Nov. 14: LO jobs; broker, marketing, DPA tools; GSE changes; yield curve, employment, & mortgage rates

Some people save $2.95 a day by making coffee at home rather than stopping at Dunkin’ or Starbucks. It adds up! Something didn’t add up for WeWork which reported this morning that it lost $1.25 billion in the 3rd quarter. I think that’s the combined whole net worth of about 1,000 small brokers and bankers. Perhaps WeWork could use a loan, from… Google? Next year you’ll be able to bank at Google via a partnership with Citigroup and a credit union. All the talk months ago about Amazon entering residential lending, what about Google? (By the way, yesterday Nike cut off selling through Amazon.)


“Is everything really bigger in Texas? At PrimeLending it is. As a Texas-based industry leader with a sales-centric focus on retail loans, we’re growing and hitting numbers like never before in our South Texas markets. Best of all, our branches and loan officers are gaining an unstoppable momentum that will continue to make our region bigger and stronger than ever. Why? Because we offer products that meet the needs of your borrowers, the tools to enhance the mortgage experience, and the support to keep your loans progressing and closing on time. That’s how we help you build your business in the Lone Star State. If you’re ready to go with a powerhouse lender like PrimeLending, we’re looking to expand even more in our Houston, Austin and San Antonio regions. The first step is talking with Bobbi Jo Deniz, South Texas Regional Production Recruiter, and Joe Thompson, Regional Manager about the perks of joining the PrimeLending team.”

Lender services & products

Maxwell’s ground-breaking loan application, QuickApply, for their digital mortgage point-of-sale platform is designed to ease one of the biggest friction points of a borrower’s experience: the 1003.It gathers the borrower’s information from Maxwell’s network of data providers to pre-populate fields in the loan application, filling in personal information, employment history, income, real estate owned, financial assets, liabilities, and more. This new application enables clients to increase their application volume and improve borrower experience by reducing the burden on the consumer applying. Along with QuickApply, their point-of-sale platform is a must-see for all independent lenders and regional credit unions & banks looking for a digital mortgage solution to enhance and evolve the human relationship between borrower and loan officer. To learn more about Maxwell and QuickApply or request a personalized demo for your business, click here.

Join Golden State Finance Authority for an in-depth look at the new GSFA OpenDoors™ down payment assistance program! OpenDoors is a game-changer when it comes to helping homebuyers in California purchase a primary residence with little-to-no money out of pocket. The GSFA OpenDoors Program features homebuyer assistance up to 7% of the loan amount, flexible FICO score and DTI requirements and enhanced pricing. FHA, VA, USDA and Conventional Loan financing is available. Plus, GSFA delegates the loan process to the Participating Lender so no additional compliance review from GSFA is necessary, making the process simple and easy for both borrower and Lender. Ready to start closing more loans? Join us for a Lender Training Webinar. and view Program guidelines at You don’t want to miss out on this EXCITING new Program!”

‘Tis the season to begin planning for 2020, and your marketing strategy should be a top priority during the process. However, your plan shouldn’t just be good, it should be outstanding, like you and your team, if you expect to compete and win in today’s environment. No need for it to be too detailed, but it should be flexible enough to accommodate changes in your goals and objectives as the year progresses. Seroka Brand Development assists companies in the mortgage and fintech industries with all aspects of planning, including brand and strategy development, marketing, PR, digital and social media, and more. Seroka’s planning also includes a strategy to develop content for a company’s existing marketing automation system or sales engagement platform. If you’re interested in working with the industry experts for your 2020 marketing needs, contact Seroka today.

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.

Caliber Home Loans, Inc. continues to transform the mortgage process for our customers by making significant changes to our Customer Support Centers. Our growing teams of Support Center employees now respond to a broader range of customer needs than ever before, and with more representatives available during peak call times, we’ve never been better at supporting our customers. Caliber is a top 10 non-bank servicer (IMF) with over 600,000 customers, giving us the opportunity to support the needs of our customers before, during and after closing. We’re driven to build relationships with our customers and are looking for originators who are too! Visit us online or email Brian Miller today.”

Conventional conforming moves

There’s a lot going in Fannie & Freddie Land. There’s the new FHFA Strategic Plan and 2020 Scorecard, and the FHFA’s Request for Input on pooling practices for the TBA UMBS Market. If you want a quick read, there’s “Fannie & Freddie: A Snapshot”. It is clear that there is no deadline to end the GSEs conservatorships. And any GSE footprint reductions would be modest and tactical: do we really need to subsidize cash out refis, or investor properties?

Powered by FHFA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac, the Mortgage Translations clearinghouse offers translated resources that lenders, servicers, and housing professionals can leverage to help clients with limited English proficiency. In addition to Spanish, the clearinghouse now includes translated mortgage documents and a glossary in traditional Chinese.

As of October 23rd, Fannie Mae began waiving the $75 Framework homeownership course fee, removing the cost burden for your borrowers.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs) published the updated static version of the redesigned Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA/Fannie Mae Form 1003). This reflects the changes directed by FHFA that were announced in August 2019.

In a recent survey, Fannie Mae reached out to nearly 200 senior mortgage executives to better understand how lenders balance front- and back-end digital transformation investments and how they assess the success of each.

The Fannie Mae October Appraiser Quality Monitoring (AQM) list has been posted.

A provision of the Taxpayer First Act that becomes effective Dec. 28th requires persons receiving tax return information to obtain express taxpayer permission to share return information with any other third parties. Fannie Mae sellers and servicers must comply with this law. Read more in the Fannie Mae Selling and Servicing Notice.

Freddie Mac released a white paper detailing how the USDA Section 538 loan guarantee program is supporting thousands of rural, multifamily housing units throughout the United States. More than 51,000 rental units have benefited from the federal subsidy since its first investment in 1998, and another 8,000 affordable units are set to be built or preserved in 2020.

Read the Freddie Mac Release for key finding and other information.

Bayview | Lakeview Correspondent Announcement C2019-42 provides information on Freddie Mac Bulletin 2019-20 and USDA PN 529.

Capital markets

Some people in lending care about what is going on in the economy, while others don’t. I get it. For those that do, in some recent testimony before the House, Fed Chairman Powell discussed the relationship between the unemployment rate and inflation, namely that the level of unemployment necessary to induce inflation is currently lower than previously believed. Every Thursday we receive the prior week’s jobless claims, and on the first Friday of the month we receive the employment data from the prior month.

Historically, the Fed has held steadfast to the belief that there was an unemployment figure out there that when dipped below, the economy would see an uptick in inflation. We hear a lot of talk about the Phillips Curve, which explores the relationship between (low) unemployment and (rising) inflation. It assumes that as unemployment gets lower, workers can and do demand higher wages, resulting in an uptick of inflation. The classical belief was that an unemployment rate below 6 percent would trigger inflation. Now, seeing unemployment rates around 3.5 percent and inflation of 2 percent would be impossible by that thesis. But, classically speaking, there has been an inflation-safe rate of unemployment. And once unemployment falls without the economy slowing (e.g. GDP continues to increase) inflation is eventually a consequence. This sounds reasonable, but if it does exist, it certainly is not as large as 6 percent.

The fallacy in the simplistic notion is that it is some quantifiable constant or even predictable, but as we have seen recently, the unemployment rate is no longer a valid predictor of inflation. There have been a lot of small but contributory factors which have caused the non-acceleration of inflation, such as weaker labor unions for full time workers, weaker bargaining power for contract and temporary employees, the increase of technology and its subsequent impact on output, and the omnipresent option of outsourcing, as low-priced products and skilled labor from abroad keep domestic inflation tame. So should the Fed preemptively hike the funds rate before inflation gets out of hand as a result? The correlation between inflation and unemployment is not as strong as it once was or perhaps it was never as strong as believed, and with the economy being extremely complex and dynamic, the answer is seemingly “no.”

And the chatter about the inverted yield curve has quieted down. The U.S, economy has not fallen off a cliff. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note has traded below the yield on the 2-year note for a portion of 2019, but now we see a positive slope (20 basis points difference). In the past, the inversion has been a reliable indicator of recession. Despite global trade and economic uncertainties, underlying economic fundamentals are generally sound. The balance sheets of the household, non-financial, and financial sectors are generally in good shape, and financial conditions are not overly restrictive. But does the inversion of the yield curve signal an imminent recession? Or could we “talk” ourselves into one?

At the risk of making the mistake of claiming that “it’s different this time,” the yield curve at present may not be quite as reliable as a recession predictor as it has been in the past. The Fed purchasing Treasury securities as part of its quantitative easing program collapsed the term premium on long-dated Treasury securities, so the yield on the 10-year note at present is arguably 25 to 50 bps lower than it otherwise would be. So if not for the Fed’s QE purchases, the curve would appear normal.

True, financial conditions have tightened somewhat recently, but they are not as tight as they were at the end of last year, and certainly not as tight as in the months leading up to the financial crisis. With the recent volatility in the stock market and the widening of corporate bond spreads, there is plenty of uncertainty in the air. There are ongoing trade tensions between the United States and China, and the protests in Hong Kong could potentially lead to military intervention by China. The United Kingdom was supposed to crash out of the European Union on October 31, now delayed a few months. These uncertainties could potentially weaken business fixed investment spending even further. That could in turn hurt consumer spending, which has been strong, The likelihood is that strong economic expansion continues through the end of this year although it is prudent to acknowledge uncertainties in the outlook, noted above.

Looking at the bond market, yesterday U.S. Treasuries posted their second consecutive day of gains, including the 10-year yield closing -4 bps to 1.87 percent, as there were negative headlines surrounding U.S. – China trade talks. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell stuck to his view that interest rates will remain put for now, while signaling that the central bank will be ready to resume cutting if the U.S. growth outlook falters in what was otherwise an unremarkable address to the Joint Economic Committee. CPI and core CPI increased, as expected, which shows firming of consumer inflation, but likely not enough to spark the Fed into any action.


