May 21: AE & MI jobs, digital & capital markets products; Regions exits correspondent, bank M&A rolls on

Hello from the MBA Secondary Conference in NY! Lenders are talking about LO comp (“they need to share the margin pain, but no one wants to be the first to outright cut it”) and Amazon…but anyone afraid of Amazon creating a mortgage company should learn a little something about it. For example, Amazon is relentless regarding the customer experience, even if it cuts into short-term results. Every employee, including CEO Jeff Bezos, spends at least two days a year working in the call center or sales department. This ensures a companywide understanding of customer satisfaction and it might be an interesting idea for bankers to consider. How much time does a lender’s CEO spend on the phone with borrowers, processing, or servicing loans?
Employment and personnel shifts
Plaza Home Mortgage, Inc. has a rare opportunity for a qualified Account Executive role in the South Florida region with a strong producing territory. This individual will inherit a pipeline of active loans, as well as over 50 accounts already signed up. Join a growing team with a very competitive compensation plan, top-rated training in the industry, real-time marketing and a regional operations center with unmatched support! For more information on this opportunity, please contact Mark Boleky (904-332-6380 ext. 2409). Plaza is an EEOC employer and follows all laws relating to fair employment. Company NMLS #2113
In MI job news, “Are you looking to join an organization with great history, culture, and opportunity? If so, MGIC, the founder of the private mortgage insurance industry, has a great opportunity for an ambitious sales professional to cover the State of Alabama, as well as the Florida Panhandle. As an Account Manager, you will develop and maintain strong, long lasting client relationships as well as grow business by identifying new business opportunities. The ideal candidate must have strong presentation and communication skills, and the ability to occasionally travel overnight. This person will report directly to Steve Cox, Sales Manager. If you are interested in joining a company with 60 years of industry leadership and legacy, please send your resume to Nancy Vang-Lee, Senior Talent Acquisition Partner.
Congrats to Rob Branthover who has been appointed as Director of the Fixed Income Sales team at ED&F Man Capital Markets, the global financial brokerage business. Rob began his career in financial services in 1987 and posts include Mortgage Industry Advisory Corp (MIAC), Lehman Brothers, and JPM Chase Mortgage.
Lender products
Join this week’s webinar — 6 Growth Tips for Leaders in Lending – on May 25, from 10-10:45am PT. Register Here. If you’re ready to scale your organization and want to make sure you have the right strategy in place, this webinar is for you! Join industry experts, Dale Vermillion (Mortgage Champions) and Josh Friend (Insellerate), as they go over best practices for top lenders. Prepare to take your organization to the next level by learning how to maximize every area of your business, how your sales team can get rid of inefficiencies affecting your bottom line, reduce wasted marketing spend, and get more from your current resources.
At the National Secondary conference this morning, LendingQB and MCT announced an integration between the LendingQB loan origination platform and the new Bid Auction Manager (BAM) technology within the MCTlive! secondary marketing software platform. "LendingQB and MCT are changing the way that secondary marketing is done," said David Colwell, Vice President of Strategy at LendingQB. "We now have the ability to manage a ‘closed loop’ secondary marketing process: originate, price, lock, execute trades and then store the commitment in an entirely digital fashion. Lenders and investors can communicate and respond to each other quickly and accurately. This is the future of secondary marketing." Full details on the integration can be found in a joint press release. Review a case study of one LendingQB client’s experience improving efficiency and pickup after implementing BAM.
Homespire Mortgage has announced the launch of its digital mortgage platform – ReadyApp. The digital platform streamlines the entire mortgage application process, delivering a best-in-class lending experience. ReadyApp offers borrowers a simple, seamless and secure experience when applying for a mortgage. The digital mortgage platform lets borrowers complete a mortgage application on any digital device in as little as 15 minutes and enhances the borrower experience with integrations for pulling bank statements, income and tax returns, as well as document upload. The platform uses state-of-the-art encryption to integrate with over 15,000 financial institutions. “Providing a simple and stress-free mortgage experience has been the hallmark of Homespire Mortgage. ReadyApp reinforces this commitment to borrowers,” said Todd Sheinin, Chief Operating Office at Homespire Mortgage. Homespire Mortgage was recognized on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest growing private companies in 2017 and recently expanded its presence into 25 states and the District of Columbia. The company plans to expand with a national call center and licensing in additional states next year.
Have you given serious consideration to the benefits of vendor consolidation? If you are using several third-party verification providers, you should investigate the efficiencies you could realize by reducing that number – perhaps even down to one. By vetting and managing fewer vendors, you can spend more time doing what you do best: closing loans The Credit Plus Collection is a comprehensive gallery of verification services from pre-application to post-close that can give you the intelligent insight you need while saving you both time and money. Learn more here.
Life for correspondent lenders
It isn’t the first and won’t be the last. “For many years, we at regions Bank have valued and appreciated our relationship with you through our correspondent lending program. For that reason, I am writing to inform you that we (Regions) have made the strategic decision to exit the corresponding lending business, effective May 31, 2018. As a result, the agreement will terminate on July 31, 2018 unless it is terminated earlier by either of us and subject to any provisions which may survive termination. As we phase out our correspondent lending business, please note the following key dates: May 31, 2018 last day your loans may be received by regions. July 31, 2018 all committed loans should be delivered on or before this date.
Yes, loan officers think that their pricing struggles are rough – and they are. But does our industry really need 100+ correspondent lenders of various shapes, sizes, and market segments? Margins are very thin to non-existent as competition for servicing rights is dog-eat-dog, and private equity servicing values are increasing which also compounds pricing competitiveness and margin attainment.
Many of the small mortgage company M&A deals aren’t even announced – 5 or 10-person shops heading to larger regional or national retail lenders. But big ones occur. Renasant Corp is buying Brand Group Holdings, Ocwen buying PHH, New Penn buying Envoy’s correspondent group, Finance of America buying Skyline’s assets, Mutual of Omaha Bank buying Synergy One Lending, for example.
Bank M&A is strong, and public. Just this month, so far, it was announced that Cadence Bank ($11.0B, TX) will acquire State Bank ($4.9B, GA) for $1.4B in stock (100%) or about 2.5x tangible book. In Missouri Stifel Bank & Trust ($15.3B) will acquire The Business Bank of Saint Louis ($620mm). Gulf Coast Bank and Trust Co ($1.6B, LA) will acquire Phoenix Capital Group. (Phoenix provides freight factoring, equipment financing and fuel cards.) In Michigan Credit Union ONE ($1.2B) will acquire Hantz Bank ($223mm). Five Star Bank ($4.2B, NY) will acquire HNP Capital LLC. (HNP is an investment advisory and wealth management firm with $334mm of assets under management.)
In Arkansas Legacy National Bank ($475mm) will acquire Bank of Gravett ($118mm), and First National Bank ($1.3B) will acquire One Bank & Trust ($274mm). In Massachusetts Salem Five Cents Savings Bank ($4.7B) will acquire Sage Bank ($143mm). First Virginia Community Bank ($1.1B) will acquire Colombo Bank ($196mm, MD) for about $33.3mm in cash and stock or about 1.57x tangible book. In Iowa Peoples Bank ($501mm) will acquire Pinnacle Bank Sioux City ($71mm). And don’t forget that earlier this month it was announced that Mutual of Omaha Bank ($8.1B, NE) will acquire San Diego’s Synergy One Lending.
In Illinois 15 bank holding company Wintrust Financial ($28B) will acquire Delaware Place Bank ($249mm) for approximately $34mm in cash. In Kansas Legacy Bank ($365mm) will acquire First National Bank in Pratt ($105mm), and Capitol Federal Savings Bank ($9.0B) will acquire Capital City Bank ($434mm) for about $37.5mm in cash and stock or about 1.41x tangible book. CoastalStates Bank ($442mm, SC) will acquire Foothills Community Bank ($95mm, GA) for $11.6mm in cash and stock. Over in Texas Allegiance Bank ($2.9B) will acquire Post Oak Bank ($1.4B) for stock (100%) or about $350mm or about 2.23x tangible book. In the home of the Harley Davidson, Security Financial Bank ($420mm) will acquire Pioneer Bank of Wisconsin ($74mm.
Capital markets
Just because your company sent someone to the secondary conference here in New York doesn’t mean they can stop rates from moving higher. But my guess is that they’re trying to improve pricing by a few basis points. Job openings and unemployment data have continued to impress. The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for March set a new record with a job openings rate of 4.2 percent. Meanwhile initial jobless claims have been holding at great levels – the four-week moving average of initial claims was the lowest since December 1969. 
While many economic metrics in the first quarter were strong, first quarter GDP was not stellar.  Many of those metrics were near cycle highs and could drift sideways or lower in Q2; however net exports and residential investment, which held back GDP, appear poised to strengthen in the second quarter.  With April’s jobs report, unemployment fell to 3.9 percent, its lowest since December 2000.  Monthly job growth was a modest +164,000, however upward revisions for the previous two months brought the three-month average to +208,000.  Wage growth was minimal despite signs of upward pressure in other reports.
Inflation remains at the forefront of everyone’s mind as headline metrics ticked higher this spring.  The 12-month change in the Consumer Price Index was 2.36 percent in March and the 12-month change in the Producer Price Index was 3.04 percent.  Pressures on commodity prices as well as wage pressure are expected to continue in the coming months. 
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) kept the Fed funds rate unchanged in May, but expectations are high for an increase of 25 basis points in June as well as a third hike after the September meeting.  If inflation remains warm or heats up through the middle to end of the year, it will strengthen the case for a fourth hike in December.   
Fed Cleveland President Mester said the economy is growing above trend, which could lead the Fed to increase the fed-funds rate higher and faster than expected to ensure the US avoids a buildup in risks to macroeconomic stability.
Rates were up again to end last week as investors assessed conflicting signals on trade talks between the U.S. and China. Economic releases were nonexistent on Friday, but there were some stories of note. The U.S. Dollar Index recorded its fourth weekly gain in the past five weeks. It has now risen nearly 4.5% during that stretch. In Italy, Movimento 5 Stelle and Lega have agreed on a governing platform and expect to nominate a prime minister in time for Monday’s meeting with President Mattarella.
The MBA National Secondary Market Conference & Expo kicked off yesterday in NYC and runs into Wednesday. Not to be jaded, but the sessions include sessions that have been concerns for the market for many years, and probably will be into the future: housing finance and regulatory reform, a panel discussion regarding long term solution for housing finance, economic outlook, the state of the market for MSRs and an update on the GSEs’ SS initiative.
This week’s calendar includes a heavy dose of Fed presidents speaking as well as the minutes from the May 1/2 FOMC meeting on Wednesday. Economic releases include regional Fed surveys, new and existing home sales, durable goods and Michigan sentiment before and early close on Friday for the long Memorial Day weekend. Today’s calendar kicked off with the Chicago Fed’s National Activity Index for April (strong at +.34). The first of the day’s three Fed speakers sees Atlanta’s Bostic, Philadelphia’s Harker, and Minneapolis’ Kashkari. Rates start the week a shade higher versus late last week: the 10-year is yielding 3.08% and agency MBS prices are worse nearly .125.
(Amazing medicine. There must be a corollary with LOs and borrowers.)
Doctor Loman, who was known for extraordinary treatment of arthritis, had a waiting room full of people when a little old lady, almost bent over in half, shuffled in slowly, leaning on her cane.  When her turn came, she went into the doctor’s office and, amazingly, emerged within 5 minutes walking completely erect with her head held high. A woman in the waiting room who had seen all this rushed up to the little old lady and said, "It’s a miracle! You walked in bent in half and now you’re walking erect. What did that doctor do?" "Gave me a longer cane."
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, “Amazon in the Mortgage Jungle.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are over 300 mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to Copyright 2018 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

May 19: Reader’s notes on shipping container homes; bitcoins for down payments, blockchain in cap mkts., Nor Cal market

