LenderNews by Rob Chrisman
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June 7: Lenders hiring DTC chief, Ops, producers; banks & mortgage banks buying other banks & mortgage banks; new non-QM entrant; upcoming webinars

June 7, 2016

Welcome to a day of primary elections in New Jersey, Montana, New Mexico, South & North Dakota…and California. As one pundit pointed out, “The problem we have is that 47% of Americans, who pay ZERO federal income tax, voting on what to charge everyone else.” Is change imminent in the political landscape? We’ll see, but things are certainly changing in the lending company, products, & personnel landscape.
 
As part of its national expansion plan, Mortgage Master, a division of loanDepot LLC, welcomes Jared Ward as Southeast Regional Manager. “I am excited to be supported by an exceptional team of leaders, producers, and operational professionals who have solidified Mortgage Master as one of the best in the business,” said Ward. “Our originators are 2 to 3 times more productive than the national average, the average tenure for our top originators is 7 years, and we are uniquely positioned to provide our clients with personal consumer loans. Being backed by loanDepot, one of the most cutting edge companies in the industry, Mortgage Master is poised to be the preeminent mortgage lender for the serious originator.” Mortgage Master was founded in 1988 and funded $6.9 billion in 2015. Based in Walpole, MA, the company has over 40 branch locations and 370 licensed originators across the United States. To learn more about Mortgage Master’s plans for the Southeast email Jared Ward or Stacey Pereira.  
 
Under the “new products” banner, “Many originators & brokers come across borrowers that are fine credit risks but don’t fit many company’s guidelines. Greenbox Loans was founded based on the concept of ‘out of the box’ underwriting of residential loans. Raymond Eshaghian, President of Greenbox Loans believes that the “The residential lending environment has been plagued by regulatory challenges limiting credit to well qualified borrowers that do not fit in the box. We think outside the box with a common sense approach in helping qualified borrowers obtain the financing they need. Greenbox’s proprietary programs and guidelines include 24 Months Bank Statement loans with 580+ FICO score – up to $2MM loan amounts, no income investor loans (borrowers qualify based on rental income up to 75% LTV), no income investor loans for Foreign National borrowers up to 70% LTV, Non-Prime loans up to $2MM with 500+ FICO score, Non-Prime loans for borrowers with recent short sale/foreclosure/BK discharge, and non-warrantable condo programs. For more information on programs or on becoming an approved broker, contact Greenbox Loans at (800) 919-1086; email wholesaleinfo@greenboxloans.com for additional program information.
 
A longtime, well established, and highly reputable Midwest/south bank retail originator and servicer looking to build out a consumer-direct mortgage origination channel. Consumer Direct is growing and there is big opportunity for a CD executive who wants to start from scratch, bring on a team and grow a direct unit quickly to support this growing servicing base. The company has deep capital, with all the agency approvals and experience necessary to be successful, including Fannie, Freddie and Ginnie Mae approvals. The head of CD job includes responsibility for all aspects of production including Sales, Lead development internal/external, and Marketing. The ideal candidate has 10 years of experience, and has experience in building successful teams. Interested parties can send confidential resumes to me (please specify opportunity).
 
From Kentucky comes news that Republic Bank & Trust Company (headquartered in Louisville, KY) is pleased to announce the hiring of Alan Kalell as Chief Development and Strategy Officer of Mortgage Lending. “Alan is a seasoned mortgage veteran with over 20 years of experience in the mortgage industry, most recently as CEO of Mortgage Solutions of Colorado.  Alan will be responsible for our strategic plan to expand the Consumer Direct, Retail and Correspondent Lending channels as well as establishing a Wholesale platform.” “We are excited to add the talents and experience of Alan to our existing mortgage platform and looking forward to expanding our mortgage products nationwide under his leadership in the years to come,” stated Steve Trager, Republic Bank Chairman & CEO.
 
