News

Jan. 21: Relationship mgt., LO, AE jobs; sales training; capital markets dive into Agency CRTs – transferring risk

For folks who like numbers, here’s some mortgage trivia. The average mortgage as of Q2 2018 according to Experian was $132,029. Households are paying 9.8% of their disposable personal income to stay current on all of their loans, including mortgages, according to the Fed, which is significantly below levels over the past 30 years – a good thing. What isn’t so great is that, according to The Wall Street Journal, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) reports 26% of mortgage borrowers who obtained loans through the agency did so with the help of a relative in making the down payment. This compares to 22% who did so back in 2011. A rebound in home prices and higher mortgage rates were contributing factors.
 
Employment
 
Richey May, the leader in providing audit, tax, and advisory services in the industry, is looking to hire a leader of relationship management and client experience. Through strategic involvement and collaboration with the firm’s partners, employees, and clients, this individual will develop, implement, and drive the client experience strategy and relationship management initiatives for the firm. We’re in search of a passionate and energetic communicator and leader with significant relationship management experience to join our award-winning team. Please submit resumes here.
 
Are you an experienced Wholesale or Non-Delegated Correspondent Account Executive looking for a new opportunity to grow your non-QM book of business? Arc Home Loans, a growing, nationwide FNMA, FHLMC, GNMA seller/servicer with a suite of proprietary non-QM products is hiring! “With direct access to a broad array of specialty products from an affiliated, dedicated investor with a strong demand for non-QM loans, Arc Home Loans is uniquely positioned to make a difference to your bottom line! Grow with us in 2019! We are looking to expand our sales force across the country. Please send resume to
employment@archomeloans.com.
 
Top 50 Mortgage Lender, On Q Financial, is expanding across the East Coast with the addition of its newest Regional Vice President, Mid-Atlantic Region, Brian Logie. Logie has over 18 years of experience in the industry and will lead On Q’s growth into Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, Delaware, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania. “His energy, diligence, and dedication are critical for our plans to grow our brand and bring the dream of home ownership to countless families,” Shane Miller, Senior Vice President, added. If you’re a passionate and driven individual that thrives in a fast-paced environment and you’re interested in joining the team at On Q, please contact Nick Suwanvichit or visit On Q Financial Careers.  
 
Lender products and services
 
Simplify your underwriting process with Loan Product Advisor® asset and income modeler (AIM). Through the expertise of third-party service providers, AIM automates the manual processes of assessing borrower assets and income. AIM reduces the burden of traditional documentation, speeds up the loan origination process and helps you close loans faster. Freddie Mac is working hard to bring you solutions that create efficiencies for your business and improve the borrower experience – giving you a competitive edge. These capabilities are available for Loan Product Advisor submissions and resubmissions on and after December 9, 2018. Gain greater efficiency in your underwriting processes with AIM – get The Freddie EdgeSM.
 
Want to achieve total success in business? How about in life? Mortgage Industry Leader Todd Duncan will show you how to accomplish BOTH in 60 minutes for FREE!
After using Duncan’s mind-blowing Mortgage Industry disrupters, Dominic Dangora said, “I have gone from 16 fundings a year to over 200 fundings a year.” That’s over a 12X increase in production – AMAZING! Imagine your year if you increased your production by 4X, 10X or even 12X. Make 2019 your personal best year ever. Learn on January 24th the strategies that made Dominic more money in less time with less stress. You deserve it! Space is limited. REGISTER TODAY!
 
The data in your LOS can do powerful things, from automating manual processes to delivering insights that inform better decision-making. But it’s not always easy to tap into system data, as Cyprus Credit Union experienced. The Cyprus team was happy with Finastra’s Fusion MortgagebotLOS, but they knew they weren’t using the LOS’ data management feature to its fullest potential. Processes like boarding loans to the credit union’s subservicer were too costly and labor-intensive. Cyprus needed a partner experienced in working with Fusion Mortgagebot, so they turned to LBA Ware™. With LBA Ware’s help, Cyprus slashed loan boarding fees by more than two-thirds and deployed LBA Ware’s automated incentive compensation and performance management platform, CompenSafe™, to inform and motivate its originations team with actionable pipeline insights. Download the free case study to see how LBA Ware helped Cyprus unlock the potential of its LOS data.
 
Capital markets
 
In the secondary markets the Agencies are doing deals, laying groundwork for a single security, and transferring credit risk away from taxpayers to willing buyers. MLOs should know that all these help rates for their borrowers. And this year the secondary markets, and with them the primary markets as beneficiaries, can look forward to the single security!
 
How about some market color on recent agency credit risk transfer (CRT) performance? CRT prices were down 2%-6% in Q4 for most lower and un-rated securities, which contributed to lower book values across the industry. The offset is stronger yields on new CRT investments, which improved by roughly 50-100 bps. Levered returns in CRT appear fairly attractive, as it provides a hedge against more duration-sensitive assets.
 
The CRT’s sensitivity to spreads, however, is likely somewhat higher compared to other mortgage assets. Seasoned, more subordinate securities, which are typically favored by mortgage REITs, were down as on the-run collateral was especially weak. For example, Fannie Mae priced $918 million of new bonds in early October, with the most subordinate, unrated tranche issued for 375bps over 1M Libor. The bond ended the year with a dollar price of roughly $93, down 7%, including the yield on the security widening by around 100 bps. Since year-end, CRT has actually rebounded modestly. Unlevered yields on most B tranches currently sit between 6%-7% and yields on M2 slices are around 4%-5%.
 
Keefe, Bruyette & Woods believes that expectations are now for spreads on legacy non-Agency MBS to not correct as sharply for security prices as for CRT’s, as these spreads widened modestly during 4Q. Legacy non-Agency collateral remains far more seasoned than CRT, which likely helps insulate it in a choppy market. Also, while the legacy MBS market continues to steadily pay down, it’s still a larger and more liquid asset class than Agency risk transfer. CRT’s, normally a potential offset against safe-haven asset classes like Agency MBS, may underperform other mortgage assets in periods of strong market turbulence given its spread sensitivity. It’s important to note, however, that the strong appreciation in CRT over the last year has contributed to especially solid total return on those assets. Towards the end of 2018, more subordinate securities underperformed bonds with more credit protection, and heading into 2019, bonds with less seasoning will likely underperform those with a longer pay history. A sharp and unexpected widening of credit spreads relative to benchmark yields like swaps or Treasuries is the most meaningful risk for economic return performance. Also, while it’s a lower likelihood scenario, a significant tightening in either Agency or credit spreads may weaken earnings power, especially if short term borrowing costs are simultaneously rising due to additional Fed rate hikes.
 
On January 3, Freddie Mac announced its first Multifamily Credit Risk Transfer offering using (Re)Insurance on $915 Million of Affordable Multifamily Loans. The expanded risk offering coincides with the creation of a Multifamily Credit Insurance Pool (MCIP) offering and the closing of the first transaction under that offering. In MCIP transactions, Freddie Mac enters into long-term credit insurance contracts covering credit losses from existing multifamily loans in the company’s portfolio or bonds that Freddie Mac fully guarantees. The structure transfers a percentage of credit risk to reinsurers, helping reduce Freddie Mac’s need to hold capital for the underlying loans in the pool. Freddie hopes the long-term insurance contracts help alleviate pricing volatility and reduce execution uncertainties, thus broadening their production capabilities on various types of loans that may be structurally more complicated or need longer time to aggregate.
 
Freddie Mac also announced its first transaction through the offering, MCIP 2018-1. Freddie Mac has purchased credit risk insurance for the first 5 percent of credit losses on a reference pool of $915 million, which consists of 55 loans in Freddie Mac’s Bond Credit Enhancement and Multifamily Participation Certificate program portfolios. The average loan balance in the pool is $16.6 million, and most of the 55 properties in the pool include rent-restricted units that are affordable to low- and very low-income families.
 
On January 17, Freddie Mac priced a new offering of $632 million in Structured Pass-Through K-Certificates (K-L04) which are multifamily mortgage-backed securities backed by two groups of loans. One group (Connor Loan Group) consists of 10 floating-rate mortgages backed by 10 properties and the other group (Ares Loan Group) consists of 12 fixed-rate mortgages backed by 12 properties. The K-L04 Certificates are expected to settle on or about January 29, 2019. K-Deals are part of the company’s business strategy to transfer a portion of the risk of losses away from taxpayers and to private investors who purchase the non-guaranteed subordinate bonds, typically featuring a wide range of investor options with stable cash flows and structured credit enhancement. There will be three offered classes in the transaction. Class A-CR has principal of $344 million, a weighted average life of 6.65 years, a coupon of 3.00%, and a dollar price of $100. Class A1-AS has principal of $22 million, a weighted average life of 4.83 years, a coupon of 3.33%, and a dollar price of $101. The third offered class, class A2-AS has principal of $266 million, a weighted average life of 6.74 years, a coupon of 3.68%, and a dollar price of $102.
 
On January 10, Freddie Mac announced pricing of a $560 Million Multifamily Small Balance Loan Securitization, a multifamily mortgage-backed securitization backed by small balance loans underwritten by Freddie Mac and issued by a third-party trust. The SB58 certificates are anticipated to settle on or about January 22, 2019. Freddie Mac Small Balance Loans generally range from $1 million to $6 million and are backed by properties with five or more units. This is the first SB Certificate transaction in 2019. There are four offered classes in the securitization, ranging from $65 million to $224 million with weighted average life’s from 4.08 to 7.31 years, coupons of 3.17% to 3.73% and dollar prices of all roughly $100.47. There will also be one interest only class of securities issued by the FRESB 2019-SB58 Mortgage Trust, as Freddie Mac acts as mortgage loan seller and master servicer to the trust. In addition to the five classes of securities guaranteed by Freddie Mac, the trust will issue certificates consisting of Class B and Class R Certificates, which will not be guaranteed by Freddie Mac and will be sold to private investors. The Small Balance Loan (SBL) origination initiative was first announced in October 2014 and expands the company’s continuing effort to better serve less populated markets and provide additional liquidity to smaller apartment properties. Freddie Mac has a specialty network of Seller/Servicers and SBL lenders with extensive experience in this market who source loans across the country.
 
On December 13, Ginnie Mae announced that issuance of its mortgage-backed securities totaled $33.7 billion in November, including $32.2 billion of Ginnie Mae II MBS and $1.5 billion of Ginnie Mae I MBS, which includes $1.3 billion of loans for multifamily housing. Ginnie Mae’s total outstanding principal balance of $2.033 trillion is an increase from $1.903 trillion in November 2017. Ginnie Mae I MBS are modified pass-through mortgage-backed securities on which registered holders receive separate principal and interest payments on each of their certificates. Ginnie Mae I securities can include single family, multifamily, manufactured home and project construction loans. Ginnie Mae II MBS are modified pass-through mortgage-backed securities for which registered holders receive an aggregate principal and interest payment from a central paying agent. An Issuer may participate in the Ginnie Mae II MBS either by issuing custom, single-Issuer pools or through participation in the issuance of multiple-Issuer pools, which combine loans with similar characteristics.
 
On December 13, Freddie Mac announced this year’s final STACR SPI deal, its largest ever at $275 million, further reducing its credit risk and enhancing the stability of the U.S. housing market. The transaction drew 17 unique investors, which bodes well as Freddie introduces STACR DNA and HQA in a REMIC structure deals in 2019. The $275 million STACR 2018-SPI4 securities are backed by participation interests in 30-year fixed-rate non-HARP mortgage loans with an aggregate principal balance of approximately $6.9 billion and will include retention of the credit risk on loans subsequently refinanced under Freddie Mac’s Enhanced Relief Refinance Program.  Three classes of STACR SPI 2018-4 certificates were sold. The M-1 class had pricing of EDSF plus a spread of 160 bps; the M-2 class at swaps plus a spread of 350 bps; and B class at $47.50. Freddie Mac will retain a 5 percent interest in each of the three classes, maintaining alignment of interests with credit investors and complying with European Union Risk Retention rules. Since 2013, Freddie has transferred a portion of credit risk on more than $1 trillion in unpaid principal balance on single-family mortgages, growing its investor base to more than 230 unique investors, including insurers and reinsurers.
 
The bond markets are closed today, but on Friday the U.S. 10-year closed Friday +4 bps to 2.78%, Treasuries across the curve reaching their highest levels of the week as markets digested Thursday’s reports that tariffs on imports from China could be lifted to smooth negotiations, even though the Treasury Department was quick to refute that claim. More tomorrow!
 

 

Yes, MLK had a humorous side.
 
 
Visit www.robchrisman.com for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “Home Financing Despite the Partial Shutdown.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
 
 
Rob
 
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2019 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)
 

Jan. 18: LO jobs; condo, sales, business intelligence products; Freddie & Fannie program & process changes

For the first time in history, the six biggest banks — JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley — made $100 billion in profit in a year. Yowzah! There’s a lot going on out there, and Ben Smidt put out his “Mortgage Expert Insights on Business Planning Strategies” that is worth a gander. Every basis point counts, right? With the increase in short-term rates, for non-depository lenders, does your accounting team tell you how much it costs every day to have a funded but unsold on your warehouse? If they haven’t, they should.
 
Jobs & transitions
 
Highlands Residential Mortgage is honored to announce that National Mortgage News ranked Highlands as the “Number 1” Mortgage Company on their inaugural 2019 Best Mortgage Companies to Work for List. Using extensive employee surveys and employer reports on benefits, the Awards Program identifies and recognizes the Best Employers in the Industry. 
“I’m very proud that Highlands was awarded First Place! From the beginning, our goal was to build a company with an employee focused culture that would attract and retain the best Mortgage Professionals in the industry. Winning this award affirms we are reaching that goal. The mission of valuing people drives everything we do and has resulted in the company growing for five consecutive years” said Ken Hickman CEO. Highlands currently has 31 branches in 11 states with 350 employees. If you are interested in joining the Best Workplace in the industry contact Danny Deaton EVP National Production 469-364-7078.
 
Caliber Home Loans, Inc. CEO Sanjiv Das was recently quoted by The Wall Street Journal in two recent articles. On January 4th, Das was quoted as saying “I think that family assistance has a higher moral bearing on people when things turn tough in the housing market,” in the article titled “More First-Time Home Buyers are Turning to the Bank of Mom and Dad.” This week he was quoted in the article “How to Make Home Ownership a Reality,” telling readers how “to make the right choices” when it comes to getting a home loan, the leading lender’s CEO said “Speed, certainty and rate are all important—not just the rate.” Caliber is currently the 3rd largest non-bank lender in the country (IMF). Caliber is growing and hiring new Loan Consultants. Consider a new career at Caliber this year! Visit www.joincalibernow.com or email Jeremy DeRosa.
 
Branch Managers, are you looking for stability for you and your team? It can take time before discipline pays off, but when it does, significant gains can result. Such is the case for PRMG’s position of strength as a company and our attractiveness for those seeking a home they may rely on. Many in our industry are currently unstable. Some offered unsustainable pricing in Q4 in an effort to recruit under what some might call false pretenses, only to worsen their pricing later. At PRMG we’re consistent, transparent and growing. Our pricing, products, fulfillment, marketing, compensation, and technology attract and retain top talent. Our two Founders continue to reinvest into PRMG providing a safe haven for those professionals who recognize the value in stability. PRMG affords you, the LO or BM, a voice. You matter here at PRMG and we treat you like the customer that you are. PRMG is that rare find of culture and performance and those who have taken full advantage of what we have to offer have become million-dollar earners in a few short years. Email Chris Sorensen, SVP-National Director of Retail, if you’re finally ready to build your legacy instead of another’s.”
 