As thousands of capital markets folks head to New York to (ostensibly) fight for every basis point while at the same time trying to visit every MI company-sponsored party (only 125 calories in a glass of red wine – and it has antioxidants!), there are plenty of things going on.
Notes from the trenches on current lending conditions
“Rob, are guidelines going back to the days where someone with a name like Patrick McShea could provide a photo of himself wearing a mariachi hat, claim he ran a mariachi band, and say he made $20k a month doing it to qualify for a $500k home loan?” I sure hope not. But people are motivated by fear and greed, and there are still plenty of those out there.
This telling note from San Jose. “Rob, I’ve fielded more AE calls some days than from borrowers & prospective borrowers. In the last 3 weeks two separate AEs (unrelated) have called to say: 1) ‘I just finished my performance review and I need you to give me a loan, they are going to fire me.’ This one, in the business for at least 20 years, has always been a producer. 2) ‘This is the worst month I’ve had in the business and I’m on notice, If I don’t bring it in this quarter they are going to can me. Do you have anything you can give me?’ And this from a VERY prominent wholesaler who has been in the business for 30 years and whom I’ve always relied on for guideline information.
“It’s tough in the broker biz. One of the LOs in our office did $1mm net commissions in 2012, yet last year’s production totaled 11 loans – for the entire year! I recently finished another c/o refi. I got them into the home May 2015 for $769k, their appraisal came in at $1.2 million, 35% appreciation in less than two years, for a 3/2 1,158 square foot, 60-year old house on a 5,000 square foot lot with a new kitchen they did themselves, the size of a matchbox, and they planted grass and a few shrubs in the backyard. It formerly looked like a dirt farm. So, they have $400k appreciation in less than 24 months in a good neighborhood. It’s crazy out there!
“Anyone that is so ridiculous to think this is not going to end badly is sadly mistaken. California sees, generally speaking, an historical 8% annual appreciation, so the example above is double the appreciation in half the time. NO ONE is reporting the layoff’s and closing of mortgage companies, except you, thank you very much. Also, in my hometown, the anchor department store with the only mall within 200 miles is closing. Healthy economy?
“IF we were to be extremely generous, we could give the Dow an average annual return over its existence of 9%. Since President Trump has been in office it has been about 31% gain in two years. Right in line with some zip codes in California.
“It ‘always ends in one day’ is my recollection of how ‘it’ unfolds, unwinds, and flops onto the floor, dead as a doornail. Once real estate falters, loses jobs, the rest is going to be REAL interesting again! In 2008 Angelo Mozilo advised, ‘I HAVE NEVER SEEN A SOFT LANDING.’ People are walking around saying my favorite: ‘It’s different this time.’ Once everyone is off the crack pipe, they should shore up their bank accounts. Thank you for listening, I feel better now!”
Brent Nyitray penned, “The private label MBS market used to be a $1 trillion market – last year it was only about $70 billion. Regulation may appear to be the culprit, but it really isn’t. There are still all sorts of unresolved issues between MBS investors and securitizers. The biggest surround servicing – how do investors get comfort that the loan will be serviced conflict-free, especially if the issuer has a second lien on the property. How do investors get comfort that the issuer won’t solicit their borrower for a refinance? A lack of prepay history is also a problem – it makes these bonds hard to model and price. Many investors also remember the crisis years, when liquidity vanished, and investors were unable to sell, sometimes at any price. 
“Issuers were content for a lot of years to simply feast on easy refi business – rate and term streamlines which were uncomplicated and simple to crank out. Warehouse banks were reticent to fund anything that didn’t fit in the agency / government box, so why not concentrate on the low-hanging fruit? Investors were able to pick and choose from all sorts of distressed seasoned non-agency paper trading in the 60s and 70s. Most of that paper ended up being money good. But in that environment, why would anyone be interested in buying new issues over par? If you are a mortgage REIT, why not buy and lever new agency debt with interest rates at nothing and a central bank that is actively supporting the market? 
“Now that the easy refi business is gone, will we see a return of this market? Perhaps, but there probably still is a big gulf between what borrowers and investors are willing to accept and the governance issues remain unsolved.” 
Fun with cryptocurrencies
Bitcoins, backed by blockchain technology, continue to capture the imagination, and attention, of plenty of folks. MERS and title companies are especially interested since blockchain, with its supposed data integrity and historical record keeping, could seriously impact their business proposition. Most New York banks still resist cryptocurrency trading: Eight months have passed since Goldman Sachs reported a plan for a bitcoin-trading desk, but no other Wall Street bank has indicated a formal plan to offer cryptocurrency derivatives. Morgan Stanley, while not launching a trading desk, reportedly is arranging trading of bitcoin-related products for some customers.
Despite their popularity, cryptocurrencies are still not used regularly in mobile payment apps, according to a survey by S&P Global Market Intelligence. Only 6% of those surveyed had used an app to send or receive a cryptocurrency payment in the last month.
Rob, can bitcoins be used for a down payment?” Not that I know of. For example, if one looks at Fannie’s guidelines, you’ll see that this is not acceptable. Bitcoin (or any other cryptocurrency) as a digital currency is not an eligible asset. The bitcoin must be converted to U.S. currency. So, although the source of a large deposit may be bitcoins (which must have a paper trail, e.g., evidence of ownership and conversion to U.S. dollars) bitcoins cannot be used as assets for closing, or reserves.
Bank of America’s top technology officer, Cathy Bessant, said the use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a payments system is “troubling.” She chose the word because she said that as a payment system, cryptocurrencies lack the foundational element of transparency between senders and receivers.
Yet JPMorgan Chase gave a demonstration this week of its prototype blockchain trading platform named Dromaius (also a type of Australian emu), which aims to make capital market transactions faster, more economical and more efficient. Christine Moy, head of the firm’s Blockchain Center of Excellence, said the prototype will undergo further testing and development before being rolled out to customers, adding: "We think the technology has the potential to be transformative."
The international banks HSBC and ING have successfully executed a live cross-border commodity trade using blockchain technology. The banks created digitized letters of credit using a blockchain platform to finance the shipment of soybeans from Argentina to Malaysia for Cargill.
Tim Anderson, Director of eServices with DocMagic, sent, “Much like the initial hype around eMortgages, and now with digital mortgages, blockchain appears to be the next shining object that everyone is fixating on. Realty is that we’ve had a technology solution that currently does everything espoused in your Saturday blog available ever since the states and fed introduced UETA and ESIGN law back in 2001. It’s called an eVault and performs all the functions mentioned with the exception that it is not a distributive data model but still a centralized one, but all the data can be currently be locked down and tamper evident sealed and protected at a loan package, separate doc or even individual data level today. Most people get caught up with focusing only on the SMARTDoc eNote but we can do the same where data and documents need to be shared between parties with any or all documents within a loan package.”
Russian state-owned bank Sberbank has completed a bond purchase from telecommunication provider MTS using blockchain technology, the country’s first such transaction. A proprietary system operated by National Settlement Depository processed the trade, which "confirmed blockchain’s status as an efficient industrial technology providing confidentiality and speed during securities settlement", NSD Chairman Eddi Astanin says.
IT, cutting costs, and the rise of the machine
From the capital markets ranks California’s Marcus Lam writes, “Once smart appliances have taken over our homes we’ll have to watch ads before we can use the microwave.”
Kevin K. sent, “I wanted to pass along the next evolution in hijacking folks. Hope none of your readers have fallen for these ‘assistances.’ Alexa and Siri Can Hear This Hidden Command. You Can’t.”
Tech companies taking over mortgage banking? Not so fast. I received this note from Alabama’s David M. “Good stuff Rob, maybe someone should show this to Amazon. I am always amazed at the number of people / entities that think there is so much money and margin in the mortgage business and feel the need to “get in this business”. They forgot one thing, however: experience in this space. You and I both know it is much easier said than done and probably one of the toughest lines of business in the country to master which is why a lot fail at it because they “had no idea” but we are all forced to compete with this scenario every day.”
American Banker reports Fintech company Moven is planning to buy a bank and break itself into two pieces. The bank portion will reportedly be called MovenBank. Moven was founded by Banking 3.0 futurist Brett King as a mobile banking startup designed around a digitally enabled customer.
Companies improve revenue by increasing revenue or decreasing costs – it is that simple, and recently this commentary published some information on where to cut costs. The quote prompted Michael Baker, in Product Development & Distribution with Loan Originator Networks, LLC, to relay, “Good survey. Cost is in the assembly line of people non-banks and HF’s are throwing at the TPO space for reg Z compliance. Smart money will look for technology solutions and integrations.
“9 basis points sounds about right for profit. HF’s: Average HF has 12 HF FTEs (full time employees) looking after the investment. Interestingly, one must look deep into the management structure to find anyone with experience in the space. Too many ‘Business Development’ guys. I’ve eliminated the channels as viable and am working on the technology piece to support Wholesale as the cost to produce retail loans drives channel change, not unlike 1994 -1997. I see .375 in rate better execution for the low cost /variable cost broker working from his or her laptop, uploading 3.2 files and assigning merged credit efficiently with ‘compliance in a box’ technology.
We at Loan Originator Networks are releasing some interesting things. IDS is the new industry standard plug in for compliance. Hands down. If you’ve not seen the platform, you should. I’m long integration with Encompass et. al. versus proprietary database.”
Shipping container homes
Chris G. sends, “My girlfriend knows a couple in St Charles, MO that recently built a shipping container home, and they love it. I’ve only seen the outside in person, and, even though the upside-down windows make me cringe, I personally like the overall finished product. Getting it built was supposedly a nightmare, and I believe they paid out of pocket, so they didn’t have to deal with the mortgage issues that would have arisen. It is in a fairly nice area so, unsurprisingly, their neighbors apparently hate it, but it is hard to argue with the price ($130K for 3100 square ft) in a world of increasing building costs and a lack of affordable housing. Here is an article on it if you are interested.
And from Northern California Euie H. writes, “My son lived in a shipping container, or rather containers, in Afghanistan with the Air Force. It had air conditioning, and one container was a group bathroom.”
Instead of spending 20 seconds reading the usual joke or trivia here, please spend that time thinking about the families and friends of those, once again, hurt or killed in a terrible school shooting, this time in Texas. Are we really at the point, as a nation, where we think of this as the norm?
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, “Amazon in the Mortgage Jungle.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are over 300 mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to Copyright 2018 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

May 18: LO jobs; subservicing, compliance, warehouse, S&D products; private mortgage insurance trends

