October 2018 Housing Affordability Index

At the national level, housing affordability is down from last month and down from a year ago. Mortgage rates rose to 4.88 percent this October, up 18.7 percent compared to 4.11 percent a year ago.

  • Housing affordability declined from a year ago in October moving the index down 9.7 percent from 162.7 to 146.9. The median sales price for a single family home sold in October in the US was $257,900 up 4.3 percent from a year ago.
  • Nationally, mortgage rates were up 77 basis point from one year ago (one percentage point equals 100 basis points).
  • The payment as a percentage of income was unchanged from last month at 17 percent this October but up from 15.4 percent from a year ago. Regionally, the West has the highest payment at 23.7 percent of income. The South had the second highest payment at 16.5 percent followed by the Northeast at 16.1 percent. The Midwest had the lowest payment as a percentage of income at 13.5 percent.

  • Regionally, the South recorded the biggest increase in home prices at 3.6 percent. The Northeast had an increase of 3.0 percent while the West had a gain of 2.5 percent. The Midwest had the smallest growth in price of 1.4 percent.
  • Regionally, all four regions saw a decline in affordability from a year ago. The Midwest had the biggest drop in affordability of 9.6 percent. The South had a decline of 9.1 percent followed by the Northeast that fell 9.0 percent. The West had the smallest drop of 7.5 percent.
  • On a monthly basis, affordability is down from last month in three of the four regions. The Northeast region had the only gain of 1.7 percent. Both the Midwest and the West shared a decline of 0.6 percent. The South had the smallest dip in affordability of 0.1 percent.

  • Despite month-to-month changes, the most affordable region was the Midwest, with an index value of 185.0. The least affordable region remained the West where the index was 105.3. For comparison, the index was 151.6 in the South, and 154.9 in the Northeast.
  • Mortgage applications are currently up. Mortgage rates continue to rise and home price growth is slowing down to catch up with incomes. Single-family homes are still moving at a face pace however tend to slow down during fall and winter season. Inventory of homes are currently up, which is a welcoming sign for potential homebuyers. Home prices are up 4.3 percent, median family incomes that are growing 3.1 percent helping reduce the pressure of home price growth.
  • What does housing affordability look like in your market? View the full data release here.
  • The Housing Affordability Index calculation assumes a 20 percent down payment and a 25 percent qualifying ratio (principal and interest payment to income). See further details on the methodology and assumptions behind the calculation here.

10 Financial Tasks to Tackle Before 30 (So You Can Afford to Start Your Actual Bucket List!)


What I propose today is that we create a new bucket list—a financial bucket list that isn’t unattainable, that doesn’t require huge financial expenses that you will never recoup, and that puts you on track for a lifetime of success.

View the full article: 10 Financial Tasks to Tackle Before 30 (So You Can Afford to Start Your Actual Bucket List!) on The BiggerPockets Blog. This content is Copyright © 2017 BiggerPockets, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Dec. 14: AE, LO jobs; Full Eagle wanted; compliance, documentation products; loan amount changes in the primary markets

Lots of folks in the mortgage biz like statistics and odds. They may not remember them, but they like them. (As Marcus L. writes, “People still play the lottery even though most of us can’t get the USB in the first time correctly and those odds are 50/50.”) Plenty of home loans are impacted by student debt. For every 100 students who enroll full-time in college or university, 42 percent will graduate within four years and 18 percent more will graduate within six. This means that 40% of college students get all the benefits of student debt without obtaining a degree. And put another way, of those 60 students of every hundred who graduate, 42 will leave with student loans and five will default on those loans by the age of 33. For the 40 who don’t graduate, 10 will default on those loans. Even more, 10 years down the line, 32% of the college grads end up in careers that didn’t require a college degree in the first place.


American Capital is excited to welcome Brad Hodge as Retail Division Manager.  Brad’s 45 years of industry experience will help grow ACC / Lionsgate by recruiting LO’s, Branch Managers, Area Managers and Branches to join our dynamic platform of Loans and Real Estate together under one roof.  If you are looking to improve your ROI and be your own best referral source, the Hybrid offering is the most powerful strategy available.  The ACC / Lionsgate Hybrid offering is more than just a logo change – it’s a transformation. Contact Brad for more information (909-702-6924).