VantageScore Solutions announced that Dr. Emre Sahingur has joined as SVP, Predictive Analytics, Research, and Product Management. (Dr. Sahingur most recently served as the Chief Risk Officer for Model Risk Management at Fannie Mae.)
 
Lender products and services
 
“On the heels of success with the Single Close Construction program in 2018, GSF Mortgage Corp. (GSF) is kicking off the new year strong by attending the NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, NV, through February 19-21. Highlights of our Single Close Construction program include, FHA 30 Year Fixed up to 96.5% LTV, VA 30 Year Fixed up to 100% LTV, USDA 30 Year Fixed up to 100% LTV and Conventional 30 year fixed up to 95% LTV. All loans are handled in-house the borrower does not need to requalify after the initial closing and make no interest payments during the build on most products. Eligible home types include: stick built, manufactured, modular. Originators and builders are welcome to stop by GSF’s booth (#SU3048) and discuss the program and partnership opportunities with our attending Construction Division team. Please reach out to VP of Retail Lending, Frank Papaleo.”
 
In this era of uncertainty, how can Accenture Credit Services help you achieve greater predictability and certainty? “Through supporting your end-to-end or component based residential mortgage needs. As a trusted provider in retail, correspondent and wholesale channels, we help clients accelerate business outcomes and help them grow in today’s unpredictable market. We help transform business operations with lean manufacturing, process automations, data management, operational analytics, and agile global workforce models. Our deep domain expertise and robust processing capabilities help lift significant internal operational challenges for our clients. Accenture’s offshore branch with broad state licensure helps lenders increase their ability to focus on the customer experience and improve customer satisfaction, reduce costs to originate and service loans, improve compliance and management oversight, and enhance their operational efficiencies. Click here to learn more or to let us know if you’re attending the MBA IMB Conference in San Francisco later this month.”
 
Most of you have hopefully realized the massive opportunity non-QM represents for borrowers that don’t fit neatly into vanilla loan parameters. If you’re craving more options, REMN Wholesale has solutions for you. REMN is hosting a webinar on January 24th that explores the unique options it offers through the Simple Access platform. If you’re looking for ways to continue to grow in the non-QM space, this is a can’t miss event. REMN’s Simple Access program capitalizes on some of the most common scenarios for non-QM borrowers, including investor cash flow and other alternatives to full doc loans. The flexible guidelines REMN Wholesale offers through Simple Access, combined with the industry-leading support REMN is known for nationwide, makes their non-QM platform a win-win for all involved. REMN’s Simple Access non-QM webinar will be hosted by NREP’s Frank Garay. Space is extremely limited, so interested participants should register ASAP here.
 
“How can you say the words ‘Digital Mortgage’ if your POS requires human intelligence or often results in human error? PerfectLO is the leading POS in the Fin-tech space and has designed a Perfect Loan Application built with intelligence that "digs" in and asks all the questions that ‘live’ inside and outside the ‘1003.’ We all know that a completed "1003" is quite useless even when completed. The real pain in your operation begins is caused from inaccurate 1003’s and not requesting required docs. PerfectLO creates a ‘spot on’ doc checklist based off the answers and offers a secure upload. A customizable milestone sms notification portal to keep your borrowers and agents updated. Sign up for a free trial and demo. PerfectLO’s online questionnaire takes a non- intimidating, logical and systematic approach. Easy to adopt and easy onboard. PerfectLO works in every language and talks to all LOS’s. Visit PerfectLO.com!”
 
Looking for ways to grow your business? Freddie Mac is collaborating with clients to deliver automation and insights that provide a competitive edge. Cut back on documentation and reduce time to close with Loan Product Advisor® automated income and asset assessment capabilities. Save borrowers time and money with ACE appraisal waivers, now available for certain condo unit loans. Grow your condo business with Freddie Mac’s unit-level condo exception tool, Condo Project AdvisorSM. Get greater efficiency with simpler collateral QC and underwriting in Loan Collateral Advisor® Get The Freddie EdgeSM.
 
Amazon, JP Morgan Chase, LinkedIn, Uber, and Nest all use Customer and Business Intelligence to give themselves the edge they need to win in their industry. They spend hundreds of millions of dollars on intelligence products and will continue to invest more every year because it works! Sales Boomerang has created the same powerhouse intelligence systems for the lending industry but you don’t have to spend millions to implement it in your business. Management launched a new category in the mortgage industry called Borrower Intelligence and it is an absolute must have product. "If you have a database of more than 15,000 records you will miss out on at least $100M+ and in many cases over $1B in volume this year" says Alex Kutsishin Co-Founder and CEO of Sales Boomerang. Calculate your losses for yourself with this simple Loan Loss calculator. Sales Boomerang is booming so if you want to know how it fits into your strategy go visit its website and schedule a demo
 
Conventional conforming changes around the biz
 
For the most part Freddie and Fannie have motored on, regardless of the PUGS (partial U.S. government shutdown). Let’s see what they’ve been up to recently.
 
During the weekend of Feb. 23, Fannie Mae’s EarlyCheck™ version 5.8 will introduce new and modified edits to align with existing Loan Delivery edits and upcoming Loan Delivery edit changes. EarlyCheck updates include new edits for condo project type, credit score, and MI as well as edit severity changes.
 
Freddie Mac posted Bulletin 2019-2 that provides temporary guidance to help assist borrowers impacted by the federal government shutdown. This bulletin covers credit reporting requirements and eligible hardships and forbearance plans.
 
Freddie Mac announced new enhancements to its GreenCHOICE MortgagesSM energy-efficient offerings, including broader financing options to help families with lower-incomes reduce home utility costs through energy-saving home repairs and improvements. GreenCHOICE Mortgages will enable Freddie Mac to better assess mortgage loan performance between homes with energy-efficient enhancements and those without. Additional research by Freddie Mac will help develop and design valuation guidance and uniform data collection mechanisms, as well as underwriting guidelines to account for energy-efficient features.
 
The Freddie Mac Guide Bulletin 2018-22 Simplifies Requirements and Provides Flexibilities for Servicers. Click here to view the bulletin.
 
On January 21st, lenders will be able to submit self-reports and interact with the Data Validation Center right in the Fannie Mae Loan Quality Connect™ system without using a separate process or managing mailbox limitations. These are just two of the many ways Loan Quality Connect helps lenders drive loan quality and manage the post-purchase review process.
 
On Jan. 21 lenders can start using the Fannie Mae Loan Quality Connect™, its new system that drives loan quality and manages the post-purchase review process. It was developed with lenders, for lenders to bring simplified technology, seamless collaboration, and increased certainty. Click here to learn more about Loan Quality Connect™.
 
Fannie Mae sellers/servicers with a Dec. 31 fiscal year end must submit their annual certification and audited financial statements to us by March 31. Recent enhancements to the Lender Record Information Form 582 platform will simplify the certification process.
 
Freddie Mac announced enhancements to its Loan Selling Advisor® including a new Purchase Statement data export capability and incorporating new messaging and search functionality for Mandatory Cash Contracts.
 
New Uniform Loan Delivery Dataset (ULDD) Phase 3 edits with an Informational severity are now available in Fannie Mae Loan Delivery. Additionally, the Social Security Number (SSN) display is masked in both Loan Delivery and in the MISMO XML export files. Review the Loan Delivery Enhancements and visit the Loan Delivery page for more information.
 
Capital markets
 
The U.S. 10-year closed Thursday at the slightly higher yield of 2.75%. The entire yield curve shifted up. The largest news concerning markets over the course of the day was a report that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin proposed lifting some or all tariffs on imports from China in order to calm markets, though that same story in the WSJ noted that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is against making concessions. In good(?) news, the U.S. State Department has instructed its staff to return to work on January 22, as the longest shutdown in U.S. government history continues with no end in sight. There was the usual Brexit (British Exit) chatter across “The Pond.” European officials are reportedly willing to extend the withdrawal date past March 29, but the UK has yet to request such an extension.
 
It’s a real mix of companies open and closed Monday. Ahead of the long weekend, we have a relatively light economic calendar today. Fedspeak consists of New York Fed President Williams and Philadelphia’s Harker. Coming up, at 9:15AM, is the Industrial Production & Capacity Utilization couplet, both expected to increase slightly. Manufacturing output should increase 0.4% after an unchanged last reading. The University of Michigan Sentiment Index will be released at 10AM ET and is expected to decline slightly. Today begins with Agency MBS down/worse a few ticks and the 10-year yielding 2.77%.
 
 
(Thank you to Tracy C. for this one.)
A man hears a knock at his door.
When he opens it, he looks down and sees a snail. He picks it up and tosses it into his yard.
Two year later, he gets a knock at his door.
He looks down, same snail. The snail looks up and cries out, "What was that all about?"
 
 
Visit www.robchrisman.com for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “Home Financing Despite the Partial Shutdown.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
 
 
Rob
 
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2019 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)
 

Jan. 17: LO jobs; Subservicer, non-Agency products; world debt increasing; primer on “duration” and mortgage pricing; Chase deal

Time has a way of slipping by. For example, I’ve really been meaning to transfer a bunch of Lotus 1-2-3 and Quattro Pro spreadsheets I have off of some floppy disks and onto my laptop but never seem to get around to it. Speaking of time passing, Moody’s send out a warning that if the partial US government shutdown (PUGS) continues it could create problems for the U.S. bond market. Entities that depend upon federal money for revenues or paying debts could experience "liquidity strains." As we know the lack of liquidity will take a company, or person, down to their knees faster than anything. Yet nothing is certain but death and taxes, and the IRS plans to recall thousands of workers now on furlough because of the PUGS.
 
Jobs & personnel moves
 
Sierra Pacific Mortgage is looking for talented additions to its teams across the nation. Don’t miss the opportunity to work for a company that has been around for more than 30 years and continues to experience growth, prioritizes its culture and employees while offering hands-on support from the leadership team! Management is looking for talented and motivated loan originators throughout the US. Contact Sierra Pacific about all the opportunities they have. If you have the vision and the drive, Sierra will provide the support and tools you need to take your career to a whole new level. Send your resume to careers@spmc.com to learn more. In case you didn’t know, Sierra Pacific Mortgage offers renovation loans, diverse jumbo products, a powerful technology suite and excellent marketing services to set you apart. 
 
For the 3rd year in a row Caliber Home Loans, Inc. has been recognized by Victory Media as a Military Friendly® Brand. Caliber has also been honored as a Military Friendly® Employer 2019. Both designations measure a company’s social and material investment in support of the military and veteran community. These awards were created in 2001 by two Navy veterans who saw the need for career resources for members of the military during their transition back to civilian life. “Caliber is more than a mortgage lender, we’re committed to assisting our active military and veterans in every way possible – from assistance with VA Loans to our community outreach initiatives. We’re looking for a few good loan officers to join the ranks of our sales organization! Contact Jeremy DeRosa or visit www.joincalibernow.com.”
 
"Prime Choice Funding, Inc. is a national leader in mortgage lending and is reaching out to current Branch Managers and LOs. Tired of margin compression? Losing out on deals because of pricing? Is your employer getting rich off your loans by juicing up their margin to make up for a slowdown in production? Let us help! We offer great LO compensation while allowing you to price competitively. Don’t worry, we have all the bells and whistles you need for marketing support, loan processing, and more. While many in the mortgage industry are struggling, we are experiencing exponential growth and are expanding nationwide.  We provide loan officers with competitive compensation, top-tier fulfillment, and paid marketing that drives business growth.  If you’re interested in joining our team visit https://bit.ly/2FvnMkx to apply. For more information contact Kevin McKay (714-263-1601)." 
 
Join the best Brand in the business! BrandMortgage is fully independent and lending in AL, DC, FL, GA, MD, MS, NC, SC, TN and VA. Brand is in search of seasoned and emergent loan officers across our entire footprint. Brand offers a digital loan platform with the full array of Fannie, Freddie and government lending products, and an extensive offering of portfolio programs including jumbo, super jumbo, construction perm, non-warrantable condo and bank statement programs, all in-house. “BrandMortgage has a foundation of integrity, innovation and teamwork with a collaborative, results-driven approach, enabling originators to deliver exceptional service and successfully grow their business. To learn more about joining the Best Brand in Mortgage, contact Gabe Santiago, Corporate Recruiter (678.226.7585).”
 
Known for his insight on regulation and compliance, congrats to Matt Tully with his new role, joining Sagent Lending Technologies’ executive team as VP of Agency Affairs and Compliance: here’s the link.
 
And congrats to Gina McLeod who comes to Union Bank as a VP, Account Executive covering San Diego, Temecula, Desert cities and parts of Nevada and Arizona.
 
Lender products and services
 

Wrapping up a record-breaking 2018, Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions is looking to continue its extraordinary growth in the correspondent channel. If you’re attending the MBA’s Independent Mortgage Banker’s Conference in San Francisco later this month, there couldn’t be a better time to speak with the leader in Non-Agency about becoming a correspondent lender. Simply contact Sean Marr to schedule a meeting. Also, make sure to see Steven Schwalb speak on non-QM on Wednesday January 30th at 3:30. Non-Agency lenders aren’t all the same – experience the Angel Oak difference.

 
Do you use Dovenmuehle, Cenlar or LoanCare as your subservicer? Richey May & Co., a public accounting firm recognized as the leader in providing audit, tax, and compliance services within the industry, is planning its 2019 subservicer oversight review program to assist companies with their monitoring and oversight responsibilities. Richey May’s program and subsequent 120+ page report provides value beyond the basic compliance requirements, including face-to-face interviews with all key department heads to observe their processes and challenges, a comprehensive review of business continuity and IT assessments to ensure client and consumer information remains secure, and a summary of the subservicer’s notable accomplishments and strategic initiatives for the future. The optional loan level testing provides succinct and valuable insight into how your personal portfolio is being serviced, potentially uncovering unobserved information and assisting in the client-subservicer relationship. To learn more or to participate in the 2019 oversight program, please contact Kevin Lohry.
 
What’s the mortgage version of “having your cake and eating it too”? Well, thanks to United Wholesale Mortgage, it means having access to superb service, technology, partnership tools…AND price! UWM has dropped its rates across the board — for conventional, government and jumbo — giving the nation’s No. 1 wholesale lender unequaled pricing in the country, to go along with everything else that makes it the most popular wholesale lender among mortgage brokers. UWM has removed all state adjustments and all Loan Level Pricing Adjustments (LLPA) overlays as well. Now, not only will mortgage brokers enjoy the fastest and easiest experience by working with UWM, they’ll also get their customers unmatched best rates. To learn more, visit www.UWM.com/have-it-all.
 
