News

Oct. 18: Sales jobs, CRA & 203(h) offerings; LOS products & CRM white paper; USDA rural back on track

The United States is filled with thousands of pieces of geographic trivia. Alaska is more than twice as big as Texas. El Paso, Texas is closer to San Diego than it is to Houston. In the South, Johnson City/Bristol, Tennessee is 100 miles closer to Canada than it is to Memphis, a city in its own state! 20 (out of 58) California counties are larger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined. Yup, a lot going on out there.
 
Jobs & promotions
 
First United Bank Mortgage, a top 10 market leader in Dallas/Fort Worth and Top 3 in Oklahoma, is looking for a Regional Manager to continue growth in the South Texas Market. The role would support the existing retail branch platform which includes 3 Scotsman Guide originators and $360M in annual volume. First United Bank is a $6.2B community bank based in Oklahoma which offers competitive Portfolio products including in-house Jumbo, OTC and 2X close Construction, Doctor Program, and Non-Warrantable Condos. FUBM is a direct seller/servicer to FNMA, FHMLC, and GNMA. To learn more about joining our team, please contact Tara Price, Sr. Managing Director of Mortgage, Kristofer Sanders, Mortgage Director of Talent Acquisition, or call 972-569-2352.
 
Close loans on time, every time. That’s our goal, and the best way to achieve it is to hire great people, not just great Loan Officers and Branch Managers. Strong character and exceptional customer service are a way of life at Assurance Financial. If you’re a successful MLO or Branch Manager with outstanding ethics and a desire to make a difference – we should talkAssurance Financial, recently named among 2017’s “Best Places to Work”, is a full-service private mortgage banker with offices throughout the country. Contact Sales Recruiting Manager Paul Peters, CMB, at 225-239-7948 or visit LendTheWay.com/Careers.
 
State Bank Financial Corporation, the holding company for State Bank and Trust Company (“State Bank”), announced the appointment of Jason Hultgren as senior vice president and mortgage production manager in Atlanta. “Hultgren will be responsible for growing retail mortgage production and market share across metro Atlanta, provide sales leadership to manage and grow State Bank’s services, and be responsible for recruiting and hiring efforts, talent development, business development and the expansion of State Bank’s retail mortgage practice.”
 
Vendor products & Denver conference exhibitions
 
“Title production costs have skyrocketed over the past decade, as productivity has fallen off a cliff. Outsourcing your back-office processes to String Real Estate Information Services can help you solve these issues right away. After 14 years and 20 million transactions, String’s expertise in mortgage and title is unparalleled. String supports the entire title production life cycle: title agency production, closing & settlement services, curative processing, title plant building, tax certs and other VMC services. We can help shorten your cycle time, turn your fixed costs into variable costs, and improve your margins by up to 20%. If you’re attending the MBA Annual Convention in Denver, schedule a meeting with us to learn how String can improve your P&L within 30 days or less.”
 
Manually calculating income for borrowers is time-consuming and costly. As a result, consumer mortgage lenders have been looking for ways to quickly acquire income-related documents and data while processing them more accurately, completely, and consistently. Until now many digital solutions fell short of their advertised promise when tested against real applications, forcing mortgage lenders to establish multiple vendors to perform the same function – income calculation. LoanBeam simplifies these process redundancies by combining income from key data aggregators with powerful OCR technology to supply qualifying income for any applicant, regardless of the income source. Going live to all LoanBeam customers by Q1, 2018, this platform will allow lenders to leverage LoanBeam’s proven accuracy and proficiency in dealing with complex income streams (including self-employment income, rental property income, multiple 1040s, and schedules), and apply that expertise to W2’s and paystubs. For more information about LoanBeam, visit its website at www.loanbeam.com or contact a sales representative at sales@loanbeam.com for a demo.
 
Did you know that up to 50% of LOs don’t use software that has been purchased at the enterprise-level, and that mortgage companies could be losing a whopping $90,000/year in lost revenue opportunities for every 10 loan officers who fail to implement it? A new white paper out titled, "Eight Ways to Improve User Adoption of CRM and Other Technologies” contains invaluable insights if you and your team are thinking of implementing a new CRM or if you’re struggling with poor user adoption of an existing enterprise-wide software solution. Christy Soukhamneut, SVP of National Sales Performance for Certainty Home Loans, and Gibran Nicholas, CEO of CMPS Institute, share eight lessons they’ve learned from their recent CRM implementation experience where they achieved 70%+ user adoption rates as defined by users who are logging in to the system at least weekly. Gibran will be at the MBA convention in Denver and you can schedule some time to meet with him by emailing him directly.
 
“Denver bound? Let’s connect! Reach150 helps your LOs increase loan transactions by automating the collection of recommendations AND referrals, and then using them as a powerful marketing tool. This system is also used at the corporate and office manager level to recruit and retain top talent on a regional or national level. Client acquisition and talent acquisition all in one system! Set it up and be running in 10 minutes. Email Kimberlee Foster kfoster@smartzip.com to carve out 20 minutes at the MBA to get a quick demo.”
 
Point-of-sale (POS) consumer portals are driving the digital mortgage experience. But to realize their full potential, POS systems need to be fully integrated with a lender’s LOS. LendingQB provides an OpenAPI that offers POS vendors a seamless connection to their LOS platform, with advanced functionality such as credit report ordering, secure document uploading and pricing engine access. Numerous POS vendors have already partnered with LendingQB, including: StreamLoan, LenderPrice, PreApp 1003, LenderHomePage, Maxwell, SimpleNexus, BeSmartee, Floify and Blend. Visit LendingQB at the MBA Annual Convention, where they will be showcasing POS integrations at booth #324. Contact Linn Cook for more information.
 
NFM Lending has decided to make the switch to Loan Vision, an industry-specific financial solution to automate processes and cut hours of manual labor in its accounting department.  “We wanted increased efficiency and improved reporting capabilities to help our branches have more visibility into their financials.” said Chris Curcio, Controller at NFM Lending. The team was specifically impressed by Loan Vision’s ability to consume data from their LOS as well as the software provider’s customer service reputation. As lenders continue to feel the tightening of the lending market, Loan Vision is leading the way in offering an enterprise level accounting and business management functionality in one industry focused solution. Heading to Denver for the MBA Annual Convention? Set up some time to meet with the Loan Vision team by contacting Carl Wooloff.
 
Are all Social Media reviews created equal? In the recent mad dash to collect and share social media reviews and testimonials, many lenders have neglected to weigh the benefits of quality vs. quantity. In this month’s MortgageSAT tip, STRATMOR Group’s Mike Seminari looks at the risks in the “more is better” approach to encouraging borrowers to share their valuable reviews on Social Media sites. Some sites have a greater impact with borrowers, and encouraging them to share their review of you on those sites helps ensure positive customer sentiment has the best chance of translating to an actual referral. Check out this MortgageSAT Tip, where Mike looks and the pros and cons of the most highly visible social media sites and answers the question, “Which social media sites have the greatest potential for impacting revenue?”
 
Investor products
 
AmeriHome Mortgage often partners with banks to help them meet their Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) obligations through mortgage loan or securities acquisitions. As the nation’s 9th largest lender, AmeriHome is well positioned to help your bank achieve its CRA goals. AmeriHome’s Capital Markets team will be in Denver for the MBA Conference and would look forward to meeting with you to discuss your CRA needs. If the person or team that handles your bank’s CRA portfolio won’t be in attendance, they’d look forward to scheduling a call to discuss at a convenient time. The AmeriHome team can be contacted via email
 
Freedom Mortgage Renovation Lending is working with lenders preparing to assist homeowners impacted by recent hurricanes and fires. While today’s focus is on restoring fundamentals, shortly, homeowner attention will shift to renovating and returning home. Viable options for homeowners needing assistance due to flood or structural damage include FHA 203(k) and FNMA HomeStyle® Renovation programs. Within parameters, these programs are beneficial, especially for homeowners lacking flood insurance and who meet equity criteria. Depending on the program, borrowers may utilize up to 110% of the completed value of the home for determining loan amount. Another alternative includes combining credit benefits of the 203(h) program with renovation benefits of 203(k) financing (following 203(k) LTV maximums). Independently, the 203(h) program allows to 100% financing. In addition to platform development assistance and customized sales/operations/certification training, Freedom Mortgage offers complete draw management allowing lenders to focus more on their borrowers. 
 
USDA rural housing news
 
Fiscal Year 2018 Funds Now Available. Yes, funding for Rural Development’s Single-Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program is now available. The funding is authorized by the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018 and Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, 2017 (P.L. 115-56, H.R. 601).
 
“Requests that received Form RD 3555-18E, ‘Conditional Commitment for Single Family Housing Loan Guarantee’ (aka Conditional Commitment), contingent upon the availability of an appropriation, will be obligated in the Agency’s financial system over the next 2-3 business days. An updated Conditional Commitment will be electronically generated by the Agency to remove the “contingent upon” language. Lender receipt of the updated Conditional Commitment will signal the request has been successfully obligated by the Agency. NOTE: Closing transactions are not eligible for submission to USDA until a loan is successfully obligated.
 
“Once the loan has closed (including loans that were closed prior to the obligation of funds by the Agency) the lender may submit their request for Loan Note Guarantee along with a closing package. For manually submitted packages, ensure the lender certification on the Conditional Commitment is signed and dated after the Agency’s obligation date (the issuance date on the updated Conditional Commitment). Lenders using the Agency’s automated Lender Loan Closing (LLC) system will complete the lender certification electronically (i.e. no manual signature/date required). Questions may be directed to (202) 720-1452.”
 
Capital markets
 
Here’s some (hopefully) good news. The US Treasury has called for the inclusion of some asset-backed securities in the list of acceptable high-quality liquid assets for the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision’s liquidity coverage ratio and net stable funding ratio to make assets such as housing loans more attractive. SIFMA and other industry groups have called for the inclusion of private label residential mortgage-backed securities rather than limiting the list to assets issued by government-backed housing lenders.
 
With a taut labor market and low inflation, some policy makers like Fed Chair Janet Yellen, have advocated returning policy to a neutral setting of a fed funds rate around 2 percent that neither spurs nor inhibits economic growth, above the bank’s current 1 percent to 1.25 percent target range. However, we are far from certain that Yellen will be around next year to gradually hike rates. Her four-year term atop the Fed expires on Feb. 3, and while President Donald Trump has said she could retain the job, he’s also looking at formed Fed governor Kevin Warsh, who is urging the central bank to stop trying to fine-tune inflation and instead focus more on developments in finance, money and credit.
 
Fixed income securities (including Treasuries and MBS) ended Tuesday on a mixed note after morning lows reversed on the release of a better than expected Industrial Production report for September. Though it showed a decline from August, it was not as bad as expected in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The capacity utilization rate increased to 76.0% from a downwardly revised 75.8% for August. The 2s10s spread (a measure of the steepness of the yield curve) now sits at its low from 2016 and just above levels that were last seen in late 2007, suggesting the Treasury market is not anticipating any sort of a meaningful acceleration in growth. Instead, the market is becoming more concerned about a potential deceleration.
 
Today, we’ve had the weekly MBA Mortgage Index (+3.6%, the first increase in a month but volume was nearly 19 percent below the same week one year ago, when interest rates were lower), and September Housing Starts (-4.7%) & Building Permits (-4.5%); the October Fed Beige Book will be at 2PM ET. In the early going rates are higher than Tuesday’s close: the yield on the 10-year is 2.33% and agency MBS prices are worse .125-.250.
 
 
It’s that time of year where the yearly debate of great impact and consequence happens: do the different colors on candy corn have a different taste? The candy is 135 years old, and is fat free for the diet-conscious. (Excellent.) If you want to show your kids how it is made, here you go.
 
 
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, “Will User Names and Passwords Go the Way of Thermal Fax Paper?” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
Rob
 
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are over 300 mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2017 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)
 
 

Oct. 17: Sales job, lender for sale; wire fraud, MBI, & LEP products; HMDA stats; upcoming events; the Fed’s leadership

Does the Fed Chairman make a difference? Yes. Taylor and Powell’s names continue to be mentioned, although Trump is set to interview Janet Yellen Thursday. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if Janet Yellen was being given the boot, unfortunately. Trump must decide whether to risk jarring the markets to ensure deregulation. After all, she is an Obama appointee, and Donald Trump has shown disdain for all things Obama. (More on Yellen in the capital markets section below.)
 
Jobs & business opportunities
 
An independent mortgage banker is looking to sell its corporation. The corporation has had HUD Full Eagle approval since 2008 and VA approval since 2011 and is in excellent standing. This sale would be for HUD and VA licensing purposes. Interested parties may contact me directly to forward their note.
 
“Interested in joining a stable and secure lender with a 30+ year history of success? Embrace Home Loans is looking for self-sourced, purchase focused Branch Managers, Sales Managers, and Loan Officers. Embrace has been recognized for the fifth straight year by Inc. as one of the Fastest Growing Companies in America, making it an excellent career option. For 10 straight years Embrace has achieved a 98% Customer Service Rating and has been recognized by Fortune no less than seven times as one of the Top 25 Mid-size Companies to Work for in America. Licensed in 46 states plus DC, Embrace ranks as one of the top private mortgage lenders in America. If you’re interested in working with a supportive, dynamic, and productive company, contact Patrick Mullen, Director of Recruiting, or check out Join Embrace. Embrace your future – join our team today!”
 
Products & conference opportunities
 
In correspondent news, AmeriHome’s Correspondent Scratch and Dent Program continues to help originators sell loans with origination defects. The AmeriHome program is designed to save clients time and money shopping for buyers and negotiating new contracts by having AmeriHome handle these transactions. A sampling of the issues that can be priced include DTI/Income/loan amounts, investor overlays, TRID/compliance, incomplete documentation, uninsurable loans, and non-agency jumbo fallout. AmeriHome is an industry-leader in service and operational support and is committed to providing the same accurate and timely communication on your S&D business. If interested, please contact your AmeriHome Correspondent Sales Representative (or email CLsales@amerihome.com) and add our direct email snd@amerihome.com to your email distributions.
 
Planet Home Lending continues to expand the product lineup for its growing correspondent customer base with the addition of FHA 203(h) loans and a new jumbo program. Customers serving natural disaster victims in the Gulf states, California, and elsewhere can use 203(h) to help renters and homeowners rebuild or buy in a new location. Planet’s 203(h) offers 100% financing, FICOs to 500, financed closing costs, and no minimum borrower contribution. Planet has also added a correspondent jumbo program with purchase and refis to $2.5 million with LTVs to 80%, and cash-outs to $1.5 million. Make the Connection to great loans – contact Jim Loving (414.270.0027).
 
