June 20: The non-mortgage issue on voter expectations, news bias, showing homes, and entrepreneurship

Greetings on the Summer Solstice, made possible by the earth tilting as we circle the sun. (We in the Northern Hemisphere are currently tilted toward the sun, by the way.) This has been the case for billions of years, even before I got into this business, and will be the case long after things like RESPA or the CFPB cease to exist. Freddie and Fannie may actually be out of conservatorship by then. Lenders and vendors touch, and are impacted by, other things besides loan processing, rates and market share. We continue to help individual’s lives, and society in general, homes continue to be shown, news seen and heard, and, despite the presidential election being nearly five months away, be impacted by political policies and procedures.

Saturday Company Spotlight

This week we sat down with Steven Rimmer, the CEO of DocProbe, to focus on growth, employee mentoring in a work from home environment, entrepreneurship, and charity work.

Describe your company, when was it founded and why, what it does, recent growth, and plans for near-term future growth. “DocProbe was founded in 2010, when a lender approached our affiliate, Madison CRES, looking for a solution to alleviate the headaches of its in-house Trailing Docs department. The lender’s challenge was dealing with an inefficient process that was pulling away essential revenue-driving employees from focusing on closing loans. The workforce was also unstable during market fluctuations, all resulting in incurred penalties due to late deliveries to investors.

“DocProbe, through a platform of people, process, and technology revolutionized Post-Closing Final Docs, with dozens of lenders from across the nation now relying on DocProbe to deliver their Trailing Docs to their investors corrected and on-time. The effects of COVID have forced lenders to revamp their operation, and DocProbe has seen a surge in lenders moving over to our outsourcing solution.”

Tell us about what type of volunteer work employees are encouraged to engage in, or charities your company supports, and why. “DocProbe, together with Madison, regularly hosts educational courses around the country giving enterprising individuals the tools to enter the lending and real estate industry. We have been encouraging employees to become trainers and mentors to the hundreds who have taken our classes over the years.

“We also directly lead and support an in-house initiative to provide the means to educate over 20,000 youths, and we encourage employees to provide their own ideas, as well. The company will often put resources behind these employee initiatives, creating additional motivation for them to get involved in personal charitable activities.”

What does your company do to help elevate your employees’ growth? Describe any mentoring programs, outside classes or training, in-house training. How does the company help people develop? “We understand the value of continued education, and regularly bring in Internal and outside experts to give training to employees to expand their knowledge base, and keep everybody up to date on the latest information in the industries.

“Interestingly, you asked about mentoring because we have actually also adopted an in-house mentoring program to give one-on-one attention to employees on their own level. These mentors go into the various offices across the country and give educational and emotional support as needed.”

Tell us how your company maintains its culture in the office, or in a work-from-home environment if applicable. “Because DocProbe relies on numerous departments to do the work needed to build the efficient process that lenders rely on, it’s so critical for us to create a family feeling and a connection to the mission. To achieve this, we are proactive in bringing these departments and employees together as often as possible. Constant stand-up meetings and regularly scheduled town halls go a long way to creating that atmosphere.

“We want employees to appreciate the greater picture. They get a great feeling of accomplishment when they see the fruits of their personal labor played out in the perfected final product. This includes the development and operation teams, as well as the sales reps around the country who appreciate the ability to come in and say thank you to the people in the trenches getting their clients’ work done for them, quietly and efficiently behind the scenes.”

 

Is there anything else you’d like to share along these lines? “The story of DocProbe going from a disruptive startup helping solve lenders’ Trailing Docs headache to growing into a document digitalization trailblazer, is one of entrepreneurial spirit and transformational vision.

“As we continue to grow, we have not lost sight of what got us to this point and value the hard work and passionate involvement of each employee. We look at every lender that joins our platform as a new partner, and treat them with the respect and appreciation that they deserve for putting their trust in us.”

How can people get in touch with you? “A great place to start is at our website to get a real feel for our product and process. They can also reach out to me directly at srimmer@docprobe.net and I’d be happy to answer any questions they have about us and what we do.”

(For more information on having your firm featured, contact Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt.)

The Housing Market: Where There’s a Will There’s a Way

From Marin County in Northern California veteran real estate agent Bob Ravasio weighed in on the showing and selling of properties during the time of COVID. “It is more complex, for sure, but is being done. There are still no open houses or brokers open houses. So we don’t get out and see as much in person as we used to. We can, however, view a home with an interested, and qualified buyer, and we have been doing that every week.

“Agents, as always, are adapting. Many listings now have a very good video done of the home, which buyers are required to view before seeing to make sure they like the home. We do it as standard procedure on all of our listings, and if done well, it really helps get a sense of how the home flows, which is critical to a buying decision.

“Before viewing, buyers must sign a PEAD form, or for a Coldwell Banker listing, a COVID 19 Prevention Plan Form. This details everything that must be done prior to, during, and after a showing, including: 1. Showings by appointment only. 2. No hard copies of flyers, promotional material, or disclosure or advisory forms, everything must be done electronically. 3. Sanitizer, wipes, and a disposal bag are supplied in the house. 4. No occupants can be in the home during a showing. 5. Commonly used surfaces are wiped down after each showing. 6. No more than two visitors from the same house and one agent in the house at a time. 7. Six-foot social distancing at all times, and everyone must wear a face covering. 8. Any disposable gloves, booties etc. to be placed in disposal bag upon leaving.

“It requires much more planning now to see a home than it did before, from everyone: buyers, agents, and owners. The situation changes frequently, and we monitor it closely, as we now have two virtual office meeting every week with management to learn about and apply the latest changes.”

Tailor-made news: can you believe money might be involved?

Unlike decades ago, news these days is made to fit the audience. Unfortunately. LO and industry observer Dick Lepre has an opinion. “I used to be a TV cable news junkie but stopped watching news on TV over a dozen years ago. I have two big issues with TV news. The first is that TV news format does not allow taking the time to explain things. This is most easily understood with things about the economy. It uses a format which allows perhaps 20 seconds to explain what is behind the jobs report or the GDP report. The consequence is that a 20 second simple explanation may be completely incorrect when a 60 second explanation is needed. The only TV news with a format which allows enough time for accurate reporting is PBS.

“The larger problem I have is that media and most especially the three cable news networks are not in the business of objective reporting. These are businesses existing to make money. Most of the money they make comes from advertising. Advertising revenue is a function of viewership. These networks, and for that matter most other media outlets, do not attempt to objectively report or analyze news. They slant their reporting to reassure their viewers that their opinions were and still are correct. The proposition has become ‘Tune in this evening and we will reassure you that everything that happened today guarantees that none of your views need changing.’ This reassurance attracts viewers. Reporting to the bias of viewers is the core of their business plans.

“I do not really have a problem with this.  If this is what sells and TV makes money with this business model and provides employment to folks that is fine as long as you don’t believe that what you are seeing is an objective account. I enjoy SpongeBob SquarePants even though I doubt that Bikini Bottom exists.

“Too many people want to watch or read that which reinforces their existing beliefs. This is a form of confirmation bias. One sees this on social media where people post an opinion and say something to the effect of, ‘If you don’t agree with this go ahead and unfriend me.’ That attitude is limiting. How does one learn anything without reading or listening to people who have different opinions? This is not about giving up one’s view and accepting the opposite. It is more a matter of sometimes expanding one’s view to include something you did not think of previously.

“The issue with cable new bias is compounded by the fact that it has become the main source of news for many. Newspaper circulation is falling. This leaves cable news as the main source for national and international news.  It remains to be seen if the internet can provide local news with sites such as Patch.

“This is not about President Trump. Reporting biased to the beliefs of viewers was happening long before Trump but since Trump is so polarizing it is more obvious now. Nor is it about ‘fake news’ if that expression means hoaxes or disinformation. It is more about reporting to the bias of the audience for financial reasons. If that’s what people want, that’s what they will get.

“For me the only reason to watch the news would be to learn something I did not already know. Instead TV news is designed as a reassurance mechanism as a means of obtaining advertising revenue. TV news makes its presentations not only with opinions as much as facts but which an air of ‘there is no discussing this. We are right.’” Thank you, Dick!

A Vote is a Vote, Right?

This month author Miles Parks wrote a piece for NPR on the nine-day delay in counting votes in the Pennsylvania primary earlier this month. “Experts and election officials are already sounding the alarm that voters need to expect the same sort of delay in November’s presidential election. ‘We really need to get into a mindset that we will not know who the winner of the election is on election night,’ said Nathaniel Persily, an election law professor at Stanford University. The biggest reason for the delays is that mail ballots take longer to process than in-person votes. Officials need to verify signatures, open envelopes, and in many states, including Pennsylvania, much of that process can’t begin until the day of the election due to state law.”

“None of that is inherently a problem. It doesn’t mean anything is wrong with the tabulation or the accuracy of the count. If anything, it’s an indicator that election officials are working through the sort of safeguards that prevent fraud or errors. But problems arise because voters don’t understand that, Persily said. And then these sorts of delays can become fertile ground for conspiracy theories.

“’In some ways, this is the worst year to have a pandemic that affects election administration because we were already worrying about disinformation and loss of confidence. And so now we have the additional challenge to voter confidence that’s posed by the possibility that all kinds of votes are going to be counted after Election Day.’”

This scenario has already played out multiple times in the past two years. When the Iowa caucus app famously malfunctioned in February leading to a delay in results, theories flooded the Internet about whether it was an inside job by one of the campaigns. And in recent general elections, such as in California, Florida and Arizona during the midterms, Republicans, including President Trump, questioned the legitimacy of votes counted after Election Day because they skewed more toward Democrats.

“The reason ballots counted after Election Day often tilt in favor of Democrats is because they are usually being processed in densely populated urban voting jurisdictions, where more Democrats are usually clustered (such as South Florida or Philadelphia). The irony is that the delay in results come from the precautions election officials take to prevent the issues with mail ballots about which Trump often worries openly. One of the reasons that the results take longer is [officials are] being diligent… That’s actually what we should be pushing for as a country. So we should celebrate the fact that we’re actually counting every vote.”

“Many states allow local election officials to begin opening mail ballots before Election Day to prepare them to be scanned, as is allowed in most states that process a large number of mail ballots…. the reason conspiracy theories around results ‘have legs’ is because there’s been a failure by election officials, candidates, and journalists to set voter expectations properly.

“There’s the headlines that say this is a disaster if there’s a delay, and that’s not right. If we all anticipate that accurate vote counts, with a higher volume by mail, or for any reason, for a pandemic or for civil unrest, take longer because it takes longer to make sure the count is accurate, then that’s the opposite of a disaster. That’s what every single voter and official should want for this country.”

Phyllis Diller observed, “We spend the first twelve months of our children’s lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve years telling them to sit down and shut up.”

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

Rob

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

 

June 19: Credit, QC, Ops, LO jobs coast to coast; broker, DPA products; residential credit changes

Lots in the news. Congratulations to the California MBA (and the MBA and lenders everywhere, since nearly 25% of residential loans come from California) which made news by being victorious in defeating AB 2501. Kansas has added Alabama to its quarantine list (Alabama’s hospitals are at maximum capacity). These days, there are hundreds of news channels going 24 hours a day, not to mention social media, which slice and dices every utterance and event within moments. It always hasn’t been that way, and today we are reminded of how long it took news to travel in the 1860s. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln on September 22, 1862, and effective as of January 1, 1863. General Robert E. Lee’s surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia to Lieutenant General U.S. Grant occurred on April 9, 1865. Today is “Juneteenth” which memorializes June 19, 1865, when Union general Gordon Granger read orders in Galveston, Texas, that all previously enslaved people in Texas were free. Speaking of noteworthy days, plenty of companies will be giving employees July 3rd off (the 4th is on a Saturday this year).

Jobs & transitions

A mid-sized publicly held depository bank is continuing to expand its residential mortgage reach, and is looking for branches and originators in Texas. Capacity has not been an issue for this Bank, and it has a wider variety of programs than most, and is Ginnie, Fannie, Freddie approved. Confidential resumes/notes of interest should be submitted to me for forwarding; please specify the opportunity.

“If you’re an ambitious mortgage professional seeking new opportunities, MiMutual Mortgage invites you to explore the positions currently available within our Operations teams. MiMutual is excited to expand our Underwriting and Closing team, specifically seeking an Underwriting Supervisor in Metro Detroit and remote opportunities for Sr. VA Underwriters, Junior Underwriters and Closers, specializing in Texas loans. A deep-rooted, privately held mortgage bank in 38 states, MiMutual Mortgage expects to continue the same growth trajectory in 2020 that it experienced in 2019 and exceptional candidates are sought to help with this growth. All interested candidates are encouraged to contact Karley Warwick (248-286-9490) for more information.”

“National Lender and leading non-bank originator and servicer NewRez is looking for Licensed Loan Officers to join our Direct to Consumer business channel. NewRez’s DTC platform more than doubled its volume in 2019 and will continue to experience tremendous growth through the remainder of 2020. NewRez offers our loan officers an unlimited number of high-quality leads. No cold calling, as these opportunities are all from existing customers. We are currently hiring in Tempe, AZ; Jacksonville, FL; Columbia, MD; Fort Washington, PA; Charlotte, NC, and other locations. NewRez offers a flexible work environment and easy to use technology. Our fast-track training programs support both new and experienced loan officers, so our new team members are licensed and earning quickly. To hear more about any of our current sales openings or to submit your resume, contact Elisa Morgado. Click here for a full list of our open opportunities nationwide.”

Quality Mortgage Services is a team of QC mortgage audit professionals ready to execute mortgage QC, due diligence, and audit functions so today’s lenders and servicers have the best mortgage analysis reports possible. We are expanding our residential mortgage auditing team by adding experienced and knowledgeable quality control auditors interested in working collaboratively with peers in a remote environment allowing for more work-life balance. Ideal candidates have a minimum of 10 years’ experience in residential mortgage underwriting or auditing for quality control, be proficient with Conventional and Government underwriting guidelines, FHA Direct Endorsement – VA SAR Certifications preferred, strong understanding of compliance, and solid knowledge of the Secondary Market. If interested, please send resumes directly to Claudia Duncan or Laura Kate Davis.”

 

When you’re setting goals and looking for ways to exceed them, you don’t want to be slowed down or derailed by trivial details within the loan process. That’s why Wyndham Capital Mortgage has put in the work to create sales-centered support systems that allow you to close loans faster and smoother. With a combination of technological systems like robotics and A.I., Wyndham has you covered every step of the way to eliminate inefficiencies to reach unparalleled speed and scale of closings. Our average time to close is around 30 days, far below industry average, which is a direct result of our loan officers having more time to spend selling and instead of managing a pipeline, troubleshooting, building a marketing plan, and other tasks that slow you down. To learn more about how you can join the team harnessing the power of tech to the benefit of your career, click here.