Today’s calendar began with PPI (+.4%, strong, core +.3%) and Initial Jobless Claims for the week ending November 9 (+14k to 225k). Later in the day, the Desk of the NY Fed will release the four-week MBS reinvestment estimate along with a new two-way FedTrade schedule. There are also eight Fed speakers scheduled for today! We begin Thursday with Agency MBS prices better by .125-.250 versus last night and the 10-year yielding 1.84%.

Something special for all you football fans (part 3 of 5)

“I never graduated from Iowa. I was only there for two terms – Truman’s and Eisenhower’s.” – Alex Karras / Iowa

“My advice to defensive players is to take the shortest route to the ball, and arrive in a bad humor.”- Bowden Wyatt / Tennessee

“I could have been a Rhodes Scholar except for my grades.” – Duffy Daugherty / Michigan State

“Always remember Goliath was a 40-point favorite over David.” – Shug Jordan / Auburn

“Son, you’ve got a good engine, but your hands aren’t on the steering wheel.” – Bobby Bowden / Florida State

Visit for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “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.


(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 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. 13: VP job; underwriting, broker, ECOA, free LPMI products; fire & flood updates

I continue to see headlines as I head to balmy Kansas today. There was, “A Court Ruling Makes Mortgages Vanish Into Thin Air.” This is a headline no lender wants to see, but apparently this court decision might change how home loans are valued in the secondary market. As if capital markets personnel don’t have enough to worry about in the last few months or so with the FHFA-motivated sudden price movements by Freddie and Fannie, servicing values taking a tumble, and renewed talk of slimmer margins heading into the winter. And what about “Australia launches first EVER digital mortgage you can secure with the touch of a button from your smartphone”? Recently I was telling a friend on my walkie-talkie that you can’t ignore innovation.

Employment & a spate of personnel moves

Colonial Companies is growing and seeking a Production VP for its Retail division, Colonial National Mortgage in Fort Worth, TX. The ideal candidate will have established relationships and the ability to develop a strategic business plan for increasing productivity. This includes, the recruitment and development of top performing sales and operations teams. Value proposition highlights include: Strong operations, portfolio products, in house one-time close, aggressive compensation that includes a base salary, overrides and a healthy split of the bottom line. Interested and qualified candidates, please visit and Apply today! “This privately owned, Fed-chartered, retained-servicing lender has been financially solid for more than 60 years and is highly respected. Great pay and superior benefits.” #OneColonial #IAmColonial Equal Opportunity Employer | M/F/Disability/Vet. | Equal Housing Lender | NMLS ID 401285    

LoanLogics announced that Brenda B. Clem, CMB, has joined the company as chief product strategist responsible for developing and implementing strategic plans for all LoanLogics products and maintaining strong relationships within the mortgage industry to understand the prioritization of market needs.

Oklahoma’s Gateway First Bank announced the appointment of Deirdre Cherry as its Chief Credit Officer responsible for the review of Gateway’s loan portfolio on a continuing basis to guide risk-appropriate growth, assist in the detection of deterioration in loan quality and review the portfolio to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations.

SLK Global Solutions (in the U.S. title insurance underwriting & agency biz) announced it has hired Lisa Donahue as VP of customer relationship management to oversee the growth of SLK Global’s title support services, including its SmartProp® property search and SmartTrak tax reports platforms, and expand existing and new customer partnerships in the title and settlement industry.

Congrats to Robert Tyler-Cook who has joined Planet Home Lending as SVP of the company’s Western division where he will strategically build and manage the company’s branch network in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

Guaranteed Rate Affinity has named Brandon Frosch as Regional Sales Manager of Mortgage Lending for Guaranteed Rate Affinity’s North Texas division and has named Brett Toyne as Regional Sales Manager for Guaranteed Rate Affinity’s Midwest division.

Lender products & services’s new integrated Ellie Mae Encompass solution, The Connector by Velma®, has added an ECOA-Adverse Action compliance workflow.  The new ECOA workflow tracks loans nearing the 30-day notification window and automates the LO file update.  Multiple manual steps for the loan officer and the operations team are eliminated and no loans are missed. Best of all, no time is spent by anyone logging into Encompass!  Exciting stuff; obtain more information here.

Veterans Day might have come and gone, but AFR strives to help veterans, and their families, all year long. With over two decades of VA Loan experience, AFR remains dedicated to helping its clients make financing possible for eligible military men and women by offering a robust VA financing product portfolio including: VA Renovation, VA One-Time Close, VA IRRRL and VA Jumbo loans. AFR even offers VA Cash-Out Refinance Loans up to 100% LTV for eligible veterans! AFR also pays any required VA Sponsorship fees for its brokers and correspondents on all AFR-related VA loan submissions. In addition to unique products and services, AFR provides its business partners with industry-leading technology, professional expertise and continuous educational opportunities. Find out today how AFR can help you help more veterans, service members, and surviving spouses: email,  call 1-800-375-6071, or visit

Simple. Easy. Effortless. While guidelines and overlays are constantly changing, your responsiveness can remain rock solid. With TheRuleTool™ you have instant access to guidelines and overlays offered in clear, transparent language. It’s as simple as picking your agency, navigating through the dropdowns to your keyword, or just entering your keyword into the search bar.  Then from your desktop or mobile device, scroll through the results. If you are seeking more information, you can even quickly ask a guideline or scenario question of TheRuleTool™ Credit Policy Team. Email to start your free 30-day trial of TheRuleTool™, or to request a demo for your team. Being amazing isn’t complicated; It just takes the right tool.

Mortgage technology and automation are driving a rapid decrease in cycle times, improved customer service ratings, and reduced expenses, all while aiding the originator at the point of sale. The perfect storm of positive change driven through technology. This same positive force drives everything that Deephaven Mortgage invests in when it comes to technology to aid the originator at the point of sale. Over the past 12 months, Deephaven has rolled out its full suite of IDENTI-FI technology tools, including the IDENTI-FI AUS, IDENTI-FI Scenario Calculator, IDENTI-FIBank Statement Calculator, and the IDENTI-FI Scenario Desk. All of these tools are aimed at driving technology into the hands of the originator to help them “IDENTI-FI” whether their client is eligible for Non-QM financing. Get in touch today and get started building your Non-QM business with the help of the Deephaven Team and technology. Contact (Wholesale) or (Correspondent) or visit

Still haven’t turned on Sales Boomerang? Over the last ten months, 65 active lenders using Sales Boomerang have seen over $3.1B in originations. That’s an average of $4.7M per lender. Assuming even just 1%, or 100 basis points, on their return, these lenders each generated an average of $470k in new revenue at an average investment of $4,400 a month, or $44,000 over the course of ten months. That’s an 11X return on investment! In the last year, you’ve probably seen Sales Boomerang on the cover of Banking CIO Magazine as the Top Tech Company in 2019, or maybe you’ve run into the team at a conference. Many of the top lenders in the industry have already discovered the best borrower retention strategy in the industry and implemented Sales Boomerang’s No Borrower Left Behind® philosophy—what are you waiting for? To learn why Sales Boomerang is the most effective way to lower your cost-per-closed loan, take the first step and schedule a demo today over at

“Announcing another great tool for our clients!  Stearns Wholesale is committed to equipping Brokers and LO’s with innovative solutions to elevate their game. With our recent launch of MI in SNAP, you can now easily access real-time MI quotes directly from our MI vendors via Price It. “At Stearns we are committed to not just providing a platform to our clients, but providing them meaningful tools to win more business in the marketplace” says Nick Pabarcus, EVP of Wholesale Lending.  If you want to learn more about how it works or connect with an Account Executive, message us HERE .”

Priority #1 for mortgage brokers, right now, is undeniably customer retention, and that’s what makes Caliber Wholesale the premier lending partner for mortgage brokers with its Caliber Reconnect program. The industry’s first platform dedicated to keeping brokers connected to their customers for the long-term, Caliber Reconnect delivers quality leads through real-time activity alerts and equips brokers with the high-quality marketing materials needed to enhance customer relationships and drive business. That’s the kind of dedicated service, partnership tools and customer retention success that only comes from working with a trusted partner that retains servicing on the majority of its loans, like Caliber Wholesale. To learn more about Caliber Reconnect, contact Caliber Wholesale at .

What better way to end a monstrous 2019 than with FREE Lender-Paid Mortgage Insurance (LPMI)? QLMS is celebrating this banner year by giving its partners an incredible tool to better help their clients, and compete with other LOs. Free LPMI is available for partners’ clients who are obtaining conventional purchase or rate & term refi, who have a FICO score over 760 and an LTV as high as 85%. This deal can give you the upper hand when comparing your offer to the rates from other LOs. Also, what better way to reengage with a previous client, than telling them you can help get rid of their PMI and increase their monthly cash flow! This is just one more way QLMS is innovating for you and your clients. Cash in on this valuable offer now. Click here to partner with QLMS and become Stronger Together.

Some additional online coverage for Home Point Financial’s Customer For Life expansion over at National Mortgage Professional Magazine. It provides some details about their 50 yearly portfolio touchpoints, each of which is an opportunity to feature brokers to their customers. As Chief Business Officer Phil Shoemaker said when the program launched, “With Home Point being the only wholesale lender that retains all of its servicing, it enables us to take the idea of true partnership to a whole new level.” Don’t wait to partner with Home Point Financial: click here.

Disasters abound

What is not new, and goes back in biblical times, is a flood. Interestingly, per the Miami Herald, unlike Texas, the state of Florida does not require a home’s flood history to be revealed to prospective buyers. Wouldn’t that be good to know?

Will climate change eliminate the 30-year fixed rate mortgage? CBS, the go-to source for all things mortgage, believes so. You can read about how flood insurance could become too expensive and wildfires will make certain areas uninsurable/uninhabitable.

