LenderNews by Rob Chrisman
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Mar. 21: LO, servicing, lock desk jobs, LO & sales products; training & events; don’t bet against the Fed

March 21, 2018

Ever wanted to read a story, or recommend it to those who might find it interesting, titled, “Blockchain-Based Residential Real Estate Network Democratizes Investment Barriers and Solves Mortgage Debt Conundrum?” Here’s your chance, since it was just published. (Yes, it is a bit of a sales pitch, but it gives one an idea of the status of this subject.) For something more applicable to LOs in the present, XINNIX’s Casey Cunningham is hosting a complimentary webinar today “An Innovative Approach to Engaging Teams for Real Results” today at 3PM ET. The webinar will cover XINNIX’s findings on the exact correlation of engagement to production. Recent participants have quadrupled their recruiting and driven loan officer production from 3 to 5 units a month.
 
Jobs & new hires
 
TowneFI is Towne Mortgage Company’s newest formation, combining the best of AmeriCU for Credit Unions and Homeowners Mortgage for Community Banks and Ag Banks, serving both markets for over 25 years. TowneFI is looking for a seasoned, high-energy, Senior Account Executive to partner with Towne to expand its book of business. This rarely available position will have access to multiple operation centers and all products including FHA, 203K, Fannie Mae HomeStyle, HomePath, HomeReady, DU Refi Plus, VA, USDA, and Manufactured Programs. The candidate will have the ability to add an array of account types including Community Banks, Credit Unions, and Ag Banks with execution channels including Retail, Wholesale, and Mini-Correspondent offerings. Come join a growing team! Email Cassi Sluka, HR. us at CSluka@townemortgage.com.
 
A national bank is searching for detail-oriented, analytical individual to process and confirm locks in Encompass, as well as handle change and repricing requests in accordance with guidelines to ensure output accuracy. Candidate must also provide support to loan originators for pricing enquiries and be familiar with rate sheets, price adjustments and GSE secondary marketing guidelines. Open to considering “work from home” for the right candidate. Please email notes of interest/resumes for this lock desk role to me for forwarding and specify the opportunity.
 
Are you a loan servicing expert with a passion for customer service? Center Street Lending is seeking a Vice President of Servicing, “who understands and truly cares about the customer experience and has the know-how to effectively manage loan servicing. The position is based in their headquarters in Irvine, California. Center Street Lending has built a reputation as a premier private money, portfolio leader focused on residential real estate entrepreneurs and customer obsession. Established in 2010, Center Street Lending has consistently and profitably grown year over year, with volume doubling in 2017. If you are interested joining this growth-oriented lending company, contact Robin Gray.”
 
From Minnesota comes word that Marketplace Home Mortgage, L.L.C. has added Carey Hoel as its VP of Commercial Lending.
 
LoanCare announced that Rodney Moss will succeed Gene Ross in the role of executive vice president of strategy and business development for LoanCare, and that Ross will retire after almost three decades at the company.
 
Congratulations to Ms. Mellody Hobson who JPMorgan Chase announced was elected to its Board of Directors. Ms. Hobson, age 48, has served as President of Ariel Investments, LLC, a Chicago-based investment management firm, since 2000. In addition, she serves on the Boards of Starbucks Corporation and The Estée Lauder Companies, Inc
 
Products
 
Floify, the mortgage point-of-sale system for modern LOs, has just reached another major milestone by surpassing 300,000 registered users on their industry-leading platform! This staggering and widespread adoption of Floify has proven the system’s unique ability to meet the diverse needs of LOs and borrowers alike. Since its inception, Floify has grown into a full-fledged mortgage automation solution that streamlines nearly every aspect of the mortgage origination process. Several of Floify’s successes have been attributed to the company’s aggressive approach to building integrations that increase efficiencies with partners like Equifax, AccountChek, Jungo, Byte Software, PerfectLO, SharperLending and their network of 40 CRAs, and more… If you have been considering Floify, now is a great time to take advantage of this incredible solution. To see how Floify can help you streamline your mortgage workflow and get the inside scoop on their upcoming integrations, request a live demo.
 
