May 23: MI job, vendor partnerships; lender products; Congress’ take on TILA, VA IRRRLs, PACE loans, & MLO licensing

Every vendor here at the MBA conference suggests they can help clients close more loans faster, more efficiently and compliantly. If only all these lenders had more loans in their pipelines to close! But lenders here in NY are an optimistic bunch.


In MI job news, “Are you looking to join an organization with great history, culture, and opportunity? If so, MGIC, a founder of the private mortgage insurance industry, has a great opportunity for an ambitious sales professional to cover the State of Alabama, as well as the Florida Panhandle. Customer base includes Mortgage Bankers, Banks, Credit Unions, etc. As an Account Manager, you will develop and maintain strong, long lasting client relationships as well as grow business by identifying new business opportunities. The ideal candidate must have strong presentation and communication skills, and the ability to occasionally travel overnight. This person will report directly to Steve Cox, Sales Manager. 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.

Lender products

Yesterday at the MBA Secondary conference in New YorkMortgage Coach and Optimal Blue announced an enhanced integration that avails access to accurate pricing within the Mortgage Coach platform. Now every Mortgage Coach-powered loan originator can include real-time product and pricing data within the Total Cost Analysis – in seconds without ever leaving the Mortgage Coach app – giving their borrowers the transparent and accurate loan options they need to make a confident mortgage decision faster. “Combining the sophisticated product and pricing data at the heart of every mortgage transaction with a compelling user experience — and doing so whenever, wherever it matters most — is a game changer for the industry.” explained Bob Brandt, Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Alliances for Optimal Blue. Executives interested in learning exactly how to increase production with this new integration can contact Jim Wrigley.

Get alerted when a customer is shopping for a mortgage right on your mobile device! Advantage Credit, Inc., a leading provider of credit reporting services and the developer of Monitoring Advantage which is the premier client retention and lead generation tool has announced an integration partnership with SimpleNexus. SimpleNexus is an enterprise digital mortgage platform enabling lenders to originate and process loans from anywhere and now to automatically receive notifications to their smartphone of immediate prospect opportunities. This integration with Monitoring Advantage and SimpleNexus may be used whether the client is a credit customer of Advantage Credit, or any other CRA. For more information, please contact the Advantage Credit sales team at

Caliber Home Loans, Inc. announces its partnership with Ellie Mae, the leading cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage industry. Caliber will leverage Ellie Mae’s delivery solution – Encompass Investor Connect – to bring its correspondent lending partners the benefits of a true digital mortgage experience. Encompass Investor Connect’s solution supports the needs of lenders and investors, by removing the manual loan package delivery process and delivering it directly from Ellie Mae’s Loan Origination System to the investor. The solution provides one centralized system of record that results in improved purchase times, while enhancing accuracy and compliance. “Caliber’s pleased to partner with Ellie Mae on this initiative because of the efficiencies it brings to the market,” said Patricia Shumate, Caliber EVP of Correspondent Lending.” It’ll increase the accuracy of data transfer, decrease turn times and reduce the costs associated with the sale and purchase of closed loans. Ultimately, this will result in a better experience for the borrower.”

The “1003” should be called the “1030” because it’s missing at least 27 very important pieces of information at a minimum. PerfectLO completes the 1003 and asks the other 27-100 questions. We all know that a completed “1003” is quite useless even when completed. The real pain in your operation begins and ends with a perfect loan interview and thorough doc checklist. So why wouldn’t you have your borrowers click on your link and answer ALL the questions that you need the first time? And why not add a solution that builds a perfect Doc Checklist? That’s just what PerfectLO does. Sign up for a free trial and demo PerfectLO’s online questionnaire takes a logical and systematic approach while creating a dynamic document checklist based off their answers. PerfectLO is a multi-language, mobile friendly, cloud-based, white-labeled, software solution that talks to all LOSs.

More technology & vendor updates

Vendors are a clever bunch, individually. Unfortunately, many lenders I spoke to here at the conference are confused about which vendor does exactly what, who is partnered with who, how expensive they are, and so on. Let’s take a random sample of who is doing what in the vendor arena, some new products some less recent.

Recently Digital Risk LLC, an Mphasis company, a leading End to End Origination, risk, compliance, and technology services company providing differentiated solutions to the mortgage, consumer lending, and other regulated industries, announced CitiMortgage as a marquee client for its digital mortgage platform, LoanFx. “LoanFx, designed for self-service, will be integrated in all of CitiMortgage’s digital channels, including mobile and tablet interfaces. Citi clients will now benefit by becoming verifiers, instead of suppliers of information. LoanFx will also provide real-time updates throughout the process to Citi loan officers, their clients, and their realtors for increased transparency.”

