LenderNews by Rob Chrisman
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Mar. 23: Controller & LO jobs, digital lender & vendor products; update on vendors; rates edge higher

March 23, 2018

The Census Bureau defines millennials as those born between 1982 and 2000, which means this year their age ranges from 18 to 36. Many will argue that a 36-year old doesn’t have a lot in common with a current high school senior, but the Bureau has lumped them together forever. Regardless of age group, who doesn’t believe in reducing the difficulty in obtaining home financing? Here is Julian Hebron’s take on how selling a house and buying a new one may soon be as easy as trading in a car – one click. (Lots more on digital trends below.)
 
Jobs, products, & business opportunities
 
"Growth in 2018? Since that answer is uncertain, maybe, explore selling your company before rates go higher and the mortgage banking headwinds become hurricane force. If you are a mortgage bank operating as a correspondent or a large mortgage broker please send your confidential interest to me for forwarding” and specify the opportunity.
 
High profile data breaches have become regular news, and according to digital security company Gemalto, over 10.5 million records are lost or stolen every day. No matter your size, you are not immune to a hack and providing a secure process for your borrower as you exchange sensitive information process should be your highest priority. A recently published data security playbook “A Brave New World” provides guidance and immediate steps to improve security in your mortgage business. A must read for all mortgage managers, executives, and originators. Download your free copy here.    
 
Kurt Reisig, Chairman of American Pacific Mortgage, announced APM’s 2018 Spring Sales Summit: Make Your Mark. The Time Is Now. “Come join us as our guest and discover first-hand how APM operates and commits to supporting our Originators with the tools, inspiration and resources to grow your production. There is no doubt that the purchase inventory in most markets is constrained. Our break-out sessions will provide you with inspiration and strategies to sustain and grab market share in 2018. Find out how to Make Your Mark with your social reputation, win referrals, and leverage our unique products and resources to qualify more borrowers.” The first Summit is scheduled for April 11th and travels to 5 different cities. Click here to find and register for a Summit location near you. Or contact Dustin Block (303) 378-3166 or Peter Schwartz (916) 770-0053.
 
A fast growing, mid-size mortgage lender located in Philadelphia suburbs is seeking a Controller for its dynamic company. The ideal candidate has 5 years of experience in the mortgage industry, strong sense of self, managerial experience and can make solid financial decisions by enforcing policies and procedures. Job duties will include developing, managing and maintaining corporate and department budgets, protecting assets and managing cash flow while monitoring financial condition of the company by performing internal audits. Competitive compensation package, benefits and 401k included with an outstanding work environment. If interested, send resume to me; please specify opportunity.
 
Are you an experienced salesperson looking to grow your book of business with an aggressively expanding, well capitalized company? Towne Mortgage Company is looking for an energetic individual to take the wheel to expand its production with direct access to Marketing, Underwriting, and Servicing Departments. Towne is a Direct Lender/Servicer with 37 years’ experience serving our community. Our focus is on supplying our salespeople with the tools they need to be successful, whether that be our Industry leading CRM, Vantage, or our product offerings of Conventional, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, Jumbo, and soon to be Day 1 Certainty. This salesperson can expect benefits including Medical, Dental, Paid Time Off, and a 401k Company Match. Interested? Email Cassi Sluka for more information.
 
Paramount Residential Mortgage Group, Inc. (PRMG) has elevated its digital marketing platform and is proud to release LAUNCH 3.0. “The lender is committed to delivering cutting edge technology to its Regional Managers, Branch Managers, Loan Officers, Marketing Assistants and Realtor Partners. ‘LAUNCH 3.0 streamlines the customer relationship management process by offering users new and enhanced beneficial features to help them work even more efficiently within one web-based portal, ultimately increasing their production,’ said Paul Lucido, PRMG Chief Marketing Officer. PRMG has made technology a priority and is devoted to supporting the needs of their growing retail platform. If you’re a Motivated Loan Originator and you believe that Progress is Not Possible without Change, then it’s time to talk! Contact Chris Sorensen at 909.262.0452.
 