ClosingCorp estimated that the residential mortgage industry has more than $7 billion in loan value and more than $60 million dollars in service fee and transfer tax revenue at risk as a result of recent California Wildfires. ClosingCorp based its estimate on “in-flight” residential mortgage applications in the FEMA designated affected areas for the Easy, Getty, Kincade, Saddleridge and Tick fires. An “in-flight” mortgage application is defined for this analysis as mortgages that are due to close between October 24, 2019 when the initial fire was declared by FEMA and the end of the year. When events like these occur, many lenders have broad and prudent policies to suspend loan closings until the event has passed and damage assessments can be completed. At a minimum this means the income associated with loan closings is deferred. In many cases, new inspections and often new appraisals will be required before the mortgages can be approved and the sales completed. In some instances, the damage will result in significant delays or cause deals to fall apart.

Mortgage Solution Financial posted an Announcement regarding the California Fires – Fire Management.

An update has been made to the Bayview | Lakeview Loan Servicing Disaster File in response to the addition of San Jacinto county in Texas Tropical Storm Imelda disaster.

loanDepot Wholesale continues to evaluate the impact of the Kincade Fire in northern California. Mandatory evacuations have been lifted in Napa and Sonoma counties, and as a result, funding restrictions have been removed for these counties. All files in impacted areas will be conditioned appropriately based on the loanDepot Wholesale Disaster Policy requirements.

Please contact your Account Executive or Account Manager with any questions.

A while back Mortgage Solutions Financial issued Revised Announcement 23-19W regarding Texas tropical storm disaster alert.

Capital markets

U.S. Treasuries began this Holiday-shortened week on a higher but subdued note. Headlines were light, but included President Trump talking up the economy while chiding the Federal Reserve for not being accommodative enough during a speech at the Economic Club of New York. He added that tariffs on imports from China will go up “substantially” if a trade deal is not agreed to. The speech was unremarkable in that it failed to provide any meaningful updates on the trade talks with China. Markets also received some Fed speak, foreign and abroad. Philadelphia Fed President Harker said that lowering the fed funds rate range to zero and undertaking asset purchases would be the Fed’s “first line of defense” in the event of an economic downturn. Across the pond, European Central Bank policymaker Coeure said that the ECB governing council is committed to asset purchases for as long as needed, adding that expansion of access to the ECB balance sheet should be considered.


Markets now turn their attention to Fed Chair Powell, who will appear before the Joint Economic Committee later this morning. We’ve already received MBA mortgage applications for the week ending Nov 8, which saw apps increase almost 10% from the prior week. Refis led the charge, up 13 percent. Refis account for about 62% of the incoming business, and FHA/VA biz is 25%. October CPI was next up (+.4%, strong, ex-food & energy +.2%). There are three Fed presidents scheduled to appear, Richmond’s Barkin, Minneapolis’ Kashkari, and Philadelphia’s Harker. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices up .125 and the 10-year yielding 1.88% after ending Tuesday at 1.91%.

Something special for all you football fans (part 2 of 5)

“When you win, nothing hurts.” – Joe Namath / Alabama

“A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall.” – Frank Leahy / Notre Dame

“There’s nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you.” – Woody Hayes / Ohio State

“I don’t expect to win enough games to be put on NCAA probation. I just want to win enough to warrant an investigation.” – Bob Devaney / Nebraska

“In Alabama, an atheist is someone who doesn’t believe in Bear Bryant.” – Wally Butts / Georgia

Visit for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “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.


(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 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. 12: Marketing, LO jobs; compensation, sales, underwriting tools; tariffs, trade, & rate primer

I was fooling around with my wife on the couch. She said, “You want to take this upstairs”? I replied, “Sure, I’ll grab this end, you grab the other”. While we’re talking about misunderstandings, everyone has a different opinion about the economy. “Nobody’s right, if everybody’s wrong” or “Everybody’s right (eventually), if nobody’s wrong.” How many times do we hear, “Even if interest rates are low, tight lending and high home prices stand as barriers to potential buyers.” Global central banks are taking a wait-and-see attitude toward further interest rate cuts, with rates in Europe and Japan already in negative territory. The slowdown in rate cutting includes emerging market central banks. Fannie Mae is out with its housing forecasts for 2020 expecting 30-year fixed rates will continue to fall, hitting 3.5% by the end of 2020, and home prices will rise about 4%. Fannie expects housing starts to be flat in 2020 compared to 2019 and anticipates origination volumes will fall to $1.86 trillion from $2.04 trillion as the refinance share of the market falls from 37% to 31%. In the meantime, lenders are doing what they do best: helping borrowers one loan at a time.


Bay Equity Home Loans continues its growth strategy with another asset purchase. Century Mortgage Company, Kentucky’s largest residential lender, has joined Bay to run its Mid-South division. Monica Bohn, Century’s CEO will run the region and said “We undertook an exhaustive search for a national lender to help us be competitive in today’s environment. We wanted the best technology, marketing and operations platform but most importantly the best culture match for our long-standing company. Combining the best tools with a family culture where we knew the legacy of our family-oriented business would be fostered and enabled was very attractive to us. We expect to grow and thrive under our new partnership with Bay.” If you are a CEO and want to explore a win-win partnership to help you achieve your goals reach out to Renee Hildebrand.

A Top 20 Independent Mortgage Bank seeks a Chief Marketing Officer to drive expansion of digital footprint. Candidate will have relevant experience in the mortgage industry creating and driving brand strategies, internal and external communications, and building a team in a fast-paced environment. Interested parties should contact Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt with resumes or questions.

Lender products & services

Vacation Rental or Long-term Rental? Visio Lending is the nation’s leader in Non-QM loans for buy and hold SFR rentals. No income verification or tax documentation. 30-year terms (no balloons), buy ups and buy downs on rates and pre-pays, I/O available. Through our top-notch Broker Program, brokers earn up to 3 points per closed loan; Visio always pays the broker the first 1%. Additionally, Visio Brokers can count on a designated Account Executive, in-house processing, and one-year broker protection.

Blend, the digital lending platform, has published an ebook that details how to integrate home equity into your growth strategy. The guide teaches you how to create branding tools that keep you top of mind and deliver your message at the right time in the customer journey, when and where it matters. Get started here.

A report by LoanCraft is something MLOs should be aware of. The report provides early visibility for loan officers on applicants with rental or business income. All types of income are handled. Underwriters are typically 15-25% more efficient. Also very important: LoanCraft does all the work of splitting out tax returns and capturing the data. You can upload a single large PDF with all the documents and LoanCraft divides it up.

Join National Mortgage Professional Magazine for a DealDesk webinar on Bank Statement Programs, 1099 Programs, and General Non-QM products, being held this Thursday, 11/14, at 2 pm ET / 11 am PT. The webinar will be focused on the Non-QM space and reviewing how brokers can use Non-QM to increase business, save loans, and please their referral partners. Non-QM should be viewed as another “tool in the tool belt” to pair with conventional and government products. Non-QM fills a void left by the agency world and provides loan options for millions of consumers that do not qualify for agency loans. You can register here.

It’s time to reimagine how sales and marketing work together to drive growth and humanize the customer experience. Connect, engage, and learn with leading financial brands at Total Expert’s second annual road show, Accelerate 2020. Join us in New York City, San Diego, or Dallas as we explore best practices to drive ROI, deliver value for consumers, and look at the latest technology trends in the industry. Network with some of the top lenders in the country and walk away with new strategies to modernize your sales and marketing processes and create customers for life. Get ready for a day of thought leadership, actionable insights, and winning strategies. Space is limited, so register today to secure your spot. See you there!

Freddie Mac Single-Family is ALL FOR building the future of home. Affordable lending is evolving and Freddie Mac is ALL IN on providing solutions that enable emerging populations to achieve the dream of HOME. We are changing perceptions by developing products and resources that drive real opportunities for businesses while creating a renewed sense of access for borrowers. Read an Executive Perspective from Danny Gardner, Senior Vice President, Freddie Affordable Lending and Access to Credit, that highlights the value of education and strategic outreach to overcome barriers to homeownership. In addition, don’t miss Freddie Mac’s take on The Future of Affordable Lending in Housingwire. Learn more about All For HomeSM, Freddie Mac’s approach to affordable lending, and discover key insights to inform your business and take advantage of solutions and tools that will further enable your borrowers to make Home Possible®. All in.  All of us.  All For Home.

Luxury Mortgage Corporation has observed significant growth in Non-QM and Expanded Criteria loan production. Larry Maitlin of Luxury’s Correspondent Lending division attributes much of the growth to the company’s focus on automating the Non-QM origination process. Luxury Mortgage Corporation turned to industry leader, Optimal Blue, to deliver unrivaled automation and support for these unique loan products, specifically by implementing the newly released Expanded Guidelines search fields which are focused on income verification, payment history, debt consolidation, bankruptcy, and more. According to Maitlin, “Optimal Blue’s Non-QM filters allow our lending partners to quickly determine loan eligibility and provide immediate, reliable pricing to their borrowers.” To learn more about how Luxury Mortgage Corporation can help your lending organization, visit

In the mortgage world, it is no easy feat to convince a lender to move its subservicing business from one company to another. The mere thought of all that’s involved in the process, no matter how bad the switch may be needed, can be positively daunting. TMS is out to change that way of thinking. In a recent White Paper, management lays out the advantages of their Human + Technology approach, which makes the process easy. With its expert team to onboard and support you, and the power of SIME at your fingertips, TMS gives you best-in-class service combined with best-in-class technology…and an easy way to get it.

According to Guaranteed Rate’s Chief Accounting Officer Ken Kane, the switch from spreadsheet-based incentive calculation to CompenSafe by LBA Ware has enabled Guaranteed Rate to provide its 1,500 LOs and other bonus-eligible employees with a top-tier compensation product that also keeps them focused on customers and production. Schedule a demo of CompenSafe to see why lenders of all sizes are leveraging the platform to drive efficiency and enhance the originator experience.

Capital markets

Rates have been stuck in a range, more focused on trade talk than on actual economic metrics coming out of the United States. True. It seems markets have keenly swung their attention to uncertainty about the trade war in recent months, which has contributed to weakness in global equities and emerging currency markets. Even the hope of potential good news now spurs a recovery in markets, as the longer the dispute drags on, the higher the likelihood of American and Chinese consumers facing higher prices, the increased erosion of business and consumer confidence, and the further disruption of global business supply chains increases.