Folks heading to the MBA’s Secondary conference should know that there are 329 street-level newsstands in New York City. (The peak was 1,500 in the 1950s.) By law, the maximum price for anything at a newsstand is $10, meaning that newspapers are a significant part of that business. Finance & news about it make the world go ‘round, and thanks to Steve A. for passing along a new essay where Pope Francis calls for intensified regulation of the "sophisticated technologies" of financial markets.
Lender products, business opportunities, & developments
Bay Equity Home Loans announces its first E-Close funded loan transaction through its BE EXPRESS CLOSING. Bay has had E-Close in a pilot program and is ready to roll the program methodically throughout its footprint of offices nationwide. The new E-Close platform brings innovation and efficiency to the closing of purchase transactions with our customers, Realtors and referral partners. Bay differentiates itself as a leader in mortgage technology including its close partnership with Microsoft and its deployment nationwide of the Microsoft Surface to branches and originators. In addition, Bay’s loan advisors are bringing efficiencies and a great customer experience through the company’s BE SECURE Loan Portal. If you would like to learn more about an innovative mortgage platform that brings a family culture to its valued team members reach out to Sean Wilson for more information.
In correspondent news, AmeriHome’s Correspondent Scratch and Dent Program continues to help originators sell loans with origination defects. The AmeriHome program is designed to save clients time and money shopping for buyers and negotiating new contracts by having AmeriHome handle these transactions. A sampling of the issues that can be priced include DTI/Income/loan amounts, investor overlays, TRID/compliance, incomplete documentation, uninsurable loans, and non-agency jumbo fallout. AmeriHome is an industry-leader in service and operational support and is committed to providing the same accurate and timely communication on your S&D business. If interested, please contact your AmeriHome Correspondent Sales Representative and add our direct email to your email distributions.
Whole Loan Capital  is identifying warehouse lending consolidation opportunities for a national bank. The goal is to identify any banks that are considering exiting the warehouse lending business and enabling the transition of that business to the national bank, thereby reducing or eliminating any discontinued operations charges for the exiting bank.   
PHH Mortgage, the nation’s 5th largest subservicer, was recently awarded with the Fannie Mae STAR Performer for Servicing and is a proud sponsor of the 2018 MBA Secondary Market Conference. If you plan on being in NYC from May 20-23, make time to meet with members from our Subservicing Team. Learn how PHH can on-board your portfolio in under 90 days and reduce your fixed costs through their concierge-level subservicing and portfolio retention services. Contact VP Chris Sabbe to schedule a meeting time.
How can you be sure your staff has read your policies and procedures? The Hub launches 2.0, adding project management, chat, shared calendars, a document designer, document distribution and signature workflows, upgrades to the look and feel, easier navigation, global search, and advances to workflow and reporting. This release introduces document authoring and signature workflows to assist corporate governance and onboarding in ensuring policies and procedures are read. The Hub is a mortgage-specific intranet tool that ensures your teams stay informed, have access to the most current job aids and other corporate resources, and follow consistent simple-to-use workflows. The Hub is offering a free 15-day trial and they’ll waive your setup fee if you sign up on 2.0 before June 1st. More at
Provide a decreased payment, with increased options by utilizing Lakeview’s No MI program. An alternative to LPMI, Lakeview’s program provides borrowers better pricing with this innovative program. Eligible on standard conventional products, the No MI program is available up to 97% LTV, 620+ FICO, up to 50% DTI. Learn how to provide high LTV borrowers the lowest payment possible. Contact Lakeview Wholesale or Lakeview Correspondent today.
In the mortgage industry, some of the biggest drivers of working capital often fall outside of our control, which is why it makes sense to build a relationship with a bank that offers credit products designed to help increase liquidity. Texas Capital Bank, N.A. specializes in serving mortgage lenders and servicers by offering unique credit solutions such as MSR Lines of Credit, Working Capital Lines of Credit, HECM Tail Credit Facilities and Servicing Advance Facilities. Contact its Mortgage Specialty Lending team to learn how it can help your business succeed.
Here’s the latest from NCS (National Credit-reporting System, Inc.) on recent Congressional developments requiring the IRS to create an API for order/delivery of IRS Tax Transcripts (4506-T). Also, of note, the IRS had proposed truncating PII (personally identifiable information) on tax transcripts this August. NCS is a long-time industry champion for the IRS to modernize the IVES program. The company is joined by industry peers and trade groups in this latest advocacy effort. NCS Pres/CEO, Curtis Knuth wrote, “We continue to push IT & advocacy funding into NCS core competencies like TRV Services or 4506-T processing & VOE.  We’re pushing white papers to the IRS, working the Hill, etc. We want your readers to understand our commitment of injecting beneficial modernization, such as machine learning (AI) into manual verifications. We’re scheduling demos via NCS’ Jeff Gentry and Casey Hughes at MBA National Secondary next week. See everyone there!”
Paramount Residential Mortgage Group, Inc. (PRMG) furthers its commitment toward supporting the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME), along with the brokers who put their boots to the ground every day to make the American Dream of Homeownership a reality for borrowers across the country. For more information on how PRMG serves the broker community, please contact Kevin Peranio, Chief Lending Officer.
In retail job news, Evergreen Home Loans adds to its awards and product line-up. In 2018, the company was named the #1 BEST Place to Work in Financial Services and Insurance nationally by Fortune and Great Place to Work® and added innovative products designed to help originators close more loans. In addition to their suite of core products, the company offers Evergreen +Plus down payment protection and is one of the few independent mortgage bankers offering one-time close construction loans for stick-built homes as well as manufactured homes. Evergreen is the first lender in Washington to offer the USDA one-time close construction loan and among the first to originate it in other west coast states. Evergreen will continue this growth by hiring high-touch loan officers seeking a great place to work. Candidates can learn about the Evergreen culture on their awards and recognition page and job openings on the Careers page.
Private mortgage insurance news
“The Community Home Lenders Association (CHLA) writes to ask FHFA to investigate the pricing practices of private mortgage insurers (PMIs) with respect to use of volume discounts and other proxies for this in the offering of mortgage insurance for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans.”
“Rob, thanks for the use of quotes around MI ‘granularity’ in your recent commentary. It smells like a ‘redline.’ As I recall, regulators allowed UG to go ‘granular’ – down to the MSA only – after being taken over after the mortgage meltdown, and there were visions of lined maps dancing in heads. And, back then, UG reps said they could ‘drill down’ to census tracts. Thanks for listening – I couldn’t keep my yap shut on ‘granularity’.”
How have those crafty MI companies been doing in real life? Can they afford to sponsor all those nice events at conferences around the nation? Private mortgage insurers reported substantial declines in new insurance written during the first quarter of 2018, losing market share to both the FHA and VA. But Inside Mortgage Finance’s analysis calculates that private Mis “passed a historic milestone” as the total amount of the industry’s insurance in force hit $1.011 trillion, a 1.7 percent increase from the end of 2017. That figure includes an estimated $30.52 billion in runoff at three defunct MIs.
“Private MIs generated $58.37 billion in traditional flow business during the first quarter, a 16.5 percent drop from the fourth quarter,” notes IMF. “The slump was largely due to the seasonal decline in home-purchase lending and the overall 21.1 percent decline in first-lien originations.
The six active MIs reported a $9.73 billion decline in purchase-mortgage business from the fourth quarter while new insurance written on refinance loans was down $1.72 billion.”
KBW’s Bose George writes, “We calculate that 1Q18-ending insurance-in force (IIF) grew by about +1.7% QOQ and +10.8% YOY for private mortgage insurers (PMIs) versus +0.7% QOQ and +3.9% YOY at the FHA. The figures for PMIs include both the six public MIs, as well as our estimate of remaining IIF from the legacy companies in run-off (Triad, Old Republic, and PMI Corp.), which we calculate using GSE disclosures. Mortgage debt outstanding grew at a pace of 3% annualized (through 4Q17). This suggests that the growth in private mortgage insurance (and FHA IIF) remains well above the pace of growth in mortgage debt outstanding. We expect this trend to persist for the foreseeable future.
The earnings reports from the private MIs show that New Insurance Written (NIW) is +23% versus 2017 (purchase +20%, refinance -19%), so, per Compass Point Research and Trading, LLC, “MI is gaining market share from the FHA and is experiencing mix benefits from a higher percentage of borrowers being first-time homebuyers. The MI industry continues to face pricing concerns, but the underlying fundamentals are the best they have been in years.”
National MI reported solid earnings driven by higher net premiums earned and higher share count (-$0.03) from a previously announced share issuance. Both NIW of $6.5bn and ending IIF of $56.6bn came in above some estimates, and NMI generated a 16.1% ROE. KBW wrote, “Management noted that it is evaluating different options in terms of pricing and is likely to make an announcement shortly. As a reminder, we previously reduced estimates for all the MIs when MTG cut prices on expectations of price cuts from the peers. Management also stated that the company believes it has not lost a single loan to the IMAGIN program and believes that that program has had limited traction with lenders so far.”
Radian reported decent earnings that included the add-back of $18.9m of investment losses and a lower loss provision). NIW of $11.7b exceeded some estimates. Radian’s earnings call indicated that pressure on premium margins should stabilize, excluding the impact of any price cuts.
Essent reported net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2018 of $111.1 million or $1.13 per diluted share, compared to $66.6 million or $0.72 per diluted share for the quarter ended March 31, 2017. As of March 31, 2018, Essent had insurance in force of $115.3 billion and consolidated stockholders’ equity of $2.0 billion.
Trainings and webinars
Register for Plaza’s free webinar “Beyond Schedule C” on May 21st.
There is Fannie Mae’s May 23rd HomeReady Mortgage webinar. Learn how to help your low- to moderate-income borrowers become homeowners with as little as 3% down. Register for the webinar today and visit the HomeReady page to find more resources.
LinkedIn can be an extremely powerful tool for you. That’s why on Thursday, May 24th from 10-11 AM PST/1-2 PM EST, Sierra Pacific Mortgage is starting a series on using this tool. It’s a free, fun, and informative 3-part webinar series entitled “LinkedIn”. You’ll learn how to optimize your profile, be engaging, and prospect quickly! Click here to register.
Register for the Mortgage Quality & Compliance Committee (MQAC) Hot Topics in State Regulation” upcoming webinar on May 24th.
MERSCORP Holdings is holding an eMortgage Boot Camp on Wednesday, June 20th, as an add-on to its annual MERS® User Conference. Learn about eNotes and the benefits of implementing an electronic mortgage process.
ACUMA is holding a workshop for mortgage-lending credit unions in Charleston SC May 22-23, and another in Minneapolis in mid-June.
The Indiana Mortgage Bankers is having its 2018 IMBA State Convention and 60th Anniversary Gala in early June in Indianapolis.
Capital markets
Investors mulled the implications of the 10-year Treasury rising to 3.11%, its highest level since 2011. News that China offered President Donald Trump a $200 billion reduction in the bilateral trade gap with the U.S. was food for thought as well. Despite my personal feelings that this may be an overreaction, the outcome of these talks is seen by many as making or breaking the global economy.
May’s employment report showed notable declines in unemployment claims, as all readings are at roughly 50-year lows now. And greater strength may be in store for the factory sector following today’s Philly Fed report which, led by new orders and enormous traction in selling prices, is one of the strongest we have seen in several decades.
Today’s economic news calendar is nearly non-existent. (Next week is light as well, save for the release of the FOMC minutes on Wednesday.) Friday starts with the 10-year yielding 3.10% and agency MBS prices better .125-.250 versus last night’s close.
I received many emails yesterday about a) the plight of the sugar gliders not being allowed on American Airlines (one comment: “Poor sugar gliders, minding their own business, mating, eating, eating, mating – and then this! What are they going to do with all those frequent flyer miles?”), and about the Laurel vs. Yanny debate (NY Times taking a stab at explaining it, but I think falls short, and one wife writing to thank me saying, “No wonder my husband never understands a word I say!”).
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, “Amazon in the Mortgage Jungle.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are over 300 mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to Copyright 2018 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

May 17: LO jobs, bus. opportunity; construction & VA rehab products; FHA & lender disaster news; economy solid

I don’t go anywhere without my sugar glider, including most of this week spent in Austin, TX with TMS. No, a sugar glider is not a risqué pet name for a body part, it is pretty much a flying possum. Okay, I don’t have a flying possum, but starting July 1 American Airlines is banning sugar gliders from being allowed onboard as service animals, along with goats, birds of prey, and hedgehogs. What is the world coming to when airports aren’t zoos?
Employment, business opportunities, promotions & retirements
Academy Mortgage’s originators earned the highest number of #1 state rankings (27 total) in Ask A Lender’s 2018 “Meet the Best” rankings (as published in Scotsman Guide). Academy is looking for highly motivated loan originators, sales managers, and branch managers nationwide who are eager to grow their referral base and purchase business. Thanks to 30 years of prudent financial management, a strong commitment to purchase business, industry-leading marketing and operational support, a unique company culture, and a clearly defined vision, Academy is thriving and is well-positioned for long-term growth. To find out more about Academy, interested candidates are invited to attend the company’s exclusive Mastermind 2018 networking event at The Palms Hardwood Suite in Las Vegas on Thursday, June 7, from 6–9 p.m., or they may contact National Recruiting Manager John Owens.
Incenter LLC will be marketing the sale of a residential mortgage company shell. The sale will include FN/FH/GN agency tickets as well as over 20 state registrations. This will not include any production or any mortgage servicing rights assets. Anyone interested can contact Hal Hermelee for more details.
Altisource is pleased to announce that Steve Greenfield, CMB has joined the Vendorly leadership team as Director of Operations responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations and continuing to evangelize the importance of Third Party Risk Management (TPRM).
Jerry Giovaniello, long-time senior vice president and chief lobbyist (37 years!) at the National Association of Realtors will retire at the end of this year. “Giovaniello joined NAR in 1981 from Capitol Hill, where he was chief of staff for two members of Congress from California. He was named NAR’s chief lobbyist in 2001, and…has developed long-standing relationships with legislators on both sides of the aisle and a reputation for ensuring Realtors®’ voices are heard on important policy issues.”
Sunwest Bank is pleased to welcome Shailesh Bhaid as chief information officer to oversee and drive the bank’s application support and IT infrastructure teams and develop the bank’s multiple new technology initiatives, many of which focus on greater workflow automation.
Lender products & training
First Look Appraisals, a national appraisal management company, appointed three accomplished executives to its Board of Directors.  Steve Haslam, former CEO of StreetLinks National Appraisal Services, Tony Ebeyer, StreetLinks former Chief Strategy Officer and Brad Morehead, former CEO of Livewatch Security, whom will actively advise and assist with the strategic development and direction of the company. First Look’s CEO, Craig Culbert, states, “First Look has assembled a leadership team of seasoned lending, appraisal, and AMC executives to build new processes and technology that overcome common frustrations between lenders and other AMCs. Simply stated, our leadership team knows the problems well because we have lived them from the lender and appraiser perspective; now, we’ve created the solution.” For more information about First Look Appraisals visit
Did you know that LinkedIn has reached over 500 million members, making it one of the most popular social networks for professionals and one of the top social networks overall? But are you using LinkedIn to its fullest potential? This is a platform that often gets underutilized or put on the back burner when you get busy. But the truth is, LinkedIn can be an extremely powerful tool for you. That’s why on Thursday, May 24th from 10-11 AM PST/1-2 PM EST, Sierra Pacific Mortgage is starting a series on using this tool. It’s a free, fun, and informative 3-part webinar series entitled “LinkedIn”. You’ll learn how to optimize your profile, be engaging, and prospect quickly! Click here to register.
Military Direct Mortgage deploys the VA Rehab Loan, offering 100% financing of purchase price plus improvements, no monthly MI, and one closing for purchase and rehabilitation. The VA Rehab loan is available for purchase and refinance. Military Direct Mortgage is a VA Approved lender dedicated to serving Veterans and Active Military. “Our Veteran community deserves a mortgage that allows them to finance renovations they want in a new home, ensuring that they live comfortably after they have served our country.” For more information please visit
GSF Mortgage Corporation has officially launched its Single Close Construction Correspondent Channel. GSF offers an end-to-end solution for your LO’s construction financing needs. FHA, VA, USDA and Conventional products available.  For further information, please contact Chad Jampedro.
Made Easy: Lending to the Self-Employed. Lending to a self-employed borrower—as any loan officer knows—is no simple task because you validate income based on tax returns—versus a W2. But the number of self-employed Americans is growing, and that means lenders will see higher application volume from nontraditional wage earners. To help lenders better accommodate this group, Freddie Mac is working with fintech company LoanBeam, whose highly refined optical character recognition (OCR) technology extracts and ingests data from a borrower’s tax returns at a 99.7% accuracy rate. Its software then calculates an income total and encapsulates the data into a workbook that can be customized to meet lender and GSE requirements. Freddie Mac is integrating LoanBeam’s technology with Loan Product Advisor®, Freddie Mac’s automated underwriting system. To learn more, visit
Paperless mortgage statements?
While 87 percent of households have a computer, according to National Benchmark data from STRATMOR’s MortgageSAT program, just 19 percent of borrowers say they are enrolled in paperless mortgage statements. How can we get borrowers to embrace paperless statements? With cost savings, security precautions and environmental benefits in the balance, “going paperless” is an issue that lenders would be wise to address. MortgageSAT Director Mike Seminari suggests four practical steps that lenders can take to encourage borrowers to embrace a paperless loan servicing experience in a new MortgageSAT Tip.
Disaster updates
The other night I knocked it out of the park when I came up with this gem during Scrabble: Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. It is the longest word in the English language (46 letters). It means the lung disease caused by inhaling volcanic ash. Okay, I didn’t come up with that one, but it is a concern on the Big Island in Hawai’i.
Six time zones away, people should avoid the rush and by buying water and plywood now. The annual Hurricane Genesis and Outlook Project report predicts that there will be 11 to 18 named tropical storms this year; seven are projected to become hurricanes and three are expected to be major – “normal to above normal.”
Speaking of which, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced that due to the extensive damage caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has exercised its authority to extend foreclosure timelines through August 16, 2018, for Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM) on impacted properties in those Presidentially-Declared Major Disaster Areas (PDMDAs). “This extension is applicable only to those counties declared eligible for Individual Assistance by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  It applies to both the initiation of foreclosures and foreclosures already in process on HECMs that become due and payable for reasons other than the death of the last surviving borrower and eligible non-borrowing spouse. This guidance is effective immediately and is applicable to all homeowners with FHA-insured HECM mortgages whose property or place of employment is in the PDMDAs for Puerto Rico’s Hurricane Maria (FEMA-DR-4339) and U.S. Virgin Islands’ Hurricane Maria (FEMA-DR-4340).
North Carolina’s Guilford and Rockingham County have been declared by FEMA as Major Disaster Areas for incident date of April 15th, 2018 impacted by tornado and severe storms. Click here to view FEMA’s recent update on N.C.
Mortgage Solutions Financial posted a bulletin regarding the FEMA Disaster Alert for the Indiana Severe Storms and Flooding.
Capital markets
Rates are trending higher, but that doesn’t mean every single piece of economic news is stronger than expected, nor will rates go up every day. The market is pricing in a near 100% probability of a 25-basis point increase in the fed funds target rate in June with a greater than 70% probability of another 25-basis point increase in September
But recall that real gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annual rate of 2.3 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to an increase of 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017. The quarter-over-quarter decline was due in part to consumer spending only increasing at a 1.1 percent annualize rate.
What about those tax cuts that were going to drive consumer spending? Keep in mind that an estimated 90 percent of wage earners did not see their take home pay increase until February when the US Treasury Department updated their tax withholding guidance. Additionally, last week saw consumer confidence reach its second highest level since 2000 and unemployment is not far from the 3.8 percent cycle low during the same time.  Though the labor participation rate is lower than it used to be, things continue to look good for further growth in consumer spending.
Durable goods orders received a boost from double digit growth in orders for civilian and military aircraft and rose to a better than expected monthly increase of 2.6 percent. Excluding the volatile transportation component, however, orders were flat in March. Another bright spot was a 12.3 percent increase in nonresidential fixed investment.  
And remember that new home sales blew through an expected 1.9 percent increase as they jumped 4.0 percent from the previous month. February’s data was revised upwards as well.  March’s annualized pace of 694,000 new home sales represents the fastest pace of the current expansion even though sales in the Northeast declined due to inclement weather.
Small business optimism ticked up in April after receding slightly in March; though if you recall, March followed a cycle high in February. Demand is strong, and firms can increase prices, which is good as competition for quality workers and wage pressure increase.  According to the survey, 88 percent of firms hiring or trying to hire saw few or zero qualified applicants for the positions they were attempting to fill. The survey data showed worker compensation at the highest level since 2000, however as we have seen, that has not translated into significantly higher wage data on the official government labor reports. 
Speaking of inflation, both the CPI and PPI were subdued in April, rising 0.2 percent and 0.1 percent respectively.  While there are certainly inflation pressures mounting, until they begin to flow through to official sources of data, the current narrative of orderly interest rate increases throughout the remainder of the year remains unchanged. Headline CPI increased 0.2 percent in April and was up 2.5 percent for the previous twelve months, however recent gains in crude prices on the heels of a re-imposition of sanction on Iran will put more pressure on the energy component in May. According to the AAA, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline is up to $2.87, nearly 23 percent higher than a year ago. As gas prices increase and absorb consumer spending, pressure starts to mount for discretionary items such as restaurants and hotels.
Increases in the Producer Price Index for Final Demand cooled somewhat after strong gains at the end of 2017 and first quarter of this year. The PPI increased only 0.1 percent in April and is up 2.6 percent for the previous twelve months.
Yes, the trend in rates is higher – there’s not much to suggest they’ll go down in dramatic fashion any time soon – and we saw more of that Wednesday. The question has now turned to whether higher Treasury yields indicate that the Federal Reserve will be forced accelerate monetary tightening. Treasury yields act as a benchmark for global borrowing costs, so yesterday’s selling in Italian BTPs led to worries that a bigger flight to safety could develop. This was in response to the governing plan being presented by Italy’s Lega and Movimento 5 Stelle, in which the parties expect debt forgiveness from the ECB. It’s a global marketplace!
As far as economic releases went, Industrial production increasing for a third straight month was fueled by increased output across all three major industry groups. Housing starts declined 3.7% month-over-month in April while permits fell 1.8%. Nothing in the report suggested prospective homeowners can expect supply-driven price relief soon.
This morning we’ll have weekly jobless claims and the Philly Fed at 8:30am ET. The Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Survey for May is due out shortly thereafter, as is April leading indicators. We also have two scheduled Fed speakers with Minneapolis’ Kashkari and Dallas Fed President Kaplan. It’s early but rates are a shade better than Wednesday night with the 10-year yielding 3.09% and agency MBS prices better a couple ticks…
Answers to the current internet sensation:
A)        Yanny
B)        Laurel
C)        I don’t want to live on this planet any more.
(Hey, this is a pop culture joke. If you don’t get it, have your teen or 20-something show you on their phone, or look it up on the internet. It is very odd indeed.)
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, “Amazon in the Mortgage Jungle.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are over 300 mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to Copyright 2018 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

