for our mortgage customers. Want to see for yourself why our bank and non-bank customers choose Riivos? Contact us to schedule a demo with Scott Walker.  
“Rising mortgage origination costs!” and similarly discouraging headlines seem to be a common theme in our industry lately. LOs, branch managers, and major enterprises are under increasing pressure to decrease costs to make their mortgage operation more profitable and competitive in a marketplace that is steadily transitioning to high-ROI, digital point-of-sale solutions. Fortunately, industry leaders like Floify have made this move easier than ever. With Floify, mortgage pros are instantly creating new efficiencies and reducing workload by automating the mortgage origination process between LOs and their borrowers. In fact, Floify’s point-of-sale has become so efficient that many LOs have eliminated the process of emailing borrowers to request their supporting documentation, which until now, was a process that hindered productivity and increased origination costs. To experience the power and efficiency of Floify, and how it can improve the ROI of your mortgage operation, request a live demo.
Digital world marches on
Here we have the “first fully-recorded Blockchain real estate transaction in U.S. history. The Bitcoin-to-Bitcoin sale of 10 acres of land in Southern California was processed through Propy’s Transaction Platform. A California licensed realtor, Kate Fomina, represented both Luke Carriere, the buyer, and Diana Dominguez, the seller. Carriere paid Dominguez in BTC for 10 acres of vacant land in Kern County, California. When the transaction began, Fomina was in Hong Kong, Carriere was in New York, Dominguez was in Northern California, and the escrow agent was in the San Francisco Bay Area. Aside from the notary signing for the seller, the entire cross-border purchase process occurred online through Propy’s Transaction Platform, and the title deed was recorded on the Propy Blockchain Title Registry and therefore on the public Ethereum blockchain.”
LendingQB has partnered with STRATMOR Group, the leading mortgage industry advisory firm to provide lenders the MortgageSAT Borrower Satisfaction Program. This integration helps customers of LendingQB survey every borrower within 24 hours of closing. Direct, instant borrower feedback, along with deep insights about the loan process and the people involved, enables lenders to pinpoint sources of borrower dissatisfaction and quickly take corrective action. MortgageSAT scores everyone (the LO, Processor, Underwriter and Closer) and measures the borrower’s perception of the entire loan process with analysis by region, branch, and individual employee. Through this integration, lenders who have previously been limited to measuring success based only on internal measurements and historical results now have access to benchmarking data that shows how their satisfaction and Net Promoter Score (NPS) compare to their peer lenders. MortgageSAT’s National Benchmark data is available 24/7 in a real-time web portal.

Fannie & Freddie & DACA
Shifting F&F from government conservatorship isn’t a hot election topic in November. And remember that only Congress (remember Congress?) can privatize Fannie and Freddie, but the Administration’s government reorganization plan is looking to do just that. Under the plan, mortgage-backed securities issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and their competitors would have a federal guarantee only "in limited, exigent circumstances," the OMB plan states. Only Congress can privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and no bills have been introduced that would do so.
Not that DACA loans are a huge percent of any lender’s business, but it is good to know policy. “Rob, a group of us recently returned from the Fannie Mae Conference in San Diego. DACA was a big topic of discussion. The Fannie Underwriting leadership preempted the conversations by saying that we would be disappointed that they will not give a definitive yes or no. They continued to say that their guidelines are not always ‘prescriptive’ (that was the term they used to say that you had to follow an exact list or process). DACA falls into the non-prescriptive category. If a lender acts in good faith and believes that DACA people are ‘legally present’ then they simply need to provide the appropriate documentation. The reasoning behind not having a prescriptive guideline to this is that they do not always know ALL the possible documentation to substantiate legal presence. They further elaborated saying that DACA is not a ‘gotcha’ land mine of Fannie’s. The entire DACA issue boils down to the lender documenting a legal presence. The group consensus was that since DHS views DACA as ‘lawfully present’ that it fits Fannie’s criteria of being ‘legally present’.
“Hi Rob, thank you for the information regarding DACA / C-33 applicants. We learned that Fannie identifies the attached federal court document serves as the reasonable basis for determining such NonPermResidents are legally present in this country. Our most recent applicant in this category wasn’t utilizing Conventional financing but instead was utilizing his VA eligibility, as he served two tours in Iraq and was issued his Certificate of Eligibility by the VA.  The Certificate of Eligibility is literally the document confirming the Vet is eligible for a VA home loan.”
For the court case, find Case 3:17-cv-05211-WHA Document 234 Filed 01/09/18 Page 1 of 49. This is the DACA opinion out of California. The court opines that DACA recipients "are not considered unlawfully present", which written in the double-negative renders DACA recipients to be legally present. The court also says that DACA recipients who have work authorizations are allowed “to become part of the mainstream workforce and contribute openly to our economy,” which certainly indicates that they are here legally.
Inflation, although much-discussed, hasn’t been a problem for decades. Yes, consumers see price increases of various things periodically, but overall it has been tame. CPI likely rose a predictable 0.2 percent in June amid steady gains in the core index, as solid demand and rising input costs point to inflation firming. The upward climb began in the middle of last year and has continued, despite soft data. Inflation has become a much lower hurdle on the Fed’s path to normalize policy over the past year. But the inflationary trend remains higher amid solid consumer spending and businesses facing higher input costs for materials and labor. Core CPI trending higher is consistent with the Fed’s more closely watched core PCE deflator running at 2 percent, which it finally hit in May.
Rates dropped slightly on Friday, with the 10-year closing down 2bps at 2.83% as the day was relatively light in headlines. The Federal Reserve did release its semiannual Monetary Policy Report which showed little concern over recent strength in the U.S. dollar and did not point to discomfort among policymakers about staying on the tightening path. Fed Chairman Powell will appear before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on Tuesday to deliver the semiannual report and answer questions from lawmakers. The University of Michigan’s preliminary Consumer Sentiment Survey for July dipped, revealing negative concerns about the impact of trade tariffs are rising among the top third of the income distribution, who account for half of consumer spending. Additionally, consumers under the age of 45 are anticipating the largest income gains since July 2000. Import/export YoY changes showed an uptick in inflation trends, same as the PPI and CPI reports for June.
Turning to this week, today we’ve had June Retail Sales (disappointingly unchanged at the core level), July Empire Manufacturing (a shade higher than expected), and May Business Inventories (prior 0.3%) due out. Tomorrow sees June Industrial Production (prior -0.1%) and Capacity Utilization (prior 77.9%), and the July NAHB Housing Market Index. Wednesday reveals the figures for the MBA Mortgage Applications Index (prior 2.5%), June Housing Starts (prior 1350K), and Building Permits (prior 1301K). We will also have the release of the June Beige Book. With nothing due out Friday, Thursday sees Weekly Initial Claims (prior 214K). We begin Monday with rates little changed from the end of last week – the summer doldrums continue – and the 10-year is yielding 2.85% and agency MBS prices are a couple ticks worse.