“A common discussion during the beginning of conference season seems to be centering around truly digitizing the entire workflow, to include automating the calculation and validation of income. Just as it was at the Digital Mortgage Conference in San Francisco, it is likely to continue into this year’s MBA Annual in Denver. LoanBeam’s automated income extraction and calculation technology solves the dilemma facing modern mortgage lenders – most of their borrowers’ income cannot be validated with digital data sources, especially those with complex income streams. LoanBeam provides a solution that can convert any income document into a digital output capable of being calculated automatically and assimilated into their process flow, today.”
 
The release of the 2016 HMDA data revealed overall product trends in the market, according to Richey May’s free HMDA Market Share Dashboard. Conventional loan volume increased 20%, in line with the overall increase of 19%, while FHA volume lagged with a 9% increase, and VA volume reflected a robust 38% increase. Overall purchases represented 49% of the market, with strong purchase markets in Texas (63%), Florida (63%) and New York (64%), while refis, representing 47% of the market, were strongest In California (61%). Overall production volume increases were strongest in the western United States, with Washington (29%) leading the nation. For even more data points relevant to your business, check out Richey May’s dynamic HMDA Market Share Dashboard.
 
The Cost-To-Originate a loan has skyrocketed over the past decade, as operational productivity has fallen off a cliff. Outsourcing your back-office processes to String Real Estate Information Services can help you solve these issues right away. String supports the mortgage origination life cycle from app to close: processing support, pre-underwriting, closing review and post-closing. We can help shorten your cycle time, turn your fixed costs into variable costs, and improve your margins by up to 20%. If you’re attending the MBA Annual Convention in Denver, schedule a meeting with us to learn how String can improve your P&L within 30 days or less. 
 
Multiple studies have shown that your borrower experience, above any other factor, drives your business forward. Technology has become a critical expectation to a positive borrower experience. Lightweight borrower-facing tools are the answer for LOs looking to transform the borrower experience. Leading the charge is Maxwell, awarded HousingWire’s 100 Most Innovative Companies for 2017. The secure digital portal provides automated document collection with direct integrations of thousands of financial institutions (even automated paystubs!), a fully customizable online loan application, white labeling, LOS integrations, and agent milestone notifications and borrower reminders via email and text/SMS. It’s no surprise Maxwell has been chosen by hundreds of lenders to drive their business forward! All of this starts at only $99/month per LO with free accounts for team members. To learn more and request a demo, visit www.himaxwell.com
 
Lenders and settlement agents, I’ve written about wire fraud in the past. This is the $2-billion-dollar problem that goes unmitigated for many in our space. ATS Secured has a wire fraud solution that easily integrates with your existing workflow and systems, and reduces costs, and closing times. “Wire fraud at the originating or settlement level is up 1,300% since 2015. And the average loss is $100,000,” says Jay Michalowski, Senior Managing Director at ATS Secured. “Our solutions mitigate this fraud and risk for our clients.” From verifying and authenticating every signer and approver, to validating all wire instructions, to secure messaging and connectivity directly to escrow companies, ATS guarantee your wires and funds get to the right destination. Speak with ATS Secured at the MBA’s Annual Convention and make your trip to Denver productive. Contact Jay Michalowski to pre-arrange a meeting. ATS Secured: Sophisticated tools to combat today’s sophisticated crime.
 
The MBA stated that limited English proficiency (LEP) could create a liability for lenders since this is a key priority for many regulators. A CFPB official said, “If every loan application had a talk’uments file, our job (CFPB) would be done.” Available in ENGLISH and SPANISH, talk’uments is a new consumer information delivery model that displays borrower specific loan data through interactive loan and disclosure technology – from pre-sale through loan closing. Talk’uments increases loan originations, as it eliminates LEP risk and cuts compliance, legal and regulatory costs for all mortgage transactions, and, by providing market ready borrowers with what they want – interactive loan information specific to their loan request (i.e. Loan Product Info, LE and CD review, Application & Closing Docs explanations, and Borrower Responsibilities). Talk’uments is the first of its kind in the field of interactive loan and disclosure technology. For more information or to visit with talk’uments at the national MBA conference (booth 1322), contact George Baker.
 
Corridor Mortgage’s Regional Vice President – Rick Trott has found a formula for “doing more with less – closing more loans with the same amount of people.” Trott has been able to eliminate unnecessary manual processes and automate repetitive tasks during the loan origination cycle using mortgage business intelligence (MBI) technology. Like hundreds of other lenders, Corridor Mortgage is leveraging the power of MBI to transform their lending operation and “deliver a better experience for the loan officers” through improved visibility and better control over their mortgage pipeline. Motivity’s leading MBI solution minimizes the amount of time, money and resources required to implement this technology. As the mortgage industry’s most comprehensive MBI toolset, it delivers pre-configured insights and dashboards providing deep visibility into every aspect of the loan origination process. Learn more about how Corridor Mortgage and hundreds of other lenders are using MBI to gain a competitive advantage.
 
Training & events
 
Have you mapped out your pathway to success for 2018? Sign up for Business Planning, the next ENERGY Webinar from XINNIX, The Mortgage Academy on Wednesday, November 8 at 2PM ET. No matter where you are in your career, from a rookie to a branch manager, every mortgage professional needs to develop a strategy for the upcoming year. This webinar will give you the tools you need to create, implement, and review your business plan so you can elevate your production to new heights in 2018! Click here to sign up today!
 
Of course, there is the big MBA shindig in Denver. Has anyone noticed that conferences are now eating into our weekends? That aside, it should be a grand conference.
 
Are you signed up for the TMBA 67th Annual Educational Marketplace Mortgage Education & Dialogue? Registration is still under way for MED Talks November 6th & 7th at the Marriott Legacy Town Center in Plano Texas.
 
The CMLA’s Luncheon on November 16th will discuss "Colorado Marijuana Grows Unintended Consequences" with guest speaker Detective M. Adam Hughes. This program covers the new meth houses and the destruction being done in neighborhoods, the marijuana black market and obstacles and dangers for law enforcement. Registration deadline is November 13th.
 
National MI presents “Advanced Self-Employed Borrower” on November 9. This session is a deep dive into the various schedules and tax code rules that impact a borrower’s income and come into play when underwriting the self-employed borrower. It will help if registrants have taken the basic Self-Employed Borrower course, but it is not required. Presented by Marianne Collins of Diehl Mortgage Training and Compliance.
                      
And NMI offers “Multigenerational Marketing” on November 14. One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to marketing to Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials. This session will introduce key insights into, and parallels between these generations to help participants broaden the appeal of their marketing, and create the most effective multigenerational strategy. Presented by Kristin Messerli of Cultural Outreach.
 
Capital markets
 
Financial markets don’t like uncertainty. And right now there is uncertainty regarding the leadership of the Federal Reserve, the most powerful economic position in the world. Chair Yellen’s appointed term is up next year, but the Trump Administration has thrown the job up in the air: who will it appoint?
 
Chair Yellen has had a sure but steady hand in running the Fed during difficult times. With a less skilled leader the Fed could have become much more divided and less decisive. Instead of that path, the Fed, under Yellen’s leadership, has moved forward. Her grasp is excellent that the Fed impacts both the poor and the rich through its macro and regulatory policies. She has walked a fine line between government influence and the needs of the private sector.
 
It will not be easy going forward. The Trump Administration is still calling for large budget deficits in an economy that many believe is close to full employment. In a highly politicized environment marked by extreme uncertainty, the nation needs a calm hand, expertise, and wisdom. I hope that President Trump doesn’t do away with Janet Yellen merely because she is an Obama appointee.
 
In fact, U.S. Treasuries began the week down yesterday after it was reported that President Trump was impressed with John Taylor’s interview for the Fed Chair post. Current Chair Janet Yellen’s turn in Thursday. Across the pond, reports indicate that the European Central Bank’s governing council is deeply divided on announcing a fixed end date for the asset purchase program.
 
Today’s data includes September Import Prices and Export Prices (import prices +.7%, strong, exports +.8%), September Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization, and the October NAHB Housing Market Index. Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker, a FOMC voter, will speak later this morning. We start Tuesday with rates a shade higher than Monday’s close: the 10-year is yielding 2.31% and agency MBS prices are down/worse slightly.
 
 
(Thanks to Mike C. for part 2 of 2 of some puns.)
In democracy your vote counts. In feudalism your count votes.
She was engaged to a boyfriend with a wooden leg but broke it off.
A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.
If you don’t pay your exorcist, you get repossessed.
With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.
You feel stuck with your debt if you can’t budge it.
Local Area Network in Australia – the LAN down under.
Every calendar’s days are numbered.
A lot of money is tainted -Taint yours and taint mine.
Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.
Santa’s helpers are subordinate clauses.
 
 
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, “Will User Names and Passwords Go the Way of Thermal Fax Paper?” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
Rob
 
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are over 300 mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2017 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)
 

Oct. 16: Branch mgr., sales jobs, recruiting products; big bank earnings & news; bank M&A continues

Given the latest tax plan, will the mortgage interest deduction stay, but become worthless? The GOP blueprint would double the standard deduction for individuals and couples, making the mortgage interest deduction worthless for anyone who doesn’t itemize. Stay tuned…
 
Jobs, products, recruiting tools
 
National MI is expanding its sales team and adding an additional Sales Account Representative who will reside in Boise, ID market. Responsibilities include to promote the sale of National MI products, services, and programs to clients through a consultative selling approach via personal sales calls and email/phone contact. This individual will also assist in sourcing new business from originators, and will manage the relationships of specific clients by serving as a customer advocate, educator, and loan issue problem-solver. Experience in client relationship management and training is imperative, and strong research, process improvement, and presentation skills are required. Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, National MI is a U.S.-based, private mortgage insurer enabling low down payment borrowers to realize homeownership. National MI has a GREAT culture, compensation and benefits. For the complete job posting, see National MI’s careers page.
 
DocProbe, “the nation’s premier providers of trailing document fulfillment services, is currently looking to further expand our close-knit Business Development team in the West Coast and Northeast regions as well as other nationwide positions. The is an exciting opportunity for Account Executives with experience selling to Mortgage Bankers, who possess the drive and ambition to make calls, network, and have the face-to-face visits necessary for success. The ideal candidate possesses outstanding interpersonal skills and has an established mortgage banker client base within which they can network. Interested contenders may confidentially submit resume for consideration to Libi Pruzansky. We will also be attending the MBA Annual Conference in Denver on October 22nd-25th to present our services. Please email Nick Erlanger to schedule an appointment with a specialist.”
 
Loan officers should know that, “There’s a great opportunity in the 62+ market. Are you prepared to capture it? Today’s redesigned reverse mortgages are key to aligning your business for the future – with refinance, home purchase and HELOC alternative options. Learn how you can increase revenue and better serve this growing demographic by adding reverse mortgages to your product mix. Click here to register for an upcoming educational webinar presented by Reverse Mortgage Funding LLC (RMF).”
 
“Altisource, a leading provider in end-to-end services and technologies to the mortgage and real estate industries, is seeking an energetic, creative, and motivated National Sales Executive to join its rapidly growing Origination Solutions team. The Origination Solutions group delivers best-in-class products and services that help mortgage originators and investors operate, scale and protect their business. As a National Sales Executive, you will help build the Altisource Origination Solutions vertical book of clients using your world-class solutions selling and enterprise relationship building skills. You’ll be tasked with identifying and closing deals on client partnership opportunities that can be best served by Altisource’s Originations Solutions platform throughout the nation. If you are ready for an exciting challenge with huge growth upside and you have an impressive enterprise sales background within the mortgage industry, the Altisource team has a home for you. What are you waiting for? Apply today!
 
Have you ever wanted to know which producers you should be calling in your market, but don’t know where to find them?  Now you can. With Model Match Opportunity Lead Finder you get the data that allows you to focus on the best match for your company. This tool gives you visibility into an originator’s previous year’s volume, trailing 12-months volume, as well as a trailing 3-months volume so you can be intentional about who you are calling.  The data also includes visibility into unit count, average loan amount, as well as purchase percentage and product mix. Click Here to get set up to receive Lead Names or schedule a time to meet our team at the National MBA Annual Convention in Denver in October. Pick a day and time using this link and we can show all this to you LIVE and in person. Model Match is helping our clients grow their business organically through strategic and structured recruiting efforts.
 
FundingShield – has teamed up with NFP Corp. aa global top insurance brokerage and Pioneer Underwriters to launch an enhanced New York State Crimes Insurance Policy that provides Lenders in the state of New York with the highest level of protection to date in the event of theft of client funds by law firm partners. No other insurance policies provide this coverage which many lenders are required to demand of their legal service providers who conduct closings on their behalf. Benefit to NY State lenders is coverage in the event of fund misappropriation by law firm partners in line with best practices and funding security requirements. Benefit to NY State lawyers is enhanced policy coverage, in many cases at lower cost, that provide your clients with insurance for the risk that theft takes place by bad acting law firm partners. FundingShield is a financial technology company focused on closing wire fraud prevention, secure mortgage payments and third-party service provider risk & compliance with solutions for lenders, borrowers and title companies trying to manage fund movements and counterparties. For more information please contact Info@fundingshield.com and also review the Press Release on the partnership. 
 
Ohio, Georgia, North/South Carolina, Indiana, and Florida Branch Managers – if you are looking for a highly innovative retail mortgage platform whose systems are in place to help you grow, email Marissa@menlocompany.com to learn more. The Platform offers low end FHA to high end Jumbo ($1-$5M new construction), non-warrantable condos, and true foreign national products. Again, email Marissa Vest to review a structured compensation package for you and your production team.  
 
Bank news
 
Here’s a little trivia for tonight’s Happy Hour: baby boomers control about 67% of all bank deposits.
 
JPMorgan has partnered with PayPal to allow Chase customers to link cards to PayPal accounts. Meanwhile, Citibank has also partnered with PayPal to allow Citi customers to pay using ThankYou points at merchants that accept PayPal.
 
For a Basel III update, The Basel Committee for Banking Supervision is close to reaching an agreement on capital rules for banks. France has complicated the final negotiations — expected to take place on at this week’s International Monetary Fund meeting in Washington, D.C. — by setting a hard line against any additional capital requirements for banks. The industry waits for the potential impact on servicing rights.
 