To reach an agreement, China requires the United States to remove extraneous tariffs, eliminate the ban on American technology sales to Huawei Technologies and set a trade balance that will satisfy actual demand in both countries. Considering these conditions, a deal remains elusive. This means incoming economic data points are unlikely to dissuade the Fed from cutting rates as the trade deal is viewed as the key dictator of economic policy currently. Without a resolution to trade disputes with China, factory activity will remain sluggish, durable goods orders will fall, the economy will experience slower job growth, and consumer confidence will decline, in addition to other things – all of which the Fed is monitoring. We have already seen the effects on recent data points, like ISM indices, manufacturing surveys, PMIs, and payroll reports.

Central banks around the globe have been quick to note these issues as well. Several banks have been cutting rates, with only Norway raising rates this summer. Reasons for rate cuts by specific central banks vary, but the general backdrop of slowing global growth and benign inflation is conducive for more monetary policy accommodation. It seems the FOMC is taking a similar view, realizing that the data revealed to them recently may not be reflective of the true economy, as trade war talks are putting a pallor over every reading.

Recent economic data in the U.S. continues to paint a picture of a slowing, but still growing economy. The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index edged higher, indicating that services, which are the largest sector of the economy, are moderately expanding. Total job openings were 7.0 million in September and the total number of unemployed was 5.8 million. Trade data, which has become more volatile since the trade ware with China, shows the trade gap at -$52.2 billion in September with imports declining. Consumer confidence was little changed from October though it will continue to be watched closely for signs consumers are losing faith in the economy. Productivity took a hit in the third quarter, contracting at a 0.3 percent rate after increasing the previous two quarters. Slow growth in productivity seems counter intuitive given that many businesses are adopting more technology in the hopes of increasing automation.

Investors spent the long weekend looking for signs of progress toward an interim trade deal. Both sides said they were ready to drop some tariffs on Thursday, but on Friday President Trump said he hasn’t agreed to roll back all tariffs on China, which cooled hopes the U.S. would make such a concession to secure a trade deal. After a week of contradictory news on the subject, market reaction was mixed, and the 10-year yield closed the week barely changed yielding 1.93 percent.

In Europe, the outlook worsened while Britain’s central bank seemed split over its Brexit response. As far as domestic releases went, September Wholesale inventories posted the largest decline since October 2017, proving it could be difficult for wholesalers to gain pricing power given that inventory growth remains well ahead of sales growth. And the preliminary University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for November beat expectations, showing consumer expectations should continue to manifest itself in relatively solid consumer spending activity.

The bond market was closed yesterday for Veterans Day. Today’s economic calendar sees just one release: the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index (102.4, up 0.6). There will be two Fed speakers, the Richmond Fed’s Barkin and Philadelphia Fed President Harker. President Trump will speak on Trade and Economic Policy before the Economic Club of New York. And the NY Fed will conduct the last operation on the current schedule when they purchase up to $576 million GNII 3 percent ($414 million) and 3.5 percent ($162 million).

Tomorrow, things pick back up again with October CPI and core CPI figures in addition to the October Treasury Budget. The RBNZ will be out with their latest monetary policy decision, though the likely highlight of the week’s calendar will come when Fed Chair Powell speaks before the Joint Economic Committee. Chair Powell again appears on Thursday before the House Budget Committee. Also on Thursday, markets will receive October PPI, core PPI, and the usual claims figures. The week closes with the busiest economic slate, including October Retail Sales, the November Empire State Manufacturing Survey, October Import Prices ex-oil, October Export Prices ex-agriculture, October Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization, September Business Inventories, and Class C net is due out. We begin today with Agency MBS prices slightly better than Friday’s close and the 10-year yielding 1.94%.

Something special for all you football fans (part 1 of 5)

“Gentlemen, it is better to have died a small boy than to fumble the football.” – John Heisman

“I make my practices real hard because if a player is a quitter, I want him to quit in practice, not in a game.”– Bear Bryant / Alabama

“It isn’t necessary to see a good tackle; you can hear it!”- Knute Rockne / Notre Dame

“At Georgia Southern, we don’t cheat. That costs money, and we don’t have any.” – Erik Russell / Georgia Southern

“The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely to be the one who dropped it.” – Lou Holtz / Arkansas – Notre Dame

Visit for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “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.


(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 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.)

11/11: LO, C-Level jobs; lender for sale; DPA, fullfillment products; primer on Treasury vs. mortgage rate moves

Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary marking the end of World War I. In this country it is a way to honor those who served in all American wars. For those of you who like numbers, there at 18 million military veterans in the United States, of which 1.7 million are females. Over 50% of them are 65 years or older. And the Census Bureau tells us that 9% are younger than age 35. While we’re talking about folks in their 30s, NAR tells us that the median age of first-time home buyers has increased to 33, which is the oldest in records dating back to 1981. The median age (half above, half below) of all buyers also hit a new record high of 47, increasing for a third straight year, and well above the median age of 31 in 1981.

Jobs & business for sale

Interested in working for the VA? There are openings all over the country and new ones pop up all the time. Bookmark the jobs page and check back frequently! Do you want to work in our office? We have Public Affairs Specialist openings, too! Apply Now!

“We are growing; Come join our team! American Financing is looking for talented and enthusiastic candidates to join our sales, tech, and operation teams. You’d work for a national mortgage company that’s recognized annually as a Top Employer, Top Family-Owned Company, and Fastest Growing Business. At American Financing, we value our employees and offer a fun work environment, with considerable opportunities for professional development and high earning potential. We truly enjoy recognizing and celebrating top talent. If you’re highly motivated with a strong sense of accountability, driven to provide superior customer service — it’s time to join the American Financing family.”

St. Louis-based USA Mortgage,100% employee-owned and Missouri’s largest home lender since 2014, is on the hunt for top C-level talent. Positions to be filled at fast-growing USA, which just crossed the $2 billion threshold in annual loan volume for the first time in its history, include Chief Compliance Officer, General Counsel and Chief Marketing Officer. USA attributes its on-going success to cutting-edge marketing and technology, a robust benefits package, an extensive portfolio of loan products and a unique corporate culture. The nation’s 103rd largest lender (Source: CoreLogic, Inc.) with 600-plus employees, is fresh off of 2019 office openings in Columbus, Dallas, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle. It currently flags 87 locations in 36 states, with more new offices in new markets on the way. Advancement opportunities for the entrepreneurial minded abound says EVP Ron Mueller. Contact Ron Mueller or visit to learn more.

Excellent Business Purchase Opportunity!! Established more than 37 years ago, one of the nation’s oldest mortgage bankers with licenses in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut seeks to sell its corporate stock, including all of its assets, which consists of not only these three active mortgage bankers licenses, but also its financing programs that are extremely competitive and exclusive to this corporation. The Company has no corporate debt. The Company has excellent standing and is very well regarded in the mortgage banking community. The owner, who has 47 years’ experience and exceptional banking contacts, will continue his participation and involvement with the Company as the qualified holder of the licenses during the license approval process for each state to ensure continuity and continued long term success. Specific information and questions by persons interested in purchasing said Company will be provided during the due diligence process. Contact Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt to forward your note of interest.

Evergreen Home Loans™ is proud to announce the promotion of Tamra Rieger as Chief Operating Officer (COO). In this role, Rieger continues to serve on the Executive Team and is responsible for the efficiency of the business and implementation of strategic goals, while providing leadership and oversight in secondary marketing, construction lending, processing, underwriting, and funding operations. She also leads digital mortgage technology initiatives driving efficiency and improving the overall customer experience. Rieger has spoken on a number of Digital Mortgage panels this year, sharing the Evergreen success story about adapting and scaling eClose technology. Currently, Evergreen has a 69% capture rate for eligible eClose transactions. Evergreen was also recently recognized by Fortune Magazine as one of the Best Workplaces for Women™ 2019. Congratulations to Tamra Rieger! Evergreen is excited for her new role and the opportunities ahead. Best Workplaces for Women™ is a trademark of Great Place to Work® Institute Inc.


Lender services and products

Take charge of your 2020 production and profitability numbers by getting the book Conquering Shifts into the hands of all of your originators. “There are several reasons I recommend this book. First, it provides a road map to origination success, second it provides numerous examples of mortgage originators who made the necessary shifts in their businesses to grow and win.” Mike Hardwick, Churchill Mortgage. “If I had read this book when I first began originating purchase loans in 2011, I can honestly say I would be leaps and bounds ahead of where I am today. The authors, Cindy Douglas and Kathleen Heck interview some of the most respected originators in the country.  To be ahead of the competition study this book” Ryan Grant, Fairway Independent Mortgage. For loan officers and senior management looking to boost production Conquering shifts is a must readDiscount pricing ends November 19.

Join NewRez industry experts Keith Jones, SVP Risk Management, and SVP Non-QM Lending, Lisa Schreiber, at the Inaugural Non-QM Forum presented by Information Management Network (IMN). Keith will share his perspective of historic Non-QM performance on Thursday, November 14th. Then on Friday, Lisa will discuss how to increase efficiency and reduce risk within the origination, approval and closing process. Click here to see the full agenda and register to join the originators and investors that are attending. We hope to see you there!

TrelixTM has become the go-to source for lenders looking for all their fulfillment needs. Whether it’s a single component or full end-to-end services, we provide a complete suite of mortgage solutions. We have a dedicated onboarding team with the knowledge and industry best practices to assist you in developing the program best suited to your needs. Contact Justin Vedder to learn more about the various ways we can help.

You’re probably all-too familiar with the frustration of trying to find a reliable Down Payment Assistance (DPA) program. Well you’re in luck! TMS just updated its DPAssistant to help you find one easily. TMS has compiled a list of more than 125 recommended programs across the country. Check it out here.