“Many LOs struggle to trust their leadership & company’s stability. Churchill Mortgage not only has a world class leadership team, but it’s also an E.S.O.P! Our employees are partial owners. We’re a company of leaders, focused on the success of our company & our customers. We’ve been voted a Top Workplace for 7 consecutive years! According to LinkedIn, Churchill Mortgage loan officers have an average tenure of 4.3 years compared to the industry average of 1.7 years! Also, 13% of our Loan Officers have been with us for over 7 years. ‘I’ve been in the mortgage and finance business for over 40 years, & have found it’s truly a ‘people’ business where there must be a relationship of trust,’ explained Churchill Mortgage president and CEO, Mike Hardwick. We’re proud of our past & confident in our future. If this type of environment and leadership mentality interests you, contact Churchill Mortgage.”

And a well-known independent mortgage bank, headquartered in California, is searching for a Chief Credit Officer with strong Government and Conforming experience, and is well-versed in managing a staff of underwriters in addition to being an expert on credit. Interested parties should send me a confidential resume for forwarding; please specify the opportunity.

ReverseVision has filled its newly created Director of Business Development, Strategic Partners position, with mortgage industry veteran Carissa Orozco who will spearhead strategic integration partnerships that allow traditional mortgage lenders to integrate HECM and private reverse mortgages into the loan qualifying, sales and origination process with ease.

Lender & broker services & products

HomeBinder announces a partnership with the Ellie Mae Digital Lending Platform. With this partnership lenders will have the perfect tool to keep them connected post-close without physical contact. Drive agent referrals by co-branding HomeBinder with the real estate partners you work with. The effortless integration with Encompass® automates the entire process (including loan docs!) View our demo.

Steps taken to help correspondents: Operating as an FHA correspondent lender during the coronavirus crisis has been challenging to say the least. Government providers of DPA have witnessed the secondary market for their loans become exceptionally volatile leading to worse pricing at many. But CBC Mortgage Agency has not only lowered rates, but taken steps to make originating loans with DPA more reliable, including not requiring repurchase for loans which enter forbearance. In addition, CBCMA, which had primarily offered programs with down payment assistance, has launched FHA Classic, which does not include any DPA. The program can be used for home purchases, streamline refinances and rate-and-term refinances. FHA Classic allows loan-to-value ratios up to 96.5 percent, debt-to-income ratios of up to 50 percent and no income limits. There is no first-time homebuyer requirement, either. To find out more about FHA Classic and all of CBC’s programs, visit www.ChenoaFund.org.

QLMS’ partners only have until the end of June to assist their clients in unlocking HUGE savings with Prime29. This unique offering is creating waves across the broker community and has unleashed $186,000,000 in savings for partners’ clients since its rollout. QLMS has slashed the interest rate on a 29-year loan, so the monthly payment equals that of a 30-year conventional loan but saves clients THOUSANDS over its life. Partners have already helped nearly 12,000 homeowners secure this limited time deal – saving them an average of $15,500 over the life of their loan. LOs are coming to QLMS in droves because of differentiators like this. If you are not yet a QLMS partner, click HERE and you can leverage Prime29 and save your clients thousands in as few as 24 hours after placing your application.

Misc. Credit Updates

As lenders reduce friction in processing, they’re keeping an eye on credit policy. What is that? Big lenders have them, but why should a small company have one? The first thing that you need to do is differentiate between policy and procedure. Usually a “policy” addresses issues in broad terms, explaining what it is and the reasons for it. A procedure lists the step-by-step instructions on how to carry it out. So a credit policy is more widespread and addresses major issues, doesn’t change often, and addresses the “what and why”. A procedure is narrower, changes often, lists how to do things in detail and also answers the “who and when.”

Credit risk management is responsible for policy. You should decide who is responsible for implementing and maintaining the procedures necessary to comply with policy. You’ll need to address many topics. In no particular order, time periods, quantitative limits, conditionality, and policy exceptions. And be sure to keep an eye on the format of the write up, tone, style, using good grammar, and making it readable. And mention positions, not names, being responsible for certain items. For any written policy to be followed, it must be easy to read!

Alan Bercovitz caught this. “Regarding your note: ‘Remember that USDA Rural Housing Development announced that publication of revised HB-1-3555 Chapter 10: Credit Analysis is delayed pending USDA publication of a Procedure Notice (PN).’ My understanding is that PN 534 was issued on 3/19/20 and the changes are now fully implemented. The only announcement regarding this delay that I can find is dated 1/28/20.”

QLMS (Quicken Loans) let brokers know that the GSEs have released some new guidance to help lenders evaluate income stability for self-employed clients. “For new registrations on all products starting June 11, there are two new Partner Conditions to qualify self-employment income. At ‘Submit Full Package,’ we now require either a year-to-date audited profit and loss statement, or a year-to-date unaudited profit and loss statement plus the 2 most recent months’ or 60 days’ bank statements to verify the unaudited statement. (Previously, only the most recent profit and loss statement or business asset statement was required.) We will now calculate client income using the year-to-date profit and loss statements. Please note: Any income shown to be decreasing by more than 25% will not be qualified.

“Self-employed clients will need to attest to the stability of their business. This will be a requirement in Partner Conditions after the loan is ‘Conditionally Approved.’ Please contact your client and provide their detailed response describing the impact of COVID-19 on their business and if the income for the business will be stable moving forward within that condition. This condition will be required at “Submit Full Package.” If a client does not expect their income to be stable, their self-employment income cannot qualify. See the COVID-19 Updates page in GURU for more information.”

FCM posted COVID-19 Conventional Update for Self-Employed borrowers in its Delegated Correspondent Announcement 2020-27 and Wholesale Announcement 2020-29

FAMC/Citizens Bank has developed an interim guidance document that summarizes its changes to policy. The COVID-19 Interim Guidance Document provides a summary of the recent policy modifications and denotes the reference bulletin associated with each change. Please visit the FAMC online manual to view the document located in the Underwriting & Credit Policy section.

loanDepot Wholesale/Correspondent published its Weekly Announcement that covers the GSE’s Self-Employed Income Analysis and Documentation Requirements, Fannie Mae Selling Notice 06-03-20, Freddie Mac COVID-19 FAQs, VA’s Funding Fee Guidance Update and VA Circular 26-20-20.

Lakeview Correspondent posted Announcement C2020-03 covering multiple topics which include DSHA Conventional and TSAHC Conventional Program updates, IRS Tax Return & Transcript requirements and an enhancement to Springboard To Homeownership Program and Fahe My Place Mortgage Program.

Capital markets

Rates: up a little, down a little. The yield curve flattened a bit yesterday, including the 10-year yield ending the day -4 bps to 0.69 percent, as there wasn’t much fresh news for markets to digest. Increased coronavirus cases in several states fueled some of the move, as did higher than expected initial jobless claims. For the day’s two operations, the Desk purchased the $4.349 billion maximum with a 35.6 percent hit rate as $12.219 billion was tendered. Roughly one-third was concentrated in UMBS15s with the remaining two-thirds in UBS30s. Since the restart of QE on March 16, the Desk has purchased $751 billion.

Today’s sole economic release was the Q1 current account deficit, which doesn’t move rates. There are at least four virtual Fed speakers scheduled: Boston’s Rosengren, Vice Chair of Supervision Quarles, Chair Powell, and Cleveland’s Mester. The NY Fed will conduct two FedTrade MBS purchase operations totaling up to $4.721 billion starting with up to $1.744 billion GNII 2.5 percent and 3 percent followed by up to $2.977 billion UMBS30 2 percent through 3 percent. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices down/worse a few ticks (32nds) and the 10-year yielding .74.

My cousins wanted to reveal the gender of the baby at our family reunion of about 40 people.

That night, after just finishing up a socially distant BBQ, my cousin and his wife stand up and announce to the family that they are going to have a little baby girl.

Everyone starts cheering, naturally and once the cheers die down a little, I shout out, “Do you have a name for the baby yet?”

My brother replies, “Yeah. Landa Noelle.”

Everyone starts to “Ooohhh” and “Ahhhh” and proclaim how pretty of a name it is.

Then after a moment I shout, “How the heck are you supposed to spell Landa with no L?”

(Thanks to Stephen S. for this one.)

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

Rob

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

June 18: Ops, LO jobs; digital, QC, cap. mkts. products; Ginnie & FHA changes & trends

Capital markets folks focus on risk management every day. The public is getting a taste of another kind of risk management when they go to a bar, tattoo parlor, or hair salon. What happens when the government doesn’t specify what masks are acceptable? Should COVID just be part of our health landscape, as many have suggested from the outset, and we should become accustomed to it? (One reader jokingly wrote, “No one should be allowed to drive again until there are no fatal accidents for 14 consecutive days. Then we can slowly begin to phase in certain classes of people who can begin driving again, but only at half the posted speed limit, and wear a helmet.” But don’t scoff: not everyone who dies is 85 and in a nursing home, as plainly detailed in Orange County’s numbers.) While there is transformation everywhere, some things never change, which is the topic of the lead article in STRATMOR Group’s June Insights Report. STRATMOR Sr. Partner Jim Cameron analyzes the three immutable economic truths that have not wavered throughout the months of the pandemic (the laws of supply and demand, unintended consequences and cash is king) and the market reactions and the outcomes show the constancy that exists even amidst even the chaotic change we’ve experienced so far this year.

Employment

“Are you shifting your career path to financial services? Business is booming at Caliber Home Loans as we expand rewarding career opportunities in several regions with best-in-class preparation to guide your success. Our essential team members help fulfill Caliber’s mission of making customers’ home ownership dreams a reality, even during these challenging times. Caliber’s vast military support was evidenced in May as we set a company record of Veteran’s Administration (VA) Loans funded in a single month. The fact that it occurred during National Military Appreciation Month makes it especially gratifying! We have steadily increased the total number of VA loans by 95% year over year. Caliber welcomes Veterans to join our team of exceptional service! Visit the Caliber Careers website for opportunities across the organization!”

It’s time you be in business for yourself, not by yourself. The Motto Mortgage network supports entrepreneurship through industry-leading tools and full-service assistance, all for a flat, monthly fee. You’ll have complete and customized access to best-of-breed technology, business support tailored to you, and enterprise-level wholesale lender relationships for all your loan origination needs. When you own a Motto Mortgage franchise, you own an innovative business that funds dreams and propels your career growth. Discover how franchise ownership can put the control in your hands and the heavy lifting in someone else’s or email us at franchise@mottomortgage.com for more information.”

Lender services and products

SolomonEdwards and Constant have announced a cooperative agreement to offer TotalMod to help lenders and servicers manage the imminent spike expected in loss mitigation activity once forbearances expire. TotalMod includes Constant’s self-service platform that automates loan modifications and other workout solutions, end-to-end without human intervention, and SolomonEdwards’ best-in-class regulatory and compliance services. TotalMod is intended to help servicers avoid large staffing campaigns, reduce phone channel volume, and maintain compliance as enforcement and supervisory actions increase. The technology is ground-breaking in that it progresses borrowers through a series of steps to determine ability and willingness to pay, crafts the right hardship offer based on that analysis, and presents documents for e-signing.

“Today AFR Wholesale celebrates, alongside our business partners, 13 years of bringing families home! Sending a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to our clients, without whom this would not be possible. We are thrilled to celebrate another year focused on helping families. AFR Wholesale fully invests in the success of our business partners by providing an extensive portfolio of products and services, industry-leading technology, professional expertise, and continuous educational opportunities. For a limited time, AFR Wholesale is also pricing its 60-day lock at the 30-day lock price. For more information about becoming an AFR Wholesale partner, go to afrwholesale.com, email sales@afrwholesale.com or call 1-800-375-6071.”

Register for MBA Education’s highly informative webinar, MOVING FORWARD: STRATEGIES FOR SECONDARY MARKETING SUCCESS, on Tuesday, June 23rd at 2:00 PM ET. Featuring industry veterans from Optimal Blue and Wells Fargo, this interactive webinar will examine market conditions and how the mortgage industry is reacting to economic changes in the wake of COVID-19. As the industry moves toward a steady, decisive recovery, the panel of experts will share successful secondary marketing strategies to help lenders navigate these volatile and unique times. For their guests, Optimal Blue has organized complimentary access to this MBA webinar. Please contact sales@optimalblue.com to receive a promo code that will waive your $299 registration fee.

CY 2019 Mortgage QC Industry Trends Report: “Market stability contributed to an overall better 2019 for lending quality. These improvements, however, will be severely tested as data comes in for the coming quarters as we start to see COVID’s impact on mortgage lending”, according to ARMCO EVP Nick Volpe. The Report Summary showed that Q4 2019 ended with a defect rate of 1.73%, an increase of 11% from Q3 2019. The share of conventional loans increased from 56.40% in CY 2018 to 61.99%. Purchase share fell 7.5% in CY 2019 as compared to CY 2018. Regulatory compliance issues were down 51% year-over-year. Loan Package/Documentation defects were volatile in CY 2019 but did post a 12% improvement compared with CY 2018. Income, assets, and credit related defects made up 53% of all critical defects in CY 2019VIEW REPORT.

MeridianLink’s LendingQB, a leading provider of SaaS loan origination technology, has integrated with eClosing platforms to provide a superior digital mortgage lending experience, from the application, and processing, to eClosing. The integrations will allow lenders, borrowers, and settlement agents to complete the eClosing process in a streamlined, safe, and secure way. The first integration with Docutech’s Solex eClosing is complete with IDS and DocMagic to follow. These integrations with LendingQB will bring further process improvement and help lenders safely meet the needs of mortgage lending customers. LendingQB is a browser-based mortgage loan origination system that provides the tools to help mortgage lenders decrease costs by streamlining processes through automation, improves the borrower experience, and increases profitability. This mortgage loan origination system is secure and compliant, integrating with most major core platforms to help eliminate tedious work and reduce errors. To schedule time to speak to someone about LendingQB and eClosing integrations, please click here.

Bringing back an oldie but a goodie episode from the Clear to Close podcast from Maxwell. Released earlier this year, with guest, Patty Arvielo, Co-Founder and President of New American Funding, the episode “Diversity and Inclusion in the Mortgage Industry,” is particularly timely in this moment as unresolved racial tensions in our country come to a head. It’s on all of us to create an open, equal, and welcoming environment in both the workplace and our daily lives. Listen and subscribe through your favorite podcast source below! See all episodes and listen in your browser at  www.himaxwell.com/podcast, Apple, Google Play, Spotify, and Soundcloud.

FHA & Ginnie news

Yes, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) will extend their single-family moratorium on foreclosures and evictions until at least August 31, 2020. The foreclosure moratorium applies to Enterprise-backed, single-family mortgages only. The current moratorium was set to expire on June 30th.

Likewise, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced a two-month extension of its foreclosure and eviction moratorium through August 31 for homeowners with FHA-insured Single Family mortgages. The extension “applies to homeowners with FHA-insured Title II Single Family forward and Home Equity Conversion (reverse) mortgages, and continues to direct mortgage servicers to: Halt all new foreclosure actions and suspend all foreclosure actions currently in process, excluding legally vacant or abandoned properties; and cease all evictions of persons from FHA-insured Single Family properties, excluding actions to evict occupants of legally vacant or abandoned properties.