Wells Fargo, the third-largest U.S. bank by assets but #1 residential lender in the retail and correspondent channels, said its third-quarter profit fell 19 percent, due mostly to a $1 billion mortgage litigation accrual. For the quarter, loan growth and the net interest margin disappointed, but expense management helped soften the blow. Yes, “The Coach” took a $1 billion mortgage litigation accrual in the third quarter because it is in talks with a task force from the U.S. Department of Justice, per Chief Financial Officer John Shrewsberry. Wells Fargo has had a sales practices scandal, opening perhaps 3.5 million accounts in customers’ names without their permission, signing others up for unwanted auto insurance, charging some for a mortgage rate-lock feature they did not request, and tacking other costly add-ons to accounts. This is all in addition to the same challenges as competing lenders: a drop in mortgage refinancing, interest income rising slowly after a prolonged period of rock-bottom rates, expensive technology investments, and new regulations.
 
House Democrats have urged bank regulators to remove Wells Fargo’s bank charter because of their 2016 fraud scandal. They argue that this scale of “egregious consumer abuses” could threaten the safety and soundness of the financial system.
 
So the big banks reported earnings. When one looks at Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo, and PNC, mortgage production increased +7% QoQ on average, which compares with industry expectations for flat production QoQ. MSR fair value marks rose +1%, while gain on sale margins dropped 2%. Focusing on Wells, given its current status as the #1 lender, mortgage banking income dropped 37% from last year (from $1.7 billion in Q3 of 2016 to just over $1 billion in Q3 of 2017). Net servicing income saw a year-over-year decline of 14%, from $359 billion last year to $309 million.
 
Bank “shutterings” have fallen way off this year, but we had one Friday. The Farmers and Merchants State Bank of Argonia, Argonia, Kansas, was closed, and bank regulators entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Conway Bank, Conway Springs, Kansas, to assume all its deposits.
 
Throughout all this, the bank mergers and acquisitions continue, for varying reasons…not the least of which is the cost of banking and its perceived potential liabilities. Playing some catch up here with announcements, Advia Credit Union ($1.4B, MI) will acquire Peoples Bank of Elkhorn ($230mm, WI). Also in Wisconsin, Associated Bank ($29B) will acquire Bank Mutual ($2.7B) for about $482mm in stock (100%) or 1.6x tangible book. In Big Sky Country Opportunity Bank of Montana ($704mm) will acquire Ruby Valley Bank ($90mm) for about $18mm in cash (55%) and stock (45%) or about 1.29x tangible book. In Oklahoma BancFirst ($7B) will acquire First Bank & Trust Co ($280mm) and First Bank of Chandler ($90mm). Associated Bank ($30B, WI) will acquire wealth management firm Whitnell & Co.
 
In Louisiana Business First Bank ($1.2B) will acquire MBL Bank ($323mm) for about $76.1mm in cash or about 1.57x tangible book. Alabama’s Troy Bank & Trust ($853mm) will acquire
First National Bank of Brundidge ($94mm). In Indiana MutualBank ($1.6B) will acquire BloomBank ($398mm) for about $65.6mm in cash (29%) & stock (71%) or about 1.58x tangible book. Out in Colorado Guaranty Bank and Trust Co ($3.4B) will acquire Castle Rock Bank ($144mm) for about $23mm in stock (100%) or about 1.45x tangible book.
 
JLL Research finds that since the financial crisis, banks and credit unions have closed over 10,000 branches or about 3 per day. Although bank branches are closing, the end of the branch is not yet upon us. In fact, the number of branches for institutions with <$10B in assets slightly increased by 0.2% last year, while branches of all other banks went down by 2.3%, according to FDIC data.
 
Steve Brown with PCBB points out that, “At a high level, rural areas still depend on community banks. Indeed, community banks account for more than 67% of all deposit growth in rural areas, with nearly 4.8 branches for every 10,000 people vs. 2.6 branches for every 10,000 in urban areas. One issue to consider here, though, is that deposit growth is climbing fastest in metropolitan areas. Further, bigger bank customers are doing more of their banking through electronic or alternative channels in cities, rather than in branches. Given the cost of branches and the rapid growth of digital banking, a higher proportion of branches that remain open, or are
Opening, are in rural areas. As such, branches need to add higher value.”
 
Capital markets
 
To reiterate the Fed meeting minutes last week, an interest-rate increase in December has strong support among the members of the Federal Open Market Committee, minutes from its September meeting show. Officials said they were confident the economy is growing steadily, despite the slow rise of inflation. The minutes showed three schools of thought within the Fed. The largest group felt that another rate increase would be warranted unless the medium-term outlook changed notably. The second group said that their decision would depend on how the data come out between mid-September and mid-December.  The smallest group, comprised of the Doves, wanted to defer any further rate hikes until inflation was “clearly on a path toward” 2 percent.
 
U.S. Treasuries ended last week’s abbreviated week on a higher note, though a weak September CPI dominated Friday’s headlines and did little to clarify the underlying inflation trend the Fed is seeking. There’s now some chatter the Fed would be prudent to hold off on a rate hike at its December meeting, however a 2.2% YoY increase, up from 1.9% in August, does not run afoul of the Fed’s price stability mandate. The implied likelihood of a December rate hike ticked up to 82.9% from 82.7% yesterday, according to the fed funds futures market
 
Looking to this week, today we have the release of October’s Empire Manufacturing numbers. Tomorrow sees September Import/Export Prices, the Industrial Production & Capacity Utilization couplet, and October NAHB Housing Market Index. Wednesday has September Housing Starts & Building Permits, and the Fed’s Beige Book, while Thursday has weekly job claims & the Philly Fed Survey. Friday has September Existing Home Sales. We find rates a shade higher versus Friday, with the 10-year yielding 2.29% and agency MBS prices down .125.
 
 
(Thanks to Mike C. for part 1 of 2 of some puns.)

Acupuncture is a jab well done.

A man’s home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.
Dijon vu – the same mustard as before.
Shotgun wedding – A case of wife or death.
A hangover is the wrath of grapes.
Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?
Reading while sunbathing makes you well red.
When two egotists meet, it’s an I for an I.
A bicycle can’t stand on its own because it is two tired.
What’s the definition of a will? It’s a dead give away.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
 
 
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, “Will User Names and Passwords Go the Way of Thermal Fax Paper?” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
Rob
 
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are over 300 mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2017 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)
 

Oct. 14: Focus on reverse mortgages – primary & secondary markets, regulatory, and servicing biz

An elderly gent was invited to his old friends’ home for dinner one evening. He was impressed by the way his buddy preceded every request to his with endearing terms – Honey, My Love, Sugar Buns, Scrumptious, Pumpkin, etc.
The couple had been married almost 70 years, and it was obvious they were still very much in love. While the wife was in the kitchen, the man leaned over and said to his host, "I think it’s wonderful that, after all these years, you still call your wife those loving pet names."
The old many hung his head. "I have to tell you the truth," he said, "I forgot her name about 10 years ago."
 
The general backdrop for the reverse mortgage industry
 
Despite all the primping that folks do, especially in preparation for the upcoming MBA conference in Denver, we’re all becoming older – no one is getting any younger. Every day in the United States 10,000 people turn 62. That demographic tidbit is not lost on “forward” residential lenders who are increasingly exploring entering the reverse mortgage business. Many lenders already have reverse mortgage divisions, or loan officers, who specialize in these loans that can have incredibly long sales cycles. Bad press be damned. ReverseVision, a provider of software and technology for the reverse mortgage industry, reported a record number of newly licensed “traditional” lenders entering the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) market so far in 2017.
 
Proponents of the product say older residents are less likely to sell their homes, according to Census data. This article from the Sacramento Bee is illustrative of a trend happening all over the nation – Boomers and the elderly are staying put, which a) leads to a different set of economics, and b) leads to fewer houses for move up buyers to purchase, which crimps inventory for first time home buyers.
 
The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association reports that homeowners age 62 and older saw their home equity increase by a combined 3.1 percent to $6.3 trillion in the first quarter of 2017 from $6.13 trillion in Q4 2016. "Aging in an Age Friendly Home: Managing the Costs of Home Modifications with Home Equity," a recorded NRMLA sponsored webinar for the American Society on Aging. To help explain home equity and its uses, NRMLA recently released its "Learn about home equity” infographic, and the three-part article, "An introduction to housing wealth: what is home equity and how can it be used?
 
What is a reverse mortgage? Peter Bell, president and CEO of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association, answers homeowners’ top questions about reverse mortgages. With a HECM reverse mortgage, you pay an FHA-approved lender an upfront fee and then have access to a percentage of your home equity. The loan is repaid when you move, sell the home, die or fail to pay property taxes or homeowners insurance to maintain the property. The maximum size of a reverse mortgage depends on your age, home value, interest rate and upfront costs.
 
Did you know for a HECM, the dollar amount shown on the face value of the Deed of Trust is 1.5 times the max claim amount? This is unique to a HECM and could confuse the borrower if they’ve not been previously informed. Click here to read more as specified in 6-6 Paragraph B. 
 
Primary markets
 
FHA announced that it has updated its FHA Resource Center Knowledge Base with the new frequently asked questions regarding Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) for Purchase Transactions, following the September 19th effective date of the HECM Final Rule. FHA will make further updates to its FAQs as appropriate.
 
“To ensure the continued viability of the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program, FHA is making changes that are necessary to enable it to continue to endorse HECM loans in Fiscal Year 2018. The changes protect the program for seniors and balance serving FHA’s mission with taxpayer protection. View the FHA Mortgagee Letter 2017-12.
 
And don’t forget that FHA published Mortgagee Letter 2017-11, Implementation of HUD’s January 2017 Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) Final Rule, which serves as a consolidated directive for those mortgagees required to implement certain servicing policy changes contained in the HECM final rule (see 82 FR 7094) published in the Federal Register on January 19, 2017.
 
What does the public see? It (yes, “public” is both singular and plural) sees that the FHA changed some of the limits for reverse mortgages, after it found that the program amounts to a $7.7 billion a year loss for the government. The borrowing caps fell, such that a 62-year-old would be able to only access 41% of the equity in their property, down from 52%. An 82-year-old would only be able to access 51%, down from 60%. “Reverse Mortgages are a way for seniors to tap an illiquid asset (their home equity) and turn it into a liquid asset (cash) while still living in their home. They are a great deal for the senior, however they are a money-loser for the taxpayer.”
 
Peter Bell noted that, “The HECM program costs more to administer than the Trump administration feels is justified or that the premiums cover.” Despite a solid forward mortgage market, last year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) said, the economic value of the government’s reverse mortgage program (part of HUD’s FHA) was a negative $7.7 billion.
 
Anyone who sprang into action, if seniors do that, to finalize a HECM before the October 2 deadline might have had it tough. To close a HECM before the terms changed, the lender must have recorded an FHA case number, which they cannot do until they receive a certificate from an approved counselor indicating that the senior has been counseled. The senior who follows the usual procedure of contacting a lender before doing anything else may have run out of time because the lender will give her a list of counselors, leaving it to the borrower to make the appointment, get counseled, and return to the lender.
 
Seniors can certainly contact a counselor on their own, which they can do on the HUD web site. This cuts 2 or 3 days from the process.
 
So earlier this month the product saw an increase in its upfront mortgage insurance premiums. Borrowers pay two insurance premiums on a HECM. An upfront premium calculated as a percent of the property value is currently 0.5%, except where the borrower is drawing more than 60% of his total borrowing capacity upfront, in which case the premium is 2.5%. Most borrowers who pay the 2.5% premium have a substantial existing mortgage balance, which must be repaid with proceeds from the HECM. The new premium is 2% for everyone, which increases the burden for all borrowers except those with large mortgage balances who now pay 2.5%. The upfront mortgage insurance premium typically is financed, as are all other upfront charges.
 
There was a reduction in the annual mortgage insurance premium. The annual mortgage insurance premium, which is applied to the borrower’s loan balance, was reduced from 1.25% to 0.5%. This will slow the growth of borrower debt, and it will also slow the growth of unused credit lines. Both grow at a rate equal to the interest rate plus the annual mortgage insurance premium.
 
There was also a reduction in Principal Limit Factors (PLFs). A PLF is a number that when multiplied by the property value equals the maximum initial HECM loan amount. PLFs are larger when the borrower is older and when the HECM interest rate is lower. HUD issues a table of PLFs for use by the industry.
 
What was the reason for the changes that happened 10/2? HECM reverse mortgages are insured by FHA, which means that if the loan balance at termination exceeds the amount recoverable from sale of the property, FHA will pay the balance holder the difference out of its reserve fund. The increase in insurance premiums is designed to augment that fund while the decline in the PLFs is designed to cut losses by reducing the growth of loan balances.
 
There are calculators. For example, Mortgage Professor LLC has released the latest version of its unique Kosher Reverse Mortgage Calculator with “new slider technology” that “greatly simplifies seniors’ ability to see the tradeoffs involved in various HECM options for drawing funds.”
 
Regulatory storm clouds
 
The reverse mortgage business has received more than its fair share of bad press during the last several years. And some lenders have had to pony up large fines, primarily for misleading advertising. Some forward lenders say that they are staying away from the product…”I don’t want to come in Monday morning and see a news crew filming The Gray Panthers picketing my office.”
 
Yes, plenty of Baby Boomers are happy with their 3.50% 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. But many “forward” lenders are entering or taking a hard look at reverse mortgages. HECM borrowers do not have to repay the HECM loan until the borrowers no longer use the home as their principal residence or fail to meet the obligations of the mortgage. Many financial advisors have started promoting reverse mortgages to delay taking Social Security benefits, but the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is cautioning seniors that the risks of the tactic may outweigh the benefits.
 
Many seniors start taking Social Security retirement benefits as soon as they become available at age 62, the same age as being eligible for a reverse mortgage. Waiting until full retirement age (usually 65 or 66) increases the size of your monthly check. So those pushing the reverse mortgage idea are promoting it as a "bridge" that provides income until full retirement age is reached.
 
That bridge in income sounds like a good idea, but a report issued by the CFPB finds that, in general, the costs and risks of taking out a reverse mortgage exceed the cumulative increase in Social Security lifetime benefits that homeowners would receive by delayed claiming. “A reverse mortgage loan can help some older homeowners meet financial needs, but can also jeopardize their retirement if not used carefully,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “For consumers whose main asset is their home, taking out a reverse mortgage to delay Social Security claiming may risk their financial security because the cost of the loan will likely be more than the benefit they gain.”
 