Events & training

Register for the next WMBA lunch on Thursday, November 14th. The Income Property Committee will be presenting a panel discussing construction cost strategies.

MBA is offering instructor-guided online course, Introduction to Mortgage Banking. This course will be held from November 5th – November 19th on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 PM- 5:00 PM EST. This course provides an overview of the residential real estate finance industry as a career development tool for college students and those interested in changing careers, and as a training tool for interns and new hires.

AmeriHome’s Correspondent underwriting management team is inviting Sellers to participate in an upcoming meeting on Thursday, November 14, 2019, discussing VA Lender Handbook Chapter 7 updates.

PRMG announced the release of the Chenoa FHA Rate Advantage and the Chenoa FHA Edge products and one can learn about them in live webinars that will be held several times throughout the month. A pre-recorded training webinar can be accessed at the PRMG University YouTube channel for immediate viewing.

Franklin American Mortgage has published its November 2019 Wholesale “Customer Training Calendar”.

AEI Housing Center’s Research Free Conference Is Coming to NYC on November 12th. Presentation include AEI Housing Market Indicators with Tobias Peter, A Quarter Century of Mortgage Risk with Stephen Oliner and Market Trends Report and Explaining Variability in House Price Appreciation with Ed Pinto.

Register for the Wednesday, November 13th 2019 annual conference of the Minnesota Mortgage Association Conference at Golden Valley Country Club. This will be your chance to learn about the neuroscience of sales with Rene Rodriguez and find out the latest on today’s ibuyer movement along with other great programming like MN Twins CEO Dave St. Peter. All for only $29. Register at

NRMLA Annual Meeting November 18th-20th in Nashville will include Keynote Speaker, The Honorable Brian Montgomery at the reverse mortgage industry’s largest annual event. Don’t miss this opportunity to get the latest news on HECM reverse mortgages from the person in charge of the program.

The MBA of Greater Philadelphia is hosting a Secondary Marketing Workshop on November 18. Are You Getting The Best Price For Your Loans? This workshop has 2 sessions, one for new mortgage bankers looking to understand mandatory pricing, moving from Broker to Banker and getting FNMA approval, and the second for more experience capital markets people who want to discuss trade strategies, loan sale best practices, hedging and achieving best price execution across different delivery landscapes. Discussions are led by MCT Trading and Fannie Mae. This is a live event with lunch where Members are free/Nonmembers $35. Come to one session or both. To register, click here

Learn MSR and accounting best practices in San Diego, November 19th with MBA Education and industry experts with two ½ day Workshops. Gain a foundational understanding of mortgage accounting concepts, get your questions answered and hear what challenges your colleagues are encountering. Back by popular demand, register for Fundamentals and Best Practices in Mortgage Accounting. Offered for the first time, take a deep dive into the foundational elements of mortgage servicing rights (MSRs), get your questions answered by industry leaders who have over 20 years of MSR and capital markets experience. Register for Foundational Elements of Mortgage Servicing Rights.

Free homebuyer workshop in Charlotte. Join Wells Fargo Funding and Freddie Mac for a complimentary in-person event in Charlotte, NC, on November 20th. Attendees will learn about market trends and get insights from industry experts; develop new community relationships to strengthen networks; hear from Freddie Mac about how to use data to zero-in on new business opportunities, and how to better serve the borrower of the future. Additionally, Kristin Messerli, Managing Editor for Mortgage Women Magazine and founder of Cultural Outreach, will present on “The future of sales with young and diverse buyers.” The workshop runs from 11:00-3:30 and includes lunch. Approved and prospective Wells Fargo Funding clients are welcome. If interested, contact a member of your regional sales team, or send an email to

If you missed MCPAOA’s October webinar, speakers Nanci Weissgold and Anoush Garakani covered a full agenda of issues on Small Servicer Compliance. The recorded webinar and slides are available. Register for MCPAOA’s November 19th Webinar to hear Mitch Kider of Weiner, Brodsky Kider, PC. He will provide insight on the recertification process and disclosure requirements for the GSEs and Agencies. Send your advance questions to Felecia Bowers to ensure they are incorporated into the presentation

Register for CAMP’s November 19th1099 vs W2 Rule Webinar. Presenter Deb Killian with CLOES, will review What AB5 could mean for your business, Misclassification” of employees, What is the “ABC” test?, How can I correct any “misclassifications”?, What happens if I get caught? And The real cost of misclassifications.

On Wednesday, November 20th, FHA is providing a free, online webinar to provide Quality Assurance results for the most recent quarter, as well as specific information on the FHA Compare Ratio. There will also be a live Question and Answer session at the end of the webinar.

Register for FAMP Central Florida Chapter Monthly Luncheon on November 20th. Guest speaker Daryl Cooper, Director of Single Family Housing for USDA for Florida will discuss Single Close Construction Perm and Rehabilitation Loan Program, SFH Guaranteed Program Integration “RD GRH will be integrating into a Single National Program”, Elimination of the Interest Rate Cap, Florida and National production.

Capital markets

Today the bond markets are closed, but usually each day I tell you the movement of the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield, as rates closely track it. But it is not a one-for-one movement; in fact, only 80 percent of the moves up and down in the 10-year Treasury yield end up being passed through to primary mortgage rates. That may be a good thing for stability in the mortgage market over the last several months, as the yield sat above 2.50 percent back in May then hit a trough below 1.50 percent in early September and is now back towards 2.00 percent with the recent sell off.

As Treasury rates declined in the first three quarters of this year, MBS-to-Treasury spreads widened, reflecting rising concerns about refinance risk and falling risk appetite as global economic growth slowed. Despite the recent pull back, refinance risk remains relevant at current mortgage rate levels for most cohorts, and seasoned specified pools still provide relatively affordable call protection.

Even with some recessionary fears due to Brexit and trade wars, the mortgage market remains strong, with rates expected to remain below 2018 peak levels through next year and solid price appreciation in the foreseeable future. A second reason that primary mortgage rates have moved less than one-for-one with Treasury rates has been the tendency for primary-secondary spreads to widen as Treasury rates fall. The mortgage origination industry has historically been unable or unwilling to scale up underwriting capacity rapidly in a falling interest rate environment and instead has frequently chosen to increase profit margins as demand for mortgage refinancing increases. This has happened once again in 2019, with primary-secondary spreads widening and tightening as Treasury rates fell and rose.

MBS spreads do not always move inversely with interest rates: for example, in 2013, mortgage Option Adjusted Spreads (OAS) widened as interest rate levels increased. But in the current case, the inverse relationship between spreads and rate levels should continue over the medium term. For this reason, MBS is being risk-managed with shorter than average interest rate hedge ratios, and MBS prepayment rates should remain substantially elevated over the next two months with mortgage rates well below 2018 levels and a large number of outstanding mortgage borrowers still in-the-money to refinance. MBS investors looking to minimize refinance risk exposure may still find value in seasoned specified pools which tend to have lower WACs and lower loan sizes than 2019 vintage cheapest-to-deliver pools.

Veterans are people who, at one point in their lives, wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America, for an amount up to and including their lives. Remember ALL of our Vets. Vets and active military personnel are eligible for free items or discounts at many stores and restaurants, the list goes on and on – pass this link on to vets! Or this one.

Visit for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “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.


(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 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. 9: LIBOR/SOFR transition in the primary & secondary markets ; state lending law changes

“I’m gonna save a ton of money at Christmas by discussing politics at Thanksgiving dinner!” As we sail toward Veteran’s Day, and then Thanksgiving, let’s jump in to the always-exciting topic of…. LIBOR? Most believe that, given the allegations of fixing, the LIBOR (London Inter-bank Offered Rate) will not be with us for years and years to come. In case you’ve lost track, LIBOR is administered by the Intercontinental Exchange which asks major global banks how much they would charge other banks for short-term loans. Recall that Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), owns MERSCORP Holding, Inc., owner of Mortgage Electronic Registrations Systems, Inc. (MERS).

With trillions of dollars of securities (and ARM loans) adjusting to fluctuations in interest rates, everyone wants an index that is immune to foul play, is stable, easy to calculate and understand, and is accepted in the marketplace. When one asks someone at Freddie Mac or Fannie about the topic, they often reply that SOFR (Secured Overnight Financing Rate: a broad measure of the cost of borrowing cash overnight collateralized by Treasury securities) is a 30-day average, and the “powers that be” will be moving the adjustments to every 6 months with a 1% cap so they can be hedged better. Look for a margin of 2.25-3.00 for Agency ARM documents, but don’t expect any new note language until June 2020. Work continues.

For any clients with adjustable rate mortgages, the Treasury Department and the IRS issued proposed regulations to help taxpayers avoid negative tax consequences in the transition away from the London Interbank Offered Rate and other interbank rates. Certainly lenders are concerned about potential class action lawsuits from borrowers given ARM loans tied to LIBOR when the lender “knows” that the index is going away.

The publication of LIBOR is not guaranteed beyond 2021. But critics are quick to point out that the problem with SOFR is that it may be even more prone to wild fluctuations than LIBOR as pointed out in this graph from the St. Louis Fed.

If you’re serious about the topic, you should at least skim through the ARRC “Consultation on Fallback Contract Language for Residential ARMs” and its “White Paper on SOFR-Indexed ARM Product Design.”

What’s the Mortgage Bankers Association been up to? Pete Mills scribed, “A lot of work is being done between industry and government to prepare for the ‘end of Libor’ as an official reference rate. Much of the work on the transition is being undertaken by the Alternative Reference Rates Committee’s Consumer Products Working Group, on which MBA actively participates. In July, the ARRC released a consultation on improvements to fallback contract language for new, closed-end, residential ARMs. The idea is to make ARM contract language more robust in the event that the index is no longer available. The consultation focused on improved triggers (i.e., when do you switch to a new index?) and the replacement index/margin (i.e., how do you select a new index/margin?). We expect publication of the final ARRC recommendations shortly.