Sharing this one final time! Download the free eBook,  “2019 Mortgage Lending Resolutions.” 2019 is setting up to be a year filled with challenges and no game plan on how to combat, will most likely leave you sitting on the sidelines. Still, winning is possible, but only if you are agile enough to embrace change and lean into the winds of market challenges to find the opportunity within. This eBook gives you a plan and focus areas to attack this upcoming year. A great quick read for all mortgage leaders and their teams, Download Your Free Copy Here.  
Capital markets
 
Interest rates are a function of bond pricing, which is, in turn, a function of supply and demand. (There is little reason to originate a loan, or issue debt, if there is no demand: No one wants to buy it, own it in their portfolio, or service it.) On the supply side of things, there is concern. Countries around the world have now amassed the highest level of debt in history at nearly $250 trillion. That level is about 3x the amount of 20 years ago. By country, the U.S., China, EU and Japan have 67% of the global household debt, 75% of corporate debt and almost 80% of government debt. Countries with the highest public debt to GDP are: Japan (238%), Greece (182%), Barbados (157%), Lebanon (147%) and Italy (132%). The US is about 105%. Looking at households, consumer debt is higher than ever as it is expected to hit $4 trillion in 2019 along with $10.3 trillion in mortgages reached in the end of Q3 2018. Experian tells us that consumers, on average, owed $6,826 on their credit cards as of September, up 1.9% from a year before and up 11% from 2011.
 
I am often asked why lower mortgage rates move differently than higher mortgage rates. (“Rates dropped, but 5% mortgages barely budged. Is my capital markets guy keeping all the profit?” The answer lies in the duration and convexity of the yield curve. Let’s focus on the duration component for today, a.k.a., the length of time in years in which a mortgage is expected to pay off.
 
Duration influences pricing in life, whether that be on bonds or on how long a car is expected to last. Assuming a stable rate environment, if someone buying loans for their portfolio has a loan that they expect will pay off in six months versus six years, the loan paying off in six years is more valuable as that is a longer stream of interest payments the company can collect. Virtually all of the loans originated prior to 2018 were made below current mortgage rates, which conceptually means people are currently less likely to refinance into higher monthly payments.
 
For those holding mortgages in their portfolio, the portfolio value falls when rates fall, as a larger chunk of those loans are expected to refinance and be paid off. Exposure to interest rates along various points of the yield curve matters especially when the curve is changing shape. Although most residential mortgages have fairly long maturities (amortized for 15 or 30 years), their effective duration, or sensitivity to interest rates, appears at various points along the yield curve since the average life is historically closer to 6-8 years. This curve-wide interest rate risk is unique in mortgages and is driven primarily by the borrower’s option to prepay their loan.
 
Since the end of September, yield curve flattening has been driven primarily by 10-year treasuries sliding lower relative to shorter-maturity benchmarks like the 2-year. Higher coupons, like 30-year 4.5s and 5.5s, tend to trade to a shorter duration as the coupons can see faster prepayment speeds when rates drop versus 3.5s or 4.0s.
 
It is also no secret the Fed is continuing and will continue to exit the mortgage market as they reduce their mortgage holdings and allow the balance sheet to run off. The issue with this is it will continue to deteriorate the mortgage universe’s quality of collateral. Analysts will point out that for over 8 years the Fed has been a garbage disposal of sorts as the worst of the worst pools were delivered to them, meaning high WAC, fast paying, poorly serviced pools ended up on their balance sheet. This greatly improved the tradability of the mortgage market which helped to elevate prices of rapidly-prepaying loans while the Fed was buying.
 
Now that the Fed has scaled back purchases, anything that is in existence currently in the market or that will be created in the future will have to go somewhere else. This will ultimately create demand for high quality pools. The end result on the rate sheet is that you will see markets not paying large premiums for higher rates if they think the loan will pay off and exit their portfolio in six months.
 
JPMorgan Chase is preparing to issue a prime non-agency MBS deal where the majority of the loans backing the security are mortgages eligible for sale to the government-sponsored enterprises. Kroll Bond Rating Agency notes, “The JPMMT 2019-1 mortgage pool is composed of 1,707 first-lien mortgage loans with an aggregate principal balance of $978,118,609… The underlying collateral consists entirely of fully-amortizing, fixed-rate mortgages, characterized by substantial borrower equity in each mortgaged property, as evidenced by the WA original LTV of 68.4% and WA original CLTV of 69.4%. The weighted average original credit score is 761, which is within the prime mortgage range. Conforming jumbos account for 67.0 percent of the collateral. The loans come from Chase (42%), Quicken (19%), United Shore Financial Services (UWM – 13%). Roughly 45% of the loans came through the retail channel and 30% were sourced through third-party mortgage brokers, the rest through correspondents, DTC, etc.
 
Looking at yesterday’s bond market, yesterday volatility picked up slightly but in general it was another quiet day as the U.S. 10-year closed yielding 2.73%. The Federal Reserve’s January Beige Book noted that eight out of twelve districts reported modest to moderate growth, but increased volatility in financial markets, rising short-term rates, falling energy prices, and trade/political uncertainty caused lower optimism for future expectations. Our bonds often move on international news, and we heard about record repurchase reserves liquidity injection overnight from the People’s Bank of China, and British Prime Minister Theresa May surviving a confidence vote by a margin of 19 votes, though it remains unclear how she will proceed with regards to Brexit. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is expected to face a confidence vote later today. And Bank of France President Francois Villeroy de Galhau acknowledged that the ongoing yellow vest protest have had a significant short-term impact on the economy but added that measures taken in response should add up to 20 basis points to GDP growth in 2019. Finally, the Bank of Japan will reportedly cut its inflation forecast at its policy meeting on January 23 due to lower oil prices.
 
Today we’ve had weekly jobless claims (expected to increase, they were -7k to 213k) and the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Survey (higher at “17” as expected). Housing starts and permits, which were also scheduled for release, have been postponed due to the partial government shutdown. We will also hear remarks from one Fed speaker, Governor Quarles. We begin today with the 10-year yielding 2.73% and Agency MBS prices little changed versus last night’s close.
 
 
A butterfly gets pulled over by the cop for speeding.
She hands the cop her driver’s license with a photo of a caterpillar on it.
“Sorry, it’s an old picture.”
 
 
Visit www.robchrisman.com for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “Home Financing Despite the Partial Shutdown.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
 
 
Rob
 
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2019 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)
 

Jan. 16: LO jobs; broker, manufactured home, capital markets products; Radian expands; big banks’ mortgage volumes

As pricing battles rage in the wholesale channel, there has been plenty of news of layoffs in residential lending over the last six months industry-wide, due to reasons like becoming more efficient, lower volumes, or fewer delinquencies, the most recent being BB&T and Mr. Cooper (page 7). What would actually be newsworthy is if a well-known company had no change or layoffs in the last six months! You can bet land use has changed over the decades, and I received this question: “Rob, I have to give a presentation to a bunch of real estate agents. Have you seen anything on how land is used across the nation?” This is the last good piece I saw: Here you go.
 
Employment
 
At the start of this New Year, Academy Mortgage is pleased to announce several new leaders who have recently joined the independent mortgage lender. A recognized industry name in Colorado, Justin Harris is now a Regional Sales Leader at Academy. Harris brings to the company 16 years of valuable experience, including nine years as an Area Manager for Guild Mortgage. Harris’s expertise will be a key asset in overseeing Academy’s production, market expansion, and business development in Colorado. Looking to Texas, new Branch Manager Jason Browning will utilize his 20 years of management experience to lead the company’s growth in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. In the nation’s northeastern corner, new Branch Manager Tamika Donahue, an established top producer with 19 years of experience, will lead a strong team of seasoned mortgage professionals in South Portland, Maine. If you are interested in joining the Academy team, contact Chad Melin, Vice President of National Business Development.
 
Every year the powerful numbers grow at PrimeLending — and 2018 was no different. We added 31 new locations across the country, welcomed 307 new producers and gained #1 market share in 14 markets and top 10 market share in 100 markets. By continuing to grow and empower our team, we were able to help serve more than 56,000 homeowners and fund over $13.7 billion while maintaining our 96% customer satisfaction rating and topping 10,000 5-star Zillow reviews. We not only positively impacted the lives of our clients and teammates, we also continued to cultivate our award-winning culture among our employees, ranking as a top workplace for finance and insurance, women, diversity and Generation X. PrimeLending was also named the 3rd Best Mortgage Company to Work For by National Mortgage News. The PrimeLending Difference is real, and you can experience it for yourself by contacting Brian Miller today. The first step is a casual conversation. The next? That’s up to you.”
 
Lender products and services
 
Manufactured home lending has been a challenge for lenders. Chattel lending is only being done by a handful of lenders today. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae may have found a solution with their initiative to expand efforts in the affordable housing market. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are not the only ones expanding efforts. MortgageFlex Systems has released a new customized version of its LOS, MortgageFlexONE for manufactured home lenders. The LOS is released with new integrations with NADA, Lereta (AFR) for tax certification, and Datacomp for appraisal. Other features include the ability to add retailers to the system and finance fees in the loan amount. The manufactured home LOS gives lenders a completely digital environment with a consumer portal built into the platform. MortgageFlex currently has one manufactured home lender live and more are implementing. They are helping others make manufactured home lending efficient.
 
SimpleNexus is hosting its inaugural User Group Conference Feb 10-12, 2018 at Utah’s picturesque Snowbird Ski Resort. This conference provides a great opportunity for mortgage executives to learn from industry leaders on how to stay profitable in a down market. Conference sessions will cover topics including ‘Competing with Online Lenders,’ ‘Using Technology to Recruit/Retain Top LO Talent,’ ‘Mastering Referral Partner Opportunities,’ and more. Attendees cap off the conference experience with a free ski excursion at Snowbird Resort. Rob Chrisman readers can receive a $150 registration discount by using the code CHRISMAN at checkout. Additional conference info can be found at SimpleNexus User Group 2019. If you are a mortgage executive wanting to thrive and succeed despite tough market conditions, you should seriously consider the SimpleNexus platform. With 20,000+ loan officers and 15 of the Top 25 retail lenders using SimpleNexus, the company is the industry leader in digital mortgage solution technology.
 
Stop losing money in 2019! With the mortgage industry becoming increasingly difficult to survive let alone thrive, companies are in search of new marketing strategies to compete in this new era of credit. The Decision Science team at BBM has created an advanced suite of propensity data models that help professional origination marketers identify homeowners who are actively in the market for FHA, VA, Jumbo and Non-Agency loan options. Our average loan amount for active FHA/VA and Non-Agency applications exceed $350K and gross top line revenue of nearly $15,000. If you’re marketing is not reaching these levels of performance than let BBM show you how a targeted marketing strategy focused on propensity modeling and targeted revenue opportunity can change the trajectory of your company. For more information about BBM Marketing Services and about becoming an approved origination partner; please contact Bill Senteno.”
 
Mr. Cooper was extremely pleased to close out a banner year in 2018 by announcing the launch of eNotes and Hybrid AOT offerings. “Over the year, we executed and delivered on our Strategic Road Map which included the availability of No FICO, Manufactured Homes and Modified Construction to Perm Loan Notes and an expanded Co-issue program to include FNMA Servicing Marketplace. Looking to 2019, we will complete the acquisition of Pacific Union in early Q1, expanding our product and program suite to include Non-Delegated Authority, Jumbo, Non-QM, and have already released an enhanced credit box which allows FICOs to 500 on Government loans. Soon to follow is the release of Temporary Buydowns. We are excited about the coming year and the strong solutions and capabilities we are able to offer to our clients. Mr. Cooper is a premier Correspondent and Co-Issue investor and the largest non-bank servicer with a servicing portfolio of ~ $500B.”
 
Caliber Home Loans, Inc. would like to thank its brokers who partnered with its wholesale lending channel in 2018. The #2 wholesale lender in the country (according to IMF) had a record-breaking month last October for non-Agency volume, which was due in part to the launch of Caliber Elite Access in June. In 2019 Caliber Wholesale plans to leverage the strength of its product portfolio to provide its broker partners with government, conventional, and jumbo options – as well as the suite of non-Agency loans. The Wholesale channel will continue to focus on supporting brokers’ purchase volume, which as of December is 80% of Caliber’s wholesale business. After an exciting year of launching a mobile app, breaking sales records, and introducing new products, Caliber Wholesale and its SVP John Gibson have a lot to offer their broker partners in 2019.
 
M&A in the MI world
 
Radian Group Inc. announced that it has acquired Five Bridges Advisors, LLC, a developer of proprietary software, data analytics and predictive models leveraging artificial intelligence, machine learning and traditional econometric techniques. “Five Bridges is a thought leader in mortgage, consumer and real estate analytics and its cloud-based portal utilizes deep analytics to provide customers with valuation and risk management tools that span the entire loan lifecycle, from underwriting and origination to servicing, secondary market purchase, and securitization.
 
Bank earnings/mortgage volume
 
Yesterday’s 4th quarter earnings reports showed that mortgage lending at Wells Fargo, Chase and Citi plunged. Mortgage lending just keeps plunging. In the fourth quarter, mortgage originations at Citi were down 23% compared to a year ago. At Wells Fargo they were 28% lower, and at JPMorgan Chase they were down 30%. All were driven by lower net reduction revenue, lower industry volume, high competition, inventory issues (there aren’t enough houses for people to buy to sustain a healthy housing market), rising rates in the 4th quarter, and a shift in market share to nonbanks like Quicken, loanDepot, Freedom (who, along with thousands of other lenders are currently doing roughly 60% of residential biz). Some nonbank lenders, such as Fairway Independent, have actually seen an increase in locks over this period in 2018.

 

Capital markets
 
One of the difficulties of implementing new technology is integrating it with current software and business processes. While future time savings through technology is an obvious benefit, set up can be a real challenge. Choosing a company that will consistently be there to support you during and after implementation is the key to success. As an example, new technology like the Bid Auction Manager (BAM) from MCT introduces the ability to significantly improve processing speed of an organization’s best execution loan sales. The software includes rapid market-adjusted pricing, commitment data write-back to avoid data entry errors, and security enhancements such as borrower address geocoding, all from a dedicated team of capital markets experts. Whenever you’re considering new technology: schedule a demo, think about the amount of time saved, the difficulty of implementation, and ongoing support offered to help inform your decision.
 
Looking at the economy, halfway through January, by most accounts, US economic conditions remain favorable for continued expansion although many believe the world economies are tired. Economic data, including labor data, paint the picture of a robust market with increasing jobs, wages, low unemployment and subdued inflation. So naturally, there is plenty of concern about how a downturn is just around the corner. While there continues to be plenty of positive data, it is mostly backwards looking and in some cases the lag is more than one month behind.
 
Interest rates may move higher if China/U.S. issues are resolved, and when the shutdown ends. Some housing markets are underperforming in the wake of affordability and supply concerns. Overseas, growth in China and Europe eased at the end of 2018 and that easing is expected to continue into the beginning of 2019. Should input costs and corporate balance sheets come under pressure due to uncertain trade policies, price increases will ultimately have to be passed through to end consumers adding to inflationary and interest rate pressures. Higher rates and wages will also impact corporate profits, which when weak, are a catalyst for restructuring and layoffs. Add to this contentious political climate which continues to provide markets with plenty of uncertainty.
 
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has emphasized the central bank has flexibility to be patient about when and whether to raise interest rates again. In a wide-ranging interview, Powell said it is a mistake to believe the Fed has an official forecast or plan for interest-rate increases. He also said the Fed will work to make its portfolio of bonds "substantially smaller" and expressed serious concern over the growing amount of US debt.
 
In the bond markets yesterday, volatility continued to drop – a good thing – and the U.S. 10-year closed Tuesday unchanged at 2.71% despite marked Brexit developments. The Brexit vote in the House of Commons in British parliament overwhelmingly reject the withdrawal bill negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May, so it is unclear if the UK will be able to present a new Brexit proposal with just over two months left before the official withdrawal date on March 29. And European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the economy is weaker than expected.
 