Five guys are stranded on an island.
One guy gets the daily firewood, one guy bakes the daily bread, one guy climbs to the top of the mountain to get fresh water, one guy fishes all day to bring home dinner, and one guy does nothing but consume the firewood, the bread, the water, and the fish.
One day the workers ask the fifth guy why he doesn’t get the items himself, and he replies, "Without me, none of you would be employed."
Visit 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, “With Regulations, Be Careful What You Wish For.” 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.
(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 Copyright 2018 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.)

July 14: Readers address the yield curve’s relevance, the single security platform, and ATR vs. subprime

The primary and the secondary markets…
Fun with categorizing loans
Daniel M. Shlufman, Esq., with Classic Mortgage LLC, wrote, “Lenders have rolled out with a slew of No Income, Asset Verification type products. But, before you think that this is a return to the days of No Income and Sub-Prime Lending, the loans being made now are not that. Due to Dodd Frank and other recent federal regulations, lenders are required to make sure that a borrower has the ‘Ability to Repay’ before making a loan. 
“The first type is an Asset Qualifier which is designed for retired folks or those who have a lot of assets but little or no income. They are generally available for up to 75% of the purchase price. Various lenders have slightly different qualifying guidelines, but all require that you have enough assets to pay off the loan entirely and have enough for reserves.
“Another type of loan that is available is a Bank Statement loan. This type of asset-based loan allows lenders qualify a borrower using either personal or business bank account statements. Generally, they require either 12 months of personal bank statements or 24 months of business bank statements. Using these bank statements, the lenders create a monthly income and then apply their housing and debt ratios to this income in the same way they would with employment income. Thus, ensuring a borrower has both enough assets to close on the purchase as well as reserves after closing.
“There are 2 types of reserves that are needed.  The first type requires that the purchaser has a certain number (2-6 months depending) of monthly mortgage payments in assets. The other requires that the purchaser has enough assets to make a certain number of payments on ALL their debt. These reserves will need to be from 6 months to 60 months of all debt payments. Though these Asset Based loans are available, they are very fact specific.”
Capital markets
Originators should remember that anything that roils the secondary markets (uncertainty, higher rates, lack of demand, etc.) impacts the primary market – the rates borrowers see.
John Ardy, CEO of the recently acquired Resitrader, has some thoughts on the secondary mortgage market. "We’ve seen CRA trades occurring earlier this year and the overall trend seems to continue to favor bulk mandatory executions. With the rise in mortgage rates and a potential further increase in rates this year, there is an increasing interest from buyers for mortgage servicing rights. We, of course, expected that and we expect that trend to continue during the second half of 2018.
“We’re also seeing a trend in technology within the secondary market speeding up trades between buyers and sellers. Digital trading platforms, for example, are picking up interest for loan traders. Anecdotally, our volume grew 400% since January due to new clients and hedge-advisor relationships. We also see some aggregators buy loans and then turnaround and sell to Fannie/Freddie on our platform. We plan to see more of that during the second half of the year as well.”
Contracts for interest-rate derivatives need to add provisions to account for the possibility of Libor’s demise, said Federal Reserve adviser David Bowman. About $350 trillion worth of financial products worldwide have Libor (London Interbank Offered Rate, aka LIBOR) exposure spanning multiple currencies. Regulators set LIBOR to be phased out in 2021 and have encouraged alternatives to take its place.
Certainly, mortgage bankers are concerned about the coming phaseout of a global interest rate benchmark because, they said at a conference, the transition will entail costs and administrative burdens and the replacement rate is not an ideal substitute. LIBOR’s reputation is deservedly tarnished due to scandals from trader manipulation. LIBOR is based on a survey of banks on what they charge each other for dollars. But it’s the existing benchmark for $200 trillion in dollar-denominated financial products, mostly in interest rate swap contracts.
Mortgage bankers and loan servicers care because roughly $1.2 trillion in mortgages and another $1 trillion in mortgage-backed securities are set against LIBOR, according to the Alternative Reference Rates Committee. A complicated move away from LIBOR could prove disruptive for the mortgage market and perhaps result in a jump in late mortgage payments due to confusion among homeowners because of the change in their interest rate resets. And overhauling computer and accounting systems won’t be cheap.
Alternatives? We need more acronyms in our lives, so the New York Federal Reserve, together with the Office of Financial Research, a government agency, developed the Secured Overnight Funding Rate (SOFR) as a LIBOR alternative. But critics claim that one of SOFR’s shortcomings is that it is not a measure of what banks charge each other to borrow dollars, which LIBOR does, so it is a risk-free rate. SOFR is derived from daily trades in the repurchase agreement market where traders use their Treasuries holdings as collateral to obtain overnight cash. The absence of a liquid futures market for SOFR makes it tough for traders and lenders to extrapolate a longer-term rate to hedge their interest rate risks – but that will change.
Switching gears mildly to mortgage-backed securities, we have less that a year until single securities hit (combining Freddie and Fannie loans). Bill Berliner with MCT wrote, “I attended the conference that Freddie and Fannie co-sponsored and put out a summary to our clients. 
“Implementation plans were discussed and issues addressed to help mortgage and MBS market participants prepare for the changes associated with the SSI. This change is scheduled to go live on June 3rd of 2019, although the changes will impact trading as early as March of next year. It is good for the industry to know the basics (about the Single Securitization), how pools, trading, and delivery will be affected, loose-ends to tie up and concerns about the switch, and the main preparatory tasks for lenders.
“Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will remain separate companies but issue MBS under a single platform. Once the changes go live, Fannie and Freddie pools will be called Uniform Mortgage-Backed Securities (UMBS). The new securities will have the main characteristics of Fannie Mae pools; most importantly, they will have 55 delay days. Pools may be backed by loans guaranteed by both Fannie and Freddie.
“The new securities will be issued by Fannie and Freddie through an entity called the Common Securitization Platform (CSP).  Early in the process, the GSEs concluded that the existing systems could not handle the commingling of the two enterprise’s loans in the same securities, necessitating the new platform. The CSP is being built, and will be managed, by a joint venture between Fannie and Freddie called Common Securitization Solutions LLC (CSS). The initiative only impacts conventional fixed-rate MBS. Conventional ARMs and all Ginnie Mae pools are not impacted.
“The objective is to create a level playing field where securitized execution for loan sales is the same irrespective of which GSE provides the guaranty.  Previously, the concessions at which Freddie Gold TBAs trade to Fannies (despite their shorter delay) put Freddie Mac at a competitive disadvantage, in that they had to compensate originators to securitize loans as Golds (through the “MAP” adjustment) instead of Fannies.
“Importantly, this is not a merger of Fannie and Freddie.  They will continue to operate independently and have their own underwriting and pricing systems while issuing pools through the CSP.”