Tavant, a digital products and solutions company for the consumer lending industry, is collaborating with Freddie Mac to launch a one-click submission of loan data to Loan Product Advisor®, providing lenders a means to improve loan functionality and best execution without sacrificing operational efficiency. This solution uses machine learning and process automation techniques to submit loan-data via a single click to both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, enabling lenders to see the full view of options available to their borrowers and ultimately leading to an improved borrower experience. Tavant will begin piloting this solution with four selected lenders leveraging the partnership to achieve best execution goals.

Ephesoft Inc., rolled out its Ephesoft Transact for Mortgage. This marks the first time Ephesoft will offer a vertical-specific product and the first SaaS cloud solution for mortgage processing. To process a mortgage loan, more than 600 different document types need to be classified, which makes this industry ideally suited for document capture innovation. This product can be implemented into loan origination systems in a matter of days to dramatically improve speed and accuracy to process loans quicker.

DocMagic’s eMortgage services, announced that Deutsche Bank has successfully implemented and is actively utilizing its proprietary eVault technology. Deutsche Bank’s document custody group is now empowered to take full possession of electronically originated assets for clients as the loan market continues to transition to a paperless process. DocMagic establishes a legally compliant method to securely move original electronic files from one custodian to another, while preserving unique authoritative digital ownership.

ACES Risk Management (ARMCO), the leading provider of financial risk mitigation and compliance solutions, announced that it has launched The Compliance NewsHub, the mortgage industry’s first free comprehensive searchable online resource for regulation-related news and information. The Compliance NewsHub provides mortgage lenders with fast and easy access to the most comprehensive source of current information on a full range of regulation-related topics—from investor guidelines to state law and CFPB mandates. ARMCO’s Compliance NewsHub provides the latest compliance news and announcements, categorized according to the following segments: federal legislation, legal, industry, agency/GSE and state. Visitors can also sign up to receive The Compliance NewsHub Bulletin to stay informed with news alerts.

Quovo, a data platform that provides connectivity to consumer financial accounts, announced two new products to streamline processes across the mortgage lending value chain. The new products include Income + Expense, a tool that analyzes and summarizes income and expense streams, and Balance Estimator, a tool to predict future account balances up to 30 days in advance based on historical cash flows.

Factual Data, providers of credit and validation services to the mortgage lending industry, is teaming with MortgageHippo to provide a modern approach to the digital mortgage process.

The integration of consumer credit reports from Factual Data with MortgageHippo’s customizable point-of-sale digital lending solution will allow loan officers and lenders to maximize time and efficiency by receiving industry-proven credit data within the borrower profile generated from MortgageHippo’s mobile-ready online application.

Approved, a digital mortgage platform for independent lenders and brokers, has partnered with LendingQB, a provider of SaaS loan origination technology solutions, to launch its digital mortgage experience and wholesale submission platform for lenders and their broker networks. The Approved platform is available now. With this integration, leads through to submissions can all take place through the same point of sale a broker is using to manage their borrowers and process loan packages.

Blend announced the launch of Blend Marketplace with two of its upcoming partners, LendingTree and Total Expert, later this year. Blend Marketplace will serve as a hub for ecosystem partners to build on Blend, generate new business, and work together to reimagine lending from end to end. For lenders, this means lower costs, greater transparency, and a more sustainable industry. “We partnered with Blend to take advantage of their speed and infrastructure,” said Joe Welu, founder and CEO of Total Expert. “We knew it made sense for us to work with a leading technology company that builds a digital lending platform that aligns with our focus on bringing the most modern technology to lenders across the country.”

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.

Regulatory Relief Bill – why should LOs care?

Yes, underwriting, compliance, and regulation are in flux. Yesterday the House passed the regulatory relief bill (S.2155) by a vote of 258 to 159. It includes a ratcheting upward of the $50 billion bank asset threshold to $250 billion within 18 months, a capital simplification off-ramp for banks with less than $10 billion in assets, the QM portfolio lending proposal, and another increase to the Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement. The bill will now head to the president for his signature, which is expected as early as this week. Lenders and banks are interested in the help it gives M&A deals, loan officers are particularly interested in the QM changes.

