LenderNews by Rob Chrisman
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June 7: MI, LO jobs, book for brokers; Fannie & Freddie changes; capital market exec’s view on rates & locks for LOs

June 7, 2017

Summer’s here, school’s out for many, and it’s time for vacation, right? Here’s a little trivia for your co-workers. What is number of available vacation days that Americans collectively did not take in 2016? Try “662 million” on for size. (There are about 124 million full time workers in the U.S.) Do you really think you’ll be on your death bed saying, “I’m sure glad I didn’t use all my vacation time again this year – the company would collapse without me there. Besides, I enjoy work more than vacation!”?
 
Jobs, LO products, residential broker book, personnel
 
Finance of America Mortgage is listed as a Top 10 Mortgage Lender, and is moving to Utah. “With residential lending, reverse mortgages, fix & flip and renovation financing, FAM has tools to help you grow your business! We have exciting opportunities for Branch managers and Mortgage Originators in Salt Lake City, and throughout all of Utah. For more information on how to become a part of our winning team, contact Scott Doren, or online here. If opportunity, support and culture are as important to you as they are to us, contact us today.”
 
Starkey Mortgage, a nationally recognized residential mortgage company, announced the launch of Argos, its proprietary management and marketing platform. “Designed to provide Starkey’s loan officers with the best in class business tools to improve productivity and increase business, Argos leverages the best technology and vendors to build their business through increased efficiencies in a variety of areas including prospecting, pipeline management, communications, and marketing. Powered by the CMPS Platform, Argos CRM module is a mobile-responsive platform that helps loan officers create and track daily sales activities, and measure progress with each relationship. Through easy to access dashboards, loan officers have a snapshot of their business, allowing them to think about new and innovative ways to grow their business while focusing on the details. Argos’ functionality will continue to expand with tools to increase Starkey loan officer productivity and volume, including mobile-responsive loan comparison reports, video messages to clients and more.” Learn more about Argos.
 
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 in the greater Seattle Metropolitan Area. As an Account Manager, you will develop and maintain strong, long-lasting client relationships as well as grow business by identifying new opportunities. The ideal candidate must have a college degree, strong presentation and communication skills, and the ability to occasionally travel overnight. This person will report directly to Dean Dardzinski, VP – Managing Director – Pacific Region. 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.
 
PRMG hired James Hooper as its National Strategic Sales Manager to help lead a team of managers and recruit sales staff to help grow market share. James held various senior leadership roles at several national wholesale lenders including Regional VP of Sales, U.S. Bank, Regional Sales Manager-Southwest EquiFirst and most recently First Vice President-TPO and Non-Delegated at Freedom Mortgage where he oversaw sales and operations, producing an annualized volume north of $3 billion a year. “We are very confident that along with his extensive experience in developing high-performing sales teams that James will be successful in helping PRMG grow our sales force in alignment with our goal to gain market share through various channels as we continue to build our footprint nationally,” said Kevin Peranio, PRMG, Chief Lending Officer.  
 
If you are looking for a good book for training new hires, here is a strong option to help them with their studies: “The Successful Mortgage Broker: Selling Mortgages After the Meltdown.”
 
National mortgage lender New American Funding announced that it has hired 30-year vet Sue Silverman for a new role within the mortgage company working in several key areas with primary responsibilities centered on broker relations, product development, loan structuring, and assisting Secondary Marketing with identifying investors.
 
And First Guaranty Mortgage Corporation announced that mortgage industry veteran, Kimberly Donovan, has joined the company as an AE for the Correspondent Division in the Midwest area. Congrats!
 
Freddie, Fannie, investor conforming conventional news & changes
 
For over 20 years, Freddie Mac has provided superior underwriting capabilities to lenders. “Now, we’re leveraging the power of big data and advanced analytics to build game-changing solutions into Loan Product Advisor – our next-generation underwriting solution. Our goal is to drive efficiency in your loan manufacturing process, ultimately helping you cut costs and giving you rep and warranty relief sooner. For example, our automated collateral evaluation will speed up, simplify and save money in your appraisal process – you’ll get your borrowers to closing faster, while receiving immediate certainty for collateral rep and warranty relief. Loan Product Advisor’s automated asset and income validation will reduce paperwork helping to quickly confirm qualifications for borrowers. Finally, you can now expand homeownership opportunities through automated assessments for borrowers without credit scores. Plus, Loan Product Advisor is a simpler, more intuitive tool with easier navigation and data visualization, Ready to learn more? Visit our Loan Product Advisor web page.”
 
A few months back the D.C. Circuit panel gave the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) a win over the allocation of profits from Freddie and Fannie to the Treasury. This affirmed a lower court’s ruling that actions taken under the FHFA’s conservatorship of the GSEs cannot be challenged in court. But Fannie and Freddie shareholders sued the two for agreeing to the deal. Now, the FHFA and Treasury are urging the D.C. Circuit not to modify its ruling.
 
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have announced that the Closing Disclosure PDF will not be required to be embedded in the UCD XML file until April 2018.
 
Fannie Mae has added a clarification to effective dates for a prior foreclosure allowable increase has been made to the Hawaii AAA Matrix. To view the updated matrix, visit the Excess Attorney Fee/Cost Guidelines page.  
 
Mortgage Solutions Financial is now offering Fannie Mae’s Student Loan Cash-Out Refinance product. Click here to read its announcement.
 
Freddie Mac launched a Single-Family Fraud Risk homepage. Freddie established its Financial Fraud Investigation Unit – which is responsible for the prevention, detection, investigation and resolution of mortgage fraud – in 1989, and we’ve continually worked to keep the industry informed about the types of schemes detected. However, this page pulls together all its resources, including those for seller/servicers, industry professionals and consumers. It tells people how to report suspected fraud to Freddie Mac and it includes a Fraud Mitigation Best Practices checklist and a Mortgage Screening Process checklist.
 
