Housing discrimination lawsuit against Bank of America gets green light

A federal judge in Maryland denied a motion Thursday to dismiss a lawsuit brought against Bank of America and Safeguard Properties Management by the National Fair Housing Alliance, 19 fair housing organizations and two homeowners for alleged fair housing violations. According to the judge, the facts presented allow for a “reasonable inference that the defendants violated anti-discrimination provisions of the Fair Housing Act.”

Oregon close to becoming first U.S. state to ban single-family-only zoning

Earlier this month, Oregon’s legislature passed House Bill 2001, a measure that will require cities of more than 10,000 people to permit duplexes in areas currently zoned for single-family usage. The bill, which received bipartisan support, is set to go before Gov. Kate Brown, D-OR, who is expected to sign it, therefore positioning Oregon as the first state to ban single-family-only zoning. If passed, Redfin claims the measure could have a significant impact on Portland’s housing market.

Chris Heller leaves loanDepot and mellohome for AI real estate company OJO Labs

Chris Heller shocked the housing world last year when he stepped down as CEO of Keller Williams to become the CEO of mellohome, loanDepot’s attempt to serve as a true one-stop-shop for “buying, financing, and improving homes.” But now, less than 18 months later, Heller is leaving mellohome and loanDepot behind for OJO Labs, a real estate technology start-up whose flagship product is an AI-based conversational assistant that is currently being used in the real estate industry.

Stagnant wages, vacant homes are undercutting housing markets, U.S. mayors say

The two biggest villains undercutting housing markets in American cities are stagnant wages and vacant properties, according to a report this week from a coalition of U.S. mayors. “In fast-growing cities, wages lag behind housing costs, leading to a scarcity of affordable housing,” the report from the National League of Cities Housing Task Force states. In cities where the economy is stagnant, abandoned homes are depressing real estate values.

First American: Growth in potential existing-home sales dampened by lack of inventory

In June, potential existing-home sales increased slightly from the previous month, keeping the market’s potential below its 2018 rate, according to First American’s Potential Home Sales Model. First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming said while increasing house-buying power improved housing affordability and boosted the incentive to sell, a lack of inventory continues to hold the market back.

The Missing Ingredient That Can Assure Your Success in Real Estate

Here is a pretty simple pattern. The larger your lead database grows, the more successful your real estate business will be. We have seen a direct correlation between real estate growth and the size of a lead database. Seems like a no-brainer, right? More leads equal more opportunity for success. In fact, we’ve discovered that teams and businesses investing in lead generation efforts experience a compounding growth effect. Over eight years, they typically witness growth in production volume by four times. On top of that, we’ve uncovered a formula to virtually assure success in real estate.



But while the numbers may seem simple, actually getting there can be trickier. After all, you are one person! You only have 24 hours in the day and 7 days in the week to work with… so how do you tackle it all and keep up with that treasure trove of a database? Let’s lay it all out.

The Time Conundrum

First things first. What really goes into managing a database?

Say you’ve got 1,000 leads in your database. Maybe 25% of those are “nurture” leads and you need to periodically reach out in order to keep them on the backburner. You’ve also got a handful of leads that are 6 months out from being ready to buy, so you have an eye on them. Maybe you’ve got 25 hot new leads this week that registered on your site. And those leads need to be reached out to immediately! (The critical first touch.) On top of that, you have past clients to follow up with, cold leads to circle back with… oh, not to mention the day-to-day of running your business.

When you look at it all together, it’s a lot of hard work.


Historically, people have turned to technology to make that work easier. But there’s an emerging factor that could be the key to assuring success in real estate: lead support services for agents.

Getting Off the Hamster Wheel

We’ve already highlighted how your lead database impacts your growth and potential for production volume. But now imagine all those leads. An agent has to make the initial engagement with a new lead. Oftentimes, they have to nurture them for up to a year. They have to constantly engage and re-engage with them. And when they become an active “client,” they have to provide exceptional service.


But, you didn’t get into real estate to chase every new lead, right? To be glued to your phone or your desktop, at-the-ready to respond at a moment’s notice. No, you got into real estate to make connections, have conversations, solve problems. You got into real estate to sell real estate! But, as we all know, it’s critical that someone chases those leads and that new leads are responded to immediately.


So if you want to squeeze every cent out of your growing database, you have two choices.

  • 1. Be in 100 places at once
  • 2. Invest in the right support

The Missing Ingredient to Assure Success

Technology can assist with those tasks, but a supporting service, like RealContact for example, would enable agents to focus on the biggest dollar-productive activities: handling clients. This extra “support” takes care of the lead engagement. It manages the lead nurturing. And when coupled with technology, it accelerates lead conversion. It leads to 4x growth.