FirstBank Correspondent Lending is looking to hire an Account Executive with a proven track record and customer base in the Southeast, including the states of TN, SC, GA, AL, MS, & FL. “Backed by FirstBank, a successful financial institution with $5B in assets, we have the technology, pricing and marketing to ensure your growth and success and a wide array of products including Jumbo, USDA Single Close Construction, FHA, VA, USDA, Freddie FNMA, Doctors Programs, etc., to give you the ability to fully support the changing needs of your clients. Come thrive in a culture-driven environment where your voice is heard, your opinions matter, and the client comes first. Excellent compensation package included.” To learn more, please visit FirstBank Careers.

A motivated and experienced investor is seeking to acquire a FULL EAGLE/HUD Designated lender. Licensed in CA would be preferred but is not required. The ideal situation is for current shareholders to liquidate all or a large portion of their equity through the transaction. Principals would be willing to negotiate/keep the existing team. Interested parties should contact

me to forward their note; please specify the opportunity.

Lender products & services

Redwood is excited to be named as the number one purchaser of expanded-credit and Non-QM mortgage loans by Inside Mortgage Finance. Redwood’s expanded-prime and Non-QM programs have aided its numerous business partners in keeping volumes up as refinance opportunities continue to decline. Redwood encourages loan officers at any of their business partners to sign up for the many training sessions offered by Redwood’s program experts. Redwood’s expanded-prime and Non-QM programs are simple to understand and easy to implement. It’s the same Redwood process and program support, now with even more opportunities for loan officers and their customers. Come see why others are having so much success working with the largest buyer of expanded-credit and Non-QM mortgage loans.

Simplify your underwriting process with Loan Product Advisor asset and income modeler (AIM). Through the expertise of third-party service providers, AIM automates the manual processes of assessing borrower assets and income. AIM reduces the burden of traditional documentation, speeds up the loan origination process and helps you close loans faster. Freddie Mac is working hard to bring you solutions that create efficiencies for your business and improve the borrower experience – giving you a competitive edge. These capabilities are available for Loan Product Advisor submissions and resubmissions on and after December 9, 2018. Gain greater efficiency in your underwriting processes with AIM – get your edge.

Interested in offering your customers new products? The join Sierra Pacific Mortgage on December 19 at 1PM PST for a short webinar that can impact your business in a big way. You will learn all there is to know about these Sierra’s Access and Core products. You may have heard of these programs as the “Sierra’s Bank Statement Program” and while that is true, Sierra Access and Sierra Core has much more to offer, including 1 year express tax returns and even a full doc option. The pool of opportunity to offer financing for your borrower is vast – come find out why! Register today!

Today, mortgage lenders are looking for ways to reduce compliance costs without sacrificing quality. Finding a solution that can respond to the ebb and flow of your business needs will be essential in forming a savvy and time-saving solution. With tailored compliance packages, Strategic Compliance Partners (SCP) can accommodate your ever-changing needs. Click here for a free savings survey and we’ll show you how SCP can help you save up to 20% on compliance costs.

I’ve indicated in several posts Conquering Shifts is a must read. Make it a part of your 2019 business plan. “Learning how top producers excelled during the hard times of ’07 and ’08 reinforces that salespeople are able to prosper in any economy.” Jordan Eller, Capital Mortgage Services. “The benefit of owning this book is two-fold. First, it’s inspiring. Secondly, it’s a fantastic resource to be used during our sales meetings. The book does a great job showing how some of the industry greats went from ground zero to mega producers” Ben Holloway, Mountain West Financial. “Conquering Shifts is truly unique in that instead of simply teaching success principles or techniques, the reader sees exactly how they were implemented.” Marty Preston, Benchmark Mortgage. If you have not taken advantage of the 15% discount offered by Authors Cindy Douglas and Kathleen Heck, Do Not Delay. Ends December 15th. Click here to purchase.