The extension brought up the topic of FHA’s forbearance policy. “FHA requires mortgage servicers to offer borrowers with FHA-insured mortgages up to a year of delayed mortgage payment forbearance when the borrower requests it. FHA does not require a lump sum payment at the end of the forbearance period.”

And this week the FHA announced it would impose a 20% first loss penalties on properly underwritten loans that go into forbearance post-closing but before FHA insures them. The Community Home Lenders Association is calling on FHA to rescind and rework this policy. “From the lenders’ perspective, it could create a financial hit on properly underwritten loans from something they have no control over: borrowers invoking the new Congressional right to invoke forbearance. CHLA is also concerned that this creates incentives for lenders to apply credit overlays based on things like guessing who might next invoke forbearance. Put simply, the small savings FHA might make from this policy could be dwarfed by the outsized upfront access to credit impact in terms of underwriting new loans.

FHA published Mortgagee Letter (ML) 2020-16, Endorsement of Mortgages under Forbearance for Borrowers Affected by the Presidentially-Declared COVID-19 National Emergency consistent with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Here is the press release.

FHA published ML 2020-18 announcing the implementation of a new digital submission process for single or bulk loss mitigation home retention claims. Beginning Monday, June 15, these claims may be processed through the FHA Catalyst: Claims Module. Submission of loss mitigation home retention claims through the FHA Catalyst: Claims Module is optional.

The FHA Single Family Housing Claim Filing Technical Guide has been updated.

Ginnie Mae has added “Update for File Layouts for Single Family MBS Loan Forbearance Disclosure”. Ginnie Mae issued MPM 20-02 to inform interested participants of the updates to the Stripped Mortgage-Backed Securities (SMBS) program, effective for June 2020 transactions. And Ginnie Mae posted February 28 Notes and News. This post includes information on Issuer Operational Performance Profile Enhancements Overview and a reminder regarding Annual Audited Financial Statements.

Ginnie Mae announced that issuance of its mortgage-backed securities (MBS) totaled $57.85 billion in January, providing financing for more than 223,938 homeowners and renters. A breakdown of January issuance includes $55.46 billion of Ginnie Mae II MBS and $2.40 billion of Ginnie Mae I MBS, which includes $1.96 billion of loans for multifamily housing. Ginnie Mae’s total outstanding principal balance of $2.130 trillion is an increase from $2.053 trillion in January 2019.

Don’t forget that as part of Wells Fargo Funding response to the COVID-19 national emergency, it implemented a temporary minimum Loan Score of 680 for all FHA, VA, and Guaranteed Rural Housing (GRH) Loans, regardless of automated underwriting system (AUS) decision.

Orion Lending has made several changes to its FHA program underwriting criteria. Details can be found here.

PRMG posted Product Update 20-15. Products with updates include Chenoa FHA Edge and FHA Rate Advantage, CHFA FirstStep, both Ruby and Diamond Jumbo, Expanded Access, Choice and Choice Plus Conforming and Jumbo, Hybrid Conforming and Jumbo, and Investor Solution Products, VA and FHA products including VA IRRRLs and FHA Streamline, Agency DU Portfolio and HomeReady.

Recall that AmeriHome posted that the minimum decision credit score for streamline government loan transactions, FHA Streamline, VA IRRRL, and USDA Streamlined, will be 680. Effective for new commitments issued on and after Friday, April 3, 2020, the minimum decision credit score for non-streamline government loan transactions will be the greater of the program guide requirement or 640* This requirement applies to the following: FHA Standard Purchase and Refinance, VA Purchase, VA Cash-Out Refinance, USDA Purchase, USDA Rate and Term (Non-Streamlined) Refinance. (That was unchanged from the March 26, 2020 announcement, 20200307-CL Product Announcement – Minimum Credit Scores for Government Loans.)

PCF Wholesale available products include VA IRRRLs.

Capital markets

Rates haven’t done too much since last week when the Consumer Price Index fell 0.1 percent and the Producer Price Index increased 0.4 percent in May after seeing large declines in April. Recall that most of the gain in the PPI was attributed to a rebound in oil prices from record lows. Unemployment numbers continue to improve as new claims for unemployment insurance fell, although the Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey showed the job openings rate fell to 3.7 percent and the hiring rate fell to a record low 2.7 percent in April. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, February marked the peak of the last business cycle. Should the gradual reopening of the economy result in steady growth it is possible that the low could be in May or June making the recession of 2020 the shortest of the last 150 years. The Federal Reserve’s latest economic projections showed most FOMC members expect a gradual recovery and that the fed funds rate would remain near zero through the end of 2022.

After all that “risk off” trading I talked about yesterday morning, the day that followed was certainly “risk on.” Beijing said the coronavirus is still on the rise in the city and scrapped more than 1,200 flights yesterday due to a fresh outbreak. Brazil had a record 34,918 new cases, while previously virus-free New Zealand called in the military to enforce border controls after a positive test. Markets fluctuated a bit as investors weighed that increase in coronavirus cases with talk of government and monetary stimulus around the world. The 10-year yield closed the day -2 bps to 0.73 percent.

Fed Chairman Powell delivered the second part of his semiannual testimony on monetary policy before the House Financial Services Panel, saying that the central bank will reduce its purchases of corporate debt ETFs in favor of direct bond purchases. Powell urged Congress not to pull back too quickly on federal relief for households and small businesses amid increasing debate over whether to extend temporary bailout programs, and also warned lawmakers that a full economic recovery was unlikely until people were confident that the virus had been contained. On a positive note, he predicted “strong job creation between now and the end of July.” Separately, total housing starts increased in May, but were well below estimates and down 23 percent year-over-year. Total building permits increased nearly 15 percent month-over-month, but still missed estimates.

Today’s economic calendar is all but done and dusted. We’ve had initial jobless claims for the week ending June 13 (-58k from a revised figure from last week), continuing claims (20.5 million, -62k), and Philadelphia Fed manufacturing for June (+27.5 from -43.1). May leading indicators are due out later this morning, before some Fed speak with Cleveland’s Mester and San Francisco’s Daly. The NY Fed will conduct two FedTrade purchase operations totaling up to $4.349 billion starting with $1.372 billion UMBS15 2 percent and 2.5 percent followed by $2.977 billion UMBS30 2 percent through 3 percent. The Desk will also report on MBS purchases for the week ending June 10. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices better/up by nearly .125 and the 10-year yielding .69.

A little old lady answered a knock on the door one day, and was confronted by a well-dressed young man carrying a vacuum cleaner.

“Good morning,” said the young man. “If I could take a couple minutes of your time, I would like to demonstrate the very latest in high-powered vacuum cleaners…”

“Go away!” cried the old lady. “I’m broke and haven’t got any money!” and she proceeded to close the door.

Quick as a flash, the young man wedged his foot in the door and pushed it wide open.

“Don’t be too hasty!” he said. “Not until you have at least seen my demonstration!”

And with that, he emptied a bucket of horse manure onto her hallway carpet.

“Now, if this vacuum cleaner does not remove all traces of this horse manure from your carpet, Madam, I will personally eat the remainder.”

The old lady stepped back and said, “Well you just stay right there while l get you a fork, cuz they cut off my electricity this morning.”

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

Rob

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

June 17: Sales, Ops, marketing jobs; CRM, processing, buyback insurance products; COVID, the CFPB, credit reports, and rates

Yesterday afternoon I was doing my quarterly ten minutes of YouTube yoga (“Align those internal organs! “The journey is the reward!”) and my mind wandered to how economists are great at predicting the past. (No, I didn’t make that up.) Companies post their results, and any talk of the future often comes with a warning, “Past results are not indicative of future performance.” So guidance should be “taken with a grain of salt.” Anyone should be incredibly wary of, perhaps disbelieving of, any date-based forward guidance. Do you think someone can say with any certainty, “I think in September of 2021 ‘such-and-such’ will happen.”? Just think back where we were only four months ago versus where things are now. “Data-based” forward guidance is more reliable, and the Fed sees plenty of it. Current situations are much clearer, however, and homebuying demand is even stronger than a year ago, according to Redfin. Supply is not strong in many areas, however, as new home construction and new listings are sluggish. Buyers in some markets are desperate, especially if a couple is trying to get out of a 1 bedroom, 1 bath condo… at reasonable, correct price points, stuff is flying off the shelf!

Jobs

With so many of the leading lenders in the nation adopting Total Expert as their marketing and customer engagement platform, it’s no surprise that several of those top lenders are currently seeking experienced Total Expert marketing administrators to join their dynamic and innovative teams. Your location is open & flexible, as the right candidates will be able to work remotely. If interested, please send your resume to Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt.

“At Mr. Cooper, we’re extremely grateful for the loyalty and partnership of our clients. We value the dedication and determination of our Cooper team to continue delivery of superior service to our clients and borrowers. We’re committed to our partnership with our Correspondent clients and are delivering access to liquidity, superior turn times, and competitive solutions for Best Efforts and Mandatory executions. Our strength and stability have allowed us to expand our product offerings providing more options to our valued clients. Stay tuned for exciting announcements including expanded offerings in FHA lending, Co-Issue and Remote Online Notarization capabilities. Additionally, WE’RE HIRING! We’re excited to expand our Non-Delegated and Delegated programs and are looking for experienced Underwriters, Underwriting Managers and Client Relationship Managers. Contact Pamela Peak to learn about joining our dynamic team! Mr. Cooper is a Top 10 Correspondent investor and the largest non-bank servicer with a servicing portfolio of $600B+.”

Stearns Wholesale Lending is focused on Gearing Up For Growth in 2020 and has announced the addition of Jeff Newcome as the Regional VP, Sales for the Northeast region. Newcome joins with over 20 years of Wholesale and Correspondent mortgage sales experience, including leadership roles at EquiFirst, Countrywide, and Bank of America. Most recently he spent seven years helping build the Non-QM Investor Deephaven Mortgage. The mission of his role is to guide, grow and support the Account Executives as well as Broker and Non-Delegated Correspondent customers. For more information or to inquire about sales and operational positions with Stearns Wholesale Lending, CLICK HERE.

Lender services and products

NewRez, a nationwide lender, is announcing that its Correspondent Lending division is once again accepting Best Effort locks to help you grow your business. While briefly stepping away from the market, NewRez evaluated and improved all correspondent products, services, and support systems to be more innovative and streamlined than ever before! Various processes, procedures, and technology have been implemented to make the experience completely lender centric. The NewRez team has also been hard at work capitalizing their business in ways that lead to long-term viability and partner success. For more information, visit https://www.newrezcorrespondent.com/ or email John Davis, SVP National Sales of Correspondent Lending.

BETTER Direct Mail Marketing for Mortgage Lenders from Monster Lead Group: “We’re able to grow and scale operations because of the predictability of Monster’s campaigns. It’s a real marketing system. It’s not just sending mail.” (Brad Bennett, Caliver Beach Mortgage.) “It’s been your consistency; it’s been unbelievably consistent. It’s really like clockwork… We’re able to grow and scale because of the predictability of the Monster campaigns.” (Steve Sless and Andrew Parker, PRMG Reverse Mortgage Division.) “Somebody can charge me half as much as you guys do, but I can’t get beyond the level of your results. For me, service means a hell of a lot and the results speak for themselves.” (John Kresevic, JFQ Lending.) “We’ve basically stopped doing all other marketing and gone 100% with Monster.” (Manny Fajardo, Premier Lending Corp.) Monster Lead Group. Better than whoever you’re using. See how at monsterleadgroup.com/better.

Repurchase Liability Insurance / Buyback Protection! This insurance protects the originator from losses stemming from loans contractually required to be repurchases by the investor. Losses covered are scratch and dent, foreclosures, and short sales. Both QM and non-QM loans can be covered. The cost is typically passed through and is less than the cost of the loss reserves. Very little information is needed for a quote and you can click here to fill in the list and also request additional information.

Digital mortgage frontrunner SimpleNexus announced the release of Multi-Loan, a feature that consolidates management of multiple loans from the same applicant within SimpleNexus’ famously user-friendly interface. LOs can customize the borrower task list and requested documents for each loan; request eConsent, asset verification and credit authorization on a per-loan basis; and move or copy documents between different loans for the borrower. Borrowers can create a new loan application directly from the app or on the web. To further streamline loan management, SimpleNexus automatically links all loan applications associated with the same borrower, eliminating the need to remove old loans from the system or create separate user accounts to manage multiple applications. VP of Product Shane Westra says more than 60% of SimpleNexus’ customers have opted-in for early access to the feature. Get a demo here.

As lenders continue to hack their way out of the refi weeds, they need tools that allow LOs to be in not just two, but hundreds of places at once. SecurityNational Mortgage Company Chief Strategy Officer Eric Bergstrom credits Top of Mind’s SurefireCRM for enabling what he’s dubbed their ‘10x 10x’ marketing system because it delivers 10 times the customer reach with 10 times fewer resources. With SurefireCRM’s creative library of customizable, automatable content, a handful of SNMC Business Services personnel can achieve much higher customer engagement for their 500-plus LO workforce. Get the full details in this free case study download.

“Last chance! Are you ready for FHA Streamline refinance opportunities in this market? Learn how to efficiently submit your files once for a final approval! Join Freedom Mortgage Wholesale for our last live webinar training session this month on FHA Streamline mortgage products and origination processes. Ideal for new or experienced government originators.  Sign up for our last FHA Streamline webinar on June 19 (FHA SL).”

Consumers: On Everyone’s Minds

How can lenders sustain positive performance metrics achieved in the last 90 days? Get back to the basics. “Borrowers choose their lender based on a referral or existing relationship 87 percent of the time,” says STRATMOR Group’s MortgageSAT director Mike Seminari. “Now is the time to ask, ‘How do we keep the momentum of the positive customer sentiment we’ve seen in the last three months going?’” In his new MortgageSAT Tip, Seminari recommends optimizing the borrower experience by following three rules that have stood the test of time, including calling the borrower before closing, which when missed, causes the Net Promoter Score (NPS) to drop from 86 to -4. Read the June MortgageSAT tip: “Maintaining Strong Sales and Customer Satisfaction as the Economy Reopens.”

CFPB & credit reporting

While the industry, especially the non-QM segment which will be lucky to hit 3-4% of the residential pie this year, waits for guidance on QM versus non-QM, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau “issued guidance on consumer reporting during the COVID-19 pandemic. The frequently asked questions (FAQs) address companies’ responsibilities under the CARES Act and the FCRA when they furnish information to consumer reporting agencies about consumers impacted by the crisis.

 

The guidance turned many heads, and I received this note from a compliance pro. “Rob, did you see, ‘QUESTION 8: Can a furnisher comply with the requirements of the CARES Act relating to reporting of accommodations simply by using a special comment code to report a natural or declared disaster or forbearance? ANSWER (UPDATED 6/16/2020): As discussed in FAQ #3 above, the CARES Act requires a furnisher to report a credit obligation or account as current if it was current prior to the accommodation or not to advance the level of delinquency if it was delinquent prior to the accommodation. Furnishing a special comment code indicating that a consumer with an account is impacted by a disaster or that the consumer’s account is in forbearance does not provide consumer reporting agencies with this CARES Act-required information and therefore furnishing such a comment code is not a substitute for complying with these requirements.’