So when it’s 8:00AM and you’re stuck in traffic, you don’t have to worry about a new lead being ignored. Or when someone registers on your site at 2:00AM and you’re sound asleep, there’s someone ready to reach out and make the connection.



Let’s face it, the real estate hustle is real. The faster you move, the harder you work, the more you “grind,” the more successful you’ll be. But it’s 2019. There’s a way to capitalize on the grind, without spinning all of your wheels and burning out. Not to mention, your time could be better spent elsewhere.


Your time is best spent making that real human connection – doing a showing, closing a deal. And the way to assure success in real estate is by investing in the right support services that will allow you the time and energy to focus on those dollar-productive tasks. To get off the hamster wheel and get back to what you love… selling real estate!

Want to Improve Your Lead Follow-Up? Check Out BoomTown’s CRM >>

The post The Missing Ingredient That Can Assure Your Success in Real Estate appeared first on BoomTown!.

July 19: Sales, LO, AE jobs; credit, broker, accounting products; events & training; cap. mkts. dollar roll primer

Some people pray for ice cream, and their prayers will be answered as this Sunday is National Ice Cream Day. An MLO prayer? “Dear Lord, just give me one more refi boom. I promise to save my money this time.” At the lender level there is plenty of maneuvering going on. Lenders are busy re-hiring ops staff laid off in the past, setting up contract underwriting with private mortgage insurance companies to handle the overflow, or interviewing competitor’s ops staff. Some are hiring with the caveat of not hiring anyone requiring desk space in the office. Vets know that full pipelines in July don’t necessarily mean full pipelines in October.


“How confident are you that 100% your customers are coming back to you when they are purchasing a new home? Loan Originators at First Community Mortgage are staying ahead of the competition by leveraging technology which alerts them if they have customers with a probability of listing their home in the near future. And increasing your database retention rate increases your income. Join a company that invests in YOU and YOUR success. Human Mortgage by First Community Mortgage is the perfect place for loan originators to thrive. Our experienced support staff and advanced technology helps to streamline the mortgage process giving you the ability to close more with less effort. Apply through the First Community Mortgage careers page. We have branches throughout the southeastern United States but are always looking to grow with the right ‘humans,’ no matter your location. If you have experience and are interested in discussing opening a new branch or joining our winning team, reach out to Brandon Sandefur, EVP.”

For a job in the financial services sector, due to continued growth, Inheritance Funding Company, Inc., is looking to hire an additional Funding Officer for its San Francisco Financial District home office. Inheritance Funding Company, Inc. has provided heirs waiting for their inheritance distribution with capital advances for nearly 25 years. “With nearly $200M advanced to heirs in all 50 states, IFC is the oldest and largest purveyor of inheritance advances in the country. With continued growth in this lucrative sector, IFC is looking to hire the right talent to catch up with increased demand. Inheritance or probate experience is neither expected nor required. The right candidate will have a blend of sales expertise, analytical reasoning, and strong client communication skills. Competitive base salary and uncapped incentive pay for strong performers.” Contact Eric Holdsworth, VP of Marketing.

Lender products and services

Have you converted your leases to the new accounting standard? The requirement kicks in effective January 1, 2020 so there’s not much time left to make the switch. To help you understand what is required and how to tackle this project, Henry Chavez, Principal at Spiegel Accountancy Corp., is presenting a free webinar on July 30 at 10AM PT. Avoid surprises and learn what you need to do to be compliant by year end.

The mortgage industry is in flux. Fluctuating interest rates. Shrinking inventories. Changing borrower needs. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some consistency– especially from your automated underwriting system? Freddie Mac Loan Product Advisor® delivers reliable eligibility findings that foster responsible lending and give you confidence that you’re originating quality loans. Its innovative capabilities were developed in collaboration with lenders, providing automation and insights that help reduce costs and increase efficiency. What does it all mean for you? Greater opportunity for business growth and an edge on the competition– The Freddie EdgeSM. Learn more about ACE and AIM, available exclusively through Loan Product Advisor®.