Vendor-mania
 
Let’s play catch up with vendors – those guys with a knack for combining phonetically spelled names, capitalizing letters in the middle, and then putting a trademark on it. It’s hard to find anyone who can precisely define “digital mortgage,” but it certainly has captured the imagination of every conference out there. There are hundreds of vendors out there, vying for a piece of every lender’s budget, competing for time to give sales pitches. Let’s check in.
 
In the new issue of STRATMOR Group’s Insights report, Senior Partner Michael Grad says that lenders “Going Digital” should take a more holistic and pragmatic approach to creating a comprehensive business strategy and implementation plan to support it. Lenders who want to realize their investment in a digital strategy need to ask themselves, “How do I deploy an actionable growth strategy that crushes my competitors and, at the same time, transforms the customer experience?”
 
AccountChek by FormFree will integrate with Black Knight’s LoanSphere Exchange Digital Solution. AccountChek is currently integrated with Black Knight’s LoanSphere Empower LOS, but the LoanSphere Exchange integration makes AccountChek available to an even broader swath of Black Knight customers without the time and expense of a custom integration.
 
Texas-based law firm Gregg & Valby, LLP has announced that it will begin integrating with digital mortgage technology provider, eOriginal adding its name to a long list of eOriginal partners and customers, including Fannie Mae. This integration will allow Gregg & Valby customers to offer eClosings to the market. This platform delivers a fully digital mortgage that meets regulatory requirements, is accepted by top lenders provides a competitive advantage and operational efficiencies that cannot be obtained through traditional paper processes.
 
LBA Ware announced that Wisconsin-based Inlanta Mortgage has completed integration between LBA Ware’s CompenSafe automated compensation calculation platform and LendingQB’s cloud-based loan origination solution (LOS). Through the integration, Inlanta can leverage real-time loan production data to automatically calculate compensation for each of its 100+ loan originators (LOs).
 
BOFI has developed a highly innovative mobile application called BOFI Realtor. This app was designed to redefine the communication standards between the Bank and the Real Estate Agents representing our borrowers.  Through use of the app, (free and available to download on both Google’s Play store and Apple’s App Store), Realtors have direct access to real time loan status of their clients’ BofI loans in the pipeline, key milestones in relation to the close of escrow, loan conditions, real-time mortgage rates and payment calculators.
 
Simplifile has been approved by the Arkansas Secretary of State as an electronic notary (e-notary) service provider. Representing only the 5th vendor to be approved for e-notary services in Arkansas since the state began allowing e-notarization in 2013, congratulations are extended to Simplifile for this accomplishment. Users in the 23 Arkansas recording jurisdictions and in Simplifile’s e-recording network can electronically notarize documents, thus streamlining their processes and allowing them to keep as much of the real estate transaction electronic as possible.
 
LendingQB announced its latest integration with PitchPoint Solutions to equip lenders with stronger tools to protect against wire transfer fraud. Through this integration, customers of LendingQB have access to PitchPoint’s Bank Account Verification and Settlement Agent Vetting tools. Bank Account Verification verifies an account holder’s name, routing number and account number via a secure financial network, while Settlement Agent Report vets the settlement company to ensure it is in good standing and our clients are compliant with CFPB and investor requirements. This integration helps lenders deal with increasing levels of wire fraud, which increased 480% last year, totaling more than $748 million in losses. The partnership also enables lenders to comply with Fannie Mae and CFPB recommendations announced in bulletins encouraging lenders to “confirm before you fund”.
 
MortgageHippo digital mortgage solution is now offering consumer credit from CBCInnovis allowing loan officers to maximize time and efficiency by receiving industry proven credit data within the borrower profile generated from MortgageHippo’s mobile-ready online application.
 
Credit Plus has integrated with SimpleNexus. The integration enables mortgage loan originators to obtain credit reports from Credit Plus through customized, mobile solutions. SimpleNexus provides private-label mobile apps that connect mortgage lenders with borrowers and real estate agents, allowing all parties to easily exchange data and documents throughout the lifecycle of a mortgage loan.  “This partnership makes it easier for lenders to easily access our credit reports to make smart lending decisions. We’re excited to work with a company that is at the leading-edge of technology,” said Greg Holmes, Managing Partner at Credit Plus.
 