An exciting, well-known, and rapidly growing retail lender is in need of several operations positions. The company has a culture of fully supporting its loan officers in assisting their clients, and due to increasing loan officer ranks is hiring closers, underwriters, post-closing specialists, operations mid-level and senior management. “Most are able to work remotely so if you are interested please reach out directly to the president and we will be happy to respond immediately to your inquiry! It’s a great company that you will really enjoy!”
 
A couple upcoming events/webinars of note…
 
We know many originators are having their best years, but want to invest the same amount of time (or less) and produce more. NMP U (National Mortgage Professional Magazine‘s professional development division) is hosting a webinar entitled How to Instantly Multiply Your Production and Referrals on Thursday, June 9 at 2PM EDT.  Generating consistent predictable growth in production is what most MLOs strive for. Click here to join Ron Vaimberg, Executive Director / Head Coach of NMP U as he shows you the secrets to increasing your originations no matter what is going on in the market.
 
Next week PCBB (Pacific Coast Bankers Bank) is offering a free webinar for banks titled, “Fixed Rate Loans for Customers & A Floating Rate for You.” “You can offer your business customers a long term fixed rate loan but keep a floating rate for your bank. Manage interest rate risk without hedge accounting issues. Sign up for a free webinar to learn more about the program and how it can benefit your bank: www.pcbb.com/company/events.
 
The Dallas Mortgage Leadership Roundtable will bring together “prominent housing industry experts on June 16, 2016 to discuss the direction of the mortgage industry. The event is being hosted by National Mortgage Insurance Corporation (National MI), a California-based private mortgage insurer, and ISGN, a leading provider of award-winning technology solutions to the mortgage industry.” Contact Tracy Berry.
 
Maybe it’s the time around the Memorial Day Holiday week, but announced bank mergers & acquisitions have quieted down a little. S&P Global Market Intelligence reports that through May 15, there have been almost 8% fewer bank M&A deal announcements vs. the same point last year (95 vs. 103).
 
In mortgage banking, “The summer is hot and strong for many small to mid-tier mortgage banks ($250M-$1.5B per year), but again, the winter is around the corner, and many mortgage banks should expect pipelines to reduce by 40-50% – unless of course, they have the capital to continue their sales and marketing push to acquire new branches", says Dr. Rick Roque, (413.297.6895). "With the cost of marketing and compliance leaving many companies in this segment to look for capital partners or plainly to be acquired in order to better position them for growth while minimizing their risk. This will continue to motivate the M&A activity through 2017, and the high production volume today, will help inflate the purchase multiples for companies willing to explore being acquired by the right capital partner. 
A leading Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) firm is seeking mortgage banks in the Midwest or Mid-Atlantic markets to be purchased either by selling their stock or assets. Applicable mortgage companies would have closed between $300M-$1.2B in 2015, or on pace to doing so in 2016, either consumer direct or referral partner (Realtor) based originations. No Agency approvals are necessary since they are already in place. If you would like to have your firm acquired, possibly receive a 2-4x after tax multiple, maintain your leadership and control, but rapidly accelerate your growth with significant access to capital, a broad array of new / innovative and non QM products, please contact me for a confidential discussion – principals and agents are encouraged to respond. (Please specify opportunity.)
 
Coming back to banks, S&P reports the median price-to-tangible book ratio this year has been 130.20% vs. 136.11% as of the same point last year (about a 4% decline). In the last week or so the only news has been that three-bank holding company QCR Holdings ($2.6B, IL) will acquire Community State Bank ($595mm, IA) for $80mm in cash or about 1.24x tangible book. mBank ($729mm, MI) will acquire The First National Bank of Niagara ($68mm, WI) for about $7.3 million in cash. RCB Bank ($2.5B, OK) will acquire Cornerbank ($271mm, KS).
 
And there are plenty of developments in the residential lending arena.
 