First Guaranty Mortgage Corporation (FGMC) is excited to announce the appointment of Michael Massella, SVP of Wholesale Production. “Michael brings over 30 years of wholesale lending experience and is looking for motivated individuals to join the FGMC Wholesale Team as our nationwide expansion continues. With competitive pricing, industry leading turn times, a dedicated structure desk and more, the FGMC Wholesale Team has it all. Do you need a partner who offers Conventional, GNMA, FHA, VA, USDA, 203K and our newly released Second Lien products? We’ve got it. What about Non-QM solutions? Through Maverick Solutions, our proprietary suite of Non-QM products, we offer alternative options for jumbo loans, investment properties, and more! Sign up HERE or contact us here to get started today.

“Strong history. Bold future. Stearns Wholesale Lending is celebrating its 30th year supporting the mortgage broker. At Stearns, relationships always come first. You are never just a number. Stearns is committed to utilizing a distributed sales model supplemented by a hybrid internal sales group offering a best in class operational experience for their clients. Hear more from Account Executive Austin Willis in this video. If you’re looking to join a company that with a BOLD Future reach out to our Wholesale Recruiter Melissa Richardson at Melissa.richardson@stearns.com.”

“Can you believe it’s less than 6 months until 2020? If you’re worried about hitting your 2019 revenue goals, it’s time to rethink your strategy before it’s too late. Fortunately, Informative Research’s VP of Client Success Blair Biehle will be at the 2019 Convention of the Independent Community Bankers of Minnesota in August. Make sure to meet up with him and learn about Informative Research‘s arsenal of solutions that give you a proven plan on how to cut your credit cost by up to 50%. It’s possible to save money, retain your customers, and get all of the solutions and services you need to finish out the year strong! Just reach out and we’ll show you how.”

Events & training

The Mortgage Bankers Association of Greater Philadelphia is hosting a free webinar on July 25 at 2pm EDT sponsored by Lenders One. The topic is Top Marketing Strategies to Reach Millennial Home Buyers by Kristin Messerli of Cultural Outreach. Millennials are quickly becoming the largest home-buying generation, but lenders still struggle to reach them. Understanding the millennial mindset, their values and communication styles are key in reaching this group of first-time home buyers. Registration is free here

The 2019 Convention of the Independent Community Bankers of Minnesota is being held 8/1-8/3.

The Lenders One Summit in Seattle (8/4-8/7) provides a forum to learn from peers and experts in the field. “In this challenging market, we’re focused on continuing to bring new solutions to support your business. Our member and provider networks are the keys to driving our co-op ahead in this industry, and we’re excited to gather at Summit to provide a forum for you to grow and learn from thought leaders and peers.”

CECL is up for public comment, but FASB and its requirement for an estimate of expected credit losses over the life of the portfolio to be effectively recorded upon origination is still a concern. The new accounting standard applies to all banks, savings associations, credit unions, and financial institution holding companies. Join OMBA’s Webinar, on Tuesday, August 6th beginning at 10:00. Mike Cavellaro & Rob Folland, Barnes & Thornburg LLP will provide an in-depth look at what is required of your financial institution. There is no charge to OMBA Members & Non-Members.

AmeriHome’s Correspondent underwriting management team is inviting Sellers to participate in a webinar on August 12th to cover recent Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac updates and the effect on AmeriHome guidelines and requirements.

Mortgage Innovators Conference is the ONLY mortgage industry conference that highlights all innovators! Taking place August 11-13 in San Diego, it will feature engaging, expert speakers on a variety of topics from Day 1 Certainty to blockchain and everything in between.

Join the Michigan Mortgage Lenders Association at the state’s largest mortgage industry event of the year! I will be attending the MMLA Annual Lending Conference is from August 14-16 at Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa in Thompsville. This event is for anyone in the mortgage industry and has something for independent mortgage bankers, brokers, community banks, commercial banks, credit unions, and all companies that provides a service to the industry!

The Mortgage Collaborative will be at the new J.W. Marriott in Nashville, TN Aug 18-20 for their 2019 Summer Conference. TMC’s bi-annual conferences are extremely interactive events with the agendas constructed by and sessions led their lender members. The entire events are heavily focused on exchange of best practices, experiences with third party providers, and operating more efficiently and profitably. The complete agenda and full details on the event can be found here, and for more information contact TMC’s COO Rich Swerbinsky.

The New England Mortgage Bankers annual conference will be held 9/11-9/13 in Newport, Rhode Island.

The MBA of Southwest Pennsylvania Fall Kickoff in Pittsburgh (LeMont Restaurant) will be held Wednesday, September 18th.