 

“I was struck by the doublespeak in Question 8’s answer in the CFPB’s credit reporting announcement in terms of whether a servicer can provide any kind of reporting about forbearance. So, can you report a borrower as current and provide a special comment code saying they are in forbearance? Offering such ‘guidance’ in an FAQ format is questionable, at best. If they really wanted to be helpful, they would have answered, ‘Yes, as long as you report the borrower as current, you may also supply a comment code indicating that the borrower was affected by forbearance.’  This is an attempt to make it seem like you can’t do something, when in fact you can.”

Capital markets

We hear the terms “risk on” and “risk off” a lot when it comes to daily movement in the MBS and bond markets. Yesterday was a “risk off” affair, which generally means people feel good about the direction of the economy and trade accordingly: global investors pile into riskier assets, which sees Treasury yields increase or “pull back” in order to make the security more attractive. That was the case yesterday, and the 10-year yield, which is loosely tracked by mortgage rates, rose +5 bps. The sentiment was largely due to optimism over a recovering U.S. economy, evidenced by a record jump in retail sales, advanced talks surrounding the Trump administration proposing $1 trillion in infrastructure spending, the implementation of further Fed action, and the Bank of Japan boosting support for companies. Overlooked were escalating tensions on China’s border with India and some troubling coronavirus-related signs, as schools were closed in Beijing while domestic reports pointed to an uptick in hospitalizations and new cases in various states.

Fed Chairman Powell delivered the first part of his semiannual testimony on monetary policy yesterday, arguing in favor of greater fiscal support for state and local governments and saying that the Fed is “some years away” from halting asset purchases. His pre-testimony statement said financial-system vulnerability will be significant in the near term and stressed risks to the economy and jobs, and added that the size of the balance sheet as a percentage of GDP will be allowed to “decline passively” when the time comes. Despite recent positive economic data, he said there’s still “significant uncertainty” about the timing and strength of the recovery, and that the U.S. economy may be entering a period of significant improvement in employment but one that will leave the labor market “well short” of the robust levels seen just before the pandemic.

As far as economic releases went, U.S. retail sales for May were expected to rise on the back of restaurant and retail reopening’s, but not many expected headline U.S. retail sales to jump nearly 18 percent last month, more than twice the consensus forecast, offering some hope that the economic recovery is going well. The report certainly reflects pent-up demand that was released as reopening efforts took root, but remember that monthly comparisons are sequential. Total industrial production increased in May, but only about half of 3.0 percent expectations, and capacity utilization rate fell slightly when it was expected to rise. The NAHB Housing Market Index increased to 58 in June, well beyond expectations after registering at 37 in May.

The question is now whether re-imposed restrictions due to new outbreaks of the coronavirus cropping up around the country could potentially set back the national recovery. New coronavirus cases are trending higher in 20 states, several of which are seeing record highs, particularly in the Sun Belt and parts of the West following the easing of lockdown orders in early May. While the rise in new cases can be partially explained by factors such as more prevalent testing and reporting lags, any eventual slowing down or rolling back re-opening plans would curtail economic activity and potentially set back the recovery which is just getting underway. One concern is that the coronavirus appears to spread most easily in dense urban areas, which account for a disproportionate share of economic growth. Some bars and restaurants have also voluntarily closed for a second time, illustrating that even without new restrictions or lockdown orders, new waves of the coronavirus could by themselves weigh on consumer and business confidence and prolong the return of economic activity to prior peak levels.

Today’s economic calendar includes the Weekly MBA Mortgage Index for the week ending June 12: mortgage loan application volume increased 8.0 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. Looking for some good news? The Refinance Index increased 10 percent from the previous week and was 106 percent higher than the same week one year ago. Additionally, the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 4 percent from one week earlier and was 21 percent higher than the same week one year ago. We’ve also had May Housing Starts (974k, +4.3 percent, below forecasts) and Building Permits (1,220,000). Fedspeak? The afternoon sees Fed Chair Powell head back to The Hill for the second round of testimony on the Semiannual Monetary Policy Report, this time before the House Financial Services Committee, and Atlanta’s Bostic and Cleveland’s Mester will be on the podium. The Desk of the NY Fed will conduct two FedTrade purchase operations totaling up to $4.721 billion starting with up to $1.744 billion GNII 2.5 percent and 3 percent followed by up to $2.977 billion UMBS30 2 percent through 3 percent. We begin today with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged and the 10-year yielding .76 percent after closing there yesterday.

An old man was a witness in a burglary case. The defense lawyer asked Carl, “Did you see my client commit this burglary?”

“Yes,” said Carl, “I saw him plainly take the goods.”

The lawyer asks Carl again, speaking slowly, “Carl, this happened at night. Are you sure you saw my client commit this crime?”

“Yes,” says Carl, “I saw him do it.”

Then the lawyer asks Carl, “Carl, listen, you are 80 years old and your eyesight probably is bad. Just how far can you see at night?”

Carl says, “I can see the moon, how far is that?”

(Thank you to Stephen S. for this one.)

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

Rob

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

 

June 16: Marketing, bank statement, processing, servicing products; webinars & events; Freddie & Fannie in the news

What? You aren’t offering a 30-year rate below 3% yet? Better catch up, because that is where the mainstream press is telling borrowers rates are. Of course, us capital markets folks hate it when newspapers talk about rates, and LOs don’t like explaining how “trivial” items such as risk and credit score can influence someone’s pricing. Meanwhile, “on the back end,” Congress and regulators are discussing an extension of the foreclose moratorium that expires on June 30. One month? Or past Labor Day? (Time flies… weren’t we supposed to be done with this pandemic “hoax” at Easter?) What is also being discussed are non-bank servicers and their financial health, which by most accounts is better than it was three months ago, so that is good news, although it lessens the chance of a liquidity facility. Of course things are happening at the state level as well. Replacing a statue in Tennessee? (With an entire statue, or just a bust?)

Lender services and products

Maxwell’s digital mortgage platform continues to make waves in the industry for small to midsize lenders doing $300M or $3B. Their POS experience has expanded quickly, providing meaningful benefits for the 200 lenders who have partnered with them. “Yes, we’re a point-of-sale and now, with our scale, our technology allows us to leverage the power of our community of lenders to offer access to value previously only accessible by the largest lenders,” says John Paasonen, the founder and CEO. “As we continue to invest millions in our technology, we’re committed for the long-term to making our lender partners successful.” With over billions facilitated through the platform every month, Maxwell’s growth has been a testament to their commitment to partnership. Learn more about Maxwell’s unique approach to being a lender’s digital mortgage partner

What’s next for servicers now that the tsunami of forbearance requests appears to be ebbing? Jane Mason, CEO of Clarifire, a leader in SaaS automated workflow technology, believes the real challenge has just begun. “After a record surge in mortgage delinquencies in April, and with efforts to redefine mortgage relief under the CARES Act still ongoing, servicers must shift their focus to streamlining their default servicing operations immediately,” Mason said. “This is not a simple proposition. Troubled homeowners are relying on servicers to guide them through their relief options. Having just scaled to meet huge volumes of forbearance requests, servicers must now rapidly expand and execute loss mitigation activities amid a completely tumultuous, unpredictable business environment.” To navigate this shift, Mason pointed out that servicing organizations may need to rethink their approach to technology. “For most servicers, dynamic, automated processing technology may be the only way to achieve the flexibility and efficiency they’ll need in the weeks and months ahead,” she said.

Of course managing LO comp with old-school spreadsheets drains time and resources, but who knew it could deplete your organization to the tune of $1 million per year!? A top-ten lender’s cost-benefit analysis showed jaw-dropping annualized savings from automating manual tasks, eliminating redundant processes, and reducing overpayments with incentive compensation management (ICM) platform CompenSafe. The lender found it was spending $346,000 a year in manual comp calculation labor costs and between $500,000–$1 million per year in overpayments caused by manual calculation errors! According to the lender’s analysis, implementing CompenSafe will allow it to recoup an estimated $900,000 in annualized savings. LBA Ware has made the analysis available for download here.

Right now risk experts face a conundrum: payroll data is dangerously outdated, but securing a manual VOE adds delays and opportunities for fraud. But there is good news. In a recent MBA Newslink article, FormFree Founder and CEO Brent Chandler writes that “borrowers hold the key in their unique bank account activity and bank statement data.” FormFree’s AccountChek 3n1 Report already verifies borrower assets, employment and income with direct-source, consumer-permissioned data. And Chandler has shared that soon FormFree will launch a solution that lets applicants deliver their financial DNA to lenders in an underwriter-friendly format. Contact Christy Moss or Gregg Palmer to see how FormFree is overcoming legacy indicators of creditworthiness.

Here’s why I’m so excited about AuI (Authentic Intelligence), Everybody’s heard of AuI’s cousin Artificial Intelligence. AI is great, or will be someday. But personally, I don’t think it will ever replace AuI. Plus, Authentic Intelligence is fully developed, right now. In fact, you already own it. AuI is about using your experience and your knowledge to win business. It’s knowing this is a relationship business. A trust-based business. Pretty exciting, right? Authentic Intelligence, nothing artificial about it. Check out how Usherpa helps you use AuI to explode your business.

Webinars & events

LAST CALL, WOMEN IN THE MORTGAGE INDUSTRY! It’s not too late to register for tomorrow’s live “Ask Us Anything” event hosted by Breakthrough. Breakthrough is a new forum for women in the mortgage industry created by XINNIX Founder & CEO, Casey Cunningham, and New American Funding President & Co-Founder, Patty Arvielo to connect women mortgage professionals from coast to coast to empower and encourage one another to break through the personal and professional barriers to success. Questions for Patty and Casey can be submitted in advance on the Breakthrough Facebook event or by using #BreakthroughAUA on social media. Join the conversation today by following Breakthrough on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

How can mortgage lenders leverage social media to generate quality leads? On Thursday, June 18 at 11 am PST, the California Mortgage Bankers Association’s (California MBA) Mortgage Technology and Marketing Committee is hosting a webinar, “An Innovative Social Media Solution that Powers Lead Generation.” Sun West Mortgage Company will share how they built an advanced digital marketing and social media process using the OptifiNow CRM platform and C Squared Social, a targeted digital advertising platform. Click here to register and learn about the power of social media-driven lead generation and automated marketing.

Join National Mortgage Professional Magazine and Calyx on Thursday, June 18 at 1:00 PM Eastern/10:00 AM Pacific, for “Tips for Success: Serving your Borrowers in a Remote World.” Properly serving your borrowers can be tricky these days, especially in this unpredictable lending environment. But experienced originators understand the power of adaptability. In this webinar, we’ll outline how the right technology can help you meet your borrowers needs and keep your pipelines flowing. Join us to learn why now is the time to evaluate your technology stack, key factors in offering a contact-free digital mortgage experience, and effective marketing strategies to keep your borrowers engaged. Click here to register.

10,675 Mortgage and Real Estate professionals have already registered! Join them for Sales Mastery 2020: LIVE Digital Experience. Take your business and your team to the next level with industry best practices and cutting-edge LIVE training with our incredible line up of over 40 game-changing presentations and 12 On-Demand Breakout sessions. Learn from world-class keynote speakers such as Todd Duncan, Dr. John C. Maxwell, James Clear, Dr. Rebecca Heiss, Katie Lance, and many more. Check out daily agenda updates here. Get a front-row seat to trusted industry experts presenting solutions to the most relevant issues impacting your business that will change your world for years to come. Don’t miss the Sales Mastery 2020 LIVE Digital Experience! Register Now! Executive leaders, bring your entire company with our ENTERPRISE DIGITAL SOLUTION! Celebrate Sales, Operations, Leadership, Marketing: EVERYONE for one low price with 30-days of viewing.

NAMMBA is hosting a special state of the industry town hall series titled The COLOR of COVID on Friday, June 19, from 1- 4PM ET. This special town hall will include an open discussion on how COVID 19 has impacted communities of color across the country and solutions the industry can implement to reduce foreclosures. Additionally, MBA’s SVP of Affordable Housing Initiatives, Steve O’Connor, will share information about MBA’s Black Homeownership Initiative. The event will bring together industry stakeholders, policy makers, and CEOs to discuss how we can focus on helping communities of color grow home ownership post COVID-19.

Freddie & Fannie in the news

Remember that no one is going to hire an advisor to eliminate their own job. In early February, the FHFA hired Houlihan Lokey Capital as a financial advisor “to assist in the development and implementation of a roadmap to responsibly end the conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises). While developing the roadmap, Houlihan Lokey will consider business and capital structures, market impacts and timing, and available capital raising alternatives, among other items as outlined in the previously published Statement of Work.”

Yesterday it was Freddie Mac’s turn, as J.P. Morgan was picked “as a financial advisor to help facilitate the company’s recapitalization and exit from conservatorship. The announcement comes following a competitive request for proposal (RFP) process the company announced in May.” (Darn it! I knew that I should have returned their phone call a few weeks ago.) “J.P. Morgan will provide strategic counsel and perform a range of tasks to help facilitate Freddie Mac’s exit from conservatorship, including advice and assistance on valuation analysis, consideration of potential capital structures and assessment of capital raising alternatives.”

And, in an amazing coincidence, yesterday Fannie Mae announced it has hired Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC as underwriting financial advisor to assist in developing and implementing a plan for recapitalizing the company and responsibly ending its conservatorship. “Selecting an underwriting financial advisor is an important milestone in meeting Fannie Mae’s 2020 FHFA scorecard objective to prepare a responsible transition plan for a potential exit from conservatorship.

And the FHFA will reconsider its January 31 proposal that would have increased some requirements for mortgage companies working with Freddie & Fannie, the government-sponsored enterprises. Yup, the Federal Housing Finance Agency will re-propose its updated minimum financial eligibility requirements for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac seller/servicers. The new benchmarks will take into account the impact from the coronavirus, and are a tangible step forward in the effort to end GSE conservatorship. Smaller lenders requested a delay in the proposal’s implementation and welcomed the move. Keep in mind that the new proposal might not be good news, as in capital requirements could actually go up.

Recall that the FHFA had proposed a higher capital requirement for single-family seller/servicers, particularly on their Ginnie Mae books of business. Although the minimum net worth standard would have remained unchanged at $2.5 million plus 25 basis points on the unpaid principal balance on their single-family Fannie/Freddie portfolio, seller/servicers would have been required to hold 35 bps on their Ginnie business. On top of that, the enterprise base liquidity requirement was set to go from 3.5 bps to 4.0 bps, but would have risen more sharply to 10 bps on the UPB of Ginnie loans.