His note continued, addressing pools, trading, and delivery. “Older (i.e., ‘legacy’) Fannie Mae pools will be deliverable into UMBS TBAs, as will new UMBS pools. Legacy Freddie Gold pools that have a 45-day delay will need to be converted (“exchanged”) into new securities to be delivered into UBMS TBAs. For every existing Gold pool, Freddie Mac will create a deliverable ‘mirror pool’ that will have a new CUSIP and pool number and be backed by the same loans as the legacy pool. Holders of legacy Gold pools will have the option of exchanging them for the mirror pools in whole or in part. Investors exchanging legacy pools for mirror pools will be compensated for receiving a security with 10 extra delay days at the time of the exchange.  Investors that own the mirror securities and want to examine the historical performance of the legacy Gold pools will be able to access that information through either Bloomberg or other data sources (e.g., eMBS).
“UMBS will adopt the ticker symbols currently used by Fannie Mae. For example, a deliverable 30-year UMBS pool will be labeled as an FNCL pool. There will be different formats for non-deliverable UMBS; for example, 30-year Gold pools with 105-125% LTVs that are now labeled as FGHLU6 pools will be RHLU6 (basically retiring the ‘G’ and replacing it with an ‘L’) when issued through the UMBS platform.
“Assuming the go-live date is met, TBA trading will transition to the UMBS platform starting in March 2019. Trading in UMBS TBAs will commence after March 2019 Class A notification, as the third month TBA will be settled by delivering new UMBS pools. It’s unclear how the screens will ultimately look, and it’s possible that Tradeweb and Bloomberg screens will look somewhat different. (Tradeweb, for example, plans to display ‘Fannie/UMBS’ and ‘PCGld’ on their screens up to 30 days prior to the change; at that point, the screens will only show ‘UMBS.’)
“It’s unclear how long Gold TBAs will continue trading after UMBS trading goes live. It’s also unclear whether legacy Gold pools will continue trade in their current form (i.e., as Golds) or will be converted to UMBS prior to trading, or whether two parallel markets will develop. Several data providers will supply information on conversions for industry participants to track metrics such as issuance and float. (E.g., investors will need to know how many Gold pools have been exchanged on a particular day, what are the balances of unexchanged Gold pools, etc.)”
At the time Bill wrote this there are still some things that are unclear and/or need to be addressed by regulators and government. For example, the tax treatment of the exchange (particularly the delay-day compensation). How long Gold TBAs will continue to trade after the go-live date. How the prefixes for new non-deliverable UMBS pools will look. And whether legacy Gold pools will trade in their current form or must be exchanged before trading.
“The main tasks for lenders at this point are: Make sure that provisions are made to calculate and/or access the correct durations and pricing for the UMBS on the go-live date. MCT will be involved with the testing leading up to the rollout and will be ready when the CSP goes live.
Lenders that create pools should be aware of the changes and can create and deliver the new UMBS securities without disruptions. Be flexible and prepared to deal with issues as they arise.  Remember the adage, ‘you don’t know what you don’t know.’ Make sure that all broker/dealer counterparties are aware of the big changes coming to the MBS market. More information can be accessed here.” Thanks Bill!
The use of the yield curve is becoming more and more questionable as a measure of future economic conditions. Brent Nyitray scribes, “As the 2s-10s spread decreases, many in the financial press are worrying whether the slope of the yield curve is signaling a recession. We already have some strategists calling for the yield curve to invert sometime in 2019. An inverted yield curve (where short-term rates are higher than long term rates) has historically been a strong recessionary signal. Generally, the yield curve flattens during tightening cycles. In fact, it did invert in the late 90s (before the stock market bubble burst) and during the real estate bubble (before the Great Recession). Recent Fed research indicates the 2s-10s spread may not be the best signal of an upcoming recession. It suggests the spread between the 3-month T bills and 18-month Treasuries could be more predictive. Another signal is the Eurodollar futures market. The idea is that the Fed would use these indicators as a yellow signal and stop tightening before they risk a recession. 
“Of course, all bets are off when it comes to this yield curve versus the past. The size of the Fed’s balance sheet relative to the economy is vastly different this time around. Pre-Great Recession, the Fed had about $800 billion worth of assets. Now it is about $4.4 trillion. To draw comparisons, you would have to estimate where the 10-year would have been without Operation Twist, QE1, QE2, and QE3. Punch line, the yield curve may in fact invert if the Fed continues to tighten and inflation remains under control. The signal-to-noise ratio of the yield curve is extremely low, so take it with a grain of salt.”
An 80-year old man was arrested for shop lifting.
When he went before the judge in Cincinnati he asked him, "What did you steal?"
He replied, "A can of peaches."
The judge then asked him why he had stolen the can of peaches, and he replied that he was hungry.
The judge then asked him how many peaches were in the can.
He replied, "6."
The judge said, "Then I will give you 6 days in jail."
Before the judge could conclude the trial, the man’s wife spoke up and asked the judge if she could say something.
The judge said, "What is it?"
The wife said, "He also stole a can of peas."   
Visit 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, “With Regulations, Be Careful What You Wish For.” 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.
(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 Copyright 2018 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.)

July 13: LO jobs; construction, warehouse products; free LO comp webinar; shifting UW criteria

Here’s a quiz. The demand demographics for housing in the U.S. aren’t letting up – people want a roof over their head. But, in this market, figure out (a) and (b) where a huge pipeline of new condos, a dwindling number of foreigner buyers, volatile stock markets, and tax changes that make ___a___ less attractive may be hurting ____b____ real estate sales. 1) California, San Francisco, 2) Washington, Seattle, 3) Florida, Miami, 4) New York, Manhattan. Here’s your answer. Yes, lumber, labor, and regulations continue to provide hurdles for builders in many places around the U.S. – even where lumber isn’t used much.
Jobs & personnel moves
Caliber Home Loans, Inc. is excited to welcome back Danny Horanyi, who will join its production team as SVP of Retail Innovation. In this role, he’ll focus on implementing systems that increase retail sales volume and improve our borrowers’ experience. On his return to the leading national lender, Horanyi said, “Caliber is by far the best-positioned company in the retail space. Caliber has been open to doing what it will take to win the retail purchase game by committing to get behind critical initiatives while others pull back. I’m so excited to be back!” His background as a nationally ranked Loan Officer will be an asset to Caliber. Loan Consultants interested in joining Danny and the national network of producers can contact Jeremy DeRosa.
National MI is excited to introduce our newest team member in the South-Central Sales Region, Beverly Kerbow. Beverly brings a wealth of mortgage lending and mortgage insurance experience to National MI. Most recently Beverly worked in the Pittsburgh area for Citizens Bank.  Prior to moving to Pittsburgh, Beverly achieved much success as an Account Executive with PMI covering Austin and San Antonio. Additionally, she was very involved in the National APMW and the local MBAs in both Austin and San Antonio. In 2011 Beverly was the recipient of the TMBA James Wooten Scholarship. Beverly will be working with Adam Isbell covering Austin, San Antonio, West Texas, and New Mexico. She should be a familiar face to many as she has spent most of her mortgage career in the territory she will now be covering. Please feel free to reach out to Beverly Kerbow (512.663.3579).”