Here are 3 sets of results from 3 separate lenders that have been using Sales Boomerang for less than a year: 106 deals for a total of $23MM in volume, 86 deals for a total of $21MM in volume, 77 deals for a total of $15MM in volume. These are results from just three of the many lenders that are using Sales Boomerang. Plug Sales Boomerang into any CRM and enrich your data with near real time Borrower Intelligence. What can you track? Credit WatchMarket WatchListing AlertsEquity Watch and Rate Watch.
 
Triserv, a national provider of appraisal management services, proudly announces the availability of its new premier integration with Black Knight Financial Services’ RealEC, “which adds an enhanced level of efficiency and automation to the appraisal ordering process within all RealEC based LOS systems including Prime Alliance, Empower, and Mortgage Cadence. Existing customers will notice enhanced response times as all orders are auto-managed by the integration, and appraiser status changes are now communicated via the integration to the lender in real-time, improving speed and transparency on all orders. Triserv is pleased to join the relatively small number of AMCs that boast this full integration with RealEC. Triserv is also fully integrated with the following: Mercury Network (Enterprise Vendor Framework), UPF/Appraisal Firewall, Ellie Mae Encompass (PSDK Top Tier), AppraisalScope, Lending QB (Meridian Link), InHouse Connexions, MortgageBot, LoanLogics, FNC, Calyx Point and Calyx Path, and E-trac.”
 
Upcoming events and training
 
Many title agents and title insurance companies are likely to be involved in some form of Merger & Acquisition transaction. To showcase what’s happening in title M&A moving forward, join Houlihan Lokey for the next String Opportunity-2018 Webinar on March 27th for “Title M&A In 2018 – What You Need To Know.”
 
Register for the CAMP luncheon on March 28th and learn how to drive more purchase business with ARCH MI’s roadmap to homeownership. Space is limited so register early.
 
Lenders are looking to form permanent business arrangements to facilitate cross selling opportunities. Recent legal decisions, including the PHH case and developing trends can assist lenders in successfully evaluating and setting up these ventures. Register for the Offit Kurman Attorneys at Law March 30th webinar to hear its discussion on marketing, referrals, and joint ventures from a legal and risk perspective.
 
The 19th Annual Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Lenders Conference, hosted at the Hilton Miami Downtown, will be held April 10-12. Come “discuss a variety of topics and issues related to the VA-Guaranteed Home Loan program.”
 
The MGIC April training webinar schedule is posted for registration opportunities.
 
In the month of April, National Mi is offering 3 trainings thru its National MI University as follows: Wednesday, April 11, 2018 – Fannie Mae HomeReady Mortgage Overview. Thursday, April 12, 2018 – Self-Employed Borrower. Thursday, April 19, 2018 – How to Manage Generational Differences in the Workforce. Click here for training details and registration.
 
Wells Fargo Funding, in cooperation with Freddie Mac and National MI, is hosting an in-market, first-time homebuyer/affordable product event in Fort Worth, TX on April 4th from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. Central (followed by a networking hour from 5-6:30 p.m.). The focal point of this event is to help lenders grow market share in the affordable/first-time homebuyer space covering strategies to connect with first-time homebuyers, Freddie Mac’s Home Possible and provide tips for strengthening your marketing and networking. Representatives from NAHREP, NAREB and Avenue CDC will also be in attendance. If interested, contact a member of your regional sales team or send an email to CorrespondentDiverseSegments@wellsfargo.com.
 
The California MBA’s Inaugural Chairman’s Conference is coming up on April 8th-10th at The Lodge at Torrey Pines. the event is limited to ‘C-Suite’ executives at companies that are members of the California MBA. Feature great speakers, including U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), senior member of the House Financial Services subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, and is the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
 
Don’t miss the opportunity to register for CMLA’s Rocky Mountain Mortgage Lenders Expo on April 12th. Key note speakers include Luis Benitez, Director or the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, Steve Scanlon, Rewire, CEO, Ken Perry, The Knowledge Coop, President & Founder and Bronwyn Morrissey, CEO of Bronwyn Morrissey.com.
 