On the Chinese trade front, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said he saw little progress in last week’s talks on structural issues and intellectual property protections with representatives from China, per Senator Chuck Grassley. But markets perceive as an easing of U.S.-China trade tensions this week. That, paired with dovish commentary from the Federal Reserve, like Kansas City Fed President Esther George saying yesterday that while rates are not at a neutral level yet, they are getting close, giving the Fed the ability to be "cautious and patient," has spurred rallies in risk assets. Still, it is a two-sided coin depending on how you look at things, and this week has brought releases showing slowing bank earnings growth, underwhelming Producer Price Index figures that should be a precursor to muted Consumer Price Inflation readings over the next few months, and negativity surrounding the ongoing partial U.S. government shutdown, all of which threaten to spook both consumers and markets.
 
This morning we learned that mortgage applications increased 13.5 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 11, hitting its highest level since last February! “Purchase applications hit their highest numbers since 2010, and refinance applications up to their highest level since last spring,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA SVP and Chief Economist. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to its highest level since January 2018, 46.8 percent of total applications.
 
The scheduled December retail sales, November business inventories, and November TIC data are postponed due to the partial government shutdown. December import / export prices were -1%/-.6%. The NAHB Housing Market Index for January will be released at 10:00am with expectations for a slight increase. The latest Fed Beige Book is due at 2PM ET, a couple hours before the lone Fed speaker of the day, Minneapolis Fed President Kashkari. Wednesday starts with rates slightly higher than Tuesday’s close: the 10-year’s yielding 2.73% and Agency MBS prices down/worse a couple ticks.
 
 
A photon checks into a hotel, and the desk clerk asks, "Can I get a bellhop for your bags?"
Photon responds, "No need. I’m traveling light."
 
 
Visit www.robchrisman.com for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “Home Financing Despite the Partial Shutdown.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
 
 
Rob
 
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2019 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

 

 

Jan. 15: AE, LO jobs, personnel moves; CRM, PR, sales products; January training & events

Are rates too high given where the U.S. economy is? Traders, investors, and the Fed think they’re where they need to be, given the information we have. Others believe they will head lower this year due to a slowing economy. The release of bank big bank earnings today is shedding some light on economic temperature, but recall that the word “patient” appeared in the recent FOMC minutes as well as in several comments by Fed Chairman Jay Powell related to the timing of potential upcoming rate hikes. (The last time we saw “patient” show up in Fed speak then Chairwoman Janet Yellen used it in reference to rate hikes in early 2015.) Would you patiently wait for your paycheck? U.S. government owes an estimated $5.3 billion to federal workers who have not been paid since the federal government shutdown began on Dec. 22. There are 826,531 federal workers who have gone without paychecks, with the total value of delayed wages rising at a rate of $2,000 per second. I’m sure the money is in the strongbox, right?
 
Jobs & personnel moves
 
Stearns Lending is excited to welcome Chad Schoep back to its team where he will serve as an SVP supporting the Wholesale and Non-Delegated Correspondent channel. A respected industry leader with more than 15 years of mortgage experience, he will be actively involved with strategic planning, tactical implementation, pricing, product development, counterparty risk and more. Chad’s previous affiliations have given him tremendous lending experience. “With proven results in growing all production channels, operations management and quality improvement, his contributions will have a major impact on the Stearns culture and customer experience,” said James Hecht, COO. “Chad’s skills complement the expertise of our current executive team, further cementing Stearns Lending as an industry pillar. We’re glad to have him back on board and know our broker partners will be, too.” If you are a broker interested in doing business or an Account Executive interested in joining Stearns, reach out to Chad.
 
AmCap Home Loans is expanding out West and has named Dave Bergstrom as Division President to help lead the expansion. “We are so pleased to welcome Dave and his team to the AmCap family. His inspiring attitude and true grit are excellent qualities that make him a perfect fit for our company culture and vision for growth,” said Garrett Clayton, AmCap CEO.
Bergstrom is a 30-year industry veteran based in Southern California. “I’m very happy to be part of a retail organization that is committed to expanding the company in the West. The leadership, tools and technology are exactly what is needed to make a quick impact on the market throughout the western states,” Bergstrom said. AmCap is currently seeking retail branches, branch managers and loan officers that would like an exciting opportunity to help fuel the expansion. If interested please submit a confidential resume to Dave Bergstrom.
 
ACC Mortgage, the oldest Non-QM lender, is extremely proud to announce that Brian Dacy has joined the company to become its National Sales Director. ACC was founded in 1999 as a small DC regional lender and has since grown to a 21-state wholesale Non-QM company. Brian and ACC’s president, Robert Senko, began their careers together 25 years ago with Cityscape Mortgage Corp., a front-runner in the securitization market. Since their collective days at Cityscape, Brian has been a leader in the industry building platforms for the likes of HSBC and First Guaranty with a combination of loyal talent and cutting-edge technology. By applying their successes and lessons from the past, Brian and Robert will utilize 50+ years of unique experience to take ACC to even higher levels with its “proof of concept”: ACC has the team and systems in place to deliver results for the brokers and bankers looking to grow their Non-QM business. ACC is hiring AEs and for brokers interested in becoming a partner, contact Brian Dacy.
 
Blue Water Financial Technologies announced it has hired Travis LaMar as Managing Director, Head of Capital Markets. “As a Managing Director, LaMar joins a strong data science and analytics team and brings 20 years of experience in mortgage secondary and capital markets to BWFT. He will focus on MSR brokerage, structuring solutions for MSR, and hedging solutions.” Congrats!
 
And Guaranteed Rate announced that industry veteran Joe Phalen has joined Guaranteed Rate Affinity as SVP of Strategic Growth for the mortgage origination joint venture between Guaranteed Rate, Inc. and Realogy Holdings Corp.
 
Lender products and services
 
Do you need to build your purchase business and develop agent relationships?  Ron Vaimberg, nmpU President and Head Coach and a leading national trainer and coach to the mortgage industry, is conducting this 1 1/2-day Agent Relationship Sales Lab at the Westin Hotel – LAX in Los Angeles on Thursday, January 31st – Friday, February 1st.  This workshop is limited to 30 attendees working directly with Ron to master his high-performance sales system for asking agents the right questions that will gain their attention, learn the pivot strategies around the objections hurled at you like “I already have a lender,” and discover the 5 steps to deliver the most powerful agent presentation you have ever experienced.  Everything you need to master Ron’s proven system will be provided. This program comes with Ron’s exclusive 3 Hour Money Back Guarantee! Find all the details here. Early registration
discount expires on January 18th. 
 
Creating PR that maximizes awareness, builds engagement and drives conversions is essential to success in today’s digital marketing world. One of the benefits of working with Seroka Brand Development is its 30+ years of mortgage industry PR experience combined with its focus on metrics and analytics in executing and evaluating its PR work. Amy Hansen, Seroka’s VP of PR and Strategic Planning relates how Seroka monitors 5 essential metrics to measure PR’s effectiveness including measuring share of voice, monitoring total potential viewership, providing social engagement data, determining website visitors obtained from earned coverage, evaluating search engine page ranking growth and much more. So, for 2019 why not #TurnUpYourBrand and make Seroka’s PR experience your advantage. Learn more here or email info@seroka.com to schedule a free consultation.
 
Ninety percent of the customer lifetime value is realized after the initial transaction. When salespeople earn the trust of their customers, they can become a trusted advisor. Empower your salespeople to build customers for life by blending human connection and technology. Hear from Todd Duncan and Total Expert Founder & CEO Joe Welu about shifting your sales team’s mindset from commission to connection to build authentic relationships, enhance your brand and create an experience your customers can’t live without. Watch the webinar: Make Financial Transactions Personal Again to Build Customers for Life.
 
When shopping for a powerful Mortgage CRM, an intuitive and easy-to-learn system that not only addresses what you need but is also one you’ll use is critical. Content is King, so it’s imperative that your marketing is targeted, localized, and customizable based on your lending operation’s needs/workflow. Usherpa’s Launch Pad Custom Email Wizard was designed for corporate marketing teams and allows organizations to create content that aligns with their unique company vision. Marketing managers can seamlessly create marketing campaigns within the CRM without operating between multiple systems. Don’t hesitate. Learn more about Usherpa’s Launch Pad Custom Email Wizard and how it can take your business to the next level.
 
What’s the mortgage version of “having your cake and eating it too”? Well, thanks to United Wholesale Mortgage, it means having access to superb service, technology, partnership tools…AND price! UWM has dropped its rates across the board, for conventional, government and jumbo, giving the nation’s No. 1 wholesale lender unequaled pricing in the country to go along with everything else that makes it the most popular wholesale lender among mortgage brokers. And UWM has removed all state adjustments and all Loan Level Pricing Adjustments (LLPA) overlays. Now, not only will mortgage brokers enjoy the fastest and easiest experience by working with UWM, they’ll also get their customers unmatched best rates. To learn more, visit www.UWM.com/have-it-all.
 
I can’t get no… borrower satisfaction?
 
When it comes to borrower satisfaction, just how important is peer comparison?According to Mike Seminari, Director of STRATMOR’s MortgageSAT Program, it’s the difference between throwing darts at a map and having a GPS. “Being able to answer the question, ‘Are we ahead or behind the curve?’ gives lenders an opportunity to allocate time and financial resources to areas that have the greatest potential for immediate financial impact,” says Seminari. “One lender, who had quarter-over-quarter LO Satisfaction scores of 90, 92 and 91 was quite pleased with their high scores until they found out the National Average for this metric is 95. The lender wanted to be Best-in-Class, which is 98, and knowing where they stood in comparison to their peers stoked a fire for change.” Seminari suggests three actions lenders can take to begin to see their borrower satisfaction performance in context in this month’s MortgageSAT Tip.
 
Training and Events for the remainder of January
 
Tabrasa’s free webinar “The Industry Outlook 2019” will be on Wednesday, Jan 23 (11AM-12PM PST) will cover the Trump Era – two years in, how the Fed closed the books for 2018, the low-down on the Digital Mortgage, and the housing market’s success and swings. Register here!
 
Join Freddie Mac on January 16th to discuss how you can automate income assessment with Loan Product Advisor asset and income modeler (AIM), its solution for automating the manual processes of assessing borrower assets and income. Fewer documents, reduced time to close and a better client experience.
 
Register for a free webinar from the Mortgage Technology & Marketing Committee on January 17th. Loan officers will benefit with the top 5 must do activities.
 
MBA/MW’s Kickoff 2019 Dinner & Networking event on January 23rd will feature an evening of Networking for residential and commercial real estate finance professionals. This event will also include the introduction of the 2019 Board of Governors and Committee Chairs, presentation of the Outstanding Service Awards and presentation of the Years-of-Service Recognition Awards.
 
Join MWF on January 24th as Tim Brinegar, Corporate Underwriter, discusses recent changes to the VA Refinances.
 
Don’t miss the MQAC upcoming webinar on January 24th, "HMDA: Submit with Confidence – Keys to Successful Data Integrity".
 
On January 30th from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m., attend the Barriers to Accepting Homeownership event with the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center in Washington D.C. CEO Rob Chrane will be speaking.
 
The Carolinas Connect Mortgage Expo on January 24th is approaching. “Join your community of mortgage professionals at the Carolinas’ largest event for mortgage originators, The Carolinas Connect Mortgage Expo. Don’t miss out on our lineup of engaging events centered around networking, skill-building, and having a great time with your peers at our early year edition in Charlotte.”
 
Kick off 2019 at MBA’s Independent Mortgage Bankers Conference 2019 in San Francisco, January 28-31. Hear directly from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives at the General Session: What’s New with the GSEs. Plus, you’ll learn about the latest program updates, leadership changes, and priorities that will impact your business and the bottom line.
 
Capital markets
 
While this is not the same Federal Reserve as in the past, some industry experts believe that it won’t raise short term rates until the April 30/May 1 meeting, if at all. This would break the “every other meeting” pattern we saw in 2018 by skipping the March 19/20 and January 29/30 meetings. Quant jocks think we’ll see two rate hikes in 2019 and one more in 2020 although market expectations are more or less showing even one rate hike might be a stretch this year. Clearly, the markets are currently expecting the US economy to cool in 2019. 
 
Much to the relief of capital markets folks, volatility in 2019 has dropped dramatically from the end of 2018. The U.S. 10-year closed Monday +1 bp to 2.71% as Treasuries saw little movement across the curve to start the week. Headlines revolved around a disappointing trade balance report out of China that showed a surprising year-over-year decline in both imports and exports during December, stoking global growth concerns. U.S. government shutdown chatter, Trump explicitly denying he worked for Russia, and today’s important Brexit plan vote in the UK Parliament will be discussion points throughout the rest of the week. And President Trump has reportedly offered to meet North Korea’s Chairman Kim Jong-un in mid-February in Vietnam.
 
Today the New York Fed Manufacturing (expected to fall slightly, it hit a 20-month low!) and the Producer Price Index (PPI was -.2% versus expectations of unchanged, core -.1%) kicked off the economic calendar. Also today are three Federal Reserve President speakers: Minneapolis’ Kashkari, Dallas’ Kaplan, and Kansas City’s George. The UK will hold a parliamentary vote for Prime Minister May’s Brexit plan where a nay vote is expected with the number of nays likely to be more scrutinized. Bank earnings also continue today with JP Morgan and Well Fargo already reporting, and they weren’t good. We begin today with Agency MBS better by nearly .125 and the 10-year yielding 2.69%.
 
 
Three men were on an island and cried out, “We’re trapped and need to get across the water to the mainland!”
A genie suddenly appeared and curtly said, "I will grant you men three wishes."
The first man said, "Turn me into a fish." And he swam across the water to the other island.
The second man said, "Give me a boat.” And he rowed to the other side.
The third man said, "Turn me into a woman." And she walked across the bridge.
 
 
Visit www.robchrisman.com for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “Home Financing Despite the Partial Shutdown.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
 
 
Rob
 
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2019 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

 

 

Jan. 14: Secondary marketing, LO jobs; digital, property inspection products; Radian’s RADAR Rate product

My cat Myrtle has never flown coach. She doesn’t have the same complaint I have of airline workers who don’t seem to realize that “full” means full. For some reason they’ve created “completely full,” “extremely full,” “very full,” and, “full.” How did that change? Our industry is always grappling with change (as in alteration, not pennies and nickels), the latest being lenders having to shift their borrower’s expectations due to government paralysis. STRATMOR discusses this in its latest blog, “Home Financing Despite the Partial Shutdown.” Servicers and MBS investors are following regulators’ plea for financial institutions to work with borrowers affected by the government shutdown, along with big bank earnings this week – they probably won’t be great.
 
Jobs
 
FirstBank Mortgage, a division of FirstBank with $5B in assets, is aggressively seeking loan officers and teams throughout TN, AL & GA that possess an entrepreneurial spirit and love to work hard and have fun while doing it. Backed by a management team of former producers, FirstBank Mortgage has the technology, training, pricing and marketing to help you exponentially grow your business and industry knowledge. Expansive product offerings include portfolio, jumbo, super jumbo, multiple down payment assistance programs and expanded credit programs. Come thrive in an environment where your voice is heard, your opinions matter and customers come first. Excellent compensation package included. To learn more, please visit FirstBank Mortgage Careers.”
 