Now we can all comment again, as hopefully the new requirements aren’t more onerous. For example, “The Community Home Lenders Association commends FHFA Director Calabria for his announcement that FHFA would be reproposing and reassessing updated financial seller/servicer requirements for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mae, in light of COVID-19,” said Scott Olson, executive director of the CHLA, said in a press release.

For Fannie Mae Lender Letter updates that extend temporary policies, view its Updates and Resources.

At the direction of FHFA and in alignment with Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae issued LL-2020-09, introducing a new temporary structure for incentive fees for completed repayment plans, payment deferrals/COVID-19 payment deferrals, and Fannie Mae Flex Modifications.

Fannie Mae LL- 2020-08 formalizes the previously announced policy change limiting servicers’ responsibility to advance principal and interest due for certain delinquent loans to four months of missed payments. This update will become effective for August 2020 remittance activity based on July 2020 reporting activity.

Fannie Mae has updated LL- 2020-07, COVID-19 Payment Deferral, to: communicate the $500 incentive fee and reference the new workout option incentive fee structure introduced in Lender Letter LL-2020-09; provide a revised COVID-19 payment deferral agreement; and clarify certain policies.

Fannie Mae update SVC 2020-02 includes changes to the pre-modification housing expense-to-income ratio calculation for imminent default and cash contribution, with updated instructions to servicers regarding escrow shortages that are part of the full monthly contractual payment, and an update to the Mortgage Assistance Application (Form 710).

Fannie Mae has a LIBOR transition page for information and updates to help you transition to alternative reference rates. Resources include FAQs, playbooks, and timelines for single-family adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), mortgage-backed securities (MBS), and credit risk transfer (CRT).

Capital markets

Vice Capital Markets reported an increase in trade volume over the past 90 days, “shattering” many of its internal company records. Since March, the monthly totals reaching $13.4 billion, and Vice saw a 13% increase in its client base. Read the full announcement here.

MCT would like to know the topics you would like to learn about, such as profitability strategies, advanced hedging, or best execution, and submit your ideas by taking this one-minute survey. Don’t forget to subscribe to the MCT newsletter to receive updates on the topics you voted for!

Yesterday… The same news is somehow now new news? Equities were moved by Fed bond-buying and America’s reassessing of some reopenings. The Fed followed through on a pledge to buy corporate bonds through its Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility, an emergency lending program that so far has purchased only ETFs. The Fed says it will follow a diversified market index of U.S. corporate bonds created expressly for the facility. Reports state 22 states have rising coronavirus cases including California, Texas, and Florida. Nine states have flat cases while 19 states have declining cases. The 10-year Treasury yield ended the day unchanged at 0.70 percent.

As far as economic releases went, the Empire State Manufacturing Survey contracted slightly, but was well above expectations. It’s important to take these upcoming readings with a grain of salt, as month-over-month figures could paint a better picture than reality after such truly depressed conditions in April and May. NEC Director Larry Kudlow says he expects a V-shaped recovery, and wants to offer a $600 incentive for Americans to return to work because he believes enhanced unemployment benefits are a “disincentive” to work. Finally, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey revealed that the total number of loans now in forbearance increased microscopically from 8.53 percent of servicers’ portfolio volume in the prior week to 8.55 percent as of June 7. According to MBA’s estimate, almost 4.3 million homeowners are now in forbearance plans.

Today’s economic calendar is already underway with the Bank of Japan leaving rates and asset purchases unchanged, and in the U.S. May retail sales (bouncing back at +17.7 percent, +12.4 percent ex-auto). Later today brings Redbook same store sales for the week ending June 13, May industrial production and capacity utilization, the NAHB Housing Market Index for June, and Fed remarks from both Vice Chair Clarida and the semi-annual monetary policy testimony from Chair Powell. The NY Fed will conduct two FedTrade purchase operations totaling up to $4.349 billion starting with $1.372 billion UMBS15 2 percent and 2.5 percent followed by up to $2.977 billion UMBS30 2.0 percent through 3.0 percent. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices worse/down a few ticks and the 10-year yielding .76 after the solid retail sales figure.

“Rob, here in Tennessee I am not officially allowed to open my pub. But real estate agents are allowed to buy and sell houses with viewings. So… I am officially putting my pub on the market as of tomorrow. Viewings are between 11AM and 11PM, no appointment necessary, but you must buy a beer while viewing.”

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

Rob

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

June 15: Production jobs; marketing, cap mkts, servicing products; correspondent tidbits; webinars & training this week

With the increase in COVID cases, plenty are heading back into captivity, and it is important to keep a level head. (What is so hard to understand about “stay away from each other”?) Also increasing are the forbearance percentages. We’ve seen the MBA’s surveys on forbearance in the residential sector, but what about commercial loans? While forbearance in the B2C residential market has become widespread, it is a very different, deal-by-deal process in the commercial market. There are high levels of distress in certain sectors of the commercial market. MBA’s commercial loan performance and forbearance surveys shows that as of May 20, 20% of the balance of hotel properties loans was non-current as was 10% of retail loan balances, versus just 1.6% of multifamily and industrial. Across all property types, between April 20 and May 20, servicers took actions (modifications, redirecting reserves, forbearance, etc.) on 2 percent of commercial balances. (Contact Jamie Woodwell if your institution is interested in participating in this survey.)

Employment

Caliber Home Loans recently launched Processor Accelerated Career Education (PACE), a program designed to introduce new to industry professionals to a career in mortgage! Participants are immersed in seven weeks of hands-on training and mentorship across Caliber’s Learning and Development and Operations teams with a dedicated focus. PACE recently celebrated two successful milestones: the graduation of its first class, and the consecutive kick-off of their second 29-member class. Graduates are now engaging with customers and processing loans to support Caliber’s mission of helping customer achieve their dreams of home ownership. To learn more about this program and rewarding career opportunities, contact Mackenzie Plyer or Recruiting@caliberhomeloans.com.

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

Lender services and products

In its Regulatory Plan for FY 2020, HUD raised concerns about governmental entities benefiting financially from DPA programs. To ensure government programs are not benefiting too much, HUD is considering establishing a de minimis amount that government programs can receive above the cost of the DPA. Such a regulation could dramatically decrease the amount of DPA available from governments who could no longer fund their programs. Government programs like the Chenoa Fund, offered through CBC Mortgage Agency, provides minorities, who often lack intergenerational family wealth to help with home purchases, the ability to buy a home. CBCMA EVP Miki Adams says, “HUD’s focus should be less on the benefit to the government entity and more on the benefit to the borrower.” Adams added that HUD needs to base any changes it makes on program specific loan performance and pricing data, which HUD is currently not collecting. See our policy recommendations here.

Altisource, your one source for real estate and mortgage solutions, has released a white paper entitled “Navigating the Challenges of COVID-19 Now and in the Future.” On May 6, Altisource hosted the Mortgage Industry Pandemic Summit, a virtual symposium with 28 leading experts discussing the operational and economic challenges mortgage, real estate and financial companies are facing as a result of COVID-19. The company’s new 24-page white paper summarizes the summit’s key ideas, best practices, guiding principles and expert advice. It also includes the results and analysis of 20 poll questions conducted during the sessions. Read the paper now to see how other mortgage industry professionals are responding to the current pandemic. Click here to download.

BETTER Direct Mail Marketing for Mortgage Lenders from Monster Lead Group: “We’re able to grow and scale operations because of the predictability of Monster’s campaigns. It’s a real marketing system. It’s not just sending mail.” (Brad Bennett, Caliver Beach Mortgage.) “It’s been your consistency; it’s been unbelievably consistent. It’s really like clockwork… We’re able to grow and scale because of the predictability of the Monster campaigns.” (Steve Sless and Andrew Parker, PRMG Reverse Mortgage Division.) “Somebody can charge me half as much as you guys do, but I can’t get beyond the level of your results. For me, service means a hell of a lot and the results speak for themselves.” (John Kresevic, JFQ Lending.) “We’ve basically stopped doing all other marketing and gone 100% with Monster.” (Manny Fajardo, Premier Lending Corp.) Monster Lead Group. BETTER than whoever you’re using. See how at monsterleadgroup.com/better.

Effectively manage increased forbearance requests and loan modification volumes from COVID-19 impacted borrowers. If your business is facing an influx of home loan forbearance requests, read this insightful article by George FitzGerald, Black Knight’s EVP of Servicing Technologies. Gain insight into the right technology and common practices servicers can use to help keep up with forbearance volumes and increase flexibility to support loan modifications for loans impacted by COVID-19 and any future crisis situation.

 

Looking to lock loans 24/7, 365 days a year? Starting today, TMS Correspondent is accepting rate sheet commitments 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through their KISS platform. As a Top 15 Correspondent Buyer, TMS strives to deliver unparalleled service levels and minimal to no overlays on all products for their clients. Join the over 475 other lenders selling loans to TMS, and placing TMS as the 5th largest Government buyer in May!

Kudos to Vice Capital Markets. The company has reported a significant increase in trade volume over the past 90 days, shattering many of its internal company records. Since March, the volume of monthly trades Vice Capital has executed on behalf of its clients has more than doubled, with monthly totals reaching $13.4 billion. Coupled with this increase in trade volume, Vice Capital also reports a 13% increase in its client base. Read the full announcement here.

So Myrtle brought this one to my attention and it basically sounds like the coolest closing gift ever. Picture this… a loan officer submits an application and the borrower automatically gets a text message asking if they have any pets. They answer a few questions about names and sizes, and when the loan closes, Fido gets a welcome package from the lender with new customized pet tags. The best part is that it all runs automatically from your LOS so you don’t even have to lick an envelope.  Would you spend a few bucks to deliver that kind of joy to your borrowers?  Check out Operation Fido, another cool project from the crew over at LenderLogix.

As we all cross our fingers and hope the worst of the volatility is in the rear-view mirror, many are ready to look past market volatility guidance for more traditional training opportunities. MCT needs your input as MCT prepares to bring you quality information beyond the crisis. Share the topics you would like to learn about, such as profitability strategies, advanced hedging, or best execution, and submit your ideas by taking this one-minute survey. They will be putting it right into action, with new webinars, articles, and training opportunities planned for June and July. Don’t forget to subscribe to the MCT newsletter to receive updates on the topics you voted for!

Training & webinars this week

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

Register for Freddie Mac’s Live Webinar on Monday, June 15th from 2-3:30 EST to gain a basic understanding of the forbearance relief option and a review of the new COVID-19 Payment Deferral relief option.

Join a Special Webcast on Tuesday, June 16th at 3:00 (Eastern) hosted by the FHA Office of Single-Family. This is a live, virtual interagency discussion that will focus on FHA’s, USDA’s, and VA’s responses to the COVID-19 National Emergency. Pre-registration is required no later than June 15th.

Do you want to see where technology in 2020 and the latest trends in consumer engagement meet? If so, join Insellerate on June 16th at 10:00 PST and understand how Insellerate’s platform helps lenders engage with more than 50,000 new borrowers per month. Learn about its all-new stand-alone engagement platform automates communications through: Social media, Text messages, Email, Phone calls, Ringless voicemail, and Direct mail.

Register for an MBA/MW free webinar on June 16th at 1:30 featuring: Mike Cafferky, Fannie Mae Laurinda Clemente, MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. to discuss Getting Started with eNotes, eMortgage, and eClosing.

Join CoAMP for a FREE VIRTUAL EVENT on June 17th at noon MT. The discussion focus is changes in procedures for the Real Estate & Mortgage Industry Related to COVID19.

Thursday, June 18th? Why should Mortgage Originators offer a Reverse Mortgage Program? Register for a Free Webinar presented by The Money House and FAMP Central Florida Chapter at 2PM ET. POS, LOS, RPA, AI/ML, RON…with the alphabet soup of tools and software flooding the “Digital” solutions market, how do you make the right choice of automation for your lending organization? Learn how with Indecomm’s free webinar “Defining an Automation Strategy for Your Mortgage Business.” Blue Loans offers a live online Intro to Secondary Markets Course, ideal for individuals with no to limited exposure to the secondary markets from 2-4PM ET, cost is $375.00 per student.

Correspondent news tidbits

The following is a correction from Friday’s blog regarding Lakeview Correspondent’s minimum government FICO score requirements. Friday’s blog contained outdated information. Effective June 15, 2020, Lakeview will accept best efforts locks and bulk bids on FHA, VA, and USDA loans with FICO scores down to 640. These minimum FICO score changes do not apply to HFA loan programs. The COVID-19 cover page of the impacted product matrices will be updated to reflect this change.

PennyMac Announcement 20-41 outlines its alignment with the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidance given for borrowers using self-employment income to qualify, effective for conventional loans with applications on or after June 11, 2020. PennyMac stated it strongly recommends lenders to apply these requirements to existing loans in process. 20-39 announces updates to both Conventional and Government LLPAs effective for all Best Effort commitments taken on or after Monday, June 15, 2020.

Flagstar Bank issued Memo 20068 FHA- Endorsement of Mortgage for Borrowers Affected by COVID-19.

Although VA guidelines do not require an IRS Form 4506-T for standard and alternative documentation, AmeriHome requires a fully complete and signed 4506-T for each borrower whose income is used to qualify.

Capital markets

Ginnie Mae announced that issuance of its mortgage-backed securities (MBS) totaled $63.44 billion in May. This May issuance provides financing for more than 235,000 homeowners and renters, and includes $2.77 billion of loans for multifamily housing. Ginnie Mae’s total outstanding principal balance of $2.152 trillion is an increase from $2.068 trillion in May 2019.

Markets next week will continue to struggle with economic concerns and fears of a second wave of the novel coronavirus. Stay at home orders and required business shutdowns began to be lifted throughout much of the county towards the end of May. In general, the US is seeing a decline in the rate of new Covid-19 infections; however some areas, like Texas, have recently reported their highest one-day total of cases since the beginning of the pandemic. This has raised concerns for a potential second wave of the virus and new lockdowns despite Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin expressing the needs for the county to remain open.

Even if business officially remain open through a second wave, consumers may still curb spending should they decide to remain at home even if they are not mandated to do so. The country is also better prepared with more available testing and access to personal protective equipment which could prevent many areas from having to impose new restrictions. Until a vaccine is widely available, the risk of a second wave remains, although the hope if that happens is that it will not be as severe. In the meantime, the gradual reopening of the economy is expected to lead to a rebound in economic activity.

Looking at the specifics of the bond market, and therefore interest rates, the 10-year note closed yielding 0.70 percent Friday. But for the week the 10-year’s price rallied nearly two points with the yield dropping 21 basis points. Current coupon UMBS30 2.5% and 3.0% prices were higher by 22 and 14 ticks.

For thrills and chills this week, aside from Federal Reserve officials being back on the speaking circuit (Powell’s Humphrey Hawkins testimony along with other regional Fed Presidents) we started today with June Empire State Manufacturing Index (-.2). Tomorrow we’ll see May Retail Sales, the Industrial Production & Capacity Utilization duo, and June’s NAHB Housing Market Index. Wednesday has the weekly MBA application data, May Housing Starts & Building Permits, and a $17 billion 20-yr bond auction. Thursday has weekly Initial Jobless Claims, June’s Philadelphia Fed Survey, and a $15 billion 5-year TIPS auction. The mid-point of June begins with Agency MBS prices better/up nearly .125 versus Friday’s close and the 10-year yielding .66.