“For borrowers with existing LIBOR-indexed loans, any changes to the loan will follow the terms of the contract. So, for example, many contracts specify that the Note holder will choose a new index that is based upon comparable information. There is work underway to develop common understandings around the triggers and acceptable replacement indices in these situations. Separately, the ARRC has also been active in terms of providing more information for consumers on the transition away from LIBOR. For example, the ARRC’s FAQs include lots of helpful explanations. MBA has also developed a consumer disclosure template for lenders to provide to consumers when they are considering new ARMs that are linked to LIBOR. MBA is also working on a similar template oriented to consumers with existing LIBOR-linked loans.”

CME Group transitioned on October 16 to the Secured Overnight Financing Rate from Libor as the reference rate for discounting in the cleared swaps market. The revised date coincides with LCH’s transition, leaving open the prospect of a big bang in the market.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Federal Reserve Board, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), FHFA, and Farm Credit Administration issued a proposed rule to amend regulations related to the exchange of margin for non-cleared swap transactions. Importantly, the proposal would allow covered institutions to amend legacy swaps for purposes of the transition away from the use of the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR), without triggering additional requirements or losing the “grandfathered” status of those swaps. Because LIBOR is likely to be discontinued sometime shortly after the end of 2021, it is critical that market participants begin preparations for the transition to new indices. MBA has contributed to ongoing work related to the development of new adjustable-rate mortgage products, as well as improved contractual fallback language for mortgage notes, and targeted disclosures for borrowers. Comments on the swap margin proposal are due 30 days following publication in the Federal Register.

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton has expressed concern to the Fixed Income Market Structure Advisory Committee about the Secured Overnight Financing Rate’s ability to definitively replace Libor, calling like-for-like mapping of a Libor product to a SOFR product challenging.

A number of banks have received approval to flip legacy Libor-linked sterling bonds to the Sterling Overnight Index Average rate, a move welcomed by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. Some of the conversions have included the first use of new “negative consent” language.

State and federal shifts in the regulatory climate

Lenders continue to mull over the implications of HUD and DOJ’s announcement of a long-awaited Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which provides prudential guidance concerning the application of the False Claims Act to matters involving alleged noncompliance with FHA guidelines. The announcement was made by HUD Secretary Dr. Benjamin S. Carson at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Annual Conference, and both agencies issued releases shortly after Carson’s comments. The intention, HUD noted, is to bring greater clarity to regulatory expectations within the FHA program and ease banks’ worries about facing future penalties for mortgage-lending errors. Read Buckley’s Special Alert in full for more information.

California’s Assembly Bill 539 has passed the state Assembly and the state Senate Committee on Banking and Financial Institutions. The bill would amend the CFL and impose rate caps on all consumer-purpose installment loans. Read Morrison Foerster’s publication for details.

Pennsylvania has enacted House Bill 318, which expands and extends the protections given to Pennsylvania residential and wireless telephone subscribers by the 1996 Telemarketer Registration Act (TRA) in connection with telephone solicitation calls. With specific respect to robocalls, the new law requires telemarketers to establish procedures to allow called persons to opt out of receiving future telephone solicitation calls and be immediately taken off the list. The new law becomes effective on Dec. 3, 2019, providing only a short period of time for telemarketers to upgrade their systems to meet the new requirements. Click here to view details.

In the November 1, 2019, issue of the Texas Register, the Finance Commission of Texas adopted amendments to the Texas Administrative Code rules in 7 TAC §§80.201 and 81.201 concerning the usage of the conditional pre-qualification and conditional loan approval forms (herein “loan status forms”) attached to §§80.201 and 81.201 as Forms A and B. The Finance Commission of Texas also amended the texts of these loan status forms. These adopted amendments to §§80.201 and 81.201 and their respective loan status forms will not take effect until May 1, 2020.

New York’s New Tax Law Section 1409 contains information regarding a new procedure important for any mortgage servicer that is an LLC and is selling/granting property. Last month the Governor signed legislation that changes the information that must be included on TP-584 and NYC RPT forms that accompany deeds that are being recorded, when a limited liability company (LLC) is the Grantor and/or the Grantee. The legislation creates a new recording requirement for certain deeds. The Legislation amends Tax Law § 1409 (requires filing TP584) and NYC Admin Code § 11-2105 (requires filing RPT form). The legislation applies to all such deeds that are recorded on or after Monday, September 23rd.

California has enacted legislation imposing interest rate caps and other restrictions on Consumer Loans. The new law, AB 539, applies only to loans made under the California Financing Law (CFL). Read the Morrison & Foerster Client Alert for details.

Recently, MQMR’s Weekly FAQ asked: Do both Oregon and Washington tie licensing requirements to an applicant’s residency (not just the location of the subject property)? The answer is yes. Washington requires an individual to hold a Washington MLO license if the individual offers mortgage brokering or loan origination services (i) to Washington state citizens or (ii) for property in Washington State. Example: if an applicant is a “resident” of Washington and looking to purchase a home in Texas, the MLO assisting the applicant with his/her mortgage loan would need to be licensed in both Texas AND Washington.

Oregon requires an individual to hold an Oregon mortgage loan originator (“MLO”) license if the individual takes a mortgage loan application or offers or negotiates the terms of a mortgage loan (i) to Oregon residents, (ii) for property located in Oregon State, or (iii) from a fixed physical location in Oregon. Example: if you have a MLO working in Oregon but doing a loan for someone in Florida, that MLO would need to be licensed as an Oregon MLO, in addition to a Florida MLO.

On October 30, the CFPB, along with the Minnesota and North Carolina attorneys general, and the Los Angeles City Attorney (together, the “states”), announced an action against a student loan debt relief operation for allegedly deceiving thousands of student-loan borrowers and charging more than $71 million in unlawful advance fees. Read Regulators tackle company offering relief from student loans on the Buckley InfoBytes Blog for details in the complaint.

This quote reflects the way Coach Wooden lived. His father, Joshua Wooden, gave him many key pieces of advice, such as help others and make friendship a fine art, which he followed on a daily basis.

Coach always looked for the good in people. He believed that if you look for the best in others, that’s probably what you’ll find.

In his book Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court with Steve Jamison, Coach repeated a story he often told to make this point:

There’s an old story about a fellow who went to a small town in Indiana with the thought of possibly moving his family there. “What kind of people live around here?” he asked the attendant at the local filling station.

“Well,” the attendant replied as he checked the oil, “what kind of people live back where you’re from?” The visitor took a swallow of his cherry soda and replied, “They’re ornery, mean and dishonest!”

The attendant looked up and answered, “Mister, you’ll find them about like that around here, too.”

A few weeks later, another gentleman stopped by the gas station on a muggy July afternoon with the same question.

“Excuse me,” he said as he mopped off his brow. “I’m thinking of moving to your town with my family. What kind of people live around these parts?”

Again the attendant asked, “Well, what kind of people live back where you’re from?”

The stranger thought for a moment and replied, “I find them to be kind, decent and honest folks.”

The gas station attendant looked up and said, “Mister, you’ll find them about like that around here, too.”

It’s so true. You often find what you’re looking for.

Visit for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “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.


(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 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. 8: LO, sales mgt. jobs; sales, audit tools; vendors raising $; 10-year yield’s 3 month, 50 bp move

As rumors swirl about Michael Bloomberg entering the race for president, MLOs are winding down for the year (a few have written to me saying that, after a solid November and 2019, they’ll be coasting during December and try to push closings into 2020 to get a good start on things), and it’s around this time when capital markets crews are answering the yearly, “When are the 2020 conforming loan amounts going to be released, and what are they going to be?” Just to remind you, they are announced around/soon after Thanksgiving. And oddsmakers in Las Vegas are looking for a slight bump. But hey, those jumbo programs, without the 50-basis point or so gfee, are pretty price competitive, so there doesn’t seem to be the big need for higher conforming limits as there was in the past. Meanwhile, companies continue to jockey for position, the latest example being Taylor Morrison buying William Lyon Homes, merging mortgage units and creating the fifth-largest U.S. homebuilder valuing the company at $2.4 billion.


A growing North East lender is searching for a New York Territory Manager to expand its sales footprint throughout the Empire State. For more information please send inquiries/resumes to Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt.

GO Mortgage is seeking an experienced Business Development Manager (BDM) to serve as an advocate and brand ambassador. The focus will revolve around identifying and targeting industry professionals who are qualified to sell GO Mortgage products. The BDM will perform as a Chief Sales Talent Recruiter and Hiring Manager. Additionally, the experienced BDM will connect branch sales offices with outside mortgage industry partners and create lasting, beneficial relationships. The successful candidate understands people and their motivations and has the ability to apply marketing concepts to live scenarios in a creative fashion. Candidates must have a minimum of three years of recruiting or hiring experience, plus two or more years’ experience in Mortgage Loan Origination. Bachelor’s degree preferred. Position requires travel. Please send resumes directly to Toni Barma.

Homespire Mortgage continues to invest and strengthen its Renovation Loans platform with the addition of Cola Galvin as Vice President of Renovation Lending. Cola joins Homespire Mortgage with over 36 years of experience in the mortgage industry, specializing in renovation lending programs. Cola will collaborate with Homespire Mortgage Loan Officers nationwide to host Renovation Mastermind events for Realtors, Referral Partners and Homebuyers. “We are very excited to welcome Cola to the team. As we continue to expand our presence across the country, we aim to serve more buyers with our suite of renovation products. With Cola’s expertise and proven track record of expanding renovation programs in previous roles, Homespire Mortgage continues to pursue its strategic objectives in the renovation lending space,” said Chief Operating Officer, Todd Sheinin. The company was recently named to the Inc. 5000 list of America’s Fastest Growing Companies for the third consecutive year. For more information on available positions with Homespire Mortgage, contact Todd Sheinin.