The bill will provide Qualified Mortgage designation for most mortgages held in portfolio by banks with less than $10 billion in assets. It raises the threshold for designation as a systemically important financial institution from $50 billion in assets and will apply principles of tailored supervision to larger banks. It ends mandated stress tests for banks with under $100 billion in assets and will simplify capital calculations for community banks. Look for relief from appraisal requirements for smaller mortgages, longer exam cycles for community banks, charter flexibility for federal thrifts with less than $20 billion in assets, and relief from the Volcker Rule for most community banks.

Lenders should also know it has SAFE Act amendments to provide 120 days of transitional authority for MLOs to originate when leaving a depository to join a sponsoring non-bank (or when crossing state lines). It will apply TILA consumer protections to PACE/energy efficiency mortgage products. The Bill has modest relief for certain small lenders from HMDA (500 loans per year), and language to address problems with TRID which will eliminate CD re-disclosure when rates go down and direct the BCFP to provide written guidance in other areas of confusion and uncertainty. It has added safeguards to protect veterans, surviving spouses and service members who utilize the VA Home Loan program’s IRRRL refinancing product, offers an improved, more workable regulatory regime for the eligibility of High Volatility Commercial Real Estate (HVCRE) construction loans, and has partial TRID and HMDA relief. Thus FHA & VA prices were helped since there are further changes to the VA Housing Loan Program which should limit churning and other improprieties.

Capital markets

In terms of yesterday’s bond market price movement and therefore interest rates, it was a snoozer – rates haven’t changed much all week. There wasn’t any news of substance in the U.S., and overseas attention was focused on China which said it will cut tariffs for autos and auto parts. Ginnie Mae security prices were helped by S. 2155 passing which includes further changes to the VA Housing Loan Program which should limit churning. Both the 5-year and 10-year notes closed unchanged (the 10-year yielding 3.06%).

This morning we’ve seen last week’s application data from the MBA (-2.6%, refis are now 36% of apps and are the lowest they’ve been since 2000). Coming up are New Home Sales, the U.S. Treasury selling $16 billion of 2-year notes and $36 billion of 5-year notes, and the release of the minutes of the May 1/ 2 FOMC meeting. In the very early going the 10-year yield is down to 3.01% so look for some improvement in MBS prices.

(Thanks to Tony H. for this one.)

Dear Lord –

We used to have Bob Hope, Johnny Cash and Steve Jobs.

Now we do not have Hope, Cash or Jobs…

Please don’t let Kevin Bacon die.


Visit 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, “The Plight of the Small Independent Lender.” 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 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 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.)


The Huge Risk Home Buyers Take When They Waive Inspections

If you’re buying a home in a competitive market and your offers keep getting beat out, you may be tempted to resort to desperate measures. In addition to offering more than the asking price or a quick closing, some buyers agree to waive inspections.

This is never a good idea. The home may look OK to the naked eye, but it’s what’s beyond the surface, or items that you can’t identify as problematic, that cause the biggest issues.

For example, the typical buyer won’t be able to spot asbestos, nor will they see evidence of termite infestation or a leak inside the HVAC system.

No matter how badly you want the property or how emotionally attached you are to it, you don’t want to buy a home without having it thoroughly inspected. Just imagine six months down the road, when you’ve closed on the sale and moved into your new home. You will kick yourself when you go to turn the heat on and realize it doesn’t work – and the fix is $20,000.

When you’re in the thick of a bidding war or in your seventh month of searching for homes, you might not be able to see or think clearly. Don’t get caught up in the hoopla. Waiving an inspection can cost you a fortune. Here are some alternative solutions to satisfy your need to inspect, while remaining competitive.

Pre-sale inspection

If you love the home, inspect before you make an offer or sign a contract. Worst case scenario, you spend a few hundred dollars delving deeply into a home you don’t purchase. Better to be safe than sorry.

If you do inspect the home and it passes muster, then you can waive your inspection contingency because you’ve inspected already.

The seller’s inspection

Often, the seller will have the property inspected before listing. They do this so that they can either iron out any issues in advance of listing, or so buyers know upfront exactly what they’re getting.  It protects the sellers from future negotiations, and allows them to price the property correctly from the start.

The only issue is that the inspector is liable only to the person who paid for and ordered the inspection. That is the seller. If that inspector missed something, you don’t have any recourse.

Move quickly

Often there is a small window of time between when offers are due, and a deal starts to go forward. Sellers don’t want to lose momentum, particularly when there are multiple offers.

If the market moves fast and you need to get your offer in so quickly that there isn’t time to inspect, pre-schedule an inspection for a day or two out. If you work with a good local agent, they will have relationships with an inspector who will do that.