Secondary market
 
Issuance is running at almost $2 billion a quarter. Who’s making a name for themselves in reverse mortgages? Baseline (available here) ranks the top 5 HMBS new production issuers every month. Total HMBS new production issuance decreased slightly to $629MM in Sept from $631 in Aug. As an industry, the $629MM total is 11% stronger vs same month 2016. Looking at Q3 rankings, AAG leads all issuers again, and set a new high-water mark for the year with over $162MM in new production HMBS issued in September and issuing over $442M of new production paper in the 3rd quarter of 2017 – 24% market share.
 
At just under $386MM, Finance of America Reverse, closes out 3Q 2017 ranked as the 2nd largest issuer of new production pools. Their 21% market share marks steady, consistent improvement from 18.3% in 1Q and 19.1% in 2Q 2017. The $142MM FAR issued in September is the strongest new prod issuance total for FAR since 2013. RMF was #3 in 3Q 17 with over $331MM in new production HMBS issued for 18% market share.
 
Ocwen issued just under $246MM of new production, good for 13% market share and a #4 ranking. Total issuance and market share were both down from 2Q where Ocwen issued $284MM for 16.8% market share. Rounding out the top 5 was Longbridge with a 12% market share. Longbridge issued $218MM in 3Q 2017, including a reclassification of 4 August-issued pools from “seasoned” to “new production.” 
 
Servicing
 
“Rob, do you know who services HECMs? The question came up in a conversation I was having with a potential opportunity I am looking at. I know that the usual cadre of subservicers does not. Can you help?
 
I asked Kelly Kelleher with Reverse Vision. She replied, “Right now, only Celink and RMS service HECM loans. With the latest changes (ML 2017-12), however, these loans should be even more attractive than ever to the secondary market.”
 
Are reverse mortgage foreclosures on the rise? Apparently it is among those who didn’t know that the borrower needs to continue to pay the taxes and insurance, or who weren’t placed on the legal documents by their spouse who then passed away. Borrower education – so critical to avoid future liabilities, lawsuits, and bad press.
 
 
A lawyer and a senior citizen are sitting next to each other on a long flight.  
The lawyer is thinking that seniors are so dumb that he could get one over on them easily.
So, the lawyer asks if the senior would like to play a fun game.
The senior is tired and just wants to take a nap, so he politely declines and tries to catch a few winks.
The lawyer persists, saying that the game is a lot of fun…."I ask you a question, and if you don’t know the answer, you pay me only $5.00. Then you ask me one, and if I don’t know the answer, I will pay you $500.00," he says.
This catches the senior’s attention and, to keep the lawyer quiet, he agrees to play the game.  
The lawyer asks the first question. "What’s the distance from the Earth to the Moon?"
The senior doesn’t say a word, but reaches into his pocket, pulls out a five-dollar bill, and hands it to the lawyer.
Now, it’s the senior’s turn. He asks the lawyer, "What goes up a hill with three legs, and comes down with four?"
The lawyer uses his laptop to search all references he can find on the Net.
He sends e-mails to all the smart friends he knows; all to no avail. After an hour of searching, he finally gives up.
He wakes the senior and hands him $500.00. The senior pockets the $500.00 and goes right back to sleep.
The lawyer is going nuts not knowing the answer. He wakes the senior up and asks, "Well, so what goes up a hill with three legs and comes down with four?"
The senior reaches into his pocket, hands the lawyer $5.00, and goes back to sleep.
Don’t mess with seniors.
 
 
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, “Will User Names and Passwords Go the Way of Thermal Fax Paper?” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
Rob
 
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are over 300 mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2017 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)
 

Oct. 13: CRM, LEP, vendor management products, AE jobs; lenders & investment banks making moves & shifting products

Per Fed Chair Janet Yellen, the Federal Reserve has been working to revise post-crisis financial regulations, making them less onerous and better suited to individual banks’ size and complexity. "For community banks, which by and large avoided the risky business practices that contributed to the financial crisis, we have been focused on making sure that much-needed improvements to regulation and supervision since the crisis are appropriate and not unduly burdensome" Nice.
 
Products, services, LO book, jobs
 
Given the headlines of the past few weeks dealing with natural disasters and credit breaches, Regina Lowrie, President & CEO of RML Advisors shared the following with me and I wanted to share it with all of you. “If you’re not doing something about managing closing agents, you’re clearly taking a business and regulatory risk and jeopardizing consumers. The loss of privacy data and wire fraud are creating material losses for lenders and vendors who provide information and connectivity. Lenders are getting phishing emails to penetrate their data systems and are increasingly getting other emails disguised as the closing agent trying to change wiring instructions. Savvy crooks are realizing that small law firms and title companies receive the loan closing documents via electronic submission to print out for borrower signature.” RML Advisors has both closing agent and vendor management programs that have been designed by mortgage bankers for mortgage bankers. If you’re thinking about these risks, contact Regina.
 
Provident Bank Mortgage, a full-service lender headquartered in Riverside, California since 1956, is seeking a Branch Manager for its Roseville, CA office. “Provident offers a truly unique decentralized lending platform with processing, underwriting and closing under your guidance at the branch level. You and your team will benefit by joining a financially sound, Federally Chartered Banking institution with an entrepreneurial philosophy allowing you the freedom to control your service levels. Provident offers a full menu of products, including Conventional, FHA, VA, CalHFA, Jumbo, Non-QM and Portfolio loan programs. Provident offers competitive compensation, excellent benefits and a great work environment.” Please send your resume to Mike McIlrath (415-717-9989). EOE M/F/D/V.
 
Hurricane Harvey and Irma have left the national spotlight, but the damage they caused is still very top of mind for Texas and Florida residents. REMN Wholesale announced last month that it is now offering 203(h) mortgages for borrowers who need to rebuild or purchase another home because of disasters, but many brokers and bankers are confused on what can and cannot be done through these loans. On 10/17, REMN will be hosting the “203(h): Helping Homeowners Find Their Voice” webinar. Led by Damon Richardson, REMN’s Renovation Lending Specialist, the webinar will focus on details regarding a loan product that should play a massive role in both states’ recovery efforts. The webinar will precede a series of in-person training events, dates of which will be announced later. The registration page can be found here. As REMN Wholesale continues to look for ambitious account executives to their team, in all territories, who share the company’s entrepreneurial culture and dedication to customer service. Interested applicants should email aerecruiting@remn.com.
 
FundLoans.com, a super jumbo non-QM wholesale residential lender, is looking for an experienced Account Executive who “thrives when challenged, inspired to deliver a level of service unparalleled in the mortgage industry. At FundLoans.com we take a common-sense approach to looking at your loan. We don’t underwrite like a bank, we underwrite like a private fund. We thrive in the super jumbo area and love working with self-employed borrowers. Come join the nation’s newest Jumbo Non-QM lender as we grow and thrive in this lucrative new space. We are hiring in the following markets: CA, FL, TX, AZ, CO, WA, OR. Email your resume today for additional information and consideration to David Hidy (760-388-5888), EVP of Strategic Development.
 
If you are looking for a good book to train newer employees and loan officers getting started, check out Jason Myers second book: Becoming the Successful Mortgage Broker. It will prove useful for new people to the industry, as well as seasoned veterans, offering in-depth information for new originators and proven successful sales tips for more experienced loan officers. The format of the book allows you to look at tips you can use to better your business as well as commentary on the current market and useful information for mortgage consultants.

 

Vendorly recently announced the continued expansion of its platform through the addition of three, new third-party oversight integrations available on the Vendorly platform. These additions further enable Vendorly’s customers to enhance their vendor management framework and help them maintain the high oversight standards required in today’s marketplace. In May, Vendorly announced an integration with Secure Insight, a leading provider of settlement agent verification. Continuing this momentum, the three, new vendor oversight additions to the Vendorly platform include: Dun & Bradstreet, the global leader in commercial data, analytics and insights for business; The ID Co. which provides a flexible online identity verification solution, DirectID, and TINCheck, which helps companies solve payee compliance issues. Learn more about how these integrations improve vendor oversight at Vendorly.com or contact Mike Ehms for more information.
 
Caliber Home Loans is excited to announce the launch of MyPipelineConnect for home builders and real estate agents. This web portal, designed in-house, provides residential home builders and real estate agents with comprehensive details of their customers’ home financing. Builders and agents will be able to easily access MyPipelineConnect to view loan statuses, details and contacts tied to their Caliber pipelines. “With MyPipelineConnect, our builder and real estate associates will be more involved in our shared customers’ loan process, which will improve the experience for everyone involved,” said Caroline Watteeuw, EVP & Chief Information Officer. Builders and agents are automatically linked to their customers’ transactions, which ensures they don’t miss any updates from their customers’ lender. Caliber is dedicated to providing its employees and partners with the necessary tools to serve customers throughout their homebuying journey. To learn more about creating a MyPipelineConnect account, contact a loan consultant in your market.
 
The MBA stated that limited English proficiency (LEP) could create a liability for lenders since this is a key priority for many regulators. A CFPB official said, “If every loan application had a talk’uments file, our job (CFPB) would be done.” Available in ENGLISH and SPANISH, talk’uments is a new consumer information delivery model that displays borrower specific loan data through interactive loan and disclosure technology – from pre-sale through loan closing. Talk’uments increases loan originations, as it eliminates LEP risk and cuts compliance, legal and regulatory costs for all mortgage transactions, and, by providing market ready borrowers with what they want – interactive loan information specific to their loan request (i.e. Loan Product Info, LE and CD review, Application & Closing Docs explanations, and Borrower Responsibilities). Talk’uments is the first of its kind in the field of interactive loan and disclosure technology. For more information or to visit with talk’uments at the National MBA conference (booth 1322), contact George Baker.
 
Are you and your team thinking of implementing a CRM or struggling with poor user adoption of an enterprise-wide software solution?  Check out this white paper called, "Eight Ways to Improve User Adoption of CRM and Other Technologies." Christy Soukhamnet, SVP of National Sales Performance for Certainty Home Loans, and Gibran Nicholas, CEO of CMPS Institute, share eight lessons they’ve learned from their recent CRM implementation experience where they achieved 70%+ user adoption rates as defined by users who are logging in to the system at least weekly. These results are significantly higher than industry averages for this type of enterprise-wide software solution. The white paper estimates, based on industry research, that up to 50% of loan officers don’t use software that has been purchased at the enterprise-level, and that mortgage companies could be losing a whopping $90,000/year in lost revenue opportunities for every 10 loan officers who fail to implement. Click here to download ththe white paper.
 
Lenders making moves, offering new products
 
“Rob, is Quicken Loans buying & selling real estate?” Technically no, but in a manner yes. If you want the full details you should contact someone at the Quicken Loans Family of Companies (QLFOC, this industry is obsessed with acronyms) since this entity owns both Quicken Loans and In-House Reality (along with things like the Cleveland Cavaliers). In-House Reality is a large referral network of real estate agents, and made the press this year by purchasing technology from Canada’s OpenHouse. So, Quicken Loans is not in real estate, but its sister company is. Hey, Quicken’s not in business for its health, right?
 
Genesis Capital has signed a definitive agreement with Goldman Sachs to support the company in its next phase of growth. Genesis Capital is a specialty commercial lending platform providing financing solutions to professional residential real estate developers. The company is involved in the “The Renovate-and-Resale” industry, currently valued at $74 billion. Of that total, there is a $59 billion market opportunity in single-family-home R&R, and a $15 billion opportunity in multifamily R&R. “Aging inventory creates demand for remodeled homes in urban areas of major cities. Over the past two decades, the median age of housing stock has increased by about 12 years, and 60% of housing units are over 30 years old. This is creating ample demand for remodeled homes in urban areas of major cities.” Genesis is being acquired from funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management L.P. and management.
 
Pacific Union Financial, LLC is now offering discounted LPMI in its Correspondent Channel. 
 
Plaza’s Closed End Second Lien program is now available in all states. Additionally, the second lien program guidelines have been updated to clarify that Restricted Stock Unit (RSU) income is not eligible and transactions where children are purchasing a home for aged parents will not be considered owner-occupied. Plaza has the rolled out a new simultaneous closed-end second lien loan program. Plaza’s seconds are eligible with a concurrently closed Fannie Mae eligible new Plaza first lien. Refer to its Closed-end Second Lien Program Guidelines for complete details.
 
Franklin American Mortgage announced loans closed utilizing electronic documents and signatures, except for the original Note and Security Instrument, are now eligible for purchase.  Eligible e-closed documents include the initial and final loan documents and any required disclosures. Loans may be delivered with electronic signatures on all eligible documents or with a hybrid strategy that includes a combination of e-signed documents and traditional paper documents. The original Note, Security Instrument, and Modification Agreement (if applicable) may not be electronically signed and continue to require ink signatures.
 
American Lending offers Reverse Mortgage products. Turn times are 24-48 hours for underwriting, conditions, docs and funding review.
 
Flagstar Bank announced as of Friday, October 06, 2017, it will be offering Fannie Mae Multiple Property High Balance loan products.
 
Citibank Correspondent is offering Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) premiums on eligible loans. The premiums offered for the following MSAs will change effective with locks on/after Monday, October 2, 2017.  Refer to the updated Citi CRA Premium Schedule for complete details.
 
Embrace Home Loans, announced the launch of its new online mortgage and refinancing application. This new application, now fully functional and in use, was created by Embrace’s LOs, IS team, and marketing, and will provide a streamlined process for customers, loan officers and loan processors. With customer experience the focus, users can log on to the application via their mobile phone, at work or at home, and connect directly with their loan officer.  
 
Capital markets
 
There isn’t much volatility out there, which is fine for many capital markets folks. Yesterday’s initial claims report was consistent with a tight labor market, which some members of the Federal Reserve think poses an upside inflation risk. Fed Governor Lael Brainard said that the reaction to a tightening labor market is not consistent with reactions seen in the past, and that what had appeared to be a temporary headwind for inflation looks to be more persistent now.
 