Business news

Regarding the news about Gateway, the U.S. Government, and FAM… Readers should know that management reports there is no financial impact to FAM as this was prior claim indemnified by Gateway. “You may have seen some news that FAM has settled a pending matter with the Department of Justice and Department of Housing and Urban Development concerning False Claims Act allegations related to HUD-insured loans. This action is related to mortgages originated prior to Finance of America’s purchase of Gateway Funding in 2015. Finance of America has been fully cooperative with this inquiry and we are pleased that the matter is resolved. There was no admission of liability by FAM and no financial impact to FAM or UFG as a result of the settlement.”

Conventional conforming loan amount changes in the primary market

There’s a lot of chatter about the potential replacement of Mel Watt – Mark Calabria – but lenders are more focused on the “here and now” and helping their borrowers.

Every one knows that the FHFA announced the maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages to be acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2019. In most of the U.S., the 2019 maximum conforming loan limit for one-unit properties will be $484,350, an increase from $453,100 in 2018. As a result of generally rising home values, the increase in the baseline loan limit, and the increase in the ceiling loan limit, the maximum conforming loan limit will be higher in 2019 in all but 47 counties or county equivalents in the U.S. Click this link for a list of the 2019 maximum loan limits for all counties and county-equivalent areas in the U.S.

To accommodate the new Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae loan limits, from now through January 1st, US Bank correspondent lenders will need to register or lock loans at the 2018 maximum loans limits and submit a change request.

Beginning December 14th, Wells Fargo Funding sellers can take down new Best Effort locks and Mandatory Commitments at the 2019 Conforming Loan Limits.

Mortgage Solutions Financial posted information regarding upcoming DU and loan limit changes.

As of December 6th, AmeriHome product codes and pricing are available at the new FHFA 2019 maximum conforming limits.

UWM is honoring the new increased loan limits. That’s an increase from $453,100 to $484,350 for regular conventional loans and from $679,650 to $726,525 for conventional high balance loans. “Don’t wait for the New Year to qualify more of your borrowers for conforming loans. Even though the FHFA announced the conforming loan limits will be increasing starting January 1, 2018, we are letting you submit and close your high balance loans now, no need to wait.”

loanDepot Wholesale is accepting the new 2019 GSE Conforming Loan Limits, click here to view the details.

PennyMac announced it is aligning with the conforming loan limit increases for standard and high balance loans.

With the FHFA announcement of new loan limits, PRMG will allow conventional loans with the increased standard and high balance limits to be submitted, locked and funded immediately. Loan limit changes for FHA, VA, USDA and Housing Authority products will be addressed in a separate communication later when announced by the agencies.

California’s Land Home Financial Services “will immediately accept locks at the new 2019 limit amounts! Lock the Loan using the applicable 2018 maximum loan amount for the transaction.

LHFS will update the lock manually until such time as our systems are updated through eXPRESS/Optimal Blue. Once the system is updated, you can lock at new limits. We will send out an announcement when the system has been updated. If you have any existing locks that you would like to update, please contact the lock desk: Locks@LHFSWholesale.com. (Please address questions regarding delivery and eligibility questions to Land Home.)

PennyMac’s Correspondent Group posted updates regarding FHLMC Home Possible and Home Possible Advantage, an announcement referencing its alignment with the updates in Freddie Mac’s Bulletin 2018-12 and 2018-13, and sent out 18-39: Updates to Conventional and Government LLPAs.

ditech’s Freddie Mac Conforming, Expanded Criteria and VA underwriting guidelines are being updated. The Client Guide and product matrices must be referenced for complete guideline requirements.

The Freddie Mac Guide Bulletin 2018-23 introduces automated income and asset assessment with Loan Product Advisor®, which are effective for submissions and resubmissions on and after December 9, 2018.

Sellers should recall that Freddie Mac made changes to its Scorecard and Manager Series. The Scorecard Metric – Total Timeline Trend Update will no longer be impacted by loans that are sold in non-performing loan sales (“NPL sales”). Currently, the total timeline trend metric excludes loans in NPL sales from the numerator. Now, loans in NPL sales will also be excluded from the denominator. Last year, two new disaster workout originator codes (“NG” and “OTM”) were introduced to support accurate disaster reporting; however, these two codes were excluded from the Scorecard Metric – Modification Pull-Through Rate Update. And it now includes the new Workout Originator codes for disaster modifications in the numerator. Servicers’ Scorecards will now reflect these workouts in the pull-through rate Manager Series – REO Manager® Update.

