Dec. 18: Co. for sale, LO jobs; MLO products; banks buying lenders and other banks, report on M&A

“Rob, I’m no stranger to bribes.” (I am not going to say which mortgage banking production manager jokingly made that tongue-in-cheek statement.) We trust that Fed officials are not subject to bribes or political influences. A poll of 60 economists shows an almost unanimous expectation that the Federal Reserve will announce an interest-rate increase tomorrow. But a significant number of respondents expect only two further increases in 2019, instead of the three that were widely predicted in a similar survey in November.
Jobs, business opportunities, & promotions
A multi-state retail and wholesale direct to consumer group is coming on the market for purchase. The group is profitable, expected to fund $2.0B in volume is 2018, and includes sales, ops and management. Ideal acquirers will be well capitalized, have a broad suite of agency products, and solid technology. Email me to forward confidential notes of interest, principals only please.
Summit Mortgage Corporation continues to expand nationally and is looking for “Top Sales and Sales Leadership talent.” Summit is a privately-held, well capitalized, retail lender headquartered in Minneapolis, MN. “Since 1992, we’ve been helping originators meet their client’s needs by providing all of the advantages of a large company with the entrepreneurial spirit of a startup. We are lean on layers and deep in capabilities; including full technology and marketing suites. Originators have direct access to in-house support teams which enable them to exceed client expectations and build their businesses. Innovative service offerings like our $10,000 Underwriting Guarantee set us apart from our competitors and give our referral partners the confidence their loans will close. If you are looking to work with an agile team that will execute on your behalf contact us at Visit us at”
Will robots take your job? It’s no secret that the most crucial component of the Mortgage process is the Loan Originator. But according to online studies, LOs have an ‘Automation Risk Level’ of, ‘You are doomed’ (or 98% probability of automation). Many Originators are finding the pace of advancing technology is making it harder for them to remain relevant in the customer’s mind. Canopy Mortgage provides a solution for Loan Officers to harness technology/automation while highlighting the value of having a relationship to back up the transaction. Do LOs have a brighter future than is suggesting? We think so. Unless of course, programmers end up building tech that actually ‘cares.’ Until then, Canopy Mortgage is expanding its national base of tech savvy-human LOs. Check out our business model that provides LOs with better pricing and technology and see why so many loan officers are leveraging their digital storefront. Reach out to Josh Neumarker at Canopy Mortgage for more information.”
GSF Mortgage Corporation is pleased to promote our Direct Originator Partnership Program for originators who are interested in a low expense and best execution opportunity in today’s market, while playing a critical role in delivering an exceptional customer experience during every step of the home lending journey. The program has no branch or lender fees, translating to better pricing and compensation for the originator. With access to management, technology, and a comprehensive set of products, we give you the tools to succeed and help you build solid and long-lasting relationships and engage all customers in a positive manner, ensuring the customer’s best interests are your number one priority. Originators participating in this partnership have enjoyed a 28-percent production increase, all while operating in a challenging market. Please reach out to VP of Retail Lending, Frank Papaleo.”
Lender products and services
Are you looking for a USDA One-Time Close product that can be sold to your correspondent investor right after closing and before construction has begun? Check out the new USDA One-Time Close purchase option TMS Correspondent recently rolled out for its partners.
XINNIX, The Mortgage Academy, is committed to helping you make next year your best yet. XINNIX is currently offering year-end pricing incentives to help leaders prepare their branches and companies to achieve incredible first quarter results. Don’t miss this opportunity to see how the proven XINNIX System can revolutionize your business growth.
Click here to contact XINNIX today and learn how.
From increasing productivity to having the ability to personalize marketing messaging at scale, your salespeople need more than a CRM to cut through the clutter and create customers for life. The software solution for the future of banking and mortgage is here. The Total Expert Marketing Operating System® (MOS) empowers you to centralize your entire Marketing technology stack, empowering salespeople to grow their books of business and the bottom line. As the pace of innovation in the financial services industry continues to accelerate, it is critical your salespeople have the technology in place to deliver a personalized customer experience. Download Total Expert’s guide to the 9 Critical Components of an MOS to improve business performance and create customers for life. 
Join National Mortgage Professional Magazine for the complimentary webinar "How Lazy or Busy MLOs Get Referrals from Social Media" on Thursday, December 20th at 2 PM EST sponsored and presented by Jason Lutz of LO Socialbot. Do you hate making videos or don’t know where to start? Scared to annoy your friends and followers with boring business-related posts? Then join us for this webinar where you will learn how to get auto-created, self-branded videos served up for posting without lifting a finger, how to supercharge your existing, under-performing posts, getting more engagement from social media posts and videos with little or no work, and how to keep big banks from scooping up leads in your area. Sign up for this complimentary webinar here
Simplify your underwriting process with Loan Product Advisor® asset and income modeler (AIM). Through the expertise of third-party service providers, AIM automates the manual processes of assessing borrower assets and income. AIM reduces the burden of traditional documentation, speeds up the loan origination process and helps you close loans faster. Freddie Mac is working hard to bring you solutions that create efficiencies for your business and improve the borrower experience – giving you a competitive edge. These capabilities are available for Loan Product Advisor submissions and resubmissions on and after December 9, 2018. Gain greater efficiency in your underwriting processes with AIM – get your edge.
M&A and business moves continue
First, let me clarify a story that broke last week regarding a settlement between Gateway, the U.S. Government, and Finance of America (FAM). (The action is related to mortgages originated prior to Finance of America’s purchase of Gateway Funding in 2015.) This is Gateway Diversified. It has nothing to do with Texas’ Gateway Mortgage Group, LLC.
There’s no doubt about it—consolidation in the industry is increasing. In an article in the December issue of STRATMOR Group’s Insights report, “Something’s Got to Give: Lender Options for Navigating the Mortgage Industry Shakeout,” Senior Partner Jim Cameron reports on the big jump in M&A activity from 2016 to 2018.  And, he predicts there will be even more M&As deals in 2019. “These are tough times in the mortgage business,” says Cameron. “Industry indicators signal a down cycle, and lenders who are well-capitalized and well-run have an opportunity to be ‘consolidators,’ even while struggling lenders face the prospect of becoming reluctant (if not involuntary) ‘consolidatees’.” While conditions are challenging, Cameron says there are several tactics and strategies lenders can pursue and he outlines the pros and cons of eight possible lender options.
(In a second article in the report, “The Borrower Experience: Is This Simple Mistake Costing You $200,000 a Year?” MortgageSAT Director Mike Seminari shows the steep cost of asking borrowers for the same document multiple times. December 2018 STRATMOR Insights Report.)
Middletown Valley Bank ($429mm, MD) will acquire residential mortgage lender Millennium Financial Group for an undisclosed sum. Millennium offers loans to homebuyers throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.
And it appears that one of the largest lenders in Atlanta is being acquired. Ameris announced the acquisition of Atlanta-based Fidelity Southern/LION, which is ABCB’s (Ameris Bancorp) largest deal yet. LION’s $4.8 billion-in-assets, with a portion in residential mortgage, represents a notable 30% of ABCB’s $16.2 billion in pro forma assets. The deal is expected to be mid-single-digit earnings accretive to ’20E with under 3% TBVPS dilution, earned back in roughly 2.5 years. This 100% stock deal is worth $751 mm in total or $27.22 per LION share considering the 0.8x exchange ratio. This is a 27% premium on LION’s previous closing price and represents 1.76x TBV, 17.5x KBW’s ‘19E, 15.5x KBW’s ‘20E and an 8.8% core deposit premium. Deal closing is expected in 2Q19.
On the depository banking side of things, M&A continues as well. Research by S&P Global Market Intelligence finds that as of mid-October (10/17), there had been 209 bank deals completed or about 1 deal every 1.4 days or so this year, which, if projected through the end of the year, would be about 263 deals, roughly average when compared to the prior three years of 260 deals. When it comes to pricing levels, the data shows an up-tick however. Through this same mid-October period, the median deal value to tangible common equity was a reported 1.71x. If that holds or improves, it is poised to be better than both the 1.60x level reached for 2017 and the 1.31x level of 2015.
Just in the last three weeks it was announced that…
In California, United Business Bank ($1.3B) will acquire Uniti Bank ($344mm) for $63.9mm in cash (57.6%) and stock (42.4%) or about 1.37x tangible book. In Illinois First Midwest Bank ($14.9B) will acquire Bridgeview Bank Group ($1.3B) for $145mm in cash and stock or 1.30x tangible book, and SENB Bank ($219mm) will acquire Gateway Community Bank ($90mm) for cash. Cambridge Trust Co ($2.0B, MA) will acquire Optima Bank & Trust Co ($524nnm NH) for $67mm in cash (5%) and stock (95%) or 1.91x tangible book. In Texas Alliance Bank ($740mm) will acquire The First National Bank of Mount Vernon ($189mm), and Spirit of Texas Bank ($1.1B) will acquire The First National Bank of Beeville ($412mm) for $63.7mm in cash (51%) and stock (49%) or about 1.78x tangible book. People’s United Bank ($44B, CT) will acquire Belmont Savings Bank ($3.0B, MA) for $327mm in stock (100%) or 1.6x tangible book. In Iowa FreedomBank ($267mm) will acquire Farmers and Merchants Savings Bank ($158mm). CenterState Bank ($12.3B, FL) will acquire National Bank of Commerce ($4.1B, AL) for $850.4mm in stock (100%) or about 1.99x tangible book. Lastly, Faciam Holdings Inc. will acquire Summit Bank ($281mm, CA) for $56.13 per share in cash (100%).
Capital markets
Yes, the Fed is expected to raise short term rates again this week. Why? Recent economic data has been consistent with a moderate expansion as we approach the end of the fourth quarter. Payrolls increased by 155,000 in November and hourly earnings were up 0.2 percent. Unemployment remains very low at 3.7 percent. On the trade front, the US, Mexico and Canada signed a new trade accord known as USMCA and the US and China agreed to a temporary stay on the imposition of new tariffs. The ISM Manufacturing and Non-manufacturing indices both showed positive conditions in November. Yet new residential construction remains a cool spot as construction spending declined 0.5 percent and the months’ supply of new single-family homes continues to grow. Mortgage rates improved nearly 25 basis points, according to the latest Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey and mortgage applications increased 2 percent due mostly to an uptick in refinance applications.
In the bond market, the same forces driving the weakness in stocks are pushing rates down. The U.S. 10-year closed Monday yielding 2.86% as Treasuries across the curve rallied after the NAHB Housing Market Index for December fell to its lowest level in nearly four years in the latest reminder of weakening housing data. Internationally, Australia lowered its 2018/19 GDP growth forecast, and lowered expectations for wage growth. South Korea lowered its GDP growth outlook for 2018 while the outlook for growth in 2019 was lowered as well. In Italy, officials have agreed on a deficit target for 2019, and will reportedly lower its 2019 GDP growth forecast to 1.0% from 1.5%. The French National Assembly President acknowledged that France’s budget deficit in 2019 will exceed the EU’s 3.0% limit in 2019 but is expected to be a cyclical peak rather than the trajectory. Finally, British Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed that the parliamentary vote on the Brexit withdrawal bill will take place during the week of January 14.
In the good ol’ US of A, today’s economic calendar began with November housing starts and building permits. +3.2% (driven by multi-family, single-family numbers were actually down, and +5%, respectively, although both were expected to decline from their respective previous readings. Most importantly, day one of the FOMC two-day meeting kicks off at 1:00pm. The Fed is expected to raise the Fed funds rate 0.25% tomorrow. We begin today with the 10-year yielding 2.83% and Agency MBS prices are better than Monday night by .125.
What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire?
Frost bite!
Visit for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “Servicing: Don’t Underestimate Liquidity.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to Copyright 2018 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)



Dec. 17: LO jobs; CRM, digital products; FHA & VA changes from Agencies & lenders across the nation