More Retail growth for PRMG as they expand their national footprint by opening 2 new branch locations during the month of June!  Along with the drive and ambition to bring the American Dream of Homeownership to all cities across the country, PRMG has now opened its doors in Berwyn, IL and Orlando, FL. Built by Originators for Originators PRMG is devoted to growing their retail platform and is always looking for Motivated Loan Originators to support the mission to being “Progressively Better in All that They Do”. Voted TOP 5 of the 50 Best Companies to Work for in America, No. 2 Best in the Desert 2018, OC Register Top Workplace 2017, NMP Visionary Organization 2017, CAMP Corporate Affiliate of the Year 2017 and TOP 25 of 100 Mortgage Companies in America!  PRMG employs over 1,800 people! If you’re ready to join a top-tier team and company, then it’s time to talk! Contact Chris Sorensen at 909.262.0452.
Movement Mortgage, a top 10 retail mortgage lender, is expanding in New York with its first branch on Long Island. The new branch in Huntington is led by New York mortgage veteran Quentin Hardy, a top producer and purchase and renovation specialist. The licensed office on Long Island is part of a concentrated effort to expand Movement’s origination presence in the Northeast. Movement’s Northeast expansion has included record growth in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and surrounding areas. Learn more about opportunities to join Movement in the Northeast by emailing Regional Director Mike Brennan.
Lender products
Bank of Hope Mortgage Warehouse Lending is looking forward to the upcoming 46th Annual CMBA Western Secondary at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco! Bank of Hope lends nationwide to mortgage bankers of all size. For more information on our competitive warehouse terms, please contact Louis Politi or Nicole Thomsen
Industry-leading multi-channel LOS and mortgage fintech provider, OpenClose®, announced the release of DecisionAssist™ Mobile, placing the power of its proprietary product and pricing engine (PPE) at your fingertips. With DecisionAssist™ Mobile, Originators can compare eligible products, pricing and deliver results directly to their borrowers from anywhere and from any device.  The company’s ability to implement and maintain custom non-QM programs and instantly decision them provides immediate insight on sellable loans under agency or non-agency guidelines. OpenClose’s DecisionAssist™ PPE is leveraged by direct lenders, investors and portfolio lenders using the OpenClose LenderAssist™ LOS or as a standalone web-based solution. Custom rate sheets are also generated and distributed. Learn more about the full suite of OpenClose® products and services at the Western Secondary conference on July 16th-18th. OpenClose provides a unique, boutique-style, hands-on approach to LOS and software implementations, training, and support. For more information on the OpenClose difference, visit the company’s website
According to the ARMCO Mortgage QC Trends Report, in 2017, the majority of critical defects centered around issues associated with core underwriting and eligibility issues, which is reflective of the deeper complexity of purchase transactions, as compared to refinances. The fourth quarter 2017 critical defect rate increased slightly, from 1.65% to 1.68% while the percentage of purchase transactions declined for the second consecutive quarter. The latest report provides loan quality findings for mortgages reviewed by ACES Audit Technology™ during the fourth quarter of 2017 as well as the 2017 calendar year. “When you see how much the issues that impact quality can change quarter to quarter and year over year, it becomes apparent why lenders should use the most current data for strategies going forward,” said Phil McCall, president of ARMCO. 
Olympia Federal Savings (Oly Fed) has chosen Built Technologies to bring its construction loan administration process online and into the digital age. Oly Fed has received a 5-star rating from Bauer Financial for over 30 years and is known for providing modern online banking and innovative lending programs. The portfolio lender is migrating its manual construction loan administration process to Built’s cloud-based platform for real-time collaboration, faster disbursements, risk mitigation, and more efficient processing. “The transition to a digital construction lending experience gives us the ability to provide even more customers with personal service,” said Richard Pitts, EVP, Chief Lending Officer, Oly Fed. Built allows Oly Fed customers to apply for construction loans online and monitor project inspection and draw process with a digital, consistent experience. “We’re excited to welcome Olympia Federal Savings,” said Chase Gilbert, CEO, Built. “With its 110-year history and status as a leading portfolio lender, it’s a great compliment to be chosen as part of its customer service mission.”
Events and learning
Don’t miss out on the Lenders One 2018 Summer Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, August 5-8, at The Grand America. In an age of disruption, it’s never been more important to learn from peers and industry leaders. Keynote speakers Alison Levine and David Robertson will share ways to get ahead in a tough market, and attendees will be able to select from 16 curated education sessions led by industry experts. Topics include:  improving margins, generating business through MarTech, rethinking your compliance strategy and five Secondary Market panels. Touted as the most valuable part of conference, Lenders One has expanded networking opportunities for members to connect with peers and explore best practices. Reserve your spot by this Friday, July 13, or contact Lauren Ketchum to learn more about becoming a member. 
James Brody, Chair of Johnston Thomas’s Mortgage Banking Practice Group, is hosting a complimentary webinar at 10:30 AM PST, on Thursday July 26, titled Loan Officer Compensation Tips and Trends: How to Gain a Competitive Edge While Remaining Compliant”. Per Mr. Brody, given companies ever shrinking margins and the always present pressure being placed on them to maximize profits, this webinar is meant to provide all such companies with invaluable tips on how to ensure their LO Comp packages remain both highly competitive and defensibly compliant. In addition, if you were not able to attend and would like to access a complimentary recording of Johnston Thomas’s most recent webinar program, click on “Repurchase and Indemnification Claims in 2018 and Beyond: A Comprehensive Update on the RMBS Wave, Significant Rulings from the Courts, and Successful Resolution Strategies”. Qquestions regarding either of these two programs? Contact Mr. Brody or, if possible, meet with him and his colleagues in person at the CMBA’s upcoming Western Secondary Market Conference in San Francisco on July 16-18.
As a giant of our industry plans for retirement next month, Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) President Dave Stevens sat down to discuss his view of the future of mortgage lending with XINNIX CEO Casey Cunningham on a very special episode of Inside the Mortgage Mind, a XINNIX podcast. With the perspective of a 30+ year career in housing finance and 7 years at the helm of the MBA, Dave’s insights are relevant, direct, and vital—covering everything from government to technology to his ideas on how loan officers will succeed in the future. To hear this podcast, CLICK HEREInside the Mortgage Mind is produced by XINNIX, a sales and leadership development company dedicated to “Energizing People and Elevating Results” for the mortgage industry.