Matic, a digital insurance agency whose technology enables borrowers to purchase homeowner’s insurance during the mortgage transaction announced an integration with mortgage lender RoundPoint that includes Matic’s one-click “get quote” button. Homeowners whose mortgages are serviced by RoundPoint will be notified by Matic when they could save money by switching to a different A-rated homeowner’s insurance carrier. Homeowners will also be alerted if there’s an opportunity to get more coverage without an increase in premium. “Mortgage servicers rarely get to call their customers and offer a lower escrow payment or more comprehensive insurance coverage without a premium increase — yet these are exactly the kinds of opportunities Matic will bring to RoundPoint customers every day,” said Matic COO Benjamin Madick.
 
Embrace Home Loans announced the integration of the CompassPPE API and mobile app into their Empower LOS. This integration will provide Embrace employees, including over 200 loan officers, enhanced tools and features within Empower across multiple channels. Some of the most notable features of integrating CompassPPE within Empower include: Quick-pricing of loan scenarios on mobile, tablet, or laptop. Full investor coverage of pricing, guidelines, and LLPAs. Automation of locking, relocking, and extensions.
 
Industry veterans Mark Hughes, Ann Gibbons and Tom Donatacci announced that they are launching a national due diligence firm: New Diligence Advisors (NDA) LLC. Selene Holdings LLC will be the principal investor in NDA. Hughes will be chief operating officer of NDA, responsible for overseeing production, client satisfaction, technology and rating agency relations. In his new role, he will report to Selene chief executive officer, Joe Pensabene, who will now be chief executive officer and president of NDA, as well. NDA’s comprehensive review service offering includes: credit underwriting, property valuations, regulatory compliance, fraud, document, title, payment history and servicing activity.
 
Capital markets
 
Want a quick answer for anyone asking about the U.S. Government and rates? Congress was able to pass a budget deal for the next two years that will increase spending by $300 billion over the next two years as well as suspend the debt ceiling until March 2019. When combined with the tax bill and an increase in discretionary spending, the stance of federal fiscal policy has moved from neutral to expansionary. As a result, one would expect economic growth to out-pace recent trends, rising inflation and therefore higher interest rates at all points on the yield curve. This budget deal is also expected increase the deficit forecast. Anyone waiting for 30-year fixed rate mortgages back in the 3s soon will be frustrated.
 
The FOMC policy update and accompanying statement by new Chairman Jay Powell may have been balanced and set few ripples across markets, but it was still overshadowed quickly by what many are now calling a “Trade War” with China. It isn’t a “war” yet, but President Trump signed an order seeking $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports as penalty for intellectual property theft. The U.S. Trade Representative will publish details within 15 days, and President Trump added "this is the first of many" orders. China will certainly announce its own set of retaliatory orders, and it remains to be seen just how this will play out, but equity markets wasted no time dropping to recent lows. If it was good for one thing, it was good for bonds – lousy for stocks.
 
Today’s economic calendar began with February’s Durable Goods orders. Always volatile, it was expected to increase 1.9% MoM, following the 3.6% decline in January, but was +3.1%, ex-transportation +1.2%. February new home sales, at 10:00am, are seen jumping versus the January level (593k) to 615k which would still be the second-lowest in the past six months. Additionally, we have a lot of Fedspeak to digest, starting with Atlanta’s Bostic, Minneapolis’ Kashkari, Dallas Fed President Kaplan, and Boston’s Rosengren. While volatile stocks grab the headlines, Friday commences with the 10-year yielding 2.85% and agency MBS prices worse .125 versus Thursday’s close – so rates are a shade higher.
 
 
Four high school boys afflicted with spring fever skipped morning classes.
After lunch they reported to the teacher that they had a flat tire.
Much to their relief she smiled and said, "Well, you missed a test today so take seats apart from one another and take out a piece of paper."
Still smiling, she waited for them to sit down. Then she said: "First question: Which tire was flat?"
 
 
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, “How Good is Your Company’s Cyber-Security?” 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.)