“Sunk cost:” “a cost that has already been incurred and cannot be recovered and is excluded from future business decisions because the cost will be the same regardless of the outcome of a decision.” Bought a new headquarters, or paid a big signing bonus for a group that continually sends in bad loans? Sunk cost. Of course, lenders try to avoid those by using a forecasting company like Riivos, but how many months or quarters in a row can a lender have losses before the warehouse bank or Wall Street counterparties say, “No mas?” Rumors of owners putting their own capital back into a mortgage bank abound. At least year-end is in sight – yay!
Jobs & promotions
New Penn Financial is looking for dynamic, growth-minded, mortgage loan originators to work in-house with a new Joint Venture partnership in the Tampa, Florida area. This opportunity is with a prominent agency and is one of New Penn’s newest partnerships. "We are very excited to launch this new venture and partner with another outstanding real estate agency," said Corey Caster, SVP JV Retail. "This venture represents another major step in the growth of our industry-leading Joint Venture platform." If you are interested in hearing more about how to step into an origination role with an in-house audience, contact Vince Daino, VP of Recruiting and Business Development. Additional opportunities are available for LOs and producing managers throughout the country within New Penn’s existing real estate partnerships. Contact Vince for more details.
Congrats! Sun West Mortgage has named John Brumund Senior Managing Director. With 25 years of industry experience, John brings a diverse background to the leadership team at Sun West. He has held roles as CTO, EVP Wholesale Channel leader and most recently as President of Direct Lending where he built a hybrid consumer-direct, distributed retail model solely focused on purchase business. Brumund has a long-standing relationship with Sun West Mortgage and played an important role in previous growth initiatives. “Sun West is in the perfect position to take advantage of the current market – the company has the desire to capitalize on rapid expansion across the U.S.,” said Brumund. “Trust played a major role in the decision to return. It is difficult to find a partner that keeps its word through the thick and thin, and that is why Sun West Mortgage is home to me."
Lender products & services
Did you know that MeridianLink powers the lending technology for 67 of the top 100 credit unions and 23 of the top 100 banks in the U.S.? MeridianLink’s suite of solutions (LoansPQ, Xpress Accounts, and LendingQB) provide consumers with convenient, seamless and pure digital access to virtually any type of consumer loan. Vehicle loans, credit cards, HELOCs and mortgage loans are all available using MeridianLink’s innovative and industry leading platforms. For more information, please visit its website or email management
Holiday shopping stressing you out? With Insellerate’s new eBook “Mortgage CRM: The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide,” there is one less item to worry about. Cut the fuss when it comes to figuring out what or how to buy for your business; start vetting technology solutions with this as your guide. Download the eBook to learn what the most advanced features sets are, important considerations to assess before buying, the debate between building vs. buying, how to properly prepare for implementation, and more! Download the Buyer’s Guide today.
Looking for ways to grow your business? Freddie Mac is collaborating with clients to deliver automation and insights that provide a competitive edge. Cut back on documentation and reduce time to close with Loan Product Advisor automated income and asset assessment capabilities. Save borrowers time and money with ACE appraisal waivers, now available for certain condo unit loans. Grow your condo business with Freddie Mac’s unit-level condo exception tool, Condo Project Advisor. Get greater efficiency with simpler collateral QC and underwriting in Loan Collateral Advisor. Sharpen your edge.  
Momentifi is offering a FREE 60-day trial for enterprise accounts who register before the end of this year. While other companies cut back, you can give all your LOs and new recruits access to the CMPS certification course, weekly sales coaching, MBS Dashboard, LOS-integrated CRM and OB-integrated loan comparison software without paying anything at all until March 1. “An extra 1 loan per month, per LO could be all you need to become wildly profitable again,” says Gibran Nicholas, CEO of Momentifi. “The problem is that your LOs may not adopt or use the solutions you’re currently providing to help them grow their sales. This approach allows you to roll out an enterprise-wide solution on January 1, and only pay 60 days later for the LOs who actually use it.” Click here to watch a 3-minute video of the member benefits.
Email Gibran directly to schedule a demo or conversation.
A large number of minorities and first-time home buyers use the FHA program to buy homes. There’s a lot going on around our biz about this program. The industry is very interested in the note in the Federal Register: “Streamlining Warranty Requirements for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Single-Family Mortgage Insurance: Removal of the Ten-Year Protection Plan Requirements.” This final rule streamlines the home warranty requirements for FHA single family mortgage insurance by removing the regulations that require borrowers to purchase 10-year protection plans in order to qualify for certain mortgages on newly constructed single-family homes. The final rule also introduces greater flexibility and allows consumers to pursue cost-minimizing strategies without measurably increasing the risk to FHA of affected loans. This final rule becomes effective March 14, 2019.
We also have last week’s FHA announcement of the agency’s new schedule of loan limits for 2019, set by regulation at 115% of median house prices based on MSAs (Metropolitan Statistical Areas). Most areas in the country to experience an increase in loan limits in the coming year. These loan limits are effective for FHA case numbers assigned on or after January 1, 2019. Read FHA’s Mortgagee Letter on 2019 Forward Mortgage Limits or read FHA’s Mortgagee Letter on 2019 Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) Limits. In high-cost areas of the country, FHA’s loan limit ceiling will increase to $726,525 from $679,650. FHA will also increase its floor to $314,827 from $294,515. Additionally, the National Mortgage Limit for FHA-insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs), or reverse mortgages, will increase to $726,525 from $679,650. FHA’s current regulations implementing the National Housing Act’s HECM limits do not allow loan limits for reverse mortgages to vary by MSA or county; instead, the single limit applies to all mortgages regardless of where the property is located.
During last weekend’s NAMB conference session, Freedom CEO Stan Middleman made a comment to the audience that one of Freedom Mortgages responsibilities is to “provide the brokers with the best price possible so they can be successful.” Last Thursday Freedom Mortgage launched a “best price guarantee” for government loans 640+ FICO. “If you find a better price for a fixed-rate VA & FHA purchase/refinance with a FICO >=640, we’ll match it, and reduce our Lender Fee by $150. (Jumbo and High Cost loan amounts are ineligible.)
Plaza Home Mortgage is accepting the new FHA loan limits and the new VA loan limits for loans locked on or after December 18, 2019 and with case numbers assigned on or after January 1, 2019.
Recently I discussed Ginnie Mae news, and why MLOs should at least be aware of the Agency. Government (by that I mean VA, USDA, and FHA) is an interesting beast. It is more prevalent with some lenders, in some areas, and with some loan officers. In general, of the $1.5 or so trillion in residential originations expected in 2018, 20-25% of it is forecast to be government. It is estimated that FHA is about 12% of total market in 3rd quarter. (F&F is estimated at nearly 60%. 18% non-agency jumbo, non-QM/expanded credit 3%.
Recently the big news was the FHA actuarial study. The focus is on the he economic condition of the agency’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMI Fund), and the overall Capital Reserve Ratio, Congressionally mandated at 2%, clocked in last year at 2.18% but is now up to 2.76% – good news. The “forward mortgage” financial picture has improved nicely, but the overall number is weighed down by the HECM line.
Loan officers think, “Gosh, if the ratio improved, perhaps we’ll see borrower costs decline.” Not so fast. The Announcement was tepid about that, as was a statement by Brian Montgomery. The book of business shows an average DTI above 43% and average FICOs have dropped in the $1.26 trillion insured (an increase of 3%). Freddie and Fannie, and their workmates the private MI companies, are happy to see no premium or MIP decrease. Large banks (think Chase or Wells) are seen continuing to sit on the sidelines, despite FHA continuing to be very profitable for lenders.
Do you review the financials of your subservicer? I have not personally run the numbers but the word on the street has the percentage of non-bank FHA originations is 87% of total FHA originations. Ginnie is very concerned about this concentration, since a) many non-bank lenders are thinly capitalized and b) advances to investors for delinquencies and foreclosures must be made by the issuer, which is a concern. Ginnie Mae issued a memo about servicer quality and may ask for agreements that a servicer has with the issuer because many non-banks use subservicers and become dependent on subservicers’ financial stability. Just something to watch…
FHA is making several improvements in its Electronic Appraisal Delivery (EAD) system and other appraisal-related functionality in FHA Connection, including: Appraisal Logging screen changes; Appraisal Transfers; and Digital Signatures on Appraisals. Refer to the EAD Hard Stop Checks and Error Messages Fact Sheet for complete information on the revised Hard Stops. The EAD General User Guide, including the Hard Stop information found in its Appendix, will be updated at a later date.
FAMC wholesale posted a clarification on VA transactions regarding Privately Held Mortgages. A written VOM may need 12 months of cancelled checks or bank statements to support the payment history.
theLender offers FHA and VA Specialty products accepting FICO’s as low as 500. Contact Eric Turley for details.
Plaza Home Mortgage has updated its FHA FICO price adjustments with most LLPAs improving. There are improved FHA price adjustments for FICOs under 680: FICOs from 580 – 619 have improved by 1.75, FICOs 620 – 659 improved by .250. These improvements apply to all FHA programs. Improvements for FHA FICOs > 720 (excludes 203k), have been reduced by .250 or .500 depending on FICO.
Mortgage Solutions Financial posted an announcement in lieu of clarifications from GNMA regarding APM 18-04 and how enforcement is being implemented.  
AmeriHome announced a new Escrow Holdback Program for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, VA, and USDA purchase transactions. The Program allows outstanding, undisbursed escrow funds for postponed improvements on new and existing homes.
LoanStream Mortgage offers “no hassle VA programs.”
Plaza Home Mortgage updated its Wholesale Administration Fee Schedule. Effective for loans with a FNMA 1003 and/or Loan Estimate (LE) with a date of December 1 or later. Fees will be effective in BREEZE and on rate sheets and are as follows: Standard Administration Fee: $945. FHA, VA and USDA Streamline Administration Fee: $495. Second Lien Administration Fee: $500 (Waived in VT and TX).
PRMG has updated various Product Profiles to the following: Agency Portfolio and FHA Standard and High Balance, VA and VA High Balance, Expanded Access – AA Credit Grade, Expanded Access – B-C Credit Grade, Closed End Seconds and TCF, and CHFA Programs.
PennyMac Correspondent posted an announcement regarding FHA and USDA updated seasoning requirements.
FHA published Mortgagee Letter (ML) 2018-08: Updated Guidance on Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) Claim Type 22 (CT-22) Assignment Requests. This ML provides consolidated and updated guidance regarding the submission of HECM assignment requests to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It outlines the documentation and procedures required to demonstrate that a HECM has been serviced in accordance with applicable HUD regulations and meets all assignment eligibility criteria regarding the provision of evidence of: current hazard insurance; provision of alternative evidence of death of borrower; clarification of “current” taxes; submission of evidence of completion of repairs; and submission of clarification regarding mobile home title. The guidance in this Mortgagee Letter benefits both HECM borrowers and servicers as it allows alternative sources of documentation, as well as streamlines some of the claims processes. It also modifies or supersedes policy language in ML 2017-05, where applicable, and is effective immediately.
Capital markets
The Federal Reserve is expected to increase short-term rates this week, but the U.S. 10-year closed the week -2bps to 2.89% as positive domestic economic figures offset disappointing economic data from China and the eurozone. Growth in China’s Retail sales slowed to a pace not seen since early 2003 while growth in Industrial Production was reported at its slowest pace since early 2016. Both French and Eurozone Manufacturing PMI declined in December, as did Services PMI for the same time period. The U.S. Retail Sales report showed that core retail sales, which exclude auto, gasoline station, building materials, and food services and drinking places sales, and are used in the computation of the goods component for personal consumption expenditures in the GDP report, increased.
This week’s calendar began with the Empire State Manufacturing Survey for December (expected to decline, it indeed went to “10.9” from “23.3”). The NAHB Housing Market Index for December is up next. Things are light tomorrow, with only November Building Permits (prior 1263K) and Housing Starts (prior 1228K) at 8:30 ET. Wednesday sees the usual weekly MBA Mortgage Index but also November Existing Home Sales and the December FOMC Rate Decision. Thursday brings weekly claims figures as well as December Philadelphia Fed, November Leading Indicators, before the week closes with November Durable Goods; Q3 GDP – Third Estimate, November Personal Income and Spending, and PCE Prices. We begin the week with the 10-year yielding 2.88% and Agency MBS prices better a few ticks, so rates are a shade lower from Friday’s close.
The Perfect Man:
– wakes up at 5 am everyday
– exercises everyday
– makes his own bed
– cleans his room
– works sincerely
– does not touch alcohol
– helps in the kitchen
– does not indulge in night life
– always punctual
– prays daily
– hits the bed at 9PM sharp
Such a perfect man can only be found in jail.
Visit for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “Servicing: Don’t Underestimate Liquidity.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to Copyright 2018 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)



Dec. 15: AI mortgage predictions, borrowers who want to film transactions, First American & blockchain, the SEC & cybersecurity