Nations Lending Corporationa privately-owned mortgage lender headquartered in Independence, Ohio, has announced the promotion of Corey Caster as EVP of National Production. As a member of our company’s Leadership Team, Caster will lead national production. Prior to joining Nations Lending, Caster led New Penn Financial’s Retail and Joint Venture Division and brings with him over 20 years of experience in key leadership roles. “We feel fortunate to be able to add someone of Corey’s experience and expertise to lead our Production Team,” said Nations Lending CEO Jeremy Sopko. “Culturally, Corey is a perfect fit to our Leadership Team, and I am excited to see the value he will bring to our organization.”
Nations Lending, a well-established, Ohio-based, full-service national lender licensed in 47 states, and our dynamically growing team, has a place for someone who will not settle for anything less than success for themselves and our company. If you’re interested, please visit the company’s website.”
 
Lender products and services
 
Nations Direct Mortgage is revolutionizing the purchase market with its wide array of products and quick turn times, designed to help borrowers qualify and close purchases faster. Since announcing the release of its proprietary Non-QM products last year, Nations Direct has further lowered its rates and LLPAs on Non-QM products and introduced a Super Jumbo product that allows LTVs up to 95% with no MI. “The success stories are overwhelming” stated Steven Nagy, VP Operations. “Since introducing our own suite of Non-QM products, we’ve been averaging less than 20 days from submission to CTC.” Celebrating its 13th year, Nations Direct is solely focused on wholesale partnerships and they pride themselves on employing industry experts dedicated to delivering exceptional service. If you’re interested in learning more about this Orange County, CA based lender and its products, please contact
Martin Warren, Director of Lending.
 
Proxy Pics, the new and innovative way for servicers, HELOC lenders, or compliance companies to have exterior pictures and property checks completed the same day at a fraction of the cost of regular inspections, that may take 3 to 10 days and cost $100-$300. You can’t miss on using this service to reduce costs and faster turn times. This service is innovative and is taking the market by storm because of its convenience and reduced cost. Contact Iliana at Proxy Pics, 312.799.7427.
 
In news from BankUnited, N. A., industry challenges continue to mount and BankUnited’s Mortgage Warehouse Lending business has “diversified its business model in response to the needs of our client base. Reduced minimum warehouse commitment to $15 million (from $25 million). Increased maximum warehouse commitment to $150 million (from $100 million). Expanded loan product eligibility. Competitive rate pricing and advance rates. Real-time Closing Agent vetting per loan funding. BankUnited whole loan correspondent consideration. Our application process waives all counterparty due diligence & underwriting expenses. Legal documentation costs and all related warehouse vendor management fees are waived. For more information, contact Paul Tirella, VP Business Development (646-630-0295). Getting better execution and superior service starts now.” (This is not a commitment to lend. Loans subject to credit and collateral approval. Additional terms, conditions, restrictions, limitations and fees may apply. BankUnited, N.A. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.)
 
SimpleNexus is hosting its inaugural User Group Conference Feb 10-12, 2018 at Utah’s picturesque Snowbird Ski Resort. This conference provides a great opportunity for mortgage executives to learn from industry leaders on how to stay profitable in a down market. Conference sessions will cover topics including ‘Competing with Online Lenders,’ ‘Using Technology to Recruit/Retain Top LO Talent,’ ‘Mastering Referral Partner Opportunities,’ and more. Attendees cap off the conference experience with a free ski excursion at Snowbird Resort. Rob Chrisman readers can receive a $150 registration discount by using the code CHRISMAN at checkout. Additional conference info can be found at: SimpleNexus User Group 2019. If you are a mortgage executive wanting to thrive and succeed despite tough market conditions, you should seriously consider the SimpleNexus platform. With 20,000+ loan officers and 15 of the Top 25 retail lenders using SimpleNexus, the company is the industry leader in digital mortgage solution technology.
 
Mortgage banking and wholesale lending can provide a much-needed revenue stream for bankers fighting to stay profitable. “Wouldn’t it be great to open or expand (or just keep!) this stream with reduced risk and cost? ReadyPrice offers built in error trapping, which means less leakage, and less risk. They’ll even show you step by step how to build your new channels for your business! The ReadyPrice all-in-one Pricing Engine, LOS and Wholesale CRM platform is fully configured out of the box, and up to 80% less expensive than other heavy, cumbersome competitors. It comes complete with D1C, deep Fannie DU integrations and can be stood-up in a couple of weeks. The ReadyPrice LOS/PPE has funded over 300k units for $70 billion and is leading the way forward for today’s mortgage bankers as we "utilitize" essential mortgage tech. Call them at (408) 357–0931 or email hello@readyprice.com today to get a free demo and take control of your P&L.”
 
When shopping for a digital mortgage point-of-sale, a tight integration with your loan origination system is critical to maintain compliance, workflow integrity, and security. Maxwell’s deep integration with the LendingQB API has led the market in its ease of implementation, feature set, and reliability. If you are a LendingQB customer shopping for a digital mortgage solution, check out Maxwell and experience the power of what an end-to-end POS-LOS integration can look like for a lending team. To learn more about Maxwell visit www.himaxwell.com and request a customized demo today.
 
Are you looking for a USDA One-Time Close product that can be sold to your correspondent investor right after closing and before construction has begun? Expand your product offerings this year and spare your borrowers the hassle of going through multiple closings by bundling their building costs and mortgage costs into one loan. It’s a win-win and saves you and your borrowers much-needed time. Check out the new USDA One-Time Close purchase option TMS Correspondent recently rolled for its partners.
 
MI company news
 
Radian Guaranty Inc., the mortgage insurance (MI) subsidiary of Radian Group Inc. introduces RADAR Rates, a new MI pricing option powered by Radian’s proprietary RADAR pricing model to dynamically analyze credit risk inputs, with each rate quote finely tuned to a borrower’s individual risk profile and loan attributes. RADAR Rates will be available to customers on January 21, subject to regulatory approval and is available through the company’s Radian Rates app, and through most industry pricing engines and loan origination system interfaces. Pricing inputs, unique to each individual loan and borrower, inform Radian’s RADAR post-crisis pricing model which leverages years of historical data and proprietary analytics combined with Radian’s experienced risk management team to provide a holistic view of overall loan performance. Radian’s Senior EVP of Mortgage Insurance and Risk Services Derek Brummer noted, “We are pleased to offer risk-based pricing through RADAR Rates and published rate cards, providing options based on a lender’s loan origination process. Our goal is to offer competitive pricing that helps our customers grow their business, while also ensuring an appropriate risk-adjusted return for Radian.”     
 
Capital markets
 
BOK Financial, a $37 billion bank with a strong commitment to the mortgage business, is currently looking for a Secondary Marketing Manager. As an institution with annual production of ~$3 billion, the Bank is seeking a candidate with at least 10 years of Secondary Marketing experience including interest rate risk modeling, hedging, pricing, and advanced analytics and reporting. This position makes a daily and direct impact on the overall success of BOK Financial’s mortgage group and the bank as a whole. BOK Financial is a top 40 bank headquartered in Tulsa, OK that was voted Forbes World’s Best Employers for 2018 as well as Glassdoor’s Best Place to work for 2019. If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity and working for a stable, yet exciting and growth-oriented company contact Megan Douat (214.575.1972).
 
The current partial federal government shutdown may not currently be significantly negatively impacting the economy, but it is delaying many economic reports which are compiled and released by government agencies; most notably the Department of Commerce. As a result, we did not receive reports on the trade balance, Treasury monthly budget, and factory orders last week. The Department of Labor is fully funded and subsequently the consumer price index was released last week which showed a 0.1 percent decline in December due to a sharp decrease in energy prices. The core index, which excludes food and energy, increased 0.2 percent for the month and +2.2 percent for the year. The ISM non-manufacturing index declined to a still positive 57.6 although the new orders component increased to 62.7, pointing towards future expansion. Elsewhere the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index fell for the fourth consecutive month as the share of business owners expecting economic conditions to improve over the next six months declined.
 
Looking at the bond market, the U.S. 10-year closed Friday -3bps to 2.70% as Treasuries all moved in the same direction in a tight range, any movement attributable to lackluster foreign economic data. Markets witnessed a decline in November industrial production in the UK, Italy, and Spain, in addition to diminished output in Germany and France, which was reported earlier in the week last week. The Evening Standard reported that the Brexit withdrawal date of March 29 is increasingly likely to be delayed due to a backlog of bills that must be passed before the separation. U.S. December CPI on Friday met expectations, complimenting the Fed’s belief that it can be patient with its policy approach given that the core inflation trend is stable around the longer-run target at a time when data here and abroad is revealing some softening in economic activity.
 
Across the Pacific, the Chinese communist party will reportedly set its 2019 GDP growth target between 6.0% and 6.5%, down from the 2018 target of about 6.5%. Separately, China’s Premier Liu He is expected to visit Washington at the end of January for trade talks. And South Korean press reported that the next meeting between North Korea’s Chairman Kim and President Trump could take place during the second week of February.
 
Pending an unlikely end to the government shutdown, this week’s economic calendar should be disrupted, though it includes updates on PPI, retail sales, import prices, business inventories, housing indicators, industrial production and Michigan sentiment. There are also more Fed speakers scheduled including New York’s Williams and Kansas City’s George. Q4 earnings also get under way with all the major banks expected to report starting with Citigroup today. Tomorrow, the UK’s parliament is scheduled to vote on Prime Minister May’s Brexit deal, which currently is facing an uphill battle. Looking at today, the calendar sees just the usual T-bill auctions when Treasury sells $39 billion 3- and $36 billion 6-month bills at 11:30am ET. We begin today with the 10-year yielding 2.68% and Agency MBS prices up/better .125 versus Friday’s close.
 
 
(Rated PG, I guess. Don’t read if you’re offended by anything.)
While enjoying their evening cocktails, the wife asks her husband, in very seductive voice, "Have you ever seen twenty dollars all crumpled up?"
"No," said her husband.
She gave him a sexy little smile, unbuttoned the top 3 or 4 buttons of her blouse, and slowly reached down into the cleavage created by a soft, silky push-up bra, and pulled out a crumpled twenty-dollar bill.
He took the crumpled twenty-dollar bill from her and smiled approvingly.
She then asked him, "Have you ever seen fifty dollars all crumpled up?"
"Uh… no, I haven’t," he stammered, with an anxious tone in his voice.
She gave him another sexy little smile, pulled up her skirt, and seductively reached into her panties……and pulled out a crumpled fifty-dollar bill.
He took the crumpled fifty-dollar bill and started breathing a little quicker with anticipation.
"Now," she said, "have you ever seen fifty thousand dollars all crumpled up?"
He cried, "No!" trying to contain his excitement.
She said, "Check the garage.”
 
 
Visit www.robchrisman.com for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “Home Financing Despite the Partial Shutdown.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
 
 
Rob
 
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2019 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

 

 

Jan. 12: Notes on tech, blockchain patent, M&A & cyber risk; CA, Ohio, IL busy with lending law changes; NY addresses AMCs

Regulators are encouraging financial institutions to work with borrowers affected by the government shutdown. After two weeks of a holiday workload, some folks are still shaking off the cobwebs whereas others have hit the ground running and have already had business dinners and have conferences on their calendars after this first full workweek of 2019. The COO of The Mortgage Collaborative, Rich Swerbinsky, penned a piece on the 10 biggest news stories of 2018 in the mortgage industry. And none of them had “digital” or “technology” in the title!
 
Tech
 
There’s a new toaster in my house, made by Breville. The display prompts me for how many slices of bread I’m putting in. I’d like to know if that information is being transmitted to Google, or to the refrigerator (“Quick, hide the jam!”). Or to Weight Watchers (“Get that reminder postcard sent out!”).
 
Ever show someone under the age of 30 a rotary phone? STRATMOR CEO Lisa Springer sent along this humorous reminder of what might happen!
 
Is any lender that uses a computer in its business considered a “fintech” company? Darned if I know, but technology and “digital” mortgages continue to be the chatter at conferences. Borrowers want all the fancy bells and whistles with low rates, Jimmy Choo shoes at the Costco price.
 
I received this note from STRATMOR’s Nicole Yung. “STRATMOR’s 2018 Technology Insight Study goes into great detail on where lenders are using Digital to their advantage. For example, the findings show 76 percent of lenders provide the ability for borrowers to execute disclosures online versus 61 percent in 2017, and 72 percent the ability for the borrower to upload documents and respond to conditions online. These are the top two digital capabilities out of more than 20 front-and back-end digital capabilities surveyed. To see more detail, both the full and Digital-only versions of Technology Insight Study are available for purchase on the STRATMOR website.”
 
Bank of America has filed a patent that would use blockchain technology to verify and track ATM transactions.
 
Mitch Tanenbaum with CyberCecurity LLC shot over a note on M&A and cyber risk. “One thing that people don’t spend enough time on during a merger or acquisition is cyber risk. Just ask Marriott. When they acquired Starwood two years ago hackers had already been inside Starwood’s systems for two years. Now Marriott shareholders are going to have to foot the bill for that breach. While Marriott reduced the best guess at number of victims from 500 million to 380 million, the bill for this breach will certainly be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. If you include brand damage, I would expect the bill to be $500 million or more. Not to mention the years that this will be a distraction for Marriott executives including depositions, negotiations, court rooms, media interviews, and don’t forget about writing large, no very large, checks.
 
“Marriott hasn’t said yet how much cyber risk insurance they had, but even if we are generous, I doubt it is more than $100 million. That could put them on the hook for writing checks for a couple hundred million. That assumes that their current insurance carrier doesn’t disavow responsibility for the attack since it occurred before the acquisition, which will force them to sue their insurance company or write the entire check themselves. Strangely, this is the same month that Sotheby’s announced that hackers had been inside their Sotheby’s Home division for several years before it was acquired.
 
“Perhaps executives don’t mind writing those hundred million-dollar checks. But, even if they don’t, I doubt their shareholders are happy about that. Granted Marriott’s stock price is only down 20% from 6 months ago and it hasn’t been a great time for the market, but the unknown question is what happens when the rest of the market recovers. If nothing else the company will be distracted from its mission. And it will have to write some very large checks.
 
“The moral? Businesses that are merging with or acquiring other companies need to seriously step up their cyber due diligence. Most attacks are not targeted attacks, so whether you are big or small, you are equally likely to get hit. Except for this one thing: small companies do not have the technical resources to detect and repel attacks. Many times, they don’t even know that the attackers have been roaming inside for years – like Sotheby’s and Marriott. The good news is that Marriott and Sotheby’s have the resources to slog through this morass. Even if it costs them a half billion dollars each. Do you?”
 
Change is a constant in the mortgage biz, right? There has been a lot of noise about blockchain, including in this commentary. I continue to be asked about it, despite me still relying on “control, alt, delete” when something goes wrong with my antique lap top. The first thing IT folks, and CEOs, should do is learn the basics of blockchain technology and why some derivatives may be better suited for your business. Will blockchain save your company money, or bring in more customers? Will it save in auditing or compliance costs? Figure out the practical uses. IT should create a budget for blockchain research and/or usage. Of course, spend this budget wisely. If you find a vendor, can they effectively cover up the complexities of blockchain and focus on the implementation?
 
Blockchain technology is available to all companies now, regardless of size. Many lenders are just trying to keep their heads above water and may not have the resources or time. Besides that, the biggest hurdle to adoption is a lack of technical understanding. “Experts” agree that companies don’t need specialized employees. But the topic is worth a meeting with your IT team to see if there is a product or benefit to you.
 
