LenderNews by Rob Chrisman
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Mar. 1: LO jobs, personnel news; vendor news, lender disaster updates; investor SRP & loan level price adjustment changes

March 1, 2017

There is some rate and price at which a borrower and lender will meet, whether it is residential loans, commercial, personal, auto, etc. But apparently overall bank lending is slowing, a potential response to political uncertainty (and an economic development with negative portents). The WSJ notes how bank lending is tracking up 5% vs. +6.4% for all of 2016 and a peak of ~8% in mid-2016. The deceleration has been broad-based. The slowdown in C&I (commercial and industrial) lending has been especially noticeable.
 
Lending volumes aren’t the only things changing. It seems like everything is changing in 2017, including the demographics in the mortgage landscape. Sierra Pacific Mortgage and the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals have teamed up this month to offer a complimentary webinar aptly named “The State of the Hispanic Homeownership.”. Get a view into the Do’s and Don’ts in multicultural marketing along with some other inspiring news. Mark your calendar for Wednesday, March 8 at 10AM PST.
 
“We’re seeking LOs North and South of Boston to join our growing Residential Lending team at Cambridge Savings Bank. Additionally, we’re building out a Mortgage Center and looking to add an In-house Loan Officer to join the team in Harvard Square. Cambridge Savings Bank is a full-service financial institution with approximately $3.2 billion in assets that is committed to improving the quality of life in the communities it serves. One of the oldest and largest community banks in Massachusetts, Cambridge Savings Bank offers a full line of individual and business banking services and has 16branches located in Cambridge, Acton, Arlington, Bedford, Belmont, Burlington, Concord, Lexington, Newton and Watertown.” For inquiries contact Jamie Kelley (617-441-4228).
 
Personnel news
 
In California Buzz Howard, a 30+ year veteran of the mortgage industry, has been promoted to Senior Vice President at Big Valley Mortgage. He will have the responsibility of overseeing all aspects of the business. Per Kurt Reisig, Founder of Big Valley Mortgage and Chairman of American Pacific Mortgage, “I am honored and thrilled to welcome Buzz Howard as the leader of Big Valley Mortgage.  He now joins an exclusive club of elite leaders in the mortgage industry in Northern California…the leading role of BVM is reserved only for the best.” Mr. Howard joined BVM in 2009 as Sales Manager and quickly rose to VP of Production. Prior to joining BVM, he founded Buzz Howard Seminars where he provided training for large banks. BVM funded over $821 million last year and is a DBA of American Pacific Mortgage who ranked #15 in the nation per the 2015 Mortgage Executive Magazine with $8.01 billion in loan volume.
 
And Xceed Financial Credit Union announced that Todd Helmerson has been named Chief Sales Officer. Congrats! A member of the Credit Union’s Leadership Team, he reports directly to Xceed’s President and Chief Executive Teresa Freeborn, and is responsible for the overall strategic direction of Xceed’s sales units. Helmerson’s career has been focused on credit unions.
 
Vendor & trade group news?
 
Special Agent X released demo teaser video for X-Ray dashboards. The mortgage technology company Special Agent X that we have been telling you about has released a teaser video for its demo of its X-Ray digital dashboard. X-Ray transforms massive amounts of information on loans, leads and accounting, as well as information from CRM systems and loan operating systems, into easy-to-understand, readily available analytics and reports that drive top-level decisions at mortgage companies/branches. It also features benchmarking tools that help you quickly get accurate reads on the close of loans and projected close rates as well as a goal report based on historical performances. These benchmarking tools give you the ability to forecast in real time at the touch of a button from a smartphone or tablet. Make sure you check out the new video here and sign up for a free demo to see what they can do for you!
 
Vantage Production – a provider of content, technology and services supporting the sales and marketing of mortgage products – will be exhibiting at the Ellie Mae Experience 2017 this upcoming week in Las Vegas. Click here to schedule a meeting or swing by Turnkey Booth #5 to see how Vantage Production empowers lenders to close more loans and minimize risk with solutions that are designed by mortgage experts for mortgage experts. At Vantage Production, we are here to make good things happen for other people.
 