Computers are everywhere, and there are plenty of people who’d like to get into yours. (Of course, security is not confined to computers. I was on the phone last night with a friend, and he told me that a few years ago his identity was compromised and several credit cards were stolen but that was about it. He never turned it into the police because he discovered that the thief was spending less than he did.) Not only that, but computer scientists are racing ahead with developments focused on artificial intelligence. And what about borrowers who want to film the transaction? Let’s check in.
Intelligence, artificial and otherwise
Lower, a technology company aimed at improving the online mortgage and refinance experience, announced the launch of its company and internal, proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) technology. “LOAi is a first-of-a-kind mortgage recommendation engine that uses AI to analyze thousands of data points and past loans to instantly provide loan advisors with personalized loan selections. The technology helps homebuyers who get their loans online but might not know if they are getting the best loan possible. Lower also offers a simple application that can be completed in minutes on a desktop or mobile browser. By answering a few straightforward questions in a conversational format, potential borrowers can get a personalized loan recommendation without the need to complete lengthy online forms or find, scan and submit paperwork. Lower was founded by Dan Snyder, co-founder of one of the nation’s fastest growing mortgage companies, Homeside Financial.”
What about monitoring sleepy underwriters? EyeSight, an Israeli startup, uses facial recognition processing and A.I. to track drivers’ eye-openness, gaze direction, and head position to determine overall attentiveness. When the system determines that the driver is distracted, it switches over to self-driving mode. The EU will require driver monitoring systems like this by 2020, so more distracted-driver watch bots are on the way.
AI Foundry president and founder Steve Butler has written the following predictions for 2019 for mortgages, AI, and banking. “AI kills OCR. In 2019 we will see rapid declines in OCR (Optical Character Recognition) use in document processing. OCR was invented a century ago and is losing its utility in modern times, because it can’t do anything intelligent with the text it scans. OCR will give way to artificial intelligence (AI) technology that enables machines to “read and react” to human-written content. This will enable a boom in “white collar automation” where manual document processes (such as mortgage processing) are replaced by software-based robotics processing.
The Veil Comes off ‘Instant Mortgages.’ In the coming year consumers will get more savvy and educated about claims of ‘instant mortgage approvals.’ It still takes weeks to process a mortgage and ‘approved in minutes’ applicants can still get turned down by underwriters. Mortgage lenders will turn to back-office automation to speed the byzantine mortgage-approval process, so consumers can have a true ‘Uber experience,’ where mortgages are approved in hours, not weeks. This will enable home buyers to have an approved mortgage in hand when they bid on a house, closing the competitive gap with cash buyers.
Mortgage Processing Comes Back to the U.S. – Most Americans do not know that when they apply for a mortgage, most often their personal financial information goes overseas to processing centers in India, the Philippines and other low-wage countries. We have seen more ‘onshoring’ recently and this trend will continue and grow in 2019, driven by a number of factors, including regulations, increased customer complaints (and resulting reputation damage) and companies gaining a better understanding of the true costs of offshoring. With state privacy regulations becoming stricter (California leading the way), lenders will bring mortgage processing back ‘onshore’ to the U.S. This will cause a spike in back-office automation investment as mortgage lenders try to keep processing costs down, while complying with emerging privacy regulations.
Lenders Turn to AI to Reduce the Cost and Time to Close a Mortgage – Today, it takes approximately three weeks to close a mortgage, starting from the time that the mortgage application is started, through providing information, processing, reviews and underwriting, and to finally closing. Artificial intelligence will drive a new generation of ‘software robots’ that automatically process mortgages, replacing slow and costly manual processes. In 2019 we will begin to see approval times drop from the current norm of 3 weeks, and “one day approvals” will become the norm within five years.”
Steve wrapped up with, “Real Estate Firms and Sites become “One Stop Shops” – In 2019 we will see more forward-thinking real estate firms and websites becoming “one stop shops” for the home buying experience. Examples include Keller-Williams (with Keller-Williams Mortgage) and Zillow acquiring Mortgage Lenders of America. This horizontal model is similar to how automobile dealers also offer financing, maintenance, etc. The new model will enable buyers to access everything they need (financing, legal counsel, accredited inspectors and contractors, etc.) from their realtors, rather than having to rely on referrals and research.”
Bitcoin & blockchain: things are moving fast
Thanks to Candace G. who sent along this note about how Ohio began accepting bitcoin as payment for 23 types of business taxes. The state treasurer’s office said Ohio is, "working to help make Ohio a national leader in blockchain technology." (Not to mention the Football, Rock n’ Roll, Polka, and National Aviation Hall of Fames.)
From Southern California comes news that First American Financial Corporation announced the launch of a shared blockchain system designed by First American to “increase efficiency, reduce risk and improve the title production process. The system is intended to facilitate the exchange of prior title insurance policies between underwriters that contribute to the system. Old Republic Title Insurance Group, the nation’s third largest title insurance underwriter, has committed to be the first to participate. Each policy included in the blockchain system will be coded with a unique identifier by property, streamlining the search process and increasing the accuracy of searches for prior title insurance policies.”
The SEC is advising companies to disclose potential risks from the effects of Brexit, phase out of LIBOR and increased cyber risk.
Central banks may find uses for distributed-ledger technology in the future, but the case for using it today "remains unproven," said Agustin Carstens, general manager of the Bank for International Settlements. Central banks in Canada, Japan and Singapore have looked at whether the technology could improve efficiency of securities and derivatives clearing, and blockchain was found to be "broadly similar to existing infrastructures, and not clearly superior to them," he said.
On the constantly evolving topics regarding cybersecurity, Mitch Tanenbaum weighed in. This commentary noted, “In the world of cybersecurity, it is often difficult to know how much security is too much. This is important when you consider a recent survey from FICO. It shows how fed up consumers are with the security hoops they need to go through to verify their identity. This is despite the constant barrage of information about data breaches and card compromises.”
Mitch observed, “People (consumers) don’t care, for the most part, because they are made whole, even if it is their fault. One cell provider in Europe was charging customers for fraudulent online gambling charges because they chose bad passwords and that allowed the fraud to happen. If consumers were financially responsible when their poor cyber hygiene practices allowed fraud to occur, they would become very supportive of cyber security. I doubt that will ever happen in the U.S., but in reality, it does because the tens of billions of dollars that merchants lose is recovered in higher prices. I don’t know that they care as much about losing their data as they do about a bad guy emptying their bank account.
“I was interviewed on local TV recently about a situation where a lady’s phone was hacked and the bad guy used it to reset her online banking password (and this works even if you do not use online banking, by the way) and empty her bank account of $5,000 plus. She was seriously upset. Losing five grand will do that to you. Likely the bank will eat the $5k in the end but that day her bank account was empty.”
Cybercrime experts will tell you that the most common way into your organization is through email. Mitch noted, “We have had title companies and mortgage brokers come to us after the fact of having been spoofed out of more than a hundred grand each in several cases. In most of these cases, they ate that because the protections for consumers, for the most part, DO NOT APPLY to businesses. Businesses are supposed to be sophisticated. Will losing a hundred grand make you rethink your cybersecurity program? The SEC has been investigating some publicly traded companies who collectively lost close to $100 million to these email scammers. Why are they investigating them? Because the SEC wants to see if these companies violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 for not having sufficient security controls in place. They don’t care that these companies lost $100 Mil, they want to see if they should be sued in federal court for it.”
This commentary suggested that, “IT departments, along with folks at home, should use two-factor authentication ("2FA") with remote access. A six-digit code is sent to you. Personal email (gmail, Outlook, iCloud) all offer two-factor authentication.” Mitch responded with, “I totally support you encouraging two-factor authentication but people should absolutely, positively NOT use text messages. Way too easy to spoof.”
Lastly, regarding experts saying that using “the cloud” for critical data storage is a mistake, Mitch responded with, “I guess that means that the cloud-based LOS should close their doors – OpenClose, Encompass Nextgen, Rocket Mortgage and a bunch of others that are hybrids – local application but the data is in the cloud. And also, I guess that Amazon should shut down too. The reality is that for most companies, the cloud is probably more secure than that poorly secured server sitting in the corner.” Thanks Mitch!
What about borrowers or bank customers recording every office visit on video? Steve Brown with PCBB advised, “No matter what your customers import into the branch when they visit, taking video on their phone is a definite no-no. Sadly, more and more customers are using their cell phones to videotape even routine commercial interactions. That increases risks for banks. Look no further than videos posted of employee-customer interactions gone awry on social media. These depict everything from passengers being dragged off airplanes to shouting matches and even fist fights. So far, banks as a group haven’t seen too much, but that’s not a reason to assume it won’t happen. Instead, it’s a reason to get ahead of the trend by training staff members and setting up guidelines.
“Your overall goal should be to prevent people from videotaping bank activities. This is for everyone’s security, so it makes sense well beyond just the issue of potential embarrassment.
Post clear signs stating that no unauthorized photography or filming is permitted on bank property. Tighten up procedures and train staff to be alert. Have scripts that employees can use when a customer starts taking unwanted photos or video. Make sure that procedures have been practiced by frontline employees, so it is second nature, if and when needed. Staff should smile and be polite to any customer, even an irate one that begins photographing or filming an interaction. If you are handling a transaction, put that work on hold until the customer has stopped filming. Explain that, because of concerns around security and confidentiality, no unauthorized photography or filming is allowed on the premises.”
Steve’s advice went on. “If the customer refuses to stop filming, point out the posted signs forbidding it. Tell the client that the bank is not public property, and it has the right to prohibit customers from filming interactions because of the sensitive nature of those transactions. These days, even some employees might feel tempted to record a rude bank customer or a heated conversation. They might even use a cell phone to videotape a customer who has begun filming. It is critical to train everyone to resist this temptation and to lead by example no matter what. Recording a customer — even if the customer is rude, wrong, or began filming first — is a sure way to escalate things.
“Besides taking the above measures, banks can avoid viral videos by reminding employees that you expect professional, cordial, respectful behavior at all times. Doing so will remind everyone to keep calm even when a customer is using their phone to record things.”
(Thanks to Ann M. for this one.)
When he was having a senior moment and couldn’t place people, journalist Charles Michelson (FDR’s speechwriter) used this ploy to avoid offending them.
When a person asked, "Do you remember me?" he would answer, "Yes, and it turned out you were right, didn’t it?"
Visit for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “Servicing: Don’t Underestimate Liquidity.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to Copyright 2018 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

Dec. 14: AE, LO jobs; Full Eagle wanted; compliance, documentation products; loan amt. changes in the primary markets

Lots of folks in the mortgage biz like statistics and odds. They may not remember them, but they like them. (As Marcus L. writes, “People still play the lottery even though most of us can’t get the USB in the first time correctly and those odds are 50/50.”) Plenty of home loans are impacted by student debt. For every 100 students who enroll full-time in college or university, 42 percent will graduate within four years and 18 percent more will graduate within six. This means that 40% of college students get all the benefits of student debt without obtaining a degree. And put another way, of those 60 students of every hundred who graduate, 42 will leave with student loans and five will default on those loans by the age of 33. For the 40 who don’t graduate, 10 will default on those loans. Even more, 10 years down the line, 32% of the college grads end up in careers that didn’t require a college degree in the first place.
American Capital is excited to welcome Brad Hodge as Retail Division Manager.  Brad’s 45 years of industry experience will help grow ACC / Lionsgate by recruiting LO’s, Branch Managers, Area Managers and Branches to join our dynamic platform of Loans and Real Estate together under one roof.  If you are looking to improve your ROI and be your own best referral source, the Hybrid offering is the most powerful strategy available.  The ACC / Lionsgate Hybrid offering is more than just a logo change – it’s a transformation. Contact Brad for more information (909-702-6924).
FirstBank Correspondent Lending is looking to hire an Account Executive with a proven track record and customer base in the Southeast, including the states of TN, SC, GA, AL, MS, & FL. “Backed by FirstBank, a successful financial institution with $5B in assets, we have the technology, pricing and marketing to ensure your growth and success and a wide array of products including Jumbo, USDA Single Close Construction, FHA, VA, USDA, Freddie FNMA, Doctors Programs, etc., to give you the ability to fully support the changing needs of your clients. Come thrive in a culture-driven environment where your voice is heard, your opinions matter, and the client comes first. Excellent compensation package included.” To learn more, please visit FirstBank Careers.
A motivated and experienced investor is seeking to acquire a FULL EAGLE/HUD Designated lender. Licensed in CA would be preferred but is not required. The ideal situation is for current shareholders to liquidate all or a large portion of their equity through the transaction. Principals would be willing to negotiate/keep the existing team. Interested parties should contact
me to forward their note; please specify the opportunity.
Lender products & services
Redwood is excited to be named as the number one purchaser of expanded-credit and Non-QM mortgage loans by Inside Mortgage Finance. Redwood’s expanded-prime and Non-QM programs have aided its numerous business partners in keeping volumes up as refinance opportunities continue to decline. Redwood encourages loan officers at any of their business partners to sign up for the many training sessions offered by Redwood’s program experts. Redwood’s expanded-prime and Non-QM programs are simple to understand and easy to implement. It’s the same Redwood process and program support, now with even more opportunities for loan officers and their customers. Come see why others are having so much success working with the largest buyer of expanded-credit and Non-QM mortgage loans. 
Simplify your underwriting process with Loan Product Advisor asset and income modeler (AIM). Through the expertise of third-party service providers, AIM automates the manual processes of assessing borrower assets and income. AIM reduces the burden of traditional documentation, speeds up the loan origination process and helps you close loans faster. Freddie Mac is working hard to bring you solutions that create efficiencies for your business and improve the borrower experience – giving you a competitive edge. These capabilities are available for Loan Product Advisor submissions and resubmissions on and after December 9, 2018. Gain greater efficiency in your underwriting processes with AIM – get your edge.
Interested in offering your customers new products? The join Sierra Pacific Mortgage on December 19 at 1PM PST for a short webinar that can impact your business in a big way. You will learn all there is to know about these Sierra’s Access and Core products. You may have heard of these programs as the "Sierra’s Bank Statement Program" and while that is true, Sierra Access and Sierra Core has much more to offer, including 1 year express tax returns and even a full doc option. The pool of opportunity to offer financing for your borrower is vast – come find out why! Register today!
Today, mortgage lenders are looking for ways to reduce compliance costs without sacrificing quality. Finding a solution that can respond to the ebb and flow of your business needs will be essential in forming a savvy and time-saving solution. With tailored compliance packages, Strategic Compliance Partners (SCP) can accommodate your ever-changing needs. Click here for a free savings survey and we’ll show you how SCP can help you save up to 20% on compliance costs.
I’ve indicated in several posts Conquering Shifts is a must read. Make it a part of your 2019 business plan. “Learning how top producers excelled during the hard times of ’07 and ’08 reinforces that salespeople are able to prosper in any economy.” Jordan Eller, Capital Mortgage Services. “The benefit of owning this book is two-fold. First, it’s inspiring. Secondly, it’s a fantastic resource to be used during our sales meetings. The book does a great job showing how some of the industry greats went from ground zero to mega producers” Ben Holloway, Mountain West Financial. "Conquering Shifts is truly unique in that instead of simply teaching success principles or techniques, the reader sees exactly how they were implemented." Marty Preston, Benchmark Mortgage. If you have not taken advantage of the 15% discount offered by Authors Cindy Douglas and Kathleen Heck, Do Not Delay. Ends December 15th. Click here to purchase.
Business news
Regarding the news about Gateway, the U.S. Government, and FAM… Readers should know that management reports there is no financial impact to FAM as this was prior claim indemnified by Gateway. “You may have seen some news that FAM has settled a pending matter with the Department of Justice and Department of Housing and Urban Development concerning False Claims Act allegations related to HUD-insured loans. This action is related to mortgages originated prior to Finance of America’s purchase of Gateway Funding in 2015. Finance of America has been fully cooperative with this inquiry and we are pleased that the matter is resolved. There was no admission of liability by FAM and no financial impact to FAM or UFG as a result of the settlement.”
Conventional conforming loan amount changes in the primary market
There’s a lot of chatter about the potential replacement of Mel Watt – Mark Calabria – but lenders are more focused on the “here and now” and helping their borrowers.
Every one knows that the FHFA announced the maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages to be acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2019. In most of the U.S., the 2019 maximum conforming loan limit for one-unit properties will be $484,350, an increase from $453,100 in 2018. As a result of generally rising home values, the increase in the baseline loan limit, and the increase in the ceiling loan limit, the maximum conforming loan limit will be higher in 2019 in all but 47 counties or county equivalents in the U.S. Click this link for a list of the 2019 maximum loan limits for all counties and county-equivalent areas in the U.S.
To accommodate the new Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae loan limits, from now through January 1st, US Bank correspondent lenders will need to register or lock loans at the 2018 maximum loans limits and submit a change request.
Beginning December 14th, Wells Fargo Funding sellers can take down new Best Effort locks and Mandatory Commitments at the 2019 Conforming Loan Limits.
Mortgage Solutions Financial posted information regarding upcoming DU and loan limit changes.
As of December 6th, AmeriHome product codes and pricing are available at the new FHFA 2019 maximum conforming limits.
UWM is honoring the new increased loan limits. That’s an increase from $453,100 to $484,350 for regular conventional loans and from $679,650 to $726,525 for conventional high balance loans. “Don’t wait for the New Year to qualify more of your borrowers for conforming loans. Even though the FHFA announced the conforming loan limits will be increasing starting January 1, 2018, we are letting you submit and close your high balance loans now, no need to wait.”
loanDepot Wholesale is accepting the new 2019 GSE Conforming Loan Limits, click here to view the details.
PennyMac announced it is aligning with the conforming loan limit increases for standard and high balance loans.
With the FHFA announcement of new loan limits, PRMG will allow conventional loans with the increased standard and high balance limits to be submitted, locked and funded immediately. Loan limit changes for FHA, VA, USDA and Housing Authority products will be addressed in a separate communication later when announced by the agencies.
California’s Land Home Financial Services “will immediately accept locks at the new 2019 limit amounts! Lock the Loan using the applicable 2018 maximum loan amount for the transaction.
LHFS will update the lock manually until such time as our systems are updated through eXPRESS/Optimal Blue. Once the system is updated, you can lock at new limits. We will send out an announcement when the system has been updated. If you have any existing locks that you would like to update, please contact the lock desk: (Please address questions regarding delivery and eligibility questions to Land Home.)
PennyMac’s Correspondent Group posted updates regarding FHLMC Home Possible and Home Possible Advantage, an announcement referencing its alignment with the updates in Freddie Mac’s Bulletin 2018-12 and 2018-13, and sent out 18-39: Updates to Conventional and Government LLPAs.
ditech’s Freddie Mac Conforming, Expanded Criteria and VA underwriting guidelines are being updated. The Client Guide and product matrices must be referenced for complete guideline requirements.
The Freddie Mac Guide Bulletin 2018-23 introduces automated income and asset assessment with Loan Product Advisor®, which are effective for submissions and resubmissions on and after December 9, 2018.
Sellers should recall that Freddie Mac made changes to its Scorecard and Manager Series. The Scorecard Metric – Total Timeline Trend Update will no longer be impacted by loans that are sold in non-performing loan sales (“NPL sales”). Currently, the total timeline trend metric excludes loans in NPL sales from the numerator. Now, loans in NPL sales will also be excluded from the denominator. Last year, two new disaster workout originator codes (“NG” and “OTM”) were introduced to support accurate disaster reporting; however, these two codes were excluded from the Scorecard Metric – Modification Pull-Through Rate Update. And it now includes the new Workout Originator codes for disaster modifications in the numerator. Servicers’ Scorecards will now reflect these workouts in the pull-through rate Manager Series – REO Manager® Update.
Capital markets
The U.S. 10-year closed Thursday +1bp to 2.91% as shorter dated Treasuries experienced curve flattening action on more of the same international news markets have been digesting throughout the week. (The markets are global!) People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang acknowledged that economic growth in China is nearing the potential rate of output and that there is increased downward pressure on the economy. Chinese authorities also confirmed the detainment of Canadian businessman Michael Spavor, who is accused of harming China’s national security, and a former Canadian diplomat, Michael Kovrig. Turning to Europe, Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte confirmed that the Italian government agreed to lower its 2019 deficit target to 2.04% from 2.40%. In France, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire acknowledged that the country’s deficit will breach the 3.0% limit in 2019 as the government looks to quash protests by increasing entitlements. British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote, but the prime minister will not stand in the next leadership election in 2022.
Today’s U.S. economic calendar kicked off with the November retail sales report (+.2%, stronger than expected, while the “control group” was seen increasing slightly over the previous reading but was +.9%). November Industrial production and capacity utilization at 9:15am are seen increasing from October figures. Markit will release both their manufacturing and services PMIs at 9:45am, 15 minutes before October business inventories are see increasing 0.6% versus 0.3% in September. We begin today with the 10-year yielding 2.88% and Agency MBS prices better .125 versus Thursday’s close.
(Thanks to several folks who sent this one in.)
One night a Viking named Rudolph the Red was looking out the window when he said, “It’s going to rain.”
His wife replied, “How do you know?”
Visit for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “Servicing: Don’t Underestimate Liquidity.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to Copyright 2018 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)



