June 1: Processor, LO jobs; referral, accounting products; webinars & training through your computer

I was speaking to a successful long-time real estate agent this weekend who is as busy as she’s ever been. Couples are weary of working from home in a one-bedroom apartment. In talking about families leaving the city, she observed, “No family wants to push an elevator button to go home.” Redfin is in the news, not only talking about bidding wars, but also how its mortgage company has moved into Arizona, Delaware, and New Hampshire (state MBA organizations should hit it up for membership!) and certainly butting up against Zillow’s Mortgage Lenders of America. Chatter in the airwaves suggest that May was a) another month for the record books for fundings for many lenders, and b) with the volatility of March a few months in the rearview mirror, lenders are adding to their capital reserves. Talking about months, we still have over five (5) months until the November election, assuming it isn’t delayed for whatever reason, and the rhetoric is as strong as ever as curfews around the nation have escalated. And coming out Friday, May’s drop in nonfarm payrolls is expected to be 8 million! And for the unemployment rate to climb to 20%!

Employment

Movement Mortgage bolstered its presence in the Midwest with the addition of the Farley team in Northeast Ohio. John and Bill Farley served more than 500 families over the last two years, closing north of $150 million in volume. “Numbers and money follow, they don’t lead. Movement gives us an opportunity to not only serve families and grow our business, but to do it with a focus on community first,” says John Farley. The move comes on the heels of yet another record month for Movement. Movement recorded its first-ever $2 billion month in April ($2.6 B) as the company served nearly 10,000 families. Movement surpassed the $2 billion mark again in May and is projected to hit a third month with more than $2 billion in volume in June. To learn more about joining Movement’s growing team, email Regional Director Mike Brennan.

Intelliloan.com an established mortgage lender, is seeking experienced, smart, and friendly Loan Processors. Work onsite in our Irvine, Las Vegas, Scottsdale, or Dallas locations, or remote from your home. Family-owned and in business for 25 years, we have a keen focus on treating our team members like family. With manageable pipelines of approximately 50 loans while funding 2/3 of the pipeline monthly, you can make over $150K while setting your own hours. Management lets you set your own pace, working as much or as little as you like. We provide best in class technology and tools to keep you working efficiently. We require 2 years minimum loan processor experience. Benefits Include, Company Match 401K, Healthcare, Dental, Vision, Life and Disability Benefits. Big company benefits, small company feel. A place where everyone knows your name. Email us at careers@intelliloan.com.”

Agility 360 is a mortgage recruiting and project staffing firm based in Dallas, Texas, with a proven record of matching qualified candidates with employers for long-term employment or short-term contract. With interest rates at historical lows, matching staffing levels to meet demand continues to be a big profitability driver. Since 2014, Agility 360 has leveraged its unique methodology and proprietary candidate network to place experienced processors, underwriters, and other originations personnel across the country. We always meet our goal of finding “the right person for the job” because THIS IS ALL WE DO. By focusing on the mortgage industry, we’ve created and tested a highly successful model that consistently delivers results for our clients. If you want to stop wasting time and money with other companies please contact Raj Sharma (469-208-6337).”

Recently named among Top 5 Best Mortgage Companies to work for by National Mortgage News, Geneva Financial, Home Loans Powered By Humans, is filling 500 Branch Manager and Loan officer positions in 43 states. Geneva strives to humanize every aspect of its business from the inside-out. With a culture-forward mindset, management focuses on loan originators and support staff to ensure an unbeatable experience for their customers. Their Geneva Gives, BE A GOOD HUMAN, and Hero of The Year initiatives deemed them a recipient of this year’s AZ Business Magazine’s Excellence in Banking Award for Community Impact. In 2019 Geneva was ranked a nationally fastest growing company in the financial sector, mortgage industry and all industries categories. Geneva consistently hit record-breaking months, doubling volume in most. Geneva Financial is excited for another historic year, with no plans on slowing down. Explore Branch and Originator opportunities here.

In other news and in a personal note, congratulations to Rebecca Sommer who is taking over in managing the Great West Region for Wells Fargo Funding from 26-year veteran Shana Chrisman.

Lender services and products

Caliber Home Loans recently sponsored an inspirational and heartwarming documentary, “The Greatest Bond,” which aired on PBS on May 22. The film highlights the journey of disabled veterans whose lives are forever changed through the unconditional love of service dogs that have been expertly trained by female prison inmates in the Patriot Paws organization. Caliber is proud to continue its partnership with Patriot Paws and has sponsored a service dog, aptly named “Caliber” who will support a veteran who is facing physical and emotional challenges. Patriot Paws provides a sense of family and enables veterans to enjoy the freedom that they fought for. Dennis Irwin, Co-Chair of Caliber’s Military Veteran Resource Group stated, “I am grateful to work for a company that supports Patriot Paws, an organization that is focused on helping veterans that have given so much for our country. Saving veterans, saving lives.”

Top 20 National Mortgage lender FBC Mortgage, LLC now has an unprecedented look into their financials, with real-time data at their fingertips by utilizing Loan Vision. “Our executives always want to know where we are at this very minute and with Loan Vision, we’re able to make that happen,” expressed Dyron Watford, CFO at FBC Mortgage, LLC. “In today’s market especially, analyzing data at a speed where you can make an appropriate decision is a must. I have the confidence in this system that when I provide that data, it’s real-time and it’s correct.” Read more about FBC Mortgage’s success with Loan Vision here, then contact Carl Wooloff with Loan Vision for more information on how the accounting solution can help your finance department.

HomeBinder: Stay connected post-close, safely. As we emerge from our COVID-19 lockdowns, we need new tools that keep us connected with homeowners post-close without physical contact. Enter HomeBinder. Drive agent referrals by co-branding HomeBinder with the real estate partners you work with. Integration with Encompass automates the entire process (including loan docs!) Learn more today.

Webinars & Training

ARMCO Launches QC NOW Web Series to Support QC Professionals: Educational web series to provide insights and tips for quality control professionals to navigate changes to the current financial services and lending environment. The series launched on May 28, 2020 with “QC Operations in the New World – A Look Into the COVID-19 Era,” and is now available on-demand. The next webinar “How to Ensure Data Integrity with HMDA Reviews” will launch June 4th at 11:00am PDT. Register Today!

Are you ready for VA IRRRL and FHA Streamline refinance opportunities in this market?  Learn how to efficiently submit your files once for a final approval! Join Freedom Mortgage Wholesale for one or more of our live webinar training sessions on VA IRRRL or FHA Streamline mortgage products and origination processes. Ideal for new or experienced government originators. Sign up for a VA IRRRL or FHA Streamline webinar June 5 (VA IRRRL), June 8 (FHA SL), June 10 (VA IRRRL), June 12 (FHA SL), June 15 (VA IRRRL), and June 19 (FHA SL).

MBAC is offering Freddie Mac’s COVID-19 Webinar Series on Mondays in June addressing questions about appraisal requirements, forbearance, and income requirements during the COVID-19 situation. June 1st – COVID-19 Temporary Appraisal Flexibilities. June 8th – COVID-19 Temporary Income and Employment Requirements. June 15th– COVID-19 Relief: Forbearance and COVID-19 Payment Deferral.

National MI’s upcoming June Webinars are brought to you by its MI University. All webinar attendees will be entered in a random drawing and are eligible to win a National MI branded gift. On June 2nd, register for 5 Habits of Highly Effective Salespeople: Habit #1, with Bruce Lund, Ph.D. Mortgage Insurance 101, with Nancy Early will commence on June 3rd. The lineup of other webinars and registration information is available here.

FAMC published its June 2020 Wholesale “Customer Training Calendar”, including Loan Processing Using the Redesigned URLA, Faster Closings, Positive Negativity, Preventing Mortgage Fraud:  Taking a Closer Look, 5 Habits of Highly Effective Salespeople, Habit #1, Detecting and Avoiding Fraud Schemes. Click here:  Franklin American Mortgage Wholesale Customer Training Calendar.

Upcoming Plaza webinars: June 3: How to Use the Reverse Mortgage to Purchase a Home. June 8: Making the Most of Your Remote Day. June 18: Taking a Deeper Dive in to Plaza’s Cooperative (Co-Op) Program.

Genworth Mortgage Insurance provides complimentary webinar courses in June to help customers manage, protect, and grow their business, delivering you-centric solutions that matter. Dive into summer with new training webinars. Hosting Fannie Mae for Condo Conundrums with Condo Reviews and offering courses to help you succeed as you manage through the pandemic: 9 Things to Embrace Today and Positive Negativity.

On June 4th, FHA is hosting a live, virtual interagency discussion in response to the COVID-19 National Emergency. This event provides an opportunity for lenders, servicers, housing industry professionals, and other interested stakeholders to learn more about the actions these government agencies are taking to support struggling homeowners while ensuring sustainable homeownership during the pandemic. Updates on ongoing efforts to support the housing finance sector will be discussed, followed by a Q&A session to address questions submitted in advance.

With the current focus on all things digital, Join the Mortgage Coach webinar on Thursday, June 4thWinning in Today’s Virtual Lending Environment.

The Valuation 20/20 Conference has gone virtual…the new dates are June 16th-17th. Join from wherever you may be as technology lets you meet Exhibitors face to face. General Session brings you all the policy makers, Land Shark Pitches brings new product demos plus more.

Registration is now open.

Join Metrostudy on June 23rd for a webinar to discuss Strategies to Win Builder Business in the New Mortgage Market. In this webinar, Chief Economist, Ali Wolf, and VP of National Sales, Nicollette Chapman will provide strategic insights and economic analysis of what is affecting the mortgage industry.

Originator Connect is a 3-day weekend event designed around one purpose: help you realize your goals. Originator Connect is focused solely on the origination community at brokerages, banks, and credit unions. With exclusive programs like Build-A-Broker and Your First Million Dollars, our unique Certified Military Home Specialist certification class in conjunction with Boots Across America, compelling and high profile speakers, and a complimentary NMLS renewal course, you’re sure to come out feeling prepared, motivated, and energized to become the best originator you can be… August 21st-23rd in Las Vegas.

TMBA’s Reverse Mortgage Day is being held in conjunction with the Mortgage Symposium, September 14-15, 2020 at the Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West Hotel, Plano, TX. You MUST register separately for Mortgage Symposium, Reverse Mortgage Day and TWMB.

Todd Duncan’s Sales Mastery 2020 will be a LIVE Digital Experience September 16-18 with an incredible line up of 40 game-changing presentations with world-class keynote speakers, relevant panel discussions, and interviews and conversations with trusted industry experts.

Capital markets

For only a four-day workweek this past week, it seemed much longer, with many explosive headlines. President Trump intensified his confrontation with China over its pandemic response and the crackdown in Hong Kong, as he moved toward revoking Hong Kong’s special trade status. Hong Kong is vital to the global economy, acting as a major port, trade center, and market for capital flows between the U.S., Europe, and mainland China, and has previously been exempt from the Trump administration’s tariffs on Chinese goods. Nothing that President Trump said in his news conference is likely to deter Beijing by truly slowing trade. He also said the U.S. will terminate its relationship with the WHO, accusing it of being under China’s “total control,” though threats to end contributions to the global health agency have raised questions about whether he has the authority to do so without Congressional assent. He did not institute sanctions on Chinese officials, however, as was anticipated. And the announced measures didn’t include withdrawal from the “phase one” trade deal signed in January. Looking into actions, Trump might do something in the future, but markets weren’t worried too much about that in the now. All of that weighed on risk tolerance, and Treasury yields rallied across the curve. The 10-year closed Friday -6 bps to 0.65 percent, down -1 bp for the week.

As far as economic releases to close last week, U.S. consumer spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of our economy, plunged in April by the most on the record (going back to 1959). On the bright side, the personal savings rate, as a percentage of disposable income, jumped to 33 percent, representing a lot of pent-up spending potential. What is done with those savings will be paramount to the recovery trajectory, as it could either be spent or continued to be saved preparation for a long recovery and extended period of high unemployment. Separately, the University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment missed expectations for May as it dropped from April.

This week sees the usual start-of-the-month releases, capped by May’s payroll data on Friday. Today: final May Markit manufacturing PMI, May ISM manufacturing PMI, and April construction spending. Zip tomorrow. Wednesday sees the usual Weekly MBA Mortgage Index, as well as May ADP Employment Change, April Factory Orders and May ISM Non-Manufacturing Index. Thursday brings jobless claims figures, Q1 Revised Productivity and Unit Labor Costs, April Trade Balance, as well as May prepayments after the close, before the weekly calendar concludes with May Employment figures and April Consumer Credit on Friday. Fed appearances are limited ahead of next week’s FOMC meeting, while the RBA, Bank of Canada and ECB will be out with their latest respective decisions on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The NY Fed will conduct two FedTrade purchase operations today totaling up to $4.47 billion starting with $1.5 billion GNII 2.5 percent and 3 percent followed by up to $2.970 billion UMBS30 2 percent through 3 percent. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices down/worse a few ticks versus Friday and the 10-year yielding .68.

I was in the McDonald’s drive-through yesterday morning when the lady behind me honked at me and flipped me off because I was taking too long to order. Wow.

“Take the high road” I thought to myself. So I paid for her food.

I moved up and she leaned out the window looking all crazy at me because the cashier told her I paid for her food. Maybe she felt embarrassed? Maybe not.

When I got to the second window to get my food, I showed them both receipts and took her food as well! I paid for it; it was mine! Now she had to go to the end of the line and start over.

(You just don’t mess with us old people.)

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, “Reducing Friction”, focused on operations changes. If you have the inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.

Rob

(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. This newsletter is designed for sophisticated mortgage professionals only. There are no paid endorsements by me. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2020 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job & product listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold, or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

 

May 30: Credit risk transfer primer; LIBOR transition in the news; thoughts on property value direction

Gosh, there is a lot of news out there. Is it accurate? When I was a kid there was a half hour, or an hour, of news each night on NBC, CBS, and ABC. Pick one. Now there are hundreds of news channels all clamoring for something to yap about. Or yap about the whatever the others are yapping about. Each political side watches what they want, and become more entrenched. Each side thinks they’re more objective than the other side. Kind of like going to prison: you’d better pick one side or the other, as those in the middle are “ridiculed” by both sides. And of course everyone sitting in some basement with an internet connection has a voice. The real estate markets and lending are much more cut and dried, where we all look at the same facts and statistics and come to the same conclusions, right? Hardly.

Property values: where to?

I received this note from Cenlar’s Glenn Freezman. “Hey Rob, I was talking to my son about the markets and shared with him your newsletter. He shot back that the sellers are pulling the homes off the market which is causing a shortage of available homes thus the bidding war. I happen to agree that we are about to see at minimum a 20% decline in the housing market; check out this story.

“I think it’s important for us to remember that lending standards have changed dramatically since December-February, and many families that were looking into buying a home then will no longer qualify for loans on the houses they had on their watch lists. They now need to come up with $100,000 down on that $500,000 home, and need a 700+ credit score and income in an environment of very high unemployment rates. They didn’t have $100k or a 700+ credit score before covid-19, so how could anyone expect them to have it after? Sure the rates are amazing and there’s an opportunity to lock in at under 3%, but that’s assuming the buyer qualifies for that loan and most no longer will. If there are fewer qualified buyers and a glut of real estate coming on the market post covid-19 supply and qualified demand would tell us prices are coming down.”

I am continuing to hear about property values holding in well. It is also important to remember that statistics need to be delved into rather than grabbing just the headline. For example, the statement, “See a minimum 20% decline in the housing market.” In price or volume? In the West, prices are doing fine, but the number of sales is down dramatically. People don’t want strangers tramping through their homes during open houses. People are going to sell and move… Where? People are hunkered down.

But families who wanted to buy homes in December, January, and February are still wanting to buy a home. Now rates are even better! And there are reports of people, putting up with the father/mother and two kids in two-bedroom apartment, wanting even more to buy a place with a yard. Let us out! Lastly, plenty of people like me are waiting for a downturn to buy another rental house or two. I don’t think that the demographics point to a 20% decline in prices of typical houses. Now, are some markets inflated? You bet. Would I pay $1.3 million for a 3-bedroom, 2 bath place in San Jose. Heck no! They can certainly come down. But $500k for the same house on a lake in Duluth? I don’t see that dropping to $400k.

