Nov. 6: LO jobs; warehouse, tech integration tools; wholesale & corresp. changes; Ginnie booming, trade status primer

Besides sudden news, like PennyMac filing an antitrust lawsuit against Black Knight for anticompetitive behavior (“…market-dominating LoanSphere® MSP mortgage loan servicing system to engage in unfair business tactics that both entrap its licensees and create barriers to entry that stifle competition…”), or a reminder that the bond market will be closed Monday, there are trends that lenders are watching. Many lenders are echoing what the Mortgage Bankers Association has been reporting about applications, that most pipelines are leveling off or sinking as loans are processed and fund. And once again lenders are overtly cautious about spending money. The average square footage (sf) per employee in North America is about 150 sf/person. Large offices can be up to 400 sf in size, while small ones can be 90 sf. Take that number, multiply it by your rental cost per square foot for the office, and you can see why many lenders are encouraging employees to work from home or the local coffee shop after weighing the cost versus the synergy of having everyone in one place.

Employment

Why would you want to join Citizens Bank as a Mortgage Loan Officer or Sales Manager? From day one, you’re provided with the support and tools you need to provide the best service experience for your customers and referral partners. Not only will you benefit from a talented operations staff that’s slated to grow by an additional 20% over the next year, you’ll get cutting-edge digital platforms designed to make the mortgage process run more smoothly. Most importantly, you’ll be backed by a seasoned senior leadership team that understands the mortgage business inside and out. If that sounds like a company you want to build your sales career with, apply to Citizens Bank today. For questions, please email Home Mortgage Recruiting.

Top producers at Thrive Mortgage know being the best takes drive and passion for their craft. The top originators at Thrive Mortgage have seen an average growth in their YTD production in excess of 25% in 2019. Similarly, the top branches in the company have also seen explosive growth improving 27% YoY. When asked what fueled the growth, Randell Gillespie, National Sales Director for Thrive, stated, “We have cutting-edge tools to take someone to the next level in their business. But tools alone aren’t enough. It takes top-level support and highly efficient process to produce a legendary experience for the consumer.  THAT’S where we excel!” The architect of Thrive’s Operational success, Selene Kellam, added, “We’re never satisfied with ‘good enough’ when it comes to Operations. Thrive continues to see new records set each month through 2019. We can’t wait for 2020!” For more info about joining Thrive, visit join.thrivemortgage.com.

Lender products & services

AFR has announced that beginning Friday, November 8, a 3.5% grant option will be available in the DPA Advantage (Down Payment Assistance) Program, allowing eligible home buyers to qualify for the full 3.5% required down payment. In addition to helping first-time and moderate-income home buyers, DPA Advantage is also available to make the dream of homeownership easier for first-responders, educators, medical personnel, civil servants, and military personnel. DPA Advantage may be used with the FHA 203(b) program or any of AFR’s FHA renovation programs, as well as the FHA One-Time Close Construction-to-Permanent program (please note: the 3.5% grant is not currently available for the FHA OTC program). This new grant option is just another way AFR is always working to improve financing options for you and your clients. For more information on becoming an AFR partner, email sales@afrwholesale.com, call 1-800-375-6071, or visit www.afrwholesale.com.

You didn’t have to be at the MBA Annual in Austin to know lenders are spending a lot more on tech these days. It’s all about fighting margin compression. You probably also know that not every new “solution” works well with your other systems. Smart technology starts with integration and a complete strategy. LodeStar is a provider which gets that. If you’re in the market for compliant, TRID-focused technology that doesn’t actually create new problems for you, check LodeStar out here.

PlainsCapital Bank National Warehouse Lending, a subsidiary of Hilltop Holdings (NYSE: HTH), is excited to offer an all-in-one BTW Services! “A partnership with PlainsCapital Bank includes a unique opportunity to take advantage of three great platforms within one company to help further reduce costs and streamline services: Broker-Dealer/Treasury Management/Warehouse Lending, HilltopSecurities‘ TBA/Specified Pool desk helps mortgage lenders hedge their origination pipelines by buying and selling TBAs and specified pools, and PlainsCapital Bank Treasury Management group helps mortgage lenders meet the challenges of managing their cash positions with clearing accounts and escrow management for FNMA, FHLMC and GNMA. PlainsCapital Bank National Warehouse Lending has provided lines of credit to mortgage lenders across the country and offers multiple incentive pricing options to reduce costs for customers. To learn more about PlainsCapital Bank National Warehouse Lending, please contact Deric Barnett, EVP National Warehouse Lending, or for HilltopSecurities’ Broker Dealer, please contact George M. Meillarec, Managing Director.

Wholesale & correspondent changes

loanDepot Wholesale/Correspondent Weekly Announcement included information on Express Disclosures Broker Checklist, FHA Case Number Request Form, FHA INFO #19-53

and Chapter 12 of the VA Handbook.

PRMG announced the release of the Investor Solution Program. This product is designed for non-owner-occupied transactions and qualifies the borrowers solely on income from the subject property’s Cash Flow under the Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR) option, or with no income/cash flow at all under the No Ratio option. It offers purchase, rate/term and cash out options. Loan amounts from $75,000 up to $2 million are allowed and the DSCR option allows for first time investors.

Due to investor restrictions, PRMG is discontinuing its current Closed End Second product offering. All Closed End Second loans, requiring lock date of October 18, 2019, must be funded by Friday, November 22. PRMG will not be able to make exceptions to these dates. The TCF HELOC is still available to be used as a piggyback (simultaneous) second transaction on wholesale transactions.

Finance of American Mortgage has introduced an exclusive new loan product. Two-X HBX is a mortgage solution for high balance loan amounts in counties currently restricted to conforming or high cost limits. Loan amounts between $484,351 and $726,525* no longer need to meet the requirements and pricing of Jumbo financing. With HBX, borrowers nationally can benefit from a high balance loan program with simplified credit guidelines. Program highlights include: 95% maximum LTV with no mortgage insurance for LTV’s >80%. Credit scores down to 680 with a maximum DTI of 43%. Purchase, rate & term, and cash-out are available. Eligible properties include 1-2-unit SFR, PUDs and warrantable condos.

Growth is not slowing down for Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions. As shown is a recent Press Release, its latest performance release report shows a company record funding of $891 million in non-QM originations. This is a 31% increase from Q2 2019 and a gain of 41% over Q3 2018. We reported year to date volume of $2.1 billion in originations which is a 52% increase over the same period in 2018.

In a recent announcement, PennyMac posted updates to Conventional LLPAs effective October 30th.

Mountain West Financial® is offering free 5-day lock extensions on Jumbo products to its Broker Partners through the month of November. Contact MWF for details on applicable Jumbo products included.

Bayview Loan Servicing has elected to move the current post-purchase credit review to a pre-purchase review. View its announcement for details.

Plaza is accepting FHA’s new Single-Unit Approvals (SUAs) for condos. This new condo approval process makes it easier for individual condominium units to be eligible for FHA-insured financing when they are in projects that are not currently FHA-approved. Find out more, click here.

Go the EZ route… No employment, income, or reserves and get 100% credit on rents on PCF Wholesale’s EZ-DSCR.

Capital markets

Verus Mortgage Capital, a full-service correspondent investor offering residential non-QM, investor rental and fix and flip loan programs, has recently finalized its 12th and 13th rated RMBS (residential mortgage-backed securities) transactions for $368.9 and $569.1 million respectively. Verus is the largest non-QM issuer with almost $2.6 billion of collateral across five transactions in 2019; and nearly $5 billion overall securitization volume. “We are extremely proud to be the leader in non-QM issuance and expect the momentum that’s been steadily building this year to continue into the 4th quarter,” said Dane Smith, President of VMC.

And Ginnie’s booming! Ginnie Mae announced that investors purchased a record $32 billion of Platinum Securities spread across 217 pools in the fiscal year that ended September 30. Platinum Securities volume in fiscal year 2018 was approximately $20 billion after fiscal year 2017 production of Platinum securities with fixed-rate collateral was only $7.88 billion.

Why should MLOs care? Because what is good in the secondary markets helps the pricing for borrowers, and remember that big banks are analyzing returning to FHA lending. Ginnie Mae Platinum Securities provide investors of mortgage-backed securities with greater market and operating efficiencies, as investors who hold multiple pools of MBS can combine new or existing MBS into a single Ginnie Mae Platinum Certificate. Once a Ginnie Mae Platinum Certificate has been created, it can be used efficiently in structured finance transactions, repurchase transactions and general trading. Investors can create Platinum products using fixed-rate MBS (15- and 30-year mortgages); Weighted Average Coupon (WAC) Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) and Jumbo Only Fixed mortgages. Ginnie’s mission is to foster a strong secondary mortgage market for government mortgage loans by helping borrowers across the U.S. obtain the lowest mortgage rate.

Looking at bonds, and therefore rates, U.S. Treasuries ended Tuesday worsening again, including the 10-year yield closing +8 bps to 1.87 percent, its highest level in two months. A report that U.S. officials are open to the removal of some tariffs on imports from China contributed to overnight selling boosted hopes of a partial U.S.-China trade deal. That, along with the recent wave of interest-rate cuts by central banks are buoying confidence in financial markets just as key economic indicators show signs of stabilization. The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index for October reflected an acceleration of expansion-based activity in October, great news for the economy since the non-manufacturing sector accounts for a significantly larger slice of U.S. economic activity than the manufacturing sector. Could the worst be over for the global slowdown? Not so fast.

 

Signing of the “phase one” trade deal was delayed due to the cancellation of the Asia-Pacific summit in Chile next week, and China is now asking the Trump administration to pledge not only to withdraw threats of new tariffs but also to eliminate duties on about $110 billion in goods imposed in September. Beijing is stating these as requisites before President Xi agrees to take the step of heading to the U.S. to sign a deal. Negotiators are also discussing lowering the 25 percent duty on about $250 billion in tariffs that Trump imposed last year, and China has demanded that Trump doesn’t go forward with threatened duties on roughly $160 billion in imports scheduled for December 15.

It is still not clear if Trump will be willing to cut any duties considering tariffs have been one of the primary weapons in his arsenal. From the Chinese perspective, the argument is if they are going to abide by the key elements of the interim deal and remove big points of leverage by both resuming purchases of American farm goods and cracking down on intellectual property theft, then they want to see equivalent moves to remove tariffs by the U.S. rather than Washington solely lifting of the threat of future duties. Chinese and American law-enforcement officials have planned to highlight joint efforts to crack down on fentanyl smuggling and the opioid epidemic to make the deal more palatable to President Trump. But there are political risks for Trump in acceding to China’s tariff demands. U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer and other officials have consistently argued that the duties on $250 billion are a way of enforcing that China lives up to its commitments and should be in place for the long term.

 

Mortgage applications for the week ending November 1 kicked off today’s economic calendar, declining a smidge versus the week before, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. We’ve seen preliminary Q3 Productivity (-.3%) and Unit Labor Costs (very strong at +3.6%). Later the Treasury will conduct the second leg of this week’s Quarterly Refunding when $27 billion 10-year notes are auctioned. The session also sees three Fed speakers: Chicago Fed President Evans, New York Fed President Williams, Philadelphia’s Harker. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices better by .125-.250 and the 10-year yielding 1.83%.

Two fellows stopped into an English pub for a drink. They called the proprietor over and asked him to settle an argument.

“Are there two pints in a quart or four?” asked one.

“There be two pints in a quart,” confirmed the proprietor.

They moved back along the bar and soon the barmaid asked for their order.

“Two pints please, miss, and the bartender offered to buy them for us.”

The barmaid doubted that her boss would be so generous, so one of the fellows called out to the proprietor at the other end of the bar, “Did you say two pints?”

“That’s right,” he called back, “two pints!”

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, “Fannie & Freddie: A Snapshot” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.

Rob

(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2019 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

Nov. 5: Recruiting, training, marketing products; primer on employment & labor participation

On a personal note, my grandfather was the first mayor of Cupertino, in the Santa Clara Valley. In the 1950s my grandparents’ home (and their many acres of orchard) was taken by California via imminent domain to build a freeway, and part sold off by California for commercial use including eventually to a then-start up called Apple Computer. Fast forward to today, and Apple announced that it is dedicating $2.5 billion to combat the housing crisis in California: “Nearly 30,000 people left San Francisco between April and June of this year and homeownership in the Bay Area is at a seven-year low.” Apple is teaming up with Google to start a mortgage company! Just kidding. We’ll see how far the money goes, especially after Apple, Google, and other very successful companies have done more than their fair share of causing the housing pressures in the Bay Area. Changes in the Federal tax law, capping SALT deductibility at $10k at the Federal level, don’t help since anyone paying $1 million for a home is already paying more than $10k in property taxes. Of the top 10 metros with the largest shares of million-dollar homes, 4 are in California, and Seattle is the metro with the largest share of million-dollar homes outside of “Cali.”

Recruiting & training

Streamline Your Recruiting: “Model Match helps forward-thinking mortgage professionals manage and grow their recruiting pipeline with greater efficiency.  Model Match’s Talent Management System is the infrastructure and provides teams of all sizes with an easy yet powerful way to track their efforts. If you’re not sure who to recruit, Market Insights will help you develop a healthy pipeline of qualified candidates that are matched to the needs of your organization. Match originators based on volume requirements, product mix and more. Get a birds eye view of their production history along with all the info you need to make contact today. Level up with Model Match’s Full-Service Partnership and take your growth to the next level. Partner with a trusted and experienced team who go way beyond the title of ‘recruiter.’ Visit us HERE to learn more or to schedule a chat with our team.”

XINNIX, The Mortgage Academy released its YTD 2019 performance scorecard at the MBA Annual Conference last week in Austin. The report shows how XINNIX Performance Program graduates measure up against the industry average loan production which is reported in the MBA’s latest Commercial/Multifamily Quarterly Databook. The numbers speak for themselves! Both new and experienced loan officers who have completed a XINNIX Performance Program are outperforming the industry average in any market as the report tracks results from Q1/2018 – Q2/2019. In case you missed it last week, you can download your copy of the report here. Schedule a call with a XINNIX Account Executive today to see how The XINNIX System™ of Performance Training, Accountability, and Coaching can elevate the production of your salesforce in any market.

Lender products & services

Take a more personalized and targeted approach to marketing home equity. In this eBook, Blend prompts you to consider each customer’s priorities, then walks you through creating smart campaigns, crafting relevant messaging, and choosing the right channels to reach your audience. Read it here.