May 16: MI, sales, LO jobs; construction, non-QM products; MI program developments & lender MI changes

What does a chief operating officer do, and how much do they make? For builders, the role is vague but is often the #2 person at the company. COO comp, however, for publicly-held builders is well documented. And they make some decent coin.
Lenda, a first-of-its-kind platform that allows homeowners to complete their home loan online from start to finish, is searching for a Head of Sales. “At Lenda we close loans three times as fast as the industry average and as the Head of Sales you will be directly responsible for driving the team that is responsible for the revenue growth of the business. This role is responsible for coaching and leading a team of Home Loan Advisors and Customer Success Managers to a minimum of 50% y-o-y growth in origination volume, revenue, and funded units. The ideal candidate will be assertive, communicative, a natural leader, and results-oriented. To be successful in this role, it’s critical that you understand the customer funnel and be able to analyze and strategize how to improve sales results MoM, YoY. You’re a team player and know how to collaborate effectively across marketing, business development, product and engineering. If you’re interested, please apply here. Questions can be addressed to VP Alice Liang.
Arch MI is searching for an Account Manager in Northern CA who builds and maintains long-term relationships in customer organizations to ensure that growth and quality targets are met or exceeded. The AM develops advocacy with key branch level decision makers and grows profitable market share by proactively identifying and capitalizing on new business opportunities. S/he provides support to National Accounts consistent with organizational objectives and ensures customers receive superior quality and responsive service. Will be responsible for Arch’s visibility in the marketplace, calls patterns, and results of lender client relationships. Achieves or exceeds stated account growth and NIW goals. Uses Solution Selling to sell a variety of complex products and services that will improve customers’ business. Understands competitors’ strengths and weaknesses and how Arch US MI stands in comparison. Effectively articulates to customer the differentiated impact of Arch US MI’s offering on the customers’ business and processes. Interested parties should contact Tonya Battle, HR.
Assurance Financial is quietly growing into a nationwide leader in lending. Just ask Mike Killmeyer who recently opened a branch for Assurance Financial in Denver, Colorado. Mike was equipped to take loan applications immediately with little downtime and is now poised to add to his growing professional staff. Mike and his team saw that our compensation structure is excellent, and our back-office support was second to none – 16 years of working, changing, and perfecting it. He also saw that we have an unwavering mission to close loans on time, every time! We have immediate openings for proven, successful, producing Branch Managers and MLOs in Wilmington, Charlotte, Denver, Austin, and many other branch locations throughout the country.” For immediate consideration, contact Paul Peters, CMB, Assurance Financial, Recruiting Manager (225-239-7948).
In capital markets news, Vice Capital Markets has added another industry veteran to their team. Congratulations to Scott Colclough, new SVP of Business Development.  Scott brings over 23 years’ experience in capital markets to Vice and is joining a team whose senior management also averages over 20 years in capital markets and traders that average almost 10 years’.  Vice is a hedge advisory firm that works with lenders of all sizes throughout the country.
And the Trump administration is formally nominating Michael Bright to serve as president of Ginnie Mae. (Bright has been leading Ginnie Mae on an interim basis since July 2017.) Ginnie Mae has been without a permanent leader since January 2017; Bright would take over officially for former Ginnie Mae President Ted Tozer who stepped down at the beginning of the Trump administration.
LO & lender products
With 2018 shaping up for lower volumes, compressed margins and a purchase driven marketplace, lenders across the U.S. are struggling to find ways to produce revenue and are searching for innovative products to support their origination platforms. CFSI Loan Management is a full-service construction risk mitigation company, helping lenders manage the construction process from beginning to end. “We help our lending partners to ensure that the contractor and project feasibility phase is set prior to loan approval and after loan funding we provide full service fund control (including lien releases) and a national inspection platform that allows our clients to ensure that the project is progressing on time and the percent complete is accurate for funding each draw. Lenders manage credit risk, CFSI manages construction risk. Let CFSI Loan Management help you lead your market with real estate agents, borrowers and builders with a construction loan program.” Please contact President Brian Mingham for information.
The mortgage industry’s latest and greatest 1003 has finally arrived! Floify’s groundbreaking, “interview-style” 1003 not only delivers a beautiful, simple, and secure mortgage application experience for borrowers, but it also offers tons of useful automations and integrations that reduce cycle times making an LOs job a lot easier. Major industry players, including SharperLending, Credit Technologies, Alliance2020, and Sarma have joined the ranks of Floify’s app store, and when combined with Floify’s 1003, allows for instant and seamless borrower credit pulls. Powerful business logic gets your borrowers up and running faster by automatically generating specific needs-lists and granting access to their personal point-of-sale to upload their documents. If you are considering upgrading your mortgage workflow to include an end-to-end point-of-sale system, now is the perfect time to take advantage of Floify’s incredible solution and brand new 1003. Be on the leading edge of mortgage tech – request a live, 30-minute demo to learn more!
As challenges persist in the primary conventional and government origination marketplace, Deephaven Mortgage offers an opportunity to expand your product offerings and expand your ability to help solve consumer demand. Our bank statement programs, flexible credit guidelines, and in-house service model can help you drive new revenue streams while mitigating risk and limiting costs. Our executive team will be attending the MBA Secondary Market Conference and would enjoy the opportunity to talk about how we can help get you further into the Non-Agency market with Deephaven as your long-term, committed partner. We are across the street from the Conference at the Paramount Hotel. Email us at to schedule an appointment at the conference or to engage in conversation now.”
ARMCO has integrated with BankVOD, enabling the seamless transfer of bank data. ACES Risk Management (ARMCO), the leading provider of enterprise financial risk mitigation software solutions, announced an integration with BankVOD, the company that pioneered the electronic risk interface for asset verifications. This integration, which provides a direct, seamless connection between ARMCO’s ACES Audit Technology and BankVOD’s Verification Hub™, enables ARMCO clients the ability to order Asset Verifications, 4506-T, Employment and Occupancy and Liens & Judgments on a batch or flow basis, and receive the data via a secure electronic transfer directly into their ACES instance. “This integration doesn’t merely make the verification process faster, it also makes it more consistent and secure, which are two big factors in achieving quality,” said Phil McCall, president of ARMCO.
MI news
For those dealing with private MI (versus FHA & VA insurance), the mortgage insurance buzzword is “granularity.” In general, the companies believe the market would move to a more granular risk-based approach, which allows for better risk-selection and portfolio optimization. Catch the wave! Monoline Mis are Radian, MGIC, Essent, and National MI. Throw in Arch and Genworth and you have the heavy weights.
The group that most of the private mortgage insurance companies belong to (USMI) has continuously called for the FHFA to be much more transparent in pricing mortgage credit risk and believes that the FHFA (who oversees Freddie & Fannie) should eliminate or reduce g-fees and LLPAs, saying these fees impose significant costs on borrowers, and disproportionately harm first-time homebuyers and those without large down payments. The USMI reminds us that low-down payment conventional mortgages already come with private mortgage insurance protection—a risk that the GSEs do not have to bear—and that LLPAs represent arbitrary and redundant fees, and overcharge borrowers across the country.
Radian announced its response to rate changes in the industry: it decreased its monthly premium rates and increased its single premium rates as it attempts to reduce the level of LPMI singles because the policies are not capital efficient under PMIERs. The new rate card includes increased adjusters, which reduce the cost for multi-borrower loans and increase the cost for loans with DTIs above 45%. The rate card is like Genworth’s and has HIGHER base prices (1bps to 3bps in the relevant cells) than MGIC’s new rate card for monthly product.
Starting May 10 Arch Mortgage Guaranty Company (AMGC) began offering a new Community Program. The Community Program is a high-LTV program for borrowers with essential community occupations. The program will be offered to two tiers of borrowers: Community Experts: Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), Chartered Financial Analysts (CFAs), Ph.D.s, Architects, Certified Mortgage Bankers and Designated Actuaries will be eligible for a 100% LTV program. And Community Heroes: Teachers, Firefighters, Police Officers, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and Paramedics will be offered a 99% LTV program.
“Outsourcing your tough underwriting questions does not have to be time consuming or expensive. Submit your question to Arch MI’s free ASK Center for answers and scenarios in an hour or less that may work for your borrower.”
Genworth announced new borrower-paid mortgage insurance (BPMI) rate cards for both the single and monthly product. The company noted that prices on the new cards are on average about 10% lower than the current card. KBW reminds us that, “The announcement comes just over two weeks after MGIC (MTG) published its new rate cards with prices lower by about 11% on average. We think that such an announcement was expected by the market, so we would not expect much of a reaction from the shares. Historically, all industry participants have quickly matched price cuts, so we would expect the other MIs to make similar announcements over the coming weeks.”
National MI has posted upcoming June MI University classes.
Mountain West Financial is now offering the split MI option allowing borrowers to split the mortgage insurance payment: part monthly and part upfront.
United Wholesale Mortgage has lowered its BPMI rates for the second time in six months, enabling its network of mortgage brokers to potentially save hundreds of dollars each month for borrowers with a 640+ FICO. UWM says that, with its M.I., brokers will save their borrowers three to seven days on every loan by eliminating the second underwrite and avoiding overlays. Price a loan in UWM’s “Easy Qualifier” pricing tool to find your borrower’s lowest payment, as these Elite M.I. rates won’t show up in pricing engines. According to UWM, even if the interest rates are higher, its lower BPMI rates will likely make up the difference.
Capital markets
Compass Analytics, an industry-leading financial technology provider, announced that CompassPoint™ now offers an integration to Fannie Mae’s Servicing Marketplace API.
Compass Analytics has expanded its integration with Fannie Mae’s Pricing & Execution – Whole Loan® application to now include Servicing Marketplace Rate Sheet API. “…Lenders can efficiently compare pricing from all of their investor partners, as well as loan-level, cash flow-based retained MSR values generated by Compass’s existing MSR modeling capabilities… Clients leveraging Fannie Mae’s Servicing Marketplace API are now able to further streamline their loan sale process by importing updated released servicing bids from their co-issue partners without manual maintenance, inclusive of effective dates and historical pricing.”
Turning to the bond markets, we saw rates move higher yesterday following the release of solid April Retail Sales data that included an upward revision to the March reading. Overall spending helps drive the economy, and consumer spending on goods was decent in April, with core retail sales, which exclude auto, gas station, building materials, and food and drinking services sales, jumping 0.4%. Fannie’s trading desk reported that, “Yesterday’s price action brought out heavy mortgage trading volume as originators flushed out their pipelines and delta hedged into the sell-off. The street reported $3.1 billion in origination compared to a 5-day average of $2 billion.”
And on the speaking circuit, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said he would like to see the Fed’s balance sheet decline to under $3 trillion. SF Fed President John Williams said he is comfortable with the current pace of rate hikes.
This morning we’ve had weekly mortgage applications from the MBA for last week (down almost 3% with refis back to 2008 levels), and April housing starts and building permits (1.287 million, -1.7%, permits fell to 1.352 million). We’ll also have April industrial production and capacity utilization, along with two scheduled Fed speakers: Atlanta Fed President Bostic and St. Louis’ Bullard. Hump Day starts with rates a tad lower versus Tuesday’s close: the 10-year is yielding 3.06% and agency MBS prices are better a shade.
In honor of the upcoming royal wedding, use your royal wedding guest name at work today.
Start with either Lord or Lady.
Your first name is one of your grandparents’ first names.
Your surname is the name of your first pet.
Then “of” followed by the name of the street you grew up on.
Have fun!
Signed – Lord Ivan Toodles of Carniel.
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, “Amazon in the Mortgage Jungle.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are over 300 mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to Copyright 2018 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