Writing a one- or two-day inspection contingency into your offer gives the seller comfort that they won’t lose momentum if you walk away. You get peace of mind in the meantime.

Don’t get caught up in the drama of a bidding war. If you’re getting frustrated, keep in mind the larger picture. You’re purchasing the biggest asset of your life. Markets change, and you don’t want to find yourself in a home you can’t afford or, much worse, can’t sell because of structural or engineering issues you missed by waiving inspections.


  • 5 Facts Home Buyers and Sellers Should Know About Credits
  • Contingencies: A Home Buyer’s BFF
  • 3 Strategic Moves for Competitive Home Buyers

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.

Originally published July 3, 2017.

Getting and Staying Organized Through the Summer

Sometime about now in mid-summer we begin asking ourselves, “Why do things seem to be out of control? I planned on organizing my photos, painting that cute dresser I picked up at the yard sale last fall, and waking up without an alarm clock on Fridays. None of it has happened!”

This scenario is all too common – and yet there is good news. It’s never too late to get and stay organized for the remainder of the summer.

People tend to get busy with outdoor activities and become distracted by vacations, plus household schedules and routines tend to be different than during the school year. The most common areas that seem to spiral out of control are:

  • Summer clutter
  • Project procrastination
  • Sleep routines

Here are my tips for getting and staying organized through the summer.

Summer clutter

We’re conditioned to create traditions and rituals. We buy new outdoor furniture and decorations for our backyard barbecue, and bring friends and family together for camping trips chock full of new-fangled gadgets and equipment. We have family reunions and summer vacations.

We’re used to buying, creating, and preparing for events – yet we don’t really have a method or system to deal with the aftermath.

It may be time to say goodbye to the stuff we buy “on the fly,” like walkie talkies for playful banter on road trips, floaties for the swimming pool,  collapsible picnic tables for the beach, croquet sets for the backyard, and rain ponchos for the fast-moving and sudden rainstorm.


I recommend two steps for handling summer clutter:

  1. Collect all the summer clutter. Empty the souvenir bags, toiletry kits, suitcases, and backpacks. Get it all in one place.
  1. Evaluate it. I do this by using a value-based point system. Rate each item on a scale of 0 to 5. Zero means you have no real use for it in the future and don’t like it at all. Five means you really love the item and can use it, or it brings you great joy to keep it.

Project procrastination

Often we feel more disorganized or confused about our perceived “free time” during the summer months. This can happen because we spend the first half of the year postponing projects until summer vacation.

Each year we stack the projects-in-waiting for summer, and each year we seem to forget that we would really rather enjoy some time off in nature, traveling, or getting together with friends.

If you want to reduce the pressure for yourself, release yourself from too many good intentions, like repainting the powder room; reading the stack of books you’ve collected; and that wishful photo-organizing project.

Instead, pick just one project and focus on it. By making one project the priority, you can do little bits of it from time to time. So, instead of putting off the project and feeling badly that it isn’t getting done, break your priority project down into doing one small step per day.

Sample summer project

Want to paint that dresser? Allow yourself 13 “moments” to complete the project and never miss a bit of summer fun. Use this project breakdown to make any project fit in around your unpredictable summer schedule.

Painting a dresser purchased at a yard sale

  • Take a “before” picture: 30 seconds
  • Make a list of supplies needed: 5 minutes
  • Buy paint and supplies: 1 hour
  • Stage the area where you plan to paint: 15 minutes
  • Pull the drawers out of the dresser: 3 minutes
  • Remove the knobs from the drawers: 10 minutes
  • Sand the dresser and drawers: 35 minutes
  • Wipe down the dresser and drawers: 10 minutes
  • Paint just a drawer or two (repeat): 30 minutes
  • Paint the frame of the dresser: 1 hour
  • Re-attach knobs: 20 minutes
  • Move dresser to preferred location: 20 minutes
  • Take picture and post for friends to see: 3 minutes

Sleep routines

Most of us realize instinctively that sleep is important.

“You know that babies and children need sleep to grow,” says Val Sgro, a professional organizer and author. “You know that an injured body heals itself faster with good sleep. You know that if you don’t get enough sleep, you become sluggish and cranky, and you have trouble thinking straight. That old saying, ‘I’ll sleep on it,’ comes from the realization that the solution to a problem often seems to reveal itself after a good night’s sleep.

“Contrary to common belief, your brain does not rest when you sleep,” she continues. “It is often more active than when you’re awake. It’s busy – busy making sure it stays organized.”