Leading independent mortgage bank in the wholesale, retail and strategic alliance sectors, Stearns Lending, LLC, has selected the Total Expert Marketing Operating System® (MOS) to deploy humanized messaging and engagement throughout the customer journey, boost LO productivity and propel business growth. The Total Expert MOS will be leveraged across the entire Stearns Lending enterprise, including Certainty Home Loans, Citywide Home Loans, Stearns Home Loans, Stearns Wholesale and six joint ventures, including BKCO Mortgage, Compass Home Loans, The Gibraltar Group Mortgage, Home Mortgage Alliance, KBHS Home Loans, and Results Mortgage. By harnessing consumer data paired with intelligent automation, the Total Expert MOS will empower their customer-facing teams to anticipate their customers’ needs, establish trusted relationships and create customers for life. The addition of Total Expert within Stearns Lending’s industry-leading technology stack further positions their loan officers to deliver value to their customers and exceed ever-increasing expectations. Read the full announcement.

Chenoa Fund: Investing in Communities – It’s no secret that gentrification is bringing a complicated web of changes to many urban communities. For homeowners, gentrification can mean rising home values. But for lower-income families struggling to hang on to an affordable rental close to work, gentrification can be a nightmare. More than 11 million Americans now use more than half their monthly salaries for rent, and renters need to earn at least $20.30 per hour to afford a modest, two-bedroom apartment. In six states and the District of Columbia, affording such an apartment requires an hourly wage of at least $25. To help counter the trend, CBC Mortgage Agency is investing in the Workforce Housing Opportunity Fund, which rehabilitates and develops affordable and workforce housing in communities with soaring rents. It’s not the whole answer to our nation’s affordable housing crisis, but it’s a good start.

“As large banks drown in increased loan volume, lenders using SimpleNexus hang ten on a tidal wave of low-interest driven business. Spikes in origination volume should always be a blessing and never a burden. And borrowers should never lose their dream home because of 60-120 day closing times! A core value at SimpleNexus is love for our customers, so it pains us to see big bank technology companies letting banks and their borrowers down. We help lenders achieve some of the fastest closing times in the industry through continuous, innovative platform upgrades, such as our integrated disclosures solution, which has helped our customers reduce their disclosure times from 2 days to just under 2.5 hours. To find out how we can accelerate closing times for you, request a demo or see us at state MBA shows in Texas, Arkansas or Minnesota this month.”

Home Point Financial’s Chief Business Officer Phil Shoemaker spoke about their Customer For Life as less of a program and more of a way of thinking at AIME’s second annual Fuse conference. Check out the video to see the foundation of the entire mindset: Home Point Financial is 100% focused on brokers. Did you know they sold their distributed retail division specifically so they could focus on broker success?  Don’t wait to partner with Home Point Financial: click here.

Freddie Mac Single-Family is ALL FOR reducing barriers and raising hope. Freddie Mac is expanding the thinking around affordable lending and inspiring others to do the same. With All For HomeSM, we’re leading the way through providing insights, education, mortgage products and business solutions that address the needs of today’s borrower and of The Borrower of the FutureSM. Rising home prices and interest rates, coupled with a lack of entry-level inventory, are increasing affordability challenges. Demographic and cultural shifts, migrations from rural to urban, first-time homebuyers with thin-credit files and complex processes pose additional barriers to achieving the American dream. It takes collaboration and partnership to innovate solutions that make a positive impact. Learn more about All For Home, discover key insights to inform your business and take advantage of solutions and tools that will enable your borrowers to make Home Possible®. All in. All of us. All For Home.

Capital markets

Looking at news that is impacting the primary markets (e.g., borrowers), officially, the US added 128,000 new jobs in October beating market expectations in the wake of the GM strike and other manufacturing slowdowns. Additionally revisions to the prior two months data were positive, adding 95,000 to previously reported figures. Third quarter GDP increased at an annualized rate of 1.9 percent, according to the advance estimate as consumer spending and residential fixed investment helped to offset a decline in nonresidential fixed investment. During September, real disposable income was up 0.3 percent, consumer spending increased 0.2 percent and the personal savings rate inched up to 8.3 percent.

Manufacturing activity continues to contract as the ISM manufacturing index was below 50 for the third consecutive month. Construction spending increased slightly in September, but is lower than its pace one year ago. The Fed also reduced its overnight lending rate last week as widely expected in an effort to stay ahead of slowing economic activity. Most market participants viewed this as the last cut of 2019 and expect no changes to monetary policy until next Spring.

One problem still driving recessionary fears is a tepid housing market. When a central bank cuts interest rates, houses are meant to become more attractive to buy (because mortgages are cheaper) and to build (because those cheaper mortgages increase demand). But interest rates don’t matter if no one will give you a loan. And even those who can get a mortgage often have trouble finding a house they can afford.

Friday’s numbers for October showed that the labor force participation rate hit 63.3%, the best since autumn 2013. Labor force participation in the largest third of the nation’s metro areas has been climbing in recent years, while participation has continued to slide lower in mid-size and small metros, stemming from both cyclical factors and structural factors. Employment in smaller metros is skewed more toward the goods sector, but the nation has become an increasingly service-based economy reliant on knowledge fostered in densely populated areas.

Additionally, smaller metros tend to be older and less educated, two factors associated with lower participation. And moving is not the option it once was, as home prices in already expensive large metros have been rising faster than small areas in recent years, exacerbating labor force participation rates between large and smaller metro areas. The increase in overall labor force participation since late 2015 has been almost entirely driven by the nation’s largest cities, and the participation rates between the biggest and mid-size metros show the gap is at a record high, calling into question how much more labor force participation can rise in this cycle and how much slack is left in the labor market.

The 127 largest metro areas have accounted for roughly 90 percent of the net new jobs added since the Great Recession, even though they account for only 71 percent of the nation’s population. Slower employment growth in smaller metropolitan areas is, in part, tied to the industry composition of those areas. Goods-producing industries, like manufacturing, have yet to return to pre-recession levels.

A majority of U.S. employment is in the service sector, and larger metros have seen service-oriented jobs rise faster. A lack of job opportunities is keeping residents of smaller communities outside of the labor force, and the lack of affordable housing is becoming a higher barrier of entry into many of the country’s largest labor markets. Weaker labor force participation in smaller communities therefore looks to be in part structural, as the workforce of smaller metros tends to be older and less educated. As a result, the gap in labor force participation rates between large and smaller metro areas will likely continue to widen, and there is likely little remaining slack in the national labor market despite the varying trends in participation by “place.”

Beyond the labor market, the divergence in labor force participation rates highlights that the economic gains of the current expansion have not been spread evenly, fueling concerns that smaller communities are being left behind. Alongside the decline in geographic mobility, a previously narrowing wage gap between high- and low-income areas has widened. With smaller metros seeing slower productivity and population growth in recent years, labor force participation becomes a crucial factor in helping narrow the growth gap between ever-larger cities and smaller metros struggling to keep up.

Looking at rates yesterday, Treasuries pulled back across the curve to open the week, including the 10-year yield closing +6 bps to 1.79 percent, as economic growth sentiment improved on the back of positive trade headlines and optimism about accommodative monetary policy. Secretary of Commerce Ross made two important statements, indicating that licenses for U.S. companies enabling them to do business with Huawei should be granted soon, and separately stating that good progress is being made on the “Phase One” deal negotiations and that the U.S. may not have to impose auto tariffs on foreign imports. The South China Morning Post reported China is open to different locations to sign trade deal, but will be careful about giving too many concessions. That risk-on trade, along with Friday’s move means treasuries have now erased all the post-FOMC gains and then some.

 

Ahead of today’s three FOMC speakers (Richmond’s Barkin, Dallas’ Kaplan, Minneapolis’ Kashkari), new ECB Chief Lagarde made her first speech, where she laid out her views on Europe’s economic and fiscal policy, saying Germany and other European countries should spend more to boost demand. Minneapolis Fed President Kashkari also delivered some remarks yesterday in a televised interview, saying that he thinks the balance of risks is still tilted to the downside.

 

Kicking off today’s economic calendar is the Trade Balance for September, followed by Redbook same-store sales, final October Markit services PMI, the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index for October, and JOLTS – Job Openings for September. Additionally, the Desk will conduct a GNII FedTrade operation targeting up to $576 million 3 percent ($414 million) and 3.5 percent ($162 million). This afternoon, the first leg of the Quarterly Refunding will see Treasury auction $38 billion 3-year notes. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices worse .250 and the 10-year yielding 1.84%.

At a couples therapy session the doctor asked the husband if he feels dominated by his wife.

She answered, “NO, he doesn’t!”

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, “Fannie & Freddie: A Snapshot” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.

Rob

(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2019 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

 

Nov. 4: Servicing, LO jobs; broker, pricing, workflow products; bank and vendor M&A rolls on

Who says there’s nothing new under the sun? Here’s a 14-year old’s clever cure for the blind spot in cars. Uber launched a new division known as Uber Money offering drivers and couriers access to a mobile bank account. Here’s a Dallas builder’s attempt at creating an economic stormproof house. At ritzy New York high-priced condos, old is new again: flooring in herringbone or chevron patterns, real marble surfaces, high-end European kitchen appliances, and 10 to 12 feet high ceilings. Homes can be new: The average person in the US will move about 11x in their lifetime (compared to about 4x for people living in European countries).

Employment

A top performing bank in the nation is seeking an executive to lead its mortgage servicing division. This senior role provides leadership and strategic direction for a Midwest-based Bank that is predominantly focused on mortgage banking. The position is responsible for overall loan administration and servicing operations, customer service, investor reporting, and loss prevention, for the bank’s nationwide servicing and sub-servicing business channels. The successful candidate has 10 plus years managing a Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae and private investor servicing portfolio, and is results-oriented, an effective coach and enjoys working in a collaborative and thriving company. To confidentially inquire, contact Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt and please specify the opportunity.

Angel Oak Home Loans Consumer Direct division is expanding! “We deliver high quality leads from lead aggregators and offer sales support to quickly close loans. Speed to Lead is one of our efforts utilizing technology to distribute leads using one of the leading Lead Distribution Systems in the industry. Our online strategy has been effective in generating our own non-QM leads through Google AdWords and social media marketing of self-employed borrowers looking for bank statement loans. Our team and our clients love our one stop shop for products that include Agency, Government, Port Jumbo programs, Bank statement programs, Non- Prime programs, in-house processing and in-house underwriting. We consistently report month over month growth in our pipeline and closed loans. For inquiries, please contact Drew Church (704-650-8948).”

“The growth trajectory at Caliber Home Loans, Inc. continues this year! In October, Caliber funded over $7.8 billion, a new monthly record overall and a record in almost every channel of production. Caliber also reported a hefty 70.9% jump in production from the second to the third quarter, booking $19.9 billion in the third quarter, according to Inside Mortgage Finance. This is the highest rate of increase of any lender in the top 30! Our success can be directly attributed to our hard-working originators and employees who support our modern sales platform. Caliber’s products and lending technology are just some of the reasons our Loan Consultants can stand out in their competitive market and thrive. We’re looking for talented Loan Consultants who are ready to reach new levels of success. Visit Caliber online or email Brian Miller to learn more.

Loan Stream Mortgage announced that Thomas Shaw joins the company as its new Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). In this newly created role, Mr. Shaw joins the senior leadership team of the company and leads all wholesale and consumer marketing programs as Loan Stream continues to build its presence as a leader in mortgage originations. “Tom’s extensive financial services background and expertise in marketing, leadership, and strategy have been the foundation for growth and revenue generation for many organizations, and we are excited to have him join our team,” commented Rey Maninang, Chief Production Officer. “He is a strategic addition as our company continues to expand, hiring new Account Executives and building new operation centers across the nation.” Mr. Shaw has held senior marketing roles for Carrington, Shopzilla.com, CreditReport.com, H & R Block / Option One, Home123 and New Century Mortgage.

Lender products & services

 

Lead provider Full Beaker announced the launch of its new rate marketplace, TheMortgageReports.com, powered by Mortech’s pricing engine and product eligibility platform, Marksman. With 53 percent of buyers going online for resources to finance their new home, according to Zillow Group’s 2019 Consumer Housing Trends Report, quoting your rates online is a great way to reach potential customers. With this integration lenders are able to automatically quote instant, accurate mortgage offers to a variety of borrowers to make the most out of every lead that passes through their pipeline. By quoting rates online, lenders will see success through lead management and brand visibility by connecting their products and rates with more potential borrowers. For more information on marketplace quoting, call 1.855.298.9327 or contact Mortech Marketplace via email.

 

Stop losing loans because of rates! Learn the secrets to converting leads WITHOUT the lowest interest rate! Join Ron Vaimberg for the More Leads to Loans – How to Win the Rate Battle Tour coming to San Ramon, San Diego, and Phoenix in November. Ron has carved a new path in sharing the secrets to converting leads to loans in today’s highly competitive interest rate sensitive environment. In this brand-new program, Ron will take you step-by-step through his unmatched Ultimate Lead Conversion Process that reduces or eliminates interest rate objections. Learn the master skills to magnetically attract prospects to want to do business with you, even when your rates and fees are not the lowest. Learn More and Secure Your Spot Today: www.wintheratebattle.com. Save $60 with Promo Code: CHRISMAN

United Wholesale Mortgage is helping brokers in their network become social media savvy with their Brand 360 Marketing Calendar. UWM is upping the benefits of being in their broker network. Located in their all-new Brand 360 client retention and marketing portal is an exciting feature called the Marketing Calendar. It lets brokers plan and schedule social posts up to 30 days in advance. Use their pre-built posts, three options per day, or customize your own. Easily organize your calendar, view by month, week or day, and track what’s already been posted. They even provide the additional text that appears above your post — use what they suggest or write your own. Take control of your social media presence by signing up with UWM today.

 

The foundation of the current mortgage industry landscape requires impressive integrations and top-notch compliance. Both can be achieved through the critically important relationship between your LOS and doc prep platform. Find out how good it can be. Join IDS and Calyx on November 7 from 2-2:45 p.m. ET for a free webinar outlining the ways an LOS can facilitate workflows and provide peace of mind when integrated seamlessly with a comprehensive document preparation and data compliance engine. For more information, contact IDS at sales@idsdoc.com, or click here to register.

On Wednesday, November 13th, the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME) is hosting a one-day exclusive workshop for companies interested in sponsoring the organization in 2020. Join us at AIME’s headquarters in Philadelphia, PA for a full day of educational information about sponsor benefits, the chance to hear the positive impact that existing partners have experienced so far during industry speaker Q&A sessions, and the opportunity to strengthen your business-to-business relationships. It’s your turn to be a part of uniting the broker community and its wholesale partners to further their success within the channel. Become a sponsor today and have the support of AIME help expand your future business models and set your company up for success. Register now to learn how becoming a sponsor of AIME in 2020 can help your organization develop new relationships, as well as strengthen existing partnerships with more independent mortgage brokers.