An Irishman man arrives at a costume party with a girl on his back.

“I am a turtle,” he explains.

“Who’s on your back?”

“That’s Michelle.”

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

Rob

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

June 13: MISMO moves; Housing news; thoughts on BLM; current topics in the compliance world addressed

It has been nearly three months since we began sheltering in place. Fortunately for lenders, things have quieted down from March’s wild ride, both with rate volatility and in program fluctuations. (And hey, don’t forget that it’s Flag Day tomorrow.) Our industry continues to deal with unintended consequences. For example, I received this note from an LO in Virginia. “We had a loan this week: a VA IRRL on a veteran’s primary residence. The borrower’s ex had put a former joint property into forbearance (the ex received the property in the divorce). We couldn’t do the IRRL because the VA’s policy is that no properties are allowed to be in forbearance. I know that VA’s intent is not to hurt the Veteran!” This Circular addresses how going into forbearance works for the veteran’s current loan. FNMA and FHLMC stated as long as the borrower had made 3 consecutive payments since entering forbearance, lenders can do a new loan for the borrower. Does anyone out there know how the VA is looking at new loans for veterans in forbearance on existing or other properties they own?

Economic chatter

I am very skeptical of date-related predictions, but more than two-thirds of economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal say U.S. economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic will get underway in the third quarter. We have some catch-up to do. Households’ net worth dropped 5.6% in the first quarter compared with Q4 to a seasonally adjusted $110.79 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. The drop, the sharpest quarterly one since the early 1950s, reflects the earliest signs of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. A second wave of coronavirus infections would not justify shutting down the US economy again because the adverse consequences could exceed those of the pandemic, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says. Mnuchin also says improvement in testing and contact tracing, as well as better understanding of how to contain outbreaks, would make a shutdown unnecessary.

It appears that real estate agents have good news for us. Sports seasons have vanished, but there’s always the home buying season. Despite low inventory levels, words & statements like “resilient, “summer housing market will be better than expected,” “multiple offers for lower priced homes,” and “competitive buying market” are being uttered. Brent Nyitray reports, “Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, said, ‘For lower-priced and medium-priced homes, multiple offers will be fairly common. On the luxury end, some price reduction will be required because there’s plentiful inventory.’”

And working from home is impacting builders who are already changing floorplans. And changing house design in general.

MISMO: Catch the Wave!

I saw the announcement from Bob Broeksmit at MBA about changes at MISMO recently and realized that I don’t know a lot about what MISMO does. I asked my cat Myrtle and she didn’t know either, so I reached out to learn more from Mike Fratantoni, who is the Chief Economist at MBA and also the President of MISMO. Dr. Fratantoni reminded me that MBA had invested $2 million in MISMO last year to accelerate the development of new standards. In the last year MISMO issued standards to help industry obtain taxpayer consent for the use of tax transcripts, standards for Remote Online Notarization that have been critical during the COVID crisis, and standards for the consistent drafting of closing instructions to improve communications between lenders and settlement agents. Going forward, MISMO will have the resources to move much more quickly enabling them to further accelerate the evolution of the digital mortgage. Read more about MISMO and the announcement here.

Current events

One interesting aspect of our residential lending business is that we touch, and are impacted by, nearly everything that touches our borrowers. Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt put it well, and succinctly. “Commentary readers should know that the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor are heavy on our minds. These devastating calamities of their passing remind us that racism and inequality are still prevalent within our black community. Although we are feeling many different emotions, we know silence isn’t the answer and we will not be complacent. Black Lives Matter. They always have and they always will.”

From out in San Francisco, Bay Equity’s CEO Brett McGovern penned, “The events of the past few weeks are a resounding call for change. The tragic death of George Floyd has raised the consciousness of a nation. We continue to see protests in the streets of our cities, as Americans of all colors and backgrounds speak forcefully for the just cause of racial equality.

“As a company, as a Bay Equity family, it’s important we not be silent. For way too long our communities of color have suffered. Despite our declaration at the nation’s founding ‘that all men are created equal,’ discrimination, social and economic disparity and fear have been a fact of life for so many and for generations. It’s important corporate America be heard. While we do not condone any form of violence, we stand with those who peacefully protest to petition our governments for social justice. We respect, support, and embrace their message of equality for all.

“As a company we talk often of helping people achieve the American Dream of home ownership. Yet for too many in our communities, their elusive American Dream has yet to achieve the basics of dignity and respect. There is now momentum in this nation to make real progress. There’s a groundswell led in large part by young Americans calling for change in attitudes and actions. There are important conversations underway in communities and boardrooms. It’s important we initiate new conversations within our families and neighborhoods about ending the pervasiveness of racism. It’s vital we listen to those seeking justice and learn from their struggles.

Silence is not acceptable. It’s paramount we each find ways to be part of the solution. We must speak up and commit ourselves as a company and individuals to treat all people equally regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, citizenship, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability. As always, your leadership team is here to listen to your thoughts. Respect. Dignity. Social Justice. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’”

And Now for Something Completely Different

Ginger Bell, Education Specialist and Expy Award Winner, sent, “During the past several months, we have come to understand the importance of home, support, family and friends. We have also come to know more about working and playing virtually. Esports is one of those ‘virtual’ sports and surprising to many, people actually get paid to play! So, what does esports and mortgages have in common? Well, a whole lot if you are Equity Prime Mortgage!

“Eddy Perez, the President & CEO of Equity Prime, agreed to sponsor the professional Sanguine Esports team as the official housing sponsor for its 2020/2021 season. The team arrived in the U.S. from Latin America in early March amidst the Coronavirus pandemic and because esports is played online, they have still been able to play and compete. The spring season and it was the Number One team in the league in the SMITE Professional Esports League. Other teams in the league are owned by the likes of the Pittsburgh Steelers, which Sanguine was able to defeat.

“The esports audience, and the first-time home buyer audience, are exactly who we are looking to target” says, EPM President & CEO Eddy Perez. “Plus, the team is LATAM, and based in Atlanta, so it absolutely made sense for us to partner with these talented young men as their housing sponsor.”

“In April alone, the Sanguine team had over one million impressions on Twitter, which opens awareness for homeownership amongst this huge audience,” reports Sanguine Owner, Blaine Bell. Esports has been an emerging market that many brands have been jumping into supporting and now with the coronavirus, it makes sense to look to it to reach potential homeowners. Thank you, Ginger!

Compliance? Yup!

The Compliance Group reminds us that the CFPB is alive and well. And the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau conducts regular audits to ensure that financial institutions come into and maintain compliance with the new mortgage rules. Those rules are according to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) and amend several existing regulations, including Regulation Z, X, and B. Our CFPB Readiness Audit Services assist our clients in preparing for this review.

MQM Research provides answers to hot topics in the mortgage space. Recently, management addressed what a mortgage company should do if it issues initial disclosures electronically, but the applicant fails to e-consent and open the package by the 3rd business day following receipt of the application. The short answer is that mortgage companies must have consent from an applicant to issue initial disclosures electronically, per the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (“E-SIGN Act”). Without obtaining the applicant’s consent, then the mortgage company does not comply with the Loan Estimate or Good Faith Estimate delivery requirements, unless the mortgage company also provides the initial disclosures in a different manner that complies with the three (3) business day requirement. For a lengthier summary and tips on how to stay compliant, visit MQMR.

 

Lenders Compliance Group recently addressed some lender concerns with TRID’s waiting period requirement regarding the coronavirus pandemic being considered a personal financial emergency. Under TRID, creditors generally must deliver or place in the mail the Loan Estimate no later than seven business days before consummation. Consumers must receive the Closing Disclosure no later than three business days before consummation. In the Commentary to the TRID Rule modification and waiver provisions, “The consumer must have a bona fide personal financial emergency that necessitates consummating the credit transaction before the end of the waiting period.”

 

Lenders Compliance Group recently addressed the difference between a business interruption and pandemic challenges as part of a business continuity plan. LCG provides a free Checklist and Workbook as a way of providing clarity to preserve your business during this pandemic. With regards to clarifying the difference between business and pandemic disruption, there are distinct differences between pandemic planning and traditional business continuity planning.

 

Lenders Compliance Group provides many free answers to pertinent questions in the mortgage space. They were recently asked about transferring loan officers from their bank registration to become licensed loan officers, and if a transitioning loan officer is considered an employee? It is a little more nuanced than assuming a registered or state-licensed loan originator is given temporary authority to act as a loan originator in a different state if he or she: Has not had an application for a loan originator license denied or a loan originator license revoked or suspended; Has not been subjected to or served with a cease and desist order; Has not been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony that would preclude licensing in the new state; Has submitted an application to be a state-licensed loan originator in the new state; and, if applicable, was registered in the NMLSR as a loan originator during the 1-year period preceding the filing of the new application.

 

Lenders Compliance Group addressed the unit measurement for calculating APR on reverse mortgages, since many consumers believe it is being disclosed incorrectly. The explanations, equations, and instructions for determining the APR in accordance with the actuarial method are set forth in Appendix J to Regulation Z of the Truth-in-Lending-Act. Appendix J provides that the unit-period for a single advance, single payment transaction, for the purposes of determining the APR, must be the term of the transaction, not to exceed one year. In all other transactions, the unit-period must be the common period that occurs most frequently in the transaction unless an exception applies.

 

Lenders Compliance Group recently addressed business strategies for making employees feel safe in returning to the office amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The firm has been providing a free Business Continuity Plan Checklist & Workbook, which includes COVID-19 Pandemic Response tips to help you navigate business continuity and the COVID-19 pandemic. It offers numerous suggestions to encourage a safe office environment for returning employees, how provide a consistent, reliable, and sincere approach.

Under ECOA notification requirements, when should a mortgage lender issue a Notice of Incomplete Application? MQMR tells us that a mortgage lender must generally notify an applicant of action taken (i.e. denial, approval, etc.) within 30 days of receiving a completed application. If, however, the application is incomplete regarding matters that the applicant can complete, a mortgage lender has the option of providing a notice of incomplete application (“NOIA”) to the applicant rather than issuing a denial or providing a counteroffer. A mortgage lender must provide the NOIA to the applicant within 30 days of receiving the incomplete application. The NOIA must be written and must include the information needed from the applicant and inform the applicant that failure to provide the information requested within a reasonable provided timeframe will result in no further consideration being given to the application.

Democrats or Republicans… It doesn’t matter. Let’s have some patriotism for tomorrow’s Flag Day. This short video is worth watching, and worth forwarding to the kids or clients.

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

Rob

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

 

June 12: AE, LO, Ops jobs; DPA, pricing, doc products; USDA, FHA, VA notes

How the heck could anyone value a mortgage company these days? The value is pretty much comprised of its servicing, cash, receivables, and assets (loans held for sale). I guess we’ll all find out if, and when, Quicken Loans does an IPO, and Dan Gilbert winds up reporting to shareholders. Are you kidding me? Responding to analysts every quarter limits (some would say “handcuffs”) one’s decision making, especially long-term decisions. The Federal Reserve, which knows a few things about decision making, has indicated it is planning to hold interest rates near zero through 2021 and potentially 2022 and is working on more ways to help the US economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Given that, lenders, what are you going to do for a few years with these low rates? LendingTree recently commissioned a survey of more than 1,000 prospective buyers (which only works out to 20 per state, right?) about their plans to jump into the housing market. Worth a gander, it tells us more people want to buy a home, they’re reconsidering the size of home, and more people than not are okay without an in-person tour.

Employment

Gold Star Mortgage continues to enjoy a decades-long reputation for attracting top LOs and branches, even during challenging or uncertain times when most are not actively seeking a move. When asked for their sustainable growth secret, COO AJ Franchi had this to say, “It’s simple, really. Gold Star is a company founded by actual salespeople for salespeople. There’s therefore a critical firsthand experience and insight applied to everything from our award-winning process automation to flat corporate structure to the free recruiting and marketing assistance we provide branches. We’re known for eliminating bulky, superfluous management without sacrificing our white-glove support infrastructure. This yields an industry-best margin, and gratis skies-the-limit support for our LOs’ expansion goals. We never lose our people-first approach. It’s the heart of our growth and retention.” Call (888) 696-1344 today to learn more about what the Gold Star Branch Advantage Platform may mean to you: www.joingoldstarmortgage.com.

“Looking for a career change? APM is hiring! Due to our national expansion and growth in 2020, we have open positions for all operational support team members including Underwriters, Closers, Funders, and Department Managers across the country. Who you work with and for is one of life’s biggest choices. Why not work for a company that has been voted Best Places to Work year after year! Our differentiator is our core-values. The values of Respect, Transparency, and Scrappy drive the day-to-day behaviors, decisions and how we work as a team. American Pacific Mortgage (APM) is a Top 15 Mortgage Companies in America, founded 25 years ago. To learn more, email Dustin Block.”

“Is your underwriting under 36 hours with a processing and underwriting philosophy that supports 1 touch underwrites, close times in under 20 calendar days, and has professional, hassle free marketing support? If not, you need to email us at JoinPacRes@pacresmortgage.com. Expanding in more than 38 states. Click here, to see how we Approve Dreams Daily.”

“BeSmartee disrupts the financial services industry with its award-winning, web-based Digital Mortgage Platforms for banks, credit unions and non-bank lending institutions. BeSmartee helps lenders convert higher, close faster and deliver a complete digital mortgage experience that is fast, easy, and transparent for their borrowers. We establish meaningful everyday experiences to convey how much we trust, respect and value the team here at BeSmartee. We know that a strong culture has been, and will continue to be, central to our success. We would not be able to accomplish what we have in such a short time without our dynamic team. BeSmartee is hiring Enterprise Account Executives to join our team, and help grow our logos and revenues. Click here to learn more or email your resume to Nicolette Trujillo.

Lender services and products

“Getting less, like 2.49%*, means more for your borrowers and your business. Wholesale and Correspondent lenders working with Plaza Home Mortgage now have the ability to offer 2.49, 2.99 and 3.49% on both 30 and 15-year fixed products. So offer your borrowers a rate they’ll be excited about! If you’re already a Plaza client, be sure to check out our rate sheet for details or contact your Plaza Account Executive. If you’re not working with Plaza yet, plug in a few details here and we’ll connect with you, or call us directly at 866.260.2529. (*Some conditions may apply. See the Plaza Rate Sheet for all requirements.)”