Sentiment and expectations about near-term economic growth play an important role in how consumers spend and businesses invest. The pandemic has led to a sharp turnaround in the economic outlook, as consumers and policymakers grapple with the economic impact amid policy uncertainty in Washington D.C. and across individual states, a rapidly deteriorating labor market, and volatility in financial markets. While confidence evaporated in the face of the pandemic, it is unclear how quickly it will return. Barring a second wave of infections, the pace of recovery will depend on people’s willingness to return to their normal economic lives as shutdown orders are lifted across the country. Remember, the Great Recession took about six years for things to return to normal. Of course, the financial crisis a decade ago and the health crisis we face at present are different in a number of ways, sentiment will likely help dictate how quickly we are able to recover.

LIBOR Transition

The “sun is setting” on LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate, the rights of which are owned by ICE, the same company that owns MERSCORP) by the end of 2021, and won’t be guaranteed to be supported. Fannie and Freddie have launched new websites with key resources for lenders and investors.

The New York Federal Reserve published a piece on best practices for the transition. The Alternative Reference Rates Committee recommends market participants begin accelerating their transition efforts, as Libor is due to wind down in just 19 months. The committee published a list of best practices to aid in the completion of a successful transition. “As evidenced by this set of best practices and recommended transition milestones, it is critical that market participants continue to make progress on executing a complete transition away from Libor by the end of 2021,” said Tom Wipf, chairman of ARRC and vice chairman of institutional securities at Morgan Stanley.

Disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic demonstrates that phasing out Libor as a reference interest rate brings benefits for corporate borrowers, regulators say. Risk-free rates decline during a crisis because they are closely linked to rate cuts implemented by central banks, while Libor rises in such times because it is based on a mix of central bank rates and bank credit risk, they say.

Fannie Mae LIBOR Transition Website is LIVE! https://www.fanniemae.com/portal/funding-the-market/libor/libor-transition.html

And Freddie Mac launched a new website providing key resources for lenders and investors as the company transitions from the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). The announcement comes alongside announcements made by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and Fannie Mae.

But earlier in May lenders were relieved the Bank of England had pushed back the timetable for phasing out Libor as an interest-rate benchmark for loans. “It has been clear for some time that loans would be one of the trickiest areas of the market to transition from an operational point of view,” ING rates strategist Antoine Bouvet says.

Risk transfer & capital markets deals

The Agencies (aka Freddie and Fannie) continue to help that process in both the primary and secondary markets, hoping to achieve competitive pricing in the secondary market while limiting risks borne by taxpayers. Along those lines, billions of dollars of conforming conventional loans have been bundled into CRT (Credit Risk Transfer) bond deals, nonperforming, or multifamily deals, which help reduce taxpayer exposure to the large book of mortgages guaranteed by the two housing giants and help the Agencies manage their capital.

These deals involve sharing part of the credit risk with third party investors – for a price. In the deals, the investors pay cash up front and purchase debt securities that are designed to absorb the credit losses on GSE (government sponsored enterprises) loan pools. The goal is to attract private capital into the mortgage market and shift some risk away from taxpayers since we are currently on the hook for Freddie & Fannie. And that helps rate sheet pricing for borrowers!

Since the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) launched a credit risk transfer program for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2013, the enterprises have transferred $115 billion in credit risk to private investors, amounting to about 3.3 percent of unpaid principal balance, per the FHFA. In 2019, the GSEs transferred $24 billion worth of credit risk. Transfers included debt issuances, insurance and reinsurance transactions, senior-subordinate securitizations, and several kinds of lender-collateralized recourse transactions. Click here to read the credit risk transfer progress report (although for the fourth quarter, it gives you a solid grounding in the process).

Let’s see what Freddie Mac has been up to.

Freddie Mac’s Single-Family business announced that its Credit Risk Transfer (CRT) transactions transferred $5.1 billion of credit risk on $140.7 billion of single-family mortgages from U.S. taxpayers to the private sector in the first quarter of 2020. This protects those nearly $141 billion of mortgages by transferring credit risk away from U.S. taxpayers to global private capital via securities and (re)insurance policies. The Q1 2020 CRT issuance significantly exceeded Q1 2019 totals, largely due to an effort to accelerate the time from a loan’s acquisition to its placement in a CRT reference pool. Through its flagship offerings, Freddie Mac issued approximately $4.5 billion across seven CRT transactions in Q1 2020. Since the first CRT transaction in 2013, Freddie Mac’s Single-Family CRT program has cumulatively transferred a portion of the credit risk on $1.6 trillion in mortgages. As of March 31, 2020, 51 percent of the Single-Family credit guarantee portfolio was covered by CRT transactions, and conservatorship capital needed for credit risk on this population was reduced by approximately 75 percent through these transactions.

In February, Freddie Mac priced a new $580 million offering of Structured Pass-Through K-Certificates (K-HG2 Certificates), backed by a fixed-rate multifamily mortgage loan on 16 properties indirectly controlled by Harbor Group International, LLC, or its affiliates. K-HG2 is expected to settle on or about March 6, 2020. The K-HG2 Certificates will not be rated, and will include two senior principal and interest classes and one interest only class. The K-HG2 Certificates are backed by corresponding classes issued by the FREMF 2020-KHG2 Mortgage Trust (KHG2 Trust) and guaranteed by Freddie Mac. Pricing for the deal is as follows. Class A-1 has principal of $67.080 million, a weighted average life of 7.53 years, a coupon of 1.916 percent, a yield of 1.83428 percent, and a $100.4944 price. Class A-2 has principal of $513.306 million, a weighted average life of 9.97 years, a coupon of 2.299 percent, a yield of 1.9595 percent, and a $102.9923 price. Class X, the interest only class, has principal of $580.386 million, a weighted average life of 8.90 years, a coupon of 0.40572 percent, a yield of 2.37815 percent, and a $2.6863 price. The transaction collateral is part of Freddie Mac’s single-asset, single borrower (SASB) execution. The SASB execution transfers first loss credit risk on either one or multiple properties owned or controlled by a single sponsorship group.

In April, Freddie Mac priced a new $1 billion offering of Structured Pass-Through K Certificates (K-107 Certificates), which are backed by underlying collateral consisting of fixed-rate multifamily mortgages with predominantly 10-year terms. Pricing for the deal is as follows. Class A-1 has principal of $65.100 million, a weighted average life of 6.57 years, a coupon of 1.228 percent, a yield of 1.13936 percent, and a $100.4945 price. Class A-2 has principal of $827.317 million, a weighted average life of 9.63 years, a coupon of 1.639 percent, a yield of 1.2996 percent, and a $102.9965 price. Class A-M has principal of $118.898 million, a weighted average life of 9.82 years, a coupon of 1.652 percent, a yield of 1.31873 percent, and a $102.9929 price. The K-107 Certificates are expected to settle on or about April 23, 2020.

In February, Freddie Mac priced a new $1.2 billion offering of Structured Pass-Through K-Certificates (K-104 Certificates), which are backed by underlying collateral consisting of fixed-rate multifamily mortgages with predominantly 10-year terms and settled on February 27. Pricing for the deal is as follows. Class A-1 has principal of $153.60 million, a weighted average life of 6.92 years, a 1.938 percent coupon, a 1.84783 percent yield, and a $100.4986 price. Class A-2 has principal of $1,019.54 million, a weighted average life of 9.97 years, a coupon of 2.253 percent, a yield of 1.90682 percent, and a $102.9999 price. Finally, Class A-2 has principal of $70.496 million, a weighted average life of 9.91 years, a coupon of 1.955 percent, a yield of 1.94886 percent, and a $99.9958 price. K-Deals are part of Freddie Mac’s business strategy to transfer a portion of the risk of losses away from taxpayers and to private investors who purchase the un-guaranteed subordinate bonds. K Certificates typically feature a wide range of investor options with stable cash flows and structured credit enhancement.

 

Also in February, Freddie Mac priced a new $870 million offering of Structured Pass-Through K-Certificates (K-F75 Certificates), which includes a class of floating rate bonds indexed to the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) which settled in early March. The K-F75 Certificates are backed by floating-rate multifamily mortgages with 10-year terms, which are currently LIBOR-based. K-F75 includes one class, Class AL, of senior bonds indexed to LIBOR. Class AL has principal of $570.860 million, a weighted average life of 9.53 years a coupon of 1-month LIBOR plus 51 bps, and an even $100.00 price. K-F75 includes another class, Class AS, of senior bonds indexed to SOFR. Class AS has principal of $300.00 million, a weighted average life of 9.53 years, a coupon of 1-month average SOFR plus 55 bps, and an even $100.00 price. Freddie Mac will provide a basis risk guarantee on Class AS that covers any floating interest rate basis risk if the value of SOFR exceeds the value of LIBOR. The structure is similar to K-F73, which priced in December 2019.

“Sarcasm will get you nowhere in life,” my boss told me.

“Well, it got me to the ‘International Sarcasm’ finals in LaPlante, Indiana in 2009,” I informed him.

“Really?” he asked.

“No,” I replied.

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, “Reducing Friction”, focused on operations changes. If you have the inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.

Rob

(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. This newsletter is designed for sophisticated mortgage professionals only. There are no paid endorsements by me. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2020 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job & product listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold, or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

 

May 29: LO, AE, tech, Ops jobs; portfolio monitoring, non-QM, corresp., broker products; customer satisfaction survey

Here’s something you can do for your friends, relatives, and borrowers, especially older ones: Remind them that the current batch of coronavirus relief payments are coming as VISA debit cards. Texas’ Larry C. reminded me that we’ve all unexpectedly received cards in the mail that we didn’t order and cut them up before throwing them in the garbage. Don’t do it this time! 2020 has been quite the year for unexpected things. In March, as huge fundings hit the secondary markets, REITs withdrew, and the Fed stepped in as a big buyer. But too big. Things balanced out, but when the CARES Act hit with its forbearance plan for anyone with government-backed mortgage, it “broadened the denominator” and thrust making the advances onto the servicer. That created a potential liquidity crisis for most non-bank servicers, many of whom grew out of 2008 crisis. Warehouse banks grew nervous about financial condition of non-banks with servicers and concerns about counterparty risk of all sorts increased. And all in the last two and half months! Economists are really great at predicting the past. But the mortgage market has quieted down and lenders can look forward to low rates well into the future!

Employment 

“We’re growing! There’s never been a better time to join our talented team. American Financing is looking for talented and enthusiastic candidates to join our sales, tech, and operation teams. At American Financing, we’re innovators with imagination. We’re fast-paced and fun. And we’re a collaborative group that respects and values the individuality of all employees. Together, we do what it takes to help borrowers achieve their financial goals. And we stay ahead of the competition by challenging ourselves to become more efficient. We are one of the fastest-growing national mortgage lenders because we don’t follow the status quo. Wherever your passions lie, you can find rewarding work and new opportunities here and we’d love for you to join our growing team.”

“Freedom to Succeed! Freedom Mortgage is growing and looking for talented and experienced Wholesale operational professionals to help us serve the needs of borrowers, brokers, and wholesale correspondents across the nation. Work from home opportunities for Loan Processors, Closers and Underwriters are available throughout the continental U.S. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the vast majority of our teams already worked from home, so you will be ready to seamlessly and efficiently contribute to our goals on day 1! If you are fueled by your entrepreneurial spirit and are looking for a great work culture, please visit bit.ly/FMRecruiting.”

Wyndham Capital Mortgage, a leading digital home lending company, is a recipient of the coveted Innovation Award by Ellie Mae. The honor recognizes Wyndham as the industry leader in AI technology, having leveraged robotic process automation to create a workflow that is faster, smoother, and more efficient. Wyndham Capital has its eyes toward the future, looking for new advancements to improve our workflows, processes, and systems. The Innovation Awards honor recognizes the company’s technology-enabled, people-driven culture and the impact it has on both employees and borrowers. With robotics and AI incorporated throughout the lending process, loan officers at Wyndham are freed of menial, time-consuming tasks and given the freedom to focus on providing the best to the borrower, every time. Click here to learn more about Wyndham’s best-in-class technological innovations and how loan officers are given the tools they need for success.

Branch Managers and Production Teams look to Pacific Residential Mortgage (PacRes), to perform at a high level: aggressive underwriting and provide a  strong and supportive pro sales culture possible. In today’s environment, you can’t be successful without this. What made Pacific Residential standout from all the other lenders you interviewed? “Honestly, PacRes is the lender for top producers or anyone who desires to be a Top Producer. Weekly top producing coaching calls, sales tools and referral based sales strategies, appealed to me and they cater to aggressive goal oriented loan officers and production teams, by far the best mortgage platform I’ve seen across the United States”, says John Phillips, Loan Officer and National Business Development (413.221.2977). If you want to expand in the Midwest, Texas, Panhandle, New England, and Southeastern markets, call PacRes. If you are interested in learning more, email JoinPacRes@pacresmortgage.com.

Services & products for lenders

“At Mr. Cooper, we are proud to have provided forbearance relief to 200k+ of our valued customers. As a firm, we have worked on behalf of the industry, specifically the non-bank community, to ensure that legislation and advance liquidity solutions are available to meet the needs of the mortgage servicing sector. Specific to our valued correspondent clients, we continue our dedication to be a leading investor and our passion shows through our service and offerings. The correspondent business is core to our franchise, and as the industry progresses through this COVID-19 period, we are focused on providing robust solutions across mandatory and best efforts (both delegated & non-delegated). We thank each of our clients for their business and are cheering for everyone’s safety through this COVID period. Mr. Cooper is a top 10 correspondent investor and the largest non-bank servicer with a servicing portfolio $600B+.”

Axos Bank Wholesale and Correspondent Portfolio Lending continues to provide innovative products and enhanced options. Always a market leader in the Jumbo/Super Jumbo, Non-QM, and portfolio lending space, we offer creative solutions for today’s complex transactions. Maximize your origination opportunities with loan amounts up to $30MM, no cash-out limitations, 90% LTV with asset pledge, 100% financing with cross-collateralization, 12 month bank statements, asset depletion program, foreign national/non-permanent resident alien programs, plus bridge to sale and pledged asset lending. Email Axos to learn more about how Axos Wholesale Lending is delivering exceptional products, service, and support to our mortgage brokers, mortgage bankers, and home builder partners during these uncertain times.”

 

30-year fixed rates starting at 2.5%. Grow your new business with Conquest from UWM. Just in time for what could be the best purchase season our industry has ever seen, UWM has launched Conquest, a program designed to help brokers win new business by offering competitive rates at the lowest rate ranges on all purchases and on many refinances. With 30-year fixed rates ranging from 2.5-3.0% on purchases and rate/term refinances, it’s a great way to add new borrowers to your roster, build new relationships with real estate professionals and wow them all with UWM’s fast turn times, elite service, and groundbreaking technology. Talk to your UWM account executive or sign up today at uwm.com.

Can you forecast how current economic conditions will affect properties in your portfolio? With DataTree by First American Portfolio Surveillance Solutions, you can discover the insights, liabilities and opportunities existing within your loan portfolio and turn critical lien information into action. DataTree portfolio monitoring solutions proactively analyze the performance, value, and position of liens for loans in your portfolio, from an HOA or tax lien to a notice of default. Enhanced data and insight provide a transparent view of activities that impact properties, so you can support your clients. Monitor Loan Portfolios with solutions Fueled by DataTree best-in-class data and backed by data specialists with extensive experience in understanding the evolving conditions that may impact your lending and servicing business.

Check out this FREE Live Workshop on June 3 – Experts Alex Kutsishin, Co-Found and CEO of Sales Boomerang, and Paul Harrington, Business Development Director for Usherpa, explain how Loan Officers can provide value to their Realtor partners and build mutually-beneficial relationships by utilizing authentic data intelligence. Authentic intelligence linked to powerful CRM and Marketing systems give Loan Officers the opportunity to share actionable buyer data that Realtors can use to grow their business. By providing value to Realtors, LOs can cultivate crucial professional relationships and establish rock-solid referral pipelines. It’s a win, win, win. LOs win, Realtors win, and borrowers win. Register Now: The Holy Grail- Send Realtors Buyers.