Capital markets

The U.S. 10-year closed Thursday +1bp to 2.91% as shorter dated Treasuries experienced curve flattening action on more of the same international news markets have been digesting throughout the week. (The markets are global!) People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang acknowledged that economic growth in China is nearing the potential rate of output and that there is increased downward pressure on the economy. Chinese authorities also confirmed the detainment of Canadian businessman Michael Spavor, who is accused of harming China’s national security, and a former Canadian diplomat, Michael Kovrig. Turning to Europe, Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte confirmed that the Italian government agreed to lower its 2019 deficit target to 2.04% from 2.40%. In France, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire acknowledged that the country’s deficit will breach the 3.0% limit in 2019 as the government looks to quash protests by increasing entitlements. British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote, but the prime minister will not stand in the next leadership election in 2022.

Today’s U.S. economic calendar kicked off with the November retail sales report (+.2%, stronger than expected, while the “control group” was seen increasing slightly over the previous reading but was +.9%). November Industrial production and capacity utilization at 9:15am are seen increasing from October figures. Markit will release both their manufacturing and services PMIs at 9:45am, 15 minutes before October business inventories are see increasing 0.6% versus 0.3% in September. We begin today with the 10-year yielding 2.88% and Agency MBS prices better .125 versus Thursday’s close.

(Thanks to several folks who sent this one in.)

One night a Viking named Rudolph the Red was looking out the window when he said, “It’s going to rain.”

His wife replied, “How do you know?”


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: Don’t Underestimate Liquidity.” 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 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.)

Why Demand for Rentals Will Likely Rise in 2019

Whichever direction house prices go in 2019, it’s only likely to lead to more demand for renting. While the economy may ultimately cap how high rents can go, more demand is going to help landlords keep up rental rates and have greater choice over the quality of tenants they accept or the terms they can ask.

View the full article: Why Demand for Rentals Will Likely Rise in 2019 on The BiggerPockets Blog. This content is Copyright © 2017 BiggerPockets, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Zillow to begin buying houses in California, North Carolina

It seems to be all about expansion these days for Zillow. The online real estate giant recently got into the mortgage business with its acquisition of Mortgage Lenders of America. Zillow has also been growing its direct buyer business, Zillow Offers, wherein the company is buying houses directly from sellers then lists the home for sale. And the company will soon be buying houses in California and North Carolina.

Happy Holidays! Your 2018 Real Estate Gift-Giving Guide

The holidays are upon us (said everyone since mid-August). That means you can’t run an errand without being confronted by piles of red bows, candy canes and discounted gourds reminding you that it’s time to get on the ball!


Take advantage of the holiday season this year and spread some cheer to your clients and colleagues. Check out a few of our favorites below!

Gifts For Your Fellow Real Estate Agents

  1. Customized Contact Cards: Instagram is the social media powerhouse of 2018. Social Print Studio takes your Instagram pics (or photos from your computer) and turns them into mini-square business cards. Put a favorite local photo into the customizable order form, slap a catchy phrase on the back and there you go! Instant in-person social sharing.

Begin Crafting Your Cards Here! 


  1. Is it chilly in here or what? Must be your awesome cooler bag! An oldie, but goodie. These days, the agent that goes above and beyond is the agent that comes out on top. Always be ready for an impressive client experience with a branded cooler in the back seat, at the ready with water, iced tea, snacks, and a mini bottle of champagne just in case!

Go the extra mile and customize your own koozies. This way your clients will always leave the house hunting trip with a cheers-able item! Start here. 

  1. There seems to be a punny coffee mug out there for everyone. And goodness are there options. BoomTowners love a good pun almost as much as we love hearing about your success (we also love to be corny). Below are a few top picks for this year’s coffee enthusiast:  
  • Hot Coffee: “I turn coffee into contracts.”
  • Iced Coffee: “I came. I saw. I sold.”
  • Wine Glass: “Sold is my favorite 4 letter word”
  1. What better gift than the investment of education? Check out your training and coaching options this holiday season. Now this option may not be as punny, but it sure as anything pays off. And listen in brokers and team leaders! Your fellow real estate pros will have no one else but you to thank when their business starts expanding after a good ole training session with your tech provider, or a visit from the real estate coaching fairies.