Company changes

Legacy Texas Bank’s warehouse lending team announced that Legacy Texas Bank and Prosperity Bank have become one bank, Prosperity Bank. The completion of this bank merger (the second largest in Texas history) creates a +$32 billion institution in assets and ranks Prosperity as the second largest bank (by deposits) in Texas. The Warehouse Lending Division will continue to operate as it has for the past 12 years. The official rebranding of LegacyTexas is scheduled to be completed by mid-2020. Questions? Talk to your rep.

CIS Credit Solutions (“CIS”), a credit reporting agency providing tri-merge credit reports and related products and services to mortgage lenders, announced the acquisition of the Mortgage Solutions Business of Alliance 2020, Inc. Headquartered in Renton, Washington, Alliance 2020 is a service provider to mortgage originators, whose operations have now been integrated with CIS.

Bank news! In only the 4th bank failure of 2019, City National Bank of New Jersey was closed Friday by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and, via the FDIC, entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Industrial Bank in Washington, D.C. to assume all of the deposits of City National.

The Wall Street Journal reported that US Bancorp said it is eliminating the jobs of assistant branch manager and teller coordinator at all of its branches. The move will result in 2% layoffs at the company and the bank says it is due to changed customer behavior. The bank also said it plans to close up to 15% of its branches by the end of 2020.

A survey by the CSBS finds 86% of community banks say they have not received or seriously considered an acquisition offer in the last 12 months and 75% said they had not made an offer to a target institution in the past 12 months. Of note though, 25% said they had made an offer compared to the 20% level of the prior 2 years – a 25% increase.

Bank M&A is alive and well. Recently it was announced that in Missouri Academy Bank ($1.6B in assets) will acquire KCB Bank ($235mm. In New York, Flushing Bank ($6.9B) will acquire Empire National Bank ($1B) for $111.6mm in cash (50%) and stock (50%) or 1.41x tangible book, and Community Bank ($11.6B) will acquire Steuben Trust Co ($577mm) for $106.8mm in cash and stock or 1.67x tangible book. FirstBank Puerto Rico ($12.5B) will acquire Banco Santander Puerto Rico ($6.2B) for about $1.1B ($425mm plus $638mm of Banco Santander PRs excess capital at par. In Tennessee Reliant Bank ($1.8B) will acquire First Advantage Bank ($733mm) for $123.4mm in cash (10%) and stock (90%) or 1.52x tangible book. Rhode Island’s Centreville Bank ($1.3B) will acquire Putnam Bank ($538mm, CT) for about $115.5mm in cash (100%) or about 1.45x tangible book. Country Club Bank ($1.4B, MO) will acquire Bank of the Prairie ($143mm, KS). In California Bank of Southern California ($767mm) will acquire Calwest Bank ($234mm) for $32mm in cash (100%).

Capital markets

Friday’s October jobs report was significant because it helped to alleviate fears of a widespread slowdown in hiring especially considering the headwinds of the GM strike and a large reduction in temporary workers related to the 2020 Census. The conventional wisdom is that a slowdown in hiring would lead to a slowdown consumer spending and therefore negatively impact GDP.

Digging a little deeper into the employment report, the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 3.6 percent as more workers entered the workforce. Personal consumption increased at a 2.9 percent annualized rate in the third quarter, according to the advance GDP estimate. Despite all the news about trade uncertainty, slowing business investment and slowing manufacturing output, the U.S. consumer continues to spend. Speaking of manufacturing, the ISM manufacturing index was below 50 for the third consecutive month. As a result of the uncertainty, the Fed decreased the Fed funds rate by 25 basis points, however in the post-meeting press conference Fed Chairman Powell indicated that policy makers were likely to pause on any further changes to monetary policy.

The employment and ISM data (signaling less contractionary growth than feared) bolstered growth outlook sentiment to close last week, pushing Treasury yields up, including the 10-year +4 bps to 1.73 percent. The positive jobs numbers are that much more impressive considering the figures reflected the impact of the six-week strike by nearly 50,000 General Motors workers, the longest nationwide walkout since 1970.

 

U.S. stocks loved October’s jobs data, which President Donald Trump described as a “blowout.” They seemed to bolster the Fed’s case that the economy is in reasonable shape. Fed Vice Chair Clarida echoed Chairman Powell’s statements from earlier in the week by saying “the current stance of monetary policy is likely to remain appropriate as long as incoming information about the economy remains broadly consistent with our outlook.” At this time it appears another cut will not happen unless there were material changes to the economic outlook. The Fed is hoping that this third cut of the year to interest rates will help the U.S. economy stay safely at cruising altitude.

This week will receive more clarity from the Fed on last week’s cut, as eight of 12 Fed presidents are currently scheduled to speak, including San Francisco Fed President Daly later today. Also, today will see the release of ISM New York Business Conditions Index for October, the October Employment Trends Index, and September factory orders.

 

Tomorrow, in addition to the latest monetary decision from the RBA and a NY FedTrade operation, markets will receive the Trade Balance for September, the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index for October, and JOLTS – Job Openings for September. While the midweek session’s only important economic release outside of the usual MBA applications is Q3 Productivity and Unit Labor Costs, October agency prepayments will be released after the close. Thursday brings the latest rate decision from the Bank of England, before the week closes with Preliminary University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment for November and Wholesale Inventories for September. We begin today with Agency MBS prices worse slightly and the 10-year yielding 1.75%.

Thank you to CM who sent, “Right before I die, I’m going to swallow a bag of popcorn kernels. My cremation is going to be epic.”

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, “Fannie & Freddie: A Snapshot” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.

Rob

(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2019 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

 

Nov. 2: 2020 industry forecast; Freddie & Fannie in transition; risk transfers continue; sales video

Residential lenders are having a good year. (If you’re not, your New Year’s resolution should be finding something else to do in 2020.) The MBA expects total mortgage origination volume to reach about $2.06tn by then end of the year, and then to decline 8.4% to 1.89tn in 2020. According to the MBA’s Mortgage Finance Forecast, refi originations are expected to drop by 24.5% to $599bn in 2020, and the refinance share of mortgage applications is expected to fall from 38% this year to 32% in 2020. Rates are treading water, and don’t seem bound to plunge in the near term. Certainly this breather in the bond market, with rates treading water, indicates investors are less concerned about immediate risk to the global economy. The move is accompanied by a rally in the S&P 500 and a decline in negative-yielding sovereign debt. Investors were panicking about the trade war, global growth and Brexit in the summer, and now they realized the situations aren’t that bad.

The big news this week was Agency-related: Ginnie, Freddie, and Fannie. If you’d like a quick snapshot of what is going on with F&F, STRATMOR has one. It would seem that most are in agreement that the goal isn’t “recap and release, and both Freddie and Fannie need to rebuild capital through retaining earnings, as they did this week. Before the GSEs are released from conservatorship meaningful reforms should be in place that meet borrower’s needs without roiling the housing market.

Bob Broeksmit, President and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, acknowledged that, “Leveling the playing field for private capital could mean a smaller GSE market share, which means it needs to be done with great care. It needs to ensure access to affordable credit–to preserve the mission of the GSEs to serve low-, moderate- and middle-income families–and to make sure there is liquidity nationwide through all market cycles.”

On October 28, the FHFA released its 2020 scorecard for the GSEs, its strategic plan, and Director Calabria’s prepared remarks for the MBA conference. The scorecard this go-around is “motivated by a duty to end the conservatorships responsibly and to ensure the Enterprises operate appropriately while remaining in conservatorship until the milestones necessary for exit are achieved.” The scorecard is broken into three broad goals: (1) foster a competitive, liquid, efficient, and resilient national housing finance market; (2) ensure safety and soundness; and (3) prepare for a transition out of conservatorship. These documents reinforce our belief that the FHFA is conceptually committed to ending the GSE conservatorships, which underscores our view that this remains a story about execution and timing.

Compass Point Research and Trading summed things up. “The FHFA’s strategic plan states that ‘the growth of non-bank servicers and evolving mortgage servicing business models necessitate continued scrutiny and advance preparations.’ As part of its scorecard, the FHFA called on the GSEs to ‘[i]mplement Servicer Eligibility Requirements 2.0’ and ‘[a]ssess readiness of servicers and servicing policies and processes for an economically-stressed environment.’ Although mortgage servicing has improved markedly since the crisis, policymakers remain concerned that the failure of a servicer could catalyze a disorderly transfer that harms consumers and ripples through the market. The FHFA’s goals come in addition to Ginnie Mae’s ongoing effort to implement an issuer stress test (see here).

And many experts are talking about how the net worth sweep will be replaced with a more practical fee structure as part of the 4th PSPA amendment.

Risk transfer: Risk On Garth!

Since the financial crisis, boutique investors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have wound down their retained portfolios, reduced risk, and returned hundreds of billions to the government. Freddie & Fannie continue to move forward with initiatives that aren’t directly reliant on political decisions, like billions of dollars of transferring credit risk. Dan Fichtler, Director of Housing Finance Policy, for the Mortgage Bankers Association observed, “We continue to be encouraged by the progress the GSEs are making with respect to their CRT programs. For the STACR and CAS offerings in particular, it’s clear that they’ve turned the corner to become better-understood, more-liquid securities, which is increasing investor demand and contributing to tighter spreads. Another very positive development is the decision by both GSEs to issue their STACR and CAS securities as REMICs, which should allow greater investment by REITs.”

Loan originators should know that transferring credit risk away from taxpayers to willing buyers help rates for their borrowers

Freddie Mac announced that its Single-Family Credit Risk Transfer (CRT) programs have surpassed the $50 billion mark in transferring credit risk to private investors and (re)insurers, demonstrating Freddie Mac’s commitment to risk reduction on behalf of the firm and U.S. taxpayer. CRT reduces Freddie Mac’s capital requirements and credit risk exposure, enhancing the firm’s resilience against possible future economic downturns. The programs also help its product offerings appeal to a wide variety of market participants, as the company has now transferred a portion of the credit risk on more than $1.3 trillion of Single-Family mortgages based on unpaid principle balance at issuance. Freddie Mac transfers the credit risk on more than 90 percent of the UPB on CRT-eligible, newly-acquired Single-Family mortgages, as well as transfer credit risk on previously retained exposure, such as seasoned first-loss notes and Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) loans. Today, CRT serves as the primary source of private capital investment in residential mortgage credit.

Fannie Mae announced that it has completed a multi-tranche Multifamily Credit Insurance Risk Transfer transaction covering a pool of approximately $10.7 billion of existing multifamily loans in the company’s portfolio. This new transaction, MCIRT 2019-02, is the sixth multifamily CIRT transaction as part of Fannie Mae’s ongoing effort to increase the role of private capital in the multifamily mortgage market and mitigate risk for U.S. taxpayers. The transaction transfers approximately $348 million of risk to reinsurers and insurers. The covered loan pool for the transaction consists of 1,031 loans, secured by 1,044 multifamily properties, acquired by Fannie Mae from November 2018 through February 2019. Fannie Mae will retain risk on the first 75 bps of losses on the reference pool, while the C tranche will transfer risk to reinsurers covering losses between 75 bps and 150 bps, the B tranche will transfer risk to reinsurers covering losses between 150 and 275 bps, and the A tranche will transfer risk to reinsurers covering losses between 275 and 400 bps. Once the pool has experienced 400 basis points of losses, the credit protection will be exhausted and Fannie Mae will be responsible for any further losses. Fannie Mae’s multifamily CIRT program shares risk with diversified reinsurer and insurer counterparties, supplementing the Delegated Underwriting and Servicing program where originating lenders routinely share approximately one-third of the credit risk on multifamily loans. Since 2016, Fannie Mae has transferred a portion of the credit risk on multifamily mortgages with an aggregate unpaid principal balance of more than $61.9 billion through the CIRT program.

 

Fannie Mae also priced Connecticut Avenue Securities (CAS) Series 2019-R06, a $1.3 billion note offering that represents Fannie Mae’s latest CAS REMIC transaction in its benchmark issuance program designed to share credit risk on its single-family conventional guaranty book of business. The reference pool for CAS Series 2019-R06 consists of approximately 131,000 single-family mortgage loans with an outstanding unpaid principal balance of approximately $33 billion. The reference pool includes one group of loans comprised of collateral with loan-to-value ratios of 80.01 percent to 97.00 percent, the majority of which were acquired from January through June 2019. The loans included in this transaction are fixed-rate, generally 30-year term, fully amortizing mortgages and were underwritten using rigorous credit standards and enhanced risk controls. Fannie Mae will retain a portion of the 2M-1, 2M-2, and 2B-1 tranches in order to align its interests with investors throughout the life of the deal, and will retain the full 2B-2H first loss tranche. With the completion of this transaction, Fannie Mae will have brought 36 CAS deals to market, issued $42 billion in notes, and transferred a portion of the credit risk to private investors on more than $1.3 trillion in single-family mortgage loans, measured at the time of the transaction. Since 2013, Fannie Mae has transferred a portion of the credit risk on more than $1.8 trillion in single-family mortgages, measured at the time of the transaction, through all of its credit risk transfer programs. Pricing for the deal is as follows. Class 2M-1 has an offered amount of $233.828 million, a price level of 1-month LIBOR plus 75 bps, and an expected BBB-(sf) / A- rating. Class 2M-2 has an offered amount of $732.660 million, a price level of 1-month LIBOR plus 210 bps, and an expected B(sf) / BB+ rating. Class 2B-1, which will not be rates, has an offered amount of $327.360 million and a price level of 1-month LIBOR plus 375 bps. Fannie expects to return to the market with its final low-LTV CAS deal of the year in late October, subject to market conditions.

Fannie Mae began marketing its fourteenth sale of reperforming loans, mortgages that were previously delinquent but are performing again because payments on the mortgages have become current with or without the use of a loan modification, as part of the company’s ongoing effort to reduce the size of its retained mortgage portfolio. The sale consists of approximately 22,700 loans, having an unpaid principal balance of approximately $3.4 billion, and is available for purchase by qualified bidders. Interested bidders can register for ongoing announcements, training, and other information at www.fanniemae.com/portal/funding-the-market. Fannie Mae will also post information about specific pools available for purchase on that page. Bids are due on November 5, 2019. Buyers must report on loss mitigation outcomes, though any reporting requirements cease once a loan has been current for twelve consecutive months after the closing of the reperforming loan sale.