Customer satisfaction: still job #1

Is there a constant in this ever-evolving environment of pandemic impacts? “Yes,” says the May issue of STRATMOR Group’s Insights Report — the need to focus on the customer. In “Creating a Customer-Centric Culture in a Brave New World,” MortgageSAT director Mike Seminari relates findings from STRATMOR’s recent Customer Experience Workshop where the most-asked question by lenders attending was “How do you create a shift in company culture toward customer-centricity?” Seminari offers three steps for building a customer-centric culture and provides tactical suggestions with each step for lenders to implement. This issue of the Insights Report also includes STRATMOR’s COVID-19 Homeowner Experience Report with details from their recent survey of the pandemic’s impact on 1,000 homeowners.

Capital markets

Without someone who wants to invest in a new mortgage, it won’t be originated. What is going on with U.S. non-QM mortgage bond supply and demand? Although non-QM production is far less than 1 percent of the market, there are indeed signs of life. Last week, Invictus and Angel Oak combined raised $708 million, and names being mentioned include Starwood Property Trust and Neuberger Berman. ThomsonReuters reports that the non-QM RMBS supply has totaled US$4.92bn so far this year, down sharply from the US$9.43bn for the same period in 2019. (For comparison, Ginnie Mae issued $63 billion of mortgage-backed securities in April, one month’s worth. If we do $2.5 trillion this year, non-QM would have to hit $25 billion to even be 1 percent of the market.)

Fannie’s trading desk has updated the Pricing & Execution – Whole Loan FAQs.

As much of the country moves towards reopening many shops and businesses, governors patiently watch the health data for signs of an increase in Covid-19 cases and the potential for a second wave. While it remains too early to assess the full effects in the states that were first to reopen, so far there does not appear to be a new surge in cases. Last week was relatively quiet in DC as lawmakers and the Fed expressed a desire to monitor the effects of the previously enacted relief measures before enacting more stimuli. Expect continued debate over whether the massive budget deficits resulting from more fiscal stimulus will be worse than potential long-term damage resulting from the current recession. This will play out against a backdrop of more than 38 million people and counting filing for unemployment since the start of the pandemic. As some begin to go back to work, markets will adjust their expectations as to what constitutes improvement. Despite activity still being down nearly 90 percent in some sections of the economy we’re already seeing people celebrate any small uptick that could potentially signal a turning point.

Interestingly enough, Treasury yields pulled back yesterday despite escalating global tensions. China’s rubber-stamp legislature approved sweeping national security laws in Hong Kong, defying condemnation of a move democracy advocates and residents of the former British territory warn will allow Beijing to crush free speech, freedom of assembly and a free press. President Trump announced a press conference today to discuss China, with investors speculating the U.S. will take action against the Beijing that could destabilize the global economy. I don’t like sharing my opinion much, but this feels exactly like when Ukraine annexed Crimea a couple years ago: lots of initial outrage followed by what I presume will be slow acquiescence and an accepted new normal.

Let’s focus on some actual economic releases and their impact on the economy. New jobless claims shrank for the first time during the pandemic, a sign that things may be returning to normal, but still posted a multi-million increase (2.123 million) and managed to top 40 million since the pandemic-related shutdowns began in earnest. On an even less positive note, pending home sales slumped to a record in April, posting their second consecutive drop of more than 20 percent and the largest decline since 2010, as lockdowns thwarted buyers. And Q1 GDP was revised downward to -5.0 percent from -4.8 percent, though markets didn’t pay much attention as the presumption is economic activity will rebound in the coming months. The 10-year Treasury yield closed the day +3 bps to 0.71 percent.

COVID will continue to impact world economies well into the future, and in the United States today’s economic calendar is already underway with April Personal Income (+10.5 percent due to unemployment checks!), Personal Spending (-13.6 percent as people put their money in the bank!), April Advance Goods Trade Balance (-$69.68 billion, widening), April Advance Retail Inventories (-3.6 percent), and April Advance Wholesale Inventories (+.4 percent). The month-end calendar closes later this morning with May Chicago PMI and Final May Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey. The lone Fed speaker sees Chair Powell speaking remotely on the economy in a couple hours. As far as MBS purchases go, the NY Fed will conduct two FedTrade MBS purchase operations totaling up to $4.77 billion today, starting with up to $1.8bn GNII 2.5 percent through 3.5 percent followed by up to $2.97 billion UMBS30 2 percent through 3 percent. A new MBS FedTrade purchase schedule is due in the afternoon. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices better/up by a few ticks and the 10-year yielding .66.

Thank you to Mike Z. who sent:

A priest, a rabbit and a minister walk into a bar.

The bartender asks the rabbit “What’ll you have?”

The rabbit says “I dunno. I’m only here because of autocorrect.”

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, “Reducing Friction”, focused on operations changes. If you have the inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.

Rob

(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. This newsletter is designed for sophisticated mortgage professionals only. There are no paid endorsements by me. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2020 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job & product listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold, or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

May 28: Ops, technical, LO jobs; doc, MSR, broker products; private MI companies motor on; continuing jobless claims drop

With two business days left in May, one can feel the anticipation of the start of the “National Standing Desk League” opener coming up soon. I’m excited about that, and I’m excited that it’s garbage day here at the house. Taking out the garbage… What to wear, what to wear? What isn’t exciting for investors in mortgages are delinquencies. Mortgage delinquencies had a record surge in April. At 6.45%, the national delinquency rate nearly doubled from 3.06% in March, the largest single-month increase recorded, and nearly three times the prior record for a single month’s change during the height of the financial crisis in late 2008, Black Knight said. For context, it took more than 18 months before the first 1.6 million homeowners became delinquent during the Great Recession, says Andy Walden, economist and director of market research at Black Knight, adding that there is still potential for a second wave of delinquencies in May.

Jobs

Caliber Home Loans recently launched Caliber University, a robust, multi-year training and mentoring program. Aimed at providing an end-to-end mortgage education to recent college graduates, Caliber University gives participants exposure to leading-edge technology and extensive sales training from industry experts. The program reached a successful milestone earlier this month when Caliber proudly announced the graduation of their inaugural class. Graduates are now partnering with high-performing mentors in their home markets, to support Caliber’s priority of helping customers achieve their dream of homeownership. To learn more about this program and rewarding career opportunities with Caliber, contact Tom Lott.

Digital mortgage platform Maxwell continues its record growth with its new Maxwell Fulfillment Platform feature, a complete technology and outsourced solution to enable Maxwell lenders to scale their business with access to teams of onshore operations experts. To support its growth, Maxwell is hiring processors, underwriters, closers, and operations managers and supervisors. In addition, Maxwell is seeking VP-level candidates for mortgage operations and leadership roles. All positions are remote roles, but with a focus on Minneapolis / St. Paul; Dallas / Ft Worth; Chicago and Denver. Please send resumes to jobs@himaxwell.com or apply here.

On Q Financial’s mission is to simplify the mortgage process to make the dream of home ownership a reality for everyone. During this time of social distancing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, On Q Financial’s Georgia Branches have been thriving! The Georgia Branch Managers, Clarence Daws, Roberta Rustin, and Ben Thacker are working diligently to provide outstanding service to the Southeast. “We are thrilled and excited to see how well the Georgia leadership has adapted to these times,” says Nick Suwanvichit, Corporate VP of Strategy & Development at On Q Financial. Daws, Rustin and Thacker are helping bring the mortgage industry into the 21st century with On Q’s Simplicity Mobile App and Mortgages Simplified automated processing. It’s never been easier to remotely begin and complete the closing process. Want to be a part of this dynamic team? Please contact us to arrange a quick 15-minute demo.”

“This hot brand is your next big opportunity! Entrepreneur named Motto Mortgage a Top New Franchise for 2020, and the reasons are practically endless. When you join a Motto Mortgage office, you gain access to industry-leading loan technology, a fully staffed support team and a wide selection of loan products to meet client needs. Bolster your home loan business with the mortgage company that’s paving the way for professionals like you. Motto Mortgage offices are recruiting nationwide, with specific need in AZ, FL, IL, KY, MA, MD, NJ, OH, OK, PA, TX and VA.

Tired of those sleepless nights? Stop worrying if your loans will fund and start a new opportunity with Sierra Pacific Mortgage. Sierra Pacific is growing in multiple markets nationwide and continued to fund loans daily throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Sierra Pacific has built an exceptional capital base and have created a business with longevity in mind. Retail Loan Officers and Wholesale Account Executives who are tired of worrying about their next paycheck should contact careers@spmc.com.

There’s a lot of buzz about REMN Wholesale lately, and with good reason. While many are doing record volume on refis, REMN is hitting all-time numbers on the purchase side, due in large part to their Platinum product. REMN introduced Platinum earlier this year to provide brokers with the highly competitive pricing on government purchase products they want, combined with the speed and quality they need to compete. In order to continue to provide its industry-leading turn times and exemplary level of customer service, REMN is looking for purchase-driven account executives, and knowledgeable underwriters, to join its team. If an underwriter does not have their DE certification, REMN has the training in place to help them receive it. Applicants should reach out to REMN’s recruitment team ASAP at info@remn.com.

Ike Suri, FundingShield Chairman & CEO shared, “FundingShield wants to thank its clients for a record breaking month in our firms history. Over the past 2 months the firm saw an approximate 230% increase in loans processed. With the WFH market transition lenders are adopting our wire & title fraud prevention technology at record pace allowing their staff to leapfrog tech skill-gaps by leveraging our plug n play, malleable, scalable, pay-per-use, MISMO certified fintech automation tools. Our proprietary customer-centric solutions leverage machine learning & AI while maintaining the necessary human touch to deliver real-time wire & title fraud loss prevention while lowering operating costs. The result is client ROIs of 100%-300% while reducing risk and freeing up the brain-trust of precious back-office and closing team resources allowing you to close more loans.” Contact Sales@fundingshield.com to learn more about our Encompass LOS and API integrated Solutions. FundingShield is hiring for operations and tech integration roles – send your CV and cover letter to info@fundingshield.com.

Lender services, products, & training

Stearns Lending continues to stay nimble to support the Wholesale community through these times. Recent releases include a hybrid e-close option. Borrowers can now apply through the digital mortgage application, bSNAP, to receive updates in real time throughout the loan process and spend less time at the closing table. Around 90% of the documents are available to be signed electronically allowing for a convenient and secure experience from the comfort of home. In addition to borrower benefits, hybrid e-close can reduce the potential for missed signatures, reduce print & shipping costs, and ultimately deliver a more custom solution. Non Delegated and Broker clients can reach out to their Account Executive for details, or to partner with Stearns, click HERE to be contacted.

Join MCT today at 11AM PT for its webinar on MSR Management through Market Disruption. MCT’s Phil Laren and Bill Berliner will provide an in-depth analysis on MSR market conditions, cash management and forbearance strategies through market volatility. MCT has also recently released a new post for MSR managers looking for additional guidance titled MSR Retain-Release Decisions in a Volatile Market. In the post, you will find information on making speedy and informed retain-release decisions during periods of market volatility. View the post then register for today’s webinar at 11AM PT for additional MSR management strategies.

You’ve read the story about how DocProbe became the go-to Trailing Document solution for lenders. Those lenders have been coming on board for a reason. A lender’s core business is closing and selling loans. Behind the scenes, processing, underwriting, closing, and post-closing takes place. The challenge is that Final Docs, Corrections, and Investor exceptions are areas that simply aren’t efficient. Moving operational staff, or hiring in a refi boom and then laying them off when loan levels drop, results in error-prone and delay-filled deliverables creating friction and stress on critical investor relationships. DocProbe’s only focus, and specialized experience, is trailing docs. By partnering with DocProbe, lenders get a well-oiled, transparent process that delivers accurate and complete Trailing Docs to investors on time. Onboarding is simple, and costs stay fixed in tandem with loan volume. And, oh yeah, investors are thrilled. Come see for yourself at www.docprobe.net or get more info from Nick Erlanger.

California’s legal challenge

Given that roughly 25 percent of residential originations come from California, much of the industry watches that state for policy and legal changes. Recently I shared with you information on AB 2501 the California legislative measure that would have a dramatic negative impact on the real estate finance industry. The bill has passed its first policy committee and is poised to fast-track to a vote before the State Assembly. The California MBA partnered with the national MBA to send a Call to Action through the Mortgage Action Alliance. If you are in California, be a part of the advocacy efforts and use this link to defeat this bill and contact your representative to encourage a no vote.

The impact of COVID on MI companies

KBW’s Bose George released thoughts on mortgage insurance performance in Q1 and the slowing growth of the mortgage forbearance rate in May. Mortgage origination volumes fell -15 percent QOQ, which was slightly better than the MBA’s -19 percent forecast. Mortgage GOS margins generally expanded as would be expected given the wider primary/secondary spreads. However, there were some instances where the volatility in March caused pipeline hedge-related losses (via TBAs) that prevented reported margins from expanding even further. While mortgage origination profitability was generally strong, mortgage servicing was weighed down by the decline in interest rates that resulted in large negative MSR marks.

Growth in private mortgage insurance remains well above the pace of growth in mortgage debt outstanding, but that is expected to moderate. MI companies noted that they had raised prices to reflect the higher expected loss content and higher capital charge required as forbearance-driven delinquency rates are expected to jump in the months ahead. The objective of the rate increases was to move the ROEs on new business back up to targeted levels, and the pricing updates also had the added effects of enabling the MIs to better fine-tune their new risk exposures.

NMI Holdings lowered estimates to build in higher loss provisioning (using conservative assumptions for forbearance take-up) and reduced IIF growth rates (credit tightening), partially offset by higher average premium margin (given higher new pricing). They noted the market focus shifting to capital preservation as opposed to growth. Management expects the default-to-claim rate on loans that go into forbearance to be meaningfully lower than it was for pre-COVID delinquencies.

Essent was hurt by higher taxes, though EPS beat consensus. Credit came in better with a reported loss ratio driven by a positive prior period reserve adjustment. Though the company did not provide its excess PMIERs capital in the release, it did note it is applying the 0.30x FEMA adjustment to nearly all new delinquencies. KBW tells us that management estimated that tighter credit standards from the GSEs focused on the riskier credit cohorts: 95+ LTV, sub-700 FICO, and layered risks took roughly 6-8 percent of potential borrowers out of the market. Estimates have been lowered to capture the impact of elevated default notices expected over the coming months driven by forbearance take-up, as well as lower insured portfolio growth trajectory with a tighter credit box.

MGIC showed it has PMIERs capital to withstand a 24.3 percent delinquency rate. After recording reserve releases on prior delinquencies for the past several quarters, the company booked a $3 million adverse loss reserve development in 1Q20. The other notable piece of the provision was increasing the incurred but not reported reserve by $8 million. The portfolio delinquency rate ticked down to 2.53 percent in Q1 from 2.78 percent in Q4 2019. However, the company disclosed that April metrics used to calculate the delinquency rate ticked back up. Management’s estimated default-to-claim rate on new delinquencies in 1Q20 was up slightly from the rate used for the last several quarters to reflect the more uncertain economic outlook. Management added that they have assumed lower default-to-claim rates for hurricane-related delinquencies in the past. The rate used by management for COVID-related forbearances represents the big unknown for how high loss provisions will amount to over the next few quarters.

Radian experienced lower incurred losses than expected. Delinquencies ticked down after the company entered another quota-share reinsurance agreement (both sources of capital relief previously announced). The 12.8 percent MI loss ratio was better than estimates, per KBW, and the company also saw positive improvement in prior period defaults with lower provisioning on new notices. The company shows no signs of credit weakness. After issuing a 3rd ILN and entering another quota-share reinsurance agreement (both sources of capital relief previously announced), PMIERs excess capital grew and the company projects it has capital capacity to weather forbearance take-up rate of 25 percent by June. On the downside, there will be increased provisioning driven by higher forbearance-driven default notices over the coming quarters.

Genworth experienced lower incurred losses than expected in Q1, though his was more than offset by weakness in Life/Runoff. U.S. MI. KBW points out that operating income of $148m beat estimates, driven primarily by a lower loss ratio as the company noted there were neither any new delinquencies related to COVID-19 nor any deterioration in the performance of existing delinquencies that would warrant reserve strengthening. Genworth applied the adjustment to PMIERs required capital for new NPLs given every state has been designated a FEMA Declared Major Disaster Area. The PMIERs cushion rose at quarter-end, but is expected to decline as delinquencies increase. To preserve capital, the company noted further dividends from the U.S. MI subsidiaries may not be paid up for the remainder of the year. Apart from credit, the rest of U.S. MI earnings were generally in line.