On a slightly more positive note, the Producer Price Index reading helped the view that the Fed is on course to raise the fed funds rate again in December. Today’s CPI release from September arguably holds more weight (+.5%, year over year +2.2%, core +.1%). We also had September Retail Sales (+1.6%, as expected), August Business Inventories, and Preliminary Michigan Sentiment Index for October. Finally, there will be two FOMC voters speaking: Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, and Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan. We start Friday with rates lower due to the inflation numbers; the 10-year is at 2.28% and agency MBS prices better by .250 versus Thursday’s close
 
 
Walking through the hallways at the middle school where I work, I saw a new substitute teacher standing outside his classroom with his forehead against a locker. I heard him mutter, "How did you get yourself into this?"
Knowing he was assigned to a difficult class, I tried to offer moral support. "Are you okay?" I asked. "Can I help?"
He lifted his head and replied, "I’ll be fine as soon as I get this kid out of his locker."
 
 
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, “Will User Names and Passwords Go the Way of Thermal Fax Paper?” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
Rob
 
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are over 300 mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2017 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)
 

Oct. 12: AE, analyst, LO jobs, HMDA dashboard, broker products; upcoming training; UCD news

The driving force of housing prices is supply and demand, and the demand is increasing. In the Bay Area, and for hundreds of miles north, the smoke is everywhere, reminding one of the 23 (and counting) who perished and 3,500 (and counting) houses and buildings destroyed by the fires. Truly tragic, and now there are thousands of families who have no place to live whatsoever and who will need long term solutions – joining those in the Gulf Area & Caribbean.
 
Jobs & products
 
The PCLender LOS team at Fiserv is growing and looking for mortgage experts to fill Business Analyst, Quality Assurance, and Professional Service roles. Fiserv is committed supporting the digital mortgage process and wants to grow their team of experts. To see details or apply go to PCLender’s careers page.
 
loanDepot is helping hurricane victims recover after last month’s catastrophic events. They recently responded with educational events and literature focused on helping homeowners that suffered from various levels of impact and damage. Products such as FHA’s 203(h) and 203k, as well as loanDepot’s personal loan product, are positioning the company to assist homeowners rebuild. After visiting the disaster sites in both Florida and Texas, the company’s CEO and Chairman Anthony Hsieh felt it was necessary to help families get back into homes as soon as possible. Through the 203(h) product qualifying renters or homeowners may have the ability to purchase a new home with zero-dollar down payment. To qualify, 203(h) loans must be initiated within a year of the disaster. If having unique and important products like these mentioned here is important to you, you should contact Peter Tenfjord to learn more about loanDepot.
 
“PrimeLending’s New Durham Branch is a Slam Dunk. PrimeLending is putting a full court press on expansion in some of the nation’s most thriving markets. The newest branch is in Durham, one of North Carolina’s most active purchase markets. Led by Branch Manager Charles Puryear and his expert team of Hugo Garcia, Mark DeWitt and Steve Winegar, PrimeLending’s Durham team has a combined 80 years of experience in mortgage and finance. The Research Triangle is primed for incredible growth, and the Durham branch has jumped at the opportunity, already ranking as a Top 5 FHA Mortgage Lender in the area. Equipped with over 400 loan programs and a dedicated support team to help deliver an 85% pull-thru rate, it’s no wonder this branch is off to such a fast start. If you’re an elite producer ready to take your shot at a better opportunity, the ball is in your court. Contact Bill Harp (469-737-5767).
 
JMAC Lending’s Vice-President of Wholesale Lending, RJ Arnett, is pleased to announce two new hires. Robin Ylitalo-King has been added as Regional Sales Manager for the Pacific Northwest Region, and Naki Wilson has been added as a Senior Account Executive in Hawaii, both bringing more than 20 years of experience in the mortgage lending industry. JMAC Lending will be at NAMB National 2017 in Las Vegas Oct. 14 and Oct. 15. JMAC is actively recruiting Senior Account Executives in Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Oregon, Idaho, Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas and Northern California. Please contact Robin Ylitalo-King (916.705.8751) for more information. To learn more please visit JMAC Careers.
 
Here they grow again! American Pacific Mortgage is excited to announce a new branch office in the fast-growing Albuquerque, New Mexico market. Dan Gutierrez accepted the Branch Manager position, and David Rosenthal accepted the Sales Manager role. They are already building a strong team. Listen to this invitation from Kurt Reisig, Chairman of APM to find out first-hand how APM supports its Originators with the tools and resources to grow your production at APM’s upcoming Fall Symposium. The Symposium will be held in San Diego on October 26th & 27th and is expected to have over 1,200 originators in attendance. They have an amazing line-up of Keynote speakers including economist, Elliot Eisenberg, author and motivational speaker, Darren Hardy, and Chris Gardner, author of The Pursuit of Happyness. Just reach out to Peter Schwartz (916-770-0053), Dustin Block (303-378-3166), or click here to register.
 
The release of the 2016 HMDA data revealed the shifts in market share between independents and commercial banks. Using their interactive dashboard, the mortgage industry experts at Richey May & Co., LLP uncovered just how much independents continue to pick up market share from commercial banks on a variety of products and in many states across the nation, though banks still outpace independents in the jumbo market and in the central U.S. For an in-depth analysis of the 2016 vs. 2015 origination trends, visit Richey May’s latest blog post. And check out its free HMDA Market Share Dashboard on its website to help you uncover other data points relevant to your business, or contact Tyler House for more information.
 
Paramount Residential Mortgage Group, Inc. (PRMG) just launched its latest technology, an enhanced TPO Portal with blazing speed and time saving features that include; Optical Character Recognition, Drag and Drop Aptitude, Disclosure Tracking, Instantly Lock Loans and the new AMPLIFLY Marketing Portal! Phase 2 of the TPO Portal is set to take place during Q4 and will bring more features, improved efficiencies and a digital mortgage experience. PRMG will be showcasing this new technology at the upcoming NAMB National show in Las Vegas, NV at Booth# 124. NMP Visionary Organizations, No. 1 Best in the Desert 2017 and TOP 25 of 100 Mortgage Companies in America! PRMG has a team of wholesale mortgage professionals waiting to help you remain competitive in this ever-changing industry. Embrace our technology and experience a lender that provides customer service via the human touch, allowing us to tailor our business model to best fit yours! If you’re ready to become an approved TPO with PRMG, we are happy to serve you! For more information on getting approved with PRMG, please contact PRMG Broker Services.

 

Altisource, a leading provider in end-to-end services and technologies to the mortgage and real estate industries, is seeking an energetic, creative, and motivated national Sales Operations Manager to join its rapidly growing Origination Solutions team. The Origination Solutions group delivers best-in-class products and services that help mortgage originators and investors operate, scale and protect their business. “As a national Sales Operations Manager, you will help Altisource’s rapidly-growing Origination Solutions vertical migrate and adapt to a new CRM infrastructure and further support their growing book of clients by building out insightful CRM dashboards and tracking and reporting on sales functions and activities across all business units. If you are ready for an exciting challenge with huge growth upside and you have an impressive sales operations background within the mortgage industry, the Altisource team has a home for you. What are you waiting for? APPLY TODAY!
 
A quick congratulatory note to Valerie Saunders who NAMB appointed last week as the organization’s new executive director. “In her role as executive director, Saunders is responsible for directing the day-to-day operations that support the organization’s goals to increase its footprint among its target member base of mortgage brokers, mortgage bankers and mortgage businesses.”   
 
Correction
 
In yesterday’s commentary the link for National MI Bulletin (Declared Disasters) was incorrect and should be http://www.nationalmi.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/National-MI-Announcement-UW-SVC-2017-04.pdf. I apologize for any confusion.
 
Upcoming events
 
Freedom Mortgage Wholesale, a full-service, nationwide lender, is modernizing the way brokers communicate with borrowers by providing a video-based borrower education tool. Broker-branded informational videos are automatically sent to borrowers at eight key milestones, explaining the loan process and what to expect along the way. Their new tool is helping brokers answer the CFPB’s desire for the borrower to “Know Before You Owe”. Learn more.
 
Genworth Mortgage Insurance is offering a new training opportunity for mortgage professionals to learn more about the bulletins and announcements issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during the third quarter of 2017. Join nationally recognized Director of Customer Education, MaryKay Scully, for Quarterly Updates and Communications on Tuesday, October 17, 12pm ET, to review Agency communications, including their most current guidelines, forms and requirements. Visit mi.genworth.com/training for Genworth’s full menu of self-paced eLearning courses, live webinars and classroom training offerings.
 
Join MBA of St. Louis for a networking happy hour at the Blue Sky Tower Grill Loft on October 19th.
 
Fannie Mae has launched a four-part learning series to help you understand the eMortgage process, from the basics through implementation. This eLearning series offers helpful tools and resources available on the newly revamped eMortgage/eClosings page.
 
Don’t miss the MQAC October 26th webinar on the Latest Developments on Per Diem Interest compliance.
 
Karen Deis announces the 2017 Mortgage Girlfriends Mastermind Retreat – Finding Your G.P.S: Growth. Power. Strategies. November 2-3, 2017 in Shamburg, IL. “Awesome speakers, workshops, mastermind sessions and discussion circles. Two lunches and one dinner included.” Click here for topics, speakers, location, hotel and registration information.
 
In January, NEXT Mortgage Events LLC is offering unique to the lending business: NEXT is the only women’s event focused on the technologies that are changing the mortgage industry. Agenda items are centered on the technology and tools that can influence business outcomes, fast-paced tech demos, an integrated expo hall, and networking events. Register at NEXTMortgageConference.com. Questions can be addressed to co-founders Molly Dowdy or Jeri Yoshida.
 
Lender & investor Uniform Closing Dataset (UCD) updates
 
Until further notice FAMC will be postponing previously stated UCD requirements. 
 
PennyMac expects Correspondents to provide proof of UCD submission to both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, however, proof of successful submission will not be required until April 1, 2018 or as required by the GSEs. Read its announcement for details.
 
Pacific Union will accept UCD submission responses on September 25, 2017, but due to the GSEs’ announcement, all UCD files will be accepted regardless of status, including NO evidence of a UCD file. Evidence of a successful UCD submission is not required in the Closed Loan Package. Additionally, the loan files will not be required to be transferred to Pacific Union in advance, and the relationship setup between you and Pacific Union is no longer required. However, Pacific Union recommends that you continue to implement this process within your organization, as this will become mandatory at a date to be determined in the future.
 
Mortgage Solutions Financial has updated its announcement regarding the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac UCD.
 
Citibank posted the following information applicable to loans with a Note Date on/after September 25, 2017 (aligning with the UCD submission requirements confirmed by the GSEs): Prior to being able to assign Citi as the aggregator on FNMA loans, lenders must submit a FNMA UCD relationship request to Citi and Citi must accept the request. Prior to being able to assign Citi as the aggregator on FHLMC loans, lenders must establish a relationship with FHLMC. They will then be able to select Citi as the aggregator. As a reminder, if the CD is corrected, Correspondents need to resubmit loans to the UCD portals regardless of whether the loan has been assigned to Citi.
 
Flagstar will require compliance with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s UCD mandate for any loan delivered for purchase with a Note date on or after Monday, September 25, 2017 for the latest CD provided to the borrower(s) by one of the below methods. If after submission of the UCD, a redisclosed CD is issued to the borrower(s), correspondents must provide UCD results for subsequent disclosure(s) issued. Flagstar will require submission to both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on all loans that are eligible for sale to Fannie Mae and/or Freddie Mac. Because of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s announcement regarding UCD on September 15, Flagstar will not be requiring successful results as a condition for purchase until further notice. Customers should utilize this opportunity to research transactions not resulting in a successful response to make the necessary adjustments and corrections.
 
As addressed in PennyMac announcement 17-24, conventional loans with note dates on or after September 25, are required to have submission of the Uniform Closing Dataset (UCD) XML. As a condition of purchase PennyMac will require proof of successful submission of the UCD XML to both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in accordance with this requirement. Successful submission documentation for both GSEs should be provided in the credit package at time of delivery. In response to questions, PennyMac has clarified some requirements.
 
Capital markets
 
U.S. Treasuries ended Wednesday flat despite two Treasury auctions and the release of the minutes from the September FOMC meeting. There were few, if any, surprises in the September FOMC minutes, which showed a growing concern among policymakers about persistently low inflation readings and an acknowledgement that inflation may not be transitory after all. Despite that, the Fed appears comfortable staying on the December rate-hike path. Prior to the meeting, 12 out of 16 participants projected at least one rate hike before the end of the year.
 
Today, we’ve have the September Producer Price Index (+.4%, core +.4%, headline number as expected), weekly Initial Jobless Claims (243k), and a $12 billion 30-year auction. Rates are a tad lower than Wednesday’s close, with the 10-year yielding 2.34% and agency MBS prices better nearly .125.
 
 
Stephen S. claims, “I’ve always been confused between the definition of right and wrong.
When I was a kid my parents would say, "Boy, you have done wrong."
I’d reply, "Is that right?"
They would say, "Yes."
 
 
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, “Will User Names and Passwords Go the Way of Thermal Fax Paper?” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
Rob
 
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are over 300 mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2017 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)
 

Oct. 11: Training & sales jobs, LO education; CA fire declaration, lender & investor & MI disaster updates & links

I mentioned yesterday that 6,762 institutions took a residential loan application in 2016, per Richey May’s HMDA dashboard data. For perspective, the 2007 HMDA data shows that 8,610 lenders took at least 1 application that year, which probably doesn’t include those that went belly up before filing HMDA data…a drop of roughly 2,000 lenders in those “betwixt” 9 years.
 
Jobs, LO & new lender products
 
Envoy Correspondent Lending continues on our growth path with career opportunities in sales for Regional Account Managers in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Regions of the United States. Envoy Correspondent Lending, a Division of Envoy Mortgage, capitalizes on our core strength of high- touch customer service. We purchase closed loans from independent mortgage bankers, community banks and credit unions. We cater to both Delegated and Non-delegated lenders and will soon offer a platform for Emerging Bankers. To learn more about Envoy Correspondent Lending, our career opportunities and outstanding Correspondent team, please contact Tom Coale, our East Division Sales Manager.”
 
“If you are committed to take your business to the next level, learn new time-management skills, and accelerate your results…schedule your Readiness Call with Cindy Ertman – now accepting applications for her Mortgage Mastermind Elite (MME) coaching group starting October 18, 2017. Cindy has 2 spots remaining! MME brings together a vetted community of High-Performance Mortgage Professionals committed to sharing best practices, increasing their income, and expanding their referral partner network. Cindy was one of the Top 100 Mortgage Loan Originators in the U.S. for over a decade, and will teach you her Total Success Blueprint to drive results and grow your pipeline with proven lead-generating strategies. Learn more at www.MortgageMastermindElite.com and receive a FREE copy of Cindy’s ‘Time is Money Guide.’”
 