 

Fannie Mae announced the completion of its sixth Credit Insurance Risk Transfer (CIRT 2019-3) transaction of 2019, covering $14.8 billion in unpaid principal balance of 21-year to 30-year original term fixed-rate loans previously acquired by the company as part of Fannie Mae’s ongoing effort to reduce taxpayer risk by increasing the role of private capital in the mortgage market. To date, Fannie Mae has committed to acquire approximately $10 billion of insurance coverage on $375 billion of single-family loans through the CIRT program, measured at the time of issuance for both post-acquisition (bulk) and front-end transactions. This deal marked the first time a 30-year bulk CIRT transaction was structured with an extended policy term of 12.5 years and a 40-basis point retention layer, compared to a 10-year policy term and a retention layer of between 50 and 60 basis points for similar past deals. These changes in the structure increased the risk transfer on the covered pool of loans. The CIRT program has now committed approximately $10 billion of risk transfer since the program’s first transaction in 2014. With CIRT 2019-3, which became effective August 1, 2019, Fannie Mae will retain risk for the first 40 basis points of loss on a $14.8 billion pool of single-family loans with loan-to-value ratios greater than 60 percent and less than or equal to 80 percent. If the $59 million retention layer is exhausted, reinsurers will cover the next 325 basis points of loss on the pool, up to a maximum coverage of approximately $479 million. A summary of key deal terms, including pricing, for these new and past CIRT transactions can be found at https://www.fanniemae.com/resources/file/credit-risk/pdf/cirt-deal-pricing-information.pdf.

 

Fannie Mae began marketing its debut multi-family risk transfer deal, in which it is expected to sell bonds that transfer the risk on multi-family property loans for the first time as it broadens efforts to reduce taxpayer exposure to that part of its business. The $472.719 million offering, Multi-family Connecticut Avenue Securities, Series 2019-01, featuring four classes of floating-rate notes, is similar to the risk-transfer securities Fannie Mae has been selling for its single-family loans since 2013. The deal is designed to absorb some of the potential losses on a $17.081 billion pool of multi-family mortgages, originated between April and December 2018. Fannie Mae would absorb the first 65 bps of losses in the pool, and investors holding the four tranches would then absorb up to 4.43 percent of losses. Fannie Mae will also retain at least 5 percent of the underlying credit risk in a vertical slice of each tranche. The spreads on offer in the deal range from 225 bps to 250 bps over LIBOR for the $80.7 million M-7 tranche at the top of the debt stack, which has a 5.64 year weighted average life, to 1000 bps -1050 bps over LIBOR for the most junior tranche, a C-E class that has a 10.58 year weighted average life. The largest tranche on offer is the $327.1 million M-10 class, which has an 8.77 year weighted average life and has guidance of 425 bps to 450 bps. The transaction marks a new way Fannie Mae has looked to transfer multi-family credit risk. At the end of the second quarter, Fannie Mae had $332.6 billion of multi-family loans on its books, up from $287.6 billion a year prior.

 

Switching gears… to a message for sales folks

The Mortgage Coach & RE Source brands collaborated this week to produce a great video titled “What Does It Mean To Be The Captain of The Wealth Team”. Dave Savage and Ryan Hills unpack a message for both Realtors and lenders and discuss what it takes to become a “Black Belt” Loan Officer and Realtor. Join the conversation here.

An opinion without 3.14159 is just an onion. (Thanks to Ed R. for that gem.)

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, “Fannie & Freddie: A Snapshot” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.

Rob

(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2019 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

 

Nov. 1: LO jobs; compliance, construction, QC, Pen Booty(!) products; 86% of Ginnie biz from nonbanks

Welcome to “Bring Your Kid’s Candy to Work” Day, when candy bowls at receptionist’s desks and lunchrooms are brimming with treats worth a gander. What is also worth a gander, besides the Agencies announcing the threshold for smaller loan exemption from appraisal requirements for higher-priced mortgage loans, is a report from the U.S. Congressional Budget Office. The good news is that economic output grew by 2½ percent in 2018 and is expected to grow by more than 2 percent this year, continuing to support strong labor market conditions that feature low unemployment and rising wages. After 2019, economic growth is projected to average 1.8 percent per year, which is less than the historical average. But still a long way from any recession. But under current tax laws and conditions, budget deficits are projected to average $1.2 trillion a year between 2020 and 2029, boosting debt held by the public to 95 percent of gross domestic product in that year—its highest level since just after World War II.

Employment & moves

Thrive Mortgage loves to partner with like-minded mortgage pros! Business partners Tyler Nguyen and Bryan Snyder, are bringing their extensive Mortgage experience to the Thrive family in Florida. “Thrive is all about quality in every facet of their business. In early conversations with their leadership, I could tell that the company truly cares about the consumer first and foremost,” Nguyen stated. “Coming from the Broker world, we appreciate that personal brand and an entrepreneurial spirit are so much a part of Thrive’s DNA!”  Andrew Smith, Regional Manager for Thrive, remarked, “This is incredibly exciting for us as we continue to expand across so much of the country. Tyler and Bryan, along with their exceptional team, are amazing professionals, and even better people. Thrive represents what is the best of our business as we enter the next decade.” Learn more about available growth opportunities at join.thrivemortgage.com.

Deephaven announced the hiring of Kris-Ann Carduff, Wholesale – VP of Business Development, “to inform and support our rapidly growing broker base. Account Executive and marketing roles will enhance her ability to evaluate and improve Deephaven’s support of its broker network.”

Lender services & products

For over a decade, Altisource®, through its asset management solutions, has provided leading financial institutions a full suite of tech-enabled, end-to-end real estate management services such as REO and short sale management, real estate brokerage, online real estate auction, property inspection and preservation, valuations, and title and settlement services. Altisource continues to expand its services, upgrade technology and provide more support to clients, establishing itself as an industry leader in complete asset management solutions. Learn how Altisource’s comprehensive end-to-end default disposition capabilities can help drive optimal outcomes for your organization in this Asset Management Services brochure. Download here.

PlainsCapital Bank National Warehouse Lending, a subsidiary of Hilltop Holdings (NYSE: HTH), “continues to look for opportunities to help reduce our customers costs as related to their warehouse funding needs. That is why we offer multiple incentive pricing options to reduce costs for our customersTiered Utilization Incentive Pricing allows our customers to set utilization tiers they are comfortable meeting with rate incentives that reduce their costs. Our customers can also take advantage of Deposit Incentive Pricing. PlainsCapital Bank offers a competitive line up of Treasury Management products and when our customers take advantage of those products, they earn rate incentives to further reduce costs. We are committed to building strong relationships with our customers and providing the service you need most. If you are interested in learning more about PlainsCapital Bank National Warehouse Lending please contact Deric Barnett.”

United Wholesale Mortgage’s all-new portal, Brand 360, features an exciting tool called Brand Builder. It lets UWM clients create completely customized marketing materials, including emails, videos, flyers, social posts and more. Start by uploading your logo and their system will automatically pull in your brand colors. After that, just pick your fonts and choose photos from a professionally curated image library. You can even include pricing scenarios customized to each client. It makes promoting your brand and marketing your business easier than ever. Click here to sign up with UWM.

ON-DEMAND WEBINAR: How to Turn Your Quality Control Team Into a Revenue Retention Department – Industry experts share their success stories, strategies and more. Many lenders needlessly sacrifice significant revenue every year in QC-related fees, fines, pricing adjustments, excessive audit requirements and delays, all because they have no idea how easy it is to turn their Quality Control department into a Revenue Retention department. In this webinar, mortgage lenders and industry experts share how they have built QC programs that help prevent high-dollar issues like indemnifications and repurchase requests, while also eliminating the smaller issues that lead to pricing adjustments, added fees, fines and costly delays. Watch the webinar.

Caliber Home Loans, Inc. continues to grow its loan production with Home Builders across the country and remain a Top 10 lender for homebuilder production for the past 3 years (per Metrostudy)! “We offer dedicated builder products, tools, services, support, and local sales and operations teams. Caliber offers Extended Rate Locks for up to 12 months, a Doc Lock program, and a Caliber Portfolio Lending Suite of non-Agency loans, which all allow Home Builders to build and sell more new homes. Work with Caliber – The Builder’s Choice for Home Financing.” For more information, contact Michael Brown, SVP National Builder Division.

Chenoa Fund: Helping Minorities Break Into Homeownership Historically, the homeownership rate for racial minorities has been well below that for whites. This is especially true for African Americans. After creeping upward over 30 years and peaking at 50% in 2004, the black homeownership rate began to fall, dropping to 40.6% in 2019 and erasing all the gains made since passage of the Fair Housing Act in 1968. One reason: the racial wealth gap. For many reasons, it has been harder for African Americans and other minorities to accumulate funds for down payments and buy homes. At the Chenoa Fund, more than half of our borrowers are minority families, and many lack relatives who can gift them funds for a down payment. We’re proud to serve as their bridge to homeownership, which experts agree is a critical factor in economic stability and advancement.

NOVEMBER IS NATIONAL GRATITUDE MONTH and MQMR wants to help you show your compliance team just how much gratitude you have for all they do. This is your last chance to enter to win lunch for your amazing compliance team. Nominate your compliance team and tell us what makes them the best around. Nominations are open now through Nov. 8. MQMR will select a winner at random each week in November starting Nov. 4, and they’ll receive a $250 gift card for lunch on us. For a list of Official Rules and to submit your nomination, visit the contest page here.

Looking for an inexpensive early Christmas present for your staff? Lisa Lahey sent, “I have been in the mortgage banking industry and a notary in excess of 33 years, and seen the amount of paperwork having to do with a mortgage loan application. To make it easier to flip papers/turn pages while reviewing loan documents, I invented the ‘Pen Booty – a rubber ‘fingertip’ at the end of a pen making it easier to flip through papers versus licking my fingers or putting on the rubber fingertip on one of my fingers. There are 2 versions (and 8 colors) of the Pen Booty; one that goes on the end of a pen, and one that has a hole that goes on the end of a stylus for touch screen usage and still be able to flip paper. If you’d like to place an order, click above or email me.

FHA & VA programs continue to evolve, nudging Ginnie Mae along

For people with major student loan debt, MLOs will often recommend an FHA loan, which allows for a higher debt-to-income ratio. Here’s some advice for the first time homebuyer who is also saddled with student loan debt. Waiting until the deferral period has passed helps. Also look at FHA loans, however, there are caveats.

And yup, Ginnie Mae’s nonbank originator share reached a record high of 86 percent in September 2019 (page 11). Fannie’s earnings report this week showed that market share in the 3rd quarter of 2019 for new single-family mortgage-related securities issuances Ginnie snagged 31% (compared to Fannie’s 39%, Freddie’s 27%, and “private label” 3%).

Ginnie Mae is planning to launch a pilot program to accept eNotes as satisfactory collateral for its mortgage-backed securities. Fully digital FHA and VA loans? Ginnie Mae announced that it selected eOriginal to provide eVault software and services to the agency.

Ginnie Mae is soliciting feedback on its digital collateral guidelines according to a recent press release post. In addition, Ginnie Mae has added the following post: Ginnie Mae Selects eOriginal, Inc for eVault Software Services.

On Friday, November 15th, FHA is providing a free, half day, on-site Appraisal Training in Philadelphia. FHA appraisal requirements, including appraisal protocol and updates to FHA appraisal policy as outlined in FHA’s Single-Family Housing Policy Handbook. Advanced registration is required by November 6th.

FHA published the quarterly update to its Single-Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1. This publication updates and clarifies FHA’s servicing and claims policies and includes additional updates to other sections of the SF Handbook such as incorporation of the Maximum Loan-To-Value and Combined Loan-To-Value Percentages for Cash-Out Refinance Mortgages per Mortgagee Letter 2019-11. Updates to the Condominium sections under “Required Documents” to incorporate reference to the newly approved HUD forms.

U.S. Bank issued SEL-2019-056 regarding an update to USDA Funding. Its Seller Guide Update SEL 2019-057 covers VA Chapter 9 updates and Portfolio underwriting updates.

U.S. Bank Correspondent/HFA issued Bulletin 2019-54 with updated information relating to FHA Delegated Correspondent Overlay, Second Mortgage changes, HFA Overlay Matrix updates, Correspondent approved Assistance Programs.

PCF Wholesale is dedicated to helping Veterans and FHA Homeowners and is offering cash out loans to 100% LTV for VA and FHA to 80% with FICO’s as low as 600. (“Mention this note and our secondary will approved a 25-basis point price improvement.’)

PRMG issued Product Profile Updates specific to CHFA Preferred Plus Conventional, Expanded Access AA Credit, VA and VA High Balance and Agency Products.

loanDepot posted an Announcement reflecting updates regarding FHA – Mortgagee Letter 2019-13 – Condominium Project Approval Requirements, Selling Guide Announcement SEL 2019-08, Freddie Mac Bulletin 2019-20, Veterans Affairs – Veterans Information Portal (VIP), VA Circular 26-19-25 and VA Circular 26-19-25 Change 1.

PRMG is offering the option for Single Unit Condo Approvals on FHA loans with cases assigned on or after October 15, 2019. Product Profile’s for FHA Standard & High Balance, Expanded Access Products, Expanded Access B-C Products, Closed-End Second, All Housing Authority Products and WHEDA Advantage Products have been updated accordingly. PRMG has developed documents to help with the Single Unit Condo Approval process. A submission form, checklist and process document have been posted to the Resource Center.

Capital markets

Do you feel there’s more or less risk out there in the global economy? U.S. Treasuries rallied across the curve in a “risk-off” trade Thursday, after reports claimed that Chinese officials are questioning whether a comprehensive trade deal can be reached with the U.S. The Bloomberg report also noted that Chinese officials want to see some tariffs removed before negotiations move to the second phase and that an agreement on structural reforms is unlikely. President Trump, who the report identified as an impediment to a deal, tweeted that the “phase one,” which still needs to be signed, will cover about 60 percent of the total deal. Markets also received a weak Chicago PMI report for October, which fell to its lowest level since the end of 2015.

The flight to quality sent stocks somewhat lower, but the U.S. 10-year yield dropped to 1.69 percent. Personal income and spending in September registered roughly as expected, while the Q3 Employment Cost Index showed nothing noteworthy aka a continuation of moderate growth in compensation costs. It was all geopolitically driven.