And therein lies the key to getting and staying organized in the summer months. Though our sleep routines will likely be off kilter, it’s worth asking the question, “How will I be able to get seven or eight hours of sleep tonight? How will I fit it in?”

Maybe you need to grab a mid-day nap or put yourself (not just the kids) to bed an hour earlier. Getting more sleep will help you make better decisions when you pack (and thus have fewer items to “buy on the fly” while traveling).

More sleep means being more alert driving on road trips; consuming less sugar or caffeine for a mid-day boost; and showing up with an overall better outlook for the day. And in the middle of summer travel or hosting guests who are visiting for a week, that couldn’t be a more welcome benefit.

All photos from Shutterstock.


  • 7 Must-Have Home Organization Tools
  • 10 Tips for Organizing an Irresistible Yard Sale
  • 5 Steps to Better Basement, Attic and Garage Storage

Originally published July 28, 2016.

OL buyer story: Tiffanie & Brett

From renters for life to SoCal homeowners

OL buyer story: Tiffanie & Brett

When Malibu, CA-based blogger and Mom Tiffanie Anne and her soon-to-be husband Brett started looking for a new place for them and their 1.5 year old daughter, Tenley, the idea of buying a home in Southern California seemed completely out of the picture.

As her apartment hunt grew fiercer — finding a 2 bedroom apartment in the Calabasas / Malibu / Agoura Hills neighborhood area for under $2,400 is no small feat — Tiffanie would religiously check the 5 apartment and real estate apps she had on her phone.

But, it wasn’t until she stumbled across an Open Listings ad on Facebook, found out about our commission refund of up to 50%, and used the “What It’ll Cost” calculator that she realized home ownership would even be a possibility.

OL buyer story: Tiffanie & Brett

A personalized look at our “What It’ll Cost” calculator

After taking a look at their finances, Tiffanie and Brett realized that they could use the savings they had initially earmarked for their wedding (they decided to elope instead) and opt to buy their first home instead of rent.

We’re excited to announce that as a part of an ongoing partnership with OL, Tiffanie is documenting every step of her homebuying process.

OL buyer story: Tiffanie & Brett

Tenley & Tiffanie on their house hunt

Follow along on her blog for a real look at what it’s like to be a first-time homebuyer in a competitive market like Southern California while using Open Listings.

The posts:

  • It’s Happening! The Journey Begins
  • [Video] Buying Our First Home in California Part 1: What Are We Looking For?
  • Let’s Move! …But Where in California?
  • House #1? House #2? Which one?!
  • The Winner Is…
  • Open Listings to the Rescue!

Looking to get out of renting and buy your first home? Use Open Listings to house hunt 24/7, get everyday support from our homebuying experts, & save an average of $8,500+ when you buy.

3 Ways To Invest In Real Estate—Even With Limited Funds [Video!]

There are lots of myths surrounding real estate investment and how you can get started. While there are many, here are three ways you can get started—even while trying to build bigger pockets. In this video, I break down three common ways to get started. (And no, none of them include HGTV-style flipping…) 1. Be […]

View the full article: 3 Ways To Invest In Real Estate—Even With Limited Funds [Video!] on The BiggerPockets Blog. This content is Copyright © 2017 BiggerPockets, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Thinking about refinancing your home? Here are the costs.

Thinking about refinancing your home? Here are the costs.

At some point, most homeowners start to consider refinancing their homes. Whether your end goal is to score a better interest rate, change the length of your loan, or receive a cash advance for the equity you’ve put into the property, refinancing can do a lot to help ease the financial burden of homeownership. But, refinancing your home does come at a cost of its own.

If you’ve been wondering whether refinancing is a viable option for you right now, we’ve laid out some of the most common costs associated with refinancing your home:

What should I expect to pay when refinancing?

When you refinance, you’ll be expected to pay closing costs on the loan — the fees needed to close out your old mortgage and begin your new one. They’ll vary depending on where you live and the company you choose, so be sure to do your research before signing on the dotted line.