Recent advances in technology have provided the mortgage industry with a tremendous amount of processing power. Many LOs, however, have yet to adopt many of the modern tools that streamline the mortgage process and improve the delicate lender-borrower experience. Take Floify, the mortgage automation solution for top-producing LOs, for example… Floify raised the bar when it comes to advancing mortgage workflows. Their solution, which offers everything from an integrated 1003 and secure portal for document uploads, to loan tracking, automatic updates, and mobile apps for iOS and Android, greatly enhanced the way LOs process mortgages. Using Floify, many LOs have reported a reduction in their workload by up to 5 hours/loan and a significant improvement to the entire mortgage experience. To see how Floify can help you streamline your mortgage workflow, too, request a live demo. Already know how well Floify will work for you? Get started with a free trial, plus 25% OFF your first 4 months.
 
LendingQB’s OpenAPI has enabled multiple vendors to offer their products through their loan origination platform. "Digital lending is a reality for lenders. An entire ecosystem of services has blossomed to provide lenders the tools necessary to embrace the digital sphere," says Linn Cook, director of sales and marketing for LendingQB. "Lenders need to consider the ease with which their LOS can integrate these services to truly benefit from them." Recently, LendingQB added a variety of vendors, including Matic Insurance, Streamloan, ValueInsured and Vantage Productions. For more information, contact Linn Cook
 
Pendo, a nationwide appraisal management company (AMC), hired Paul Wholley to lead its national sales team. Paul’s expansive career in the financial services industry, proven leadership and commitment to building client relationships are huge assets to Pendo. Plus, he’s a really nice guy (and who doesn’t like a nice guy?). In addition, Steve Rouse has joined Pendo as a Regional Account Executive for the Midwest. Steve brings with him more than 25 years of sales experience in the mortgage industry. But his enthusiasm, honesty and big personality are the icing on the cake. Want to be part of this awesome sales team? You’re in luck. Pendo is looking to add multiple Regional Account Executives. The position includes fostering and building new sales opportunities within a defined sales territory, as well as with assigned key prospects and current clients. Come join a fun, growing company. Contact Paul Wholley to learn more.
 
The demand for sales and leadership performance programs is on the rise. XINNIX, The Mortgage Academy, is responding by growing their professional staff. XINNIX is currently conducting a search to fill several key positions including Client Success Managers, Sales and Leadership Trainers and seasoned Business Development Executives. Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, XINNIX provides the mortgage industry’s most effective and energizing sales and leadership training and accountability programs. Best known for programs such as ORIGINATOR, RECRUITING WORKSHOP, IGNITE and EDGE, XINNIX has demonstrated an exceptional track record by helping mortgage companies across the nation experience incredible recruiting success, a measurable increase in purchase production and a growth in market share. XINNIX has a strong culture and a rich working environment and has been the recipient of 10 culture awards such as “Top 100 Places to Work.” Please click here for more information, or submit resumes to Sarah Federico.
 
Congrats to Rudy Zabran who Consolidated Analytics (an appraisal management company, valuation services provider and full service advisory firm) appointed as chief operating officer (COO). “Zabran was hired by managing partners Brian Gehl and Arvin Wijay to set the course for further company growth and to run the day-to-day operations of the company.”
 
And to Scott Johnson who BSI Financial Services, a mortgage-centric financial services company, announced is its senior vice president, corporate controller. “A financial services industry veteran, Johnson adds depth and experience to the company’s management team.”
 
Disaster updates
 
Northern & Southern California continues to be racked by deadly fires, and, on a personal side note, we’ve offered up our house for evacuees. And the damage and recovery remains in places like Texas, Louisiana, and Florida from the hurricanes. You can always find the latest disaster news, from the government’s perspective, at https://www.fema.gov/. I am sure we’ll see a spate of lender disaster updates after the California fires are contained. The administration has declared it a disaster.
 
Ginnie Mae posted a press release announcing the exposure to its MBS Portfolio by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
 
Fannie Mae published its Disaster Assistance portal providing broader information as it relates to both Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. “You’ll find both our standard guidance and information for disaster assistance and storm-specific information and resources for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Check back often for updates and information.”
 
The Mortgage Bankers Association has a disaster update page.
 
MGIC is adopting the underwriting flexibilities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced for loans in FEMA-declared disaster areas impacted by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. For all other loans in the disaster areas, MGIC is extending the maximum age of credit and appraisal documentation. The underwriting flexibilities apply to all impacted loans with an application date prior to the FEMA disaster declaration and a closing date after the respective declaration.
 
Arch MI has disaster-related guidelines and policies. As does Genworth. And National MI. And Essent. My guess is that every MI company has policies and procedures, and it best to check with your MI AE for all the details.
 
Hurricane Harvey has severely affected many people and businesses on the Southern Texas Coast and Citibank Correspondent Lending is ready to help you regain your pre-storm business functionality. Among other assistance, we will work with you on a case by case basis regarding loan file delivery and lock expiration dates.  We will consider rate lock extensions based on your business needs due to storm damage1 and we will consider fee waivers on issues arising due to the impact of the storm.
 
Chase Correspondent has its policy. A list of disaster related bulletins for SunTrust Bank and its correspondent clients can be found here.
 
Pacific Union Financial, LLC continues to monitor and assess areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.  Specifically, Pacific Union is allowing the purchase of eligible loans secured by properties located in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – identified impacted counties provided they are re-inspected/reviewed in accordance with Pacific Union, agency and investor requirements.   Please note that Pacific Union has added the requirement of exterior photos when a Lender Cert is required in keeping with standard market practices.
 
Fannie Mae issued Lender Letter LL-2017-07 to provide updates and reminders related to properties impacted by recent hurricanes, including the inspection cost reimbursement process. Fannie is extending the disaster policies communicated in this and other recent lender letters to all hurricanes occurring in the U.S. and its territories on or after Aug. 25, 2017 and throughout the 2017 hurricane season.
 
The following areas of Georgia have been declared a federal Disaster Area: Camden County, Chatham County, Glynn County, Liberty County and McIntosh County. To view a copy of the announcement, see Georgia Hurricane Irma (DR-3387). Correspondent Lenders must adhere to Fifth Third’s Disaster Policy located in Chapter 7, Section C of the Correspondent Seller Guide Underwriting Guide and the disaster policy overlay in the Overlay Chart.
 
Prior to closing and funding, ResMac, Inc. will require a property inspection for any loan secured by a property in a Florida affected area. If the subject property is in one of the impacted counties and the appraisal was completed prior to the incident period end date, ResMac will require a post disaster inspection confirming the property was not adversely affected by the disaster. The inspection report must be dated no earlier than the date of disaster conclusion as determined by FEMA and/or the State of Florida.
 
Counties in Puerto Rico have been declared by FEMA as Major Disaster Areas. Incident Period Date is September 17, 2017 and was declared a Major Disaster on September 20, 2017. For loans submitted with an appraisal dated on or before the incident period end date or for those submitted without an appraisal, Sun West will require an interior and exterior inspection prior-to-funding or purchase of any loans with subject properties that are determined to be at risk. The inspection must verify that the property is sound, habitable and in the same condition as when it was appraised. Click here to view FEMA updates on Puerto Rico.
 
Capital markets, because that is where the capital is
 
U.S. Treasuries, and along with them agency MBS prices, began the abbreviated week on a modestly higher note after recording four consecutive weekly price declines. Unfortunately, the reason rates went down was the feud between President Trump and Senator Bob Corker, which may jeopardize tax reform, and political turmoil in Spain centered on possible Catalonia independence. The general rate environment is slightly negative, but few think rates will break out of the range we’ve been in all year.
 
This morning we’ve had the weekly MBA application data (-2.1%, refis -4%). Coming up are the August Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLT) as well as the FOMC Minutes (don’t look for any great insight), a $24 billion 3-year auction and a $20 billion 10-year note auction. Oh, and the usual bevy of Fed President speakers around the country. Speaking of which, the odds of a Fed tightening in Dec are up to 80%, up from 20% in early September. We start the day with the 10-year yielding 2.35% and agency MBS prices nearly unchanged versus Tuesday’s close.
 
 
A SWEET TRIBUTE …  (yes, a repeat) 
Very moving…
As a bagpiper, I play many gigs. Recently, I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper’s cemetery in the Nova Scotia back country.
As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost and, being a typical man, I didn’t stop for directions.
I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight.
There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch. I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late.
I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. I didn’t know what else to do, so I started to play.
The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I’ve never played before for this homeless man.
And, as I played "Amazing Grace", the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, we all wept together. When I finished, I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head was hung low, my heart was full.
As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, "I never seen anything like that before, and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years."
Apparently, I’m still lost … it’s a man thing.
 
 
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, “Will User Names and Passwords Go the Way of Thermal Fax Paper?” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
Rob
 
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are over 300 mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2017 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)
 

Oct. 10: LEP, compliance, communication products, CFO available; upcoming events; credit guideline changes

6,762 institutions took a residential loan application in 2016, per Richey May’s HMDA dashboard data. That is a lot of lenders!! Another big figure is the number of houses that were built with porches last year. According to a NAHB analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction data, 65.1% of the 780,000 single-family homes started in 2016 were built with porches. I am sure many of the homes destroyed in the terrible fires in Northern California had porches, and our thoughts are with those harmed and the families of those killed.
 
Jobs, products, promotions
 
Orange Coast Title Company, an industry leader since 1974 and one of the largest independently owned title insurance companies, is growing again and has an excellent opportunity for a National Sales Executive. As our National Sales Executive, you will acquire, build, and maintain strong, long-lasting client relationships with the top mortgage lenders in the country. The ideal candidate will possess a broad knowledge of the loan origination and servicing space, have sales experience with a proven track record of exceeding goals, and be self-motivated to succeed in a fast-paced, competitive environment. Interested candidates should send their resumes to Tim Curtis, National Sales Manager.
 
A highly-experienced CPA and CFO with over 20 years of experience with financial institutions and independent mortgage banking companies is looking for a new opportunity with a fast-growing organization that will utilize his expertise in supervision of financial reporting, budgeting, internal controls, financial processes and framework, facilitation of statutory and internal audits, and serving as primary liaison to external auditors and various other vendors and counterparties. Experience includes lenders with wholesale, retail, correspondent and joint venture operating models. If interested, send inquiries to Ken Richey at Richey May & Co., LLP.
 
It’s common to hear in our industry how stressful many borrowers find the mortgage process. This can obviously have an impact on your borrower experience and ultimately your referral business. The solution that every originator can own themselves: focusing on communications. Some great guidance can be found in the eBook: ‘The Mortgage Communication Playbook.’ It summarizes why great communication is critical, what great communication looks like, and how to make it happen. By focusing on how you communicate with your borrowers, you can relieve their anxiety, increase referrals, open up your time, and make your business grow. Download your free copy here.”
 
Strategic Compliance Partners (SCP) continues to revolutionize regulatory compliance for mortgage lenders, and is proud to announce its latest innovation – ASTRO, an all-in-one compliance dashboard. ASTRO provides compliance officers and Executive management with complete visibility into their compliance programs through its cloud-based and content-enabled dashboard. SCP will launch ASTRO at MBA Annual in Denver on October 21. To schedule a demo, contact Leslie Benjamin, VP of Business Development.”
 
Sierra Pacific Mortgage continues to build the best mortgage banking team in the country. With that goal in mind, management just announced Jay Promisco has joined Sierra Pacific as Senior Vice President, Retail Lending. Jay will lead Sierra Pacific Mortgage’s Retail Division including Distributed Retail, Consumer Direct, and Builder Divisions. Jay’s extensive experience and expertise in running and resourcing retail mortgage banking enterprises includes all facets of retail mortgage lending including business leadership, creating onboarding programs, recruiting platforms, overseeing technology implementations, running joint ventures, builder business, portfolio retention, operations, compliance and capital markets. ‘Today’s business is more technical than ever. We require our leaders to be hands on and experienced in all aspects of their area of responsibility. Jay brings this to Sierra’s retail division as well as embodying our culture of high work ethic and forthrightness,’ said Chuck Iverson, EVP.”
 
The MBA stated that limited English proficiency (LEP) could create a liability for lenders since this is a key priority for many regulators. A CFPB official said, “If every loan application had a talk’uments file, our job (CFPB) would be done.” Available in ENGLISH and SPANISH, talk’uments is a new consumer information delivery model that displays borrower specific loan data through interactive loan and disclosure technology – from pre-sale through loan closing. Talk’uments increases loan originations, as it eliminates LEP risk and cuts compliance, legal and regulatory costs for all mortgage transactions, and, by providing market ready borrowers with what they want: interactive loan information specific to their loan request (i.e. Loan Product Info, LE and CD review, Application & Closing Docs explanations, and Borrower Responsibilities). Talk’uments is the first of its kind in the field of interactive loan and disclosure technology. For more information or to visit with talk’uments at the national MBA conference (booth 1322), contact George Baker.
 
Changes to the credit eco-system & underwriting changes
 
I don’t exactly know what a credit eco-system is, but it sounds like a term someone would use.
 
Lenders are easing standards given the increase in interest rates and the corresponding drop in volume. “Lenders further eased home mortgage credit standards during the third quarter, continuing a trend that started in late 2016. Both the net share of lenders reporting easing on GSE-eligible loans for the prior three months and the share expecting to ease standards on those loans over the next three months increased to survey highs," said Doug Duncan, SVP and chief economist at Fannie Mae. "Lenders’ comments suggest that competitive pressure and more favorable guidelines for GSE loans have helped to bring about more easing of underwriting standards for those loans. We believe that the GSEs’ attempts to relieve repurchase concerns and expand credit for creditworthy borrowers have contributed to the easing trend. Meanwhile, market competitiveness also led to the fourth consecutive quarter in which lenders’ net profit margin outlook deteriorated. The share of lenders citing competition from other lenders as the key reason for a negative profit market outlook rose to a new survey high.”
 
Banc of California has reduced its fico and reserve requirements on its Alternative Documentation products. Also, noteworthy, it offers incentives for lower LTV’s on 5/1 and 7/1 ARM transaction.
 
Mountain West Financial (MWF) posted, “Certain loan attributes that previously required use of our Direct products can now use our regular products. Examples of these loan attributes include: Low FICO’s, manufactured homes, 2-4-unit investment properties, 7-10 financed properties, and certain LTV/CLTV combinations.”
 