Today we’ve had October Nonfarm Payrolls (+128k, topping forecasts, and a back month revision higher), Average Hourly Earnings (+.2%), and the headline Unemployment Rate (up to 3.6%). The two releases later today are September Construction Spending and the October ISM Manufacturing Index. Fed speak also returns with Dallas Fed President Kaplan, New York’s Williams, Fed Vice Chair Clarida, and Fed Governor Quarles all delivering remarks. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices worse .125-.250 on the strong employment report and the 10-year yielding 1.72%.

(Thank you to Laura B. for this one.)

A family of six was on a long, multi-state road trip, travelling to visit grandparents for Thanksgiving. After travelling for several hours they stopped early evening at an Italian “family” restaurant for dinner.

The youngest of the four daughters had to kneel in her chair to reach the table. After observing two forks and two spoons at each table setting she said to her mother, “Mom, I know why there are so many forks and spoons at our table.”

Her mother replied, “Why, honey?”

The little girl said, “So they won’t have to set the table for the next 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, “How Productive is Your Origination Team?” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.

Rob

(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2019 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

Halloween ’19: Sr. Ops, LO, cap. mkts jobs; pricing products; loan processing survey results

Halloween already! Who wouldn’t want to live in the scary Tombstone, AZ, Sleepy Hollow, NY, Kill Devil Hills, NC, Yellville, AR, Transylvania County, NC, Slaughter Beach, DE, Casper, WY, or Scarville, IA? What is also scary for many is that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is considering relaxing post-crisis structured mortgage product rules. Many industry vets are rightfully worried about guideline erosion in the primary markets, likening it to watching a “slow motion train wreck” and “sliding back down the curve.” In the secondary markets, are disclosure rules discouraging firms from issuing SEC-registered residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS)? Feel free to submit comments.

Jobs

Navy Federal, a top 10 direct lender and best place to work award winner, is looking for a seasoned mortgage executive to head the Credit and Underwriting area for the fast-growing lender. NFCU, headquartered in Northern Virginia, funds over 5,000 loans a month for NFCU members. NFCU is building a modern tech platform, and is looking for an executive to report to the head of Real Estate Lending and revamp the underwriting process for first mortgages and home equity products. This is for the experienced professional who is looking for that next step opportunity. Must be a strong leader, with a total staff of over 250 across three sites, and have a desire to retool the process and continue to build out automation to meet the future of the digital mortgage. Please contact Jose Santiago if interested.

 

Northpointe Bank is seeking a senior trader to manage its mortgage-backed securities trading and pipeline risk hedging program. This role is responsible for the bank’s best execution sale of mortgage loans in the capital markets, including evaluation of mandatory and best effort whole loan sale pipelines, trading agency MBS, oversight of internal and vendor supported pricing models, pool allocation and business reporting. The successful candidate has several years’ experience with mortgage pipeline hedging and loan sale deliveries and securitization with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae and private investor sales, and is results-oriented, an effective coach and enjoys working in a collaborative and thriving company. Northpointe Bank is ranked as a top performing bank in the nation and is predominantly focused on mortgage banking. To confidentially inquire, contact Anjelica Nixt and please specify the opportunity.

Mountain West Financial, a prominent leader in the affordable housing space has a rare opportunity for the right individual. We are searching for a VP of Community Lending. This position requires knowledge of affordable housing programs, agency overlays, HFA guidelines, and lending requirements. They will join a strong team with a passion for affordable housing and oversee all aspects of programs, relationships with agencies, and have influence with operations, marketing, and sales. MWF was named CalHFA’s #1 lender in 2018, a Freddie Mac RISE award winner, and has received other notable accolades in the affordable housing space. Join a team where your legacy leaves lasting marks in communities across America. Are you our VP of Community Lending? Contact Michael Delehanty.”

Evergreen Home Loans™ is excited to announce breaking its all-time funding record for the THIRD consecutive month. Loan funding in September outpaced the August record by nearly 8% and Evergreen is on track to have its best year ever. President and founder Don Burton credits the hard work and dedication of the company’s associates, as well as Evergreen’s superior digital mortgage experience. The Lender ranks top among peers for adopting and executing an eClosing process and is proud of this great milestone and look forward to breaking even more records. Interested candidates can find more information on the Evergreen Careers Page.

Congratulations to Nicole Abraham on her move to Synergy One Lending, a Mutual of Omaha Bank company (“Synergy”) as EVP, National Operations over the forward distributed retail division. Abraham most recently served as SVP, National Operations for Academy Mortgage Corporation where she oversaw operations in 14 regions consisting of more than 400 employees supporting annual production exceeding 40,000 loans per year. At Synergy, Abraham will oversee national operations, which include processing, underwriting, closing/funding, appraisal and disclosure desk, among other responsibilities. Synergy is one of the fastest growing mortgage lenders in the country. If you’re looking for opportunities to learn more about the power behind Synergy’s value proposition, please contact Aaron Nemec at (208) 794-7786.

Norcom Mortgage, headquartered in Avon, CT, now offers borrowers extra piece or mind with their Appraisal Assurance program. Appraisal Assurance offers a borrower a free appraisal credit up to $500 for a new property purchase if their existing purchase falls through for a bad home inspection or low appraisal. Additionally, with Norcom’s Appraisal Assurance there is no need to wait until the home inspection is complete to order the appraisal! To learn more about Appraisal Assurance and other exciting opportunities at Norcom call 1-855-NORCOM1.

Lender products & services

Moody’s Investors Service Upgrades NMI Holdings, Inc. and National Mortgage Insurance Corporation financial strength rating to “Baa2” from “Baa3.”  Moody’s also upgraded the rating on NMIH’s $150 million senior secured term loan and revolving credit facility to “Ba2” from “Ba3.”  The outlook for all ratings is Stable. Moody’s indicated that the upgraded ratings reflect the continued progress made by the company in scaling its U.S. mortgage insurance platform and improving its business and financial profile, and noted additional strength related to the company’s high-quality insured portfolio, lack of legacy MI exposure and comprehensive reinsurance program. National MI has been insuring mortgage loans since 2013 and is the fastest-growing U.S. mortgage insurance provider as measured by rate of growth in insurance-in-force.

PHH Mortgage, a leading mortgage servicer and provider of mortgage lending solutions, announces the expansion of its correspondent lending channel after a successful launch in June. PHH is rapidly growing its correspondent channel and expects its current estimated monthly origination volume of $150 million to continue on an accelerated growth trajectory over the next 12 months. By partnering with PHH, sellers can gain access to attractive pricing, industry leading cycle times (averaging four days), exceptional customer service and predictable underwriting. “Growing our lending business is a top priority and establishing sustainable sources of MSRs is a key component of our strategy. We have built an efficient, scalable correspondent lending platform that is focused on delivering a consistent quality service experience for clients and their customers,” said Tim Yanoti, EVP and Chief Growth Officer. Learn more at PHHfunding.com or contact Bob Marseilles, VP, Correspondent Sales.

LoanCraft is working to develop and expand its vision for how pricing technology should help wholesalers deliver their product. LoanCraft’s technology goes beyond automating rate sheets and providing pricing for standard QM agency programs. LoanCraft’s variety of tools embraces a wide range of loan types and non-agency or non-QM business. If you’re a wholesale lender who wants pricing technology to help you deliver innovative products, they want to talk to you. Contact Ron George or visit LoanCraft’s website to obtain its white paper: Engineering Pricing Technology So Wholesalers Can Deliver Innovation.

Loan process & processing news

As rumors swirl about HPS Investment Partners buying non-QM lender/servicer Citadel Servicing Corp. (which Inside Nonconforming Markets reports is fifth among all non-QM originators based on first-half volume of $920 million), investors and lenders are focused on fine-tuning their lending procedures, and with good reason.

Is perfection in the loan process too much to ask? According to Mike Seminari, director of STRATMOR Group’s MortgageSAT Program, miscues in the loan process equate to big shifts in the Net Promoter Score (NPS). For example, failing to call a borrower before closing to discuss numbers drops the NPS by 95 points. In a recent MortgageSAT study of 37,000 borrowers, 41 percent reported a “perfect” loan experience, meaning no missteps in critical areas of the process, and had NPS scores 20 points higher than borrowers who experienced one or more failures in critical areas. What can a lender do to make perfection part of the company’s culture? Seminari offers three suggestions in his October MortgageSAT Tip.

 

U.S. Bank has updated the Annual Recertification section within its Correspondent Seller and HFA Division Lending Guides. Changes will be effective with all annual recertifications requested after October 1, 2019. Earlier this year, U.S. Bank launched the enhanced Correspondent Underwriting Customer Care Help Line and dedicated email address. Lenders are encouraged to utilize this resource with questions. Dedicated Email Address is UWCustomerCare@usbank.com. Correspondent Underwriting Customer Care Help Line is 800.200.5881. Lenders are prompted to ‘select Option 2 for Underwriting Customer Care.

Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions has made enhancements to its Platinum, Portfolio Select, and bank statement which include guideline changes and significant rate improvements. Call 855.910.9787 for more information.

PRMG issued a reminder, when requesting an appraisal transfer; lenders must follow its Appraisal Transfer Policy as outlined in the Resource Center. It is important to remember that you cannot reach out directly to the AMC to request the transfer, it must be coordinated through PRMG.

Plaza Home Mortgage is accepting FHA’s new Single-Unit Approvals (SUAs) for condos. This new condo approval process, effective as of October 15, 2019, makes it easier for individual condominium units to be eligible for FHA-insured financing when they are in projects that are not currently FHA approved. To submit a condo to FHA for a SUA review, the project and loan will need to meet certain criteria, but key eligibility requirements to note are LTV < 90% OR the application has an “Accept” from TOTAL Scorecard. Condo project must have at least five units. Project needs a Certificate of Occupancy issued at least 12 months prior or has been occupied for that duration. Manufactured Housing is not eligible.

Plaza Home Mortgage is bringing back up to 100% LTV on VA Cash-out refinances. View Plaza’s latest VA Fixed and ARM program guidelines.

A recent FAMC Correspondent National Bulletin included updates including the HomeReady $75 Framework course fee will no longer be charged. The payment fields will be removed from the online HomeReady Framework course registration page on October 23rd. Also, the DU Texas 50(f)(2) transactions are now eligible for a Property Inspection Waiver (PIW).

Bayview | Lakeview Correspondent’s C2019-40 Announcement provides information on the New HFA available in over 27 Areas in Colorado, UCDP and UCD Update for all HFAs and DSHA Conventional Program Change.

Capital markets

Let’s start with the big, albeit expected, news from yesterday. The FOMC called for the third consecutive 25 bps reduction to the Fed Funds rate range (now 1.50-1.75%). Market participants were keen to decipher the language of the statement, in which the Fed did not signal that another rate cut is imminent. Fed Chairman Powell repeated during his subsequent press conference that the rate cut was made in order to “insure against downside risks” and that monetary policy was in a “good place,” which both helped flatten the yield curve and diminished December rate cut odds.

U.S. Treasuries rallied in response, reclaiming losses from earlier in the week. The 10-year yield ended the day -4 bps to 1.80 percent. The ADP Employment Change report for September and the advance reading of Q3 GDP, despite both exceeding expectations, failed to have any tangible impact on Treasuries or mortgage prices. Following the cut by the Fed and no movement from the Bank of Canada, the Bank of Japan was out with its latest decision overnight.

 

Moving forward, the main news remaining in the week for markets is tomorrow’s payrolls report, but today has already kicked off with a couple labor market indicators: Job cuts from Challenger, Gray & Christmas (+21% in October, YTD +17%) and Initial Jobless Claims for the week ending October 26 (218k). Also we’ve seen September personal income (+.3%) and spending (+.2%) and Q3 employment costs (+.7%). Releases later this morning include Chicago PMI and Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Additionally, the Desk of the New York Fed will then conduct a Class B FedTrade operation when they purchase up to $257 million UMBS15 2.5 percent. We begin the day with not much change to rates from Wednesday.

A man is walking home alone late one foggy Halloween night, when behind him he hears:

BUMP… BUMP… BUMP…

Walking faster, he looks back and through the fog he makes out the image of an upright casket banging its way down the middle of the street toward him.

BUMP… BUMP… BUMP…

Terrified, the man begins to run toward his home, the casket bouncing quickly behind him.

FASTER… FASTER… BUMP… BUMP… BUMP….

He runs up to his door, fumbles with his keys, opens the door, rushes in, slams and locks the door behind him. However, the casket crashes through his door, with the lid of the casket clapping.

clappity-BUMP…clappity-BUMP… clappity-BUMP… on his heels, as the terrified man runs.

Rushing upstairs to the bathroom, he locks himself in. His heart is pounding; his head is reeling; his breath is coming in sobbing gasps.

With a loud CRASH the casket breaks down the door.

Bumping and clapping toward him.

The man screams and reaches for something, anything…

All he can find is a box of cough drops! Desperate, he throws the cough drops at the coffin …

…and… of…course, …the coffin stops!

Visit www.robchrisman.com for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “How Productive is Your Origination Team?” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.

Rob

(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2019 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

Oct. 30: IT, Bus. dev., JV jobs; non-QM, broker products; lots of approaching training & events coast to coast

Partnerships and acquisitions are flying around like monkeys in the Wizard of Oz. (Okay, that was a reach, but I saw it in the bookstore yesterday so was “top of mind.”) The latest example is Guaranteed Rate and @properties teaming up to launch a Chicago-based mortgage lender. The JV (“Proper Rate”) will open its doors in the first quarter of 2020. Guaranteed Rate founder and CEO Victor Ciardelli will lead the firm, and the company will serve chiefly to make home loans to home buyers represented by @properties’ 2,800 agents, who serve mainly the Chicago-area market. “Clients will be free to use any lender they choose, but many want the convenience of an in-house choice.”

Employment

A growing lender located in Los Angeles County is seeking experienced VP of Business Development and Recruiting. This well capitalized lender is aggressively looking to bring on talent to assist in continued growth. The lender is operating on Encompass and Optimal Blue and originating all products including Conventional, Agency, Jumbo and a full suite of Non-QM programs. Excellent compensation structure and full benefit package. Please forward resumes to Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt.

Are you a mortgage originator or sales manager in the Greater Denver area looking to grow your career? The Joint Venture division of NewRez is set to launch a multi-state JV partnership with a national scope headquartered in Denver, CO. This call center model joint venture will serve a specific affinity group of underserved professionals. “We are very excited about our new endeavor and our new partner,” said Vincent Daino, VP of Recruiting and Business Development. “We continue to grow and diversify our industry-leading Joint Venture platform and delivering results to our partners and great opportunities for loan officers.” If you are interested in hearing more about how to step into a sales management or origination role serving a national in-house audience, contact Vince Daino.