Capital markets
 
An old adage for bond traders is, “Never bet against the Fed.” The Federal Reserve is much more transparent than in the past as the various Fed Presidents tootle around the nation on speaking gigs. What have the Fed presidents been saying? Boston Fed President Rosengren said he can imagine more than 3 rate hikes this year, along with continued balance sheet loosening to keep the economy growing. Fed Kansas City President George said she is concerned the slow pace of the central bank’s balance sheet unwinding could destabilize markets. She also noted that the economy is currently growing at a moderate pace with full employment and price stability, and the risks to the current outlook seem to be more on the upside.
 
Dallas Fed President Kaplan said he supports 3 rate hikes this year given the unemployment rate is at 4.1% and represents full employment. Fed Governor Brainard said she expects inflation will hit the Fed’s target this year, so she too supports multiple rate increases. Fed Chair Powell told Congress his personal outlook for the economy has strengthened since Dec 2017; leading pundits to project a faster pace to rate hikes in 2018 and beyond. In good news for banks, he also said the next few years look quite strong and that the country should see robust demand from both consumer and business investment. San Francisco Fed President Williams said he supports 3 or 4 rate hikes this year and that the economy is performing as Fed officials have expected. St. Louis Fed President Bullard said the Fed should not take too aggressive a path on interest rate increases or it could go too far, too fast.
 
Inflation data at the forefront of the previous week as both the consumer price index and producer price index posted gains. Both the headline and core CPI indexes rose 0.2 percent for the month and the year-over-year headline reading showed prices increased by 2.2 percent.  Producer prices also rose by 0.2 percent for the month and were up 2.8 percent year-over year.  Nonfuel import prices increased 0.5 percent; the largest since 2011.
 
While it is still too early to conclude that these price increases are affecting consumer spending, retail sales were down 0.1 percent overall in February though excluding auto sales, total sales rose 0.2 percent. Housing starts were down 7.0 percent in February to a 1.24-million-unit pace following January’s strong start to the year. Housing completions increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.32 million units, a 7.8 percent increase from January. The beginning of the year is usually a volatile time for housing starts.
 
Rising oil prices, budget deficit concerns surrounding reports individual tax cuts could be made permanent, trepidation ahead of today’s FOMC announcement, and a CNBC survey that revealed a growing expectation for higher interest rates caused Treasuries to close lower Tuesday. Supposedly the Trump Administration is preparing to announce $60 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese imports. Additionally, "Phase Two" of the tax plan, which could possibly make individual tax cuts permanent, could be announced around the middle of April. This comes as there is still no agreement in Congress on the allocation of funds for government spending. Passage needs to be secured by midnight Friday to avert a government shutdown. Yawn.
 
The FOMC statement today, including the expected 25bp rate hike, along with updated Summary of Economic Projections will be released at 2:00pm ET, where increases in both near term growth and inflation forecasts would not be surprising versus December. The market still trades with little regard for inflation given how flat 10s/30s are in addition to near identical breakeven spread in 5-, 10- and 30-year spreads. In addition, given the recent ramp higher in LIBOR, a case can be made that nearly 4 hikes are already priced into the Eurodollar curve. The Fed will take a break from normal desk operations today but will return tomorrow by buying an expected $830 million in 3.5% and 4% securities.
 
Ahead of today’s Fed events, MBA mortgage applications for week ending March 16 were released: overall -1% with purchases +1% but refis -5%. The Q4 current account deficit widened to $12.2 billion, whatever that means. At 10AM, February existing home sales, expected to fall to 5.32 billion, are due out. Finally, at 2:30PM ET, Fed Chair Powell will hold his first press conference as head of the Fed. We start the day with agency MBS prices unchanged from Tuesday’s close and the 10-year yielding 2.90%.
 
 
Two boll weevils grew up in South Carolina.
One went to Hollywood and became a famous actor.
The other stayed behind in the cotton fields and never amounted to much.
The second one became known as the lesser of two weevils.
 
 
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, “Servicing: All It’s Cracked Up to Be?” 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 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.)