However, in general, this is what you can expect to pay:

Loan application fee

Just like when you applied for your first mortgage, you’ll need to pay an application fee. This covers any costs associated with vetting your finances, such as checking your credit score, to see if meet the lender’s criteria to be given a loan. It’s worth noting that, even if your application is denied, you’ll still be on the hook for this fee. $75 – $300

Loan origination fee

This is the cost charged by the lender in order to prepare your new mortgage. Usually, the fee is charged as a percentage of the loan rather than a flat dollar amount. 0% – 1.5% of the loan’s principal value


A point is equal to 1% of your loan’s principle value. Some lenders charge a certain amount of points for making changes to the loan’s original terms, such as reducing the interest rate or paying it off early. 0% – 3% of the loan’s principal value

Home inspection

Sometimes, a lender will require you to have a home inspection to ensure that the property is structurally sound and all its systems are in working order. Depending on the regulations where you live, you may be required to perform additional inspections as well. $200 – $400

Appraisal fee

The bank may require that you hire an appraiser to determine the current fair market value of your home. This may be higher or lower than when you originally bought. However, it will determine that size of the loan that the bank is willing to issue. Typically, they will only issue loans lesser than or equal to the fair market value. $300 – $400

Survey fees

Sometimes, a lender will require that you have survey conducted to verify that the boundaries of your property are properly recorded and that they aren’t being encroached upon by the neighbors. $150 – $300

Insurance policies

In order to grant you a loan, most mortgage companies insist that their investment be protected in the event of an emergency, meaning that they may require you to get homeowners insurance. While you probably already have a policy in place, when refinancing, your lender may require that you get additional coverage, or if needed, supplemental policies for floods, etc. $0 – $1,000

Title search and insurance

If you live in a title state, you’ll need to hire a title company to search court records, prior deeds, and property records. Their job is to ensure that your home’s title has no liens or other encumbrances that will need to be paid off before you can recieve a new mortgage. $700 – $900

Attorney fees

If you do not live in a title state, you’ll need to hire an attorney to conduct those searches on your behalf. $500 – $1,000

Recording fees

When you refinance, the changes to your mortgage have to be made a matter of public record. The fee charged to record this change is determined by your local municipality. $25 – $200

What’s the total cost of refinancing?

Your total cost will vary widely depending on where you live and the terms of both your new and original loans. However, on average, a homeowner can expect to pay anywhere from $1,800 – $5,000 to refinance their home.

If this figure is going to be an issue for you, negotiating with your lender is possible. He or she may be able to cover some of the costs and/or work with you to find a new loan program that better suits your needs.

What is no-cost refinancing?

“No-cost refinancing” is a bit of a misnomer. This process refers to how the fees are charged, rather than the overall cost itself. In a traditional refinancing scenario, the homeowner is expected to pay the above closing costs upfront. With no-cost refinancing, these fees are added on top of the principal value of your new loan, allowing you to pay for them over time.

If you think this may be an option for you, be sure to shop around for lenders who specialize in this type of work. Also, be aware that the flexibility of this option may come at an added cost in the form of higher interest rates. You’ll need to do the math to decide which payment process is ultimately a better choice for you.

Thinking about buying a new home? Use Open Listings to house hunt 24/7, book tours on demand, & get back an average of $8,500+ with our 50% commission refund when you buy with us.

May 22: LO jobs, bus. opportunities; lender products; state-level changes; does the yield curve matter?

The U.S. mortgage industry likely recorded an operating loss in the first three months of 2018 due to falling loan volumes and growing expenses, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s chief economist, Michael Fratantoni, said yesterday here in New York. On a personal note, I know many owners and CEOs of residential lenders, however, and would never bet against their success. They represent a very savvy, entrepreneurial, and street-smart group of individuals but are faced with many risks, with LO comp, technology, housing inventory, and shrinking margins in the forefront. Check out “The Plight of the Small Independent Lender.”

Employment & business opportunities

Assurance Financial is quietly growing into a nationwide leader in lending. Just ask Mike Killmeyer who recently opened a branch for Assurance Financial in Denver, Colorado. Mike was equipped to take loan applications immediately with little downtime and is now poised to add to his growing professional staff. Mike and his team saw that our compensation structure is excellent, and our back-office support was second to none – 16 years of working, changing, and perfecting it. He also saw that we have an unwavering mission to close loans on time, every time! We have immediate openings for proven, successful, producing Branch Managers and MLOs in Wilmington, Charlotte, Denver, Austin, and many other branch locations throughout the country. For immediate consideration, contact Paul Peters, CMB, Assurance Financial, Recruiting Manager (225-239-7948).

Last week a long-time mortgage executive shared his thoughts with me on today’s market. “The tough retail origination market we are in currently is here to stay for several years. The industry has grown accustomed to challenging markets ending in 18-24 months, usually based on some sort of refinance activity. That is not going to happen this time, and it is going to be particularly difficult for smaller companies originating $1 billion or less annually unable to reduce fixed operations costs enough to offset shrinking volume and margins. I believe that going forward to survive and prosper you will need plenty of capital, scale, the very best technology, and great cost efficiency. Eventually things will improve but not until capacity shrinks through company failures and consolidation. As it stands right now, company owners are taking more and more risk for a smaller and smaller share of the profits, and that is not sustainable. Eventually LO’s compensation will have to come in line with the realities of today’s economics, but many expect things to get worse for owners before they get better.” If you would like to discuss today’s environment, finding the right partner, or looking at your options, please contact me to forward your note along to an interested party.