Dec. 13: LO jobs; digital products; books by lenders, for lenders, or about lenders; False Claims Act rears up; a fun quiz you should take

“Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?” It turns out that, in terms of grabbing their pieces of ground, first-time home buyers were more active in the first three quarters of 2018 than at any time since 2005, per Genworth Mortgage Insurance. Lenders wish they would be as active: Mortgage lenders are facing an even less profitable environment as purchase and refi biz fell for the ninth straight quarter. Fannie Mae’s Q4 2018 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey found that the outlook for profit among lenders in the fourth quarter reached an all-time survey low across all loan types: GSE-eligible, non-GSE-eligible, and government. "Competition from other lenders" was cited by survey participants as the top reason for their pessimism for the eighth consecutive quarter.
Employment & promotions
Sirius Lending Ushers in a New Era of Mortgage Lending, Led by Industry Veteran Brian Mitchell. Sirius Lending, powered by Sun West Mortgage Company, Inc. [NMLS 3277], is a full-service, forward-thinking service providing residential mortgages across the country, and is being led by Brian Mitchell. Mitchell has built Sirius Lending upon the foundation of integrity, industry knowledge and unparalleled service. Just as the star Sirius has been known as a guiding light to travelers, Sirius Lending is dedicated to guiding prospective homebuyers through their journey towards homeownership. An established industry veteran, Mitchell believes in well-rounded service from start to finish. That’s why Sirius Lending has created a vision to set the industry standard for homeownership by “taking ownership” of the entire process. “I’m thankful for the opportunity Sun West Mortgage Company has given me to lead Sirius Lending,” said Mitchell. I am committed to helping families and individuals achieve the dream of homeownership!”
“Lenders. Realtors. Technology. The convergence of those three forces drives Movement Mortgage’s innovation investments. Movement this month teased its newest offering: Movement Mobile. The app supercharges LO productivity by putting your favorite tools in a single interface on your phone. One app to manage your pipeline, communicate with agents and borrowers, access your database, issue pre-approvals and check calculators and calendars. More power. More productivity. More time. More freedom. Learn more about Movement Mobile and building a career on purpose by clicking here.”
Canopy Mortgage offers a better origination model. Canopy is blending the great price from brokering & the control you get as a Mortgage Banker. Toss in its proprietary LOS with a history of enabling LOs to originate more volume with less time and effort and you’ve found your ability to remain relevant in the rising rate market of 2019 and the future. Canopy Mortgage is in growing rapidly, expanding a National network of full-time loan originators. Do you have what it takes to be part of the Canopy Mortgage team? See how we’re disrupting the old way of doing mortgages.” Reach out to Josh Neumarker, Director of Hiring at Canopy Mortgage for a product demo (888-696-9076).
Congratulations to Steve Baselice who has been brought on by Optimal Blue’s Sales Solutions Specialist group to help grow OB’s hedge advisory and technology business.
And Gateway Mortgage Group has named Steven Patrick its new chief risk officer to oversee the Gateway’s enterprise risk management, compliance and quantitative analytics.
Lender products & services
For brokers, “Royal Pacific Funding is one of the fastest growing wholesale lenders in the nation because of its superior service and hands on approach to every loan. Now they are offering even more! Pricing on FHA and VA loans has been improved substantially for borrowers with 700+ credit scores. Royal Pacific also continues to offer free appraisals for any loan > $300K. But that’s not all! Royal has an extremely wide range of product offerings including Conventional, FHA, VA, NonQM and Reverse. Need solutions for DACA borrowers? They’ve got that too! Check out the latest special of .25 rate improvement on NonQM > $500K or .375 rate improvement on NonQM >$2M (applies to Leverage and Pivot products only). Brokers can contact their AE or brokers that are not signed up can email us for details.”
Are you looking to prevent against loan defects in 2019? Then we have a News Year’s resolution for you – improve loan quality by automating QC. Register for “Maximize QC due diligence reviews with OCR and Defect Management Technology” web seminar happening this afternoon. Your 1 hour that could mean faster closings, less defects and lower production costs in 2019!
Maxwell has released its groundbreaking new product, QuickApply for their digital mortgage point-of-sale platform. Maxwell QuickApply is an easy-to-launch modern mortgage application that, with consent from the borrower, gathers the borrower’s information from Maxwell’s network of data providers to pre-populate fields in the loan application, filling in personal information, employment history, income, real estate owned, financial assets, liabilities, and more. This new application enables clients to increase their application volume and improve borrower experience by reducing the burden on the consumer applying. This is just one more innovative step forward from an industry-leading player in the digital mortgage space. Along with QuickApply, their point-of-sale platform is a must-see for small- to mid-size lenders looking for a digital mortgage solution that will enhance and evolve the human relationship between borrower and loan officer. To learn more about Maxwell and QuickApply or request a personalized demo for your business, click here. 
Go ahead, call your subservicer’s 800 number and see how fast they answer. Do they pick up in a minute or less? Or, are you left holding for 10, 20, or even 45 minutes? If the latter, then that’s the same infuriating service that you’re putting your customers through. And they think that it’s a direct reflection of you! Read this article from TMS to get tips on what your subservicer should be doing to deliver great customer service, so you can build a lifelong relationship with your customers.
2019 is fast approaching; are you ready? As the borrower experience continues to evolve–thanks to new mortgage technology–it’s important for lenders to adapt by taking advantage of the latest innovations that enhance their engagement strategy. Join next week’s webinar to learn how to build an effective borrower engagement strategy, so you can get a running start to 2019. Register to learn contact strategy best practices, what new solutions are available at your fingertips, how to continue selling to your existing database to build repeat business, and more! CLICK HERE to register. (Can’t attend the live session? No problem! Register to receive the recording immediately following the webinar.)
Borrower satisfaction
“A lender averaging 5,000 loan units annually is losing $243,000 each year because of poor communication in document collection,” says MortgageSAT Director Mike Seminari. “The cost comes with losses in referrals and repeat business, and in negative word of mouth.” Asking a second or third time for the same document makes a lender look disorganized and unprofessional, and it leaves borrowers, “Why can’t you keep track of things?” According to research from STRATMOR’s MortgageSAT Borrower Satisfaction Program, nearly one-third of borrowers report being asked multiple times for the same document, and the effects are devastating, with nearly a 50-point drop in Net Promoter Scores when this happens. Seminari offers five suggestions to help correct this problem in his December MortgageSAT Tip.
Books for the holidays
Congratulations to anyone who can write a book, and there are several (that I know about) in the biz. And with the reasonable prices, good gifts for your staff. Or for your boss! No, these are not paid ads, and the books are either written by folks in our biz or about our biz. In no order, we have…
Russ Van Buren’s Falling, inspired by the true events of 9-11.
There’s “Surviving Sosebee: A Lesson Plan On Life” by Mary Lee Gilchrest with First State Bank Mortgage in Kansas. (“I self-published so the book can be purchased from me by emailing me your address. My book is $15.00 with shipping and I enclose a return envelope for payment on the honor system that buyers will send money. My book tells about some that I have been through in my life and refers to my job many times, and the small profit I give the profit to ALZ and lung cancer research as those are the illnesses my mother and mother in law suffered with.”)
"My Client the FBI: How a real estate appraiser assisted the FBI before and after the mortgage crisis in cleaning up a broken system." Written by Donald Gossman, you can read more about it here along with thank you notes from the Feds.
Conquering Shifts is for MLOs as part of a 2019 business plan. Authors Cindy Douglas and Kathleen Heck are offering a 15% discount for books purchased through December 15th.
Michael Rosser and Diane Sanders penned "A History of Mortgage Banking in the West," a "book that should be read by politicians and business leaders everywhere." Order here and use promo code ROSS17 to knock 20% off the price.
"Buy Your First Home Today" was written by John Mallett is a good book for LOs to give their clients. "Empower your life, build your wealth, own the home of your dreams."
Anne Elliott composed "Mortgage Risk: A Blueprint for Smarter Origination." The book is meant for underwriters, sales managers, LOs and appraisers.
"Hacked. Screwed. Gone." By Jim Deitch is an "A-Z blueprint to protect your business from accidental & malicious information security threats."
Jason Myers authored "Becoming the Successful Mortgage Broker." Jason also wrote "The Successful Mortgage Broker." "Becoming a millionaire in the mortgage industry doesn’t happen by chance. When you lay the proper foundation, you create the opportunity."
Demystifying Mandatory” by STRATMOR’s Jennifer Fortier is a good read for anyone starting out in capital markets.
From Texas comes Michael Jones (Georgetown Mortgage) with his tome, "Reset" about a loan officer who is bumping along the bottom and re-ignites his career with some simple process changes and effort.
"The Uncommon Commodity: A Common-Sense Guide for New Managers" was composed by Doug Thorpe. "A collection of many thought-provoking stories, tips, anecdotes, and life hacks to help you grow as a manager."
Here’s a primer on the capital markets sector from SIFMA…a fundamental overview of U.S. capital markets and financial institutions including an overview of capital markets, role of financial institutions, investment banking, markets & securities, and more.
Civil War’s False Claims Act still the catch-all
The United States Department of Justice announced that Finance of America Mortgage, LLC has agreed to pay $14.5 million to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit involving mortgage fraud. The lawsuit relates to FHA loans originated by Gateway Funding Diversified Mortgage Services LP, which FAM acquired in 2015. The settlement resulted from a lawsuit filed under the qui tam whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act by Debra McGeehan, a former quality control underwriter for Gateway. Ms. McGeehan, who receives $2.4 million, worked for Gateway during portions of 2009 to 2015. "It is extremely frustrating when a mortgage company identifies issues with loans as part of its quality control process, but then deliberately ignores those findings," said McGeehan. "Gateway was only interested in its own financial interests and was willing to ignore its own quality control findings in order to defraud the FHA program." HUD’s requirements require that lenders self-report loans that lenders determine have underwriting errors.
“According to the settlement agreement, Gateway did not maintain a proper quality control program as required by HUD for participation in the FHA program. While several of Gateway’s management team notified the company that Gateway’s loans had a high default rate, Gateway did not comply with HUD’s self-reporting obligations. For example, in a February 2014 email, Gateway’s SVP of Compliance and Credit Risk sent an email to Gateway’s executive team noting that there were specific underwriters and branch offices ‘who show a pattern of poor performance.’ While Gateway identified loans during the quality control process that had material underwriting errors, Gateway did not routinely report those errors to HUD, as required. As a result, HUD incurred substantial losses when those loans defaulted and insurance payments were subsequently paid to Gateway.”
Capital markets
The U.S. 10-year closed +3bps to 2.91% as the yield curve re-verted itself, the 2-year now below the identically-yielding 3-year and 5-year (2.77%). Optimism with Treasuries was associated with the release of Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou from Canadian custody, viewed as a step toward improving relations between the United States and China although later in the day President Trump admitted that the release could be linked to a broader trade agreement, stirring concerns that the arrest was politically-motivated in the first place. In other international news, Shaktikanta Das became the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. The Italian government is reportedly willing to reduce its 2019 deficit target to 2.0% from 2.4% and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte pledged that campaign promises for retirement reform and a basic income for the poor will be kept. And British Prime Minister Theresa May faced a no-confidence vote today, but press reports suggest she will maintain her post.
The latest European Central Bank decision was announced this morning: The ECB decided to leave rates unchanged in this morning’s statement, with ECB head Draghi’s press conference about to begin. The ECB is expected to announce the end of their QE program, though, perhaps provide more guidance (including a timeline) for when reinvestment purchases will end. Besides the ECB, the SNB and Norges Bank also revealed monetary policy decisions.
The U.S. calendar kicked off with November import/export prices (-1.6%, -.9%) and weekly jobless claims (206k). Finally, and following yesterday’s rescheduling, the November budget deficit will be released at 2PM ET with CBO estimating $203 billion compared with $138.5 billion in the previous fiscal year. Thursday begins with the 10-year yielding 2.90% and agency MBS prices a shade higher versus last night’s close.
We all use the same words, right? Wrong. There aren’t too many things that make my jaw drop anymore but this multiple-choice quiz is one of them. It is a New York Times linguistics test, asking you how you say simple terms. Like how do you address a group of two or more people? What do you call a bug that rolls up in a tiny ball? Takes less than 5 minutes, no thinking, and at the end it tells most folks where you grew up within 50 miles. Incredible.
Visit for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “Servicing: Don’t Underestimate Liquidity.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to Copyright 2018 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)



Dec. 12: LO jobs, compliance personnel moves; non-QM & warehouse products; STRATMOR Tech Insight Study