Lenders, how do you take advantage of strategic data while avoiding the risk of abuse? Register for October Research’s upcoming webinar, Title Data: Opportunities and Risks to learn the building blocks for big data thinking using tax, deed, mortgage and foreclosure data and how to use it to assess borrower risk. Ensure your vendors and partners are maintaining control of the information responsibly. ATTOM Data Solutions’ Daren Blomquist and compliance expert Marx Sterbcow will discuss the compliant applications for and management of data Thursday, July 19th.
A sampling of changes to various underwriting criteria
Excelerate Capital is now offering a new program feature: NonQM 3-Month Bank statement Option. Only 3 months of business bank statements is needed to support 24-month P&L. (P&L preparation requirements apply). For more information contact And it has added a new NonQM VOE feature to its Platinum Shake Up. Call 844-432-3685 for details.
Land Home Financial Services Elite Jumbo Product provides a unique option for borrowers. Conforming High Balance loan amounts are accepted using Elite guidelines. Contact Mark Sheridan with questions.
PRMG posted product updates for its Platinum Jumbo and TCF HELOC.
HomeXpress is now accepting Borrower Prepared P&L on its Bank Statement Programs.
Angel Oak has announced its New Commercial Lending Unit. Angel Oak Commercial Lending will provide both short- and long-term financing for projects across the commercial sector, including multifamily, industrial, mixed use, retail, office, self-storage and other specialized segments.
Citadel Servicing Corp. is offering a VOE Only Qualification Program. Qualify your W2 Borrowers with Only a Verification of Employment Form Executed by the Employer. You can qualify your borrowers with only ONE Year of W2s or ONE Year of Tax Returns if Self-Employed with loan amounts to $3 million.
Caliber Home Loans offers a Physician Loan Program. Newly licensed medical residents or physicians, both permanent and non-permanent resident aliens may qualify. Contact Caliber for qualification details.
United Wholesale Mortgage has increased the maximum allowance on cash-out refinances from 80% LTV to 85% LTV. The program also offers reduced mortgage insurance premiums and is available for borrowers with a 740+ FICO, only applicable on primary loans.
Capital markets
I am not going to waste your time. Rates are been flatlining for some time now, and, aside from a little intra-coupon and maturity changes of a few ticks (32nds) – not enough to move rate sheets, Thursday was a snoozer. There just isn’t much going on out there.
The highlight of today’s session might be the release of Fed Chair Powell’s prepared remarks, that will be read at next week semiannual monetary policy testimony which kicks off on Tuesday before the Senate Banking Committee at 10:00am. We’ve had the June import / export
prices (-.4%, +.3% respectively) – hardly market movers. The University of Michigan Sentiment Index (pJuly) will be released at 10AM ET. Chase released its earnings – impressive, and more next week. Friday the 13th starts with the 10-year yielding 2.83% and agency MBS a couple ticks better than last night’s close. Once again, probably another snoozer of a day for rates.
For you country music lovers! (A repeat; unrated, but don’t read if you’re offended by anything.)
10. I Hate Every Bone in Her Body but Mine.
  9.   I Ain’t Never Gone to Bed with an Ugly Woman but I Woke Up With a Few.
  8.   If the Phone Don’t Ring, You’ll Know It’s Me.
  7.   I’ve Missed You, But My Aim’s Improvin’.
  6.   Wouldn’t Take Her to A Dogfight ‘Cause I’m Scared She’d Win.
  5.   I’m So Miserable Without You It’s Like You’re Still Here.
  4.   My Wife Ran Off with My Best Friend and I Miss Him.
  3.   She Took My Ring and Gave Me the Finger.
  2.  He’s Lookin’ Better with Every Beer.
And the Number One Country & Western song is:
  1.   It’s Hard to Kiss the Lips at Night That Chewed My Ass All Day
Visit 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, “With Regulations, Be Careful What You Wish For.” 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.
(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 Copyright 2018 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.)

July 12: MI, AE, LO, sales mgt. jobs; UW & API products; FHA/VA/Ginnie updates – incl. EAD/DACA policy

Chris Whalen notes, “The failure of Bear Stearns & Co a decade ago illustrates the key lesson of financial markets, namely that non-banks are dependent upon 1) banks and 2) clients for liquidity. And no amount of capital will save a non-bank that has a deficit in terms of confidence. In times of market stress, credibility and character are far more important than capital.” On the flip side, Angelo Mozilo famously observed that a liquidity crisis will take a company down faster than anything. Any questions? IndyMac’s Mike Perry had a statement on his blog yesterday titled, “Not Too Big To Fail: Mike Perry talks about IndyMac Bank and the financial crisis ten years on.”
Career possibilities
National MI is expanding its sales team and adding an additional Sales Account Representative who will reside in greater Chicago area. Responsibilities include to promote the sale of National MI products, services, and programs to clients through a consultative selling approach via personal sales calls and email/phone contact. This individual will also assist in sourcing new business from originators and will manage the relationships of specific clients by serving as a customer advocate, educator, and loan issue problem-solver. Experience in client relationship management and training is imperative, and strong research, process improvement, and presentation skills are required. Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, National MI is a U.S.-based, private mortgage insurer enabling low down payment borrowers to realize homeownership. National MI has a GREAT culture, compensation and benefits. For the complete job posting, see National MI’s careers page.
A mid-size independent mortgage banker with all GSE approvals in place and $4 billion in annual production conducting business in the Southwest is seeking a dynamic, enthusiastic, experienced National Sales Leader to recruit and retain a national sales force that delivers extraordinary results. This position is responsible for planning, organizing and directing company-wide strategic initiatives, sales development, leadership and management of loan production throughout the organization with a proven production platform. Send confidential resumes to me for forwarding.
First Savings Mortgage Corporation is a mortgage lender based out of the DC metro area licensed in DC, MD, VA, FL, DE, NC and SC. “First Savings has been consistently recognized as a top lender by Scotsman Guide and the Washington Business Journal. The average tenure for a First Savings mortgage loan officer is more than 13 years, largely due to the ‘LO-centric’ culture. Collectively, a First Savings mortgage loan officer averages over $40 million in annual production volume, due to the unique, purchase-market driven solutions like bridge financing and the constant emphasis on providing superior service to both clients and referral partners. Year to date, 51% of our loans have closed in less than 30 days! As a consistent, top lender, First Savings Mortgage Corporation continues to grow our market share in those markets mentioned above. Contact Managing Director Mark Deitz (240-223-1556; First Savings Mortgage) today to learn more about our team and our story!”
In wholesale expansion news, Village Mortgage has hired industry veteran Bob Germano as Director of Wholesale and AJ Capece as Wholesale Operations Manager. Bob has successfully launched two wholesale channels over the past 10 years and “Is a seasoned and trusted leader who has brought a tremendous team of talented associates to Village Mortgage’s already experienced wholesale lending department,” said Laurel Caliendo, President of Village Mortgage. As Ops Manager, AJ Capece will focus on running a customer-centric and service obsessed operation. Bob notes, “Ultimately, regardless of how good our technology and price offerings are, people do business with people. We are here to serve our customers and have assembled an all-star team to exceed their expectations. We are looking forward to the opportunities ahead of us.” Village Mortgage is adding Account Executives in the Northeast and in Florida, and resumes should be sent to Bob.