Products for lenders

Borrower satisfaction has always been the focus for lenders, large and small. Many state the benefits of repeat business, increased referrals, and stronger relationships with realtors as their motivators, but very few in our industry know how to track the ROI and level of investment they should be putting towards their borrower focused initiatives. A new eBook, “Borrower Satisfaction & Profitability” brings together focus areas and industry data, enabling lenders to track and monitor the impact of their borrower satisfaction efforts. An exclusive to Rob Chrisman subscribers today and a must read for all mortgage lenders, Download Your Free Copy Here.

Every mortgage professional in the nation needs to hear what Dave Motley, Chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), has to say about the future of our industry. In this very special edition of Inside the Mortgage Mind—a podcast from XINNIX, the Mortgage Academy—XINNIX CEO Casey Cunningham talks with Dave about the greatest opportunities for companies right now, the biggest obstacles facing professionals today, and the most important focus for the MBA as they lead our industry into tomorrow. Don’t miss incredible insight from one the mortgage industry’s topmost leaders. CLICK HERE to listen!


When your marketing administrators started their career at your company they probably didn’t realize a degree in social media for financial services would be needed. Well, it turns out a large part of creating a successful business today is staying current – and active – on the constantly changing landscape of social media. And now, in addition to “building better customer experiences” for those in need of financial services or a new home, your marketing team is required to be hands-on in the management of your organization’s social media accounts. Today, more than 2 billion users worldwide have Facebook accounts, giving your company the ability to share community events, school news, or even hot property listings and low loan rates. Read Total Expert’s blog, “Post. Share. Like. Monitor. Repeat” to learn how to empower your loan officers to position themselves as community leaders and grow trusted relationships with future customers.

The team at HomeScout-HBM is committed to assisting loan officers and branch managers by removing the obstacles that declining origination numbers and shrinking margins are having on commissions. With proven lead and conversion technologies, HBM has helped lenders for over 20 years, build relationships with top-performing agents, increasing purchase production and commissions for thousands of loan officers. Their National MLS for lenders provides 100% MLS listing data inside a custom mobile app that promotes loan officers! Converting more purchase transactions AND providing additional business for co-op agents. And since more buyers find their homes online, this digital real estate marketplace gives loan officers the opportunity to get in front of buyers earlier in the home buying process; before they find an agent. Stop by and see them at their booth during Mortgage Mastermind. For more information and schedule a demo contact them HERE or give them a call at 952-831-0623.

Misc. company news

Yesterday this commentary mentioned mortgage M&A, and Renasant acquiring Brand Group Holdings. As a reminder, readers should know that BrandMortgage is not part of that transaction and BrandMortgage will continue to be a standalone independent mortgage company.

“The nation’s leading homeowner resource portal, has announced its partnership with kathy ireland® Worldwide. The announcement was made by Sean D. Stockell, CEO of Florida-based Your Home Digital, LLC, publisher of As part of the agreement, Ms. Ireland will serve as Chief Brand Strategist for Your Home Digital and join the company’s Board of Directors.”

State changes – mini-CFPBs springing up?

If you’re lending in only one state, do you think the lending laws are tough? Try lending in many states and keeping track of all the changes. And this is especially the case as the CFPB, or whatever its name is these days, shifts its model – plenty of states are willing to create their own CFPB-style regulatory body. Whack a mole?

Saturday this commentary mentioned that bitcoins were not suitable for a down payment in Fannie’s guidelines. David T. showed me that there are state-level regulatory restrictions. “In Texas, the Department of Insurance, as in many states, requires real estate closings involving title insurance to be conducted using ‘good funds’ as defined by the state. Examples would be wire transfer of funds or cashier’s check. Cryptocurrency is not recognized as good funds and I don’t know of any initiatives to expand the definition of good funds to include such.” Thanks David!