Who among us has pushed for abolishing the mortgage-interest deduction, supported getting rid of government subsidies for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, putting Fannie and Freddie into receivership, and supported ending the sweep of F&F’s profits into the Federal Government? The answer is Dr. Mark Calabria, currently working for Mike Pence, and if confirmed by the Senate, he’ll replace Mel Watt as the Director of the FHFA, overseer of Freddie and Fannie. As mentioned yesterday in this commentary, there are plenty of ways the government can reduce its footprint in home lending: lowering LTVs, raising gfees, cutting back on non-owner or high-balance lending, adjusting the QM patch for DU & LP approval, and so on. Confirmation will take months and lets hope he has the industry’s best interests in mind, but given this personnel change, interest rates, M&A activity, and a housing shortage, it could make for an “interesting” 2019.
Jobs & promotions
“Retail branches looking to grow your income, improve your pricing, and expand your product line as you head into the challenging, new year ahead, we are an established and motivated mortgage banker that is interested in recruiting producing branches or teams. Join a company that has competitive pricing, 24-hour/around the clock operations and processing that makes decisions every day for the benefit and improvement of the sales team. If your numbers are stale due to the lack of competitiveness, and support, while experiencing anxiety from an unorganized group before closing, or are in need of solid processing support, then we are the right organization for you. Branches located in CA, CO, WA, OR, TX, FL, VA, that produce $5M – $30M monthly that are looking to become more competitive, increase margins, and have a full suite of loan products including an aggressively expanded Non-QM product line, should contact EVP Greg Handy.
Fidelity Bank Mortgage is pleased to announce the hiring of Amy Butler as the new Builder Services Manager, responsible for strategy and initiatives for Fidelity Bank Mortgage Builder clients. Amy is a veteran of the Mortgage industry, serving in various sales and leadership roles. Her vast network plus her devoted industry involvement, including past President of the Atlanta Mortgage Bankers Association, make her a great fit for the growing team. Click here to contact Amy. Fidelity Bank Mortgage is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia with Retail Mortgage production offices throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. Since 2008, the Mortgage division has grown to over 40 offices and over 600 employees. We are expanding into new markets and interested in Top Sales and Leadership Talent. Click here to contact David Rapson, Senior Vice President, Mortgage Production Manager, and view our eBook to learn more about our team.
Mortgage Possible launches nationally, names Eddie Brown Managing Director of National Production. Brown has 21 years of experience driving change and strategy for residential mortgage lending, focusing his efforts on enhancing customer experience through innovation. In 2011, Brown was brought on board to help promote productivity and growth for Emery Financial, where he lead the company to its largest dollar production month in company history. More recently, Brown served as the Managing Director of leading lender, where he brought significant gross volume increases to both consumer direct an inside sales for wholesale production. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to help drive change in the industry with Mortgage Possible,” said Brown. “People who don’t care will go the way of Blockbuster & Toys R Us. No business can rest on their past success as the market is always changing. It’s my duty to my family and my team to be on the forefront of change.”
For Loan Officers or Branch Managers looking for a change, MortgageRight sets itself apart from other companies by offering lower rates, better pricing and higher compensation.
MortgageRight is making a name for itself across the nation by operating with thinner margins than other industry players due to several key strategic factors put into place by ownership in order to help their producers win in a market like this one. Very simply, they can offer lower rates and/or a higher comp and they can back their claims up 100%. But don’t take their word for it – They’ll put any candidate in touch with recent hires and existing LOs to discuss their strengths along with everything else they have to offer. For a pricing engine walk through, contact Mike Russo at (866) 425-5456 or visit them at
Lenders Compliance Group, a nationwide risk management firm, announced that Joyce Wilkins Pollison has been appointed to the position of Executive Director as well as retain her position as Director of Legal and Regulatory Compliance. Jonathan Foxx, Chairman and Managing Director, noted that, "For many years, Joyce has provided our clients reliable compliance support on applicable federal and state banking laws and regulations, identifying regulatory risks as well as developing, reviewing, and editing procedures and policies to assure regulatory compliance. In addition to her role as Director of Legal and Regulatory Compliance, Joyce has demonstrated substantial leadership and served as Team Leader for LCG’s monthly clients." In 2018, LCG’s growth increased for its twelfth consecutive year. This continuing growth has strengthened the need for enhanced executive management. Ms. Pollison will have oversight of LCG’s monthly clients, projects, regulatory tune-up’s, audits, risk assessments, research and team assignments, webinars, educational venues, conferences and convention exhibitions. Recently, Ms. Pollison was recognized as a recipient of the honor of Mortgage Banking’s Most Powerful Women 2018 by National Mortgage Professional Magazine. For more information, please contact
Lender products and services
In eMortgage news, congratulations to Texas Capital Bank on achieving an industry first! Texas Capital Bank, N.A. helps lenders position themselves for the future by providing warehouse financing secured by eNotes and purchasing fully digital mortgages through its Correspondent Lending group, is the first bank in the industry to do both. Contact Bruce Karda, National Sales Manager for Warehouse Lending, or Matthew Mead, National Sales Manager for Correspondent Lending, to learn how they can support your business.
Floify just announced that its next-generation mortgage point-of-sale system is now available for use with Ellie Mae’s Encompass® digital mortgage solution. The seamless, two-way integration allows lenders to access Encompass® directly through Floify to drive quality and efficiency in the loan origination process. By using the Encompass® integration with Floify, loan originators will be able to quickly and easily process borrower loan applications, securely send and receive supporting documentation, automatically deploy status updates and reminders via email and SMS, and more – all from a single, intuitive user interface. To see this powerful integration in action, request a live demo!
Non-QM origination volume continues to grow at a robust pace, and as we near the finish line for 2018, the velocity of growth, interest in the product, and capital investment are at an all-time high. Deephaven Mortgage is committed to helping the industry continue its upward trajectory. To help originators & executives learn more about the Non-QM marketplace, Deephaven has partnered with NMP on several informative webinars that you shouldn’t miss: What & Why of Non-QM” and learn about “How to build a Non-QM focused business.” Find out more about how Non-QM can help you grow your business by contacting us at (Wholesale) or (Correspondent).
PlainsCapital Bank National Warehouse Lending, a subsidiary of Hilltop Holdings (NYSE: HTH), “continues to look for opportunities to help reduce our customers costs as related to their warehouse funding needs. That is why we offer multiple incentive pricing options to reduce costs for our customersTiered Utilization Incentive Pricing allows our customers to set utilization tiers they are comfortable meeting with rate incentives that reduce their costs. Our customers can also take advantage of Deposit Incentive Pricing. PlainsCapital Bank offers a competitive line up of Treasury Management products and when our customers take advantage of those products, they earn rate incentives to further reduce costs. We are committed to building strong relationships with our customers and providing the service you need most.” If you are interested in learning more about PlainsCapital Bank National Warehouse Lending please Deric Barnett, EVP National Warehouse Lending.
Tech & vendor news
Lenders need to put this one on their New Year’s Resolution list: Lisa Springer, CEO of STRATMOR Group tells me that STRATMOR has released its 2018 Technology Insight Study with more information than ever before on a wide range of system technologies that lenders are actively using. “This report is the only independent technology survey in the industry that captures data on mortgage lender experiences with their technology, from lead generation through post-closing and delivery. Our goal in developing this study is to offer lenders much needed, lender perspectives on the technologies at work in the mortgage marketplace. One of the biggest ‘aha’ moments of this year’s study is that digital is no longer a competitive differentiator: it’s the new reality. Customers expect a digital experience, and lenders who are not offering customers options for executing disclosures, uploading docs and other origination steps have fallen far behind their peers. This study gives lenders a voice in their overall technology experience without the hype or sales pitch from the vendor.”
(The comprehensive end-to-end study that includes the Digital findings is now available for purchase, or lenders can purchase the Digital Mortgage section separately. For more information, contact the STRATMOR Group through their website or click here: STRATMOR Tech Insights, to purchase.)
Riivos, a financial forecasting company, continues to add clients and has added Jeffrey Axelrod to its staff. Riivos works on forecasting or doing ‘what if’ scenarios for lenders. For less than a basis point Riivos helps originators make more money by providing visibility into the financial and operational components of the loan manufacturing process – management can make informed decisions on which changes to make to become more profitable. On average, Riivos mortgage customers are actually making 11 bps more in 2018 than 2017, significantly outperforming the industry in net income bps.
Capital markets
The U.S. 10-year displayed the same movement yesterday as it did to start the week, closing +1bp for the second consecutive day; this time the figure at closing registered 2.87%, with shorter duration Treasuries rising in a curve-flattening fashion on no real news. Trade tensions with China highlighted the day, with reports of Trade Rep. Lighthizer, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, and China Vice Premier Liu having a call to advance trade talks. China reportedly agreed to cut U.S. auto import tariff rate to 15% from 40%, but it is unknown when the change will go into effect. On the Brexit front, after UK Prime Minster May asked to renegotiate the Brexit deal with EU, EU President Tusk said the EU will not renegotiate the deal and German Chancellor Merkel said there is no way to change the Brexit deal. And Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel abruptly resigned in a move that was interpreted as a signal of dissension between the government and the central bank over the handling of monetary policy.
In this country and the impending U.S. government shutdown, as President Trump said to Representative Nancy Pelosi and Senator Charles Schumer that he would be proud to shut down government in name of border security if he does not get funding to build the wall. In Fed-land, Former Fed Chair Yellen said leveraged loans and reductions in regulatory authority could be a potential setup for another financial crisis at some point. And Bloomberg reported Fed Chairman Powell plans to widen the Fed’s communication plan to build public trust and insulate the Fed from political attacks.
Turning to today, MBA mortgage applications for the week ending December 7 kicked off today: +1.6% (refis at 41.5% of apps), the Consumer Price Index for November came in flat, core +.2%, as expected. Real weekly earnings are seen rising 0.1% MoM, the same as October. Closing the day is the November Treasury budget statement, due to be released at 2:00pm with the CBO estimating a deficit of $203 billion compared with $138.5 billion in the prior fiscal year. We begin today with the 10-year yielding 2.89% and Agency MBS prices worse a smidge versus last night.
(Thanks to Ed W. for this one.)
There was a man who worked for the Post Office whose job was to process all the mail that had illegible addresses. One day, a letter came addressed in a shaky handwriting to God with no actual address. He thought he should open it to see what it was about. The letter read:
Dear God, I am an 83-year-old widow, living on a very small pension. Yesterday someone stole my purse. It had $100 in it, which was all the money I had until my next pension payment. Christmas is in two weeks, and I had invited two of my friends over for dinner. Without that money, I have nothing to buy food with, have no family to turn to, and you are my only hope. Can you please help me?
Sincerely, Melva
The postal worker was touched. He showed the letter to all the other workers. Each one dug into his or her wallet and came up with a few dollars. By the time he made the rounds, he had collected $96, which they put into an envelope and sent to the woman.
The rest of the day, all the workers felt a warm glow thinking of Melva and the dinner she would be able to share with her friends. Christmas came and went.
A few days later, another letter came from the same old lady to God. All the workers gathered around while the letter was opened. It read:
Dear God, How can I ever thank you enough for what you did for me?
Because of your gift of love, I was able to fix a glorious dinner for my friends. We had a very nice day and I told my friends of your wonderful gift.
PS: there was $4 missing. I think it might have been those b-stards at the Post Office.
Sincerely, Melva
Visit for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “Servicing: Don’t Underestimate Liquidity.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to Copyright 2018 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)



Dec. 11: LO jobs; LO training, CRM & recruiting products; December training still available; FHFA leadership conjecture