In retail news, AmeriFirst Home Mortgage continues to build its Southeast Region with the announcement that Christopher Arbogast has joined the Southeast Regional team as Area Manager of the Wilmington, N.C. area. For over a decade he has successfully managed high producing teams and will work to continue to expand AmeriFirst’s footprint in this region. AmeriFirst’s recent growth in the Southeast Region includes the 2017 opening of new branches in Winter Park and Tampa, Florida, for a total of six full-service branches in the state. Contact Chris for a confidential discussion.
Lender products
"Spruce, the leading digital title & escrow company, has announced the launch of its end-to-end title & closing API. Lenders can use the API to fully integrate Spruce’s services into their own LOS or POS, and realize significant efficiency and productivity gains. "We already have a number of first mortgage and HELOC lenders using the platform with great success," said Patrick Burns, CEO of Spruce. "It’s flexible enough that a lender can craft the right solution for their use case, but always backed by Spruce’s team of title and closing experts". To find out more or schedule a demo, click here." 
Calculating and underwriting income is time consuming, especially for a self-employed borrower. It often requires significant work before the complexity of a file is understood. LoanCraft’s Virtual Panel SM provides a solution. Part of every Income Report, it provides three income estimates tailored by varying assumptions. The biggest benefit is that the Virtual Panel gives you an immediate view of how complex a file is. When all the estimates are close or the same, the file is not complicated, even if it has several businesses. But when the estimates differ, it’s likely that a little additional analysis is warranted. If three different underwriters, with different points of view, gave you the same answer, how much more research would you need to do? Visit for a White Paper on the Virtual Panel or contact Lindsey Fougeorusse (248-897-0604).
FHA/VA/Ginnie news
First off, anyone hoping for a mortgage insurance premium cut this year will probably be disappointed. Per Brian Montgomery, the health of the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund just isn’t where it needs to be.
Joan Timm with Summit Mortgage and several others have asked me about government guidelines regarding DACA borrowers. Looking briefly and Freddie and Fannie, Joan wrote, “From my correspondence with FNMA and FHLMC, they too are classifying DACA Borrowers as ‘Non-U.S. Citizen, not lawfully in the U.S.’; therefore, not eligible for financing.”
This commentary discussed DACA borrowers in the autumn of 2016 and it probably still aligns with HUD’s current position on DACA borrowers. “There are millions of these people here in the US and many of them are trying to apply for loans. Many of these loans are closing even though most lenders agree they should not. Our company had a private call with some individuals at HUD who understood the issue and confirmed that borrowers with deferred action status are not eligible for FHA financing because they are not on a pathway to residency and do not meet the guidelines printed in the manual. Additionally, these loans are clearly not eligible for USDA financing as GUS requires you to enter information that identifies their status in the US. When you do so, GUS will tell you that the borrower is ineligible. If you are a lender who currently accepts borrowers with a deferred action status, you may want to consult your attorney for legal advice.”
And the esteemed Potomac Partners had a call saying that DACA borrowers are not eligible for FHA financing.
Perhaps most DACA borrowers have probably closed undetected under FHA financing because HUD has nothing published regarding the ‘Category’ a Borrower’s EAD card is issued under (few were monitoring the “Category” of the Borrower’s EAD card on FHA loans and only recently became aware of Category C-33 being an identification of a DACA Borrower). Although they are a small percentage of originations, many feel HUD has left FHA Lenders very exposed by not publishing that EAD cards issued under Category C-33 need to be underwritten under paragraph (c) of Section (9) for Residency Requirement.
Ms. Timm wrote, “I have not discussed DACA Borrowers with the VA, but a DACA applicant under VA financing would be rare and would also need to be underwritten directly by the VA (e.g. Veteran purchasing with a non-Veteran they are not married to). And really, all the government agencies should define eligibility of DACA Borrowers the same.”
Since HUD published Handbook 4000.1, lenders have been told to “follow what is published in the 4000.1”. Some believe that a DACA borrower holding a valid EAD card should be eligible for FHA financing until HUD publishes that EAD cards issued under Category C-33 are not eligible for FHA financing. Because without that detail most DACA Borrowers will meet all of HUD’s published requirements under HUD Handbook 4000.1 Section II.A.1.b.ii. (A).(9).(b) for a ‘Non-Permanent Resident Aliens’.
Getting a little more into the weeds, a Borrower meeting all of HUD’s published requirements under HUD Handbook 4000.1 Section II.A.1.b.ii.(A).(9).(b) for a ‘Non-Permanent Resident Aliens’ is no longer eligible for FHA financing because HUD is stating a Borrower holding a valid EAD (Employment Authorization Document) card under a Category C-33 (Which is the EAD code for an alien who has been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – DACA) pushes them out of Section II.A.1.b.ii.(A).(9).(b) and into Section II.A.1.b.ii.(A).(9).(c) for ‘Non-U.S. Citizens without Lawful Residency’; which have never been eligible for FHA financing. Give HUD a shout with questions.
The industry continues to incorporate Ginnie’s seasoning requirements.
Pacific Union has posted a clarification on the VA Cash-Out and IRRRL. Previously announced updates to the seasoning requirements for all VA refinances have been updated to align with the more restrictive guidelines from Ginnie Mae’s APM 18-04 and VA Circular 26-18-13 regardless of the loan amount.
FHA published in the Federal Register, a final rule (Docket No. FR-5457-F-02) that streamlines the inspection requirements for FHA single family mortgage insurance by eliminating the regulations for the FHA Inspector Roster. FHA acknowledged there is no longer a need to maintain and administer its own standardization process for inspectors. This final rule becomes effective August 2.
PRMG has updated product profiles for its VA Products and CalHFA ECTP and MyHome Assistance.
Mortgage Solutions Financial offers a 65% DTI VA program, call for details 719-283-9558.
M&T Bank requires Correspondent Lenders to evidence compliance in issuing accurate initial and closing versions of the VA IRRL Comparison Statement disclosure as explicitly outlined in both VA Circular and FAQ Circular 26-18-1, Change 1. Reminders include: the initial IRRL Comparison Statement must be issued to the Veteran within 3 days of the application date. The Lender certification language where the underwriter certifies to borrower qualifications (required when the PITI increases more than 20%) is only required on the losing version of the disclosure. Both documents must be present for M&T review at the time of whole loan purchase.
Site Condominium properties in Michigan do not require a VA Condominium Project ID number indicating review and approval by the VA. This is a regional variance that only applies to the state of Michigan. Ditech will be updating its Client Guidelines accordingly.