May 15: LO jobs, coaching, warehouse, marketing products; training on underwriting, compliance, business income, and agency products

Legal eagles out there are buzzing about PHH deciding not to appeal the U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C.’s January decision in its CFPB challenge. Recall that four months ago the U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. Circuit ruled en banc in favor of PHH’s RESPA claims, but rejected its CFPB constitutionality claims. With neither PHH nor the CFPB filing a petition for certiorari, the PHH case will not serve as a vehicle for Supreme Court review of the CFPB’s constitutionality. (Assuming that the CFPB is still called the CFPB), it released its regulatory agenda last week. In other legal/regulatory news, Nationstar Mortgage agreed to return of inspection fees in a $1 million settlement with Maryland.
Employment and retirement
“At Lenda, we close loans three times as fast as the industry average. Lenda is a San Francisco-based startup is on a mission to create a simple, radically transparent home loan experience for consumers. As a Home Loan Advisor, you will work closely with a high performing operations team to deliver loans to borrowers in as fast as 13 days. You will approach our customers with a consultative, customer-service driven approach and be the liaison between operations and the borrower throughout the entire loan process. Our technology will deliver new qualified leads for you every day and you must respond to those lead within 1 hour. We are looking for experienced loan officers who want to join a team that is transforming mortgage into a paperless, honest, transparent and fast industry. At capacity, we expect that you will be able to fund at least 15 loans/month. If this sounds like a good fit for you, please apply here.”
Congrats to Wells Fargo Home Lending’s EVP Brad Blackwell who announced his September retirement from Wells’ Housing Policy and Homeownership Growth Strategies.
Products for LOs and lenders
Mortgage Speaker and New York Times Bestselling Author, Todd Duncan, recently announced that his High Trust Coaching Program has 60 slots opening up June 1, 2018. Between May 15th-29th, they are offering a free 30-minute coaching consultation to see if coaching is right for you. The program boasts that their coaching members make 8X more than the industry median. Consideration will be on a first come basis to those who qualify. Click here to schedule your free consultation.
Maxwell, the emerging digital mortgage leader for lending teams across the nation, is continuing to make a huge impact in the industry. From independent lenders to credit unions and even TPOs, I’ve seen their product drive real results and transform businesses. They’re scaling incredibly fast, now facilitating over $1B in origination volume per month. It shouldn’t be surprising that an easy to launch borrower-centric experience can take the industry by storm. The team at Maxwell has told me they are closing mortgages over 45% faster than the industry average and reducing underwriting turns by 25%. If a digital mortgage platform isn’t on your road map for 2018, it needs to be! Learn More About Maxwell Here. 
One of the difficulties of implementing new technology is how it integrates with current software and business processes. While future time savings of technology is an obvious benefit, set up can be a real challenge. Choosing a company that will consistently be there to support you during and after implementation is the key to success. As an example, new technology like the Bid Auction Manager (BAM) from MCT introduces the ability to significantly improve processing speed of an organization’s best execution loan sales. Built to integrate quickly and easily into existing secondary processes, the software includes rapid market-adjusted pricing, commitment data write-back, and a centralized bid repository, all from a dedicated team of capital markets experts who provide ongoing support. Whenever you’re considering new technology: schedule a demo, think about the amount of time saved, the difficulty of implementation, and ongoing support offered to help inform your decision.  
Envoy Mortgage announced its new marketing operating system powered by Total ExpertWith the addition of Total Expert, Envoy continues its commitment to be an industry leader by offering first-rate technology. “Providing our loan originators with the best tools available continues to be one of our focus points in 2018," said Ron Millard, CEO of Envoy. “In 2017, we launched several marketing and technology driven platforms to arm our loan originators to expand their business in the local communities. We are focused on the future of the industry. As the world becomes more modern and digitally driven, so does Envoy. Our loan originators have the automation tools for many marketing and back-end processes allowing them to continue to shape strong Realtor and borrower relationships. Our partnership with Total Expert is testimony to our non-stop effort in building our brand and continuing to create lasting relationships.” 
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 contact Pamela Robinson, SVP National Sales or Deric Barnett, EVP National Warehouse Lending.
When you’re in, you’re in. And for over 22 years the team at HomeScout-HBM has been IN. In the business of helping lenders succeed by providing lead and conversion technologies to help them be successful in good markets and bad. With the many challenges facing today’s real estate lending industry, the HomeScout-HBM technology platform continues to provide loan officers with solutions that help build buyer pipelines, improve lead conversion, retain preapprovals and compete with larger lenders by engaging customers with real estate search and providing business intelligence to streamline work flows. HomeScout-HBM has proven lead and conversion technologies that have helped lenders build relationships with top-performing agents and tech-savvy homebuyers, increasing purchase production and commissions for thousands of loan officers from coast to coast. For more information and schedule a demo contact us HERE or give us a call at 952-831-0623.
Trainings and Events
Join Freddie Mac on Wednesday, May 16th for a free webinar and learn how to incorporate Loan Quality Advisor into your business processes to further strengthen loan quality, as you identify potential pre- and post-closing loan eligibility issues before delivering loans to Freddie Mac.
Indecomm is offering a complimentary “Ask Me Anything” webinar with Joy Gilpin, VP of Indecomm Compliance & Mortgage Learning, on Thursday, May 17 at 2PM ET. The topic is Policy & Compliance. “We offered the first one last week and it was a big success, and we’re offering the next one this week. “What policies you are required to have based on entity type? Risk exposure relative to compliance training? Compliance management systems, oversight, and requirements? Whether a policy you have provides the appropriate coverage to be considered compliant?” You’ll be able to submit your questions live during the webinar session.
Learn how to avoid common underwriting mistakes with Plaza’s Wednesday, May 16th webinar presented by Genworth.
Arch MI has a complimentary Fannie Mae HomeStyle webinar on May 17. “The session will cover guidelines and expanded eligibility for HomeStyle Renovation and HomeStyle Energy, including program features and benefits.”
Hear from Ari Karen, Principal with Offit Kurman and CEO of Strategic Compliance Partners, on 5/17 at 1PM ET as he discusses best practices and strategies for mergers and acquisitions in the mortgage industry in this webinar.
Register for the Sun West webinar on May 23rd to learn about its enhancements to the SunSoft BrokerQueue.
Register for the Richey May & Co. Webinar 3: Provisions Impacting Business Income Under Tax Reform on May 24th. This webinar will examine the entity changes with the largest potential influence on the lending community.
Sun West is adding Fannie Mae’s HomeStyle® Renovation into its program / product library effective immediately. Register for its May 30th webinar for FHA 203k Rehabilitation and HomeStyle Renovation Training.
The Fannie Mae 2018 Risk Management Boot Camp is open. “Register today to enhance your knowledge of quality control, underwriting/policy, and condo project standards. All sessions will focus on mitigating post-purchase risk while supporting our joint commitment to loan quality. Participation is exclusive to Fannie Mae sellers/servicers. For more information, check out the Boot Camp fact sheet.
ACUMA is holding a workshop for mortgage-lending credit unions in Charleston SC May 22-23, and another in Minneapolis in mid-June.
The Indiana Mortgage Bankers is having its 2018 IMBA State Convention and 60th Anniversary Gala in early June in Ft. Wayne.
The Mortgage Collaborative will be holding its 2018 Summer Conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago, IL from Sunday, August 19th through Tuesday, August 21st. That is also the weekend of the Chicago Air & Water Show, America’s largest air show. “TMC has done something pretty neat with their conferences, they allow their lender members to dictate the content, format, and agenda of their events. The result? A myriad of lender-led, discussion-based breakout sessions each day on (very specific) topics and issues viewed as the most pertinent by their national network of lenders.”
Capital markets
Folks wonder about non-QM, jumbo, or ARM securities. “Tight spreads” are good things for LO/borrower pricing, and spreads between non-QM pools and AAA have been tightening over the last year as the market has become more comfortable with this asset class. The deals coming to market have less risker layer and offsetting factors such as lower LTVs compared to the alt-A and subprime pools of the past. Pool sizes have typically ranged between $200 million and $300 million though first-time issuers have trended below $200 million. Looking at the last twelve deals, spreads have tightened from a high of 110bps in February 2017 to 58bps in January 2018 with a couple outliers likely due to uniqueness in the pool characteristics. While the tightening cannot be solely attributed to increased familiarity with the product as well as increased liquidity, these factors are significant and could likely contribute to continuing tightening in AAA spreads. 
Housing and jobs drive the economy. As a reminder, existing home sales increased 1.1 percent to a 5,600,000 annualized pace and new homes sales increased 4.0 percent to a 694,000 pace.  Supply for existing homes remains tight at just 3.6 months’ worth and new homes stand at a moderately tight 5.2 months’ worth. The tight supply is expected to support moderate house price gains as we continue through the year. According to the most recent Case-Shiller US National Home Price Index, prices have increased 6.3 percent over the previous twelve months with Western cities showing the strongest gains.
Yesterday 10-year Treasury yields closed at nearly 3% as investors assessed the outlook for trade relations and tensions in the Middle East when President Trump eased some tensions ahead of a meeting in Washington between U.S. and Chinese officials this week, despite mixed comments from some in his administration. He did tweet that he and Chinese President Xi are working on getting Chinese telecom firm ZTE back into business soon. Traders will get to take the pulse of the Chinese economy today: China’s retail sales and FAI (fixed income investment) fell short while industrial production was better than expected.
Cleveland Fed President Mester said she sees gradual rate hikes over the medium term but cautioned that rates could go up more quickly if economy grows faster than expected. She also advised on the U.S. working now to keep debt-to-GDP ratio from getting out of hand in the future.
This morning we’ve had April retail sales (+.3%, control +.4%) and May’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey (at 20.1, higher than forecast). The Redbook Same-Store Sales Index for the week ending May 12 is due out shortly thereafter at 8:55am ET (previously 0.8% MoM, 4.25% YoY). The May NAHB Housing Market Index and March business inventories are next up at 10AM ET with the NY Fed’s Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit at 11AM. The Treasury will auction $45 billion of 1-month T-bills at 11:30AM. We also have several Fed speakers: Dallas’ Kaplan, the Senate Banking Committee’s nomination hearings on Rich Clarida (Vice Chair) and Michelle Bowman (Governor), and San Francisco Fed President Williams. After the initial retail sales and manufacturing data, we find the 10-year yielding 3.04% and agency MBS prices are worse .250.
(Thanks to Thomas N for this one.)
Beer does not make you fat, it actually makes you lean… against bars, chairs, tables walls, doors and sometimes even toilets.
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, “Amazon in the Mortgage Jungle.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are over 300 mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to Copyright 2018 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

May 14: LO jobs, subservicer review & marketing products; Union Home & Alliance deal; reverse mortgage changes