I’m a capital markets guy. “Bespoke luxury” isn’t in my vocabulary. First-time home buyer prices and floorplans aren’t in the cards at the new Aston Martin apartment building in Miami. If you buy one of the 47 most expensive apartments, they come with a new DB11. And, not to be outdone, Porsche also has a residential building – thanks to Jim P. for passing that along. (But owners won’t be building any sculptures to flip off town officials in the name of “art” or “expressionism” like a fellow did in Vermont.) You can bet those developers are hoping the market doesn’t sag – but it appears that the market is sagging in some areas already, or at least not going up as fast. Is that a surprise? “No tree grows to the moon,” as they say, and everyone knows house appreciation can only outpace wages for so long.
Employment & promotions
Looking ahead to a year of growth in 2019, Academy Mortgage has implemented a new regional leadership structure to provide exceptional service to the company’s hundreds of branches nationwide. The independent mortgage lender recently named 17 Regional Sales Leaders to bring enhanced Loan Officer support, expedited decision-making, and local market knowledge and experience closer to home for increased efficiency. These dynamic new leaders will oversee branch and business development, recruiting, and one-on-one coaching and mentoring in their identified regions. To connect with one of Academy’s talented and experienced Regional Sales Leaders in your area, contact Chad Melin, VP of National Business Development.
“Third-quarter profitability was the lowest since the MBA’s study got underway in 2008.” Who still thinks the answer to market compression is cutting LO Comp? While other lenders ARE cutting LO comp, Canopy is expanding a National Network of forward-thinking Loan Officers who are comfortable making more money. “It’s a no-brainer! Really, when you cut the fat from the traditional lending model there’s a lot more to go around,” per Aaron Brown, CEO of Canopy Mortgage. See how Canopy Mortgage is trimming the fat from retail, keeping LO comp intact, and creating unheard of efficiencies with proprietary tech that allowed ONE loan officer to close over 100 loans in one month! Do you believe there’s a better way to do home loans? Consider joining Canopy: Reach out to Josh Neumarker, National Hiring Director at Canopy Mortgage (888-696-9076).
Eagle Home Mortgage announced the promotion of David Todd to EVP of Production for the Company’s builder division and is tasked with national sales, operations and production for Eagle’s builder division and expanding the Company’s footprint in the industry. (David succeeds Laura Escobar who was promoted to President of Eagle Home Mortgage in August.)
Lender products and services
Not converting your leads? Hit the ground running in January 2019 with Master Mortgage Coach, Cindy Ertman, one of the industry’s Top 100 Loan Originators in the U.S. for over a decade. Cindy’s 90 Day Jumpstart to Mortgage Success Program will help you learn in 90 days what has taken other Mortgage Loan Originators years to accomplish on their own. You’ll learn to work smarter, not harder, using Cindy’s proven Connection to Conversion Lead Strategy System. See testimonials from past participants and learn more here now. LIMITED TIME OFFER! Receive a $200 DISCOUNT by using discount code 90DAY200 at checkout. As a bonus, you will also get a FREE copy of Cindy’s proven 10 Easy Steps to Secure Your Listing Agents.
“Are you tired of losing business because you didn’t have time to manually add contacts to your CRM? Now Loan Officers can easily capture and convert more leads and referrals without double data entry with Usherpa’s integration with CardTapp. This powerful integration automatically adds new contacts to Usherpa’s nurturing marketing campaigns and follow-up workflows every time the CardTapp App is shared. Never lose a referral and increase your pull-through and production by automating marketing to every lead every time. Usherpa is committed to helping you close more deals with less effort. Schedule a demo today to see all the new and innovative technology Usherpa can offer you.”
Home buyers have changed how they shop and public search sites like Zillow and Trulia are responsible for conditioning consumers to expect home and loan shopping together in a single user experience. HomeScout pioneered the first custom branded, lender-centric solution that provides consumers with an online experience where they can find and fund a home in a single location. With the recent integration of Optimal Blue loan pricing into its mortgage calculator and 100% MLS listing data, HomeScout empowers your buyers to make confident purchase decisions without additional rate shopping. Introduce your borrowers to a better online experience with accurate, real-time pricing combined with automated alerts that provides consistent engagement with your customers, helping you close more loans. Take the behemoth search sites out of the equation and schedule a HomeScout demo HERE or give them a call at 952-831-0623.
Tiz the season to recruit! “With current market conditions and a seasonal dip in purchase business, we’ve noticed many originators making transitions to maintain their income and lifestyles. Quality talent doesn’t fall into our laps or respond to job ads, and you need to have a strategic plan to identify and attract producers on the move. As the leading growth partner in the mortgage industry, Model Match can help! We provide a full range of solutions to help our partners grow their business.  Whether you’re looking to increase the effectiveness of your recruiting efforts or need a trusted partner that can attract high-quality candidates for you, Model Match is your solution. Between our award-winning Talent Management Software and seasoned recruiting professionals, we ‘Model Match’ the right people, to the right company, at the right time! CLICK HERE, let us show you the value we can create for your business!”
FHFA (overseer of Freddie and Fannie) management
Talk of Mel Watt’s sexual harassment (misconduct) claims haven’t been in the headline press lately, and his term ends next month. The Wall Street Journal reports that President Trump is expected to nominate Dr. Mark Calabria, Mike Pence’s Chief Economist, to be the next director of the FHFA, the GSEs’ regulator. Dr. Calabria has been an outspoken critic of the GSEs, but he will be implementing the administration’s agenda, not his own…right?
A more forceful move to end the conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? A reduction in the GSEs’ footprint? Reducing non-owner, high balance, cash-out refis, or affordable housing initiatives that F&F are known for? An increase in credit risk transfers and more private MI coverage? Don’t worry about those recently imposed higher loan limits: the FHFA lacks the legal authority to lower the GSEs conforming loan limits. And no one wants to disrupt the housing market, which could, in turn, hurt the president’s reelection chances.
Recall that under Director Watt, the GSEs reintroduced the 97 LTV product and have also been active in growing 43+ DTI lending. Reducing or eliminating this business could shift it back to the Federal Housing Administration. There is hope, if Calabria is indeed “the guy,” he would end the profit sweep and allow the GSEs to start rebuilding capital. The Senate would need to confirm him, which could take months, so the smart money, including KBW, is on the administration nominating Dr. Calabria but also replacing Director Watt in January with a temporary director, possibly Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting.
Training & events in Dec
Things wind down, but there are still ways before Christmas to help you learn more!
Last chance in 2018 to become a Certified Military Home Specialists (CMHS). CMHS designees are housing professionals who work with our military personnel and their families. This designation helps to establish credibility, allow the originator to build a worthy rapport and accurately guides them toward their housing and budgeting goals in a timely manner. As a CMHS, you will have a deeper knowledge of jargon, military lifestyle and the finances of our beloved military. Sign up now to participate in the live training offered by Boots Across America and presented by Beverly Ray Frase, National Director, and National Mortgage Professional Magazine’s nmpU on Thursday, December 13th at 2PM ET. Follow this link to register, download the workbook, slides, sign-up for the live webinar, pass the exam and start working with more active service members and veterans in 2019. Normally it’s $79 for the CMHS Live Webinar Training and Certification, however our daily readers only pay $49 when you register and enter the code ROBCMHS.
Join National Mortgage Professional Magazine on Monday, December 17th at 2PM EST for the complimentary webinar "How to Win Great Agent Relationships in 2019." With the market rapidly changing, and competition growing, knowing how to win business on the front line with agents is critical to your success. Join Ron Vaimberg, President and Head Coach of nmpU, to learn the exact strategies necessary to win great agent relationships for the upcoming year. You will learn how to determine who are the right agents to go after, what it takes to get the attention of the right agents, how to deliver a powerful presentation when you meet with the agent, and strategies for keeping momentum going after the meeting. Click here to register for this free webinar. 
51% of homebuyers and 75% of renters find their homes to buy or rent online, respectively. Rather than seeking advice from an industry professional, consumers are conducting their own searches online and educating themselves on the market. So how do you get to them first, and gain their trust to offer a one-stop shop for improving their homebuying experience? Join our webinar, Where Will Lending & Banking Customers Come From in 2019? on Dec. 19 at 1 p.m. CT, brought to you by HousingWire and Total Expert, and get a jumpstart on the year ahead. Total Expert Founder & CEO Joe Welu and Founder of the Basis Point Julian Hebron will disclose consumer stats, business models and their secrets for winning in this era. Interested but unable to attend? Sign up anyways and we will send you the recording.
Want to find out what Ginger Bell is doing with her list of over 1,400 vendors? Register for her webinar on Wednesday, December 12th at 1PM PT.  
Black, Mann and Graham’s newest training video “Welcome to Texas” contains information that a new lender entering the Texas market should know including misnomers seasoned lenders may be confused about.
The U.S. Banks & Data Privacy upcoming webinar on December 17th will include speaker Louise Thorpe, the Chief Privacy Officer for American Express who will provide perspectives on how a large global company like American Express views consumer data and privacy, and the stance the company has taken over the years. Attorney, Tanya Forsheit, widely considered one of the country’s top privacy and data security lawyers; will be covering the specifics that financial services companies need to be prepared for when it comes to recent and pending privacy and data protection laws and regulations.
On December 20th, US Bank is offering a training opportunity in concert with Freddie Mac that will help you realize the possibilities with the HomeOne Mortgage, the new low-down payment option for first time homebuyers, which offers more flexibility while providing a 97% LTV with no income or geographic restrictions.
Capital markets
The U.S. 10-year began the week yielding 2.86% after free falling last week as Brexit-related headlines dominated markets. UK Prime Minister May announced she will be delaying the UK-EU Brexit plan vote in Parliament. The news was not a surprise but did stir angst about the future of leadership in the UK and the possibility of a "no deal" Brexit that weighed heavily on the British pound, which fell 1.5% against the dollar. No date has been set for a new vote. On the Chinese trade front, U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer stated that he sees this 90-day window with China as a hard deadline to strike a deal or tariff rate to be raised. China had some poor news of its own, as November exports and imports were both weaker than expected. And French President Macron announced a minimum wage increase and the cancellation of a tax increase for low-income pensioners in response to violent protests over living conditions.
Today’s economic calendar kicked off with NFIB small business optimism, down for the 3rd straight month. Producer Prices for November were +.1%, ex-food & energy/core +.3%, more inflationary than expected. After these numbers we find the 10-year yielding 2.87% and Agency MBS prices worse a few ticks versus last night.
Since some of the radio stations decided to pull “Baby it’s Cold Outside” from its playlist because someone was offended, I feel that these other holiday songs must also be removed as they are offensive as well.
1. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus: subjecting minors to softcore porn.
2. The Christmas Song: Open fire? Pollution. Folks dressed up like Eskimos? Cultural appropriation.
3. Holly Jolly Christmas: Kiss her once for me? Unwanted advances.
4. White Christmas? Racist.
5. Santa Claus is Coming to Town: Sees you when you’re sleeping? Knows when you’re awake? Peeping Tom stalker.
6. Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Everyone telling you be of good cheer? Forced to hide depression.
7. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Bullying.
8. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas: Forced gender-specific gifts: dolls for Janice and Jen and boots and pistols (GUNS!) for Barney and Ben.
9. Santa Baby: Gold digger, blackmail.
10. Frosty the Snowman: Sexist; not a snow woman.
11. Do You Hear What I Hear: blatant disregard for the hearing impaired.
12. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas: Make the yuletide GAY? Wow, just wow.
13. Jingle Bell Rock: Giddy up jingle horse, pick up your feet: animal abuse.
14. Mistletoe and Holly: Overeating, folks stealing a kiss or two? How did this song ever see the light of day?
15. Winter Wonderland: Parson Brown demanding they get married…forced partnership.
Visit for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “Servicing: Don’t Underestimate Liquidity.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to Copyright 2018 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)



Dec. 10: LO & sales jobs; broker & front-end products, subservicer webinar; rates watching overseas’ markets

The focus is on the holidays but there is plenty of 2019 wedding planning occurring. Despite that, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, adults are increasingly delaying saying, “I Do” as the median age at first marriage continues to climb by approximately 2% compared to 2003. And in 2018, there were 8.5 million unmarried opposite-sex couples living together. Remember decades ago when that was a cause of concern for processors and underwriters?
Jobs, promotions, & personnel moves
“Momentum in business. It starts with taking that bold first step. Putting one foot in front of the other. And before you know it, you’re running. At Motto Mortgage, we’ve run faster than most. Franchise Grade® reviewed sales information in 2,500 Franchise Disclosure Documents (issued during a 12-month period ending August 30, 2018) and showed we’re among the top 1 percent of fastest-growing emerging franchises in 2018. Why? Because our mortgage-in-a-box concept just makes sense. From franchise set up to licensing to marketing support (and everything in-between) you get all the tools you need to hit the ground running. Our strength isn’t just in this unique mortgage brokerage model but in our numbers too. In under two years, we’ve sold 100 franchises which means our momentum is real. Contact our team at (866.668.8649) to learn why joining our network is the first step in running toward your dream.”
Want to start a WHOLESALE channel or make your existing wholesale much more profitable? Do it on the fly for a fraction of the cost of fancy, heavy, “legacy” platforms with ReadyPrice. The ReadyPrice RETAIL & WHOLESALE enterprise-strength LOS with an embedded multi-investor PPE and proprietary “error trapping” tech is the answer for any sized lender (or brokers wanting to become bankers). The ReadyPrice all-in-one RETAIL AND WHOLESALE platforms are fully configured out of the box, are up to 80% less expensive than heavy, “mature” competitors, come complete with D1C, deep Fannie DU, EarlyCheck, etc. integrations and can be stood-up in a couple of weeks. Or, you can easily and inexpensively customize / configure her to easily fund thousands of loans per month from thousands of MLOs or brokers, for example. The ReadyPrice LOS/PPE has funded over 300k units for $70 billion and is leading the way forward for today’s mortgage bankers as we utilize essential mortgage tech. Call management at (408) 357–0931 or email to receive a free demo today.
Christmas is just two weeks away, and Hanukkah ends tonight.  What’s on your wish list?  A more supportive and better executing team?  Perhaps a direct line to decision makers?  Then you should consider aligning yourself with Nations Lending. “Our company was just named to the prestigious Weatherhead 100 Centurions List, a very short list of one of the top growing companies based on revenue. Nations Lending, is an Ohio-based, full-service national lender licensed in 47 states. We are growing our retail footprint rapidly from coast-to-coast, by adding top producers like you. Our proven strategy strips away all the headaches you’ll find with the big brokers and banks. Don’t go to work one more day and lose money – join our winning team! If interested, contact Division Retail Store Sales Manager, Jordan Gerard (337 501-0155) or Division Retail Branch Sales Manager, Derek DeGuits (732-580-5038).  For more information and opportunity on how to join our growing organization, please visit the company’s website.
Due to its rapid growth, SocialSurvey is looking for Regional VPs of Business Development to open its Southwest, Midwest, and Southeast regions. Candidates must have proven success selling tech or services into the mortgage vertical. SocialSurvey, known for its mortgage reviews platform, now offers social media compliance monitoring as a part of their integrated platform. YTD, they have created over 600,000 verified mortgage transaction reviews and shared those reviews more than 4 million times on social sites. Their system has also helped generate thousands more Zillow, GoogleMyBusiness, BBB, and Credit Karma reviews to help clients boost their online reputation. SocialSurvey acts as an enterprise feedback tool that drives employee engagement and behavior. Representing SocialSurvey is a great opportunity for somebody with the right experience and contacts. Are you ready for something different? Send confidential resume and contact info to Gaby Mota for immediate consideration.
Congrats to Laureen Barnes whom Redwood Credit Union has promoted to manager of mortgage lending, to implement and lead RCU’s residential mortgage lending channels with a focus on providing excellent service and sound lending.
Lender products & services
Live Well Financial (NMLS #1177) is excited to announce that industry veteran Dan Mahoney has joined the company as an Account Executive with its wholesale division. Dan brings more than 20 years’ experience to Live Well which offers Conventional, FHA, VA, and reverse mortgage loan products to its partners in the Wholesale Division. Live Well prides itself on being an industry leader with best in class service, competitive pricing, and a common-sense underwriting approach whose focus is on creating strong partnerships with closed loan sellers, principal agents and wholesale brokers. “Our ability to offer both forward and reverse mortgages in all of our channels distinguishes us from other providers. If you are a broker, a correspondent lender, or a non-delegated correspondent, please reach out to Dan to learn how Live Well is committed to be your wholesale partner for both reverse and forward mortgages.”
Maxwell, the award-winning digital mortgage point-of-sale designed for small- to mid-size lenders, has officially released its new D1C Approved Verification Suite. The Maxwell Verification Suite delivers a streamlined borrower experience to verify assets, income, employment and tax transcripts, all provided by Day 1 Certainty™ approved verification suppliers for Fannie Mae Desktop Underwriter®. Maxwell’s CTO Rutul Dave gave me the inside scoop on how they design software at Maxwell: "We believe great integrations take on the difficult work of making the experience delightful. That means not just exchanging data, but introducing logic, juggling all the stakeholders, and simplifying the complex. So, for example, when a borrower goes through our 4506-T flow, it’s a seamless experience. In just a few clicks, the data is verified and a high level of integrity is maintained. That’s just how great software should work." If you’re interested in point-of-sale solutions, I urge you to reach out explore Maxwell’s offering
ARIVE has had over 13,000 independent loan originators pre-register for its new digital mortgage broker ecosystem designed to connect consumer, mortgage broker, and wholesale lenders in one end-to-end platform. ARIVE is betting big on growth in the wholesale space for independent originators, and lenders are responding. Wholesale market leaders United Wholesale Mortgage (#1), Caliber Home Loans (#2), Stearns Lending (#3), Flagstar Bank (#7) and Home Point Financial (#8) have all signed on. Combined, these lenders make up nearly half of wholesale market share, positioning ARIVE and independent originators for success.
Lendsnap is the Digital Mortgage front end of choice for non-QM, wholesale, and delegated lending. “Our Connected lending partners close more loans faster by importing up to 24 months of original bank and investment statement PDFs. When your busy customers don’t have to manually download or update statements constantly, you can get them clear to close in days instead of weeks. Our simple yet powerful system makes every member of your loan production team more productive. All this functionality is built in to our SOC2-audited platform with no hidden fees or setup charges. Lendsnap replaces many services you pay for separately today and was built to fit your current workflow. Request a free consultation today to go Digital with LendsnapLendsnap. Get Connected™.
This recent webinar from TMS talks about an area I often see overlooked when it comes to subservicing. Don’t miss out on listening to it! During the webinar, Ali Vafai, TMS president, and Barbara Yolles, TMS chief strategy officer, unpack the importance of maintaining real-time relationships with your customers. Your customers are your greatest asset, and yet, you hand them over to a sub-par subservicer with antiquated technology. It’s time to demand more from your subservicer! Download a full recording of the webinar here to learn how happy customers equal future growth and the role technology plays in it.
Nations Direct Mortgagean industry leading purchase lender based in Orange County, CA, has introduced a new suite of purchase-oriented products designed to help its Broker Partners qualify more borrowers. This enhanced product line includes an aggressively priced Premier Conventional product as well as a suite of proprietary Non-QM and Jumbo products that will add to their extensive Non-Agency product offering. With excellent pricing, several doc type options and cutting-edge guidelines, these SUPERPURCHASE POWER products are designed to help Brokers increase their book of business. Established in 2007, Nations Direct Mortgage is solely focused on Wholesale partnerships. The company prides itself on having a best-in-class AE comp plan and employing industry experts dedicated to delivering exceptional service. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact Martin Warren, Director of Lending.
Mortgage Possible launched nationally and named Jeff Onofrio as the Managing Director of Renovation, Construction and National Production. Onofrio took his previous company from being non-existent in renovation loans to being ranked #6 in the nation at the highest point based upon the FHA 203k endorsement schedule. He created a platform that allowed all originators, regardless of experience level, to be able to originate FHA 203k, Fannie Homestyle and Construction to Perm loans. In his new role at Mortgage Possible, Onofrio will be creating an entirely new strategy to build up to the #1 renovation and construction lender in the country. As part of the strategy, Mortgage Possible will have new proprietary products rolling out in the coming weeks. “I am thrilled for the opportunity to lead Mortgage Possible and am confident that our leadership team will succeed in making us the leading renovation and construction lender in the U.S,” said Onofrio.
Not everything that happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas! At NAMB National this weekend, Home Point Financial announced a new product offering to be available in early 2019,
Home Point Edge. The new product line will provide a variety of Non-Agency solutions for brokers, correspondents and their clients, giving them alternative ways for homebuyers to qualify for a home mortgage. As Phil Shoemaker, Chief Production Officer said, “It’s going to be a game-changer.” Look for more details and product news coming soon.
The U.S. 10-year continued its downward trend to close last week, clocking out -2bps to 2.85% as the stock market continued to flounder, trade concerns continued to fester, and expectations for an overly aggressive Federal Reserve in 2019 continued to fall by the wayside. A curve steepening was seen in response to the November employment report and a contention from St. Louis Fed President Bullard that the Fed could consider delaying a rate hike at the December FOMC meeting due to the narrowed yield curve. Fed Chair Powell noted that the U.S. economy is strong overall but didn’t make any comments on monetary policy in his remarks to close the week. Fed Governor Lael Brainard said near-term rate hikes are appropriate.
On the trade front, trade adviser Peter Navarro stated the president will raise the tariff rate to 25% on $200 billion tariff tranche if trade matters aren’t resolved in 90-day window. Internationally, UK Prime Minister May is weighing options on the Brexit vote, but as of now the vote is still scheduled to take place in Parliament on Dec. 11 And OPEC and OPEC+ producers (and Russia importantly) agreed to cut daily production by 1.2 million barrels per day. Iran is exempted from the production cut agreement. Finally, November nonfarm payroll growth was a little light of expectations on Friday, and the wage acceleration the Federal Reserve has been bracing for was missing, but this likely won’t keep the Federal Reserve from raising the target range for the fed funds rate at its December FOMC meeting.
This week includes releases on wholesale and retail inflation (Tuesday & Wednesday), import prices (Thursday) and retail sales, industrial production/capacity utilization, business inventories and the Markit PMI flashes, all on Friday. Central bank decisions are due from the ECB, SNB, and Norges Bank, all on Thursday. (Ours is next week.) Also of note and potentially market moving will be Tuesday’s House of Commons Vote in the UK on the Brexit withdrawal treaty which has already seen significant opposition. There is also an EU summit on Thursday and Friday in Brussels.
Today’s calendar is light, starting at 10AM ET with the Employment Trends Index for November and October job openings from JOLTS. We begin today with the 10-year yielding 2.86% and Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged from Friday.
A rural middle school in Northwest Florida was recently faced with a unique problem. A new fad arose amongst the 8th grade girls with the use of lipstick. They began bringing, sharing, and trading with their friends to try out all the new styles and shades. The gathering point for this activity was one certain bathroom at the school.
That was fine, but after they tried out all of these lipsticks, they would press their lips to the mirror, leaving dozens of lip prints every day.
Every night the custodian had to clean them off, but the next day the girls would put more lip prints on the mirror.
Finally, the principal decided that something had to be done. So, class by class, the principal paraded 8th grade girls to the bathroom to meet with the custodian.
She explained that all these lip prints were causing a major problem for the custodian who had to clean the mirrors every night. To drive the point home, she asked the custodian to demonstrate to the girls what a pain it was for him to clean the mirrors. He took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it in the toilet, and cleaned the mirrors off thoroughly.
The reaction was almost always the same. The girls stood there in shock, glared at each other and squealed, and then hurried back to their classes in disgust. Since then, there have been no more lip prints on the mirrors.
There are teachers, and then there are educators.
Visit for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “Servicing: Don’t Underestimate Liquidity.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to Copyright 2018 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)