Rates

Treasury and MBS traders continue to watch international news grab the majority of the headlines. The European Commission unveiled a larger-than-expected rescue plan to tackle the current economic downturn, and provide help to Italy and Spain, the hardest hit of European nations. To our west, Japan is reportedly planning a $1.1 trillion bailout package and Secretary of State Pompeo said the U.S. no longer considers Hong Kong politically autonomous from China. Really? The change in status could have far-reaching consequences on the city’s special trading status, leading to tariffs and visa restrictions on top local officials.

Domestically, the big release on the day was the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book for May. The U.S. business outlook remained “highly uncertain and most contacts were pessimistic about the potential pace of recovery” and noted a sharp decrease economic activity in all districts. The most severe declines were observed in leisure and hospitality, while auto sales also fell significantly and steep job losses were reported in most districts. St. Louis Fed President Bullard said April was likely the worst of it, while New York Fed President Williams said we are close to the low point and that he expects a “pretty significant” rebound in the second half. He also said policy makers are “thinking very hard” about targeting specific yields on Treasuries as a way of ensuring borrowing costs stay at rock-bottom levels. U.S. Treasury yields ended the day unchanged for shorter maturities and slightly lower on longer ones, including the 10-year yield closing the day -2 bps to 0.68 percent.

Turning to today, we’ve already had a whole slew of economic releases. Weekly Initial Claims for the week ending May 23 (2.123 million), Continuing Claims (21.05 million, actually dropping), April Durable Orders (-17.2 percent), Durable Orders ex-transportation (-7.4 percent), Q1 GDP — Second Estimate (-.2 to -5 percent). The only other releases on the economic calendar today are April Pending Home Sales and the KC Fed Manufacturing Index in a couple hours. There are two scheduled Fed speakers: New York Fed President Williams and Philadelphia Fed President Harker. The NY Fed will conduct two FedTrade purchase operations totaling up to $4.23 billion. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged and the 10-year yielding .69.

Salt Lake City’s Rich B. wrote to say that he just heard the King of Spain has been quarantined on his private jet. That means the reign in Spain stays mainly on the plane.

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, “Reducing Friction”, focused on operations changes. If you have the inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.

Rob

(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. This newsletter is designed for sophisticated mortgage professionals only. There are no paid endorsements by me. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2020 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job & product listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold, or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

 

May 27: Ops, AE, mgt., LO jobs; servicing, DPA, CRM products; warehouse deal news; more investor changes

Making the rounds is, “The spread of Covid-19 is based on two factors. #1: How dense the population is. #2: How dense the population is.” As a nation, we remain divided on virtually everything about COVID. There is well-written article on how half the calls on social media for reopening the nation are from bots. Millions of citizens continue to stay home but most, if not all the states, are reopening to some degree, and the Memorial Day weekend saw ramped up traffic on the roads and people “out and about.” No one can provide an exact timeline how things will go, although the Fed is expected to leave overnight funding rates at 0 percent well into next year, if not beyond: inflation is the last of our worries. Three months ago, who knew that we were going to be where we are now? Every state has a different response to COVID, some at the county or even city level. And residential lenders & investors continue to react to the changing environment: more below.

Employment & business opportunities

Guaranteed Rate, a profitable and fast-growing top-3 retail mortgage lender, is seeking acquisition opportunities with mortgage companies looking to maximize profitability, and partner with likeminded leaders looking to take advantage of our expertise and economies of scale. If you are an owner or CEO of a mortgage company that is looking for better pricing, increased profitability, lower risk and much less stress and hassle, we urge you to e-mail Mark Filler, or call him at (773) 516-6979, to learn more about integrating your business into our platform.”

 

BankSouth Mortgage is seeking an experienced Underwriter to join our team. Candidate must have a minimum of 5 years underwriting experience, VA/SAR, FHA/DE preferred. Must be able to underwrite VA, FHA, USDA, jumbo and conventional loans. Knowledge of mortgage loan processing, compliance, investor products, underwriting guidelines, MI guidelines, appraisals, and fraud tools needed along with above-average interpersonal skills, a strong attention to detail, and an ability to work efficiently and accurately under pressure. Minimum two-year degree in business, finance or related field or experience equivalent, bachelor’s degree preferred. Interested candidates should send resume to joinus@banksouth.com.”

Agility 360 is a mortgage recruiting and project staffing firm based in Dallas, Texas, with a proven record of matching qualified candidates with employers for long-term employment or short-term contract. With interest rates at historical lows, matching staffing levels to meet demand continues to be a big profitability driver. Since 2014, Agility 360 has leveraged its unique methodology and proprietary candidate network to place experienced processors, underwriters, and other originations personnel across the country. We always meet our goal of finding ‘the right person for the job’ because THIS IS ALL WE DO. By focusing on the mortgage industry, we’ve created and tested a highly successful model that consistently delivers results for our clients. If you want to stop wasting time and money with other companies please contact Raj Sharma at 469-208-6337.”

“At PrimeLending, we strive to make a profound and positive impact on all the lives we serve, especially in our local communities. During this pandemic, many of these communities have experienced financial hardships on both the personal and professional level. That’s why our local branches felt empowered to give back any way they could, and they’ve stepped up in a big way. Along with providing countless meals to first responders, medical professionals and local schools, our branches have also collectively donated more than $250,000 to local charities across the country to help individuals and families impacted by this coronavirus. While doors are starting to open and people are adjusting to these new circumstances, PrimeLending will continue to be a source of giving, caring and support, now and in the future. We’re growing and if you’re interested in being part of a company that cares, contact Nic Hartke for a confidential conversation.”

ACC Mortgage, the oldest Non-QM lender who never stopped lending, is about to release a JUMBO Prime product to go with their complete traditional Non-QM products in June and even more Non-QM products in July. Instant pricing at NonQMPricer.com. In anticipation of the growth and return of even more Non-QM products, ACC is hiring one Nationals Sales Manager and 6 account executives to meet the demand and match capacity. If interested in joining our family, please send your resume to the president, Robert Senko, for consideration.”

Lender services and products

Specialized Loan Servicing, part of the Computershare Group, was named a Fannie Mae Servicer Total Achievement and Rewards™ (STAR™) Performer in the General Servicing category. This achievement is reserved for top performing servicers that consistently “raise the bar.” Computershare Loan Services’ CEO Tom Millon recently spoke to the MBA about SLS’ innovative servicing technology and how SLS keeps the borrower experience paramount. “We look at customer care as one long dialog, beginning with our first engagement,” says Millon. “Laying a foundation of trust through proactive engagement and transparency is critical to being able to meet both customer needs and client performance expectations.” Contact Specialized Loan Servicing to learn how they manage complex servicing portfolios while supporting borrowers with a comprehensive customer experience.

As the U.S. economy starts to reawaken, with shelter-in-place orders lifting and millions of Americans preparing to go back to work, what can we expect for the housing market? Is it too early to say the market has bottomed or is the road to recovery imminent? Industry experts Rick Sharga, CJ Patrick Company, and Mike DelPrete, real-estate tech strategist, answer these questions and more in an upcoming free, data-driven webinar. Register for The Road to Recovery: Navigating the Path to Housing Market Recovery webinar on May 28, 10-11:00am PST to see nationwide property, homeownership, and mortgage information used to bench and analyze trends to determine how navigate an evolving market and when to pivot. With public record data covering 100% of the U.S. housing stock and over 7 billion recorded document images, DataTree by First American is the solution lenders depend on. Contact our experts to learn how our best-in-class data solutions can fuel your business.

The Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation’s down payment assistance programs are still going strong. TSAHC continues to offer both government (FHA, VA, and USDA) and conventional (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) loan types with down payment assistance up to 5% of the loan amount. TSAHC has also created a resources page for its lender partners to keep them updated on important information related to COVID-19.

Need a simple cloud-based origination platform… And want it in 15 minutes? Zenly, a new offering from Calyx, gives brokers what they need to quickly deliver a contact-free mortgage experience. Starting with Zenly’s built-in, mobile-friendly, point-of-sale Zip, originators can import loan application data, pull credit and automatically collect & verify borrower assets. Brokers can then complete a full mortgage application, and deliver it, with the accompanying documentation, to their preferred lender. And best of all, Zenly can be purchased and up and running within 15 minutes! Schedule a demo today to see how Zenly can work for you.

Better Borrower Engagement Starts with UNIFY CRM. Your ideal Business Growth platform must be built for the market challenges both present and future. Your CRM must drive engagement through text, social media, email, and direct mail, all from within one unified platform. UNIFY CRM’s all-in-one platform supports this level of automation, with extensive training options that customize your approach to the market. UNIFY transforms your borrower engagement through its automated multi touch functionality, expanding your ability to communicate with your customers, past, current, and future ones. As an Enterprise platform, there is no need to have security or audit concerns. UNIFY CRM is a compliance management solution for marketing literature with full audit trail capabilities for state and federal regulatory audit inquiries. UNIFY CRM has been awarded the SOC 2 Type II security certification – making the CRM a secure solution for Banks, Credit Unions, Community Banks as well as Mortgage Banks with branch offices across the United States. UNIFY CRM is the right technology and marketing partner with the training to get you up and running quickly. Work Smart. Manage Better. Sell More. Schedule a Demo today.

Warehouse bank news

Texas Capital Bank and Independent Financial announced that they have “mutually agreed to terminate our previously announced agreement to combine our companies in a merger of equals.” There is, of course, plenty of talk in the airwaves about TCB’s exposure to the suffering oil patch economy. The official statement read, “The termination of the merger was approved by both companies’ boards of directors after careful consideration and given the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global markets and on our ability to fully realize the benefits we expected to achieve through the merger. We believe that this decision is in the best interests of our clients and all our stakeholders as we continue supporting you through these challenging times and for many years thereafter.”

There were some personnel moves. Larry Helm has been appointed Executive Chair, CEO, and President of Texas Capital Bancshares and Texas Capital Bank. “The Board intends to conduct a search to identify the right next leader for Texas Capital Bank, and Larry will serve in this role until a permanent successor has been named…(and) Keith Cargill will serve as Vice Chairman of both companies through the end of 2020 to help support a smooth transition.”

Investors reacting to Agency changes

While a portion of the industry grappled with another Optimal Blue outage yesterday (something about Microsoft, moving OB’s systems, nodes, and data centers), looking at the bigger picture, purchase activity, versus a year ago, is down 20-25%. Builders are still building, but not as many new homes. Yet constructions permits & starts are still pretty strong. For the last few years builders, and therefore lenders to some extent, had an artificial shortage already due to a labor shortage, lack of land, permit costs, etc. This supply shortage has continued. No one disagrees that our economy has suffered a massive economic shock, losing 1 million jobs in March and 20 million in April. (May numbers come out next week.) When those numbers are combined with hour and pay cuts, economists believe that about 1/3 of American workers are impacted. Some claim that people can’t even look for work, which impacts statistics. Some businesses are re-opening, the monetary and fiscal stimulus is helping, so we can expect to see continued improvement throughout the summer.

Gateway First Bank, Correspondent Lending, is amending the March 25 announcement requiring a 680 minimum FICO score on all Government loan programs. Effective immediately, Gateway has reduced its minimum FICO requirement on all newly locked Government loan programs to 640. This includes FHA, VA, USDA, HUD-184, SETH Goldstar, CAFA Gold 100, and GSFA Open Doors loan programs. Underwriting Guidelines for all Government Loans: FHA, VA and USDA = Max DTI per AUS Approval. SETH Goldstar, CAFA Gold 100 and GSFA Open Doors = Max DTI 55%.

As stability continues to return to the market, loanDepot’s lock policy changes are now available in the mello Broker Portal. Locks prior to submission are eligible for both Purchases and Refinances. 60 Days Locks are the same price as 30-Day Locks. 15-Day Lock eligibility has been moved to “Final Requested”. And this loanDepot announcement provides information on FHA/VA Appraisal and Employment updates as well as disaster information for South Carolina.

Effective immediately, a conventional purchase or rate and term refinance loan that enters into forbearance after the AmeriHome Purchase Date will not be assessed the standard agency LLPAs of 5% (for first-time homebuyers) or 7% (for all other loans).

Plaza Home Mortgage® is reinstating Bulk Assignment of Trade (AOT) as a delivery option for our National Correspondent clients. Plaza now accepts the following delivery methods: Best Efforts, Bulk, bulk AOT, and Single Loan Mandatory.

Effective May 22, Mountain West Financial Wholesale’s temporary suspension of Open Doors FHA and Open Doors Conventional was lifted. For complete program details, view the MWF Open Doors Program Matrix & Overview.

Capital markets

The media cycle moves so quickly these days, it seems yesterday’s headline news is relegated towards the back pages before it can even be processed by the public. The topic du jour to close last week was the worsening of U.S. – China relations. There were reminders of that yesterday, as President Trump continued to express his displeasure with China’s plan to impose a new national security law in Hong Kong. Treasuries & MBS pulled back in curve-steepening fashion, which is usually indicative of positive news, amid more signs of major economies reopening. Japan ended its nationwide state of emergency, while it was reported Germany plans to lift travel warnings for 31 European countries. That optimism overshadowed the escalation of tensions between Beijing and Washington, and the 10-year closed the first trading session of the week +4 bps to 0.70 percent.

As far as economic releases went, new home sales increased 0.6 percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 623k, well above the 485k expectations. The uptick was driven by lower selling prices. Unfortunately, on a year-over-year basis, new home sales were down 6.2 percent, though the consensus on the whole is the housing market is beginning to stabilize. Separately, the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index missed expectations despite attitudes surrounding the short-term outlook reflecting budding optimism about reopening efforts. Finally, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey revealed that the total number of loans now in forbearance as of May 17 increased to 8.36 percent from 8.16 percent of servicers’ portfolio volume in the prior week. According to MBA’s estimate, 4.2 million homeowners are now in forbearance plans. Mortgages backed by Ginnie Mae again had the largest overall share of loans in forbearance by investor type (11.60 percent) and the largest increase from the previous week.

Today’s economic calendar is underway, revealing mortgage applications increased 2.7 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the MBA Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending May 22. Later this morning brings weekly same store sales from Redbook for the week ending May 23, the Richmond Fed manufacturing and services for May, and Dallas Fed Texas services figures. Markets will also receive remarks from St. Louis Fed President Bullard and Atlanta Fed President Bostic along with the latest Beige Book in the afternoon. With regards to MBS, the Desk of the NY Fed will conduct two FedTrade purchase operations totaling up to $4.77 billion. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices unchanged from Tuesday and the 10-year yielding .71.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, as this short video shows. (Thank you to Carol K.)

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, “Reducing Friction”, focused on operations changes. If you have the inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.

Rob

(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. This newsletter is designed for sophisticated mortgage professionals only. There are no paid endorsements by me. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2020 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job & product listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold, or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

May 26: Appraisal, LO jobs; broker, eSign, marketing products; USDA, FHA, Freddie, Fannie news & trends

I doubt if I have ever pressed “7” or “8” on my microwave oven keypad. Speaking of 7 & 8 (I know, a weak segue), originators are keenly aware of what builders are seeing & doing, economy-wise, and 78 percent of them did not lower their prices in April. Not only that, but 41% of home sales had bidding wars, according to Redfin. “Demand for homes has picked back up after hitting rock bottom in April, and that uptick paired with a lack of supply is a recipe for bidding wars. Homebuyers are getting back out there, searching for more space as they realize using their home as an office and school may become the norm. But sellers are still holding off on listing their homes, partially due to economic uncertainty and concerns of health risks. In some hot neighborhoods, there may only be one or two homes for sale, with multiple homebuyers vying for them.” Heading into the pandemic low inventories and forbearance limited supply, while favorable Millennial demographics and low interest rates boost demand. And job losses from Covid-19 have hit lower-income workers hardest, and they typically rent. People still need a place to live and want to own a home.