Lender products & services

Reminder: Training Today for New FHA Condo Opportunities! Freedom Mortgage Wholesale’s FHA Condo Single Unit Approval program allows for approvals of individual condo units meeting certain eligibility requirements even if the condo project is not FHA approved! Freedom Mortgage Wholesale is the right choice for a fast and easy FHA Condo approval. Relax – we coordinate the collection of all condo project information for you. Additionally, Freedom Mortgage will absorb any fees associated with Condo Questionnaire requests.  Sign up for FHA Condo Single Unit Approval training on 11/8 or 11/12.

No one likes the “A” word, but audits are a critical component to mitigate risk in mortgage lending. While there are dozens of audits lenders may be required to conduct each year based on their unique circumstances, there is a core group of audits that most mid-sized to large lenders will have to conduct consistently. As the mortgage industry’s partner of choice for audit, risk and compliance, MQMR has gathered its collective experience to deliver its latest white paper, “Annual Audit Round-Up: Five Major Audits for Effective Risk Management.” To get the scoop on the major audits your organization should be conducting each year, download the free white paper today.


“BIG NEWS: It’s no secret that calling the right people at the right time with the right message is a killer way to win new business. The problem is knowing who, when, and why to call, right? That’s exactly why we created the UsherpAlert Call Management App! Every day, UsherpAlert serves you up a list of that day’s most high-value calls and makes it easy to stay in touch with a text, call, or email with a click of a button. It’s as close to snapping your fingers and getting deals as you can get! Stop losing opportunities because you missed these important follow-up calls. Download the app so you know exactly who, when, and why to call! Text the word USHERPA to the number 435-06 for links to download on Apple or Android. Or if you’re not a Usherpa member yet – check us out at”

Technology and vendor excitement

I wonder if I could increase readership if I started calling this an eCommentary?

Side, the only real estate brokerage that enables high-performing agents and teams to grow their businesses and their own boutique brands, announced it has raised $60M from top-tier VC firms, including a $35M Series C led by Paul Levine at Sapphire Ventures (former COO/ President of Trulia). In case you didn’t know, Side “partners with top-producing real estate agents and teams to provide a valuable mix of technology, support, and an economic model that helps entrepreneurial agents grow… By empowering over 100 top-producing teams with proprietary technology and end-to-end brokerage services, Side’s agents save an average of 62 days a year, and are on track to facilitate over $8 billion in annual home sales in 2020.” Mr. Levine, who also joins Side’s Board of Directors, was previously President/COO of Trulia through their IPO and multi-billion-dollar acquisition by Zillow. Patricia Nakache of Trinity Ventures, Dana Stalder of Matrix Partners and a host of strategic real estate investors also participated in the round.

Somewhat recently HomeLight announced it has secured over $100 million in financing. The round was led by Zeev Ventures, with participation from Group 11, Menlo Ventures, Crosslink Capital, Stereo Capital, and others. HomeLight launched in 2012 to answer a single question: how do people find the best real estate agent for their needs? Utilizing proprietary machine-learning algorithms, it analyzed more than 40 million real estate transactions and over 1.4 million agent profiles from the nation’s leading brokerages for each individual transaction. To date, the company has driven well over $17 billion of real estate business nationwide and, on average, connects a client to a real estate agent every two minutes. Over the last 10 months, HomeLight has been expanding its core agent matching business to include an end to end offering of products and services, including a digital mortgage through the acquisition of Eave, to provide homebuyers, sellers, agents, and investors alike with a range of options when buying and selling property, effectively becoming the “Amazon of real estate.” (Curating the best agents, iBuyers and financing, so that consumers can choose the right options for them).

Zelman and Associates is entering into the home building technology arena by launching a new initiative to provide investment banking services to the real estate technology sector, which has become known as PropTech.

Ruoff Home Mortgage released a new, unique mobile app that will streamline the communication and productivity efforts for its loan officer sales team. Ruoff LO app serves as a central hub where LOs can create new loans and edit existing loan files, pull and view credit report detail, price and lock rates, eSign or download disclosures as well as tap into other third-party services. Within the app, the Ruoff sales team can also access customer or agent contact information, order marketing materials or gain access to company-generated leads. Loan officers have a personalized home screen for easy tracking of their active and closed transactions with Ruoff Mortgage. With a simple touch on the navigation bar, a loan officer can also review their pipeline, showing their current customers’ transaction milestones, from date of completed application to when the funds were wired to the settlement agent.

eOriginal Inc., the digital lending technology pioneer, continues its digital mortgage industry momentum with the launch of ClosingCenter. Designed to deliver a simple and intuitive closing experience for lenders, borrowers and settlement agents, the cloud-based solution has the potential to ignite digital adoption across the mortgage industry. “ClosingCenter was designed to deliver the closing experience the mortgage market is demanding. We’ve made it simple to use and scalable to grow transaction volumes over time, and it’s built on our open platform to integrate with doc prep providers and other solution extensions,” says Simon Moir, Chief Product Officer at eOriginal. Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation is the first customer to go live on ClosingCenter, along with their document preparation partner, DocsDirect.

Wyndham Capital Mortgage, a direct-to-consumer mortgage lender in 46 states, announced that it completed its first fully online digital closing with Notarize, the first company to enable an entirely online mortgage closing process. Lenders using Notarize to power their borrower experience have completed more than 10,000 online closings in the last six months alone

Stearns Lending, LLC implemented the Total Expert Marketing Operating System® (MOS) to personalize marketing and engagement efforts, boost loan officer productivity and drive business growth. The Total Expert MOS helps Stearns Lending loan officers and Account Executives leverage valuable customer data, so they can build stronger relationships and improve the customer experience.

Finicity, a provider of real-time financial data access and insights, announced the release of its new AssetReady Report that will rapidly identify a borrower’s assets using consumer-permissioned data during a lender’s pre-qualification process.  As a result, lenders will more easily qualify borrowers and generate a higher quality sales funnel for loan officers while enabling a seamless transition into other necessary asset, income, and employment verifications needed in the loan origination process.

LoanLogics released the whitepaper, “‘Big’ AI Driven by Today’s Machine Learning,” which provides a deeper understanding of how artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning specifically, can help mortgage lenders reduce and even eliminate redundant, repetitive tasks while creating data purity and improving the borrower experience.

Capital markets

With yields shooting up significantly in the last three months, investors are talking about debt, and the interest paid on it, again. Total debt in the United States is significantly higher (in both absolute terms and relative to GDP) than it was a few decades ago. The amount of American debt now sits above $70 trillion. And while there are few signs of financial stress at present, many are asking how sustainable the build-up of debt that has occurred in the American economy over the past few decades really is? Wells Fargo Economics recently published a five-part debt series in which they made the case that excessive angst about American debt today is not really warranted.

The main point was the overall debt-to-GDP ratio of the U.S. economy has receded since its peak ten years ago, making the economy less levered today. Combining that with the low level of borrowing costs that has enhanced the ability of borrowers to service their debts, and a large number of cyclical as well as secular factors that are exerting downward pressure on interest rates at present that are not likely to reverse anytime soon, and it would seem there is less cause for worry than headlines would have you believe. Although there eventually will be another debt crisis in the U.S. economy, there appears to be little reason to believe that one will occur in the foreseeable future, per Wells Fargo.

Looking at rates yesterday, despite no tangible progress on the trade front, risk markets responded with optimism Thursday. I guess there’s nothing else to push rates around right now. U.S. Treasuries pulled back drastically, lifting yields on 10s and 30s to their highest levels in over three months; the 10-year yield closed +11 bps to 1.93 percent, though the selloff in bonds was not indicative of the rally in equities. Selling pressure began after a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Commerce hinted that there is an agreement on rolling back tariffs upon signing of the partial trade deal. A U.S. administration official confirmed the report later in the day, though other reports out of Washington say the plan to roll back tariffs is being met with “fierce” opposition from some members of the Trump administration. Separately, the European Commission lowered its forecast for 2020 growth in the eurozone to 1.2 percent from 1.4 percent, and Italy’s 2020 growth forecast was reduced as well.


Today includes just two domestic releases, with September Wholesale Inventories and the preliminary November Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey slated for later this morning. After the close, there are two Fed speakers starting with New York’s Williams, followed by Fed Governor Brainard. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices worse .125-.250 and the 10-year yielding 1.94%.

Three girls walked up to me and explained that they were scared to walk past the cemetery at night.

So I agreed to let them walk along with me.

As we began walking, I whispered to them, “I understand, I used to get freaked out too, when I was alive.”

Visit for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “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.


(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 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. 7: LO jobs; appraisal, DPA, broker, condo products; legal, settlement news; lender M&A

Thanksgiving will be here before you know it, and with it, pumpkin pie. (Yes, I know that this is a mortgage commentary, but even pumpkins have their share of regulation and controversy, a lead in to mortgage legal issues below.) Pumpkin is a variety of squash belonging to the “Cucurbitaceae”, or gourd family which also includes melons and cucumbers. Libby’s, for one, uses 100% Dickinson pumpkins in its Libby’s solid pack pumpkin, not squash. Although pumpkins and squash are very closely related, Libby’s denied that it ever used a “blend” of various squashes in its popular canned pumpkin. The FDA allows for sweet squash blends to be sold under the label of “pumpkin.” “But the ‘Libby’s Select’ strain of Dickinson is our own, developed over decades by our own agricultural people.”


“When you become part of #TeamPrimeLending in Southern California, you stay, you grow, and you succeed. Our average branch manager and loan officer tenure of 5 ½ years is proof of that. Once you’re here, you will realize it’s the best place to build your business, as we’re solely focused on distributive retail.  We also have more loan options to fit your borrowers’ needs and local marketing support geared toward the modern originator, along with game-changing technology that enhances the mortgage experience for you, your customers and your business partners. If you’re a branch manager or loan officer in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Bernardino County or Riverside County, now is a great time to speak with Chris Morgan, Southern California Regional Recruiter, and Uly Kim, Southern California Regional Manager, about how easy it is to grow with PrimeLending. If you’re ready to always have the support, tools and team you need to build your legacy, get connected with Chris or Uly today.”