Send a BoomTown Library Video in Your Next Team Email!

They’re Free and Available Here.

  1. The real estate t-shirt. If you don’t know anything about someone except their t-shirt size, then go for the gold and order one of these right now! Our favorite is the “Location Location Location” option: 

#real estate agent

Will Give Real Estate Advice for Tacos

Location Location Location

Gifts For Your Real Estate Clients

  1. If you close a deal in December and the client welcomes holiday cheer, a front door wreath should be in order. Crowning the house with a celebratory wreath made of local flora is an excellent way to congratulate and welcome a new family into their home for the holidays.
  1. Cut to the chase with a cutting board or charcuterie platter. Find a local carpenter or woodworking guru and join forces. Charcuterie or cutting boards are perfect for any party, last minute guest, or night-in. And in the meantime, you will foster more local connections and refer the new property owner to your favorite woodworker. Who knows? They may need a new kitchen table as well! We’re talking about something like this: inspiration! 
  1. Framed map or architectural drawing. A painting or drawing of your client’s new home is a nice gift as well, but we love the look of an architectural rendering or map in a classic frame. This works fantastically for older homes if you can find antiqued versions at town hall.
  1. Spare keys with a personalized key chain. Go the next step and make it easy on your new homeowners. Have their first set of spare keys ready with a home-related key chain. Make sure to place your subtle logo somewhere on the keychain!
  1. A quality custom doormat serves as a constant reminder of your help throughout the home search. And if that doormat lasts a long time? Your clients won’t forget it. Go for the home accessories that make the most impact and won’t necessarily be the first thing a homeowner would buy for themselves. Those are the items that will keep you top of mind and bring a smile to their face. Check out our favorite doormat maker extraordinaire The Doormatory!

  2. For the locavores in your area, gift them a CSA for the following season. If you are getting the local food friendly vibe from your clients, there is nothing better then entering them into a seasonal farm food fresh delivery. CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, is a platform supported in many towns both big and small. You sign up on a subscription basis, or pre-paid before a growing season and then receive weekly deliveries of fresh produce, eggs, and other local products.

Gifts For Your Real Estate Broker

  1. Go big or go home on this one and gift your lovely broker a drone for the holidays. This is a gift that keeps giving for the entire business’s aerial abilities. And the bonus? You’ll have a super cool team picture ready to go for 2019!
  1. They may not be pounding the pavement and door knocking any longer, but it’s always nice to remind them of the good old days with a Fitbit! These also make excellent client raffle gifts if you are in the market for a holiday gift giveaway item.
  1. For the broker who is still trying to do everything for everyone, give the gift of a digital assistant. BoomTown clients have flocked in droves to the digital assistant world. This is the perfect solution for those gap years in which you don’t yet need an admin, but could 100 percent use the help scheduling your busy life.
  1. Off visiting conferences and coaching sessions? The Echo Smart Pen will keep all of your notes at the ready.
  1. The ultimate gift? BoomTown! Boomtown has the ability to provide a work life balance, a solid support team available during your work hours, and technology built to make your business soar. Now that sounds like a gift for the ages!



The post Happy Holidays! Your 2018 Real Estate Gift-Giving Guide appeared first on BoomTown!.

Dec. 13: LO jobs; digital products; books by lenders, for lenders, or about lenders; False Claims Act rears up; a fun quiz you should take

“Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?” It turns out that, in terms of grabbing their pieces of ground, first-time home buyers were more active in the first three quarters of 2018 than at any time since 2005, per Genworth Mortgage Insurance. Lenders wish they would be as active: Mortgage lenders are facing an even less profitable environment as purchase and refi biz fell for the ninth straight quarter. Fannie Mae’s Q4 2018 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey found that the outlook for profit among lenders in the fourth quarter reached an all-time survey low across all loan types: GSE-eligible, non-GSE-eligible, and government. “Competition from other lenders” was cited by survey participants as the top reason for their pessimism for the eighth consecutive quarter.