And MWF is making it even easier for Wholesale Brokers to originate loans that utilize Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) programs within BOLT. It has created an MCC request page within BOLT that will allow Brokers to submit their MCC automatically to Mountain West Financial for processing. View the links to “Wholesale MCC Request How to Guide” the updated “MCC Broker Process”, and “Reissue MCC Broker Process” to understand the new streamlined MCC process. 
 
NewLeaf Wholesale has released the following new products: NewLeaf Prime Non-QM, NewLeaf Early Access, NewLeaf Asset for Income, NewLeaf 1 Year Tax Return, NewLeaf Elite Bank Statement.
 
Flagstar Bank’s Jumbo Fixed was updated with the following tradeline requirements. All borrowers that are contributing income for qualifying purposes must meet one of the following tradeline requirements: Minimum 3 open tradelines with a 2-year history: 2- month reporting history, 0 x 30 mortgage late in the last 12 months if applicable. Two open tradelines are acceptable for purchase transactions where the borrower(s) have a 24-month mortgage history in the past five years. An exception to the minimum trade line requirements is not required if the borrower’s credit history meets the following: No less than 10 tradelines are reporting and one must be a mortgage. At least one tradeline is open and reporting for a minimum of 12 months. Credit history established for at least 10 years. See product descriptions for full product requirements.
 
Click here for FCM Wholesale underwriting guidelines updates.
 
Before you upload those paystubs and bank statements, use the digital verification features in Caliber Home Loans’ H2O for reduced documentation and reduced fees. You will achieve results within minutes. Download the Reference Guide at: H2O > AllRegs > Resources > Digital Mortgage Toolkit.
 
FTMC has removed the requirements for how a Certificate of Trust is to be executed on all agency and Jumbo products. The Correspondent is still responsible for ensuring that the trust meets Fifth Third guidelines. Refer to the Correspondent Underwriting Guidelines for additional information.
 
The Royal Treatment offered by Royal Pacific Funding offers acceptance of your credit report, Conventional transferred appraisals allowed, W2 and paystub only offered on all products, manufactured homes offered on all products, VA 580 FICO 100% LTV, and no max DTI with AUS approval.
 
Events and trainings:
 
On Thursday, October 12th, in Albuquerque, the NMMLA October Monthly Luncheon with guest speaker Garrett Hennessey will be held at the Tanoan Country Club from 12:00 – 1:00.
 
FHA announced a new, upcoming live webinar, FHA Quality Assurance Update, to be held on October 19. This webinar will provide an update of FHA’s fiscal year 2017 Quality Assurance Results, as well as offer additional guidance on the Loan Review System. Advanced registration is required.
 
The mergers and acquisitions trend in the mortgage industry shows no signs of slowing down. On October 18th, industry experts John Guzzo, managing director of industry M&A firm Berkery Noyes and Richard Bitner, consultant and former President of HousingWire will present, “Understanding the Housing & Mortgage M&A Marketwebinar.
 
On Friday, November 3rd, the Utah Mortgage Expo will be held at its new location, the Park City Marriott. Representing more than 300 companies with 6 workshops for loan originators, register to be a part of the conference that celebrates men and women who finance residential and commercial property.
 
This year marks the third installation of MBA’s Whole Loan Trading Workshop. Register for this November 9th event in Chicago and hear from expert speakers involved in the buying and selling of home loans as well those involved in the servicing transactions coupled with these trades. 
 
Capital markets
 
The U.S. Treasury released a report that outlines 91 technical fixes aimed at boosting the financial markets. Basically telling Congress to lead, follow, or get out of the way, rather than proposing legislative changes, the report notes the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission could simply tweak existing rules and not endorse international rules unless they meet domestic objectives.
 
U.S. Treasury markets were closed yesterday. Looking back to Friday, the yield on the 10-year ended at 2.36% but hit 2.40% briefly. The last 12 months has seen the highest growth rate since the financial crisis, so anyone thinking the economy is dragging is going to have a tough time convincing everyone else. Those who follow such things know that the implied likelihood of a rate hike in December increased to nearly 90% from under 80% earlier in the week per the fed funds futures market.
 
Today we had September’s NFIB Small Business Optimism Index (down), and on Hump Day we’ll have the MBA’s app data for last week, August Job Openings & Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), and the FOMC minutes. Thursday is September’s Producer Price Index (is there any inflation out there?), weekly jobless claims, and the September Treasury Budget, while Friday has the Consumer Price Index, September Retail Sales, a spate of University of Michigan survey numbers, and August Business Inventories. We start the week with the 10-year yielding 2.35% and agency MBS a shade better than Friday.
 
 
PECANS IN THE CEMETERY
On the outskirts of a small town, there was a big old pecan tree just inside the cemetery fence.  One day, two boys filled up a bucketful of nuts and sat down by the tree, out of sight, and began dividing the nuts.
“One for you, one for me, one for you, one for me,” said one boy. Several dropped and rolled down toward the fence. Another boy came riding along the road on his bicycle. As he passed, he thought he heard voices from inside the cemetery, so he slowed down to investigate. Sure enough, he heard, “One for you, one for me, one for you, one for me…”
He just knew what it was. He had been going to Sunday School all his life. He jumped back on his bike and rode off. Just around the bend he met an old man with a cane, hobbling along.
“Mister, come here quick,” said the boy, “You won’t believe what I heard! Satan and the Lord are down at the cemetery dividing up the souls!”
The man said, “Beat it kid, can’t you see it’s hard for me to walk.” When the boy insisted though, the man hobbled slowly to the cemetery.
Standing by the fence they heard, “One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me.”
The old man whispered, “Boy, you’ve been tellin‘ me the truth. Let’s see if we can see the Lord!”
Shaking with fear, they peered through the fence, yet were still unable to see anything. The old man and the boy gripped the wrought iron bars of the fence tighter and tighter as they tried to get a glimpse of the Lord.
At last they heard, “One for you, one for me. That’s all. Now let’s go get those nuts by the fence and we’ll be done…”
They say the old man had the lead for a good half-mile before the kid on the bike passed him.
 
 
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, “Will User Names and Passwords Go the Way of Thermal Fax Paper?” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
Rob
 
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are over 300 mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2017 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)
 

Oct. 9: Warehouse news, LO jobs, business opportunity; lender & investor FHA & VA changes for originators

Sometimes after leaving the airdrome on an airplane I will break out the credit card to access the web. There I sit, in steerage, and marvel about how the internet works on a plane at 35,000 feet over barren wasteland…but my cell phone doesn’t work downstairs at my house. Technology is interesting, and can make a difference. As big lenders and banks outspend small lenders and banks on technology, assuming it is “wise” spending, the eventual result will be…what? (What does the moon 4 billion years ago and Compaq in 2013 have in common? Both had an awful atmosphere.)
 
Opportunities
 
After 17 years of organic growth, Fidelity Bancorp Funding is expanding and looking to hire and develop Residential and Commercial Loan Officers in its Orange County office. “Fidelity’s platform has no peers with income opportunities in not only single family, but also multi-family, commercial, SBA and Bridge loans. Imagine doing one loan that leads to 1-2 others. Imagine being able to meet with a client and offer options for their entire real estate portfolio. Imagine being able to offer a bridge loan that allows the buyer to buy with no contingencies to compete with all cash offers. Imagine having recent college graduates being trained specifically to work with you to provide support and earn fee income as well. Fidelity thinks outside of the box… Is it time for you to consider your career options and consider joining a company that offers more?  If you’re interested in learning more please contact our VP of Business Development Bobby Rizzo (714-908-5119).”
 
If you are an independent mortgage company or retail production team, closing $10M/month or more, loosely intrigued with the idea of an asset acquisition or transition to a strong and well-capitalized National Retail Mortgage Bank, we should speak. The Bank has a wide array of products with deeply competitive credit policy and a unique and serious approach to consumer facing technologies to support loan officers and branch managers. If interested, confidentially email: Marissa@menlocompany.com.”
 
In warehouse news, Flagstar Bank has added to its bench strength with the announcement that Celeste Ludwig has joined the team as senior warehouse lending relationship manager. She comes to Flagstar from Comerica Bank, bringing 17 years’ experience in the banking industry and more than four years in warehouse lending. Flagstar’s been in the warehouse biz since 1991, and under the leadership of industry veteran, Joe Lathrop, since 1999. It offers lines from $1M to $100M with no minimum volumes required to be sold to Flagstar’s wholesale division. Borrowers get a dedicated relationship manager and a dedicated processor—no phone queues.
 
FHA & VA changes impacting the primary markets
 
In Massachusetts, Robert Pena, the founder and president of defunct Mortgage Securities Inc., pleaded guilty last week defrauding Ginnie Mae out of approximately $2.5 million. Pena began diverting money that borrowers sent to MSI into private bank accounts, which he then used to pay for personal and business expenses, resulting in one count of conspiracy and six counts of wire fraud.
 
Lots of people want to “reform” FHA, pointing to a wide variety of potential changes that can be made to the program. The Congressional Budget Office analyzed seven illustrative policy options that would reduce the cost of risk to the federal government from FHA’s single-family mortgage guarantees.
 
With the implementation of the Loan Review System (LRS), FHA has discontinued publication of the quarterly Lender Insight newsletter. Loan-level and compliance information previously published in Lender Insight will remain available.
 
FHA published Mortgagee Letter 2017-13, Extension of Temporary Approval Provisions for the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Condominium Project Approval Process. This Mortgagee Letter extends FHA’s temporary condominium project approval policy provisions until FHA completes both permanent policy rulemaking and the future Condominium Project Approval section of the Single-Family Housing Policy Handbook. This extension, without changes to existing temporary provisions, ensures that mortgagees, real estate professionals, and others may continue to work with borrowers seeking FHA-insured mortgages on condominium units in FHA-approved condominium projects. Temporary condominium project approval provisions continue to be applicable to all FHA Single Family Title II programs, including the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program, unless otherwise stated.
 
Effective for new Mountain West Financial reservations received on or after October 2, 2017, sales price limits for CalHFA first mortgage and subordinate loan programs will increase for all California counties to $660,000. This change pertains only to sales price limits. Loan limits remain the same (set by Fannie and FHA per county).  As a reminder, any CalHFA 1st mortgage over $424,100 (in applicable counties) has a high-balance fee.
 
Pacific Union Financial posted the following update: FHA DELRAP projects approved by other lenders are now allowed subject to and must meet the following: The Certification for Individual Unit Financing (Appendix B Certification) document must be signed by the underwriter. Condition(s) listed on the DELRAP Approval must be met.  The Underwriting Manager must notify HUD if any condition(s) of the DELRAP approval cannot be satisfied, or if the Appendix B Certification cannot be issued due to project changes, including but not limited to: Owner-Occupancy less than 50%, Pending Litigation that would not meet HUD’s criteria, Delinquent HOA dues greater than 15%, or Investor Ownership greater than 10%. HUD will reevaluate the project and advise of any changes to the project status. Non-Delegated:  The FHA Condo Certification Questionnaire has been updated to indicate that the questionnaire is required for both HRAP and DELRAP projects. The DELRAP approval process is the same as the approval process for HRAP.
 
The verbiage for condition B019: FEMA disaster area-recert of value required, will be updated to more accurately convey Wells Fargo Funding’s requirements on government Loans impacted by a disaster. If you receive this condition on an FHA or VA Loan, you can clear the condition by providing:  FHA: Evidence that FHA has already endorsed the Loan per FHA Connection. Evidence of an inspection, completed after the Incident Period End Date, by an FHA appraiser indicating that there is no material damage to the property. Incident Period End Dates – Hurricane Harvey: September 15, 2017. Hurricane Irma: September 18, 2017 (Florida only). VA: A Loan Guarantee Certificate showing that the VA has guaranteed the Loan. Lender’s Certification, completed after the Incident Begin Date indicating that there is no material damage to the property.
 
Pacific Union Financial posted the following information effective immediately: The Underwriter’s signature and CHUMS number is required on FHA’s HUD-92800.5B in the “By” section on pages 1, 3, and 5. The following items have been removed from the list of VA unallowable fees and charges that may be included in the 1% origination fee.  These items may never be charged to the borrower: Attorney services other than title work and charged as a benefit to the lender, Fees charged by a Real Estate Agent, HUD/FHA inspection fee from builder, Prepayment penalties and Realtor commission.
 
Mortgage Solutions Financial has updated its Conventional, FHA, VA and USDA guidelines.
 
Citi Correspondent Lending posted a new bulletin with credit policy updates, clarifications and reminders.
 
HUD has issued a “Waiver of Housing Directive for FHA Disaster Re-inspection Requirements for Hurricane IRMA.”  As such, Lenox/WesLend will move forward on FHA and VA transactions with ordering New Appraisals on current and new submissions, Clear to Close on transactions for funding, and re-inspections, for those areas affected within the identified FEMA Disaster Declared counties under DR-4337 for Florida.
 
As the risk of further property damage is subsiding after Hurricane Irma, FHA has issued a waiver regarding the timing of the property inspection for properties located in Florida PDMDA due to Hurricane Irma.  Effective immediately, PennyMac is aligning with FHA’s waiver and will accept property inspections dated on or after September 19th for all loans secured by properties located in PDMDAs in Florida.  Waiver is effective only for properties located in Florida. 
 
The VA requires water testing be completed by a water testing laboratory, a licensed sanitary engineer, the county, or the state. The test sample must be collected by a non-interested party to the transaction. The individual water supply must meet health authority requirements. If there are, no local or county, or state requirements, the EPA standards must be met. Tests results greater than 90 days old at date of closing are not allowed. This clarification is effective immediately for any new registration, locks, or loans in the U.S. Bank Home Mortgage pipeline.
 
Pacific Union Financial is now accepting Manufactured Home Transactions on all Government products in the following states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. The State Requirements document has been updated to include state specific requirements. For purchase transactions, Manufactured Homes that have not been converted to real property MUST be converted at or prior to closing.  For refinance transactions, the property must be converted to real property prior to application.
 
Effective for locks on or after September 26, 2017, Plaza has improved certain loan-level price adjustments for all Government programs: 760+ = (0.375). 720-759 = (0.250). 700-719 = (0.125).  680-699 = (0.125). 660-679 = 0.00. 640-659 = 0.250.
 