Services & products

New FHA Condo Opportunities! Freedom Mortgage Wholesale’s FHA Condo Single Unit Approval program allows for approvals of individual condo units meeting certain eligibility requirements even if the condo project is not FHA approved! Freedom Mortgage Wholesale is the right choice for a fast and easy FHA Condo approval. Relax – we coordinate the collection of all condo project information for you. Additionally, Freedom Mortgage will absorb any fees associated with Condo Questionnaire requests.  Sign up for FHA Condo Single Unit Approval training on 11/8 or 11/12.

“Need Access to Real Time Market Data? Are Market Anecdotes Reliable? When Margins Tighten, Will You be Prepared?  Are you Confident in Your Market Position? Your need for timely access to data for in-house analysis and modelling is crucial – and we can help! Informa Financial Intelligence is launching our Direct Connect Data Service that provides you with access to our leading mortgage lending originations and pricing data. Real-time access helps you reconcile your price positions and strategies to manage your business dynamically and proactively. Instant access to 10 years of benchmarking data allows for quick and easy cross reference with internal and external sources to test and implement market strategies. Data integration into your proprietary systems ensures you never miss the latest data trends.  Manipulate and present the data based on your preferences. Trusted data, the way you want it! Start making quicker, evidence-based business decisions now: contact us today.”

More than half of those shopping for credit lines or closed-end equity loans shop at only one lender. How do you make sure your institution is that one lender? Incorporating home equity into your marketing strategy will allow you to reach new customers. Blend’s eBook outlines strategy to ensure potential applicants keep you top of mind during their research. Learn how and where to reach those in-market for home equity loans. Read it here.

If you missed AmeriHome Correspondent at the national MBA last month reach out to to find out about its latest offerings! AmeriHome has recently expanded its Non-Agency product offerings with the launch of a Non-QM program, as well as the enhancement of its Core Jumbo program. AmeriHome’s Non-QM offering – Income Flex – features loan amounts to $2,000,000 with full doc, 12/24-month bank statement and 1 year tax return (self-employed) options, primary residences, second homes and investment properties. AmeriHome’s Core Jumbo program has been expanded to allow for 90% LTV/CLTVs to $2,000,000 with no MI required! AmeriHome also has a brand-new Best Efforts Rate Sheet that closely replicates bulk-level execution, includes pay-ups for specific loan characteristics and consolidated LLPA grids that provide more clarity and pricing granularity. AmeriHome’s Non-Delegated Program also continues to thrive, with its unparalleled service and its Close-on-Time Commitment. Follow AmeriHome Correspondent on LinkedIn to keep up with all of the latest updates and opportunities!

DPA Does Not Contribute to Higher Defaults. A recent Harvard working paper prepared for the Center for Household Financial Stability at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis by Michael Stegman, et al., using extensive data from 46,000 loans originated principally between 1995-2005 with high LTV (median 97%), found that the receipt of DPA appears to be unrelated to default risk, when controlling for other risk factors, such as credit score, DTI, and even race. Referencing HUD’s descriptive use of data in its 2018 report to Congress, where HUD concluded that government DPA is associated with higher risk of default, the paper stated that, “In contrast to [HUD’s] descriptive analyses, our multivariate analysis indicates that the receipt of DPA is not significantly associated with default risk.” CBC Mortgage Agency agrees with the working paper’s admonition that in setting guidelines around DPA, policy makers should take care not to close off opportunities to aspiring minority home buyers.

Alpha. That’s what investment people call extra return for a similar level of risk taken. QLMS lets you provide your clients “alpha” by giving you access to the very lowest borrower-paid mortgage insurance rates in the industry! Not only does QLMS BPMI lower your client’s payments, it also lowers their DTI which increases the number of clients who qualify. Consider this incredible scenario: If your client is taking out a $300,000 loan, with a 95 LTV and FICO of 740 – their BPMI payment will only be $88 per month instead of the $133 industry average. They will save $4,770 by the time their mortgage insurance falls off. QLMS is obsessed with finding “alpha” for our partners to make them stronger in every way. Click here to grow your business.

Apex Appraisal Service has joined forces with Opteon, an international property and evaluation company, to be the exclusive provider of their proprietary property valuation software in the U.S. Gabriel Hern, CEO of Apex Appraisal Service stated, “While other companies are investing in technology that brings a virtual property to a desk appraiser, we want to bring a virtual desk to the appraiser at the property.” Opteon has already revolutionized the appraisal industry in Australia and New Zealand and the new strategic partners will work together to leverage similar innovation in America that will speed up turn times, produce reports that are completed solely by qualified appraisers, and reduce liability and risk to lending partners and homeowners. READ PRESS RELEASE

Legal, compliance, company moves

This industry has its share of lawsuits, with the latest set catching everyone’s eye is between Black Knight and PennyMac. Earlier this week Black Knight filed a lawsuit against PennyMac for breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets yesterday. In response, yesterday morning, PennyMac filed 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…”). Readers should know that Black Knight disputes the allegations contained within PennyMac’s lawsuit that was filed yesterday and Black Knight intends to vigorously defend the matter.

Put another way, Black Knight Servicing Technologies, with over 60% of the market share among servicing software providers, has accused PennyMac Loan Services, the nation’s sixth largest residential servicer, of breach of contract for creating an “imitation” version of the vendor’s LoanSphere MSP software and then giving notice that it wanted to end their contractual relationship. The next day PennyMac countersued the BKST saying it was engaging in “unfair business tactics that both entrap its licensees and create barriers to entry that stifle competition.”

PennyMac has been using the MSP servicing platform since it started up in 2008 and renewed its contract in 2016 for another three years but gave notice last year that it wanted out when the deal expired in 2019. Did PennyMac’s “improper use of Black Knight’s trade secrets and confidential information” cause $340 million worth of financial damage? Did Black Knight violate the federal Sherman Act, the California Cartwright Act and California’s Unfair Competition Law and “engage in unfair competition?” I’m sure they’ll figure it out.

Speaking of figuring things out, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) announced a settlement with HomeStreet Bank, Seattle, Washington, for violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). HomeStreet Bank stipulated to the issuance of an Order to Pay Civil Money Penalty (“Order”) in the amount of $1,350,000.

Nearly every MLO or compliance person will tell you that Section 8(a) of RESPA prohibits giving or accepting a thing of value for the referral of settlement service involving a federally related mortgage loan. “The FDIC determined that HomeStreet Bank, through its now discontinued Home Loan Center-based mortgage banking business line, entered into certain co-marketing arrangements in which the bank and real estate brokers agreed to market their services together using online platforms. The FDIC also determined that the bank entered into desk rental agreements whereby the bank rented space in the offices of real estate brokers and home builders. These arrangements and agreements resulted in the payment of fees by the bank to real estate brokers and home builders for their referrals of mortgage loan business, in violation of RESPA. HomeStreet Bank has terminated all of the co-marketing and desk rental agreements.”

While co-marketing arrangements and desk rental agreements are permissible where the fees paid bear a reasonable relationship to the fair market value of marketing or rental costs, such arrangements and agreements violate RESPA when the amounts paid exceed fair market value and the excess is for referrals of mortgage business.”

In other somewhat recent legal news, in Elliot v. First Fed. Comm. Bank of Bucyrus, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio granted summary judgment to the lender, finding that events that reduced the plaintiff’s income were not foreseeable by the lender and not subject to the Ability to Repay Rule. This was the first substantive analysis of the Ability to Repay rule. Read about this case in the June Litigation Update, compliments of McGlinchey Stafford and OMBA.

Bay Equity Home Loans is expanding into the Mid-South Region, with nine branches and 55 loan originators in Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana through its acquisition of the retail assets of Century Mortgage. Century Mortgage was recently named Kentucky’s #1 lender by the publication Louisville Business First. In upcoming weeks, nine branches will open under the name “Century Mortgage, a division of Bay Equity Home Loans.” Bay Equity is a family-owned, full-service retail mortgage lending institution founded in 2007 and licensed in 39 states.

Capital markets

Call them non-prime, non-Agency, expanded credit, whatever, these securities continue to hit the market. Kroll Bond Rating Agency sent out a presale report on Deephaven Mortgage’s $480.9 million expanded-credit MBS set for issuance. (In July Deephaven issued a $439.9 million security.) Deephaven is owned by Pretium Partners, and the servicing of this new security will be handled by Shellpoint Mortgage Servicing. Colorado’s Redwood Trust is readying its fifth prime non-agency MBS of the year ($401 million). And NewRez is set to issue its fifth expanded-credit MBS of the year: $305 million.

Looking at the bond market yesterday, lower mortgage rates on the rate sheet dropped more than higher ones after reports President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping may not be able to sign a deal to partially resolve the trade war until December. Is this a shock? We saw earlier this week that the U.S. deficit widened to nearly $500 billion in the first nine months of 2019, suggesting that the trade wars haven’t had the desired effect. The day also saw a well-received $27 billion 10-year note auction after which the 10-year yield put in its session low of 1.807 percent before closing the day -5 bps to 1.81 percent.


Today’s calendar began with the Bank of England holding firm on rates at 0.75% and the asset purchase target (£435 billion). Jobless claims kicked off the U.S. calendar, with initial jobless claims for the week ending November 2 (-8k to 211k). Later today, the Desk of the New York Fed will conduct a Class A FedTrade operation when they purchase up to $1.19 billion UMBS30 3 percent ($874 million) and 3.5 percent ($316 million). Treasury conducts the final leg of this week’s Quarterly Refunding when they auction $19 billion 30-year bonds. September Consumer Credit will also be released, and markets will receive remarks from both Dallas Fed President Kaplan and Atlanta Fed President Bostic. With continued trade yammering, we begin the day with Agency MBS prices worse .250 and the 10-year yield up to 1.88%.

I had a really bad day.

First, my ex got run over by a bus.

Then I got fired from my job as a bus driver.

Visit for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “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.


(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 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. 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.


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

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, call 1-800-375-6071, or visit

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 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.


(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 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 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.


(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 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).


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,,, 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,, 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: 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, 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.”

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(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 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.)