“Forward” lenders can’t ignore that 10,000 people a day in the U.S. turn 62. Of course, not every one owns a home, or has appreciation – but many do. And thus, plenty of lenders now have reverse mortgage departments. All FHA HECMs are non-recourse loans. The borrower or the estate will never owe more than the value of the subject property at loan maturity. In many instances, reverse mortgage borrowers “walk away” from a reverse mortgage with equity! (More below on reverse lending development and law changes.)
Employment & personnel moves
Congratulations to Jim Anderson, Aaron Shepler, and Mike Floyd who have joined First Look Appraisals leadership team. Jim Anderson joins as EVP of Business Development and Strategy, overseeing advancements for strategic growth. Jim stated, “the people, processes and proprietary technology at First Look will positively disrupt the industry and provide lenders and appraisers a best-in-class solution.” Aaron Shepler is Chief Technology Officer and architect of First Look’s proprietary technology, Docent, that provides complete visibility and pro-active control over appraisal orders.  Along with 15 years of experience leading development teams, Aaron previously served as CTO for the largest independent AMC in the US. Mike Floyd, Chief Corporate Appraiser, has over 20 years of appraisal industry experience including ten years as Chief Corporate Appraiser for a large national AMC. Mike directs appraisal quality control policy and procedure and focuses on cultivating the industry’s best national appraiser panel. To learn more about First Look Appraisals contact Jim.
Assurance Financial is quietly growing into a nationwide leader in lending. Just ask Mike Killmeyer who recently opened a branch for Assurance Financial in Denver, Colorado. “Mike was equipped to take loan applications immediately with little downtime and is now poised to add to his growing professional staff. Mike and his team saw that our compensation structure is excellent, and our back-office support was second to none – 16 years of working, changing, and perfecting it. He also saw that we have an unwavering mission to close loans on time, every time! We have immediate openings for proven, successful, producing Branch Managers and MLOs in Wilmington, Charlotte, Denver, Austin, and many other branch locations throughout the country.” For immediate consideration, contact Paul Peters, CMB, Assurance Financial, Recruiting Manager (225-239-7948).
Lender products and training
New Penn Financial has launched a new High Balance Extra product that’s perfect for borrowers exceeding max conforming loan limits. This proprietary product provides attractive benefits such as DU risk assessment allowing for reduced documentation and reserve requirements. Some of the highlights include: Loan Amounts up to $750,000 with no county restrictions, 90% LTV with no MI, FICOs down to 680, DTI to 45% and Cash out to $500,000. Visit to learn more.
Do you use Cenlar as your subservicer? Richey May & Co., a public accounting firm recognized as the leader in providing audit, tax, compliance and oversight services within the industry, will once again be conducting a review over Cenlar in early June to assist companies with their monitoring and oversight responsibilities. Richey May’s oversight report is over 120 pages and includes interviews with all servicing departments as well as compliance, internal audit, QC, IT and Vendor Management. It also offers loan-level testing specific to a client’s portfolio in numerous and varied servicing areas. To learn more about Richey May’s comprehensive oversight review program and the upcoming review over Cenlar, or to participate in the oversight review already conducted earlier this year over Dovenmuehle, please contact Kevin Lohry.
Caliber Home Loans, Inc. recently expanded its mobile platform to now support its wholesale brokers.CaliberH2O is a feature rich mobile app that puts the power of Caliber’s proprietary H2Online system, conveniently in the palm of their brokers’ hands. Brokers can search, price and lock loans from the app, which syncs real-time with the online platform. Caliber CEO Sanjiv Das said, ‘Caliber’s investment in technology provides a new level of service for our wholesale business partners than ever before. Through a secure digital platform, mortgage professionals can take their business outside of the office and have information readily available at their fingertips.’ To learn more ways CaliberH2O can work for a broker’s business, watch this short video. The mobile app is currently available to download in both the App Store and Google Play. 
Join this week’s webinar – Mortgage Sales & Marketing Boot Camp: 6 Tips to Master Marketing – on May 18, from 10-10:45am PTRegister here. If you’re interested in making a real impact on your company’s bottom line with your marketing efforts, this is the webinar for you! Join this webinar to learn how to unify your end-to-end marketing to sales process for a better borrower experience. Industry experts Dale Vermillion (Mortgage Champions) and Josh Friend (Insellerate) will go over best practices around creating a seamless lead journey to maximize conversion. Register today to learn how to get more out of your current marketing spend, email best practices, and how to improve content engagement.
eRAMP reduces MERS workload by 70% or more with batch processing. Submit 25, 500 or more loans to MERS in minutes. All transaction types supported; Registration, Update, Transfer of Rights and more. eRAMP has been the leader in batch processing MERS transactions for nearly 15 years. Lenders with LendingQB’s loan origination system receive additional benefits through our LQB integration including eRAMP’s exclusive registration confirmation report uploading into EDocs. It’s all about more loans, less work. If you are interested in learning more about eRAMP, contact Greg Uttal (818.917.2265) or visit
Comp survey
In a market where top producers are in high demand and unemployment is at an all-time low, are your compensation plans competitive to recruit and retain these valuable resources? Each year, STRATMOR Group conducts a compensation study — Compensation Connection. This study captures details on compensation levels for key positions in mortgage banking, provides insight into how incentive plans are structured and reports the key drivers in compensation differences. This information is vital for recruiting and retaining the right people. Time is running out to register and participate in this Compensation Connection. Don’t miss this opportunity to have the compensation information you need. Participants receive a customized report comparing your company’s data to industry averages, and modules are priced individually so you can choose which are most relevant to your company. Find all the program details and register to participate at this link by Tuesday, May 15: 2018 STRATMOR Compensation Connection.
Lender M&A
Ohio’s Union Home Mortgage Corp. (UHM) announced the Asset Purchase of Alliance Home Loans, headquartered in Arizona, under the Union Home Mortgage brand. UHM has grown to 130+ established retail branches across 36 licensed states and this agreement will push Union Home’s loan volume over 4 billion dollars in annual loan production. Culture is important for both. Bill Cosgrove, CEO and owner of Union Home Mortgage, believes, “The culture match is wonderful and Jamie Korus Pearce [President of Alliance Home Loans] should be proud of the company she has built. Alliance employees have impressed us, and they are absolute UHM material.” Ms. Pearce stated, “My team is my most valuable asset and the decision to join UHM was easy because their culture is to value and treat their team in the same manner. UHM has the most impressive leadership team I have ever seen, and the platform, operations and tools that they have created and made available has everyone extremely excited about this new venture.” (UHM has retail, wholesale, consumer direct, a rapid growing servicing portfolio, and is an approved direct lender of F&F, FHA, VA, USDA, and other conforming and non-QM loan products.)
Reverse news
The Federal Savings Bank (TFSB), one of the largest privately held federally chartered banks in America focused on residential home lending, announced plans to offer its Member Reverse Mortgage Program to credit unions nationwide. “Since most credit unions do not offer reverse mortgages to their members, this partnership with TFSB is an opportunity for credit unions to better serve their growing population of retirement-aged members through this expanded product offering. The partnerships will be based strictly on a referral basis and allow TFSB to educate more seniors about this less-known option to plan for a secure financial future. (Learn more about TFSB’s Member Reverse Mortgage at
FHA has released Version 2.5 of the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) Calculation Software on its Home Equity Conversion Mortgages for Lenders (HECMs) webpage under “Software.” Version 2.5 of the HECM Calculation Software (Calculator) includes the new Initial Mortgage Insurance Premium (IMIP) formula for HECM refinance cases.
Washington has enacted House Bill 2057, an “Act relating to the services and processes available when residential real property is abandoned or in foreclosure” (the “Act”). The Act is effective as of June 7, 2018. The Act “modifies provisions relating to nonjudicial foreclosures, required beneficiary remittances, notice of pre-foreclosure for residential reverse mortgages, and a process for when residential real property is determined by a local government to be abandoned, in mid-foreclosure, and a nuisance.”
The state of New York modified its Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law and Civil Practice Law and Rules relating to foreclosure upon a reverse mortgage. The provisions regarding reverse mortgage loans, including a new disclosure and defining a reverse mortgage as a home loan, become effective immediately and are deemed to have been in full force and effect on and after April 20, 2017. A home loan shall include a loan secured by a reverse mortgage if the following requirements are met: The borrower is a natural person; The debt is incurred by the borrower primarily for personal, family or household purposes; The loan is secured by a mortgage or deed of trust on real estate improved by one to four family dwelling or a condominium unit used or occupied or intended to be used or occupied wholly or partly, as the home or residence of one or more persons and which is or will be occupied by the borrower as the borrower’s principal dwelling; and the property is located in the state of New York.
Register for Plaza’s May 15th webinar on how to use the Reverse Mortgage to purchase a home.
Dan Ribler with Baseline Reverse tells us, “Total new production bond issuance in March and April 2018 was $817MM vs total new production issuance in the same period of 2017 of $1,092MM, (so) volumes are down ~25% vs “the good ol’ days” of 2017. It’s also worth noting that November and December were massive new issuance months vs the rest of 2017. AAG set the pace again in April, issuing $103.5MM of new production bonds, $92MM of which was Annual LIBOR. The $103.5MM represents 25.8% market share. This is down from 29.4% market share and $122MM of new production bonds in March. With $77.7MM of new production bonds in April, FAR captured 19.4% market share, in line with the $77.8 they issued in March. In April RMF issued $70.8MM of new production, down from $85.6MM the month prior. Ocwen created $62.3MM in April to take 15.5% of the market, up from 11% share on $45.9MM in March. Rounding out the top 5, Longbridge captured just under 11% of the market, creating $43.6MM in new production bonds. (As always, fully interactive charts are available on our site with loan level data available in Baseline Universe.)
Earlier in the year, new HMBS issuance (containing Ginnie Mae backed Home Equity Conversion Mortgages – HECMs), were at $1.26 billion so far in 2018, compared to $1.04 billion for the first two months of 2017.  For the month of February, American Advisors Group (AAG) led the way with $149.8MM/24.7% followed by, Reverse Mortgage Funding (RMF) ($122.3MM /20.1%), Finance of America Reverse (FAR) ($112.3MM/18.5%), Longbridge Financial at ($84.8MM/14.0%), Live Well Financial ($67.3MM/11.7%), and Ocwen Loan Servicing ($53.1MM/8.7%). RMF issued $689 million of seasoned pools in February.
Capital markets
Sure, rates are heading higher this year, but for now they’re pretty quiet. The 10-year closed unchanged at 2.97% to end Friday, unmoved despite President Trump announcing he planned on cutting prescription drug prices in half. “Follow what he does vs. what he says,” is what one MBS trader told me recently.
This week’s calendar is heavy on Fedspeak – it’s everywhere! There are speakers scheduled for all but Friday. This includes the vetting of PIMCO’s Rich Clarida (for Vice Chair) and Michelle Bowman (Governor) by the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday morning. April retail sales is the data highlight on Tuesday with reports on inventories, TIC flows, housing and industrial production also scheduled.
Coming in this morning there was a lot of big news on the US-China trade front and this is helping to propel S&P futures higher – but having little impact on bonds. Today sees little on the data front, save the usual Monday T-bill business, two Fed speakers, and the NY Fed releasing its Survey of Consumer Expectations for April at 11:00am. Tomorrow things pick back up April Retail Sales, Retail Sales ex-auto, and May Empire Manufacturing (prior 15.8). Additionally, we will have March Business Inventories (prior 0.6%) and May NAHB Housing Market Index (prior 69). We begin the trading week with rates up a smidge: the 10-year is yielding 2.98% and agency MBS prices are down a shade versus Friday’s close.
Republican or democrat, liberal or conservative, man or woman, politics makes for strange bedfellows.
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, “Amazon in the Mortgage Jungle.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are over 300 mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to Copyright 2018 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

May 12: Reader’s thoughts on expenses, blockchain, AI, stopping phishing & trigger leads; Goldman & Apple’s credit card

If you’re reading this, you’re using technology. Things change fast, and it’s tough for the average lender to stay up on advances in mortgages, tech in general, or what tech companies are doing in the credit industry. For example, sources say Apple and Goldman Sachs are preparing to bring to market a credit card branded as an Apple Pay card. The card reportedly could be offered to customers in 2019.
Regarding cybersecurity…
From Richey May JT Gaietto put together some information about new security features released by Microsoft intended to reduce ransomware. “Rob, I wanted to let your readers know about new security features recently announced by Microsoft that are designed to reduce ransomware, a type of malware that encrypts data, rendering a company unable to conduct business until a ransom is paid to the attacker. In the past three years, the costs associated with ransomware have increased more than tenfold, reaching an estimated $5 billion globally last year.
“This new set of enhanced features is intended to improve the security of Microsoft’s Office 365 suite and to reduce the risk of ransomware. Starting on April 6th, Microsoft Office 365 customers can recover files stored in OneDrive within the last 30 days. This feature allows customers to recover data that has been lost due to accidental deletion, file corruption or ransomware. Microsoft has also enabled a new ransomware detection and recovery feature that is designed to identify malware and alert customers prior to them being negatively impacted by ransomware. Office 365 also now includes new content control functionality that enables users to set passwords on file sharing links, as well as prevent the links from being forwarded beyond the intended recipients. All of these features can be quite useful in protecting data and helping companies gain an upper hand in the ongoing fight against malicious cyber activity.”
Peter Liebert, California’s chief information security officer, has emphasized that cybersecurity must be central to all activities at the California Department of Technology, a point that is echoed in Vision 2020, the strategic plan for technological development at all levels in the state. Liebert said that cybersecurity is essential as technology becomes increasingly integral to everyday life.
Phishing? I know of companies where the IT department regularly sends out “fake” phishing emails to employees to guide them in recognizing them. Intermedia’s 2017 Data Vulnerability Report finds roughly 20% of office workers certainly have been stressed due to becoming a victim of a phishing email. These types of attacks are on the rise, so lenders and banks need to know what to look for and how to respond.
One recent phishing scam targets a company’s payroll. There are several versions of this scam, but the upshot is that thieves are using information they obtain from employees to access payroll and steal paychecks. Law firm Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart lays out one possible scenario. The scam begins with an employee receiving an email that appears to come from within his or her company. It might be an e-signature request or a survey response request. Employees are directed to click a link, access a website or possibly answer a few questions. Then, employees are asked to confirm their identity by providing their log-in credentials. Once thieves have this information, they can cause all sorts of havoc by accessing payroll portals, rerouting direct deposits to other accounts and more.
The thieves are clever in their efforts and have even come up with a workaround for skeptical employees who attempt to determine their legitimacy by responding to the sender. Those who try this route receive a prompt response “verifying” that the employee should follow the link’s instructions.
One of the major problems with phishing emails is that they seem authentic and even savvy employees familiar with the idea of phishing attempts can easily be duped. CEOs that I speak with discuss the need to familiarize employees about these types of scams and proactively train them how to react when there are doubts about an email’s legitimacy.
What are IT staffs at banks and large lenders doing? Education is key. This may seem obvious, but it is nonetheless important. Be sure to remind employees frequently never to click on an unfamiliar link in an email, even if it seems legitimate. If employees have any questions, they should pick up the phone and call human resources or the IT department. Employees should never hit reply to one of these emails or call a phone number given in the email.
Testing and training should never stop. As I mentioned above, I know of banks and lenders that regularly send their own version of phishing emails to staff members. The logic is simple. Any employee who takes the bait and clicks on the link receives extra training. Banks reason that it’s better to be proactive than to risk employees inadvertently clicking on a real scam. If you are trying this approach, the trick is to make the phishing emails seem believable. The reason so many people are ensnared by phishing emails is that they are highly believable. If you make your test messages obviously fake, you’re wasting your time.
IT chiefs find it is important to remind employees frequently that you will never ask them to share passwords or provide sensitive information over email. Repeat this message often and hopefully it will cause everyone to think twice. As phishing scams get more and more sophisticated, it becomes even more incumbent on banks and lenders to be proactive.
White House technology adviser Michael Kratsios has told a gathering of tech firms the Trump administration will take a free market approach to the development of artificial intelligence and will not let regulators get in the way. While acknowledging job displacement is inevitable, Kratsios noted the government "didn’t regulate flight before the Wright Brothers took off at Kitty Hawk." Really? Is that the best analogy?
The Federal Reserve is considering whether to change its regulatory approach to include "more specialized responses" to use of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the financial sector, says Randal Quarles, vice chairman for supervision. "To the extent you have a machine learning tool that is interacting with customers, we want to make sure that the traditional protections are being complied with," Quarles says.
Traders of mortgage-backed securities are eyeing blockchain. Standardizing trade reporting by using a blockchain-based format could make filing multiple reports in real time to central banks more efficient and could cut costs, data experts say. "Vast troves of regulatory information are legally public but cannot be considered fully available — because the information is trapped within unstructured documents and cannot be systematically extracted," Data Coalition Executive Director Hudson Hollister says.
Rick Geary sent, “In case the ‘blockchain’s potential impact in housing’ discussion grows, thought I’d pass along some collective thoughts from a few recent impromptu discussions I’ve led among peers for ‘what the future may hold’ if you’d like to offer them up when appropriate. Blockchain’s first and most likely entry point into the lending industry would appear to be the escrow/title/closing attorney domain. In simple terms, ‘blockchain’ is a way to make sure everything gets done before money is exchanged (or each party to a contract is given what’s due them once the contract’s components are fulfilled). This is the role of escrow (in dry states) and title and/or closing attorneys (in wet states). Once perfected in the closing space, it will potentially migrate to handle entire mortgage transactions with the help of advanced AI.
“Its current challenge is the speed at which blockchain executes and confirms required steps were completed, and then logs those steps correctly, before moving on to the next step. Speed is improving as the platform(s) improve, but it is presently too slow to handle millions of transactions across the country daily. It won’t stay this way, of course.
“Once the speed/execution of blockchain (and/or any next generation platform(s)) improves, and as AI is improving, the underwriting domain will be threatened. Imagine a computer is "taught" through AI to recognize ‘conditions’ and ‘clear’ them. Once all are cleared, the computers print the electronic docs and get them e-signed and distributed. The executed ‘docs’ are pushed to respective lenders for collateral and county recorders for ‘recording’.  It is the recording step which is already within the scope/power of blockchain (it can function in microseconds and has more true integrity than a stamp and a scan of a paper document done in human real time). The notary function as used in the USA (i.e., only to verify identity of the signer, not the validity of the document) is reduced, if not eventually eliminated.
“Servicing is also a natural target for blockchain to take hold. Receive payment = apply calculation, update figures and inform the involved parties. All "automatable".  No payment received by X date = issue notice to borrower and begin steps to protect the servicing lender. Basic if/then programming mostly. 
“The most industrywide influence is this: the blockchain ensures integrity, ensures back-up records are maintained, and if implemented correctly it supplies the same audit trail for both business and regulators to review. Fraud is reduced to near, if not actual, zero. 