Employment

Summit Valuation Solutions, a leading nationwide real estate property valuation company is expanding its sales force. Summit Valuation Solutions is looking for a Vice President of National Sales. The ideal candidate will have experience working in the Capital Markets or Loan Servicing space. Responsibilities include representing the firm regarding customized valuation solutions that support those in the secondary acquisition/sale space as well as those in the default loan servicing space. Professionalism and a commitment to a strong work ethic are a must. Experience in high end sales efforts is desirable. Resumes can be confidentially submitted to sales@summitvaluationsolutions.com.

Surprise and Delight. At Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc. (PRMI), we strive to surprise and delight our borrowers and referral partners in each interaction; and we strive to surprise and delight each other. Providing service that stands out like a pair of red shoes creates an unpaid salesforce of delighted customers and referral sources who are PRMI’s biggest champions. We also know that you’re only able to provide your best service when your own needs are met. This is why exceptional service isn’t just something we offer customers—it’s deeply ingrained in our culture. We’re committed to providing exceptional service to each other at every turn so that we can all serve our customers better. Join us in our efforts to surprise and delight our customers and each other with red shoes service at every turn. Visit branchpartner.com or contact Amy Gallow, VP of Business Development to learn more.

Lender services, products, & training events

Caliber Home Loans is the proud recipient of Fannie Mae’s Servicer Total Achievement and Rewards (STAR) program recognition for excellence in mortgage servicing for 2019. For the 2019 report, the STAR team analyzed Caliber’s servicer capabilities across the fundamental components of people, processes, quality control, reporting and training. As an organization, Caliber’s top priority continues to be focused on delivering a seamless and exceptional experience to their customers. Now, more than ever, Caliber strives to make life easier, by providing options for customers impacted during these challenging times. Caliber extends its deepest thanks to its dedicated team members and remarkable customers! #FannieMaeSTAR #ServicingExcellence.

Check out the latest Clear to Close podcast episode from Maxwell titled, “How Leaders Guide Their Teams through Turmoil” where they sit down with The Mortgage Collaborative COO Rich Swerbinsky to look at what lenders are doing to get the most out of these times and setting themselves up to thrive. Another great episode from the series and this one is definitely worth finding time to listen to. Listen and download here: Apple, Google, Spotify, Browser.

 

Join National Mortgage Professional Magazine on Thursday, May 28 at 3:30 PM Eastern/12:30 PM Pacific, for “Use a new resource website to get challenged clients “mortgage ready”!” Clients2Homeowners.com is a website resource that shows loan originators and real estate agents how to partner with HUD housing counselors and credit counselors to assist challenged clients to get “mortgage ready”. Industry professionals will explain resources throughout the webinar and show how clients who need assistance can be referred and then return to the referring loan originator when ready for a mortgage. It enables loan originators to have an option for all clients not yet ready to purchase a home and the opportunity to stay in touch with realtors about the referred clients’ progress while they are getting “mortgage ready”. Learn more about the benefits to MLOs and real estate agents as well as clients, confusion on down payment assistance, step by step connection with counselors, how to pay for services, and COVID 19 mortgage updates. Click here to register.

Unemployment is on the rise, the market is contracting, and there are fewer new deals available. So, how do you drive growth? Customer retention. Register for this webinar with Total Expert and Sales Boomerang, hosted by HousingWire, on June 10 at 1 p.m. CT. You’ll walk away with the strategies you need to implement today to optimize the pre-close customer experience, master the post-close journey, and create customers for life. Register now.

Digital lending platform developer Blend has spent years enabling consumers to get pre-approved in one-tap, apply for loans, sign disclosures, and complete follow-ups from any device at any time. Actually closing a mortgage, however, has remained a singularly unpleasant event. Until now. With Blend Close, lenders will be equipped to empower consumers to close how they want. Surface the best possible closing experience for each loan while tapping into new levels of simplicity, efficiency, and ROI. With the launch of Close, Blend will offer a single, integrated closing experience with all of the necessary functionality for eSign, Remote Online Notarization or an in-person notary, eNote solutions, integration to an eVault, and eRecording. Visit the recent Blend Close announcement for a deeper look into an elevated borrower closing experience.

Register for MBA Education’s highly informative webinar, SUCCESSFUL SECONDARY MARKETING STRATEGIES IN VOLATILE TIMES, on Thursday, May 28th at 2:00 PM ET. Featuring industry veterans from Optimal Blue, this webinar will explore the economic and operational incentives when transitioning from a Best Efforts to Mandatory delivery model, counter-party relationships best suited to your business and current market conditions, as well as special risk mitigation strategies correlated to COVID-19 market impacts. For their guests, Optimal Blue has organized complimentary access to this MBA webinar. Please contact sales@optimalblue.com to receive a promo code that will waive your $499 registration fee.

Conquest from UWM. Grow your new business with 30-year fixed rates starting at 2.5%. Just in time for what could be the best purchase season our industry has ever seen, UWM has launched Conquest, a program designed to help brokers win new business by offering  competitive rates at the lowest rate ranges on all purchases and on any refinances where  the borrower  hasn’t closed a loan with UWM in the last 18 months. With 30-year fixed rates ranging from 2.5-3.0% on purchases and rate/term refinances, it’s a great way to add new borrowers to your roster, build new relationships with real estate professionals and wow them all with UWM’s fast turn times, elite service, and groundbreaking technology. Talk to your UWM account executive or sign up today at uwm.com.

USDA, FHA, Fannie, Freddie changes continue

As we all wait for Ginnie to come out with its electronic promissory note policy, there is always a lot of focus on what Freddie Mac and Fannie May are up to, and where they should be after government conservatorship ends. The two of them now have $23.5 billion in capital, and the FHFA believes they should hold $240 billion, a high hurdle for raising capital in (probably) 2021. Investment banker Houlihan Lokey is advising the FHFA on recapitalizing the companies. Obviously, these capital standards will require higher pricing across the board and steeper risk-based pricing for higher LTV loans and other products.

Late last week Chris Whalen opined on what post-conservatorship GSEs might look like. And over the weekend Dave Stevens with Mountain Lake Consulting addressed the proposed capital rules and the need for industry to engage.

The GSEs published an announcement inviting lenders who meet eligibility criteria and prerequisites to participate in the Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) Limited Production Period (LLP) beginning on Aug. 1. During the LLP, participants will use the redesigned URLA (Fannie Mae Form 1003) and updated Desktop Underwriter (DU) specification to originate loans as part of a controlled implementation. Visit the URLA Page

for more information. Yes, they are extending the implementation timeline for the redesigned URLA and updated automated underwriting systems (AUS) specifications to support the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new mandate for required use of the redesigned URLA is March 1, 2021. The extension will provide lenders and other stakeholders additional time to prepare and implement the redesigned URLA.

Fannie Mae issued a reminder that June 1 is the effective date for updated ARM notes and riders. The joint GSE notes and riders and Fannie Mae-only ARM notes and riders were previously updated to include new fallback language for closed-end, residential ARMs. Special Feature Code (SFC) 785 is required for delivery of ARM loans closed on the updated documents to indicate the updated documents have been used (note: this will be a fatal edit at delivery).

Fannie Mae updated its Lender Letter 2020-04 with additional temporary guidance, including use of virtual inspections for appraisals and renovation loans, and flexibilities for condominium project reviews. Additionally, we’ve updated information about flexibilities for new construction loans and Homestyle® Renovation loans, as well as other temporary appraisal requirement flexibilities. And don’t forget LL-2020-07 regarding COVID-19 Payment Deferral.

In a video message FHA Commissioner Brian Montgomery speaks directly to homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages experiencing financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 emergency. View the video message available in English and English/Spanish captioned.

FHA’s new, web-based platform, FHA Catalyst, provides enhanced digital solutions for stakeholders conducting business with FHA. The platform’s architecture allows FHA to respond quickly with technology solutions for evolving business needs in response to the COVID-19 National Emergency. The platform has two modules available today for mortgagees:

FHA Catalyst: Claims Module, which is now available to all servicers for the submission of forward mortgage supplemental claims. FHA Catalyst: Case Binder Module, which allows lenders to electronically submit case binder documents as an alternative to mailing paper binders. Details can be found in FHA’s Mortgagee Letter (ML) 2020-08.

In Mortgagee Letter 2020-12, FHA published multiple COVID-19 related policy and other updates to its Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program. These updates include: Guidance for HECM Claim Type 22 (CT-22) Assignment Claims during the COVID-19 National Emergency. Temporary Partial Waiver for HECM Tax Arrearages during the COVID-19 National Emergency. Webinar: Updated Guidance for HECMs during the COVID-19 National Emergency. Housing Program Specialist Position (HECM) Available in Tulsa, OK.

USDA Rural Development issued an announcement to inform lenders of updated loan status reporting requirements for borrowers impacted by the Presidentially declared COVID-19 National Emergency, addressing how lenders report loan statuses to the Agency via Electronic Status Reporting (ESR) and does not address reporting to credit repositories. Lenders should start reporting the status reason code of 010- Neighborhood Problem and a status code of 06- Formal Forbearance. If any other forbearance code was previously reported for Borrowers affected by the COVID-19 National Emergency, stop reporting that status code and begin reporting with status code 06 – Formal Forbearance. The same default status date should be used as the date the borrower was approved for the forbearance if changing the status code. If the loan was not previously in default, the status code 42 must be reported first to open the default event and then Status Code 06 – Formal Forbearance can be reported in the following months.

USDA extended its temporary exceptions pertaining to appraisals, repair inspections and income verifications for SFHGLP until June 30, 2020. These temporary exceptions apply to the requirements in the program handbook HB-1-3555 for new loans. Additional guidance related to these exceptions on origination and servicing of USDA single family housing guaranteed loans is now available. Check out FAQs in the USDA LINC Training and Resource Library. Additionally, USDA has extended its 60-day foreclosure and eviction moratorium until June 30, 2020.

Capital markets

Looking at all of last week, April’s data continues to confirm the severity of the economic downturn resulting from the stay at home orders in response to Covid-19. The Leading Economic Index declined 4.4 percent, the fifth decline in the last seven months. Housing starts plummeted 30 percent in April to an 891,000-unit annual rate with single family starts down to a 660,000-unit rate, and sales of existing homes fell 18 percent to the slowest annual rate since July 2011. Despite the drop in sales, home prices were up 7 percent year-over-year and are not expected to drop significantly due to the tight supply. Mortgage purchase apps were up for the fifth week in a row increasing 6.4 percent for the week ending May 15 although they are still 12.3 percent below 2019’s pace. The low interest rate environment, however, has led refinance apps to increase 3x from a year ago. New claims for unemployment insurance declined for the seventh consecutive week after hitting a record 6.9 million with 2.4 million new people filing for the week ending May 16.

Bond marketwise, the end of last week saw a quiet trading day ahead of the holiday weekend, though the Treasury yield curve flattened amid nervous risk sentiment following increased tensions between the U.S. and China. It was reported that the National People’s Congress will vote on the Hong Kong National Security Law this Thursday, confirming fears about China’s intent to strengthen its grip over the city. The U.S. condemned Beijing’s plan to enact national security legislation in Hong Kong, with Secretary of State Pompeo saying the proposal would be a “death knell” for the city-state’s autonomy. The 10-year yield closed the week yielding .66 percent, nearly unchanged for the week.

With bond and equity markets closed for Memorial Day yesterday, this week’s economic calendar begins shortly with the March S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index and May FHFA Housing Price Index. Later this morning brings April New Home Sales and May Consumer Confidence, as well as the Dallas Fed Texas Manufacturing Index for May and remarks from Minneapolis Fed President Kashkari. Tomorrow sees just the Weekly MBA Mortgage Index before Thursday brings Jobless Claims, April Durable Orders, the second estimate of Q1 GDP figures, and April Pending Home Sales. The week closes with April Personal Income and Spending, PCE Prices, Core PCE Prices, April Advance Indicators, May Chicago PMI, and Final May Michigan Consumer Sentiment. As far as MBS purchases go, the NY Fed will continue its two daily FedTrade purchase operations. Today’s purchases will total up to $4.230 billion starting with $1.260 billion UMBS15 2 percent and 2.5 percent followed by up to $2.970 billion UMBS30 2 percent through 3 percent. We begin the week with Agency MBS prices worse/down nearly .125 versus Friday and the 10-year yielding .69.

For the first time since 1945, the Scripps National Spelling Bee has been cancil… cancul…canccel… Called off.

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, “Reducing Friction”, focused on operations changes. If you have the inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.

Rob

(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. This newsletter is designed for sophisticated mortgage professionals only. There are no paid endorsements by me. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2020 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job & product listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold, or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

 

May 23: Vendors on the move; warnings about repurchase claims and the impact of forbearance on credit

Besides the use of the word “unprecedented” having become unprecedented, competition between lenders and vendors is just as strong as ever. “Please keep thinking about me while I’m thinking about my business.” What a great line when it comes to competitors complaining about your pricing, your programs, your ops team, your work ethic. A lot has happened in the last three months; As Marcus Lam writes, “There is someone out there who was placed in a coma in 2019 and will be in for one heck of a ride when they wake up.” In the meantime, there’s a lot going on with thoughts on credit and repurchase claims, and vendor developments, and all the while some very clever people are putting out some clever musical videos. Let’s jump in.

Credit

Forbearance, the new “F-word,” has huge financial ramifications for servicers and borrowers. Overseen by the FHFA, Freddie and Fannie weighed in this week, helping clear up some confusion. What about borrowers? Brian Levy, an attorney with Katten & Temple, LLP, advised, “With respect to credit reporting about the use of mortgage forbearance, ‘not reporting negatively’ doesn’t mean ‘not reporting at all.’ People who obtain forbearance (especially anyone who doesn’t really need it) need to know that it still will be reported on their credit record. That was the point of my most recent Levy’s Mortgage Musings. It may not be considered in credit scoring models, but forbearance will appear somewhere on the credit report. So, future creditors can, and likely will, take that into account in making credit decisions.

 

“Given what has happened to the economy (especially for hourly wage workers), it is likely that the vast majority of the borrowers seeking forbearance are in real need. Those people should not have to fear being asked about it the next time they try to get a loan. With a ‘good’ story to tell about COVID related temporary job or income loss, the next loan should be no problem within the guidelines provided by the Agencies this week. (Borrowers need to be 3 months current after forbearance to get a refi or new purchase.) If your story lacks real need, however, well, who wants to lend to that person?” Thank you, Brian.

I have heard from a wide range of folks that credit scores don’t give anyone much predictive information in this market. One could argue that the viral impacts on employment probably bear little relationship to credit score. It will be interesting to see where the CFPB weighs in next month in defining non-QM loans, but gaining in importance in this COVID environment are reserves, LTV, and figuring out if the borrower’s job can be performed remotely. To reduce risk today you need to be a lot more granular in borrower assessment than just meeting agency guidelines (since you are basically guarantying employment/income vs. loan losses if you sell to the GSEs).

Repurchase claims

Just when lenders thought it was safe to go back into the water, talk has swung to repurchase claims. Phil Stein, an attorney with Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP, stated, “A surge in repurchase claims against mortgage originators may be imminent as aggregators and servicers face nonpayment of debt obligations and liquidity shortfalls resulting from an increase in residential mortgage loans put in forbearance.”

(And regarding a lawsuit involving any lender, Phil also writes, “Under appropriate circumstances, it may make sense for an originator or servicer to take aggressive action as a plaintiff, whether it’s to protect itself from imminent and substantial damage or to remedy extensive harm already done to its business by a counter-party’s unjustified actions.”)

Random bits of vendor news

Insellerate hired a New Chief Revenue Officer, the Promotion of New SVP of Sales, and the hiring of two additional AEs to continue its high growth trajectory and to meet the demand for its platform. Amid COVID-19 and these rapidly changing market conditions in the mortgage industry, communication and engagement with your current borrowers and prospective borrowers are vital. Insellerate’s award-winning CRM & Engagement platform delivers multi-channel engagement through text, social media, email, ringless voicemail, and direct mail all from within one unified platform.