Movement Mortgage has launched a new mortgage product designed to help more U.S. military veterans purchase and renovate their homes. The VA Renovation Loan, offered in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs, is designed to help veterans purchase and renovate a new home or make necessary repairs through the refinance of an existing home. Borrowers may access up to $35,000 in funds to complete repairs and renovations, plus the benefits of a traditional VA loan, such as 100% financing.
Mortgage Solutions Financial posted a revised clarification regarding 6 Month Seasoning Requirement on VA Cash Out and IRRR. This announcement is effective with loan funded on and after February 16, 2018.
Ginnie Mae has posted a new bulletin: "Updated MBS Pool Consolidated and Loan-Level Data Dictionaries.”
Capital markets
Hey, if your company does a lot of purchase business, you’ll be okay, right? Rates are certainly cooperating and are nearly stuck in the mud. But they fell yesterday slightly as heightened geopolitical tensions from U.S. – Sino trade relations grinding to a halt caused the 10-year to close at 2.84%, narrowing the 2s10s spread. Few think that a trade war will benefit us much, and in fact can have a negative impact on our gross domestic product, but here we are. There are now few signs of the “Trade War” abating, after the office of U.S. Trade Rep Robert Lighthizer was ordered to prepare to impose a 10.0% tariff on $200 billion worth of imports from China. With no immediate plans to restart formal trade discussions, and China viewing the tariffs as “totally unacceptable,” about seven weeks remain before the $200 billion of tariffs take effect after August 30.
As far as economic releases went, the Producer Price Index and Wholesale Inventories didn’t move the market much. Looking to today, we have June CPI and Core CPI (+.1% and +.2%, respectively, near or at Fed target), weekly Initial Claims (lower than forecast at 214k), and a $14 billion 30-year Treasury auction. Additionally, we have some Fed speak, with both Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari and Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker on the docket. The day starts with the 10-year yielding 2.86% and agency MBS prices worse about .125.
"I hear the bank is looking for a cashier." "Thought they just hired one a week ago?" "That’s the one they’re looking for."
Visit 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, “With Regulations, Be Careful What You Wish For.” 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.
(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 Copyright 2018 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.)

July 11: Non-QM, lead conversion, & TPO products; Home Point/Northpointe, OB/Resitrader deals

Us capital markets folks have a way with words. Henry Jonas writes, “I started in this business in a Secondary Marketing in ‘86. Outside of maybe 1994 I cannot remember margins this thin. I went to Kroger and bought the jumbo economy pack of toilet paper with sheets thicker than my margins. The old saying is, ‘If watermelons cost 50 cents to produce, selling them for a quarter and just getting a bigger truck, won’t solve your problems.’ Companies are still making it, but it is tougher than a truck stop steak right now.” Regarding volume, business bank lending is beginning to pick up – banks have suffered through several quarters of tepid loan growth, but signs suggest trends may now be improving. The Fed suggests bank lending rose over 5% in CQ2. It helps that U.S. Treasury yields are falling, and traders expect the unfolding US-Chinese trade dispute to keep the bond-market rally going. The yield on 10-year Treasury debt fell from 3.13% around the middle of May to 2.82% as the US and China threatened, and then imposed, tariffs on each other.
Lender products
Deephaven Mortgage, a leading Non-QM lender, continues to shine the light on Non-QM through its offering of loan programs & technology aimed at making loans responsibly to the millions of Americans that have been locked out of the market. The primary mortgage origination market continues to experience challenges in the form of margin compression, low inventory, and declining volumes. Lenders are actively evaluating the introduction of Non-QM products to help offset some portion of the market dynamics. Deephaven constantly evaluates its products knowing that the target market is significant. Studies show 16+ million self-employed Americans (Bank Statement Loans), 83 million Millennials (Non-Warrantable Condos), 75 million Baby Boomers (Asset Depletion), and 57 million Americans earned more in 17’ than 16’ (1 Year Alt Doc). And these are just a few segments that have gone underserved but represent a significant opportunity for lenders, such as Deephaven, to diversify and change the course of their 2018 production and beyond. To find out more about how Non-QM can grow your business, contact Deephaven at (Wholesale) or (Correspondent). (Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, CNN.)
Smart Start from Stearns Wholesale is now available with HomeReady, FNMA Conforming & High-Balance Loans and FHA Standard & High-Balance Loans*. Stearns Smart Start is a Lender Paid Buydown Program with awesome features! Give your borrowers the peace of mind of having a fixed rate mortgage with option of keeping monthly mortgage payments lower for the first 24 months. First year, rates drop by 1.5%; second year rates drop by 0.5%; at the end of 24 months, borrowers start paying a monthly amount based on the full rate on the note rate. From the very first payment borrowers are building their equity in their homes because money is going toward principal and interest on the loan. Qualify more borrowers with the Stearns Smart Start Program today! *Coming July 14th.
Never lose another preapproved customer again! HomeScout®-HBM understands the challenges that lenders face when trying to service and retain preapproved borrowers who need to find a house. A local branch manager recently revealed that they estimate they are losing up to 25% to 30% of their preapproved buyers to the competition via public search sites. Siting the lack of monitoring and timely communications as being the culprit. HomeScout provides the only lead conversion solution that features an online back office that gathers business intelligence, indicating to loan officers when to communicate with buyers, without them feeling the pressure they would from strangers who bought their information from public search sites. Listen as national project consultant Mitch King explains how to engage and retain leads and preapproved borrowers using HomeScout. Find out more by contacting them here and scheduling a demo, or give them a call at 952-831-0623.
As a LO, your top priorities are to create an efficient loan process for your borrowers and to generate a healthy ROI for your mortgage operation. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a solution that helped you accomplish these goals and more? Well, look no further than Floify, the mortgage industry’s leading point-of-sale system. From its interview-style 1003 application to brand-focused landing pages, Floify is the ideal solution to streamline your loan process. Just ask Calum Ross, Canada’s $2.5 Billion Dollar Man, who recently said, “I signed up for Floify in 2015. In the last two years, I’ve averaged over $165 million in personal production and never email a client for documentation. The $50 monthly subscription cost contributed to my revenue of over $100,000 per month.” Now, what are you waiting for? To experience the ROI-generating power of Floify, request a demo today!
Non-QM webinar. JMAC Lending, a leader in innovative Non-QM lending products, is hosting a free webinar on the company’s dynamic Venice Non-QM program. Offering 6- and 12-month bank statements, one-year seasoning on BK, foreclosures and short sales, non-warrantable condos, plus incredible options for Foreign Nationals. The webinar is on Tuesday, July 24 at 11:00 a.m. PST. Learn more and register today here! All webinar attendees will be entered to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card.