Take3™ Technologies, a fintech solution provider specializing in mortgage origination, seeks a talented, motivated Senior .NET Developer for our downtown Denver team. Our goal is to find someone who can hit the ground running and help take our products to the next level; a thought leader able to mentor technical and non-technical staff; a team player who takes ownership of our products – architecture, quality, user experience. Required mastery of ASP.NET MVC frameworks and JavaScript, CSS, jQuery, SQL, XML, JSON, API, Entity Framework. Really nice to have experience with Knockout.js, Bootstrap, Dapper ORM, Xamarin Forms, cloud services/architecture (AWS), MISMO, and mortgage origination. You will work with .NET based technologies, including ASP.NET 4.7 and ASP.NET Core 2, and SQL database tables, create intuitive UI optimizing user experiences, and communicate with vendors to build APIs. Our team is proud to each offer a well-rounded, full-stack contribution. Fit for you? Email resume to Kbradley@megastarholdings.com.”

Lender products and services

Non-QM has turned into a full-fledged industry in 2019 and has a solid foundation built to handle years of future growth. Deephaven Mortgage was founded in 2012 to help responsibly rebuild the Non-Agency marketplace. Over the past seven years, Deephaven has built a reputation for having the unparalleled infrastructure, technology, and a more profound commitment to helping originators leverage and learn how to originate, close, and sell Non-QM to their client base. If you are thinking about entering the Non-QM arena, or if you are already originating and are doubling down heading into 2020, then make the call to Deephaven today. Our dedicated team of in-house underwriters, account managers, scenario resources, and salespeople are committed to your success like no other lender-investor in the market. 7+ years of focusing on your Non-QM success! To find out more about Deephaven, contact brokerinfo@deephavenmortgage.com (Wholesale) or sales@deephavenmortgage.com (Correspondent) or visit www.deephavenmortgage.com.

It’s no secret that mortgage lending institutions are spending more money on consumer-facing technologies than ever before. With your competition searching for their “silver bullet” to a great customer experience, what steps are you taking to ensure you have life-long customers? As a leading appraisal management company that has always been focused on providing an outstanding customer experience, Class Valuation’s research has uncovered three key findings to great service. Read the Guide to Exceeding Customer Service Expectations today and gain tools to help you break away from the pack and stand out.

 

QLMS is passionate about doing more so that brokers can focus on building relationships and growing their business. One of the biggest ways a company can grow is through effective marketing. QLMS has taken marketing pieces that have been tried and tested by America’s largest mortgage lender and is giving them to their partners for FREE through the Marketing Hub. Not only are there important marketing pieces like emails, social media posts and direct mail pieces, but QLMS has added even more to the collection. Partners can now get custom PowerPoint presentations for brokers to use when meeting with clients or real estate agents. Spanish-language flyers have also been added, so brokers can have professional-quality marketing to serve bilingual clients. Contact your AE to learn more. If you’re not working with QLMS, you can connect with them here to discover how QLMS can help you reach your future clients.

 

Stearns Wholesale Lending is celebrating its 30th Anniversary supporting the mortgage broker this month. At Stearns, relationships always come first. You are never just a number. Stearns is committed to utilizing a distributed sales model supplemented by a hybrid internal sales group offering a best in class operational experience for their clients. This is facilitated by a commitment to technological innovation and a robust product line with a vision to be the lender of choice for most mortgage transactions in the marketplace at a competitive price. At Stearns, we know your name and you know ours. Hear more from RVP, Delfino Aguilar in this video: https://youtu.be/JSvflLJ4HBY.

Training & events into the first half of November

As the Mortgage Bankers Association yearly conference is winding up, and weary lenders and vendors head to the Austin Airport, there are hundreds of thousands in the business who aren’t there, and can take advantage of online training or local conferences. Let’s see what’s coming up!

If you are looking for awesome speakers for your sales rally. Your company meetings. Your association events. Karen Deis has created www.MortgageWomenSpeakers.com. Over 55% (or more) employees in the mortgage biz are women, yet only a handful of the featured speakers are women. Why hire a mortgage woman speaker?  Because women add a unique insight to sales and marketing strategies, to social media engagement, to inspirational messages. Here’s the list:  Christine Beckwith. Ginger Bell. Laura Brandao. Jodee Brydges. Tammy Butler. Karen Deis. Cindy Ertman. Susan Meitner. Jessica Petersen. Donna Quinsenberry. Kelly Resendez. Louise Thaxton. Kelly Zitlow. Consider hiring women speakers for your next event and add a new perspective and a unique inspirational message for loan originators and managers.

On October 31st, join Buckley attorneys Dan Stipano, Fredrick Levin, Katie Halliday, and Ben Hutten for a webcast on the current state of the law, due-diligence procedures for financial institutions that are providing or considering providing services to marijuana-related businesses, issues giving rise to litigation, and legislative developments.

Genworth Mortgage Insurance provides complimentary courses to help customers manage, protect and grow their business, delivering you-centric solutions that matter. Check out the Basic and Advanced versions of our Desktop Underwriter® and Loan Product Advisor® courses, both will help you put the wow in your now. November Training Calendar is here.

Plaza’s November Webinar Calendar is now available for viewing and registration. Training topics include Reverse Jumbo, FHA Streamline, Manufactured Homes, HomeStyle, and Fraud.

Arch MI offers training for loan processing, appraisals, underwriting self-employed borrowers and more. Its November Sessions have been posted and registration is open.

National MI is offering the following line-up of Training Webinars in the month of November: 5th Turn Managers into Coaches with Bruce Lund, Ph.D., 14th Next Gen Influence: How to Educate Millennials on Wealth-Building, 19th Presenting on Your 2020 Sales Plan with Bruce Lund, Ph.D., and 21st Basic Underwriting of the Self-Employed Borrower After Tax Reform.

Join the Mortgage Bankers Association of Greater Philadelphia and Holland & Knight’s Philadelphia office on November 5th for a live CLE presentation. The focus will be cutting-edge employment and financial regulatory law issues. Learn what you can, should and must do when employees engage in criminal, sexual, ethical, or other misconduct in the workplace or off-site.

On Wednesday, November 13th, FHA is providing a free, half-day, on-site Appraisal training in Atlanta covering FHA appraisal requirements, including appraisal protocol and updates to FHA appraisal policy as outlined in FHA’s Single-Family Housing Policy Handbook.

On Thursday, November 14th, FHA is providing a free, half-day, on-site Condominium Training in Atlanta introducing interested stakeholders to the basic principle of FHA’s condominium approval process. This training will also take an in-depth look at a variety of topics including general requirements; Single-Unit Approval Process; HUD Review and Approval (HRAP) versus Direct Endorsement Lender Review and Approval Process (DELRAP); eligible and ineligible condominium projects, FHA Connection and more.

On Thursday, November 14th, FHA is providing a free, half-day, on-site Underwriting Training in Philadelphia to provide an overview of FHA underwriting procedures and address other policy-related questions. Additionally, this training will also take an in-depth look at a variety of topics, including credit, income, and asset (CIA) documentation; manual underwriting; automated underwriting systems (AUS); closing; and more. Advanced registration is required by November 6th.

On Thursday, November 14th, FHA is providing a free, half-day, on-site Condominium Training in Philadelphia. This training will introduce interested stakeholders to the basic principle of FHA’s condominium approval process. This training will also take an in-depth look at a variety of topics including general requirements; Single-Unit Approval Process; HUD Review and Approval (HRAP) versus Direct Endorsement Lender Review and Approval Process (DELRAP); eligible and ineligible condominium projects, FHA Connection and more. Advanced registration is required by November 6th.

Capital markets

There is definitely conflicting news about the economy, and there are areas in economic statistics that are lacking. Put another way, someone will always find fault with something, with some measurement, some statistic. The numbers are old, and not forward looking. Unemployment data doesn’t catch certain trends. Whatever. But the latest development, which has credibility, is on how Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is questioning whether traditional measurements of the economy are flawed because economists understate the value of the free internet. He has referenced a study by MIT economist Erik Brynjolfsson that examines the monetary value consumers place on widely used internet services.

The data in the upcoming weeks is expected to show more signs of a slowdown in U.S. economic activity due in part to the manufacturing slowdowns at Boeing and GM, the effects of which showed up in September’s durable goods report. Overall orders fell 1.1 percent, order for transportation equipment were down 1.6 percent and motor vehicle orders declined 4.2 percent for the month. The GM strike is also expected to have an impact on October’s jobs report, however now that the strike is over that effect should be limited. Nondefense capital goods shipments have fallen significantly on an annualized basis over the last three months. It remains to be seen what effect this will have on third quarter GDP as increasing inventories may offset this category. Housing data was unimpressive in September with sales of new and existing homes declining for the month. (The silver lining is that the decline came from a higher level as sales ticked up over the prior months.) The pace of home sales is not expected to have a significant impact to the headline GDP number but mortgage rates remain low and household balance sheets are relatively healthy.

With today’s Fed rate cut a near certainty, Treasuries displayed little movement yesterday, including the 10-year yield ending the session -1 bp to 1.84 percent. Lower MBS coupons led spreads tighter, with 2.5 percent and 3 percent outperforming versus higher coupons. For an LO this means that lower rates did better than higher rates on rate sheets. The Fed Desk purchased $1.3 billion 2.5 percent and 3 percent securities. October agency prepayments speeds were released, and it showed speeds are expected to peak for the year, with FN30 speeds now expected to increase 9 percent on average, while GNIIs and FN15s are seen increasing 3 percent and 6 percent, respectively.

As far as mainstream news goes, the UK’s Labor (Labour) Party is now willing to support a December 12 general election knowing that a no-deal Brexit won’t happen until January 31. Separately, there were reports Presidents Trump and Xi could sign phase one of the trade agreement November 17. The USTR came out saying it is considering extending tariff exemptions on $34 billion of imported Chinese goods that would go into effect December 28.

We’ve already had out all notable economic releases before this afternoon’s FOMC rate decision (and subsequent Chair Powell press conference), when the Fed Funds Rate is expected to be cut to 1.625 percent from 1.875 percent. Mortgage applications increased 0.6 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for last week. We’ve had the ADP Employment Change for October (125k, as expected), and Advanced Q3 GDP Report (+1.9%). We begin today with rates up a touch from Tuesday’s close: Agency MBS prices are little changed and the 10-year is yielding 1.85%.

I took out a loan to pay for an exorcism. If I don’t pay it back, I’m going to get repossessed.

Visit www.robchrisman.com for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “How Productive is Your Origination Team?” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.

Rob

(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2019 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

Oct. 29: LO jobs; U/W, broker, compliance products; Ellie/Capsilon deal; big banks back into FHA lending?

As noted in the commentary very early yesterday, a shade ahead of the actual details, the big news was the HUD/DOJ/False Claims Act announcement. Cutting “to the chase,” it prompted one CEO of a small non-bank lender to write me saying, “Well, with the big banks expected back into the FHA pool, there go the profit margins!” PennyMac, pretty much the top FHA lender in the country via its correspondent and portfolio retention channels, certainly took note given the expected increased participation by banks (in the FHA market) will make things more competitive in their various retail channels. Certainly won’t make things less competitive, right? According the HUD, in 2018 under 15% of FHA originations were done through banks, compared to 45% in 2010. Lots to think about, especially IF a new administration takes over since the current one remains focused on reducing the FHA footprint. More below.

Jobs

Mountain West Financial, Inc. welcomes Regional VP of Production Tiffaney Mason to its growing Wholesale family. Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, Tiffaney brings 30 years of mortgage leadership to MWF’s California based team. Joining her is a team of top-notch support staff and account executives. Tiffaney will manage the Mountain Region expansion for MWF offering wholesale lending in OR, WA, CO, UT, NV, NM, TX. MWF has been a top lender in California for the last 29 years and is excited to continue the expansion into these additional states. Connect with Tiffaney to find out why Mountain West Financial would be a good fit for you; currently recruiting in all Mountain region states.

Mortgage Unlimited is dedicated to creating “clients for life” for our Mortgage Planners. We do this by integrating best of breed technology like Sales Boomerang to keep our mortgage planners ‘top of mind’ with their past clients. Imagine not only having support for your Realtors on a sales platform but also having the ability to have a second origination pipeline of loans of past clients. To find out how Mortgage Unlimited’ s Platform is helping our mortgage planners close more loans with past clients, please contact Justin Tagliareni or visit us.”

Lender products & services

Optimal Blue shared that its Loan Trading Solution, Resitrader, has grown over 600% in the last year with monthly offered volumes approaching $10 billion. “We’re seeing nearly universal adoption of the platform among our hedge advisory clients,” said Jim Glennon, Director of Optimal Blue Secondary Services. “And with deep integrations to both Fannie and Freddie for cash window plus servicing bids, automated pooling and commitments, that have been in place for over a year, our clients find they have the entire market at their disposal for all execution types – for a True BESTX™.” Jim further commented that Bulk Mandatory represents about 70% of servicing released executions, with best efforts continuing to win the price wars 7-15% of the time and co-issue making up the rest.

 

The leading marketing and customer engagement technology platform for financial services, Total Expert, has raised $52 million in funding in its Series C round. The round was led by Georgian Partners with participation from Emergence and Rally Ventures, bringing Total Expert’s total funding to $86 million. Total Expert will leverage the new capital to expand its team of data scientists, designers and industry experts while accelerating the development of its APIs, machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities. “The future of financial services belongs to firms that combine human interaction with technology in a way that creates higher quality and more relevant experiences throughout the entire customer journey,” said Total Expert Founder and CEO Joe Welu. Total Expert was recognized as the fastest-growing software company in its region, and one of the 15 fastest-growing software companies in the U.S. Read the full announcement.

 

Take a more personalized and targeted approach to marketing home equity. In this ebook, Blend prompts you to consider each customer’s priorities, then walks you through creating smart campaigns, crafting relevant messaging, and choosing the right channels to reach your audience. Read it here.

Chenoa Fund, following up for success. Many homebuyers obtaining a mortgage find that aside from a monthly bill, communications with their lender pretty much stop after they sign on the dotted line. At the Chenoa Fund, we take a different approach. Through regular outreach, we stay in touch with our borrowers to provide support, reminders and, if needed, advice. Customers appreciate it. ‘The post-purchase calls, emails/texts are encouraging and serve as a regular reminder that we were able to accomplish this feat,’ says Gabrielle B. ‘It feels great knowing they are on your side and want you to be a successful homeowner,’ adds Danielle M. We love hearing these reviews, because they validate our philosophy: when our borrowers succeed, we all succeed. We want our homebuyers to know that we value them and believe in them. Staying in touch is a small gesture that can mean a lot.”