Nashville-based FirstBank’s FirstBank Mortgage has completed the asset acquisition of Finance of America Mortgage’s Correspondent Division (Formerly PMAC Correspondent Lending). The new venture will be known as FirstBank Correspondent Lending. “We are honored and eager to welcome the Correspondent Lending group to FirstBank Mortgage,” said Wib Evans, President of FirstBank Ventures. “We look forward to having Bill Scammell and his seasoned mortgage specialists on our team!” As part of the acquisition, FirstBank Correspondent Lending will proudly utilize the innovative loan delivery software, Fusion.
 
California’s Guild Mortgage Co., an independent mortgage banking company, has announced its agreement to acquire Tenura Holding’s AmeriPro Home Loans based in Austin, Texas. “The new acquisition will add $750 million in loan volume and is expected to close July 1, making Guild one of the largest companies in Texas. From 2010 to 2015, Guild grew from its western base into the Southeast and Southwest, increasing its number of branches and satellites from 75 to more than 230. AmeriPro has 29 branches in states such as Oklahoma, Florida, Colorado, California and Utah. Guild is no slouch, providing jumbo home loans through its relationship with Mutual of Omaha Bank and currently servicing over $22 billion.
 
And Guild is hiring. “As Guild Mortgage Company continues the march to establish themselves as the leading privately-held mortgage company in the nation, expansion continues in its Texas Region which includes Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Founded in 1960, Guild Mortgage is licensed in 37 states. If you are a branch manager or loan officer, looking to align with a direct seller/servicer in one of these states, please contact Jed Rudd, District Manager (682.498.8990).
 
In other personnel news, Pennsylvania’s GMH Mortgage Services, LLC, announced the appointment of Joseph Nattans, Jr. as President effective June 1. Nattans recently served as GMH Mortgage’s Senior Vice President of National Retail Sales and has been with the company since 2010.
 
Shifting gears to interest rates, yesterday the bond market gave back some of its Friday improvement. Regardless, we’re still in the range we’ve been in for most of 2016. We began the day slightly worse, but most of the bond market’s movement was due to Fed Chair Yellen’s downplaying the significance of the May jobs report…but did not do so forcefully enough to convince traders that the June 15th rate decision could potentially hold the second hike in this cycle. She was upbeat on the economic outlook while noting that "uncertainties are sizeable."
 
On everyone’s radar screens is the June 23 Brexit referendum (British exit) should also keep those expectations at bay and move the market’s focus to the July meeting. There is also insufficient U.S. economic data out over the next eight days to give the Fed confidence to tighten policy – or do anything for that matter.
 
Speaking of economic data, today we’ve had the Q1 Productivity and Unit Labor Costs (-.6% as expected, +4.5, respectively) – not generally market-movers – and later is a $24 billion 3-year Treasury auction. Yesterday, by the time the MBS traders hit the subways, the 10-year note closed down/worse nearly .250 in price, yielding 1.72% but MBS prices were only worse a smidge. This morning the 10-year is unchanged at 1.72% and agency MBS prices are better a smidge.
 
 
Here is part 2 (of 3) of some very subtle humor about, “Can one boil down questions in Q&A sessions to certain categories?” about folks asking questions after speeches.
8. “Hi, I’d like to complain about as many things as possible before the moderator realizes I’m not building up to a question of any kind and cuts me off.”
9. “I’m deeply unpleasant, and have run out of friends and family members who are willing to put up with my opinions.”
10. “I used to like your work, but I don’t now. Have you considered doing the things I like again?”
11. “Hi, I have a personal anecdote that I believe completely disproves the central thesis of your research.”
12. “This is more of an observation than a question – in fact it’s not a question at all – in fact it’s less an observation than an open-ended series of unconnected thoughts wrapped in a thin veneer of criticism – I’ve never asked a question in my life.”
13. “I have read a great many books. Please acknowledge how many books I have read. I will not stop listing them until you acknowledge it.”
 
 
If you’re interested, visit my twice-a-month blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “The Fed’s QE: Help or Hindrance to Lending?” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
Rob
 
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are over 300 mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2016 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.)