For many lenders, a silver lining within the ongoing coronavirus crisis is the Refi boom. That good fortune for some comes with the challenge of having many employees working remotely. Some have thrived but others have struggled to close loans under these conditions, making post-closing an additional hurdle to deal with. For the lenders already using DocProbe to manage their Trailing Docs, this is one headache they don’t have to worry about. Now is the perfect time to take the leap and make DocProbe the remote Trailing Docs solution so badly needed under the circumstances. DocProbe’s retrieval department hunts down your documents and our audit and correction teams ensure all your docs are corrected. They are now ready to be shipped to your investors and custodians, all while you continue your work from your office, or still at home. Consider us an extension of your operations and the new address for all your Trailing Documents. Getting started is quick and seamless with just a few hours of your time. Visit us at www.docprobe.net or contact Nick Erlanger for more info.

“Connector is an incredibly powerful product; we are saving money by replacing an expensive business intelligence software and at the same time we’re delivering superior experiences to our loan officers and sales leadership.” (Kim Baker, VP – IT Program Manager at Highlands Residential.) At Connector by Velma, we are SO excited about several amazing new clients including Highlands Residential, Loanpal, Fidelity, Legacy Mutual, Guaranty, and Watson! Connector, a digital communication solution for Encompass, is gaining momentum with seamless workflow automation, and intuitive business intelligence. The ECOA workflow automation sends NOIA letters to borrowers with eFolder integration, and it’s creating an exciting impact in our industry! To learn more, connect with us for a short walk through. Press here to schedule a time.

 

In case you missed it… “As the industry pivots from forbearance setup to resolution, Servicers must optimize their borrower experience, by striking the right balance between technology and human touch.” (John Newlin, Managing Director, Accenture, Residential Mortgage.) NAMMBA’s State of the Industry Town Hall Series brought Accenture’s John Newlin to its Fire Side Chat to share unique servicing strategies to give you an edge in Flattening the Impact of C19. Watch now!

Compass Analytics, a Black Knight organization, launched exciting capital markets focused functionality in its latest release of CompassPoint, an industry-leading platform for pipeline risk management, hedge advisory services and MSR valuation. The new functionality empowers secondary departments to help drive profitable production, delivering key features that allow lenders to pass along portions of their expected bulk and/or specified pay-ups to street pricing and mark-to-market values. New attribution reporting gives lenders visibility into the trends of these key price components, building upon CompassPoint’s expansive gain/loss reconciliation capabilities. Additionally, the latest release introduced enhancements to CompassPoint’s pool optimizer, which gives lenders a second best-execution analysis to compete for the highest price through bulk aggregation. To learn more about CompassPoint, please contact us.

Steps we’re taking to help our borrowers during COVID-19. As COVID-19 wreaks havoc on the lives of many mortgage borrowers, those who utilized down payment assistance (DPA) to purchase their homes face an additional obstacle. DPA that comes in the form of a forgivable second mortgage requires that borrowers remain current on both their first and second mortgages. Fortunately, CBC Mortgage Agency is preserving the forgivable feature for borrowers who default because of a layoff or furlough. CBC is also reaching out to its distressed borrowers to alert them of their options including reviewing and cutting expenses, staying current on their mortgages, and educating them about the nuances of forbearance. They are also encouraging borrowers to create and maintain a budget and providing borrower counseling through Money Management International. Existing CBC borrowers can find out more about their options here.

FHA, Ginnie Mae, and USDA news

Remember that USDA Rural Housing Development announced that hat publication of revised HB-1-3555 Chapter 10: Credit Analysis is delayed pending USDA publication of a Procedure Notice (PN). In the interim, USDA has authorized Sellers to suspend the following requirements effective immediately: Credit score validations for GUS ACCEPT loans. Downgrade of GUS ACCEPT loans with manually entered debts requirement. The advance copy of the Chapter 10 revisions may be found here, all additional revisions are pending publication of the PN. A new GovDelivery notice will be provided when the PN for HB-1-3555 Chapter 10 full publication is released.

FHA published ML 2020-16 informing and providing guidance to mortgagees of temporary endorsement processes that will allow mortgages to be endorsed for insurance if the mortgages have closed in accordance with FHA requirements, but the borrower has requested or has been granted a forbearance post-closing due either directly or indirectly to the COVID-19 National Emergency.

FHA announced the annual recertification for lenders with a fiscal year ending December 31, 2019, was due no later than March 31, 2020. FHA urged lenders to complete their annual recertification package as soon as possible. If audited financial statements are unavailable, the Lender Data Verification, Certification, and Payment steps can be completed at any time.

If lenders do not want to renew their FHA approval, they must log-in to the Lender Electronic Assessment Portal (LEAP) and submit a voluntary withdrawal request. Failure to comply with the annual recertification requirements does not constitute a voluntary withdrawal.

FHA’s Single Family Housing Drafting Table proposed enhancements to its Claims Without Conveyance of Title (CWCOT) program. All FHA-approved mortgagees, servicers, and other interested stakeholders should have reviewed the posted content and provided feedback. While FHA’s CWCOT program has enjoyed success to date, the agency has identified several key areas for improvements to the existing program that could make it even more viable for foreclosure sales associated with defaulted FHA-insured mortgages going forward. Once the two-week feedback period ends, FHA will carefully consider the responses received and (if and/or where applicable) incorporate that feedback into a final CWCOT policy document to be published at a later date.

FHA published a regulatory waiver and an accompanying Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1 (SF Handbook) waiver of its required early default intervention requirements regarding in-person contact with borrowers. These waivers were issued due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and are effective immediately, and temporarily allow servicers to utilize alternative methods for contacting borrowers (in lieu of face-to-face interviews) to meet the requirements of Section III.A.2.h.xii. of the SF Handbook and the regulation at 24 CFR §203.604. However, the face-to-face requirement for FHA-insured mortgages under the Section 248 – Single Family Mortgage Insurance on Indian Reservations, is still applicable.

Effective with loans locked on and after June 1, 2020, CalHFA will not impose a sales price limit for any of its loans. Continue to follow the Income Limits for the appropriate county as well as the Loan Limits for FHA loans. Refer to the CalHFA Program Matrix and Overview for complete details.

Wells Fargo Funding is aligning the effective date for the previously communicated temporary flexibilities with the extended dates announced by FHA and USDA Rural Development Temporary flexibilities for verbal VOEs and appraisals. FHA cases closed on or before June 30, 2020. USDA Rural Development’s policy has been extended to June 30, 2020. Additionally, Wells Fargo Funding amended its tax return transcript requirements for all loans due to continued IRS tax return transcript processing delays.

AmeriHome provided information on the FHA Catalyst Case Binder Module as an alternative option for the submission of Single-Family Forward case binders for endorsement.

As a “June Special,” Mountain West Financial is offering free appraisals on qualifying FHA and VA purchases through the month of June. Applicable on select FHA and VA Standard Loans. Purchase Transactions Only. Loans must have an application date between June 1st and June 30th. Minimum 730 FICO or higher. SFR Properties. NEW APPLICATIONS ONLY. Up to $500 value.

And MWF introduced the Colorado Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) SmartStep, an FHA 30-year fixed-rate 1st mortgage with no DPA. Program parameters are the same as the existing SmartStep Plus program.

For all locks and bids on or after March 30, 2020, Lakeview Correspondent requires a minimum FICO score of 660 for FHA, VA, and USDA loans. These minimum FICO score changes do not apply to HFA loan programs. All product matrices and the COVID-19 FAQs will be updated at a future date to reflect these changes.

Recently, Wells Fargo Funding reiterated it does not purchase single-close construction to permanent Loans and provided clarification on how this policy applies for VA Loans by updating Wells Fargo Funding Seller Guide Section 600.02(b) to specify: VA Construction/Permanent Home Loans (where VA loan funds are taken as draws and used to finance the construction of the property) are ineligible for purchase. VA New Construction Loans are eligible for purchase if they: Are Closed Loan transactions representing the permanent financing that paid off interim financing used to build the subject property and meet all other Wells Fargo Funding and VA policies and documentation requirements.

Fifth Third Correspondent Lending, with all new locks, VA Cash Out Refinance the LTV/CLTV has been reduced from 100% to 90% on all refinances excluding IRRRLs.

Capital markets

Even those with little involvement in equity markets heard something was up yesterday. My 401k turned into a 205k. Stocks tumbled the most in 12 weeks on renewed concerns over the pandemic and its economic impact: stocks fell and bonds rallied. Treasuries & MBS rallied across the yield curve. After hitting a two-month high last week at nearly 0.80 percent, the 10-year closed yesterday -10 bps to 0.65 percent. The “risk-off” trade dovetailed Wednesday’s FOMC Statement with fears of second wave of coronavirus cases.

As far as economic releases went, initial jobless claims and continuing claims both decreased. But nearly 21 million people are still actively seeking unemployment benefits, and most recent data shows the labor market remains a long way from being back to normal. The Producer Price Index for final demand increased more than expected in May, though the report on the whole doesn’t put any pressure on the Fed to raise rates anytime soon.

Rates continue to be driven by COVID damage, but today’s economic calendar is already underway with a quartet of releases. May Import Prices (+1.0 percent) & Export Prices (+.5 percent). The week’s calendar rounds out later this morning with the Preliminary June Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey. Fedspeak returns following Wednesday’s Fed events with Richmond Fed President Barkin making remarks later today. The NY Fed will conduct two FedTrade MBS purchase operations totaling up to $4.721 billion starting with up to $1.744 billion GNII 2.5 percent and 3 percent followed by up to $2.977 billion UMBS30 2 percent through 3 percent. We begin today with Agency MBS prices down/worse a few ticks from Thursday and the 10-year yielding .70.

Some things are better left unsaid.

And I usually realize it right after I say them.

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

Rob

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

June 11: Mgt., LO, training jobs; construction, VA IRRRL, loss mit programs; no “V-shaped” recovery

Despite the early stages of quarantine and captivity seeming to drag, the year is rushing along. They always do. The Chairman of the Federal Reserve tells us not to expect a “V-shaped” recovery, details in Capital Markets section below. We have only ten days until the Summer Solstice, not technically the “longest” day of the year (they’re all 24 hours) in the Northern Hemisphere but certainly the one where the sun is above the horizon the longest. And it’s been over two weeks since the Memorial Day Holiday. Did you throw caution to the wind regarding COVID? I hope not, but plenty of people did, and 19 states saw COVID cases jump, and Arizona hospitals have instituted emergency conditions. In our biz, in response to my commentary yesterday discussing signing and retention bonuses, STRATMOR Partner Nicole Yung wrote, “According to STRATMOR’s Compensation Connection annual study, more than 90% of lenders pay some incentives to processors. Although bank/CU lenders are less likely to have processor incentives, more than 75% of them offer some incentive plans.”

Employment

Are you searching for a career in the Mortgage industry? Join Caliber Home Loans, where customers receive “best-in-class” service and employees fulfill Caliber’s mission of making the dream of homeownership a reality. Driven by strong growth in purchase applications of 25% year over year June, Caliber is expanding its Retail Operations team with employment opportunities in Florida, Virginia, Indiana, New Jersey, Texas, and Washington. Open positions include roles such as Closer, Funder, and Processor as well as remote Underwriter positions. Caliber Retail has built momentum in 2020, hiring an additional $1.4B in volume through April. Caliber is one of the nation’s fastest-growing, responsible mortgage lenders, and our talented employees are elevating us to the top of our industry. Act now for a chance to be on the winning team; Team Caliber! Contact Brian Miller for immediate consideration today!

Success Mortgage Partners is growing at an exponential rate! We are licensed in 30 states and have multiple openings! If you are a talented and experienced processor, loan officer assistant, underwriter or interested in a salaried loan officer position, we want to hear from you! We are looking to grow our family of mortgage professionals and make our company even better. Success Mortgage Partners has continued to successfully grow our organization because of our amazing sales team, exceptional team members, core values, culture, and leadership.  We have grown strategically year after year with projections at $2 billion this year.  If you are looking to join a company where you are valued, heard, given opportunities to advance, and treated as a partner, send your resume to Allison Johnston, CMB, President. Success is what we are about, Mortgages is what we do, and Partners is how we treat everyone.”

A profitable, well-capitalized, regional full-service independent retail mortgage banker is looking for an established Regional Production Manager to help create and develop mortgage origination branch opportunities in the midwestern part of the country, Colorado, Arizona, Kansas, and New Mexico markets. “We are searching for an outstanding talent and proven retail sales leader with a demonstrated track record of hiring and managing multiple production offices across several states. We offer an entrepreneurial sales support environment, FNMA/FHLMC/GNMA direct seller/servicer/issuer status and are well-positioned to compete for more growth with state-of-the-art operations/support technology and a company-wide commitment to providing exemplary customer service. The Regional Production Manager will report to the CEO. If interested in the next step, please send a confidential resume and qualifications to Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt.”

FundLoans is back with brand new Jumbo Prime and Non-QM redefined! Make-sense lending continues at FundLoans with the relaunch of Jumbo Prime, INSIGNIA A-Paper products and their newest Non-OM product line, ICON and ICON INVEST – providing brokers enhanced bank statement options, cash-out on DSCR and competitive rates starting in the high 4s. Get an all-in-one breakdown of ICON and what’s different with Non-QM post Covid-19, by listening to the latest episode of the Million Dollar Mortgage Experience podcast. To price out a scenario, contact your FundLoans Account Executive, call 866-203-0912 or email info@FundLoans.com. FundLoans is licensed in the following 14 states: AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, HI, ID, MT, OR, TN, TX, UT, WA, WY, and growing! If you are interested in joining this exceptional team, email Executive Vice President, David Hidy.

Experience in mortgage processing and training? Indecomm is looking for a training contractor in its Charlotte, NC office (4-month contract with the potential to convert to full-time employee). This Indecomm job role includes creating and delivering mortgage learning content with an emphasis on processing, as well as onboarding and day to day training support for a variety of processing-based client contracts. In the Charlotte area and interested? Click here to learn more or email your resume to Joy Gilpin.

Lender services and products

SolomonEdwards and Constant have announced a cooperative agreement to offer TotalMod to help lenders and servicers manage the imminent spike expected in loss mitigation activity once forbearances expire. TotalMod includes Constant’s self-service platform that automates loan modifications and other workout solutions, end-to-end without human intervention, and SolomonEdwards’ best-in-class regulatory and compliance services. TotalMod is intended to help servicers avoid large staffing campaigns, reduce phone channel volume, and maintain compliance as enforcement and supervisory actions increase. The technology is ground-breaking in that it progresses borrowers through a series of steps to determine ability and willingness to pay, crafts the right hardship offer based on that analysis and presents documents for e-signing.

“’Mortgage Confidential gave me access to opportunities that I did not know existed and found me the perfect opportunity for this stage of my career.’ (Area Sales Manager in North Carolina.) Mortgage Professionals love working with Mortgage Confidential! We are the #1 resource for Mortgage Professionals to find opportunities and to maximize their value. We give you the option to confidentially put yourself on the market and control the Lenders and Banks that you want to engage with. We work with professionals in all facets of the industry: Sales, Operations, and even Executives have all been very pleased with the experience. Banks and lenders, please reach out to us on our Lender Access Page to see if we can help you grow your team.”