Dec. 8: State law changes; letters on lender cybersecurity concerns in NY, URLA changes, Realtor business models

NAMB time in Las Vegas. Feeling lucky? If you’re attending the NAMB National 2018 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, drop by the Home Point Financial booth (902) to get the inside scoop on great new product offerings coming in early 2019 – and enter for a chance to win one of three great Apple prizes – an iPod Pro, Series 4 Apple Watch or AirPods. Home Point is excited to unveil big news about its new product line that’s sure to help brokers grow their business – and extend their offerings. Look for Home Point at booth 902; maybe you’ll take home one of those great prizes just in time for the holidays!
1003 fun
Last Saturday this commentary illustrated the possible challenges for the industry with the new 1003 (URLA).
Jeff Reeves with Canopy Mortgage sent, “I first saw the new URLA at the MBA Tech Conference in 2016, and I immediately had the following thought when representatives from Fannie were explaining how much easier it would be for borrowers to complete the form. Who on earth still hands a borrower a physical loan application anyway? Thus, why all the talk about how much easier it will be for a borrower to complete the form? Hey Agencies, the 90’s called and they want their paper or PDF reader back. Even in the late 90’s when I started taking loan applications as a new loan officer, my clients never even saw the 1003 form until it was completed. I would interview them and enter the data directly into my LOS. I suspect I was then, and still am, in the majority of loan officers who took that approach.
“Today, if an LO does not interview the client and then directly enter application data herself into her LOS, then she directs them to her online application, either proprietary (like ours) or from one of the many POS providers, who do a very good job of creating an intuitive user experience to collect the URLA data. Technologists will always be better and faster than the agencies at designing a more intuitive and seamless way to collect URLA data from the borrower. Before we pat ourselves on the back for creating a more user-friendly PDF, we ought to realize that few borrowers will actually use that PDF to complete the application.
“That said, there are many great things about the new URLA form. I appreciate the rewording of the declarations, the addition of the new data points, and the removal of two borrowers from one form, doing away with the concept of the co-borrower. The form is definitely better but let’s be real about how it will benefit the borrower: few will use the actual form to complete their application.”
Doing business in New York?
A veteran broker in the mid-Atlantic area sent this note to any lender operating in New York. “If you are operating in the real estate industry within the State of New York, in any capacity, please take a moment to read this. Contrary to NY State’s use of the word “Exempt,” you are NOT EXEMPT from the NY State Cyber-Security Law 23 NYCRR 500. No one is EXEMPT from the bulk of the requirements in 500, and it goes deeper.
“If you are acting as a Broker/Originator you have obligations, and, basically, in section 500.03 (a-n) these must be in the form of written policies. Your systems need to be encrypted and logged, and you must acquire some compliance confirmation from all Third Parties: SSAE-16 or a Service Provider Addendum. 
“Who qualifies as a ‘Third-Party Provider?’ By the definition, a third-party provider ‘maintains, processes or otherwise is permitted access to non-public Information through its provision of services to the Covered Entity.’ This could encompass the following: Wholesale Lenders, Credit Companies, Software Providers, Cloud Storage, Title Agents, Closing Attorneys, Realtors. By my estimate anyone with access to the consumer’s information may be considered a Third-Party Provider. Verbally I was told that these are third-party providers: Wholesaler mortgage lenders, AMCs, credit reporting companies, title agencies, bank closing attorneys, website hosting companies, and Realtors if they have access to non-public information.
“Wholesalers or retail lenders have requirements to those you serve, despite your belief that you have met your compliance requirements this is probably not complete. I have requested an SSAE-16 or a Service Provider Addendum information from four wholesalers in the past two weeks. Only one has responded rapidly, and I had to initially sign an NDA. The others are still looking into forwarding me the documentation. With one wholesale company its AE claimed the organization is exempt because it is privately owned. 
“Personally, I would have expected the industry to have developed a boiler plate addendum to the Contracts or a simple document with language stating the lender is in 500.01 cyber security compliant. 
“My advice to other brokers and real estate professionals is when you request cyber security compliance documentation, under the new regulations, which you should be doing, keep a record of all communication. I am not a lawyer, politician, regulator nor a cyber security expert, so I recommend that you do your own homework/due diligence and do it today. ‘Ignorance of the law is not a viable defense.’
“It is my understanding, in combination with the below question, that all NY Mortgage Broker Companies must acquire and retain evidence of compliance by the above listed sectors. Similarly, all of the above must have available a NYDFS 500 Compliance form of some nature.
“In Section 500.11 there is a clause, ‘the service provider must obtain an authorization form if it intends to hire a third party to support the outsourced service, function or process.’ I was previously told to acquire a SSAE-16 from the company or Third-Party Service Provider Agreement Addendum. Are SSAE-16s required, or will a Service Provider Agreement Addendum addressing Cybersecurity Compliance be acceptable to meet the NY DFS 500 requirements from each of the industry sectors listed above? It appears that either will be acceptable, so long as the covered entity is assured the Third Party Is in Compliance.”
State law changes continue to impact lenders
The Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities has updated its definition of “base figure” under the Loan Interest and Protection Law. The new base figure for the 2019 year of $256,023 goes into effect on January 1, 2019.
The Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation has recently adopted provisions relating to mortgage foreclosure disclosures, which are effective immediately. The new provisions specify that prior to initiating the foreclosure process, a mortgagee must provide a Notice of Pending Foreclosure to the mortgagor of the residential real estate at issue. Also, a Notice of Mediation Conference must be provided to all mortgagors of the real estate at issue prior to initiating the foreclosure process. 
The regulations provide that a sixty-day timeline for scheduling a mediation conference will then begin once the Notice of Mediation Conference, single point of contact for the mortgagee, and payment for initiating the mediation process have been received by the medication coordinator. The provisions add that the mortgagee must designate an agent to participate in the mediation conference and respond to all requests from the mediation coordinator, mortgagor, or counselor assisting the mortgagor within a reasonable time up to 14 days. 
Finally, all written correspondence and documents related to the mediation conference process received by or submitted to the mediation coordinator must be provided to the mortgagee and maintained by the mortgagee consistent with the Department’s record-keeping requirements.
There have been things happening with remote notarization all year. Recall earlier this year the Indiana Remote Notarization Bill (SB-372). Notarize co-founders Pat Kinsel and Adam Pase have been working with Indiana state legislators to validate remote notarization in the state. Indiana is the first state to approve an online notarization bill during the 2018 legislative session; they follow Texas and Nevada who each approved legislation last year. The legislation embraces the operating model that Virginia originally enabled and that Notarize is pioneering. For additional details, check out Notarize’s blog post on that news.
Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation has recently adopted provisions regarding its Home Loan Protection Act.  These updates include procedures, clarification, and guidance to mortgagees, and are effective as of October 18, 2018. To protect consumers, the new provisions lay out record-keeping requirements for lenders, a list of prohibited acts and practices, and set of regulations that apply to high-cost home loans. Additionally, lenders must provide all applicants who refinance a previous loan that was consummated within the prior sixty months with the Flipping a Home Loan Disclosure Form 3 entitled “Rhode Island Home Loan Protection Act Disclosure-Tangible Net Benefit” prior to or upon consummation of the loan.  
The Act also lists five prohibited acts and practices for lenders. These include (1) the financing of credit insurance premiums or any other health or life insurance premiums or debt cancellation charges; (2) the making of a home loan to a borrower that refinances a previous loan that was consummated within the prior sixty months which does not have reasonable, tangible net benefit to the borrower; (3) encouraging or recommending default; (4) including a provision that permits the creditor, in its sole discretion, to accelerate the indebtedness (which does not prohibit the acceleration of the home loan in good faith due to the borrower’s failure to abide by the material terms of the Home Loan); and (5) requiring a borrower to assert any claim or defense in a forum that is less convenient, more costly, or more dilatory for the resolution of a dispute, than a judicial forum where the borrower may otherwise bring a claim or defense, or limiting in any way a claim or defense the borrower may have.
Connecticut has modified its provisions regarding security freezes on credit reports, identity theft prevention services, and regulations of credit rating agencies. Under the new provisions, a credit rating agency must place a security freeze on a consumer’s credit report as soon as practicable, but not later than five business days after receipt of a consumer’s written request to do so. The same time line applies when the consumer requests the security freeze to be removed. It is prohibited to charge a fee to a consumer for the placement of a security freeze or for the temporary or permanent removal of said freeze.
Upon discovery of a security breach, the person conducting business in the state of Connecticut shall notify each resident whose personal identification was compromised of the breach. The person conducting business in the state must also provide to the resident appropriate identity theft prevention and mitigation services at no cost to the consumer for at least twenty-four months. The previous provision only required these services to be provided for twelve months. The Banking Commissioner is also required to adopt regulations requiring credit rating agencies to provide to the Banking Commissioner points of contact to be used by the Department of Banking in assisting consumers in the event of a data breach.
Changes to real estate agent’s business models
“Rob, we won the Christmas tree light contest in our neighborhood. No matter that we live in a Hasidic Jewish area.” So began a note from a veteran real estate agent in Northern California that went on to opine, “People are definitely talking about this ‘virtual Realtor’ thing that seems to be going on. It is my opinion that X and Y buyers want things to be emotionless. Ergo, many of the ads I am seeing on TV these days. It makes the early 70’s move ‘Soylent Green’ so similar to attitudes that I am experiencing in these buyers. I think everyone should revisit that movie. (Plus, Michael York was severe eye candy.) Again, I mention how freaked out agents became when ‘For Sale By Owner’ became a possible option. My feeling is that people want emotional support during a transaction, not merely to check boxes.”
And this from a top agent. “I have been watching all of this with great interest. Our county, which is definitely on the high end of values, has been at 5% as the norm for a while, but out average sale price is very high. As the market is slowing, you are starting to see 6% occasionally as Sellers want to provide added incentive. But in general, I would agree with the belief that for a purchase this large and complex, most clients want personal attention and advice, especially since they do not do it very often. I’m watching, but not seeing a lot of action from these players here. It may be there is just too much money on the line.”
A sheriff in a small town in Texas walks out in the street and sees a blond-haired cowboy coming toward him with nothing on but his cowboy hat, his gun and his boots.
He immediately arrests him for indecent exposure.
As he is locking him up, he asks, “Why in the world are you walking around like this?”
The cowboy says, “Well it’s like this Sheriff. I was in this bar down the road and this pretty little red head asks me to go out to her motor home with her. So, I did.  
We go inside and she pulls off her top and asks me to pull off my shirt. So, I did.
Then she pulls off her skirt and asks me to pull off my pants. So, I did.
Then she pulls off her panties and asks me to pull off my shorts. So, I did.
Then she gets on the bed and looks at me kind of sexy and says, ‘Now go to town, cowboy. ‘
And here I am.”
Son of a Gun. Blonde men do exist!
Visit for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “Servicing: Don’t Underestimate Liquidity.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to Copyright 2018 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)