The American Bankers Association has endorsed a solution that helps banks get more buyers into homes. The program – provided by Atlanta-based Down Payment Resource – is the nation’s only database of homeownership programs and software that automates the process of matching eligible buyers and properties to available programs. ABA member banks will receive a price advantage when using the product. DPR works with more than 1,000 housing agencies to find and update information about local, state and national homebuyer programs. DPR’s proprietary rules engine executes against this database and automates the process of matching buyers, properties and homeownership programs by evaluating where and how the programs can be applied.
 
Indecomm Global Services, a provider of mortgage technology, training, and outsourcing services, announced that its income calculation and analysis platform, IncomeGenius, is now available through Ellie Mae’s Encompass all-in-one mortgage management solution. The seamless integration allows lenders to perform an income analysis with IncomeGenius directly through Encompass to drive quality and efficiency in the loan origination process. Indecomm will be presenting IncomeGenius at Ellie Mae Experience 2017, March 6-8, in booth #614 at the Wynn Las Vegas.  IncomeGenius is a web-based SaaS solution that uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to automate the income calculation process. For more information contact Indecomm VP of Sales Linda Bomar.
 
The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) has announced for the second year in a row, Hispanics were the only ethnic demographic with an increase to their homeownership rate, which surged from 45.6 percent in 2015 to 46.0 percent in 2016. The improvement came in a year when Hispanics also led in net household formations, adding a total net increase of 330,000 households. Initiatives from major corporations focused on Hispanic homebuyers, and a sharp growth of Hispanic entrepreneurs in mortgage banking and the real estate brokerage business are helping to advance this growth. Per Census Bureau data, the overall homeownership rate dropped from 63.7 percent in 2015 to 63.4 percent in 2016. At the same time, the African-American rate also dipped from 43.0 percent to 42.2 percent and the Asian-American rate dropped from 56.5 percent to 55.5 percent.  
 
HomDNA, which delivers mobile technology and workflow solutions that span the borrower-to-homeowner experience, has integrated with Expedite to help mortgage lenders optimize the lending experience, increase borrower loyalty and extend customer value. Available to lending customers through Black Knight’s Expedite platform, HomDNA is a suite of services that enables data and documents to be electronically accessible to consumers during mortgage origination. The integration with Expedite offers several benefits to lenders such as creating a value-based connection after loan closing and enhancing appraisal delivery.
 
It’s been a rough winter for disaster news at various lenders, including yesterday’s deadly tornadoes in Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, Indiana and Iowa. Let’s look at some disaster news from various lenders and investors.
 
A few weeks ago, FEMA announced Amendment No. 2 to DR-4297 dated 2/3/2017, providing individual assistance to 2 Georgia counties, Thomas and Worth, for recovery efforts in areas affected by tornadoes and severe storms.
 
In response to the severe storms, tornadoes and Straight-line winds in Louisiana, and in response to a Federal Disaster Declaration, M&T Bank will enforce the Disaster re-inspection Policy for all properties located in Parishes of Livingston.
 
First Community Mortgage has updated its Declared Disaster Counties. The information is located on the Knowledge Center > Full Guidelines > Declared Disaster Counties. Disaster policy and procedures can be found in the product Full Guidelines.
 
Pacific Union is monitoring the impact of severe storms and disaster declarations across several states as published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). At this time, loans secured by properties located in impacted areas are subject to standard Pacific Union protocol. Standard requirements for disaster areas apply for these properties as they relate to expectations from appraisers for existing pipeline and new applications. Please also refer to state-specific PDF Maps for areas recently impacted, as identified by FEMA.  Recently published/updated state-specific maps/impacted areas include the following: California 4301; California 3381; Georgia 4294; Georgia 4297; Louisiana; Mississippi; North Carolina; Oklahoma 4299; Oregon; Pennsylvania; South Dakota; Tennessee; Virginia.
 