Vendorly, an innovative SaaS-based vendor oversight platform for financial institutions, has signed a reseller agreement with risk management company Secure Insight which will help protect Vendorly clients against wire fraud, a key risk to the lending and banking industry. The Secure Insights tool integrates seamlessly with the Vendorly platform so that it combats wire fraud by validating closing agent wire instructions. This alliance demonstrates how Vendorly is dedicated to offering a cradle-to-grave solution for the mortgage banking industry to help address all ongoing risks associated with vendor management. (To learn more, contact Steven Greenfield CMB, Director of Operations for Vendorly.)

CyberCecurity, LLC announced the launch of Turnkey Cybersecurity & Privacy Solutions, LLC (TCPS) offering TURNKEY, affordable cybersecurity and privacy programs for small-to-medium sized mortgage companies. “These are full, comprehensive cybersecurity and privacy packages designed to make building a program much easier with less time and brain-damage. These professional cybersecurity and privacy programs are custom-made for the mortgage industry and are tailored to three different business sizes. All TCPS cybersecurity and privacy programs are built to meet NIST Cybersecurity and Privacy Framework, GLBA, NY DFS 500 and other compliance requirements associated with the mortgage industry.”

Top of Mind has launched PartnerNetwork, a first-of-its-kind solution enabling SurefireCRM users and referral partners (Realtors, etc.) to manage RESPA compliance for co-branded marketing material with ease. PartnerNetwork eliminates the need for lenders to determine cost sharing responsibilities and provides a simple way for lenders to manage and report on both digital and print co-marketing content. Lenders can control originators’ ability to co-brand with marketing partners based on their approach to RESPA compliance and can easily identify partner participants in their database. Marketing partners do not have to repeat the registration process to co-brand with additional lender partners.

Blend announced the launch of its Blend Reporting feature. With many lenders around the country experiencing an unprecedented increase in refi applications (Blend’s platform is up roughly 400% YoY), this new offering provides crucial insights and refreshes underlying data sources every three hours to provide lenders with timely and essential insights into their lending activity. Blend’s Reporting Tools also allows lenders to do the following: Share 30-day application submit rate data with your team to drive volumes if you spot a dip. Answer essential business questions about loan production or team adoption. Download customizable reports formatted with the tailored information to inform core strategies. For details, view the full blog post HERE.

First American Financial recently acquired Title Security Agency, a premier brand within the Arizona real estate community. Specializes in title and escrow services for residential and commercial transactions, Title Security Agency has 17 offices in Arizona. It will become part of the direct operations of First American’s largest subsidiary, First American Title Insurance Company.

myCUmortgage announced partnerships with three new credit unions from across the United States. myCUmortgage is a Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO), wholly owned by Wright-Patt Credit Union. The three new partners joining myCUmortgage are: Estacado Federal Credit Union – Hobbs, N.M., FedChoice Federal Credit Union – Lanham, Md. And SMART Federal Credit Union – Columbus, Ohio. Representing nearly 36,000 members and over $457.3 million in assets, these new partner credit unions are eager to help their members with their dreams of home ownership.

Newfi Lending has named OptifiNow as its integrated cloud-based sales and marketing platform to help manage the growth of their rapidly expanding wholesale mortgage lending business. OptifiNow provides mortgage companies with a comprehensive suite of sales and marketing modules that will manage the growth of Newfi’s wholesale mortgage lending business to manage their mortgage broker base, send targeted marketing messages and monitor performance in real-time. “We’re excited to partner with Newfi Lending and help them as they grow their wholesale business,” said John McGee, founder and CEO of OptifiNow. “Newfi is a tech-focused lender, so we’re confident we can help them scale their sales and marketing operations in 30 days or less.  We combine our cloud-based platform with easy-to-use tools, intelligent integrations and powerful business analytics to deliver a fully configured solution designed for their business.”

OptifiNow announced the unveiling of their Insights onDemand business intelligence engine, a reporting and analytics tool built into their flagship OptifiNow CRM platform. BI Insight combines sales and marketing data managed in the OptifiNow CRM with external data sources to provide a 360-degree view of business performance. Insights onDemand is included with the CRM platform and is provided with OptifiNow’s White Glove custom configuration service. BI Insight can connect to LOS, POS, or other business systems to generate reports and dashboards that augment visibility into business performance and how it impacts revenue generation.

OptifiNow announced that Sun West Mortgage Company (Sun West) has launched their cloud-based CRM and marketing automation platform for wholesale, distributed retail and their all new Home Buyer Connect (HBC) mortgage lending channels. OptifiNow worked closely with Sun West’s sales and marketing teams to customize the platform for each channel. Sun West provided the blueprints for automated email campaigns, business rules and data-driven triggers, which OptifiNow used to implement the platform for their wholesale, retail, and HBC environments.

Newfi Lending is utilizing OptifiNow as its integrated cloud-based sales and marketing platform to help manage the growth of their rapidly expanding wholesale mortgage lending business.

“Newfi Lending had a record-breaking 2019 and we’re looking to continue our growth in 2020. Managing our sales and marketing more efficiently is one of our major New Year’s resolutions,” said Steve Abreu, founder and CEO of Newfi Lending. “OptifiNow has all the sales and marketing automation tools we need. They also have a tight integration with our LOS, which keeps our customer records up-to-date and allows us to track detailed production volume. OptifiNow goes beyond just sales and marketing by giving us real insight on our business performance.”

Newfi Lending has named OptifiNow as its integrated cloud-based sales and marketing platform to help manage the growth of their rapidly expanding wholesale mortgage lending business. OptifiNow provides mortgage companies with a comprehensive suite of sales and marketing modules that will manage the growth of Newfi’s wholesale mortgage lending business to manage their mortgage broker base, send targeted marketing messages and monitor performance in real-time. “We’re excited to partner with Newfi Lending and help them as they grow their wholesale business,” said John McGee, founder and CEO of OptifiNow. “Newfi is a tech-focused lender, so we’re confident we can help them scale their sales and marketing operations in 30 days or less.  We combine our cloud-based platform with easy-to-use tools, intelligent integrations and powerful business analytics to deliver a fully configured solution designed for their business.”

Strategic Compliance Partners (SCP) has announced that it will be combining forces with Offit Kurman to service its mortgage banker clientele.  This change, effective March 1, will augment SCP’s current staff and services with those of Offit Kurman’s Financial Institutions Regulatory practice. It will afford clients the benefits of a flat fee holistic compliance engagement complimented by integration with Offit Kurman, a full-service law firm with well over 200 lawyers, including a Financial Institutions Regulatory practice that represents lenders nationwide. SCP will remain in business focusing on services for brokers and its ShareDiligence vendor management platform.

Are you a skeptic that Fintech, AI, and machine learning are changing MSR onboarding today in the secondary market? Paradatec Inc., provider of AI-based document classification and data extraction technology for mortgage file processing, announced it has achieved 100 Percent automated loan onboarding of mortgage servicing rights (MSR) files, regardless of the size and type of incoming loan portfolios. The company’s AI-based technology allows mortgage servicers to ingest entire loan portfolios in hours instead of weeks. Paradatec’s technology leverages powerful, AI-based text analysis and machine learning tools to convert 100 percent of the information trapped in static loan documents to individual data elements. Its automated loan auditing technology then breaks down every loan into 750 specific document types, eliminating manual filename mapping when onboarding loans. The company’s technology also enables data provided by prior servicers to be automatically audited against incoming documents before being absorbed into the new servicer’s system.

A priest and a rabbi found themselves sitting across the aisle from each other on an airplane.

After a while, the priest turns to the rabbi and asks, “Is it still a requirement of your faith that you not eat pork?”

The rabbi responds, “Yes, that is still one of our beliefs.”

The priest then asks, “Have you ever eaten pork?”

To which the rabbi replies, “Yes, on one occasion I did succumb to temptation and tasted a ham sandwich.”

The priest nodded in understanding and went on with his reading.

A while later, the rabbi spoke up and asked the priest, “Father, is it still a requirement of your Church that you remain celibate?”

The priest replied, “Yes, that is still very much a part of our faith.”

The rabbi then asked him, “Father, have you ever fallen to the temptations of the flesh?”

The priest replied, “Yes, on one occasion I was weak and broke with my faith.”

The rabbi nodded understandingly. He was silent for a little while but then the rabbi says, “Beats the heck out of a ham sandwich, doesn’t it?”

(Thank you, Washington’s Ken L.)

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, “Reducing Friction”, focused on operations changes. If you have the inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.

Rob

(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. This newsletter is designed for sophisticated mortgage professionals only. There are no paid endorsements by me. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2020 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job & product listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold, or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

May 22: Marketing, Ops, LO jobs; CRM, marketing, LO products; tools to help borrowers; rates: a global snapshot

The Friday before a three-day weekend (honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military)! Can’t you just feel that anxiousness to go and hike, to have a meal out, to see people, to sit in a restaurant? No one can argue that social distancing has increased the rate of infection, right? Many are “chomping at the bit,” weighing statements from scientists & politicians, especially as news continues to come out from people about catching COVID supposedly having never left their house. Or statistics, like as of May 17, about 91,000 lives have been lost to the coronavirus but those aged 65 or older accounted for 80 percent of these deaths, and residents or employees of long-term care facilities accounting for one third of all deaths. And so many working from home… When you put in some work, you expect to be compensated, you know, receive a little something for the effort. More on programs to help borrowers below.

Employment

Caliber Home Loans, a proven leader in the mortgage lending space, is thriving and expanding during these challenging times. Caliber’s record year-to-date performance has enabled tremendous growth and the ability to further build their organization. Since the beginning of 2020, more than 1,000 employees have joined Caliber. What’s more, Caliber currently has over 540 positions to fill nationwide. With leading-edge technology such as their H2O originations platform, world-class operations, and commitment to delivering an exceptional customer experience, Caliber continues to attract the best mortgage professionals across the U.S. Check out CaliberHomeLoans.com/Careers to see Caliber’s wide variety of job openings and apply today!

 

Synergy One Lending, with its strong focus on the modern mortgage, is hiring a Director of Marketing! This candidate will be responsible for the management of all digital platforms, including developing strategies to increase website and social media traffic as well as monitoring performance to measure the success of corporate social media campaigns. The ideal candidate will have previous experience leading mortgage, fintech or consumer lending channels. Overall, the candidate will have a key role in driving the design of the modern mortgage experience for our clients through our combination of personal and technology driven experience. Contact Steve Majerus today and learn more.

 

As QLMS is accepting more loan applications than ever and its partner network (which now includes a massive 40,000 LOs) is expanding at record pace, they are looking to hire more team members to support the rapid growth. The fastest growing lender working with mortgage brokers currently has hundreds of open positions for national account executives, underwriters and many more. Your expertise in the mortgage industry will allow you to lift up your broker partners, support their clients and build an amazing career. This is the perfect place for anyone who has a wealth of knowledge about the industry and a passion for client service. You can learn more and apply HERE if you want to be a part of QLMS’ meteoric rise

 

How many cookies can one team of mortgage professionals make in a 4-week period to help inspire hope in their communities? More than 50,000 cookies were baked and, more importantly, shared by the team at Academy Mortgage from April 24 to May 17. Academy’s “Caring Is Sharing” Cookie Campaign reflects the lender’s culture of service and united team members who are currently working apart as they shared goodness among neighbors, friends, and people in their communities most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Families came together to bake and deliver cookies to healthcare workers, police and fire stations, homeless shelters, etc. Academy’s Chief Operations Officer Kristi Pickering made a guest appearance on ABC4’s Good Things Utah, where she talked about the impact of the campaign. The kind gestures are what people will remember, not the cookies. Contact SVP Bill Sohan to join Academy in fulfilling its vision to Inspire Hope, Deliver Dreams, and Build Prosperity.

Lender services and products

The story of DocProbe going from a disruptive startup helping solve lenders’ trailing docs headache to growing into a document digitalization trailblazer, is one of entrepreneurial spirit and transformational vision. As lenders from around the country came on board at a growth rate of 300% since 2017, the “DocProbe secret” was out of the bag and quickly revolutionized the industry. The people, process, and technology that worked on a small scale, has developed over multiple iterations on all fronts to become a seamless go-to solution for lenders and investors. No cutting corners meant hiring at a rate of 10X over that same period to keep up with demand. 400% document intake growth inspired the writing and rewriting of the internal software code from Versions 1 to 4, and continuously breaking down and streamlining the overall Trailing Docs process for peak efficiency and rapid turn-around time.  The trust and strong relationships that investors and lenders have shown in our service further fueled the exponential growth in loan volume and has kept the ball rolling. Catch the DocProbe wave at www.docprobe.net or contact Nick Erlanger for more information.

 

Check out this FREE Live Workshop on June 3 – Experts Alex Kutsishin, Co-Found and CEO of Sales Boomerang, and Paul Harrington, Business Development Director for Usherpa, explain how Loan Officers can provide value to their Realtor partners and build mutually-beneficial relationships by utilizing authentic data intelligence. Authentic intelligence linked to powerful CRM and Marketing systems give Loan Officers the opportunity to share actionable buyer data that Realtors can use to grow their business. By providing value to Realtors, LOs can cultivate crucial professional relationships and establish rock-solid referral pipelines. It’s a win, win, win. LOs win, Realtors win, and borrowers win. Register Now: The Holy Grail- Send Realtors Buyers

 

In Saturday’s edition, STRATMOR’s Garth Graham weighed in on the topic of CRM selection, writing that lenders should clearly identify what they need from a CRM before evaluating and choosing a solution. Take TexasLending.com, which needed a way to provide white-glove communication to every borrower during a time of unprecedented volume. It selected Top of Mind’s SurefireCRM for the platform’s ability to automatically deploy dynamic “in-process” videos that keep clients updated on loan progress and talk them through gathering paperwork, disclosures, processing, underwriting and more. TexasLending.com has seen a 400% open rate for in-process videos, meaning customers find the content so valuable they are re-watching or sharing it with others. Read more about their experience here.

Grow your new business with rates starting at 2.5%. Conquest from UWM. Just in time for what could be the best purchase season our industry has ever seen, UWM is launching Conquest, a program designed to help brokers win new business by offering significantly better pricing to any borrower who hasn’t recently (within the last 18 months) closed a purchase or refinance through UWM. With rates starting at 2.5% on conventional purchases and rate/term refinances, it’s a great way to add new borrowers to your roster, build new relationships with real estate professionals and wow them all with UWM’s fast turn times, elite service, and groundbreaking technology. Talk to your UWM account executive or sign up today.

HomeBinder: Stay connected post-close, just 10 days left to save 10%. Grow your business with a HomeBinder that keeps you connected with homeowners post-close. Drive agent referrals by co-branding HomeBinder with the real estate partners you work with. Integration with Encompass® automates the entire process (including loan docs!) Exclusive 10% off HomeBinder for loan officers (ends May 31st). Learn more today.

Helping borrowers is the goal, right?

Mortgage pricing is a result of supply and demand, as is, to some extent, volatility. What will lending look like when Freddie and Fannie come out of conservatorship? R.C. Whalen of Whalen Global Advisors LLC opined on how that might look. With the Fed supplying the primary demand for MBS, and quieting down to some steady level of buying billions a day of Agency MBS, lenders can focus on programs to help their borrowers. This can be tough with some types of borrowers.

Rates are not an issue for loan originators. (You’re going to argue over an eighth because of “the guy up the street”? Really?) Aggregators have come “back into the market,” helping pricing. Program-wise, there are sources to help originators, or anyone. For example, you can enter the state and then the program and hit “go” at Mortgage Elements.

Lenders with low- to moderate-income homebuyers who are creditworthy, but who lack sufficient cash for a down payment or closing costs, have an option. Remember to refer them to their state housing finance agency to see if one of the many available down payment assistance (DPA) programs available from state HFAs may be able to help. All state HFAs are ready to take reservations for your homebuyers with DPAs specially tailored to meet the needs within their state, even as they work to alleviate the effects of COVID-19 on the renters and homeowners, too.

Down Payment Resource (DPR) is closely monitoring the impact on down payment assistance programs and first-time homebuyers as a result of COVID-19 on its new resource page. DPR reports most programs are funded and available with only about 1.5% of programs temporarily suspended. HFAs continue to react to COVID-related agency and master servicer policy changes, several HFAs announced reduced interest rates, and 2020 income and purchase price limits are rolling out fast across most markets. DPR tracks eligibility and benefit details for approximately 2,400 DPA programs across the U.S. and provides tools for lender enterprises and individual LOs.