Introducing CLOES.pro a new Streaming Broadcast for Mortgage Professionals with detailed short video presentations on current mortgage compliance topics. The up to date information is presented by Deb Killian, CRMS. Responsible individuals, controls persons, branch managers and broker owners can avoid costly compliance missteps by being well informed on the latest topics. Questions submitted are turned into short detailed presentations providing expert support for lender training programs. Submit compelling questions on important topics directly to Deb Killian, CRMS. CLOES.online is now offering expert online education designed exclusively for mortgage loan originators. NMLS approved, online pre-licensing and continuing education classes that will change the way you think about online education. So tune in and check regularly the Latest Streaming info at CLOES.pro. Contact Deb Killian, CRMS for information on using CLOES.online to supplement  your training programs.  We teach MLO competencies and we prove it.  Charter Oak Systems, LLC, NMLS Provider #1405047

Home Point Financial’s Customer For Life program is expanding, and post-Fuse coverage is building as well. But they’re also making moves on the product front. To save time for brokers and borrowers, they’ve simplified and clarified our bank statement program (50% Expense Factor) to allow for a more efficient review for business accounts. In fact, they will no longer request a borrower-prepared profit and loss statement. Looks like Home Point is handing out an early Halloween treat. Don’t wait to partner with Home Point Financial: click here.

Imagine receiving your borrower’s entire underwriting package within minutes (instead of days) of a submitted loan application. With Maxwell’s digital mortgage platform, lenders are getting documents 73% faster with their FileFetch technology which connects to over 1,300 financial institutions for increased efficiency and a better borrower experience. This, combined with Maxwell’s already impressive, customizable loan app, borrower portal, task list, and integrations, drive real performance. Loans in Maxwell close more than 45% faster than the national average. To learn more and start using Maxwell today, visit www.himaxwell.com and request a demo today.

Tech & vendor news including survey results

Vendors are tumbling over themselves with news and partnerships during the annual conference.

Just in time for the MBA annual: STRATMOR Group’s October Insights Report includes the article, “Six Key Takeaways from the 2019 Technology Insight Study.” STRATMOR Senior Partner Nicole Yung, head of the company’s Analytics Team, shares the “aha” moments from this year’s study, including data on the consolidation of the LOS market, the continued evolution of CRM/Lead Management systems, and the barriers that lenders are still facing in implementing digital capabilities. Also in the October report, “A Tale of Three Borrowers,” the borrower experience stories of three STRATMOR experts as they navigated the home buying market in 2019. Check out the October Insights Report.

Ellie Mae, rumored to be in the market for a hedge advisor, announced Monday that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Capsilon, the leading provider of AI-powered mortgage automation software for mortgage lenders, investors and servicers. “With the acquisition of Capsilon, Ellie Mae is accelerating the vision of offering a fully digital mortgage by combining Ellie Mae’s Encompass™ Digital Lending Platform with Capsilon’s AI-powered solutions to create the most comprehensive end-to-end Software as a Service (SaaS) solution for companies in the mortgage industry.”

FHA segment clamor

Sure, GNMA (“Ginnie Mae”) is out there beating the drum about its modern GNMA Total Access pilot, that VA orphan loans can be issued waivers to be sold, and high LTV VA loans (over 90% LTV) had to be delivered in October settlements. But the real news from the MBA’s conference focused on FHA loans. The ones the big banks shied away from some years ago because of potential huge fines that would spring forth from vague violations.

As a result of the announced agreement HUD expects violations to be primarily addressed through HUD administrative proceedings. Violations would only be referred to the DOJ in cases where there are significant violations. The degree to which these moves negatively impact private mortgage insurance companies like Genworth, Essent, Radian, Arch, MGIC, and National MI remains to be seen, but it won’t help them if volume does indeed shift to FHA from the conventional conforming channel.

It seems that there were several important milestone achievements in FHA’s efforts to provide greater clarity and consistency for lenders doing business with FHA. These milestones include the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Justice (DOJ), the approved FHA annual lender certification, proposed loan-level certification, and the final Defect Taxonomy.

Under the terms of the MOU, infractions would only be referred to DOJ if they are deemed material (which would be defined as cases in which there are at least 15 loans with a balance of at least $2 million and under aggravating factors such as evidence that the violation is systemic or widespread).

Interested in annual lender certifications? On Friday FHA published the final Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) notice (Docket No. FR-7111-N-38A) for its approved annual lender certification in the Federal Register. The new annual lender certification, which can be viewed on the Annual Recertification web page, will be effective for the Certification Period ending December 31, 2019.

What about loan-level certifications? The FHA published a 60-day Federal Register PRA notice (Docket No. FR-7014-N-26), which proposes significant revisions to FHA’s loan-level certification. These include incorporating materiality into the certification as defined in the Defect Taxonomy. If you want to speak out, here’s your chance: the public may provide comments on FHA’s loan-level certifications PRA notice until Tuesday, December 24, 2019. After considering any comments received, FHA will publish a subsequent 30-day notice on the proposed changes.

If you have questions about defect taxonomy and the loan review system, the FHA posted its updated Single Family Housing Loan Quality Assessment Methodology (aka Defect Taxonomy) on its Loan Review System (LRS) web page. The revised Defect Taxonomy “provides more clarity and transparency into FHA’s loan-level quality assurance processes, and includes clarification of Severity Tier definitions, potential Remedies that align with Severity Tiers, revised Sources and Causes in certain Defect Areas, and incorporation of HUD policy references.

Wait, there’s more! FHA is making system enhancements in LRS to allow lenders to submit responses to Tier 3 and 4 findings. Until the enhancements are implemented, lenders may continue to submit appeals to deficient findings by contacting the FHA Resource Center at answers@hud.gov or by calling 1-800-CALL-FHA (1-800-225-5342).

Many organizations chimed in supporting the news. “The changes demonstrate the Administration’s commitment to enhance and update key elements of FHA’s core risk management policies and practices, a welcome and important step forward in FHA’s revitalization efforts… With this announcement, FHA has updated critical certification documents used in lender oversight and loan-level review processes and established an explicit nexus to FHA’s quality control standards and remedies for deficiencies.

Capital markets

U.S. Treasuries pulled back in curve steepening fashion to open the week, including, the 10-year yield closing +5 bps to its highest level since the second week of September at 1.85 percent, moved by reports from China confirming that progress is being made toward a “Phase One” trade deal with the U.S. As Treasuries slumped, U.S. stocks climbed to a record as President Trump confirmed the signing of the trade deal was ahead of schedule; and markets received solid earnings reports despite having priced in the near certainty that the Federal Reserve will cut rates tomorrow.

 

Since we’ve talked about trade, I guess it is time to talk about Brexit. The EU reportedly agreed to extend the Brexit deadline to January 31, with an opening for the UK to leave earlier if lawmakers there approve the withdrawal plan in the interim.

 

Looking at today, economic releases include the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index for August, Consumer Confidence for October, and Pending Home Sales for September. The week is still full of more earnings results and central bank decisions. Some key events coming up outside of the FOMC decision include U.S. Q3 GDP data due Wednesday, the Bank of Japan setting policy on Thursday and the monthly U.S. non-farm payrolls report to close the week. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices a smidge better and the 10-year yielding 1.83%.

I went to the cemetery yesterday to lay some flowers on a grave.

As I was standing there, I noticed 4 grave diggers walking around with a coffin. 3 hours later and they’re still walking around with it.

I thought to myself, they’ve lost the plot!!

Visit www.robchrisman.com for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “How Productive is Your Origination Team?” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.

Rob

(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2019 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

Oct. 28: IT job, title insurance opportunity; TPO products; FEMA news; brexit extension impacts rates

The Bank of Russia has reduced its benchmark interest rate to 6.5% from 7%, the sharpest cut in two years, and the EU has granted a Brexit extension to the UK. Mildly interesting. The U.S. saw something Friday that we hadn’t seen for nearly all of 2019: bank closures. In Ohio, Resolute Bank in Maumee was closed and Buckeye State Bank in Powell assumed its deposits. And in neighboring Kentucky, Louisa Community Bank’s deposits went to Kentucky Farmers Bank Corporation in Catlettsburg. And here’s something that may turn some heads: hallway scuttlebutt during the MBA’s conference about the Department of Justice and HUD collaborating on the loan level certification that will provide clarity on defect taxonomy and the False Claims Act. Watch for a 60-day comment period about the proposal.

Employment & business opportunity

A large, well-capitalized wholesale lender headquartered in Orange County, CA is looking for an experienced Encompass Programmer Analyst. The ideal candidate will have experience working in the Encompass SDK, building complex business rules and other plugins using Visual Basic and C#, and help optimize workflows. Resumes can be confidentially submitted to Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt; please specify opportunity.

 

A national title Insurance agency in New York State is looking for a partner to increase its sales. The title & escrow agency has been around for over 15 years with a staff of 12 including two attorneys. The ideal partner is someone with many banking and real estate connections looking to either merge, joint venture or become partners with the sole principal of the title agency. This individual or company understands the profitability within the title industry and is looking to get involved on the title side. It’s a dream scenario for someone(s) to walk in here and use this national platform to get involved in the title industry.  Interested principals should  send a confidential note of interest to Anjelica Nixt and I will pass it along to the president of the company.

 

Thrive Mortgage is pleased to welcome all attendees to the MBA Annual Expo in Austin, TX. Thrive is very well represented in this year’s events including their Chief Operating Officer, Selene Kellam, presenting at the Future Leaders session held Sunday afternoon.  “It’s an honor to have been selected to be a part of this amazing group of professionals,” stated Kellam. “MBA is hugely important organization and we are thrilled to join them in shaping the future of our industry.” Much of Thrive’s leadership is on hand meeting with many other industry leaders, as well as Thrive’s Media Team to chronicle the event.  We invite you to connect with us while you’re in town and hear firsthand what it means to Thrive! For more info about Thrive Mortgage, or to meet with members of our leadership team while you’re in town,  reach out to us at Marketing-Dept@ThriveMortgage.com!

Lender products & services

 

Flagstar Bank has named John Gibson national sales director for its Third-Party Originations Division. In this position, he is responsible for the strategic direction, growth and profitability of Flagstar’s broker and correspondent channels. He brings to Flagstar more than 25 years’ experience in the mortgage industry, covering both wholesale and retail lending, as well as hiring, training, origination and servicing. Prior to joining Flagstar, he was with Caliber Home Loans, Inc., for eight years, most recently as executive vice president of Wholesale Lending Production. He started his career and spent 14 years at Wachovia, a Wells Fargo company, leading mortgage sales and strategy on both the wholesale and retail side. Learn More.

 

Want help managing your client relationships and growing your business? United Wholesale Mortgage recently introduced an all-new, all-inclusive portal, Brand 360, which includes a feature called Client Connect that does just that. By opting in to receive alerts, UWM will notify you when it’s time to reconnect with your clients. Available alerts include New Listing, Credit Watch, Rate Watch, Market Watch, Equity Watch, M.I. Drop, Birthday and Loan Anniversary. Better yet? You can have UWM reach out to your clients automatically on your behalf. Take advantage of Client Connect by signing up with UWM now.

 

“Just like the state of Texas, Mr. Cooper has BIG news to share – We’re excited to announce the successful launch of MOXI (Mortgage Originations Xpress Interface), our new Delegated Correspondent technology innovation and loan management solution. MOXI offers dynamic features such as drag and drop document delivery, self-service ad hoc reporting, instant bulk registrations and eligibility for Hybrid AOT just to name a few. Also, no FNMA 3.2 is required! AND that’s not all!  Significant technology investments continue as we’re in development to introduce an innovative Non-Delegated platform in early 2020. Our 2020 roadmap also includes Non-QM offerings. If you’re in Austin this week, stop by our meeting space to meet MOXI. Your Regional Sales team can provide the details. For a preview of MOXI’s capabilities, view the Meet MOXI video here. Mr. Cooper is top 10 Correspondent investor, a premier Co-Issue investor and the largest non-bank servicer with a servicing portfolio $640B+. For information, visit us.”

 

If you missed the Women with Vision Summit in Tampa, let’s get you up to speed. The award celebrated 25 women within the mortgage industry bringing community and connection to the conversation. Award recipients were honored for their accomplishments, for creating opportunities for fellow professionals and encouraging one another to expand their networks. Computershare Loan Services, an end-to-end service provider in the mortgage industry, congratulates Head of US Compliance, Leesa Logan and Michelle Sapit, VP of Secondary Marketing for being recognized as Women with Vision award by 20/20 Vision for Success Coaching and Mortgage Women Magazine.

FEMA: Director of all things disaster

Fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, they all flow through FEMA. Lenders and investors base triggering their disaster policies off of FEMA’s declaration; it doesn’t make much sense to base policies off of someone’s word for it.

An update has been made to the Bayview | Lakeview Loan Servicing Disaster File either declaring a new disaster or updating an existing disaster.

Mortgage Solutions Financial posted an update on the Mississippi Flooding Disaster Alert.

On 10/24/2019, FEMA declared federal disaster aid with individual assistance to 1 additional Texas county, San Jacinto, affected by Tropical Storm Imelda. AmeriHome Mortgage issue a reminder to review its disaster policy. For Loans utilizing a Fannie Mae Appraisal Waiver or Freddie Mac ACE offer, the following requirements apply if the property is in a FEMA declared disaster area with individual assistance. If the FEMA declared Incident Begin Date is Prior to Loan close – the Appraisal Waiver or ACE offer may not be exercised, and a full appraisal is required. After Loan close – an inspection, including interior inspection and photos, is required.

loanDepot Wholesale/Correspondent Weekly Announcement October 14th includes Selling Guide Announcement 2019-08 and Texas Disaster Announcement Update.

DataVerify’s sister company, FZDS, will now be known as DataVerify Flood Services and DataVerify will be able to offer flood zone determination. As the industry leader in risk mitigation, this additional service as crucial to creating the overall workflow that lenders are looking for in this modern era of lending. As a National Flood Determination Association member company, DataVerify Flood Services offers state-of-the-art mapping, tracking, convenient reporting options, and dependable flood zone determinations. Leading-edge technology enables DataVerify Flood Services to provide timely and reliable determinations during the lending process while enabling reliable property tracking throughout the life of the loan, thus ensuring its status remains compliant with the mandatory purchase requirement.