Employment & promotions

Sirius Lending Ushers in a New Era of Mortgage Lending, Led by Industry Veteran Brian Mitchell. Sirius Lending, powered by Sun West Mortgage Company, Inc. [NMLS 3277], is a full-service, forward-thinking service providing residential mortgages across the country, and is being led by Brian Mitchell. Mitchell has built Sirius Lending upon the foundation of integrity, industry knowledge and unparalleled service. Just as the star Sirius has been known as a guiding light to travelers, Sirius Lending is dedicated to guiding prospective homebuyers through their journey towards homeownership. An established industry veteran, Mitchell believes in well-rounded service from start to finish. That’s why Sirius Lending has created a vision to set the industry standard for homeownership by “taking ownership” of the entire process. “I’m thankful for the opportunity Sun West Mortgage Company has given me to lead Sirius Lending,” said Mitchell. I am committed to helping families and individuals achieve the dream of homeownership!”

“Lenders. Realtors. Technology. The convergence of those three forces drives Movement Mortgage’s innovation investments. Movement this month teased its newest offering: Movement Mobile. The app supercharges LO productivity by putting your favorite tools in a single interface on your phone. One app to manage your pipeline, communicate with agents and borrowers, access your database, issue pre-approvals and check calculators and calendars. More power. More productivity. More time. More freedom. Learn more about Movement Mobile and building a career on purpose by clicking here.”

Canopy Mortgage offers a better origination model. Canopy is blending the great price from brokering & the control you get as a Mortgage Banker. Toss in its proprietary LOS with a history of enabling LOs to originate more volume with less time and effort and you’ve found your ability to remain relevant in the rising rate market of 2019 and the future. Canopy Mortgage is in growing rapidly, expanding a National network of full-time loan originators. Do you have what it takes to be part of the Canopy Mortgage team? See how we’re disrupting the old way of doing mortgages.” Reach out to Josh Neumarker, Director of Hiring at Canopy Mortgage for a product demo (888-696-9076).

Congratulations to Steve Baselice who has been brought on by Optimal Blue’s Sales Solutions Specialist group to help grow OB’s hedge advisory and technology business.

And Gateway Mortgage Group has named Steven Patrick its new chief risk officer to oversee the Gateway’s enterprise risk management, compliance and quantitative analytics.

Lender products & services

For brokers, “Royal Pacific Funding is one of the fastest growing wholesale lenders in the nation because of its superior service and hands on approach to every loan. Now they are offering even more! Pricing on FHA and VA loans has been improved substantially for borrowers with 700+ credit scores. Royal Pacific also continues to offer free appraisals for any loan > $300K. But that’s not all! Royal has an extremely wide range of product offerings including Conventional, FHA, VA, NonQM and Reverse. Need solutions for DACA borrowers? They’ve got that too! Check out the latest special of .25 rate improvement on NonQM > $500K or .375 rate improvement on NonQM >$2M (applies to Leverage and Pivot products only). Brokers can contact their AE or brokers that are not signed up can email us for details.”

Are you looking to prevent against loan defects in 2019? Then we have a News Year’s resolution for you – improve loan quality by automating QC. Register for “Maximize QC due diligence reviews with OCR and Defect Management Technology” web seminar happening this afternoon. Your 1 hour that could mean faster closings, less defects and lower production costs in 2019!

Maxwell has released its groundbreaking new product, QuickApply for their digital mortgage point-of-sale platform. Maxwell QuickApply is an easy-to-launch modern mortgage application that, with consent from the borrower, gathers the borrower’s information from Maxwell’s network of data providers to pre-populate fields in the loan application, filling in personal information, employment history, income, real estate owned, financial assets, liabilities, and more. This new application enables clients to increase their application volume and improve borrower experience by reducing the burden on the consumer applying. This is just one more innovative step forward from an industry-leading player in the digital mortgage space. Along with QuickApply, their point-of-sale platform is a must-see for small- to mid-size lenders looking for a digital mortgage solution that will enhance and evolve the human relationship between borrower and loan officer. To learn more about Maxwell and QuickApply or request a personalized demo for your business, click here.