Newleaf spread the word that, “Due to the effects of Severe Winter Storms, Flooding, and Mudslides occurring in California from January 3, 2017 (incident start date) through January 12, 2017 (incident end date), the President issued a federal disaster declaration on February 14, 2017 for the following counties: Alameda, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Humboldt, Inyo, Lake, Lassen, Marin, Mendocino, Merced, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo, and Yuba. Due the potential failure of the emergency spillway at Lake Oroville Dam in California from February 7, 2017 (incident start date) and continuing (incident end date TBD), the President issued an additional federal emergency (impending disaster) declaration on February 14, 2017 for the following counties: Butte, Sutter, and Yuba. All subject properties in the areas impacted by the declaration require evidence that the subject sustained no damage from the identified disaster.” Refer to the NewLeaf chart for details.
 
What is moving loan prices, servicing values, & interest rates?
 
As is typical, expectations of the future of interest rates move current interest rates. We were reminded of that yesterday when Fed funds futures priced in a higher chance for a rate hike at the March 14-15 FOMC meeting (45-50%). The ratcheting up of expectations for a March rate hike has happened over the past two days with little indication of a more hawkish Fed except for remarks from Dallas Fed President Kaplan (FOMC voter).
 
Franklin American has made the following changes to its LLPA’s: Removed the -.250 adjustment for any LTV with a FICO between 620-679. Removed the -.250 adjustment for LP loans with DTI > 50%. Improved LLPA’s on Investment, 2 unit and 3-4 unit properties.
 
Effective Wednesday, March 1, Pacific Union SRP Schedule will be updated. The updated schedule will be provided at 3 PM, CT on Tuesday, February 28, 2017. Please note that the form and function of this schedule will remain the same; only the values contained in the schedule will change.  In a recent product update, Pacific Union clarified that when a property inspection is completed by an unlicensed or uncertified appraiser or appraiser trainee, the supervisory appraiser is not required to physically inspect the subject property or comps. This is applicable to conventional (agency) products.
 
Sun West’s Loan Program guideline have been updated by reducing overlays.   To access the updated guideline for wholesale channel, please click here. To access the updated guideline for correspondent channel, please click here.
 
As far as “hard data,” the U.S. economic data Tuesday showed a divergence between it and "soft data." Q4 U.S. GDP growth was confirmed at a 1.9% seasonally adjusted annual rate, lower than expected, but the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index rose to a 15-year high and the Chicago PMI jumped to a two-year high. It is certainly hard to argue that the housing market is not good: The Case-Shiller 20-City Index of U.S. home prices rose 0.9% m/m in December (5.6% y/y), beating expectations after a 0.9% increase in November.
 
Regardless, Tuesday the 10-year note improved slightly, closing at a yield of 2.36% while agency MBS prices were roughly unchanged…maybe off a shade depending on coupon and security.
 
We have a lot of news today. The MBA reported app numbers for last week: up nearly 6% but still 30% lower than a year ago. (Refis are down 45% from a year ago.) We’ve also had January Personal Income & Personal Spending (+.4%, +.2% respectively, roughly as expected), and PCE Prices (+.3%). Coming up are January Construction Spending, February ISM Manufacturing Index, the March Beige Book (detailing economic activity around the nation), and a bevy of Fed speakers. After the President’s speech last night, and the first salvo of numbers, we find rates higher with the 10-year at 2.44% and agency MBS prices worse .250 versus Tuesday’s close.
 
 
Worried that his son was spending too much money on dates, a father asked the boy how much his last date had cost.
The son thought for a minute and then replied, "Oh, about $15 I think."
“Well," said the father, "I’m proud of you for finally coming up with an inexpensive evening."
"To be honest Dad," the son went on, "we’d have spent more, but that was all the money she had."
 
 
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, “Are You Sure that Rates are Going Higher?” 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.)