Capital markets

What is the chatter from the MBA’s conference? How about the FHFA taking on an advisory roll (versus a regulatory roll)? No Agency ever wants to become obsolete, and the hallway chatter has the FHFA, currently overseeing Freddie and Fannie for the U.S. Government, helping the GSEs raise capital, keep capital, and lead them out of conservatorship. Trying to finalize capital rule to make that happen (currently at $12b)

Looking at rates, U.S. and global economic data remained soft over the last week. Purchasing managers’ indices showed contraction for the Eurozone as well as its largest economy, Germany. Monetary policy for the region was left unchanged with asset purchases scheduled to start soon. Back stateside, existing home sales fell in September but are up 3.9 percent over the last twelve months. Inventory is at a tight 4.1 months’ worth and prices increased 5.9 percent. Meanwhile sales of new home declined in September to an annualized rate of 701,000 but are up 15+ percent over the last year. However, unlike with existing home, new home prices are down 8.8 percent over the last twelve months; a sign that builders have shifted from move-up homes to starter homes. And we saw residential applications drop significantly from the week prior.

Yes, there are minute market fluctuations day-to-day, but the major headlines driving rates and expectations (the trade war and Brexit) have seemed largely unchanged over the last six months. U.S. Treasury yields pulled back slightly to close Friday, including the 10-year ending the week +4 bps to 1.80 percent, after a risk-on move in the stock market drove the S&P to a near all-time high and led to risk-off trading in the Treasury market. None of the recent negative indicators, like soft U.S. economic data or earnings reports, are being seen as a portent of imminent doom that fosters a flight to safety. The majority of Friday’s action specifically was a result of news that the U.S. and China are close to finalizing some sections of the “Phase One” trade agreement after a call between senior officials. Still, global growth continues to slow, and the trade standoff remains unresolved.

 

Reports have China asking the U.S. to cancel the tariff hike set to go into effect December 15 and remove the tariff imposed on September 15 in exchange for boosting its purchases of U.S. agricultural products. The University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment for October was largely obscured by larger headlines, though the figure missed expectations slightly, despite signaling positive feelings about income and job growth that drowned out the headline volatility involving trade/tariff issues and the impeachment inquiry. Remember, President Trump also increased levies on goods from Europe earlier this month, and tensions could rise if he makes good on his threat to impose a tariff on imported cars next month. Considering the Fed’s reputation for playing it safe, many investors have already planned for a rate decrease of a quarter percentage point at its meeting this week.

 

The other big economic news this week, aside from the Fed, is Brexit. Sound familiar? With Brexit’s October 31 deadline looming, the EU have granted a three-month extension. Prime Minister Johnson challenged British lawmakers to hold a snap election on December 12, hoping to win a popular mandate that would allow him to push through his proposal. Parliament must still approve the vote, and that’s another uphill battle. For businesses, it’s chaos.

 

Today’s calendar begins with September Advanced International Trade in Goods, Advanced Retail Inventories, and Advanced Wholesale Inventories for September. Later in the morning brings the Chicago Fed National Activity Index for September, the Dallas Fed Manufacturing Business Index for October, a Treasury release of the Q4 borrowing estimate, and the NY Fed will conduct a GNII FedTrade operation ($481 million 3 percent and 3.5 percent) followed by the release of the new two-week FedTrade schedule covering the October 29 to November 14 period.

 

Tomorrow, investors will be watching for figures from the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index for August, Consumer Confidence for October, and Pending Home Sales for September. Wednesday is arguably the most important day of the economic week, and in addition to rate change decisions from the FOMC and the Bank of Canada, includes the ADP Employment Change for October, Q3 GDP – Advance, EIA Crude Oil Inventories, as well as the details of the Quarterly Refunding. Thursday brings Q3 Employment Cost Index, Personal Income and Spending figures, the Core PCE Price Index for September, Chicago PMI for October, and a rate decision overnight from the Bank of Japan. The week closes with the always-important October Employment Situation Report, the ISM Manufacturing Index for October, and Construction Spending for September. Fedspeak resumes on Friday with Vice Chair Clarida and New York’s Williams. Overseas releases that may impact trading stateside include German employment, European inflation and China’s manufacturing PMI. We begin today with Agency MBS prices worse .125 and the 10-year yielding 1.84% with the temporary extension of the U.K. leaving the European Union in place removing some uncertainty.

(From Illinois, thanks to Darren M. who sent this one.)

The heart specialist was operating on the patient when he suddenly said, “Don’t worry, Adam. This is a minor operation. Everything will be all right.”

The patient replied, “Thank you Doctor, but my name is Jose.”

The heart specialist said, “I know that. Adam is my name.”

Visit www.robchrisman.com for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “How Productive is Your Origination Team?” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.

Rob

(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2019 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

 

Oct. 26: Notes on the mortgage “experience,” market share shifts, appraisal waivers; state laws in flux

As usual there are a lot of crosscurrents of thought in residential lending, touching on psychology, behavioral economics, mathematics, fortune telling… Let’s see who’s saying what out there.

(First, a commercial message. “Take a line from Guaranteed Rate and stop eating up your team’s time (and your borrowers’ patience) chasing down paper asset verification documents. By partnering with FormFree, the top-ten lender has been able to shave 4-8 days off each application that uses AccountChek to automatically verify borrower assets. Multiply that time savings by the 60% of Guaranteed Rate customers who opt in to AccountChek’s easy, digital asset verification and the value proposition is overwhelming. For a more in-depth view into how FormFree has helped Guaranteed Rate perfect the lending experience while driving process efficiency, read the case study or watch Guaranteed Rate SVP Brad Lando tell you himself.”)

Regarding a question my commentary raised this week asking how the “mortgage process” became the “mortgage experience, Cloudvirga’s Dan Sogorka weighed in. “I always appreciate some good banter, as well as the service you provide our industry, but I do feel compelled to answer your question of “when did a ‘mortgage process’ become a ‘mortgage experience’?”

“To me, mortgage went from process to experience when customers started demanding the same from lenders as they do from Amazon, Apple, and Netflix. Customers can buy stuff, compute, and watch TV using any number of other companies. But they love these brands because of the whole experience. Everything is elegant and easy. The mortgage industry is just now catching up and making the ‘process’ an elegant and easy ‘experience’.

“We have also come to the realization that people actually want ‘homes’ not ‘mortgages.’ Cloudvirga is proud to help lenders and their LOs deliver that experience. The POS world was never just about a loan application process. It’s about a wonderful home buying and financing experience from loan application to home shopping to close and move-in. That’s how we view it and what we’re constantly working on improving for lenders. Hope that helps.”

On the question of market share, Julian Hebron from The Basis Point relayed, “I think the question is less about whether a few mortgage companies dominate, and more about which companies can serve the entire customer financial/housing lifecycle. Companies who have maintained or grown mortgage leadership in the last 10 years aren’t mortgage-only shops. They serve customers and make money across full lifecycles, not just mortgage transactions. The top two are clear examples. Number one Wells Fargo serves customers throughout their financial life by covering budgeting, saving, borrowing, and investing. Number two Quicken Loans serves customers throughout their homeownership life with home search, buying, financing, selling, credit/financial monitoring. I think the top 30 will increasingly be dominated by multi-product shops going forward.”

And wouldn’t home loans be streamlined if the owner of the loan/investor didn’t care about the value? No appraisals! On the flip side, what if every home loan required three appraisals? That would sure bog thing down. The topic of waiving appraisals (who, what, where, when, why) is a hot one. The general belief is that the PWI is not as much predicated on the home, nor the loan structure, and more in the availability of prior appraisals in the area. Appraisals being in “machine language” making them readable, and the data more subject to compiling and valuation algorithms is hot stuff. And some wonder that if Freddie and Fannie are under government conservatorship, could that information be subject to a FOIA request?

Mike Simmons, co-President of California’s AXIS Appraisal Management Solutions, thought, “The GSE’s have been collecting data from appraisal reports for many years. The number most often referenced is on some 25 million properties. Whether or not that number includes the same property multiple times or it represents unique properties is not entirely clear. Either way, it’s a lot of data.

 

“A caveat: data isn’t information. Fannie and Freddie (like everyone else in the data aggregation space) believe that they’re extracting credible information from all that data. My experience with the wide spectrum of varying quality in some substantive percentage of appraisals tells me much of that data is inaccurate, hence the information becomes tarnished. A good example would be using information or factual data on the subject property from tax records to determine square footage rather than an actual measurement. And then there’s the whole issue of bias and how it’s perpetuated; from individual appraisers on the small scale, to data aggregators on a macro scale, and to the data scientists who build in bias to their automated value models (AVMs) before they even get to the actual information… but that’s another – and very long – story.

 

“So … what the GSEs say they do is base a PIW on properties where they have a history on in their giant database. And not just any history, but one that (at least historically) needed to include a transaction within the last 12 months. Here it gets a bit murky. Is this a hard and fast rule? Do they make exceptions? Does it apply equally to purchases and refinances? Are the LTV’s the same for both? Do the current studies and pilot programs that are looking at an enhanced inspection process indicate additional potential changes?

 

“These are at their core political questions – and like most political questions today, they’re deeply unclear. It’s good to remember too that Fannie and Freddie are in the ‘risk’ business. They don’t make loans, they buy (and sell) loans that others make and determine the inherent risk in that security. It also doesn’t hurt that they have the implied faith and credit of the government backstopping those loans (i.e., securities). It’s arguable whether they – or anyone else in that chain – cares what a property is worth in the same way you and your customer do. Their concern is whether the risk of buying a loan falls within an acceptable tolerance level. It’s neither ‘good nor bad’; it’s just fundamental to the process of lending. (It’s also why appraisals were required after the 1929 Depression – and why, in my opinion, all borrowers should always have an independent appraisal of some type to better understand the value of their property)

 

“Your readers should know that data on the subject’s neighborhood is part of the equation, but to get a waiver, it’s necessary to have some recent history on the subject property. At least it is today.”

State laws

Of curse they’re always changing, ratcheting up costs for any lender doing business in more than one state.

As California goes, so goes the nation? What are the fundamentals of the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018? The CCPA’s initiative is privacy control and transparency in data practices. The CCPA declares that the right of privacy is an inalienable right, and fundamental to privacy rights is the ability to control the use, including the sale, of personal information. It applies to residents of California and takes effect on January 1, 2020.

The Texas Finance Commission has adopted provisions regarding licensing requirements for certain licensees. The new provision states that a license for a new residential mortgage loan originator is effective from the date of issuance until December 31. A license must be renewed annually. Once a license is renewed, it is effective for a term of one year, from January 1st until December 31st. Under the new provision, annual renewal fees are due by December 31st. A license will expire on December 31 if the annual fee has not been paid by this date. After expiration, a license may be reinstated any time between January 1st and the last day of February. Read the full provision here.

The State of Illinois will be phasing out its franchise tax beginning in 2020 and it will be fully eliminated in 2024. But in the meantime, it is rumored that several banks around the state are saying that Illinois has stepped up its reviews of holding company franchise tax filings in effort to collect any underpaid franchise tax.

The inquiries by the Secretary of State appear to be focusing on the apportionment factors used by some corporations to reduce their franchise tax liability. As part of apportionment, corporations need to determine if their bank stock is considered Illinois or non-Illinois property. Because the state rules focus on the physical location of assets including intangible assets, a number of bank holding companies have historically held their bank stock certificates outside of Illinois to avoid having them classified as Illinois property and thereby reducing their franchise tax liability.

Although the rules regarding Illinois franchise tax apportionment have not changed, the state appears to be reinterpreting the historic practice of holding stock certificates out of state in order to reduce franchise tax. Numerous holding companies have already received inquiries from the Secretary of State, but many are still waiting to hear back on final resolution of the issue.

A new amnesty program is available for corporations that may have underpaid their franchise tax liability. The program, which continues until November 15th abates penalties and interest associated with unpaid or underpaid franchise tax. However, all outstanding franchise tax due must be paid as part of the program, which has a look back period of seven years.

Missouri passed significant tax legislation in 2018 that will impact both businesses and individuals in coming years. Community banks will want to carefully consider how these new provisions will impact their institutions.

For years beginning on or after January 1, 2020, the corporate income tax rate is reduced from 6.25% to 4.00%. The bank franchise tax rate is also reduced from 7.00% to 4.48%. In future years if there are further reductions in corporate income tax rates, there will also be corresponding reductions in the bank franchise tax rate.

However due to the interplay between the bank franchise tax and corporate income tax, if your bank earns a large amount of tax-exempt income, you could find your Missouri bank franchise tax liability increasing even though Missouri corporate income tax rates are decreasing.

Though tax rates are decreasing, a credit (equal to 0.01677% of total assets less total deposits), which can currently be used to reduce the Missouri bank franchise tax or corporate income tax, has been repealed for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2020. More favorably, effective August 28, 2019, interest income earned on deposits held at a Federal Reserve Bank may be deducted in calculating Missouri taxable income.

On the personal tax front, for 2018 Missouri enacted a 5% business income deduction for individuals reporting “pass-through” business income on their personal income tax returns from S corporations and partnerships. For 2019 this deduction increases to 10% and may increase further in future years to a maximum of 20% if Missouri meets certain general revenue budget thresholds.

The Mortgage Bankers Association submitted comments in strong support of HUD’s proposed rule outlining how to prove disparate impact under the Fair Housing Act. The proposal seeks to align HUD’s Disparate Impact Rule with the analysis and guidance articulated by the Supreme Court in its 2015 ruling in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. Under the proposed rule, a plaintiff must plead facts to support five elements – most importantly, that a specific challenged policy or practice is “arbitrary, artificial, and unnecessary” to achieve a valid interest and a “robust causal link” between the specific challenged policy or practice and the alleged disparity. As the Court explained in Inclusive Communities, these requirements serve as safeguards that are necessary to protect defendants from being held liable for disparities they did not create. Along with incorporating these and other Inclusive Communities safeguards, HUD’s proposal creates defenses through which defendants can rebut claims of disparate impact. The proposed rule closely followed MBA recommendations made in response to HUD’s 2018 Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

A pirate and a sailor were exchanging stories. The sailor pointed to the pirate’s peg leg and asked, “How did you get that?”

The pirate said, “Aye, I wrestled a shark and lost me leg.”

The sailor pointed to the pirate’s hook and asked, “How did you get that?”

The pirate said: “Aye, I fought Red Beard’s crew and lost me hand.”

The sailor pointed to the pirate’s eye patch and asked, “How did you get that?”

The pirate said, “Aye, a bird came by and left droppings in me eye.”

The sailor said, “That’s not as impressive as the other two. …”

“Aye,” the pirate answered. “It was me first day with the hook.”

Visit www.robchrisman.com for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “How Productive is Your Origination Team?” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.

Rob

(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2019 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)