Capital markets

Recall last week learning that April and May economic data have shown the full impact of social distancing and shelter in place policies throughout the world. In the UK, consumer spending fell by a record amount percent from April 2019. In the US, retail sales also dropped a record amount from March and were down nearly 22 percent from one year ago. Every category saw law drops in spending with the exception on non-store retailers. With many factories closed, motor vehicle production fell over 70 percent in March which helped pull total manufacturing down 11 percent for the month. Capacity utilization fell from 73.2 percent in March to 64.9 percent in April. Unemployment continues to increase as initial unemployment insurance claims rose another 3.2 million for the week ending May 9 bringing total new claims to near 36 million over the last two months. Applications for home purchase rose 10.6 percent for the week ending May 8th, their fourth consecutive weekly gain as the home purchase market shows some resilience.

Looking at the bond market yesterday, yields were mostly unchanged on the day though that wasn’t for a lack of explosive headlines. If a global pandemic wasn’t a bad enough start to 2020, it seems increasingly likely the U.S. and China are heading for a Cold War. From the virus, supply chains, and visas, to cyberspace and Taiwan, the two countries are escalating disputes that had quieted after the phase one trade deal was signed in January. President Trump suggested Chinese President Xi is behind a disinformation and propaganda attack on the U.S. and Europe.

China responded to those accusations from President Trump, warning that it will safeguard its sovereignty, security, and interests. Hong Kong’s status as an international financial center is reportedly in jeopardy after China announced dramatic plans to crush dissent by writing a new national security law into the city’s charter. The national security law, which will tighten the Party’s grip over the city, is expected to be imposed at this weekend’s National People’s Congress. The U.S. Senate will reportedly introduce a bill calling for sanctions on Chinese officials over China’s plan to impose the new national security law. A Chinese spokesman said the country will never accept either lawsuit abuse or unwarranted compensation demands related to the pandemic, and threatened countermeasures.

The latest Initial Claims report for the week ending May 16 showed jobless claims decreased by 249,000 to 2.438 million, “better than” expectations. Let’s not forget, the record-high for initial claims before this pandemic was just over 600,000, and job losses accumulated over the past nine weeks are nearing 39 million. It really is a dire picture, which indicates massive job losses are continuing two months after the pandemic started shuttering businesses. Continuing claims registered above 25 million, which is an all-time high. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin yesterday said Congress will likely need to pass more bailout legislation, saying there’s a “strong likelihood” of needing another stimulus bill. The Treasury secretary also reiterated the Trump administration’s position that it isn’t needed immediately, and Republicans in the Senate currently oppose it. New York Fed President Williams stated the country can afford “significantly more government support,” and that sentiment was echoed by Fed Vice Chairman Clarida, who yesterday said the U.S. might need more fiscal and monetary support.

Overshadowed in all of this was the UK government selling a bond with a negative yield. It’s the first time this has happened in Britain, with investors agreeing to recoup less than they spent. Japan, Germany, and other European countries have already sold debt yielding less than 0 percent. Separately, existing home sales in April registered the lowest level of home sales since July 2010. Total sales were down more than 17 percent year-over-year. A downturn in listings has caused an inventory constraint that translated into higher prices for buyers remaining in the market. Finally, the Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index decreased in April, but not as badly as expectations following a record decline in March. The numbers do not imply a fast rebound for the economy at large, even with the imminent reopening of some sectors. The 10-year Treasury yield closed the day unchanged at 0.68 percent.

It’s set to be a quiet Friday ahead of the long weekend in both the U.S. and UK. The bond market closes early with traders marking their books at 1PM ET and the cash closing an hour later. There is nothing of consequence for news today to move rates. The NY Fed will conduct two FedTrade purchase operations totaling up to $4.545 billion. A new MBS FedTrade purchase schedule for next holiday-shortened week is due out in the afternoon. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged and the 10-year yielding .66 percent.

Sometimes originators feel like they’ve worked magic when a loan finally funds. How about a clip of some real magic when we could use some? (Warning: tissues may be required, and prepare to be gobsmacked.)

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, “Reducing Friction”, focused on operations changes. If you have the inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.

Rob

(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. This newsletter is designed for sophisticated mortgage professionals only. There are no paid endorsements by me. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2020 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job & product listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold, or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

May 21: Ops, recruiting, Sec. Mktg., LO jobs; appraisal, QC products; loan processing is changing: Beeline & SnapFi

Some lenders and vendors are easing back into offices, or at least planning voluntary phases. (Hmmm… wear a mask and have 2 per elevator, or work from home with no commute and wear sweats. Let me think.) Instead of thermal scanners in every office lobby, can’t we just have our mothers kiss our foreheads to test our temperature like when we were kids? And when we were kids, we could get away with saying, “I don’t wanna!” Apparently some still can say that when it comes to making mortgage payments, since 4.1 million borrowers are in forbearance right now but, per Forbes, over 70% don’t need the help! The FHFA is keeping abreast of forbearance trends, and it released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) outlining a new capital rule for the Enterprises (aka, Freddie & Fannie). As anticipated, the proposed rule is a re-proposal of the notice of proposed rulemaking published in July 2018 but tries to increase the quantity and quality of the Enterprises’ regulatory capital, reduce the pro-cyclicality of the aggregate capital requirements, and ensure the GSEs safety and soundness and their ability fulfill their statutory mission across the economic cycle, especially during periods of financial stress.

Employment

A profitable, well-capitalized and fast-growing top-100 retail mortgage company headquartered in Northern California is looking for an EVP of Operations. The candidate must have extensive experience in successfully managing retail mortgage operations. The candidate must well understand operations while also having demonstrated leadership qualities and a forward-looking vision. Responsibilities will include development of Key Performance Indicators and continuous improvement of all aspects of operations while maintaining a high level of service and a culture of collegiality. The EVP of Operation will report to the President and CEO. She/he will also work directly with the entire senior leadership team, the Executive Chairman, and the Board. Attractive compensation package and further advancement opportunities are available for the right candidate to play a leadership role in this storied company. If interested, please send your resume to Anjelica Nixt.

 

A&D Mortgage, a full-service lender headquartered in FL, is seeking to hire a talented National Wholesale and Correspondent Sales Manager, Capital Markets Manager and Senior Analyst, Secondary Marketing and Pricing Manager, Controller and Senior Accountant. The company has a large portfolio of Conventional and NON-QM products and a diverse team of experts equipped with cutting edge loan origination technology. We are looking for candidates that can demonstrate extensive knowledge of mortgage wholesale market, strong analytical background, and the ability to lead and manage sales team. If interested, please contact hr@admortgage.com.

 

“Attracting and retaining qualified talent remains a top priority for successful mortgage lenders and servicers. Agility 360 is a mortgage-centric firm based in Dallas, TX, with a proven record of matching quality candidates with employers for either long-term employment or short-term contract roles. Our goal is to consistently find “the right person for the job”. Since 2014, Agility 360 has delivered top measurable results by increasing retention, reducing attrition, and completing engagements under budget and on time. What’s our secret? THIS IS ALL WE DO. By focusing on the mortgage industry, we’ve created, tested, and proven a unique methodology that consistently delivers results. Stop wasting time and money with other agencies: contact Raj Sharma with questions.”

GO Mortgage is proud to celebrate its 25th anniversary. GSF Mortgage Corporation, the parent company of GO Mortgage, was founded in 1995 and quickly developed a reputation for low rates, fair lending practices, and remarkable customer service. The milestone was achieved by way of integrity, customer service, and accountability of the company’s employees.  Although proud of its history, GO Mortgage will not rest on past accomplishments and understands the company’s value is measured by how GO Mortgage serves its customers today, tomorrow, and beyond. To learn more about GO Mortgage feel free to reach out.

Thrive Mortgage has been a fixture in expanding coverage of industry-related press, virtual events, and webinars. From Executive Management to front-line production teams, many of Thrive’s experts have been gladly sharing knowledge with the industry. Michael Jones, in addition to multiple contributions to Bloomberg articles, was recently an expert panelist for an eClosing webinar sponsored by October Research.  James Duncan was recently featured in a Bankrate article offering commentary on the FHFA guideline updates and eClosing process. Perennial top producer, Denise Donoghue, has been a key panelist on numerous widely attended webinars, as well as Marla Guillaume, Thrive’s Director of Multi-Channel Origination. “We are loaded with quality leadership and experts from the mortgage industry,” stated Randell Gillespie, National Sales Director. “It’s simply a part of our culture to engage and find ways to help make our industry better.” For more info on opportunities for you to Thrive, contact Chris Karageorge.

On Q Financial’s mission is to simplify the mortgage process to make the dream of home ownership a reality for everyone. During this time of social distancing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, On Q Financial’s Georgia Branches have been thriving! The Georgia Branch Managers (Clarence Daws, Roberta Rustin, and Ben Thacker) are working diligently to provide outstanding service to the Southeast. “We are thrilled and excited to see how well the Georgia leadership has adapted to these times,” says Nick Suwanvichit, Corporate Vice President of Strategy & Development at On Q Financial. Daws, Rustin and Thacker are helping bring the mortgage industry into the 21st century with On Q’s Simplicity Mobile App and Mortgages Simplified automated processing. It’s never been easier to remotely begin and complete the closing process. Want to be a part of this dynamic team? Please contact us to arrange a quick 15-minute demo.

Lender services and products

 

The Clear to Close podcast from Maxwell just released its latest episode, “How Leaders Guide Their Teams through Turmoil” where they sit down with The Mortgage Collaborative COO Rich Swerbinsky to look at what lenders are doing to get the most out of these times and setting themselves up to thrive. A great convo, and though your podcast demand has likely dropped without the US average 26.1 minute commute, this one is still worth finding a new environment to listen to. Listen and download here: Apple, Google, Spotify, or Browser.

First Community Mortgage is a rapidly growing lender in the Southeast. We offer conventional, FHA, VA, and USDA loans through our wholesale or correspondent channels with less headache and a human understanding. We are excited to announce our consistent record-breaking months this past year is pushing us to expand! We want to welcome our new Correspondent AE Lisa Zeig! Our expert, Lisa, has 30 years of experience in the mortgage industry and would love to connect with you on all that FCM has to offer.”

“At Newbold Advisors, your vision is our mission. We have the tools to get you through this crisis and to help you prepare for future disruptions. This pandemic will most certainly change the way many businesses function; but today’s economic uncertainty has only galvanized our commitment to transforming your vision into successful, cost-efficient reality. It is during these times that Newbold has deployed our expertise to navigate the muddy waters and produce tangible results for our clients. Allow us to do the same for you. We have a number of proven capabilities in our toolbox, including Change Management, Capacity Planning, Project Management, Foreclosure Processing and Quality Control. You can count on Newbold Advisors to transform your vision into reality … even in times of uncertainty. Find out how by calling us at 727-535-2102, or email us for more information.”

 

Are you losing time and money on missed appraisal fees? Connector by Velma now has an Appraisal Fee Workflow solution for Ellie Mae’s Encompass Digital Lending Platform. Uncollected fees can cost companies thousands of dollars and hours of staff time. But, good news! The new Appraisal Fee Workflow automatically contacts the borrower and collects their appraisal fee. No more losing money on unpaid appraisals! One recent client expects a 10x return on Connector from eliminated lost appraisal fees alone. Exciting stuff; get more information here.

 

Join MCT today at 11AM PT for its webinar on Challenges & Solutions for Correspondent Lending in Crisis: Part 2. MCT’s panel of experts will discuss actionable strategies for navigating the crisis and the key challenges that persist. Market volatility has also created challenges for the MSR market. Register for MCT’s webinar on May 28th at 11AM PT as MCT’s Phil Laren and Bill Berliner discuss MSR Management through Market Disruption. Topics include current MSR market conditions, cash management and forbearance strategies. Are you getting the guidance you need during market volatility? MCT has led the charge in client communications and sent more than thirty timely updates to clients since the pandemic began. According to a client, “You are doing phenomenal given the circumstances. I feel blessed to have partnered with MCT.” Even if you’re not an MCT client, you can still join their newsletter to receive industry communications.

Processing changes

Isn’t every lender and vendor trying to reduce the friction that slows down the mortgage process while doing so in a compliant, legal, and minimal risk way? Everyone knows what an attestation document is now, and most collect one from the borrower prior to closing. Having the borrower visit the IRS site to obtain tax documents for some products has become more common. AI, bots, RON, enterprise texting for borrower updates, eClosings are common fodder in Zoom meetings.

SnapFi announced that it is the first lender in the state of California to close a digital mortgage. “Using remote online notarization (RON), Snapfi was able to digitally complete the entire mortgage process in about half the time it would traditionally take with no need to be in the physical presence of a notary.” SnapFi was allowed to use a RON outside of California, the notary seal was affixed digitally and a Chicago title company recorded it.

Yes, RONs eliminate in-person meetings, save money and time, are reported to reduce fraud, and since mid-March RONs are all the talk. Once the FHFA allowed remote online notarizations (to assist with loan closings), governors in many states quickly issued executive orders making RONs allowable, in place of the traditional paper and stamp notarization process. Before COVID-19, RONs were only legal in 23 states. After the pandemic hit, that number rose to 42. Borrowers can upload their documents to their computer or smartphone, photograph them, access them through cloud storage, or scan them into a device. Borrowers prove their identity by taking a photo of their government-issued ID, answering some personal questions, doing a video conference with the notary public to live-video sign documents, and using a digital signature to sign.

Appraisal requirements have certainly changed since March. The FHFA allowed exterior or drive-by appraisals for rate-term refinances (once again saving time and money) and purchase transactions require a desktop appraisal with an independent licensed appraiser looking at data from MLS listings from their own home office. Interior photos are still required for some properties and loans, and are often “geocoded” to confirm the photos were taken inside the residence.

In the State of Georgia, an attorney overseeing a real estate transaction; adhering to the rules of professional conduct, would be physically present at the closing. However, the country’s current battle with COVID renders that an impossible task. The State Bar of Georgia and the Georgia Supreme Court agreed to allow remote closings during the pandemic. The Governor of Georgia then issued an Executive Order enabling notarization through real-time audio-visual technology. In walks, remote closings.

Beeline, having raised $7.6 million in equity capital, is a new digital home loan lender “modernizing the home buying process directly from users’ phones providing approvals more reliable than traditional pre-approvals in as little as 15 minutes. A new solution for home buyers and refinancers looking for more transparency and ease, Beeline uses both artificial intelligence and personal ‘Loan Guides’ to cut down on headaches during the daunting home lending process.” At this point it is licensed in Washington, D.C., Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Texas, and Virginia. Beeline links directly to a user’s personal bank, employment and pay information, and tax history, utilizing machine learning to create a ‘purchase-ready’ or ‘refi-ready’ approval. Because of its proprietary back-end technology, Beeline is able to retrieve actual numbers directly from the third-party source as opposed to estimated information from the user, which in turn allows Beeline to verify loan-related information in real time. This reduces Beeline’s costs, enabling them to offer the lowest possible interest rates.”

Capital markets

Fortunately, MBS and rate sheet volatility has quieted down. U.S. Treasuries, and with them Agency MBS, rallied on the back of a couple different headlines yesterday. The Senate passed the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, signaling that Chinese companies will face increased scrutiny and could be delisted from U.S. exchanges. Treasury sold $20 billion in 20-year bonds to good demand. And the FOMC Minutes from the April meeting showed that policymakers discussed targeting yields on shorter tenors and considered changes to how forward guidance is expressed.

The Fed minutes were a bit gloomy in appearance, as Fed officials see the pandemic posing “an extraordinary amount of uncertainty” to both the economy and financial stability, and are also concerned that banks face more stress. The report underscored Fed Chair Powell’s assessment from earlier this week that the government must do more to mitigate the fallout from the outbreak by providing further support should the situation warrant. Still, there were varying perspectives. St. Louis President Bullard sounded relatively upbeat, saying if the virus is under control, the economy “could be back close to normal by the fourth quarter.” Atlanta’s Bostic was not so sure, noting “tremendous uncertainty.” Dallas chief Kaplan argued more testing and further stimulus is likely needed for consumers to feel comfortable resuming normal activities, regardless of “whatever the government says.” Investors swept aside Fed warnings and focused on signs the economy will reopen.