LoanStream Mortgage, currently focused on growing all production channels, is pleased to announce that Greg Armstrong has joined as EVP of TPO Production. Greg’s responsibility will be to expand the TPO sales team nationally. “I’m excited to join Loan Stream Mortgage because it’s executive management team is committed to supporting wholesale brokers and correspondent lending, it’s expansive product offering including Non-QM and non-prime jumbo products, as well as its commitment to provide the best possible service to its clients”, says Armstrong. If you are an experienced AE and you are frustrated because you are restricted by a lack of products to offer your clients or you struggle getting loans closed on time, please contact Greg (916.792.6554). LoanStream Mortgage has been a leader in the new NonQM/Non-Prime products since 2013 and is pleased to announce its new Correspondent offering.
Personnel moves
Weiner Brodsky Kider PC announced today that Ken Markison has joined the firm as Of Counsel in its regulatory compliance practice. Congrats to Ken who has more than 40 years of experience in the housing and mortgage industry, including 32 years at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and more than a decade at the Mortgage Bankers Association, where he served as Vice President and Regulatory Counsel. (Obviously he has trouble keeping a job for any length of time.)
Equity Prime Mortgage has added Keith Webster as its SVP, and the Legacy Division. “The primary focus of the initiative is to crush disparity in mortgage lending in underserved markets.”
Did someone say, “buying and selling, M&A?”
STRATMOR Group Senior Partner Jeff Babcock writes: “Market timing is becoming a critically important consideration for prospective M&A sellers. In a recent conversation with a STRATMOR client who sold their company in 2016, the CEO commented on their propitious timing. This was an entity that was enjoying profitable growth when they elected to put themselves ‘in play.’ Had they not executed a transaction in 2016 and remained independent, the CEO speculated that, as a standalone entity, his company would be struggling to survive under the adverse 2018 market conditions. Under the favorable markets of 2015 through mid-2017, the rising tide was indeed raising all boats. Fast forward to 2018 YTD when the market outlook offers no near-term relief from housing inventory shortages, unrelenting margin compression, flat market volume and prospects for losing money in the first and fourth quarters. Insufficient capital and the prospects for a cash crunch are now realities for some lenders. From STRATMOR’s perspective, it’s still an M&A seller’s market with motivated, qualified buyers offering a range of strategic solutions to acquire well-managed Retail organizations. Now is the time to explore your strategic options before the M&A market becomes crowded with necessitous sellers.” Thanks Jeff!
Although not necessarily a merger or acquisition in the strict sense of the term, Home Point Financial Corporation announced today that it will transition its east coast retail branches to Northpointe Bank. “Home Point has been focused on simplifying activities to enable a greater focus on segments where we see the greatest opportunity for growth,” said Willie Newman, Home Point Financial President and CEO. “At the same time, it was important for us to find the right partnership that would provide the support and structure our retail sales teams deserve to be successful. Over the next few months, we will be working with Northpointe to ensure a smooth transfer.” “Northpointe is excited to welcome the Home Point retail sales and operations employees to our team,” said Chuck Williams, President and CEO, Northpointe Bank. “In cases of industry consolidation, Northpointe Bank continues to leverage its strong products, pricing and superior customer experience to attract transactions that are accretive to the bank’s earnings.”
Vendor excitement
There are scores of vendors out there, and not all of them will remain independent, or in business, as time goes on. The latest news is that Optimal Blue has acquired Resitrader, a mortgage loan trading platform. “The Resitrader platform is an excellent complement to Optimal Blue’s secondary services solution and will soon replace our method of selling loans via emailed bid tapes. By integrating technology and combining our trading volume, this merger will create the largest platform for bulk loan auctions in the industry. We are pleased that the entire Resitrader team will be joining Optimal Blue…Resitrader has created a portal which allows sellers to obtain competitive bids from investors and replaces the process of exchanging bid tapes via email. In addition to providing a full-featured interactive trading environment, the system enables traders to optimize executions by supporting shadow-bidding, the posting of axes, chat-based communication, and color reports.” Questions should be addressed to OB’s Scott Happ.
First American Mortgage Solutions LLC announced a while back the expansion of the application programming interfaces (APIs) available through its Digital Gateway, giving users greater flexibility to create modern, consumer-friendly applications and workflows. First American APIs and datasets available through Digital Gateway include: Multiple Identity APIs for comprehensive searches of applicants’ Social Security numbers with identity and occupancy validation.
First Allegiance, a woman-owned national field services company, performs BPOs across the country for both residential and commercial properties. Individual or bulk orders are accepted.  
Broker Price Opinion Product List includes Residential BPO, Residential: Single Family, Multi- Family: 2 -4 units, Vacant Land, Commercial BPO, Commercial BOV: Sales Comparable and income approach, Commercial sales comparison only report and Vacant Land. For more information contact Brian Daily, Chief Strategy Officer.
Accurate Group announced the next-gen release of its mobile app for property inspections. The GroundWorks app combines a crowdsourcing model, localized expertise and mobile technology to accelerate the delivery of more accurate interior and exterior property condition reports. The application connects Accurate Group’s nationwide network of pre-screened real estate property inspectors with lenders and servicers requesting property inspections.
Capital markets
A flattening yield curve isn’t the only bond-market benchmark suggesting the US economy is nearing a downturn. Pricing of Eurodollar futures indicates traders think major central banks will stop interest-rate increases in late 2019 or early 2020 to prop up their economies.
With fewer trade-war headlines rattling markets since Friday’s rollout of U.S. and Chinese tariffs, investors turn their attention to earnings season in the hope that strong results can complement a recent run of positive economic data. Stocks rose, and Treasuries fell (that doesn’t always happen!) as a lull in the trade war gave investors room to focus on the start of the earnings season ahead of JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup results Friday. The 10-year closed +1 bp to 2.87% despite the $33 billion 3-year note auction drawing the lowest bid-cover ratio since 2009. The soft demand for shorter-term paper comes as the Federal Reserve remains intent on raising rates and continuing the balance sheet run-off. Other releases from yesterday included the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index decreasing in June from May and the May Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey showing that job opening decreased to 6.638 million in May from a revised 6.840 million in April.
This morning we’ve already had the reaction to the potential retaliation from China in response to the most recent announcement from the US on new tariffs that will be levied on an additional $200 billion in goods. The holiday-impacted weekly MBA mortgage applications for the week ending July 6 were +2.5% although refi biz hit its lowest level since 2000. Next up was June’s Producer Price Index where increases were expected after flat readings in May and they were +.3%, core +.3%, year over year +3.4% – heating up. May wholesale inventories and sales, at 10AM ET, are seen increasing and decreasing, respectively, versus prior figures. Then we have the Treasury completing a mini-Refunding when $22 billion reopened 10-year notes are auctioned. The day begins with the 10-year yielding 2.85% and agency MBS prices roughly flat versus last night’s close.
(Thank you to Steve R. for this one.)
Given all the trade issues we now have, clear communication is critical – as shown by this short video.
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