Franklin American Mortgage Company expanded its HomeReady guidelines to include all Homeownership Education and Counseling options per the Fannie Mae Selling Guide.  Homeownership Education/Counseling from a Community Seconds provider or a HUD approved Counselor as applicable are permitted in addition to Framework. This change is effective immediately.
 
Looking back a bit, effective April 28 NewLeaf updated its NewLeaf 1 & 2 Conventional guidelines and NewLeaf VA guidelines.
 
NewLeaf 2 Conventional Fixed and Hybrid DU Only product guidelines have been updated to reflect recent per the recent Fannie Mae announcement.
 
M&T Bank received confirmation from Fannie Mae that when a loan is eligible for a Project Eligibility Review Waiver, the lender is not required to confirm Fidelity Bond/Crime Insurance. Therefore, the requirements for Project Type Code “V” has been moved from the Full Review warranty form to Exhibit 03002A – Agency (FNMA) Condo Warranty – Limited Review. This update is effective immediately.
 
To ensure an efficient purchase process, for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans with Note dates on and after 9/25/2017, AmeriHome will require that Sellers submit their UCD files to both GSEs and provide evidence of a successful submission via the UCD Findings Reports. In addition, AmeriHome’s FHA Standard 4000.1 Program Guide has been updated to clarify that, although single-close construction loans and construction loan modifications are not eligible for purchase, loans for the purchase of a newly constructed property are eligible.
 
To allow more preparation time, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have announced that the Closing Disclosure PDF will not be required to be embedded in the UCD XML file until April 2018. To support adoption of UCD, there are live webinars to facilitate the changes and offer abundant resources on the UCD page.
 
Fannie Mae recently announced several condo policy changes and a reduced Streamlined Project Eligibility Review Service (PERS) fee. Learn about PIW eligibility requirements and more in our PIW FAQs.  
 
To align with Fannie Mae’s policy for the Condominium Project Questionnaire – Full Form, Wells Fargo has clarified its age of document requirements to specify that, when utilizing the Wells Fargo Homeowners Association Certification Review, Form 24 or 25 must be completed within 180 days of the Loan Note date. Wells is also updating its Homeowners Association Certification Review forms for consistency with the Seller Guide by including a question and answer for zoning with legal non-conforming use of land.
 
Capital markets
 
Here’s a note that I received from a director of capital markets from a well-known lender about locks. “What have we seen with locks over the last several weeks, and how dependent are locks on rates? Prevailing rates have decreased due to several factors, most notably a suffocation of post-election optimism around the ability of conservatives to pass pro-business agenda. Less regulation and lower taxes would in theory increase investment in markets and corporations, causing higher stock prices and boosting the economy, and in turn mortgage rates, at least that was the hope that drove up markets.
 
“Recently, markets have displayed confusing patterns, as U.S. stocks remain near at or near record highs despite economic data that continues to be positive but fails to meet expectations, pushing treasury yields and mortgage rates lower. We have seen the 10-year treasury yield go from above 2.40% in mid-May down nearly 30bps to a low last week of 2.14%.Throw in the geopolitical and cultural conflict we have seen – nationalist fervor in elections, dozens of terror attacks around the globe, political tensions involving Russia, the U.S., Syria, North Korea, Britain, domestic conflict within government over Russian interference in the election and before transition, travel bans, and withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, etc. – so much news to digest in the 24-hour news cycle world we live in.
 
“But what does it mean for rates and locks? Many of my competitors were forced to evaluate profitability with a shrinking refinance business in the wake of the presidential election in November. For our company specifically, we saw purchases go from nearly 60% of our applications in early May down to 42% last week. The increase in refinance business is always welcome, but we need to avoid basing future projections on this, as I would say this recent rush is primarily from borrowers who had been looking to refinance before we saw rates increase in April.
 
“Now that rates have decreased slightly and provided a temporary boon for refinancers, I expect the boon to be only that: temporary. Fed Fund futures have priced in over a 90% probability of a rate hike at next week’s Fed meeting, and although markets will undoubtedly have this increase priced in come the time of the announcement, an increase would still likely mean a rise in prevailing mortgage rates over the next few months. For LOs asking me if they should wait or lock and get the ball rolling, my answer is going to be that a sure thing now is a better proposition than waiting and responding to markets in the future. With mortgage rates and treasury yields are back down towards pre-election levels, today is as good a time as any to push those borrowers toward closing their deal.”
 
Yup, suddenly “refi” is back in originator’s vocabularies. Yesterday U.S. Treasuries, and agency MBS prices, moved higher in a “curve-flattening trade.” Why? Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) data showed job openings increasing more than expected in April. Oil prices rose meaningfully for the first time in a week as a dispute between Qatar and Saudi Arabia continued to preoccupy energy traders. China’s government said that it stands reading to buy Treasuries, now that the yuan has stabilized. There are heightened concerns ahead of Thursdays’ “risk events” including the UK general election. The 10-year note price closed over .250 better (2.15%) and 5-year Treasury securities and MBS improved about .125.
 
This morning we’ve had the MBA’s survey of last week’s locks: up 7.1%. Purchase apps were +10%, and refi apps were up about 3%. Overall apps are still down 16% versus this week last year. That about does it for scheduled news. We begin Wednesday with the 10-year at 2.15% and agency MBS prices worse a shade versus last night’s close.
 
 
(Thanks to Robin for this one.)
Did you hear about the guy who is an insomniac dyslexic agnostic?
He lays awake at night wondering if there really is a dog.
 
 
Visit www.robchrisman.com for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “Does Everyone Want a Job?” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
Rob
 
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are over 300 mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2017 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)