State laws impacting lenders
 
If you think it is hard enough being a lender these days, try lending in multiple states, and keeping track of all the differences. At the national level, of course, the CFPB is still with us, evolving. Thank you to Rob Branthover who reminded me of this well-written article titled, “The Tragic Downfall of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.”
 
Illinois has amended provisions under its Residential Mortgage License Act. Bona fide nonprofit organizations and their employees have been included in the definition of “exempt person or entity.” The definition of a “bona fide nonprofit organization” is further clarified in this section. Acts and practices that are prohibited by licensees are spelled out. These acts include failure to maintain at least one full service office in Illinois when required to do so; failure to maintain adequate staff; and failure to maintain written records for at least thirty-six months.
 
Illinois also repealed a provision requiring the Secretary to obtain loan delinquency data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development during the examination process of licensees. A final provision clarifies that requirements set forth in Section 5-9 of the Act do not apply to licensees providing notices of change in loan terms pursuant to the CFPB’s Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure procedure.
 
Ohio has recently enacted the Notary Public Modernization Act with Senate Bill 263.  This bill was signed by the governor on December 19, 2018 and is effective 91 days after filling with the Secretary of State and will update and streamline the antiquated notary public system in Ohio.  One key element of the act is that it allows for electronic notarizations, eliminating the need for in-person face-to-face meetings for notarial acts.  Instead, this new feature allows Ohio residents to have their documents notarized over the internet, by connecting with a commissioned Ohio notary using live audio-video communications technology.
 
The act also remedies the inconsistency and inefficiency in Ohio’s notary commissioning process, eliminating the county-by-county registration system, and replaces it with one centralized, uniform system under the sole authority of the office of the Secretary of State. All notary public applicants must submit to a stringent background check, administered by Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification, and participate in an approved training course and pass an assessment.
 
Ohio has recently enacted House Bill 489 which decreases the number of bank and credit union examinations that are to be carried out by the Division of Financial Institutions (generally prohibiting the Superintendent from conducting examinations more often than once every 24 months for a state bank or credit union that meets the following conditions: (1) it maintains assets of $10 billion or less, and (2) it maintains a composite rating of one (the highest rating) under the uniform financial institutions rating system.  However, more frequent examinations may be carried out if (1) there is reasonable cause to believe that there is a risk of harm to the bank, or (2) the Division participates with other financial regulatory authorities in a joint, concurrent, or coordinated examination).
 
The bill requires nonexempt mortgage loan servicers to register every principal office and branch office with the Division of Financial Institutions under the regulatory umbrella of the Ohio Residential Mortgage Lending Act.  This provision was included because the Ohio Residential Mortgage Lending Act had inadvertently exempted entities involved exclusively in mortgage loan servicing from this registration requirement.  The annual renewal fee is $500 and is deposited into the Consumer Finance Fund (Fund 5530).
 
Ohio was busy and also amended its foreclosure procedures with House Bill 480. The Bill adds requirements for multi-parcel auctions to the state’s current foreclosure law.  For the purposes of the bill, “multi-parcel auction” means any auction of real or personal property in which multiple parcels or lots are offered for sale in various amalgamations, including as individual parcels or lots, combinations of parcels or lots, and all parcels or lots as a whole.
 
Michigan amended its provisions regarding notaries that include updates to definitions as well as the electronic notarization of documents. The amendment is effective immediately; compliance is effective on March 12, 2019. The amendment authorizes the Secretary of State to develop and implement an electronic application and payment process for individuals who are seeking appointment as a notary. It must review and approve at least one system by March 30, 2019.
 
There is a minimum set of standards by which it will approve electronic notarization systems. If an electronic notarization system is approved or certified by a government-sponsored enterprise, the Secretary and the Department of Technology, Management, and Budget shall approve the system if verifiable proof of that approval or certification is provided to the Secretary and Department, unless the use of the system is affirmatively disallowed by the Secretary.
 
The amendment allows a notary public to select one or more tamper-evident electronic notarization systems to perform notarial acts electronically and prohibits anyone from requiring a notary to perform an electronic notarial act with an electronic notarization system that the notary has not selected. The amendment also provides that the Secretary may disallow the use of an electronic notarization system if the system does not satisfy the criteria under Section 26A.
 
Up in New York, Governor Cuomo recently signed legislation to establish minimum standards for Appraisal Management Companies (AMCs) and brings New York into compliance with a federal mandate. (See State Senate Bill 9080 here) Hats off to the NYMBA who worked to ensure that AMCs are able to provide important appraisal management services, and to maximize access to credit for consumers.
 
The Texas Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner has made multiple housekeeping changes to its rules under the Regulated Lenders and Credit Access Businesses chapter. The provisions took effect November 8, 2018. Provisions relating to the application process, licensing process, interest charges on loans, and property insurance have been modified to ensure consistent terminology, remove obsolete language, and to introduce technical corrections to the regulations; numerous additional modifications consisting of grammar, punctuation, and formatting changes have also been adopted.
 
California’s Senate is considering a new iteration of a state housing bill that would allow denser housing types near public transit stops. SB50 would prevent cities from restricting density within a half-mile of a major job center or transit hub, raises height limits to 45 feet within a half-mile and 55 feet within a quarter mile, and eliminates parking requirements.
 
Aside from SB50, new housing-related bills were introduced to both the Senate and Assembly on the first day of the legislative term. Proposals include reduced development fees and regulations on auxiliary dwelling units (SB13), the restoration of redevelopment agencies (SB15), and the expansion of the state’s low-income housing tax credit to $500 million (AB10).
state bill to allow dense housing near transit stops, alleviating long commutes and coaxing people out of cars, never made it out of committee last session. But backers think the mood has shifted enough in the housing debate to try again.
 
“In talking to my colleagues, there’s more support than there was earlier,” stated state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco. Those provisions are less dramatic than what Wiener proposed in SB827, his first attempt at statewide zoning reform. It would have barred cities from rejecting four- to eight-story apartment or condo buildings near transit nodes.
 
Political leaders in San Francisco and Berkeley fumed at the building heights in SB 827, saying it would allow luxury high-rises to sprout up, unchecked, in quaint residential neighborhoods. San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors passed a resolution against the bill after an emotional hearing in which residents compared it to a “hydrogen bomb” and an “undemocratic power grab.” Some detractors worried that their neighborhoods would be remade to look like Manhattan or Miami Beach.
 
A state bill to allow dense housing near transit stops, alleviating long commutes and coaxing people out of cars, never made it out of committee last session. But backers think the mood has shifted enough in the housing debate to try again. Recently the California Air Resources Board published a report saying that auto carbon emissions have increased because people are driving longer distances between home and work.
 
In September, the Legislature passed a law empowering BART to fill station parking lots with homes. And Wiener is seeking an ally in Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom, who emphasized the link between housing and transportation in a post-election speech.
 
 
“Fishing In a Frozen Lake”
It was a cold winter day.
An old man walked out onto a frozen lake, cut a hole in the ice, dropped in his fishing line, and waited patiently for a bite.
He was there for almost an hour, without even a nibble, when a young boy walked out onto the ice, cut a hole in the ice next to him.
The young boy dropped his fishing line and minutes later he hooked a huge sturgeon.
The old man couldn’t believe his eyes but chalked it up to plain luck.
Shortly thereafter, the young boy pulled in another large catch.
The young boy kept catching fish after fish.
Finally, the old man couldn’t take it any longer.
"Son" he said, "I’ve been here for over an hour without even a nibble. You’ve been here only a few minutes and have caught a half dozen fish! How do you do it?"
The boy responded, "Roo raf roo reep ra rums rrarm."
"What was that?" the old man asked.
Again, the boy responded, "Roo raf roo reep ra rums rarrm."
"Look," said the old man, "I can’t understand a word you’re saying."
The boy spat the bait into his hand and stammered, "You have to keep the worms warm!"
 
 
Visit www.robchrisman.com for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “Low Down Payments Can Help Borrowers AND Lenders.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
 
 
Rob
 
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2019 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

 

 

Jan. 11: LO, AE jobs; digital white paper, bid tape product; Fitch rates Cascade; shutdown lending update

E Street Band (think Bruce Springsteen) aficionados know that today is Clarence Clemons birthday (he would have been 77). Music changes, although other things can go on, and on, and on, with little change (like an actual 5-day work week). Keeping with the musical theme, did you know this year is the 50th anniversary of the formation of ZZ Top? Yes, the same three have been playing together for many decades – amazing! One thing that is always changing, however, is the economy. News from companies worldwide is painting a darkening picture of the economy’s outlook. About a half-dozen of the biggest corporations announced thousands of layoffs, downgraded profit forecasts, or abandoned projects on Thursday (yesterday) alone. And don’t forget the Federal workers not being paid today, some percentage of whom live paycheck to paycheck.
 
Employment
 
loanDepot is proud to announce that John Bianchi has been named to the organization’s leadership team as EVP, National Sales. Bianchi has 30 years of experience leading nationally-recognized sales organizations and in inspiring high-performance, customer-centric sales cultures. He’s widely considered to be a transformative leader and one who understands the needs of top and emerging producers. “I am very excited to partner with the sales organization and the ops, marketing and tech teams to create, deliver and execute a playbook unlike anything the industry has ever seen,” Bianchi shared. In his new role, Bianchi will be focused on creating market penetration strategies that will fuel individual producer, channel and Company growth. If you’re looking to join the industry’s leader in modern lending, contact Shane Stanton @ sstanton@loanDepot.com. To check out Bianchi’s full announcement, click here.
 
Join the best Brand in the business! BrandMortgage is fully independent and lending in AL, DC, FL, GA, MD, MS, NC, SC, TN and VA. Brand is in search of seasoned and emergent loan officers across our entire footprint. Brand offers a digital loan platform with the full array of Fannie, Freddie and government lending products, and an extensive offering of portfolio programs including jumbo, super jumbo, construction perm, non-warrantable condo and bank statement programs, all in-house. BrandMortgage has a foundation of integrity, innovation and teamwork with a collaborative, results-driven approach, enabling originators to deliver exceptional service and successfully grow their business. To learn more about joining the Best Brand in Mortgage, email Gabe Santiago, Corporate Recruiter (678.226.7585).
 
SCL Mortgage, based in Colorado is expanding into Utah, Nevada, and Arizona and is looking for Mortgage Originators that want to make a difference in people’s lives. “If you are looking for a lender who can do all the conventional loan programs, as well as the new exploding NON-PRIME market, that’s SCL Mortgage. Leads Provided! We generate quality leads in house with our marketing and advertising programs – we do NOT buy generic leads that waste your time! Qualifications: Honesty, Integrity and hard work are the most important qualities to have. You must always do the right thing for the customer. You must possess the desire to make money. Successful Originators will make money at SCL Mortgage. You must have fun. If you are not having fun at what you do, then make a change. NMLS required. Contact us here or visit MySpecialMortgage.”
 
The Towne Family of Companies are pleased to announce seasoned mortgage veteran, Mark Janssen has been appointed as their CEO. Mark brings over 37 years’ experience in mortgage sales, operations, capital markets, servicing compliance and finance. “I am excited to take the helm of this established company and experienced team of senior leaders as we seek to expand our footprint nationally in both the TPO and Retail Channels” said Mark. Towne Mortgage Company is an established 37-year-old independent mortgage banker and servicer based in Troy, Michigan. Towne, as a licensed mortgage lender in 43 states, is looking to grow across all of its business channels nationally. Towne has diverse product offerings, a best in class back room, multiple delivery mechanisms all provided with a passion for customer service. Branch Manager, Loan Officer and Account Executive positions are available with competitive compensation packages including medical and 401K. Email Cassi Sluka.
 
Lender products and services
 
SimpleNexus is hosting its inaugural User Group Conference Feb 10-12, 2018 at Utah’s picturesque Snowbird Ski Resort. This conference provides a great opportunity for mortgage executives to learn from industry leaders on how to stay profitable in a down market. Conference sessions will cover topics including “Competing with Online Lenders,” “Using Technology to Recruit/Retain Top LO Talent,” “Mastering Referral Partner Opportunities,” and more. Attendees cap off the conference experience with a free ski excursion at Snowbird Resort. Rob Chrisman readers can receive a $150 registration discount by using the code CHRISMAN at checkout. Additional conference info can be found at SimpleNexus User Group 2019. If you are a mortgage executive wanting to thrive and succeed despite tough market conditions, you should seriously consider the SimpleNexus platform. With 20,00+ loan officers and 15 of the Top 25 retail lenders using SimpleNexus, the company is the industry leader in digital mortgage solution technology.
 
Triserv Appraisal Management Solutions has formed a strategic partnership with The Mortgage Collaborative, a fast-growing independent mortgage cooperative of banks, credit unions and mortgage bankers ranging in size from $200 million to over $5 billion in annual originations. “Our newly formed partnership with The Mortgage Collaborative is based on a mutual respect of values, alignment in strategic direction and the opportunity to have an impact on the financial outcomes of their member network,” said Joe Bryant, president of Triserv. “We focus on one simple motto: ‘provide incredible customer service and follow-up on every order’. This has been key to our phenomenal growth and high level of client satisfaction since inception.” “We are thrilled to have Triserv join our preferred partner network. Its industry reputation and company values align with our guiding principles of offering best-in-class products and services to our lender member network,” said Rich Swerbinsky, COO for The Mortgage Collaborative. 
 
BCG has released their first industry white paper of 2019 on the next wave of digital transformation in mortgage. The paper analyzes mortgage market conditions, details how many lenders are using digital solutions to establish differentiated value propositions, and provides initial results observed from new solutions by review data from Blend, a leading lending platform that processes more than 100,000 applications per month and is used by more than 125 lenders nationwide. The next generation of homebuyers wants a digital-first experience from end-to-end. The paper takes a close look at how digital solutions are poised to help lenders fight their way through tough times ahead. View the white paper here.
 
In broker news, “UWM is dropping its pricing, making its pricing more competitive than ever. For years, United Wholesale Mortgage has topped mortgage brokers’ lists in a variety of categories, but pricing wasn’t necessarily one of them – until now. UWM has dropped its rates across the board, for conventional, government and jumbo, giving the nation’s No. 1 wholesale lender the best pricing in the country, to go along with its leading client service, technology, turn times and partnership tools. UWM has removed all state adjustments and most Loan Level Price Adjustments (LLPA), as well. Now, not only will mortgage brokers enjoy the fastest and easiest experience by working with UWM, they’ll also obtain the best rates for their customers.” To learn more, visit www.UWM.com/have-it-all.
 
Congratulations
 
In manufactured housing news, Fitch Ratings has assigned Cascade Financial Services, owned by affiliates of Centerbridge Partners, a primary Manufactured Housing (MH) specialty servicing rating of ‘RPS3-‘; Outlook Stable. Cascade is the only MH-focused servicer rated by Fitch. “The rating reflects Cascade’s modest but established position within the MH sector and recent portfolio growth, its experienced management team, adequate risk control framework and technology upgrades. The rating also considers the company’s financial condition.” Arizona’s Cascade, licensed in 48 states, is a residential mortgage loan origination and servicing company focused on MH. (In addition to handling its own retail originations Cascade also does third-party subservicing, and its total servicing portfolio had 18,680 loans as of Dec. 31, 2018, which totaled $1.3 billion in unpaid principal balance.)
 
Shutdown
 
As announced on December 22, 2018, during a lapse in government funding, Ginnie Mae will continue to remit timely payment of principal and interest to investors. There will also be no disruption of essential functions, including the granting of commitment authority and support for continued issuance of Ginnie Mae-guaranteed Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) and Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits (REMICs).
 