Go ahead, call your subservicer’s 800 number and see how fast they answer. Do they pick up in a minute or less? Or, are you left holding for 10, 20, or even 45 minutes? If the latter, then that’s the same infuriating service that you’re putting your customers through. And they think that it’s a direct reflection of you! Read this article from TMS to get tips on what your subservicer should be doing to deliver great customer service, so you can build a lifelong relationship with your customers.

2019 is fast approaching; are you ready? As the borrower experience continues to evolve–thanks to new mortgage technology–it’s important for lenders to adapt by taking advantage of the latest innovations that enhance their engagement strategy. Join next week’s webinar to learn how to build an effective borrower engagement strategy, so you can get a running start to 2019. Register to learn contact strategy best practices, what new solutions are available at your fingertips, how to continue selling to your existing database to build repeat business, and more! CLICK HERE to register. (Can’t attend the live session? No problem! Register to receive the recording immediately following the webinar.)

Borrower satisfaction

“A lender averaging 5,000 loan units annually is losing $243,000 each year because of poor communication in document collection,” says MortgageSAT Director Mike Seminari. “The cost comes with losses in referrals and repeat business, and in negative word of mouth.” Asking a second or third time for the same document makes a lender look disorganized and unprofessional, and it leaves borrowers, “Why can’t you keep track of things?” According to research from STRATMOR’s MortgageSAT Borrower Satisfaction Program, nearly one-third of borrowers report being asked multiple times for the same document, and the effects are devastating, with nearly a 50-point drop in Net Promoter Scores when this happens. Seminari offers five suggestions to help correct this problem in his December MortgageSAT Tip.

Books for the holidays

Congratulations to anyone who can write a book, and there are several (that I know about) in the biz. And with the reasonable prices, good gifts for your staff. Or for your boss! No, these are not paid ads, and the books are either written by folks in our biz or about our biz. In no order, we have…

Russ Van Buren’s Falling, inspired by the true events of 9-11.

There’s “Surviving Sosebee: A Lesson Plan On Life” by Mary Lee Gilchrest with First State Bank Mortgage in Kansas. (“I self-published so the book can be purchased from me by emailing me your address. My book is $15.00 with shipping and I enclose a return envelope for payment on the honor system that buyers will send money. My book tells about some that I have been through in my life and refers to my job many times, and the small profit I give the profit to ALZ and lung cancer research as those are the illnesses my mother and mother in law suffered with.”)

“My Client the FBI: How a real estate appraiser assisted the FBI before and after the mortgage crisis in cleaning up a broken system.” Written by Donald Gossman, you can read more about it here along with thank you notes from the Feds.

Conquering Shifts is for MLOs as part of a 2019 business plan. Authors Cindy Douglas and Kathleen Heck are offering a 15% discount for books purchased through December 15th.

Michael Rosser and Diane Sanders penned “A History of Mortgage Banking in the West,” a “book that should be read by politicians and business leaders everywhere.” Order here and use promo code ROSS17 to knock 20% off the price.

“Buy Your First Home Today” was written by John Mallett is a good book for LOs to give their clients. “Empower your life, build your wealth, own the home of your dreams.”

Anne Elliott composed “Mortgage Risk: A Blueprint for Smarter Origination.” The book is meant for underwriters, sales managers, LOs and appraisers.

“Hacked. Screwed. Gone.” By Jim Deitch is an “A-Z blueprint to protect your business from accidental & malicious information security threats.”

Jason Myers authored “Becoming the Successful Mortgage Broker.” Jason also wrote “The Successful Mortgage Broker.” “Becoming a millionaire in the mortgage industry doesn’t happen by chance. When you lay the proper foundation, you create the opportunity.”

“Demystifying Mandatory” by STRATMOR’s Jennifer Fortier is a good read for anyone starting out in capital markets.

From Texas comes Michael Jones (Georgetown Mortgage) with his tome, “Reset” about a loan officer who is bumping along the bottom and re-ignites his career with some simple process changes and effort.

“The Uncommon Commodity: A Common-Sense Guide for New Managers” was composed by Doug Thorpe. “A collection of many thought-provoking stories, tips, anecdotes, and life hacks to help you grow as a manager.”