“How long consumers will want someone (read: MLOs) to hold their hand and advise them about programs, rates, locking strategy/timing, and down payment options will largely depend upon the progress and sophistication of AI, and largely the willingness of humans to fully ‘trust’ technology alone versus someone they can look in the eye.  Technology allows efficiency, and often helps cost reductions, but does it provide true accountability?  (Hint: If it already did, offshore call centers handling millions of customer service calls daily wouldn’t exist.) It should be a very interesting next five years.”
Lender expenses

Vince Furey at OpenClose addressed a recent opening paragraph in my commentary on sales expenses. “Rob, regarding Jeff Babcock’s summation of expense reduction. Given that sales are driving the revenue opportunity, without identifying the associated loan officer/broker commission expense, it’s impossible to determine if Sales cost is the ‘real opportunity for achieving meaningful expense reductions.’ It is safe to forecast that a 10% reduction in loan officer/broker commission expense will result in a greater than 10% reduction in production; causing lost revenue. A critical area missing from this equation is the non-commission Sales expense. Considering the average loan amount in 2017 was $244,000 and average LO and broker compensation exceeded 125bps, achieving a 10% cost reduction, without negatively impacting production, would require a balanced approach of both fulfillment expense and non-commission sales expense reduction.”
Trigger leads
On the topic of selling leads, or protecting clients, from Georgia I received this. “If you want to eliminate trigger leads, fill in the phone number and email incorrectly before you pull credit and the credit agencies that sell the trigger leads will be providing incorrect information. In a short period of time the buyers will realize that the information that they are buying isn’t worth it and that problem will be solved- why try to legislate solutions when common sense works just fine. And what does it say about the quality of Loan Originators out there that lose clients to trigger leads?
“Just last month I had a client whose current lender contact my client when we ordered a payoff for a refinance and offered him a 5-year ARM FHA that was at a lower interest rate than the conventional loan that I was putting him into. Of course, he called me (as he should have), and within a few minutes I was easily able to explain to him how my deal was significantly better than what they were offering, I always end with ‘… and why did they wait until now to offer you a better deal than what they are currently charging you?’ Thus, planting the seed that they aren’t concerned with making an obscene profit off you for as long as they can.”
(Warning: Rated PG for sexual situations.)
A father buys a lie detector robot that slaps people when they lie.
He decides to test it out at dinner one night. The father asks his son what he did that afternoon.
The son says, "I did some schoolwork."
The robot slaps the son.
The son says, "Ok, Ok. I was at a friend’s house watching movies."
Dad asks, "What movie did you watch?"
Son says, "Toy Story."
The robot slaps the son.
Son says, "Ok, Ok, we were watching Stormy Daniels movies."
Dad says," What? At your age I didn’t even know what dirty movies were."
The robot slaps the father.
Mom laughs and says, "Well, he certainly is your son."
The robot slaps the mother.

Robot for sale.
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, “Amazon in the Mortgage Jungle.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.

(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are over 300 mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to Copyright 2018 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

May 11: Sales mgt., LO, AE jobs; companies wanted; HECM product; lender disaster news; U.S. economy advancing

HMDA data tells us that California accounted for 21% of residential loan volume in 2017, and 23% in ’16. It’s a big market. Thus, the industry is following a ruling that Wells Fargo must pay $97 million to California home mortgage consultants and private mortgage bankers due to the state’s labor laws. A federal judge ruled that the money they were entitled to (for work breaks) should be based not just on their hourly pay but also on their commissions. Wells Fargo’s SVP of Consumer Lending Communications Tom Goyda wrote to me. “All of the parties in the lawsuit agree that Wells Fargo provided rest periods for its HMCs and PMBs, as required by state law. What’s in question is if they were appropriately compensated for those rest periods. Overall, we believe Wells Fargo’s compensation structure for its Home Mortgage Consultants complies with California’s wage and hour laws, including pay for all break periods, and allows our HMCs to earn competitive, performance-based compensation. We plan to appeal on the basis that the court’s decision reflects both a misunderstanding of our HMC compensation plan and a misapplication of the relevant state law.” Commissioned California LOs are riveted!
Employment, business opportunities
Hamilton Group Funding continues its double-digit growth trend, with Q1 achieving the largest quarterly lending volume in the company’s 15-year history. The firm is seeking a dynamic Regional Lending Manager to report directly to its new President/CEO, Pat Sheehy. Location is flexible for an exemplary candidate. “HGF is an equal opportunity employer and is proud to be named one of South Florida’s Top Workplaces for the second year in a row. We have an entrepreneurial and family-oriented culture and offer residential mortgages in 11 states through 25 offices.” Inquiries can be made in confidence to HR VP Amanda Smith.
Waterstone Mortgage Corporation, a national bank-owned mortgage lender headquartered in Pewaukee, WI, is looking to acquire small to mid-sized traditional retail, purchase-focused mortgage companies nationwide. “Today’s tighter margins and complex regulatory environment motivate many small mortgage companies to seek ways to expand their business, including strategic acquisitions to create additional synergies. Waterstone Mortgage has the strength and stability that mortgage executives seek when considering a sale of their retail business. The lender is a wholly-owned subsidiary of WaterStone Bank SSB (NASDAQ:WSBF), which has assets of more than $1.8 billion. As a Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae-approved lender, the company offers a broad range of products including FHA, VA, USDA, and conventional loans, one-time close construction financing, bank portfolio lending products, jumbo products, and condo financing. It produced $2.5+ billion in origination volume in 2017, 90% of which comes from purchase mortgage loans.” For more information, visit
BankSouth Mortgage is pleased to announce plans for branch expansions and new locations throughout the Southeast including Georgia (Duluth, Columbus, Savannah and Athens), and a new office in Seneca, SC. This ongoing expansion and organic growth is part of management’s strategy to increase market coverage and build on BankSouth’s excellent mortgage reputation. BankSouth Mortgage is a wholly owned subsidiary of BankSouth, a community bank that has served their customers for more than 70 years. BankSouth Mortgage reiterates their commitment to quality service without compromise by delivering more access to a trusted advisor and their products and services. BankSouth Mortgage recently launched the “ReadyLoan” app in preparation for the launch of the “ReadyLoan” program, which provides the consumer transparency in the process and delivers application to approval in just 9 days. BSM is focused on providing their mortgage originators with a combination of technology, marketing, products and operational support designed to grow their personal loan production. If you are looking for a new home to grow your loan production, please email to learn more!
Lakeview keeps on growing! “We are pleased to announce the addition of three mortgage veterans joining our Correspondent and Wholesale sales teamsLakeview Correspondent welcomes two new Business Development Directors, Scott Bailey and Tom Dawson, both formally with Ditech. Scott will cover the Southeast region and Tom will cover the new North Texas region. Lakeview Wholesale welcomes Becky Vaughan, who will serve as Account Executive in the Denver market.  Becky brings over 30 years of industry experience, most recently as a regional sales manager heading sales production teams in the Denver and Texas markets. Backed by the strength of the Bayview family of companies, the Lakeview sales team continues to grow and has open positions with large territories for experienced Wholesale Account Executives in the Western States.” Interested parties should contact Kiely Hall-LaValley.
Lender products, surveys, & classes
Here’s a quiz. How many homes are owned by seniors in the US? Answer: approximately 43.8 million, per the U.S. Census Bureau. How many Reverse Mortgage Loans were funded in 2017? Answer: only 0.06 million. Ready to get involved? Baseline Reverse, the reverse mortgage industry’s source for loan performance analytics, loan pricing, and MSR valuation, is excited to announce the rollout of its HECM Hedge Advisory Service. Baseline’s team of risk managers and reverse mortgage traders can price new originations, execute hedges and loan sales, and report daily loan level P&L, on your behalf while optimizing execution and minimizing risk. For those who want to manage these processes in-house, Baseline’s web-based software is available for license as well. For more information, contact Dan Ribler. Reverse mortgage secondary-in-a-box has arrived!
It’s your last few days to enter to win $250! If you a mortgage lender who has recently participated in a mortgage technology/software launch in your business, then HousingWire and the mortgage industry want to hear from you! Complete the quick 3 min survey around mortgage software implementation for your chance to win a $250 VISA Gift Card and help shape the future of our industry. Click Here to Start!
Registration is closing Sunday for the first annual Recruiting and Leadership Mastery Program in Las Vegas. On Friday, May 18th and Saturday, May 19th a major innovation for branch managers will become reality. For the first time ever, a program for the mortgage industry has been created to specifically focus on showing managers and leaders step-by-step how to build and lead a high producing sales team. Ron Vaimberg, the President and Head Coach of nmpU, and one of the nation’s leading leadership trainers and coaches, will be presenting his complete system for leadership and recruiting success. There has never been a program like this…and this will be the ONLY one held in 2018. Don’t miss out! For complete details click here. Don’t delay – registration closes on Sunday, May 13th! 
Disaster updates
The United States is a big place. The last time I checked we have 50 states, six time zones, an elevation range of 20,600 feet, and 326 million people. Many events can befall us, and FEMA spends its days and nights…watching. Large investors have a standard protocol when it comes to loans in process, recently funded, or serviced in areas that FEMA notes. In retail, servicing, and correspondent channels, Chase, Wells, Bank of America, and SunTrust, have them, for example.
Wells Fargo and Bank of Hawaii have implemented disaster relief policies for those affected by Kilauea.
Calhoun, Cullman, and Etowah Counties in Alabama have been declared by FEMA as Major Disaster Areas for the Incident Period Date of March 19, 2018 to March 20, 2018. The Major Disaster Declaration Date was April 26, 2018. SunWest loans submitted with an appraisal dated on or before the incident period end date or for those submitted without an appraisal, Sun West will require an interior and exterior inspection prior-to-funding or purchase of any loans with subject properties that are determined to be at risk.
Due to the severe storms and flooding in Indiana from February 14th– March 4th, As of May 5th, FEMA has declared 9 Indiana counties: Carroll, Clark, Elkhart, Floyd, Harrison, Jefferson, Lake, Marshall, St. Joseph as designated disaster areas.
Mortgage Solutions Financial posted an announcement regarding Alabama’s FEMA Disaster Counties.
Mortgage Solutions Financial has posted an announcement regarding California’s FEMA Disaster Counties.
Going back a ways, AmeriHome posted that on 1/10/2018, with Amendment 14 to DR-4337, FEMA announced individual assistance for 1 additional Florida county, Hamilton, in the area affected by Hurricane Irma 9/4/2017-10/18/2017.
Last year, in response to Southern California wildfires, flooding, mudflows, and debris flows, “Sellers must follow our Disaster Policy for all properties located in ZIP codes that Wells Fargo Funding has determined were impacted. Because the path of damage was narrow, Wells Fargo Funding’s identified list of impacted ZIP codes is a reduced subset of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)declared counties and includes: A recent addition (effective January 15), ZIP codes previously communicated with Newsflash C17-060, dated December 18, 2017 (effective December 5, 2017).”
And continuing in the way back machine, PennyMac Correspondent Group posted two new announcements: 18-07: Updates to SRP Grids and LLPAs and 18-08: Disaster Policy Implementation- Southern California Thomas Fire and Mudslides.
Capital markets
Looking into the future for short-term rates, the implied market odds of the next Fed hike are overwhelming for the June 13th meeting and well above 50% for a subsequent rate hike in September.  If there is a fourth hike this year, it will likely come in December though the market is only pricing in less than a 50% percent likelihood at this time.
The markets, and much of the economic data, has been focused on the consumer. The final updated to Q4 2017 GDP provided an upward revision that estimated the economy grew 2.9 percent versus 2.56 percent from the previous estimate. Personal consumption and income have been growing. (Recall that the consumer contributed 2.8 points to economic growth as 2017 wound down. However, personal consumption slowed in the first quarter as those gains were achieved by a reduction in personal savings more than income growth. For February, personal income grew 0.4 percent as strong job growth and low unemployment are leading some employers to offer more to hire or retain employees.)
Surveys of consumer sentiment have been positive for several months although in March the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index was slightly lower than its February high and the University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey hitting a new cycle high in March. In the UofM data, it is noteworthy that much of the increase came from the bottom third of the income distribution while attitudes of the top third cooled during the month as their focus turned to trade. 
Retail sales have been doing very well in 2018. The gains have been driven by auto sales, health and person care and non-store retailers’ sales although consumption has been weak in the first quarter. Industrial production also has been strong, due in part to heavy utility demand in the Northeast and South as below average temperatures prevailed earlier this year.
US economic indicators continue to support a narrative of moderate economic growth as we move through 2018. GDP growth eased to 2.3 percent in the first quarter from 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter as consumer spending growth slowed to 1.1 percent. However, Q4 consumer spending was driven by strong car sales due to the gulf hurricanes in the fall and was expected to be weaker in the first quarter.
Looking at the bond market, as a proxy for most interest rates, the 10-year dipped back below 3% yesterday, and U.S. stocks rallied to a seven-week high while the dollar fell the most since March 21 (lifting commodities) after a weak inflation reading signaled the Federal Reserve won’t need to step up the pace of interest-rate increases. A gauge of small-cap stocks set a record and emerging-market shares rallied on the more-favorable outlook for global borrowing costs. Speaking of the globe, the pound weakened after the Bank of England held interest rates and it has been revealed that President Trump’s meeting with North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un will take place on June 12 in Singapore. The meeting will be held three days after the conclusion of the G7 Summit in Quebec. Wives invited?
Looking back to yesterday’s economic releases, the Treasury Budget for April showed a surplus of $214.3 billion versus a surplus of $182.4 billion for the same period a year ago. That is the largest April surplus on record and it was driven by the impact of large individual tax deposits. The Treasury Budget data is not seasonally adjusted, so the April surplus cannot be compared to the $208.7 billion deficit for March.
April import/export prices kick off today’s data calendar at 8:30am ET. Why do we care? They make a difference if they move rates. Nobody knows – maybe Alan Greenspan, or John Maynard Keyes. Expectations are for import prices increasing 0.7%, 0.2% ex-fuels, while exports are seen increasing 0.6% MoM. They were up .3% and .6%, respectively. Finally, the University of Michigan Sentiment Index, at 10AM ET, is seen ticking higher. Today begins with rates not doing much: agency MBS prices are unchanged and the U.S. 10-year T-note is yielding 2.95%.
You bet Moms make a difference. Just ask Thomas Edison. This is a very touching short video that you won’t regret watching.
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, “Amazon in the Mortgage Jungle.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are over 300 mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to Copyright 2018 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