Capital markets

Let’s “open the kimono” a little on some of the capital markets nitty gritty. Capital markets folks are talking about how the drop from one month to the next in MBS prices is negligible, translating to rate sheet pricing differences for a 30-day lock versus a 60-day lock price isn’t large. (LOs know, however, that a longer lock period can result in a potential borrower shopping around for a lender, or an increased chance of renegotiation if rates drop. Grab ‘em while you can!)

Recently the New York Fed announced it would engage in four small value agency MBS dollar roll open market transactions, as they do from time to time, for the purpose of testing operational readiness to implement existing and potential policy directives from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). The New York Fed’s Open Market Trading Desk conducts these exercises to test its operational readiness in the Authorization for Domestic Open Market Operations and Authorization for Foreign Currency Operations.

But what is a dollar roll and why should originators care? It’s a type of repurchase transaction in the mortgage pass-through securities market in which the buy side counterparty of a “to be announced” (TBA) trade agrees to a sell off the same TBA trade in the current month and to a buy back the same trade in a future month. Like you are selling your brother a car, but agreeing to buy it back in a month for a set price.

The term “roll” refers to rolling the securities forward a month, or three, the most common and most liquid contract dates for rolls. Because there is no increase or decrease in the outright position, dollar rolls carry no, or very little, duration risk. It is simply an extension of a contract, not a new contract. Rolls can be purchased by a new transaction where the originator wishes to push their hedge out to a further date.

Rolling allows the buy side trade counterparty to invest the funds that otherwise would have been required to settle the buy trade in the current month until the agreed upon future buy-back. The sell side trade counter-party benefits by not having to deliver the pass-through securities (which they might otherwise have shorted or committed to another trade) in the current month. Prices vary month to month based on the supply of large collateralized mortgage obligation deals that increase the demand for mortgage pass-through securities, or unexpected fallout of mortgage closings in a mortgage originator’s pipeline. In either case, financial institutions might have more sell trades in the current month than they are able to deliver securities into, forcing them to “roll” those trades into a future month.

Every basis point can help a lender, and in turn help its borrowers, right? The ability to “trade rolls” gives additional flexibility to MBS market participants, allowing them to better manage the risks and exposures of their production cycles and take advantage of attractive funding opportunities. Trading in rolls takes place to accomplish a variety of purposes such as obtaining pools as collateral for newly issued transactions, pushing hedges further into the future if loans are funded at a slower than expected pace, taking advantage of favorable financing opportunities available through the roll market, and efficiently delivering newly created pools against their TBA transactions.

Thursday was a snoozer of a day in the bond market until the very end. That changed with a late rally that saw the curve steepen and the 10-year close -2 bps to 2.04 percent, after New York Fed President and permanent FOMC voter Williams said that rates should stay lower for longer and that the central bank should not keep its powder dry when neutral rates are low. Specifically, he stated “it’s better to take preventative measures than to wait for disaster to unfold. When you only have so much stimulus at your disposal, it pays to act quickly to lower rates at the first sign of economic distress.” Those remarks, in which he also lamented the lack of a larger increase in the cost of living despite the fact that inflation was lower and the central bank was making large daily asset purchases when the fed funds rate was near zero, grabbed the market’s attention.

That was one of many central bank developments throughout the day. There were also reports that the European Central Bank is considering a change to its inflation target, which bid EGBs as markets assumed lower for longer; the Bank of Korea unexpectedly lowered its repurchase rate, Bank Indonesia cut its repurchase rate, and the South African Reserve Bank lowered its repurchase rate. Lots of lowering out there!

Preliminary June Michigan sentiment is the only domestic release slated today, but there is a little Fed speak with both St. Louis Fed President Bullard and Boston Fed President Rosengren delivering remarks. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices worse .125 and the 10-year yielding 2.05%.

Thank you to Richmond, VA’s M.S. for passing along something that should be printed out ahead of every conference call.

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, “Residential Lending, Banks, and Market Share.” 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.


(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of 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 2019 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.)

Renovation spending will slow in 2020 after record-setting year, Harvard report says

While renovation spending rose to a record at the end of June and will reach a new high by the end of 2019, a slowdown is on the horizon. Americans spent $322 billion on remodeling and home repairs during the 12 months ending in June, a 6.8% jump from a year earlier, according to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. However, 2020 will be a different story.

Foreign buyers flee the U.S. housing market, led by Chinese and British

China’s currency controls, as well as international tensions between the U.S. and a slew of countries traditionally thought of as our allies, are putting a crimp on America’s real estate market by thwarting demand from foreign homebuyers. Purchases by Chinese people, the biggest share of foreign purchasers, plummeted 56% in the 12 months ended in March, while British home purchases tumbled 48%.