Here’s a primer on the capital markets sector from SIFMA…a fundamental overview of U.S. capital markets and financial institutions including an overview of capital markets, role of financial institutions, investment banking, markets & securities, and more.

Civil War’s False Claims Act still the catch-all

The United States Department of Justice announced that Finance of America Mortgage, LLC has agreed to pay $14.5 million to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit involving mortgage fraud. The lawsuit relates to FHA loans originated by Gateway Funding Diversified Mortgage Services LP, which FAM acquired in 2015. The settlement resulted from a lawsuit filed under the qui tam whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act by Debra McGeehan, a former quality control underwriter for Gateway. Ms. McGeehan, who receives $2.4 million, worked for Gateway during portions of 2009 to 2015. “It is extremely frustrating when a mortgage company identifies issues with loans as part of its quality control process, but then deliberately ignores those findings,” said McGeehan. “Gateway was only interested in its own financial interests and was willing to ignore its own quality control findings in order to defraud the FHA program.” HUD’s requirements require that lenders self-report loans that lenders determine have underwriting errors.

“According to the settlement agreement, Gateway did not maintain a proper quality control program as required by HUD for participation in the FHA program. While several of Gateway’s management team notified the company that Gateway’s loans had a high default rate, Gateway did not comply with HUD’s self-reporting obligations. For example, in a February 2014 email, Gateway’s SVP of Compliance and Credit Risk sent an email to Gateway’s executive team noting that there were specific underwriters and branch offices ‘who show a pattern of poor performance.’ While Gateway identified loans during the quality control process that had material underwriting errors, Gateway did not routinely report those errors to HUD, as required. As a result, HUD incurred substantial losses when those loans defaulted and insurance payments were subsequently paid to Gateway.”

Capital markets

The U.S. 10-year closed +3bps to 2.91% as the yield curve re-verted itself, the 2-year now below the identically-yielding 3-year and 5-year (2.77%). Optimism with Treasuries was associated with the release of Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou from Canadian custody, viewed as a step toward improving relations between the United States and China although later in the day President Trump admitted that the release could be linked to a broader trade agreement, stirring concerns that the arrest was politically-motivated in the first place. In other international news, Shaktikanta Das became the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. The Italian government is reportedly willing to reduce its 2019 deficit target to 2.0% from 2.4% and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte pledged that campaign promises for retirement reform and a basic income for the poor will be kept. And British Prime Minister Theresa May faced a no-confidence vote today, but press reports suggest she will maintain her post.

The latest European Central Bank decision was announced this morning: The ECB decided to leave rates unchanged in this morning’s statement, with ECB head Draghi’s press conference about to begin. The ECB is expected to announce the end of their QE program, though, perhaps provide more guidance (including a timeline) for when reinvestment purchases will end. Besides the ECB, the SNB and Norges Bank also revealed monetary policy decisions.

The U.S. calendar kicked off with November import/export prices (-1.6%, -.9%) and weekly jobless claims (206k). Finally, and following yesterday’s rescheduling, the November budget deficit will be released at 2PM ET with CBO estimating $203 billion compared with $138.5 billion in the previous fiscal year. Thursday begins with the 10-year yielding 2.90% and agency MBS prices a shade higher versus last night’s close.

We all use the same words, right? Wrong. There aren’t too many things that make my jaw drop anymore but this multiple-choice quiz is one of them. It is a New York Times linguistics test, asking you how you say simple terms. Like how do you address a group of two or more people? What do you call a bug that rolls up in a tiny ball? Takes less than 5 minutes, no thinking, and at the end it tells most folks where you grew up within 50 miles. Incredible.

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: Don’t Underestimate Liquidity.” 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 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.)

BiggerPockets Podcast 308: From 0 to 400 Units in 3.5 Years with Sterling White

Would your life be positively impacted by owning over 400 rental units? What if you could get there in under four years? On today’s show, we interview BiggerPockets contributor Sterling White, who has managed to do just that!

View the full article: BiggerPockets Podcast 308: From 0 to 400 Units in 3.5 Years with Sterling White on The BiggerPockets Blog. This content is Copyright © 2017 BiggerPockets, Inc. All Rights Reserved.