May 10: Ops, capital markets, senior sales jobs, constructionperm product; M&A and repurchase webinars

Amazon, Google, Apple, Uber (largest food delivery system in the world) taking over the world? Perhaps, especially if we’re willing to give it to them. I mention this because Amazon just inked a partnership deal with Lennar Homes to put its Alexa device in control of each house: TV, lights, temperature, shades, and more. Will humans have to think for themselves in the future? In other tech news, ATTOM Data Solutions announced that it has launched ATTOM List, a new online marketing list creation platform that allows users to access public record tax, deed, mortgage and foreclosure data for nearly 155 million U.S. properties to create highly targeted direct marketing lists.
Employment, retirement, and promotions
Are you an underwriting manager looking for a new opportunity? Do you enjoy working in a fast-paced environment for a company that is focused on rewarding employees for hard work? Are you a skilled team leader who knows how to motivate your employees to get the best results possible? Then consider joining a company that has been certified as a Great Place to Work® and repeatedly recognized as a Top Employer. While some mortgage companies are facing unprecedented challenges in 2018, Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC (NMLS #1251) continues to expand and is looking for an experienced underwriting manager to lead its growing underwriting team. Ideal candidates will be DE VA SAR/LAPP certified and must reside in, or be willing to relocate to, the greater Salt Lake City area of Utah. If you’re interested in learning more about this opportunity, contact Heidi Iverson 801-461-7164). Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Envoy Mortgage is using its significant capital base to continue to grow its retail-focused business, and we are looking to add another strong Capital Markets Product Specialist to help our dedicated salesforce serve their customers. This is a time to innovate and create lasting opportunity. We are seeking a creative, extroverted and highly-motivated professional who can continually connect into the sales, risk and product network and respond to originator and borrower needs to create solutions. If you fit that profile and have great energy and imagination, along with a background of 3-5yrs in products, please contact Dave Reynolds.”
Fresh off a company record Q1Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions, the leader in non-QM lending, announced the addition of 7 more AEs in April to help brokers grow their business. Adding additional coverage across the country, Mary Moehring came on-board in Sacramento, Reginald Ross in Dallas, Peter Ronga in New Jersey, Mike Dattorre in Connecticut, Rudy Pineda in inside sales and both Laurie Cullen and Mel King in Missouri. And Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions is not done, as it continues to hire additional Wholesale Account Executives across the country as well as underwriters and other operations positions in Atlanta and Dallas. As more companies realize the benefits of offering responsible non-QM products, it only makes sense to work with the market leader. If you are interested in learning more, please visit
TCF National Bank is looking for an SVP, Director of Wholesale Mortgage Sales to provide leadership to Business Development Managers (BDM’s) across its national wholesale mortgage business. TCF produced nearly $2B of HELOC originations in 2017 to over 1,000 brokers in 43 states and is looking for an innovative leader to help lead this experienced team in serving the next stage of growth of their broker relationships. In addition, TCF is actively looking to hire BDMs to serve its broker customers in Northern CA, WA, IL, and FL. TCF is a Minnesota-based national bank holding company with $23.4B in assets and is committed to growing its wholesale mortgage business and presence across the US. If you are interested to learn more, please contact Amanda Crespo-Zemeckis (630-986-7199) for a confidential discussion.
Congrats to Freedom Mortgage Wholesale’s Sean Gerrity, Regional Manager, who is retiring tomorrow. “After many enjoyable decades in our industry, it is now time for me to pursue the open road. The open roads of our country, but ultimately our planet. Effective May 11th, I will begin travelling the United States and Canada, hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, the Continental Divide trail and the Appalachian Trail in the midst of seeing all the other states I have flown over thru the years. I have 100% confidence that each of you and Freedom Mortgage will enjoy an outstanding relationship that will effectively achieve the goal of fostering home ownership in America.” (If any clients have questions, contact your existing AE or VP Brenda Oxford.)
And Northpointe Bank welcomed Ashley Lockaby as VP – Warehouse Lending. “Ashley will be responsible for developing new relationships, while supporting current clients, in Northpointe Bank’s expanding warehouse lending business channel.”
Lender products
Mr. Cooper Correspondent is pleased to announce the Modified Construction to Perm Loan Notes product to its menu of offerings. The channel worked with Land Gorilla, Construction Lending Experts, to develop the product guidelines. Given the favorable outlook on new housing starts, this product is a welcomed option helping Correspondent clients serve the needs of borrowers seeking low, fixed- rate permanent financing. Mr. Cooper recently added FNMA, FHLMC and FHA No FICO as a non-traditional credit offering and is preparing to launch Manufactured Housing, Temporary Buydowns, Renovation Loans, E-Notes and FHLMC HomeOne. Make plans to meet with your Mr. Cooper Account Executive at the MBA’s National Secondary Market Conference & Expo in NYC. We’d appreciate the opportunity to share our strategy related to recent and upcoming product and program releases. Mr. Cooper is a premier Correspondent and Co-Issue investor and the largest non-bank servicer with a servicing portfolio exceeding $500B.
Sue Woodard, Chief Customer Officer at Total Expert, recently spoke with HW about key trends driving digital transformation in the mortgage industry: the rise of the personal brand inside the enterprise, a customer for life approach and the rapid pace of innovation. Watch Sue explain why building a personal brand is a big advantage for individual loan officers at the community level, as it can help accelerate personal trust and create customers for life — but it’s critical to support and align this with the enterprise brand. Sue talks about the importance of relationships in the mortgage industry. By getting a customer in the door, loan officers can be more profitable and get additional transactions and generate referrals from these customers time and time again – creating customers for life. Organizations leveraging technology to support personal branding within the enterprise and to help their loan officers make customers for life will continue to lead the industry. Click here to watch the interview.
Events & legal training
James Brody, Chair of Johnston Thomas’s Mortgage Banking Practice Group, having already obtained a significant number of registrations for the first in his firm’s ongoing series of complimentary webinars, and which is scheduled to take place today at 10:30 AM PST (click here to register for the free webinar, titled, "Mergers & Acquisitions in the Mortgage Banking Industry: Expert Insights and Forecasts for 2018 and Beyond"), Mr. Brody is also scheduled to host another complimentary webinar at 10:30 AM PST, on Thursday June 7, 2018, titled ““Repurchase and Indemnification Claims in 2018 and Beyond: A Comprehensive Update on the RMBS Wave, Significant Rulings from the Courts, and Successful Resolution Strategies” (click here to register for this complimentary webinar). 
In deciding to give this particular webinar, Mr. Brody states that his firm is presently defending several correspondent lenders who have received RMBS repurchase/indemnification claims and related non-disclosure agreements (“NDAs”) from JPMorgan Chase (“Chase”), who are being advised they may soon receive similar RMBS claims from Lehman Bros. Holding, Inc. (“LBHI”), who have been sued or had other legal proceedings initiated by EMC, and much more. Mr. Brody states, “The topic of our second webinar is timelier than ever. As much as our clients and the industry would love nothing more than to put these legacy issues to rest, the RMBS wave is upon us, there are many changes in the law that correspondent lenders need to know about, and it is our hope that this webinar will provide them with some invaluable information and insights.” Please contact Mr. Brody with any questions, if possible, meet with him (and his colleagues) in person at the MBA’s upcoming National Secondary Marketing Conference in NYC on May 20.
Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC has agreed to pay $4.9 billion (less than expected) to settle with the Justice Department over the sale of toxic mortgage-backed securities in the lead-up to the global financial crisis, clearing the path for the bank’s privatization. “Further details remain to be negotiated, however, before a formal agreement can be reached,” the U.S. attorney’s office in Massachusetts said in a statement. RBS has spent years paying to clean up the litigation around its role in packaging and unloading mortgage-backed bonds. Last year, it paid $5.5 billion to the Federal Housing Finance Agency over the matter. RBS reached a $500 million settlement with New York state in March. Last December, it agreed to pay $125 million to resolve claims that it made misrepresentations while selling securities to two large California pension funds. The bank still has a handful of other mortgage-backed issues to resolve which are much smaller.
The fun never ends for Wells Fargo which must pay $97 million to home mortgage consultants and private mortgage bankers in California who didn’t get the breaks they were entitled to under the state’s stringent labor laws. A federal judge in Los Angeles on Tuesday agreed with the bankers and consultants that the money they were entitled to should be based not just on their hourly pay but also on their commissions.
May’s CAMP Silicon Valley Chapter breakfast meeting is around the corner. Register now for this months’ meeting: Monday, May 11th from 8:30-10:30 at the Pizza Factory.
At the tail end of the MBA’s Secondary Marketing conference, if you want to head down the coast, ACUMA is holding a workshop for mortgage-lending credit unions in Charleston SC May 22-23.
If you’re near Indianapolis, Indiana, the Indiana Mortgage Bankers is having its 2018 IMBA State Convention and 60th Anniversary Gala in early June.
Register for October Research’s National Settlement Services Summit (NS3) to learn about compliance on a federal and state level. Industry thought leaders will discuss state regulations that could affect you soon, such as those in New York, as well as enforcement and guidance on national industry issues: NS3 June 6th – 8th.
The Mortgage Collaborative will be holding its 2018 Summer Conference in Chicago, IL from Sunday, August 19th through Tuesday, August 21st. For more details, go to TMC or contact TMC COO Rich Swerbinsky.


Capital markets
The trend in rates is higher, and yesterday’s move (the 10-year Treasury yield topped 3%) was oil-based: speculation that crude supplies may not keep up with demand forced West Texas oil to above $71 per barrel after an unexpected drop in U.S. stockpiles. Bank stock prices are improving as rates move higher. Markets continued to digest President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, and Walmart Inc. weighed on the major gauges after its deal to buy a controlling stake in India’s biggest online seller was met with skepticism.
In economic news, the Producer Price Index for final demand headline figure didn’t quite live up to expectations, showing there was a moderation in the producer price inflation trend in April. This was not significant enough to alter the Federal Reserve’s perspective pertaining to the presumed path for inflation and monetary policy – and rate hikes. That came as Atlanta Fed President (voter) Raphael Bostic said that inflation is likely to run above 2.0% for a while and that overshooting the target is not a problem for the Federal Reserve, and after the latest policy statement described the inflation target as ‘symmetric.’
Kicking off today’s session was the latest decision (along with minutes and inflation report, all as expected) from the Bank of England. In the States we’ve had April’s Consumer Price Index (+.2%, weak, core +.1%) and weekly jobless claims (211k, steady). Expectations were for CPI to increase 0.3% and 0.2% MoM, in the headline and core, vs. -0.1% and 0.2% previously, while YoY readings are seen at 2.5% and 2.2% (vs. 2.4% and 2.1%). Finally, the April Treasury Budget (prior $182.40 billion) is due out at 2pm ET. Rates are lower with agency MBS prices better .125-.250 and the 10-year yield back down to 2.6%.
(Part 4 of 4 of whatever these are. And please, no PC-related comments – some of these aren’t.)
I always wondered what the job application is like at Chippendales. Do they just give you tight shorts and say, “Here, fill this out?”
I can’t understand why women are okay that JC Penny has an older women’s clothing line named, “Sag Harbor.”
My therapist said that my narcissism causes me to misread social situations. I’m pretty sure she was hitting on me.
My 50-year kindergarten reunion is coming up soon and I’m worried about the 175 pounds I’ve gained since then.
Denny’s has a slogan, “If it’s your birthday, the meal is on us”. If you’re in Denny’s, and it’s your birthday, your life has room for improvement!
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