Dec. 7: LO jobs; broker, non-del, warehouse products; vendor/service provider directory; yield curve primer

The year has sped along, and here we are at Pearl Harbor Day already. Although mortgage rates have lagged, what has pushed Treasury rates down? Released earlier this week, the Federal Reserve’s latest report on economic conditions, known as the Beige Book, says most of its 12 regions achieved satisfactory growth in November but also says there is "increased uncertainty" among businesses over the influence of U.S. tariff policy. The report highlights rising costs for manufacturers and problems for farmers due to counter-tariffs imposed by China and others. (The Trump Administration’s trade fight with China has been particularly hard in Nebraska, with its Farm Bureau estimating that retaliatory tariffs let to a loss of more than $1 billion so far in 2018, which is about 11 to 16 percent of the entire value of Nebraskan agricultural goods. Factor in labor income losses and the total economic hit to the state is $859 million to $1.2 billion.)
GSF Mortgage Corporation is pleased to promote our Direct Originator Partnership Program for originators who are interested in a low expense and best execution opportunity in today’s market, while playing a critical role in delivering an exceptional customer experience during every step of the home lending journey. The program has no branch or lender fees, translating to better pricing and compensation for the originator. With access to management, technology, and a comprehensive set of products, we give you the tools to succeed and help you build solid and long-lasting relationships and engage all customers in a positive manner, ensuring the customer’s best interests are your number one priority. Originators participating in this partnership have enjoyed a 28-percent production increase – all while operating in a challenging market.” Please reach out to VP of Retail Lending, Frank Papaleo.
Mortgage Possible is expanding across the United States and has named Ty Kerns Senior Managing Director of National Production. With 25 years of industry experience, Senior Managing Director of National Production, Ty Kern, is leading the expansion of Mortgage Possible across the US. Kern has been in business leadership positions for 15 years and his experience makes him an excellent fit for the role of Senior Managing Director. Kern came to Mortgage Possible after a role as Senior Managing Director of National Retail Production elsewhere. He leads the channel to significant growth and profitability gains by overseeing the implementation of significant technology improvements and a reduction in cost structure. “It’s an honor to be a part of the expansion process with Mortgage Possible,” said Kern. “Our leadership team has what it takes to make a positive impact in the mortgage industry across the country.”
Visit for more information.
Lender products and services
Get on point with BluePointMtg into 2019! “@BluePointMtg we are pleased to present several new products to our Broker Partners and offer Rate Improvement specials as we close out 2018! Free appraisals for any loan over 300k till the end of the year as well. (Except reverse loans.) A .25 rate improvement incentive on non-Agency loans >500,000, and a .375 rate improvement on Non-Agency loans over $2 million. (Applies to Leverage Product and Pivot Product only!) BluePointMtg is positioning itself to be a go to lender for Government loan options, conventional Loans, and Non-Agency loan options. Newly released is a VOE loan. New pricing on FHA 700+ credit scores as well this month! Highlights this month is a MIC DROP campaign where BluePointMtg has highlighted all files Submission to CTC with our Broker Partners of 15 days or sooner! Sign up today to expand your product mix, gain incentives monthly and get your own MIC DROP on your next loan! Contact your AE or for details.”
Guaranty Bank & Trust (GBT) “is proud to announce the promotion of Nikki Maimone to Vice President of Warehouse Lending. In addition, we are pleased to announce Nicole Haba joining our team as Operations Manager of Warehouse Lending. Collectively, Nikki and Nicole have over 40 years’ experience in mortgage and warehouse lending. GBT is working hard to earn your business and become a leading provider of mortgage warehouse services. GBT is looking to add both Non-Delegated and Delegated Correspondent Lenders. GBT provides exemplary client support and service and we offer a fast and easy submission process with a variety of products. Our goal is to help you reach your potential as your preferred warehouse lender. We would love to share our competitive rates and personally tailor our program to fit your needs.” For more information, contact Veronica Soto (214.710.2340).
Carrington Mortgage Services launches its non-delegated Correspondent Lending Division. Carrington Mortgage Services, LLC (CMS), one of the nation’s largest privately held non-bank lenders with over $60 billion in servicing, announced the launch of its Non-Delegated Correspondent Lending Division to complement CMS’s full portfolio of loan origination channels which include Wholesale and Retail. “We have diligently planned and built the Correspondent Division and we’re now ready to make our presence known throughout the industry,” said Raymond Brousseau, President of CMS. “We are committed to delivering a high level of transparency and timeliness to the non-delegated correspondent lending process. We understand that it’s all about providing our sellers with the ability for further growth and profitability.” CMS’s wide program offers today’s non-delegated sellers with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac products, FHA and VA products, and Carrington Advantage Products for underserved borrowers. To qualify, correspondent lenders should have a strong reputation of profitability in the industry. 
PrimeLending Joint Ventures = Excellent Customer Experience + Increased Profitability for Home Builders.  You already know PrimeLending as a powerhouse mortgage lender providing an excellent home loan experience to customers across the U.S. Its proven joint venture model is no exception, providing home builders with a dependable formula for success, including an easy-to-use, fully-digital mortgage process, a huge range of loan options, an award-winning operations team, and solid backing from Hilltop Holdings Inc. and all its subsidiaries. If you are a home builder considering the next step to increase your profitability and give your customers a better mortgage experience, watch our videos and get more information at or contact Mike Matthews.
This is an offer you won’t want to miss! TMS partnered with Mortgage Educators to offer brokers extremely discounted rates on industry-required continuing education and pre-licensing courses. And the part that shocked me the most—they’re exclusively offering it at 73% off! The industry-required CE courses include the 2018 Online 8 Hour SAFE Comprehensive CE and NMLS 20 Hour SAFE Pre-license Bundle. To get started, go here.
PlainsCapital Bank National Warehouse Lending, a subsidiary of Hilltop Holdings (NYSE: HTH), is looking for mortgage bankers and lenders that offer renovation products and programs. PlainsCapital Bank National Warehouse Lending currently funds multiple renovation programs and products with little to no additional requirements. “Whether it is a FNMA HomeStyle, FHA 203K Full, Limited or even an USDA Rural Housing renovation loan, PlainsCapital Bank National Warehouse Lending wants to be your preferred warehouse provider for these programs and products. Please ask us about our competitive rates, utilization and deposit incentives and other ways that we can reduce costs and time to exceed your loan funding needs in 2018.” If you are interested in learning more, please contact Deric Barnett, EVP National Warehouse Lending.  
Vendor updates
Floify and Equifax have joined forces to expand the features and functionality of the industry’s leading mortgage point-of-sale system. This groundbreaking partnership integrates the power of the Equifax Trended Credit*Hi-Lite™ and The Work Number® with Floify’s flexible and feature-packed mortgage automation solution. Now, LOs who use both solutions to originate loans can instantly obtain and sync tri-merge credit reports via Trended Credit*Hi-Lite™ and VOE and/or VOI via a secure integration with The Work Number® directly with an application or loan file in Floify. Additionally, with GSE validation programs, such as Day 1 Certainty® from Fannie Mae, LOs can help mitigate risk and limit underwriting cycle times by reducing lenders’ reliance on applicant-provided W-2s, pay stubs and other income-related documentation. To experience the power of Floify’s Trended Credit*Hi-Lite™ and The Work Number® integrations, request a live demo.
Chase Gilbert, CEO and co-founder of Built Technologies, was recognized by Goldman Sachs and HousingWire for exceptional leadership. Gilbert was named one of Goldman Sach’s 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs at the 2018 Builders + Innovators Summit. “The purpose of Builders + Innovators is to support emerging leaders in their quests to innovate faster,” said David M. Solomon, CEO, Goldman Sachs. Following the summit, Gilbert was honored at the 2018 HousingWire Vanguard Awards alongside 52 leaders, carefully selected by the publication’s editorial board for their accomplishments over the past year. "As the Vanguards program continues to grow and become more successful, the entry point gets tighter. These winners are truly the best Vanguards in the mortgage finance industry," said HousingWire Editor-in-Chief Jacob Gaffney. “I am honored and humbled to be recognized alongside such esteemed groups of industry leaders,” said Gilbert. “These awards are a reflection of our team’s commitment to changing the way the world gets built.”
The Mortgage List, LLC., the most inclusive directory of all facets of the mortgage industry, announced at the National Association of Mortgage Professionals (NAMB) Annual Conference, its official launch of their online directory and community. The Mortgage List is literally, a “Who’s Who” featuring thousands of listings and resources including industry associations, organizations, vendors, service providers and publications. The directory alone is the “go to” guide for mortgage professionals which includes attorneys, accountants, NMLS course providers, wholesalers, compliance companies, trainers, marketing companies and much more. Founded by long time industry professional, Ginger Bell, The Mortgage List’s goal is to become the hub for the mortgage industry. You can register for its webinar on Wednesday, December 12th to find out more.
Flood & disaster updates
Will Congress ever “man up?” With Congress moving to keep the government funded through December 21, the National Flood Insurance Program is again extended, this time for two whole weeks. Realtors point out that, “This is the 43rd extension of the NFIP since 1998, and the 41st short-term deal made to avoid a lapse in the program over the past 20 years. NAR is relieved to know that the NFIP was again extended before a lapse could occur. Flooding is a constant, unavoidable threat to Americans living in both coastal and inland communities across the country, however. As such, NAR urges the House and Senate to continue working towards responsible, long-term reauthorization that includes meaningful reforms, as the current process of continuous short-term extensions is simply not sustainable.”
Fannie Mae announced the Fannie Mae’s Disaster Response Network™: a comprehensive case-management service for disaster-affected homeowners with Fannie Mae-backed mortgage loans. Homeowners may access this program, a supplement to the post-disaster mortgage relief options currently offered, by visiting Know Your Options or calling 1-800-2FANNIE.
Regarding the California fires, and disaster areas in general, most lenders have a policy that says all impacted areas will require an internal escalation review to determine current containment percentage, evacuation status, and property distance from current burn zone prior to drawing loan documents. All impacted files have been conditioned appropriately (to include but not limited to photos of property and a disaster affidavit). No one wants to lend money on a house that isn’t there.
Mountain West Financial (MWF) is committed to helping its customers during the recovery process in areas impacted by the massive California fires. Re-inspection requirements for properties in FEMA-declared disaster areas are as follows: Conventional, VA and USDA loans require an exterior-only disaster inspection report to certify that the property was unaffected by the disaster. Conventional loans with property inspection waivers, VA IRRRLs and USDA Streamline loans will require re-inspections if the property is in a FEMA-declared disaster area. FHA requires an interior and exterior disaster inspection report and photos. FHA Streamlines do not require re-inspection. VA requires both the lender and the veteran to certify the property is not damaged.
The Camp Fire (Butte County) and Woolsey Fire (Los Angeles and Ventura Counties) have been 100% contained. The following loanDepot Wholesale processes are in place for properties in impacted areas: Conventional Loan fundings have resumed for Butte, Los Angeles, and Ventura Counties. All files in impacted zip codes have been conditioned appropriately based on requirements for properties in FEMA declared areas. Regarding FHA Loans, Re-inspections are required, however cannot be ordered until FEMA issues a Disaster End Date. Funding exception requests can be submitted through your Account Manager.
Capital markets
The MIAC Capital Markets Group is pleased to announce its offering of $365mm of new origination whole loans. The collateral consists of 100% ARM Loans originated by a Bank as a portfolio product with an alt-doc component. The portfolio is concentrated in MI & FL with approximately 640 loans potentially qualifying for CRA credit. Loans >80 LTV are covered by PMI; this product has experienced near zero defaults over the history of the program. Parties should contact their MIAC sales representative at 212-233-1250 or Steve Harris for additional information.
There is chatter out there about the yield curve inversion – right up there with the coming of the Four Horseman, the Apocalypse, the Detroit Lions winning the Super Bowl, that kind of thing. There are different portions of the U.S. government securities yield curve (that graphs yields on the Y axis and maturity – overnight Fed Funds all the way to 30-year bonds) that one can compare. When long-term yields are lower than shorter-term yields, it typically reflects expectations of slowing growth, or a possible recession.
But the inversion between two-year and five-year Treasury yields could be temporary as it was in 1998. Everyone knows that, due to Quantitative Easing, the Fed continues to purchase long-term maturity securities, raising prices and keeping longer-term rates low. And LOs should know that inverted curves don’t cause recessions. They simply reflect a market assumption that growth will slow based on current economic information.
Yesterday was a volatile day for the Treasury market, which rallied strongly this morning when the S&P 500 was down as much as 2.9%, spurred by trade concerns which stemmed from the controversial arrest of Huawei Technologies’ CFO in Canada on allegations the company violated U.S trade sanctions on Iran. The arrest and reported extradition to the U.S. would get in the way of the U.S. and China striking a trade deal, coupled with potential retaliatory action against U.S. companies doing business in/with China. After hitting a low of 2.82% intraday, the U.S. 10-year closed the day at 2.87%.
The flight to safety in the Treasury market saw support from the drop in oil prices and remarks from Dallas Fed President Kaplan and Atlanta Fed President Bostic, who suggested the target for the fed funds rate is close to neutral. Oil prices dropped on reports Saudi Arabia oil minister floated a proposal to cut daily production by 1 million barrels per day, less than the market was thinking, though no formal agreement has been reached yet. Finally of note, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon told CNBC in an interview that if there is a bubble anywhere, it is in U.S. government bonds.
Today began with the November employment data: Nonfarm Payrolls +155k (less than forecast, and with a back-month revision lower), the Unemployment Rate steady at 3.7%, and Hourly Earnings +.2%. At 10AM ET the University of Michigan Sentiment Index is seen falling in both current conditions and expectations, and October wholesale inventories and sales are due. Fed Governor Brainard speaks on financial stability before a luncheon just after noon. And October consumer credit will be released and is expected to rebound from September. After the employment data we have the 10-year yielding 2.87% and Agency MBS prices better a smidge versus last night’s close.
I’ve heard rumors of loan officers being frightened to tell a borrower that they qualify for a non-QM loan and not a QM loan. There are other things that might frighten someone. I’m still tense after watching this short video.
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(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to Copyright 2018 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)