Freddie Mac published Bulletin 2019-1 to provide temporary selling and servicing requirements to assist borrowers who may have been impacted by the federal government shutdown. These temporary requirements are effective immediately and will automatically terminate once the federal government resumes full operations.
 
Fannie Mae issued a Lender Letter to provide temporary guidance on selling and servicing policies that may be impacted by the federal government shutdown that began on Dec. 22, 2018.
 
USDA has announced it will not issue commitments during a partial government shutdown, despite rumors of companies funding these loans. Rural Housing Service (RHS) loans that have a valid Conditional Commitment in effect as of the date of closing are eligible for closing/funding.
 
Despite the government shutdown, The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that the NFIP program will resume the sale, renewal, and monetary endorsements for flood insurance policies. This update in policy treats the NFIP program as operational since December 21, 2018, without interruption.
 
During the government shutdown, Fifth Third is temporarily suspending the requirement for Tax Transcripts. Once the shutdown ends, Fifth Third will obtain the transcripts after purchase for impacted loans. If issues are discovered upon receipt of the transcripts, loans may be subject to repurchase.
 
Due to the partial Federal Government shutdown, Plaza is temporarily suspending the requirement for tax transcripts on all agency, government, and our Preferred Purchase Jumbo (PPJ) loan programs. Non-Agency Jumbo (with the exception of PPJ), Non-QM and Second Lien programs must adhere to the program guidelines with respect to obtaining tax transcripts prior to funding. Plaza will continue to require a signed 4506-T in accordance with program guidelines. Plaza will continue to close and fund both forward and HECM loan transactions. FHA is operating with limited resources but new FHA case numbers and the Credit Alert Verification Reporting System (CAIVRS) will continue to be issued in FHA Connection.
 
Capital markets
 
MCT has improved the accuracy of indicative pricing for lender clients in time for year-end mark-to-market pipeline valuations, as part of an ongoing collaboration with leading investors. Lenders using MCT’s loan pipeline management software, MCTlive!, received bid tape pricing at the loan level on their open pipeline in year-end mark-to-market reports, a major improvement over the rate sheet and direct trade pricing typically used for this purpose and the first step in addressing a recent crisis in derivative asset pipeline valuation. “This year-end reporting is the first-time loan-level bid tape pricing has been made available to lenders on their open pipeline. We’re proud to provide more accurate derivative asset accounting to our clients and look forward to the next stages of this ongoing initiative to improve indicative pricing,” said Phil Rasori, COO of MCT. Read more about bid pricing on open loan pipelines and the associated upcoming client-exclusive webinar.
 
Cleveland Fed President Mester said the economy is "in a really good spot" and that the Fed could pause in hiking rates if inflation doesn’t pick up. Meanwhile, Dallas Fed President Kaplan said the Fed should not "take any further action on interest rates" until it gets a clearer picture of where the economy is going, and he would be fine if the Fed did not do anything "in the first couple of quarters of this year." At the December meeting, Fed officials projected two rate hikes for this year. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said yesterday he expects rate hikes to continue, but he added that the Fed can show some patience before resuming rate hikes. And Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said he does not rule out changes to the pace of balance sheet reduction in the event of a slowdown.
 
The bond markets? Steady as she goes this week. The U.S. 10-year closed Thursday unchanged yielding 2.73%. Some attention was directed at a dull update on trade talks between China and the United States from China’s Ministry of Commerce, which claimed the “communication was good and the two sides have agreed to remain in contact.” That report came as the Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. officials have blocked some exports from Huawei’s unit located in the Santa Clara Valley.
 
Fed Chairman Jay Powell gave remarks that were similar to comments made last week in which he reiterated that monetary policy is not on a pre-set path and that the number of rate hikes in 2019 will depend on the FOMC’s outlook. Chairman Powell once again said that current inflation readings give the Fed the ability to be patient and flexible, adding the Fed would like to return the balance sheet to a "more normal" level. He did concede that the Fed does not know what that exact level will be once quantitative tightening ends. Jobless claims from yesterday fit the recent narrative that the labor market has held up fine despite the growing concerns about the economy slowing.
 
With the December budget statement postponed due to the partial government shutdown, December CPI is the only U.S. release today. Expected -.1% for the month, it was, and +1.9% for the year, it was indeed +1.9%. Real average weekly earnings were +.7% in December Friday starts with rates little changed from yesterday: agency MBS prices are +.250 and the 10-year is currently yielding 2.70 percent.
 
 
 
PARACHUTE CLUB (Warning: Rated R. Don’t read if easily offended. Thank you to RB for this one.)
Yesterday my daughter e-mailed me, again, asking why I didn’t do something useful with my time. Like sitting around the pool and drinking wine isn’t a good thing?
Talking about my "doing-something-useful" seems to be her favorite topic of conversation.
She is "only thinking of me," she said, and suggested I go down to the Senior Center and hang out with the fellas.
So, I did and when I got home, decided to play a prank on her. I sent her an e-mail saying that I had joined the Senior Parachute Club.
She replied, "Are you nuts? You’re 76 years-old and now you’re going to start jumping out of airplanes?"
I told her that I even had a Membership Card and e-mailed a copy to her.
Immediately, she telephoned me and yelled, "Good grief, Dad, where are your glasses?! This is a membership to a Prostitute Club, not a Parachute Club."
"Oh man, am I in trouble," I said, "I signed up for five jumps a week!"  The line went dead.
Life as a Senior Citizen isn’t getting any easier, but sometimes it can be fun.
 
 
Visit www.robchrisman.com for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “Low Down Payments Can Help Borrowers AND Lenders.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
 
 
Rob
 
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2019 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

 

 

Jan. 10: Marketing, LO, Ops jobs; sales, non-QM products; Ginnie’s Bright resigns; M&A: Movement/Eagle, HFG/Dorn deals

Let’s see… How much does it cost you to produce a residential loan? Pizza for the shippers, underwriter bonuses, copy paper, HP-12C batteries – it all adds up, and pretty soon you’re over $8 grand a loan! Boston Consulting Group released a new white paper exploring how, in the face of rising rates and increasing mortgage production costs, lenders are turning to digital solutions to combat margin compression and create a market advantage. “Despite production revenue per loan increasing 20% between 2012 and 2017, production costs have risen more quickly, going from just over $5,000 to more than $8,000 per loan in the same time frame, a 57% increase. The result? A 68% decline in net production income per loan during that stretch.”
 
Employment & personnel moves
 
NOVA® Home Loans is seeking a VP of Marketing.Nova Home Loans, a large regional $3B mortgage bank located in the Southwest, is looking for our next superstar Vice President of Marketing. NOVA® Home Loans, founded 34 years ago, is consistently ranked among the Top 50 Mortgage Lenders in the United States and as one of the Best Places to Work in the Southwest. NOVA Home Loans has branches in Arizona, Colorado and Nevada and can originate loans in 13 states and offers stimulating work in a fast-paced, customer-oriented, compliance-focused work-environment with a competitive benefits portfolio. The ideal candidate will have 7 to 10 years of solid marketing management experience, mortgage industry preferred, strong marketing through branding background along with a strong background in evaluating and implementing state of the art marketing technology and digital platforms, and experience managing an advertising budget of over $6.5 million that drives results. Contact Kim Carson, HR Manager. The successful candidate would need to be prepared to relocate to NOVA Home Loans’ corporate office in Tucson, Arizona. 
 
PrimeLending has been recognized as one of 2019’s Best Mortgage Companies to Work For by National Mortgage News and Best Companies Group. While ranking third overall, PrimeLending was the top workplace among national lenders for this industry-focused award that measured workplace policies, practices, philosophy, demographics, and the overall employee experience. PrimeLending Chairman and CEO Todd Salmans said, “In the highly competitive mortgage industry, it’s the quality and dedication of our people who set us apart. That’s why we continue to focus on fostering a strong, rewarding culture in which every team member feels appreciated, supported and engaged.” With a commitment to employee happiness and success, it’s easy to see why PrimeLending is a premier destination for loan originators. If you’re ready to join our proven powerhouse, let’s talk about your options. Contact Brian Miller today to get started.
 
Stearns Lending has an exciting growth opportunity in the Dallas, TX market, where management is building a new, high energy call center platform to support a headline brand. If you’re a highly skilled and customer focused MLO, Sales Manager or Fulfillment Specialist with the ability to meet high standards for productivity and customer satisfaction; please send your resume to Donovan Stamps or Lindsey SpraggjnsStearns is ramping up staff while the shrinking market is forcing competitors to scale back. Partnering with a national lender; together they have built a great customer lead base, industry leading technology, and a fully end to end digital experience.  
 
Lender products, training, & services
 
Broaden your sales knowledge in the New Year with Sierra Pacific Mortgage’s Homestyle Renovation webinar on January 15 at 10AM PST. This informative and free webinar will include a high-level program overview, marketing ideas and special details around the loan process to ensure a smooth closing. Don’t miss an opportunity to help your borrowers get a second chance home. Register today and grow your business tomorrow.
 
Retain leads. Increase pull-through rates. Improve bottom line. If one of those is on your mind going into 2019, you’ll be happy to hear that Informative Research, a market leader in delivering a range of technology-driven solutions for the mortgage industry, just added CreditXpert® Wayfinder™ to their impressive lineup of products. With an improved algorithm and upgraded user interface, Wayfinder automatically gives lenders a step-by-step plan on how borrowers can potentially increase his/her credit score. With this tool, lenders can close more loans by helping borrowers manage their credit and qualify for better mortgage terms. Wayfinder also helps lenders lower rapid rescoring fees by finding plans that require fewer account actions.  To learn more about CreditXpert Wayfinder, call Informative Research at 800-473-4633 or reach out via email.
 
2018 gave birth to amazing technology companies so that 2019 is a year to be excited about. Data became a really important topic in 2018 and now people are beginning to understand that great data is a seed for great customer experiences, lowering costs and increasing loan volume like never before. One of the best companies that emerged in 2018 is Sales Boomerang which has helped its clients (lenders, wholesalers, brokers etc.) realize how much volume they are missing/losing every year (over $8B in missed loans in 2018) and then equips them with automated tools designed to retain more of their customers (almost $500M in saved loans in 2018), reduce funding costs and increase overall volume. See why top lenders across the country have chosen Sales Boomerang. Schedule your demo today.
 
In broker news, “UWM is dropping its pricing, making its pricing more competitive than ever. For years, United Wholesale Mortgage has topped mortgage brokers’ lists in a variety of categories, but pricing wasn’t necessarily one of them – until now. UWM has dropped its rates across the board, for conventional, government and jumbo, giving the nation’s No. 1 wholesale lender the best pricing in the country, to go along with its leading client service, technology, turn times and partnership tools. UWM has removed all state adjustments and most Loan Level Price Adjustments (LLPA), as well. Now, not only will mortgage brokers enjoy the fastest and easiest experience by working with UWM, they’ll also obtain the best rates for their customers.”
 
ARMCO Launches ARMCO CARES Employee Donation Matching Program: Organization supported 27 non-profit charities in 2018. Introduced during the holiday season of 2018, ARMCO CARES offers a dollar for dollar match of employee donations to a U.S. registered 501c3 charitable organization of the employee’s choice. It is available to both part time and full time ARMCO employees. ARMCO plans to expand ARMCO CARES in 2019 to include employee wellness and community involvement programs. For its inaugural effort, ARMCO CARES provided financial support to 27 different charitable organizations with causes that include health, human rights, animal welfare, human services, veterans, inclusion, youth services, and more. READ THE PRESS RELEASE
 
JMAC Lending is known for solving challenging Non-QM loans. In business for 21 years, JMAC was one of the first to offer Non-QM products. JMAC’s Newport Streamlined First Lien Jumbo Alternative is one of these dynamic product options. Income and asset documentation requirements are based on DU findings, which is great for borrowers who do not have funds for reserves. Loan amounts are from $100K to $3M. Plus, JMAC accepts appraisal transfers on this program. Purchase, rate-and-term and cash-out go up to 95% LTV to $1.5 million with no MI. Add in the 40-year fixed term with interest-only and the Newport Streamlined First Lien becomes a go-to loan in your Jumbo/Non-QM product lineup. To get help or to submit a scenario, please contact sales@JMACLending.com or 844.888.5622. Click here to learn more about these dynamic Non-QM products. JMAC is now accepting broker and correspondent applications.
 
Digital mortgage point-of-sale leader, Maxwell, announced the release of its disclosure management platform, which enables borrowers to securely access, review, and sign loan disclosure documents directly within their platform. The launch partner for Maxwell’s disclosure platform is Docutech, with additional providers coming online in the months to come. Maxwell’s disclosures platform enables a seamless borrower experience while expediting compliant disclosure collection for lenders. "Our goal has always been to create a centralized, relationship-driven mortgage experience so that borrowers receive a consistent digital experience from application to clear to close," said John Paasonen, Maxwell’s co-founder and CEO. This further enriches the borrower experience on top of the already-impressive efficiency gains that Maxwell users enjoy, closing loans 45% faster than the national average. To learn more about Maxwell and its new disclosure platform, visit Maxwell here and request a demo today. 
 
Transitions
 
Every bank and lender has been cutting staff over the last several months, the latest news coming from BB&T. And Ginnie Mae, besides motoring along through the partial shutdown, announced EVP and COO Michael Bright will be stepping down on January 16 and has requested that his nomination for President of Ginnie Mae be withdrawn to pursue a new opportunity in the private sector. (I doubt he’s heading off to write a free commentary…) Here’s his resignation letter to HUD’s Ben Carson. Maren Kasper, current EVP of Ginnie Mae, will serve as the Acting President upon Bright’s departure. (If you’re interested in a job at Ginnie, here’s the link.)
 
Newbold Advisors added Arleen Scavone, the founder & CEO of OpExNow, to its management team. “Arleen has a long track record of executing transformational programs in our industry. As our clients look to re-platform and attract millennial customers in originations and drive down costs in servicing through transformational programs, adding Arleen’s expertise in these areas creates an even more compelling offering for our clients,” said Terry Couto, a Newbold Founding Partner.
 
M&A
 
Movement Mortgage has significantly expanded its Pacific Northwest and Mountain West market share by agreeing to acquire the retail mortgage operations of Eagle Home Mortgage, LLC. The transaction, scheduled to close later this month, is expected to add $1.5 billion in additional annual mortgage loan volume to Movement’s origination platform and increase Movement’s national retail mortgage footprint by 230 additional mortgage professionals and 35 branch offices. “The Eagle Home Mortgage assets are concentrated in the Pacific Northwest and Mountain West regions, including offices and operations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado. Movement expects to retain the staff across the acquired branch network and integrate the business with its existing retail network of more than 650 branches and 1,500 loan officers nationwide. Movement kicked off the acquisition announcement with a four-day roadshow across four states, as executive sales and operations leadership visited Eagle associates in Seattle, Portland, Oregon; Boise, Idaho; and Denver.”
 
The Movement Mortgage acquisition of Eagle Mortgage’s retail operations prompted STRATMOR Senior Partner Garth Graham to shoot over this note. “This deal is interesting because it’s an example of two successful and profitable companies making a deal that could be a win-win for both of them. Eagle is owned by Lennar (the nation’s largest builder) and has apparently decided to now focus all its mortgage activity to support the builder, which is why management sold off the retail (non-builder) channel. Lennar has long had a very high capture rate for builder business and is projected to do over $10B in builder mortgage originations in 2019. So, the sale of the retail unit is really about focusing its resources on the builder.
 