Georgia’s Uniform Power of Attorney Act, which has been renamed the Georgia Power of Attorney Act, has been modified to clarify provisions relating to the incapacity of a principal. The new subsection states that a finding by a court that a principal is incapacitated shall neither constitute a determination of nor create a presumption regarding the principal’s need for a guardian or conservator. The provisions relating to the execution of a power of attorney now require that a power of attorney be attested in the presence of the principal by a competent witness who is not named as an agent in the power of attorney being attested. The requirement that the power of attorney be attested before a notary public has been stricken from this provision. It also modifies sections relating to termination of a power of attorney, actions of agents, and liability for refusal to accept a power of attorney. Click here for the full text of House Bill 897


Georgia also has modified provisions relating to its Uniform Statutory Rule Against Perpetuities and Trusts to modernize the laws relating to trusts and to allow for trusts to exist for longer periods of time. The time allotted for interest to vest, a condition precedent to be satisfied, or a power to be irrevocably exercised before termination under the rule against perpetuities has been extended from ninety (90) years to three-hundred and sixty (360) years.

A new section has been added to the Act relating to the transfer of property in a trust. A transfer of property in a trust requires a transfer of legal title to the trustee. Additionally, if a trust is named as a grantee, then such a transfer is deemed to have been made to the trustee of such trust, rather than the trust itself. The Act has also modified sections relating to minor and unborn beneficiaries, modification and termination of trusts, and nonjudicial settlement agreements with respect to trusts. Click here for the full text of Senate Bill 301

The Commonwealth of Kentucky enacted provisions relating to its Uniform Power of Attorney Act, these provisions are effective on July 13, 2018. Kentucky Revised Statutes Chapter 457 is established and adopts portions of the Uniform Power of Attorney Act of 2006. A power of attorney is durable unless it expressly provides that it is terminated when the principal becomes incapacitated. KRS 457 Section 10 also outlines what constitutes a POA termination. KRS Chapter 457 also contains sections that detail the relationship between a power of attorney and a conservator or guardian.

Capital markets

What’s new with capital markets? Not much. The GSEs (Freddie and Fannie) aren’t going away, and both have some changes coming up that most lenders will find helpful – as will their borrowers. The key message from the GSEs, FHFA, and the US Treasury is that the single security will happen (June of 2019), the operational infrastructure needed to support it is nearly there, and investors should prepare now. Hey, if it helps liquidity, that will help rates, and that will help borrowers.

There continues to be chatter about rates – it’s kind of like talking about the weather: not much anyone can do about them. Perhaps of more interest is the shape of the yield curve. I’ve written quite a bit about it, but as the yield curve flattens, it is attracting more and more attention. Normally a flat yield curve indicates a coming recession. But what if the slope is artificial?

We should all remember that the Fed is continuing to purchase billions of 30-year paper every week. So, on the one hand the FOMC has been raising short term rates, pushing them while simultaneously buying long-dated paper, pushing up those prices and pushing long rates down. And by paying interest on excess reserves, the Fed has pushed up short term rates more than demand for credit would imply. Chris Whalen argues that if the Fed stopped paying interest on excess reserves, the Fed Funds rate would get cut in half. And if the Fed stopped buying 30-year stuff, rates would go up – both leading to a steeper yield curve.

Rates were unchanged yesterday as the MBS market began the week with a quiet start despite Treasury Secretary Mnuchin’s acknowledgment that trade wars between the U.S. and China are “on hold.” Proposed tariffs will be halted, though there were no specific details on the trade detente, although it was reported that China has said it will buy more goods from the U.S. The quiet day was to be expected as many of you are in New York for the MBA conference.

The big news overnight, once again, pertains to China trade as tensions ease further. Today’s calendar has some second-tier economic news of little consequence, and the Treasury auctioning off $45 billion 1-month, $26 billion 1-year, and $33 billion 2-year securities. Step right up and bid! The 10-year begins today yielding 3.07% and agency MBS prices are nearly unchanged from Monday’s close.

(Thanks to Michael C. from PA for this one.)

A man goes to his doctor, indicating he has been feeling very badly the past few months, so wanted to get checked out.

The doctor says, well, let’s run some tests, and see if we can figure out what’s going on.

The doctor takes some x-rays, draws blood for a blood test, and tells the patient he will phone him when the results come back.

A few days later, the doctor calls the patient, “I need you to come see me right away.”

The patient comes to the office, and the doctor looks grave.

“I’m sorry, but I have terrible news; you have a terminal illness…you aren’t going to live very long.”

The patient is of course struck with worry.

“Just tell me, doctor, how long do I have to live?”

The doctor replies, “10.”

The patient looks confused, and says, “10 what? 10 months, 10 weeks?”

The doctor responds, “9.”

Visit 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, “The Plight of the Small Independent Lender.” 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 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 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.)