Royal Pacific Funding has made “significant price improvements” on FHA / VA with 700+ FICOs. And has reduced its VA minimum FICO down to 550* (*limited to conforming loan amounts). Manual underwriting ok with no pricing hits (up to 50% DTI with 2 comp factors).
 
Pacific Union Financial recently announced a change to its Verbal VOE policy to allow completion of the Verbal VOE 10 days prior to Note Date. The Verbal VOE Policy has been updated to indicate whether the rule applies to business or calendar days, as required by the applicable agency:  Conventional, VA and USDA products:  Business days. FHA:  Calendar days. Non-Agency products:  Refer to the Program Guide for requirements.
 
On FHA purchase transactions for properties built before 1978, the Property Seller/Realtor must issue a Lead-Based Paint Disclosure to the Borrower and include it in the Purchase Contract. NewLeaf Wholesale must obtain a copy of the Lead-Based Paint Disclosure with the Purchase Contract and ensure that the appropriate disclosure receipt option is indicated on the HUD 92900A. To ensure disclosure accuracy, the year the subject property was built must be accurate on the 1003. 
 
Capital markets – closed today, but…
 
U.S. Treasury markets are closed today for the holiday though stock markets are open. U.S. Treasuries ended last week slightly down due to an uptick in selling as the Employment report for September missed expectations.  Though a 2.9% spike in the wage growth rate solidified expectations for a rate hike in December, lifting the 10-yr to above 2.40% briefly. The last 12 months has seen the highest growth rate since the financial crisis. The implied likelihood of a rate hike in December increased to nearly 90% from under 80% earlier in the week per the fed funds futures market.
 
We had some fed speak on Friday. FOMC Vice Chair William Dudley spoke in favor of remaining on the rate-hike path, while St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said he was concerned by the weaker than expected September Employment Situation Report. Mr. Bullard added there will not be sufficient information about inflation or the economy to invite a December rate hike, though I should point out he is not an FOMC voter.
 
Looking to the week ahead, tomorrow we have September’s NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, and on Hump Day we have the MBA’s app data for last week, August Job Openings & Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), and the FOMC minutes. Thursday is September’s Producer Price Index (is there any inflation out there?), weekly jobless claims, and the September Treasury Budget, while Friday has the Consumer Price Index, September Retail Sales, a spate of University of Michigan survey numbers, and August Business Inventories. We start the week with the 10-year yielding… oops! The markets are closed today. Beware those potentially conservative rate sheets – few capital markets folks will stick their neck out being aggressive when the market is closed.
 
 
A lady is having a bad day at the roulette tables in Las Vegas. She’s down to her last $50. Exasperated, she exclaims to the whole table, "What rotten luck I’ve had today! What in the world should I do now?"
A man standing next to her suggests, "I don’t know, why don’t you play your age?"
He walks away, but moments later, his attention is grabbed by a great commotion at the roulette table. Maybe she won! He rushes back to the table and pushes his way through the crowd. The lady is lying limp on the floor, with the table operator kneeling over her.
The man is stunned. He asks, "What happened? Is she all right?"
The operator replies, "I don’t know. She put all her money on 36, and when 47 came up she just fainted!"
 
 
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, “Will User Names and Passwords Go the Way of Thermal Fax Paper?” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
Rob
 
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are over 300 mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2017 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)
 

Oct. 6: Promotions, LO jobs; Nationwide shuts correspondent; DEVAL opens retail; Ginnie addresses hurricanes; the Fed & rates

Thank you to the California MBA who sponsored a tour yesterday of the Tesla Factory – the building has the 2nd largest footprint in the world (behind the flower auction house in the Netherlands). The engineering & technology on the assembly line was far ahead what a simple capital markets guy like me can understand. Builders are certainly keen on using technology, in this case virtual reality, to sell new homes. Here is something for LOs to pass along to their builder clients: The benefits of virtual reality systems go beyond the sales center, but are they worth the cost? Here is a story on using VR to sell houses.
 
Promotions, jobs
 
Congratulations to Alight, Inc. for the recent new executive appointments to its executive team centered around supporting the growth of its mortgage banking and mining verticals! Alight executive Jared Huff has been named CFO of Alight. Most recently, Huff was Group Head of Alight Mortgage Solutions, Alight’s first industry vertical, which he led from launch to its current position of market leadership. Michael McFadden has been hired to lead Alight Mortgage Solutions. Most recently, McFadden was SVP of Finance at Stonegate Mortgage, a full-service public mortgage banking firm where he was a senior member of the leadership team who took the company public in 2013 and led it through the recent sale to Home Point Financial. "I am excited to join one of the mortgage industry’s most innovative companies,” said McFadden. “I can say from firsthand experience that mortgage banking executives need a solution like Alight to improve their decision making and seize all the opportunities that this challenging and rewarding industry has to offer.”
 
Focus Fulfillment, LLC is excited to announce the addition of Mary Simmons in the role of Business Development. Mary has been involved in all facets of the mortgage industry since 1986, having focused on processing, sales and sales management for mortgage banking/brokerage firms. Mary was Director of Client Relations for Shanks, Tritter and Associates from 1993 to 2000 and then went on to work for Black, Mann and Graham for 16 years before joining Focus Fulfillment. If your company is in the market for document preparation or fulfillment services, please contact Mary.
 
Have you ever wanted to learn more about how your clients can utilize a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM)? Or perhaps you’d like to learn more about how to build your referral business with realtors and financial planners? As an approved partner, American Advisors Group (NMLS# 9392) has a library of both B2C and B2B online training modules available to you 24/7. AAG produces a monthly training calendar of live webinars that change month to month based on industry hot topics and feedback from their partners. For larger groups, AAG offers fully customizable HECM certification programs to get your team up and running quickly. Contact AAG today to see how they can help you understand how HECMs can benefit your business and your clients and discover just how easy it is to get started!
 
Speaking of American Advisors Group (AAG), management invites you to a mixer to learn about the number one reverse mortgage lender in the U.S. “We will be having an open house on October 10, 2017, 6-8 PM at our newly opened Austin Office at 13620 N FM620, Austin, TX. AAG is looking for driven and ambitious professionals who want to advance their career in mortgage lending. Pre-register for the mixer today by contacting Manny Sanchez (657-236-5216).
 
PRMG Retail continues to expand its footprint nationwide by opening 5 new branch locations during the month of September! Along with the drive and ambition to bring the American Dream of Homeownership to all cities across the country, PRMG has now opened its doors in Downey, CAPort Orange, FLMacon, GACape Giradeau, MO; and Woodbridge, NJPRMG is devoted to growing our retail platform and is always looking for Motivated Loan Originators to support our mission to being “Progressively Better in All that We Do”. Voted in the Top 5 of the 50 Best Companies to Work for in America 2017, No. 1 Best in the Desert 2017, NMP Visionary Organization, CAMP Corporate Affiliate of the Year and TOP 25 of 100 Mortgage Companies in America! PRMG employs over 1,500 people! If you’re ready to join a top-tier team and company then we need to talk! Contact Chris Sorensen at 909.262.0452.
 
In giving news, E Mortgage Management (EMM), has embarked on an unprecedented campaign to raise big money for the American Cancer Society’s Breast Cancer Awareness MonthKevin Crichton, President and COO of E Mortgage Management, announced EMM’s on-going support in the fight against breast cancer through their Raving Fans program. “This year, we have raised the bar”, said Crichton, who provided a high-level overview of how the company enhanced its Breast Cancer Awareness campaign for 2017. From October 1, through October 31, 2017, EMM will donate $100 for each loan that closes from applications taken during the month of October. Employees of E Mortgage Management are also planning a series of fun-filled office fundraising efforts set to kick-off on October 1, for the cause, culminating in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk of Pennsauken, NJ, where the company has committed to sponsorship of the event.
 
Channel changes
 
Isn’t the first, won’t be the last. “Effective immediately, Nationwide Bank is exiting the Correspondent Lending business” for “strategic reasons.” Locks have already been cut off, and don’t even try to lock in another loan. “You can still upload documents through our correspondent portal and retrieve lock confirmations for extension and lock change requests. We are going to honor all locked loans in our pipeline that have not expired. We will be withdrawing all loans that have exceeded their lock expiration date, and the closing package has not been uploaded. We are going to withdraw all loans that have been registered as float and not locked. Effectively immediately, we will not be accepting any float to lock requests. We will purchase our last loans on December 15th. New expiration dates from extension requests, will not exceed December 15th. If we receive a repurchase demand on a loan you sold to us, we will continue working with you to mitigate the risk to the best of our abilities.”
 
On the flip side, headquartered in Texas, DEVAL LLC, a Hispanic woman-owned mortgage company, announced the launching of its new retail mortgage division called "Your Home Now Mortgage" and its Hispanic counterpart "Su Casa Ahora Mortgage." (Let me know if you need that translated.) “Su Casa Ahora Mortgage was designed specifically for the Spanish-speaking market enabling effective communication to better serve potential Hispanic homeowners. The launch of Your Home Now Mortgage and its Hispanic counterpart, means the company can participate in every part of the loan lifecycle, from origination to servicing. This division enhances the company’s services and further assists consumers by offering a range of competitive loan products.”
 
Capital markets
 
Potentially impacting both primary and secondary market pricing, Ginnie Mae issued guidance for disaster pass-through assistance and delinquency ratio exemptions for qualifying portfolios. Ginnie Mae issued an All Participants Memorandum (APM) – APM 17-04 to Single-Family Issuers providing updates and further guidance on the availability of optional, special assistance for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma or Maria including associated eligibility requirements and the application process.
 
“Under revisions in Chapter 34-2 of the Ginnie Mae Mortgage-Backed Securities Guide, HUD Handbook 5500.3 Rev-1 (“MBS Guide”) Ginnie Mae will accept Issuer applications under its Delinquency and Default Ratio Exclusion Program 34-2-C and its Pass-Through Assistance Program 34-2-D. Instructions are provided regarding the process for requesting relief from delinquency and default ratios for those Issuers with portfolios that have been significantly impacted by Hurricanes’ Harvey, Irma and Maria.”
 
The pass-through assistance has a “specific and limited purpose” and allows Issuers who, as a direct result of these recent disasters, face a temporary liquidity shortfall to receive the benefit of the Ginnie Mae guaranty. Assistance is not intended to provide long-term financing, or solutions to other solvency issues that an Issuer may face. In this case, it makes an adjustment to Ginnie’s MBS guide’s long-standing requirement that 5% of an issuers’ book needs to be in a disaster affected area to qualify for short-term liquidity assistance from us. The change allows issuers to meet this 5% requirement using their collective exposures to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
 
Ginnie Mae has estimated that roughly 9.7 percent of its portfolio – 1.066 million loans in total – are mortgages on homes in presidentially declared disaster areas in Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico, Texas and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
 
Based on recent remarks, Federal Reserve policy makers are now more inclined to raise interest rates to contain the effects of record stock and asset prices. Central bankers have long argued that they weren’t equipped to spot bubbles and the best approach was to let them burst and then clean up afterwards. The last two recessions (2001 tech stocks; 2007 housing) were due to financial imbalances rather than accelerating inflation, and officials have now admitted as much.
 
The four rate hikes over the last 22 months and specifically the three since December have not slowed record stock prices and a weakening dollar. This combination has eased financial conditions and helped spur growth, risking excess credit creation and causing many Fed officials to advocate for more rate increases to keep the economy in balance, even with low inflation. However, with inflation at 1.4 percent in August, continuing to raise rates would risk cementing expectations that price gains will stay permanently below the central bank’s 2 percent target. Policy makers have penciled in one more rate hike for 2017 and three more for 2018.
 
With a taut labor market and low inflation, some policy makers like Fed Chair Janet Yellen, have advocated returning policy to a neutral setting of a fed funds rate around 2 percent that neither spurs nor inhibits economic growth, above the bank’s current 1 percent to 1.25 percent target range.
 
We are far from certain, however, that Yellen will be around next year to gradually hike rates: Her four-year term atop the Fed expires on Feb. 3, and while President Donald Trump has said she could retain the job, he’s also looking at formed Fed governor Kevin Warsh, who is urging the central bank to stop trying to fine-tune inflation and instead focus more on developments in finance, money and credit.
 
Yes, Trump could re-nominate Janet Yellen, but she is a liberal and supports stronger banking regulation. Gary Cohn is another possibility, as Trump prefers business people over academics. Jerome Powell’s name has been mentioned, and he would be somewhat more hawkish than Yellen. Powell is supposedly the choice of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Kevin Warsh is more hawkish than either Yellen or Powell and supports financial deregulation. Let’s all fly to Las Vegas and place our bets.
 
Looking at the numbers that impact rate sheets, U.S. Treasuries saw some selling on Thursday, with the 10-year closing at 2.35% and agency MBS prices worsening .250 but all in all, the session was not particularly active. The S&P 500 traded higher by 0.5%, its sixth consecutive record close. After the release of the commentary yesterday, Factory orders increased 1.2% in August on the heels of an unrevised 3.3% decrease in July. Excluding transportation, orders increased 0.4% following a 0.5% increase in July. This report will bolster Q3 GDP expectations given the upward revision from the advanced durable goods orders report for shipments of nondefense capital goods orders excluding aircraft.
 
Turning to Fed speak, San Francisco Fed President John Williams said that the Fed will rely more on unconventional tools in the future and that inflation and bubbles could be spurred by “too much growth.” Today we have four speakers – don’t expect much new.
 
Don’t forget that Monday is a holiday! Today, we have the U.S. Treasury announcing its auction schedule for next week: expect $24 billion in 3-yr notes and $20 billion in 10-yr notes will be sold on Wednesday while $12 billion in 30-yr bonds will be offered on Thursday. We’ve had the September employment situation, muddled by the hurricanes: Nonfarm Payrolls (-33k), Unemployment Rate (down to 4.2%), and Average Hourly Earnings (+.5%, strong). The Fed has made it clear what it is up to, and these numbers were already discounted, influence-wise, by the storms. We start the day with the 10-year yielding 2.38% and agency MBS prices worse .125-.250, so rates are higher than Thursday’s close due to that strong wage number. So yes, the odds of a Fed increase in short term rates in December have increased.
 
 
An 80-year-old gentleman was being interviewed on his 60 years of marriage.
"Is there one big difference in your marriage today compared to when you were first married?" asked the interviewer.
"Well," said the man after pondering for moment, "it now takes me all night to do what I used to do all night."
 
 
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Rob
 
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