“Movement’s purchase of the retail unit is yet another example of the consolidation in the industry and is also an example of the big independents getting bigger by focusing on acquiring strong purchase centric platforms. Movement, which is projected to do over $13 billion in 2019, has long been known as a big recruiter in the industry, and this acquisition certainly puts them on the map as an acquirer as well. The Movement deal follows New American’s acquisition of $1 billion Marketplace Mortgage in December, which is another example of a fast growing IMB expanding their capabilities in new geographies. As we wrote in our December Insights, its certain that M&A is going to be increasing this year, as many successful independents continue to use this opportunity to grow their business in a down market.”
 
(As a quick aside, the STRATMOR Group is interested in speaking with lenders doing as little as $40 million a month, below what some M&A firms are interested in pursuing – shoot Senior Partner Garth Graham an email.)
 
And Homeowners Financial Group (HFG) has announced a new partnership with Prescott-based homebuilder Dorn Homes. The collaboration between the two companies will produce Dorn Mortgage. The new mortgage company will provide home financing services to all Dorn Homes buyers. Scottsdale’s HFG has more than 30 branches in 12 states and is licensed to do business in 28 states. Last year, HFG funded $1.44 billion of residential mortgages. And Dorn Homes has been building homes in Arizona for 50 years and is Northern Arizona’s largest homebuilder.
 
Capital markets
 
The U.S. 10-year ended the midweek session nearly unchanged at 2.73%. A $24 billion 10-year Treasury note reopening drew a high yield of 2.728%, making it the lowest auction yield in a year. On the international front, the World Bank lowered its 2019 global growth forecast to 2.9% from 3.0%.
 
Headlines revolved around the release of the FOMC Minutes from the December meeting, which acknowledged recent turbulence in equity markets and the widening of corporate spreads. For those, like President Trump, who think policymakers should stop raising rates, the Fed voters have yet to see an impact on real activity resulting from tighter financial conditions. The Minutes noted that many participants shared the belief that the FOMC can be patient with future rate hikes, given muted inflation readings. The minutes also revealed several participants commented on the possibility of reducing agency MBS holdings somewhat more quickly than the passive approach by implementing a program of very gradual MBS sales sometime after the size of the balance sheet had been normalized. We will hear from Fed Chairman Powell later today.
 
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer released a short statement about the conclusion of trade talks between the United States and China, but the statement was short on details. China’s Ministry of Commerce is expected to provide some insight about the talks during a weekly press conference that will take place today.
 
Today’s U.S. calendar kicked off with initial jobless claims for last week: -17k to a 4-week low of 216k. That’s all as far as relevant economic releases go, though we have a full day of Fed speak: Richmond Fed President Barkin, St. Louis’ Bullard, Fed Chair Powell, Chicago Fed President Evans, Minneapolis’ Kashkari, and Fed Vice Chair Clarida. That’s a lot of words! Thursday begins with Agency MBS prices little changed from last night’s close and the 10-year yielding 2.71%.
 
 
A cop pulls over a carload of nuns.
Cop: "Sister, this is a 65 MPH highway. Why are you going so slow?"
Sister: "Sir, I saw a lot of signs that said 22, not 65."
Cop: "Oh sister, that’s not the speed limit, that’s the name of the highway you’re on!”
Sister: "Oh! Silly me! Thanks for letting me know. I’ll be more careful."
At this point the cop looks in the backseat where the other nuns are shaking and trembling.
Cop: "Excuse me, Sister, what’s wrong with your friends back there? They’re shaking something terrible."
Sister: "Oh, we just got off of highway 119." 
 
 
Visit www.robchrisman.com for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “Low Down Payments Can Help Borrowers AND Lenders.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
 
 
Rob
 
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2019 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

 

 

Jan. 9: LO jobs coast to coast; non-QM, appraisal products; events this week; new buydown, 2nd look products

The co-founder and former CEO of Southwest Airlines, Herb Kelleher, died last week. I mention this because I read his obituary and the article noted his advice to employees in 2014 when they were upset by efforts to reduce costs and otherwise evolve. “What we’re talking about here is your future. If we don’t change, you won’t have one.” Just ask Sears, which is closing after 126 years in business. Hopefully that fate does not befall many lenders in the U.S., although this year as many things in store for our industry. Branches moving, companies moving, large and small. My guess is that we’ll see more headline-grabbing M&A coming soon!
 
Jobs & personnel moves
 
FirstBank Mortgage, a division of FirstBank with $5B in assets, is aggressively seeking loan officers and teams throughout TN, AL, & GA that possess an entrepreneurial spirit and love to work hard and have fun while doing it. “Backed by a management team of former producers, FirstBank Mortgage has the technology, training, pricing and marketing to help you exponentially grow your business and industry knowledge. Expansive product offerings include portfolio, jumbo, super jumbo, multiple down payment assistance programs and expanded credit programs. Come thrive in an environment where your voice is heard, your opinions matter and customers come first. Excellent compensation package included.” Click here to learn more.
 
Join the firm that’s aggressively pursuing a retail growth strategy. Planet Home Lending opened more than 40 retail branches nationwide in the past 15 months. Discover what’s under the hood of the engine driving Planet Home Lending’s growth strategy, including an underwriting policy of “no overlays and no minimum credit scores on government lending.” “Whether you’re interested in working with us or for us, we’re always happy to chat about what you’re looking for and how we can help.” Contact Planet SVP Fobby Naghmi (703-473-2340) today.
 
Kwik Mortgage is looking for both supremely confident and stubbornly independent loan officers and branch managers who have the strength and capacity to build their own business in today’s evolving market. For over twenty years Kwik has made its way from coast to coast by sweating the details running a lean management structure while supporting its sales teams to work autonomously. Kwik has done the heavy lifting so you don’t have to deal with 30% plus in operations costs or 40% plus in corporate administrative costs and then wonder why your compensation and pricing continue to move around! If you are an experienced loan officer that can generate three funded units or $1 Million in fundings per month and enjoy working remote contact us today! If you are a branch team generating $2.5 million in business or 12 t0 20 units per month contact us today, we have both P&L and Corporate team options! Kwik is currently searching for Sales professionals in CT, NY, NJ, PA, MD, VA, GA, FL, OH, TX, CA, and Washington State. Please email Resume@kwikmtg.com to learn more about Kwik Mortgage!
 
United Capital Markets, Inc. announced the addition of Tim Covington as a SVP joining UCM’s St. Louis office. Tim will be responsible for analytics, business development and trading/hedging of mortgage servicing assets. He joins the UCM team after 19 years with Wells Fargo Home Lending as SVP and Market Risk Manager. Congrats!
 
And FundingShield announced that Faith Schwartz has joined its senior advisory board, bringing “a wealth of experience and relationships stemming from her leadership in the lending, fintech, non-profit and advisory space. Faith is currently president of automated verification provider FormFree.”
 
Lender products and services
 
In broker news, “UWM is dropping its pricing, making its pricing more competitive than ever. For years, United Wholesale Mortgage has topped mortgage brokers’ lists in a variety of categories, but pricing wasn’t necessarily one of them – until now. UWM has dropped its rates across the board, for conventional, government and jumbo, giving the nation’s No. 1 wholesale lender the best pricing in the country, to go along with its leading client service, technology, turn times and partnership tools. UWM has removed all state adjustments and most Loan Level Price Adjustments (LLPA), as well. Now, not only will mortgage brokers enjoy the fastest and easiest experience by working with UWM, they’ll also obtain the best rates for their customers.”
 
Trying to grow your business and help borrowers? Here’s a new USDA One-Time Close product that can be sold to your correspondent investor right after closing and before construction has begun. Spare your borrowers the hassle of going through multiple closings. And, bundle their building costs and mortgage costs into one loan. It’s a win-win and saves much-needed time. Check out the new USDA One-Time Close purchase option TMS Correspondent recently rolled for its partners.
 
Lending solutions provider Data Facts recently announced an exciting new appraisal product. The Verisite Plus Report gives current, comprehensive details for non-standard appraisal loans. Using the Verisite app, sellers, realtors, or appraisers securely take interior and exterior photos that are geo-located and sent back to the lender. These are combined with property data such as location, map, and comparable sales to create an appraisal. The Verisite Plus Report typically returns in 4 hours and costs $100 less than traditional appraisals. Trust Data Facts to provide you efficient mortgage lending solutions, such as credit reports, fraud products, tax return and social security verifications, a variety of lead generation tools, and more…all integrated within your LOS! Talk with a live person and take advantage of their personalized support for your business. Their 100% US based customer service team will help you increase efficiency so you can close more loans, faster and easier.
 
Deephaven Mortgage continues to experience impressive growth in the Non-QM sector while staying committed to adding new products, capabilities, and technology to make the lives of originators nationwide more streamline. On the subject of making the process more streamlined, Deephaven’s Wholesale Division is excited to announce that it is now supporting credit reissuance including many of the most popular credit providers in the mortgage industry. Credit reissuance allows for greater predictability in scoring, pricing, and qualification along with improving the overall cycle time on loans. For additional details on how to start a new file with Deephaven Wholesale using our new credit reissuance process, please contact your Deephaven Wholesale Account Executive today or by emailing us.”
 
Correction in M&A news
 
Yesterday I noted that TMS sold its wholesale and retail origination lines to Atlanta-based AmeriSave Mortgage Corporation. TMS only sold its retail origination lines to AmeriSave, however. “This is a perfect fit. AmeriSave brings years of delivering a truly exceptional, tech-forward experience to homeowners during originations as we do at TMS in servicing customers for the life of the loan,” said CEO Darius Mirshahzadeh. “We feel good knowing that they will take great care of our customers and our people while we double down on being the world’s best servicer.” TMS remains focused on building their correspondent, servicing, subservicing lines of business and SIME subservicing platform.
 
Upcoming events in the next week
 
Momentifi CEO Gibran Nicholas is hosting a free webinar today at 2PM ET: How Purpose-Driven Loan Originators Will Dominate the 2019 Mortgage Market. Topics include: how to identify the target market where you can win in 2019; how to articulate why your ideal clients and strategic partners should choose you vs. your competitors; and how to utilize technology to win more business with your target audience. Click here to register. If you miss the live webinar, click here to access the recording.
 
Have you set your goals for 2019? If you’re ready to start setting money making goals, then join Sierra Pacific Mortgage on January 14 at 10:00am PST for a free one-hour webinar on achieving your goals. In this course, focused on goal setting, you will learn how to establish smart goals, how to work backwards to accomplish your goals, and how to analyze your current book of business and referral sources to help meet your next financial goal. Make 2019 your year. Register today.
 
Don’t miss the opportunity to register for the MBA-NJ webinar series beginning January 10th, “Mastering Social Media in the Mortgage Industry”.
 
Sign up for Plaza’s January 11th complimentary training webinar: Negotiate the Numbers. In this webinar, you will learn the fundamentals of calculating income for self-employed borrowers from personal and business tax returns.
 
Register for the January 15th MBA Education Diversity and Inclusion Webinar Series. Get the tools you need to expand your reach by registering for the How to Boost Sales in the Multicultural Market webinar. Learn the best ways to connect with African-American, Asian and Hispanic audiences—the fastest growing populations in the nation with huge, untapped buying power.
 
Register for the MMA for breakfast on January 16th. Presenters will discuss eMortgage and eClosing topics as these continue to gather momentum as states enact remote notary laws such as the one that recently went into effect in Minnesota.
 
New products
 
Taylor Morrison Home Corp. launched a 2-1 buydown from a fixed rate mortgage program during which Taylor Morrison will help pay some of the interest cost during the initial years of homeownership. The Taylor Morrison 2-1 rate buydown for Conventional and FHA financing for qualified owner-occupied borrowers with a minimum 680 credit score allows consumers to pay their mortgage payment at a rate 2% below the fixed rate mortgage the first year and 1% lower the second year before the mortgage returns to a fixed rate over the remaining life of the loan.
 
Hudson United Mortgage Services, LLC is now accepting appointments for its Second Look Program. “Any prospective homebuyer is encouraged to meet with a Hudson United Mortgage loan officer once they have received a mortgage estimate from another lender to receive competitive rates and discuss their best options. This ensures that clients are receiving the best mortgage rates available anywhere. Clients who meet with one of the Hudson United Mortgage loan officers will receive a $100 Visa Gift card following the meeting. To be eligible, you must show a Hudson United loan officer a signed purchase offer to buy a home and a mortgage estimate from another lender at the time of your free consultation. Then, the borrower will receive a Visa Gift Card, whether they apply for a mortgage through Hudson United Mortgage or any other mortgage company. This offer expires December 31, 2019.
 
Loan Stream Mortgage offers Bank Statement loans. Fixed Rate, 5/1 and 7/1 ARM’s up to $10,000,000 with interest only options available. Questions? Submit them too: inquiries@lswholesale.com.
 
Effective January 2nd, PennyMac released its Non-Conforming NonQM Loan Program.
 
Fannie Mae launched the MH Advantage program, hoping to give future homeowners another option. Rick Walker, Collateral Policy & Strategy Risk Manager with Fannie Mae sat down with Appraisal Buzz to give us a closer insight into the new program. For details, read the Q&A discussion.
 
Elixir Mortgage Lending has 1 Month Bank Statement Loans available.
 
Citadel Servicing has a new ODF Plus Program for 5 to 35-Unit Properties. Contact sales@citadelservicing.com for more information.
 
Capital markets
 
The U.S. 10-year closed Tuesday +3 bps to 2.72% as Treasuries across the curve all moved in the same direction with markets receiving no updates on trade talks with China, though it was reported the talks will extend into today. Beijing was in the headlines twice, as North Korea’s Chairman Kim Jong-un reportedly arrived there for a visit that will continue through January 10. Finally, on the international front, Germany’s Industrial Production experienced its sharpest rate of decline since the financial crisis.
 
Today’s calendar kicked off with the usual mortgage applications from the MBA for the week ending January 4. In proof of a) an unusually slow week the prior week, and b) how flighty holiday week stats can be, applications were up over 23% with refis doing well. Up next will be three scheduled Fed President speakers: Atlanta’s Bostic, Chicago’s Evans, and Boston’s Rosengren. Finally, and most importantly, at 2PM the minutes from the December FOMC meeting will be released. We begin today with the 10-year yielding 2.74 percent and Agency MBS prices down/worse a couple ticks.
 
 
(Thank you to Jerry D. for these, “Why I Love Getting Older;” Part 2 of 2)
8. Senility has been a smooth transition for me.
9. Remember back when we were kids and every time it was below zero outside they closed school? Yeah, Me neither.
10. I may not be that funny, or athletic, or good looking, or smart, or talented… I forgot where I was going with this.
11. I love being over 70, I learn something new every day and forget 5 others.
12. A thief broke into my house last night. He started searching for money so I woke up and searched with him.
13. After sending this commentary out I think I’ll just put an "Out of Order" sticker on my forehead and call it a day.
14. November 4, 2018 marked the end of Daylight Saving Time. Hope you didn’t forget to set your bathroom scale back 10 pounds on Saturday night.
15. Just remember, once you’re over the hill you begin to pick up speed.
 
 
Visit www.robchrisman.com for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “Low Down Payments Can Help Borrowers AND Lenders.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
 
 
Rob
 
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2019 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)