Today’s economic calendar began with weekly jobless claims for the week ending May 16 (2.438 million, slowing but less than expected, continuing claims are above 25 million) and Philadelphia Fed manufacturing for May (-43.1, as expected). Later this morning brings readings for Markit manufacturing and services PMIs, April Existing home sales, and leading indicators. There are also several Fed appearances, including New York Fed President Williams, Vice Chair Clarida, Fed Chair Powell, and Governor Brainard. The NY Fed will conduct two FedTrade purchase operations totaling up to $4.433 billion. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged and the 10-year yielding .67 percent after closing yesterday at 0.68.

If WWII happened today…

Can I have more clarity on the “Your country needs you” slogan, it’s too ambiguous.

Why aren’t you doing enough to prevent these air raids?

I think you’re doing the wrong thing to prevent these air raids.

Does the siren apply to everyone?

There are only male and female toilets in the air raid shelter and I don’t identify as either.

This gasmask has a leather strap and I’m vegan.

Why can’t I have almond milk on my ration card?

What if I don’t like the return on war bonds?

I find the term “black out” offensive.

I find the lack of color options within military uniforms oppressive.

Why didn’t we have stockpiles of Grumman Hellcats at the start of this conflict?

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, “Reducing Friction”, focused on operations changes. If you have the inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.

Rob

(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. This newsletter is designed for sophisticated mortgage professionals only. There are no paid endorsements by me. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2020 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job & product listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold, or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

May 20: LO jobs, servicing wanted; broker,correspondent, LOS, CRM products; Agency shifts; remember non-QM?

Jury trial by Zoom? Leave it to Texas to give it a shot. Michigan and Indiana are now offering the bar exam online for aspiring attorneys. Out of Pennsylvania comes news that Gov. Tom Wolf issued an executive order that allows real estate to open on a statewide basis effective yesterday, subject to certain guidelines. Florida has entered “Phase 1” of re-opening, with gyms, retail stores, and restaurants at 50 percent capacity. California, home to nearly 25% of the residential mortgage production of the United States, has entered “Phase 2” but of great concern to every residential lender is AB 2501 with its draconian penalties. (Here’s an analysis of the bill which yesterday moved from the Assembly Banking Committee to its Appropriations Committee.) Nationwide, according to a report released by STRATMOR Group this week, 44 percent of borrowers are at least somewhat concerned about their ability to make their mortgage payments in the next 90 days. What’s even more alarming, most of them are unclear where to turn for help. 36 percent of borrowers have no knowledge of government assistance programs while 25 percent are not sure if the government programs apply to them.

Employment & transitions

A profitable, well-capitalized and fast-growing top-100 retail mortgage company headquartered in Northern California is looking for opportunities to acquire $100 million to $2 billion packages of retail servicing assets from companies with demonstrated record of success in retail production while maintaining loan quality. “We are a Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and Ginnie Mae servicer. Third party advisors are welcome. All inquiries will be completely confidential,” please send them to Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt.

“National Lender, NewRez, is looking for growth-minded, results-driven, Licensed Loan Officers to join our Direct to Consumer business channel in the following regions: Tempe, AZ, Jacksonville, FL, Columbia, MD, Fort Washington, PA, and more! At NewRez, you’ll receive unlimited company-provided leads and the benefits of a multi-billion-dollar servicing portfolio, supported by best-in-class technology and operations – allowing you to deliver for your customers! Great training program for new LO’s and fast-track program for seasoned LO’s for national licensing to get you earning quickly! Generous compensation package. To hear more about any of our current sales openings or to submit your resume, contact Elisa Morgado. Click here for a full list of our open opportunities nationwide.”

Northpointe Bank, a top-performing bank in the nation, appoints Brian Kuelbs as EVP, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Investment Officer. In this senior leadership role, Mr. Kuelbs leads the bank’s corporate financial strategy for its nation-wide residential lending and retail banking businesses. Prior to Northpointe Bank, Mr. Kuelbs’ served as CFO and Chief Investment Officer for public and privately held depository institutions, private equity backed ventures. Most recently he served as CFO with Impac Mortgage Holdings, Inc. Before that he held senior positions with The Banc of California, Home Point Financial Corporation, Aurora Bank FSB, and was managing director of capital markets with Countrywide Financial Corporation and CFO with GMAC Bank. Mr. Kuelbs holds a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in Finance from the University of Notre Dame, and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with majors in Mathematics, Quantitative Analysis, and Finance.

Top of Mind Networks hired business-to-business sales leader Nick Belenky as EVP of sales to direct Top of Mind’s sales operations with a focus on client success and new customer acquisition.

Lender products & services

Caliber Home Loans, one of the largest mortgage companies and among the fastest growing lenders in America, has partnered with Infutor, the consumer identity management expert. By leveraging Infutor’s ID Max solution, Caliber will streamline and speed the application process as part of an ongoing commitment to enhance customer service and simplify data-based decision making. Access to Infutor’s data will help Caliber better understand, route and convert leads, as well as facilitate more personalized customer interactions. “We are delighted to partner with Infutor to improve the quality of our customer leads and deliver a better experience for consumers who wish to purchase or refinance their homes,” said Sanjiv Das, CEO of Caliber.

As a partner of TMS CAREspondent Lending, you are given the opportunity to reach more qualified customers with TMS’ robust product offerings to help fuel the growth of your business even during these unique circumstances. TMS, a Top 15 Correspondent Buyer, has had another record month in April and is still purchasing all loan product types from its lender partners with minimal to no overlays, including 203k, FNMA HomeStyle, Section 184, Manufactured Homes, and all Streamline /IRRRL loans. Not a partner with TMS yet? Sign up here today to join over 500 other lenders who are selling loans to TMS.

United States Appraisals, an innovative provider of residential appraisal management solutions, recently announced the launch of Valuguard Home Inspection. Valuguard was released to address the unique challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and enables lenders, appraisers, and AMCs to obtain timely information from the interior of homes they are not able to inspect physically because of social distancing concerns. Aaron Fowler, United States Appraisals CEO, said, “As Fannie Mae has begun to review completed exterior and desktop appraisal reports, they have advised there is too much reliance upon assumptions about the condition of the interior.” He added, “Our release of ValuGuard is timely, as lenders need assurance their loans will be eligible for delivery to the GSE, averting future repurchase requests.”  Learn more by visiting www.unitedstatesappraisals.com/valuguard.

Stearns Lending is focused on supporting the Wholesale community now and in the future. In order to help our clients feel secure and informed during this time, communication is key. All Stearns Brokers and Non-Delegated Correspondent partners have access to a dedicated team of Account Executives and Account Managers via phone, video calls and email. Real-time guidelines are posted in one place and accessible from all mobile devices. In addition, Stearns hosts monthly town halls recapping market updates, the Stearns COVID-19 response and new programs and technology enhancements. If you’re looking for a partner who has supported the mortgage community for 30 years and continues to be a trusted source for your business, please click HERE.”

Citibank, N.A. remains committed to responsibly growing its Correspondent Channel through a client centric approach. “Our industry professionals engage our sellers to unlock execution opportunities and develop lender specific ways to optimize loan delivery. Citi continues to focus on growing our Best Efforts execution, producing extraordinary results for lenders within a period of immense market volatility. Citi does not charge a pair off fee for best efforts locks, making this execution another great tool for lenders to manage pipeline and mitigate risk. This tailored approach for our lenders has been a key factor in fueling Citi Correspondent’s growth over the past year, and we continue to strategically add Correspondent Sellers for delegated and non-delegated delivery. Let us support your growth story and find out how Citi can provide solutions for your business model today! Contact our National Client Service team at 1-800-967-2205 or complete the Citi’s Prospective Mortgage Correspondent Questionnaire.”

Apps are nice. A True Mobile CRM helps you grow your business. UNIFY CRM offers the first complete Mobile CRM for the Mortgage Industry. Loan originators are busy and not only need a robust CRM, they also need to access it on the go. Now, the most robust CRM in the industry fits easily in the palm of your hand. With the UNIFY Mobile CRM, you can add and view contacts, manage leads, set and receive reminders, view loan details, start marketing campaigns, create flyers, record and send videos, and much, much more. Developed for both Android and IOS platforms, loan originators can now leverage the full power of Unify CRM, wherever they may be. Are you looking for a way to build your business? UNIFY CRM has the features, tools, and experience to be your true partner in the mortgage business. We’ve built UNIFY CRM for the challenges of this business.  Work Smart. Manage Smarter. Sell better. Schedule a Demo today.

Need some Zen-like simplicity in your life? Zenlythe newest cloud-based origination platform from Calyx, is designed for mortgage brokers who want simplicity, convenience, and speed for their borrowers & themselves. Zenly cuts through the clutter to give originators the tools they need to originate and deliver loans fast. Engage with prospects using the built-in POS, pull credit, verify employment and assets online and complete and upload applications, all from one easy to use platform. And best of all, Zenly can be purchased and up and running in just 15 minutes! Schedule a demo today to see how Zenly can work for you.

Freddie and Fannie continue to set the pace

Before we plunge into yesterday’s news, remember that the Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey showed that the pace of forbearance requests continued to slow in the second week of May, but the share of loans in forbearance increased. The total number of loans now in forbearance increased from 7.91 percent of servicers’ portfolio volume in the prior week to 8.16 percent as of May 10. According to MBA’s estimate, 4.1 million homeowners are now in forbearance plans. Mortgages backed by Ginnie Mae again had the largest overall share of loans in forbearance by investor type (11.26 percent). The number of loans in forbearance for depository servicers rose to 8.99 percent, while the number of loans in forbearance for independent mortgage bank servicers increased to 7.85 percent.

Every third email in my inbox yesterday was someone’s take on the FHFA’s announcement, and thus Freddie Mac’s and Fannie Mae’s, addressing the confusion over forbearance policies. (What would the industry do without guidance from F&F?) For conventional conforming loans, there is no wait to buy a home or refinance if your client is in a forbearance plan but continued making payments. There is a 3-month waiting period if your client didn’t make payments while in a forbearance plan. Those who paused payments must make 3 consecutive monthly mortgage payments after forbearance ends to be eligible for a new home loan. It appears there will be a three-month waiting period to get a mortgage after forbearance ends, assuming your client didn’t make payments during that time.

Fannie Mae had its bulletin, as did Freddie Mac. Also updated was Fannie’s LL-2020-06, “Selling Loans in Forbearance Due to COVID-19,” to extend the eligible note date to June 30 and delivery date to Aug. 31. The letter clarifies that loans in forbearance with an acceptable payment history are eligible for representation and warranty enforcement relief.

It is always good to clear up uncertainty. The bulletins provided temporary purchase and refinance eligibility requirements for Borrowers with existing Mortgages, an update to representation and warranty framework requirements related to Mortgages subject to forbearance agreements, and an extension of temporary requirements for purchase of Mortgages in forbearance. Don’t forget that there are additional resources, including Freddie’s Selling FAQs related to COVID-19, updated often. 4 pages chock full of information.

There are clever people out there, and will they take advantage of the situation? Sure. What if the government institutes a low-doc HARP program. Originators can already see borrowers taking forbearance, request that the servicer tack the missed payments onto the principal, and then do a no-appraisal refi after they make 3 payments.

Oh, and if yesterday’s Agency news wasn’t enough, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said they are looking for financial advisors to underwrite what is likely to be the largest public share offering in U.S. history. Yes, but can they get back the 10 basis points of gfee that both have been paying to the U.S. government to fund that payroll tax plan several years ago?

What? End their 12 years of operating under conservatorship? We were just getting to know each other! Each has announced they are about to issue a request for proposals (RFP) to secure a financial advisor to facilitate that move and whoever is selected will advise on a range of issues, from capital considerations to the company’s business plan, and may ultimately play a role in any potential recapitalization transactions in the future. Remember when Freddie Mac was placed with the Federal Home Loan Bank System, which was owned by the S&L industry?

Non-QM

With the CFPB not expected to put out its proposal defining QM versus non-QM until mid-June, there are signs of life. Recall that on Thursday, March 19, the non-QM segment nearly vanished from sight when investors seized up given liquidity concerns as the focus turned to making sure government-backed residential programs were preserved. Is it coming back?

Yesterday Sprout Mortgage launched its Premier Jumbo mortgage for purchase or refinance of higher-end properties, with loan amounts up to $3 million. “The new Sprout Premier Jumbo program features loan-to-value ratios up to 90%, minimum qualifying credit score of 660, up to 43% debt-to-income ratio, and loan amounts up to $3 million. And borrowers are not required to obtain private mortgage insurance.”

Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions has its Investor Cash Flow product which “qualifies them on cash flow and no tax returns or employment information is required. Up to 70% LTV, can close in LLC, non-warrantable condos okay, 30-year fixed rates. And AOMS spread the word among brokers of “major enhancements” to its Bank Statement Program: Rates lowered across all LTV buckets (as much as 1.375%!), LTVs now as high as 80%, expense ratios can be down to 30%, reduced reserve requirements, and now offering Cash-Outs! Here you go: Non-QM QuickQuote.

Lenders can’t offer products to borrowers unless there is investor demand for both the asset and the servicing, whether Agency product or non-agency. Perhaps the non-agency securitization market is opening up again, as CoreVest American Finance (owned by Redwood Trust starting in October) is preparing to issue a $234.2 million single-family rental securitization. The deal will be the first in the sector since mid-March, and is filled with loans seasoned for an average of 3.1 months compared to 2.4 months in the prior transaction.

Capital markets

In general, consumer prices have fallen as the sudden shutdown of much of the global economy has reduced demand much faster than suppliers could adjust. Prices for many items have eased, especially energy related items such as gasoline and jet fuel although high demand grocery items like toilet paper, ground beef, and chicken have seen their prices increase. Last week we learned that April’s consumer and producer prices fell solidly with the expectation that prices will continue to decline in the coming months. While there has been talk of sustained deflation taking hold in some economies it is not widely expected to occur in the US despite the price declines in the current environment. Keep in mind that deflation is a central banker’s biggest fear and Fed chair Jerome Powell made the case for more fiscal policy support in a televised appearance last week. The markets continue to watch for signs of recovery as states reopen and major assembly plants come back online. The prevailing opinion is that the economic recovery from Covid-19 will be gradual as demand remains low and the global supply chain struggles with disruptions.

After all that COVID-vaccine optimism to open the week, the bond markets acted in a bit of a rubber band-fashion yesterday. U.S. Treasuries & MBS rallied by the close. There were two main headlines: a back and forth on a European recovery fund, and a mixed April Housing Starts (missed expectations) and Building Permits (beat expectations) report, which pointed to a continuation of the slowdown in the single-family home market. The 10-year Treasury yield ended the day yielding 0.71 percent.

Fed Chair Powell and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin’s virtual appearance before the Senate Banking Committee was optimistic on the whole. The Fed Chair sought to maintain neutrality in the debate over whether Congress should commit to further bailout funding. He reiterated his stance that more fiscal aid may be needed (pleasing Democrats who have pushed a new $3 trillion bill through the House) but stopped short of a full endorsement (pleasing Republicans who are urging a slower approach). Steven Mnuchin said he plans to use all $500 billion the Treasury was allocated to help the economy.

Today’s economic calendar is already underway. Mortgage applications decreased 2.6 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending May 15, 2020. Later this morning, we have two Fed presidents speaking, Atlanta’s Bostic and St. Louis’ Bullard. In the afternoon, Treasury will auction $20 billion 20-year bonds, which is the first such auction since 1986. Finally the minutes from the April 28/29 FOMC meeting will be released at 2:00pm ET. After the Desk purchases the maximum for the ninth time in 10 sessions yesterday, the NY Fed will conduct two FedTrade purchase operations today totaling up to $4.545 billion. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged from Tuesday’s close and the 10-year yielding .69 percent.

Euie writes, “I hope they give us two weeks’ notice before sending us back out into the real world. I think we’ll all need the time to become ourselves again. And by ‘ourselves’ I mean lose 10 pounds, cut our hair, and get used to not drinking at 9:00 a.m.”

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, “Reducing Friction”, focused on operations changes. If you have the inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.

Rob

(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. This newsletter is designed for sophisticated mortgage professionals only. There are no paid endorsements by me. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2020 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job & product listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold, or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)