Finance of America Mortgage’s TPO division is now offering its broker partners the ability to eClose with their eligible borrowers. Closing on a new home or refinancing often involves reviewing and signing mountains of documents. That’s why Finance of America Mortgage TPO is proud to introduce Hybrid eClose. Hybrid eClose allows eligible borrowers to review and sign virtually all of their closing documents before they even arrive at the closing table. Now they can spend more time doing what matters and less time signing paperwork. Contact your Account Executive today to learn more about how Hybrid eClose can help you, and how you can become an approved broker or correspondent with Finance of America Mortgage TPO. Visit FAMTPO.com.

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

GSF Mortgage Corporation (GSF) continues to offer “boutique” lending platform opportunities to meet a variety of needs in the mortgage lending landscape. GSF’s transparent Sales and Operations framework is unique to the mortgage industry and continues to attract brand partnerships including, strategic joint ventures, acquisitions, larger divisions, wholesale & correspondent partnerships, and specialized lending opportunities. GSF is an approved Fannie Mae Seller Servicer and Ginnie Mae issuer. Additionally, GSF is the leader in Single Close Construction loans. If you have an interest in exploring a relationship with GSF or are interested in offering a construction lending platform, please visit www.gogsf.com click on “Become A Brand” to start a conversation.

Capital markets

There weren’t many surprises from the Fed yesterday, though what was viewed as an optimistic statement was overshadowed by Chairman Powell’s negative warnings during his subsequent press conference. The FOMC left the Fed Funds rate range at 0.00-0.25 percent and kept current levels of purchases “at least as much” as the $40 billion currently, while updated economic projections showed that policymakers expect the Fed Funds rate range to remain at its current level through 2022. During his press conference Powell said that yield curve control policy was discussed, but no changes were formally announced and whether it would help “remains an open question.” Additionally, Powell committed the central bank to using all of its tools to help the economy recover, and said that while May’s jobs data were unexpectedly positive, “it’s a long road.” Markets took his negative comments to heart, and Treasuries and MBS rallied.

The Fed’s updated economic projections call for a 6.5 percent contraction in 2020 GDP, followed by 5.0 percent growth in 2021. Core PCE inflation is expected to remain below the Fed’s 2.0 percent target through 2022. MBA Chief Economist Dr. Fratantoni weighed in on monetary policy and the economy following the FOMC statement release, saying “Employment remains 13 percent below where the labor market was in February. (The) announcement from the Federal Reserve is aligned with this reading of the economy: we might be getting better, but we are still far away from full employment, with risks ahead from a second wave of the pandemic and huge economic uncertainties. Monetary policymakers will therefore keep rates low for years to ensure a full recovery. With mortgage rates near record-lows, (Fed purchases have) enabled a robust rebound in purchase market activity and a sustained refinance wave, which is saving homeowners money that can be used to support other spending, thereby benefiting the broader economy.”

The Desk also had an announcement: Effective June 11, 2020, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) directed the Open Market Trading Desk (the Desk) at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to increase the System Open Market Account (SOMA) holdings of Treasury securities, agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS), and agency commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) at least at the current pace to sustain the smooth functioning of markets for these securities, thereby fostering effective transmission of monetary policy to broader financial conditions. The Desk plans to continue to increase SOMA holdings of Treasury securities at the current pace, which is the equivalent of approximately $80 billion per month. Treasury purchases will be conducted on a monthly basis, starting with the period from mid-June to mid-July, and will continue to be conducted across a range of maturities and security types. The Desk will continue to roll over at auction all principal payments from SOMA holdings of maturing Treasury securities.

Similarly, the Desk plans to continue to increase SOMA holdings of agency MBS at the current pace, which is the equivalent of approximately $40 billion per month. (Non-QM, jumbo, and any non-Agency MBS are not included, and never have been.) Agency MBS purchases will be conducted on a monthly basis, starting with the period from mid-June to mid-July. Total purchases during this monthly period are expected to be approximately $96 billion, which includes approximately $56 billion in purchases to reinvest principal payments from existing SOMA holdings of agency debt and agency MBS anticipated to be received in the month of June. Agency MBS purchases will continue to generally be concentrated in recently produced coupons in 30-year and 15-year fixed rate agency MBS in the To-Be-Announced (TBA) market.

Today’s economic calendar is already underway with a quartet of releases. Initial jobless claims for the week ending June 6 (1.54 million, -355k, about as expected), continued claims for the week ending May 31 (20.929 million, up slightly from forecasts), May Producer Prices (+.4 percent), and May Core PPI (-.1 percent). Later today brings $19 billion 30-year Treasury bond reopening results. And the NY Fed will conduct two FedTrade purchase operations totaling up to $4.575 billion starting with $1.575 billion UMBS15 2 percent and 2.5 percent followed by $2.97 billion UMBS30 2 percent through 3 percent. The Desk will also report on MBS purchases for the week ending June 3. We begin today with Agency MBS prices up/higher a few ticks and the 10-year yielding .68 after closing yesterday at 0.75 percent.

A Senior’s Version of Facebook:

For those of my generation who do not, and cannot, comprehend why Facebook exists, I am trying to make friends outside of Facebook while applying the same principles.

Therefore, every day I walk down the street and tell passers-by what I have eaten, how I feel at the moment, what I have done the night before, what I will do later and with whom.

I give them pictures of my family, my dog and of me gardening, taking things apart in the garage, watering the lawn, standing in front of landmarks, driving around town, having lunch, and doing what anybody and everybody does every day.

I also listen to their conversations, give them “thumbs up” and tell them I “like” them.

And it works just like Facebook. I already have four people following me: two police officers, a private investigator, and a psychologist.

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

Rob

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

June 10: LO, sales, Ops jobs; marketing, AMC, forbearance products; Freddie & Fannie direction

Not only are origination staffs asking for refreshed marketing efforts as volumes show a tinge of falling off, but how about this note that I received from a CEO of a large lender in the Northeast? “Rob, what are you hearing about signing bonuses out there? Is it just my staff that is receiving unsolicited emails, or everyone out there?” Hah! Join the crowd: signing and retention bonuses have again become rampant. Through the wonders of the internet, and what is self-reported to news outlets that I won’t mention, your LOs’ production numbers are fair game. If you think that a lender is going to make 100 basis points on each loan, it doesn’t take a math whiz to take production, multiply it by a point, and figure the net present value over the period of time that the LO is “hand-cuffed” to the company, which in some cases can be more than a year with a claw-back. And it just isn’t LOs: experienced processors and underwriters and other Ops team members are being bid up. Meanwhile, leaders of lenders and vendors have truly risen to the task of educating their staffs, and not over-sensationalizing. They’re keeping track of the pace of change, which continues to be rapid, and are good at relaying that information to employees. They’re good at communication, clarity, conviction, and reminding their staffs to focus on what they can control versus what they can’t. Your employees appreciate it!

Employment & transitions

Prime Choice Funding is rapidly expanding across the country and has an immediate opening for an experienced staff member in upper management with experience in both Sales and Operations. This is an opportunity to get in on the ground floor level in a well-established company, based in Southern California, that, because of recent growth, needs support. The company offers competitive compensation, outstanding benefits, and state-of-the-art technology. For more information or to submit your resume,  please email Join Team PCF.

Promontory MortgagePath LLC is continuing its dynamic growth and searching for a regional VP of sales. Promontory MortgagePath is on a mission to fundamentally change the way lenders approach their mortgage businesses and is looking for trailblazers craving a growth environment where they can have a real, lasting impact. If you’re a results-driven sales professional with a proven track record selling to the financial services industry, Promontory MortgagePath wants to hear from you. Send your resume/questions to careers@mortgagepath.com.

Mortgage services firm Infinity IPS announced the addition of two industry veterans to its team. Congratulations to Ryan Joseph and Jayson Dammen have joined Infinity as Senior Vice Presidents of Due Diligence Sales. Ryan and Jayson bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to Infinity’s platform. IPS is a mortgage industry leader in providing end-to-end services and solutions, specializing in mortgage credit and compliance due diligence, pre-fund and post-close quality control, and mortgage servicing reviews. Services include valuation, risk management and specialized staffing and advisory assistance for investment banks, commercial banks, mortgage companies, government agencies and mortgage insurers.

Stearns Lending is excited to welcome Allyson Foley, SVP Operations, and Kathi Lauduski, SVP Operations to the Wholesale team. Foley comes to Stearns with 33 years of mortgage experience of which 15 years spent in leadership roles at top financial institutions. Lauduski comes to Stearns with 25+ years of experience as a result-oriented leader in all aspects of wholesale underwriting and mortgage operations. She held leadership positions with well-known residential lenders all with a focus on customer service. Stearns sales & operations have an aligned vision and organizational structure, ensuring a consistent and united team. Both Foley and Lauduski align with the Stearns mission to focus on people and supply a concierge-type experience to Broker and Non-Delegated Correspondent customers. For more information or to inquire about sales and operational positions with Stearns Wholesale Lending, click HERE.

“Too Many Leads? You may have seen our Intelliloan.com TV Campaign and it’s working too well. Too many inquiries but not enough loan officers. Due to the COVID19 pandemic and growth plans Intelliloan.com is hiring home-based experienced Loan Officers, nationwide. Start making money right away. If you hold a CA DBO License and at least one other state that aligns with our footprint, you will be a good fit. In business for over 25 years, we service our loans and know how to close them fast, offering innovative tech, quality leads, and fast fulfillment.  If you’re not making at least $25K per month, you need a change. Make Money, Have Fun, Help People. Contact Careers@intelliloan.com.”

Lender services and products

Effectively manage increased forbearance requests and loan modification volumes from COVID-19 impacted borrowers. If your business is facing an influx of home loan forbearance requests, read this insightful article by George FitzGerald, Black Knight’s EVP of Servicing Technologies. Gain insight into the right technology and common practices servicers can use to help keep up with forbearance volumes and increase flexibility to support loan modifications for loans impacted by COVID-19 and any future crisis situation.

BETTER Direct Mail Marketing for Mortgage Lenders from Monster Lead Group: “We’re able to grow and scale operations because of the predictability of Monster’s campaigns. It’s a real marketing system. It’s not just sending mail.” (Brad Bennett, Caliver Beach Mortgage.) “It’s been your consistency; it’s been unbelievably consistent. It’s really like clockwork… We’re able to grow and scale because of the predictability of the Monster campaigns.” (Steven Sless and Andrew Parker, PRMI Reverse Mortgage Division.) “Somebody can charge me half as much as you guys do, but I can’t get beyond the level of your results. For me, service means a hell of a lot and the results speak for themselves.” (John Kresevic, JFQ Lending.) “We’ve basically stopped doing all other marketing and gone 100% with Monster.” (Manny Fajardo, Premier Lending Corp.) Monster Lead Group: better than whoever you’re using. See how here.

Still reeling from the crazy demand for refis? For lenders handling appraisals internally, if your team has been run ragged by the sheer volume of business so far in 2020, what are you going to change to ensure this doesn’t happen again? For one thing, you could consider outsourcing appraisals to an AMC. We know, we know – there are AMCs out there that don’t provide the service you deserve, that don’t turn around appraisals quickly enough, that don’t communicate well. But not all AMCs are like that, and many lenders are enjoying all the benefits of outsourcing without any of the drawbacks. Read four compelling reasons to consider outsourcing appraisals here. This resource, as well as other resources about managing appraisals during this challenging time, are provided by Triserv, a 50-state AMC that has client-specific, dedicated teams on both coasts offering high-touch, personalized service. Contact Triserv at learnmore@triservllc.com.

Are you struggling to create great content to fuel ongoing email campaigns that will actually get opened and read? Or are your email campaigns lacking the punch necessary to engage your target audiences and cause them to take action? Seroka’s branding and marketing experts know how to create and execute custom, branded email campaigns that generate impressive open and click through rates for use with your automation platform. And, with its vast mortgage industry experience and deep bench, Seroka will hit the ground running for you. So, if your email strategy needs compelling content and overall improvement, contact Seroka today!

Agency news

Innovation, typically done at the Agencies, has gone onto the back burner as pilot programs have been quiet for the last several months. Most lenders reap benefits from Freddie and Fannie competing against one another resulting in better pricing, innovation, risk management tools, responsible underwriting, and products. For people in the government to want to remove the government from housing and housing finance, many believe, is short-sighted. Director Calabria has made clear the intention to scale back their footprint through pricing or guidelines.

Would you buy stock in Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae if either/both have an initial public offering (IPO)? The current Administration is certainly heading toward removing them from conservatorship. But regarding investing money in them, I received this note from a grizzled vet which summed up many other notes I’ve received on the topic. “I’m not against F&F building their own capital base organically. I’m just not ‘for’ an IPO without all the details worked out and in place to ensure F&F do not get into the primary mortgage market any further than they already have. The Treasury’s own plan for FM is far from realization and if one culls out those tasks in the plan that Congress must address all that is left are those tasks that the Administration can impact. And if IPOs are launched with only the Administration initiatives in place, I’m not sure what unshackled Fannie & Freddie will look like.”

Let’s see what the Agencies have been up to in recent months to help see the development of polices and procedures as the industry follows their guidance. As always, contact your rep with questions.

Both have COVID response pages worth a gander: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And the list of updates for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are available.

Fannie Mae issued a Selling Notice announcing that the 2020 HomeReady income limits will be implemented in Desktop Underwriter (DU) on June 20th. Income limits will increase by 4.4% on average. Approximately 87% of the counties will experience increases, with 27% seeing an increase of over 5%.

Fannie Mae’s SL 2020-03 provides updates regarding changes to lease review requirements, provides additional flexibility to lenders to choose the late charge amount identified in the note, clarifies project standards policies on horizontal property regimes and environmental hazard assessments, clarifies HomeStyle Energy debt pay-off policies, and other miscellaneous updates.

In response to the COVID-19 national emergency, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have provided temporary guidance to lenders on several policy areas to support mortgage originations, appraisals, and quality control (QC). These FAQs provide additional information on the temporary policies.

Freddie Mac’s Single-Family Seller/Servicer Guide (Guide) Bulletin 2020-8 announced additional selling flexibilities as well as some new temporary requirements to support your underwriting and closing activities when making credit decisions as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve.

Fannie Mae updated Lender Letter LL-2020-03, adding temporary requirements on these loan origination policies: age of documentation; verification of self-employment; market-based assets; powers of attorney; remote online notarization; and lender quality control requirements. Additionally, Fannie Mae updated Lender Letter LL-2020-04 with additional temporary guidance on appraisal requirements, including flexibilities for new construction loans and Homestyle® Renovation loans

Fannie Mae has updated three Lender letters. LL-2020-03, Impact of COVID-19 on Originations outlining additional requirements for borrowers using self-employment income to qualify for loans. Two Payment Deferral letters were also updated. LL-2020-05 provides operational requirements related to reporting and completing a payment deferral and the process for obtaining servicer reimbursement for expenses upon the successful execution of a payment deferral. LL-2020-07 is specific to a COVID-19 payment deferral

Capital markets

U.S. Treasuries rallied yesterday, largely in response to equities dropping amid concerns the recent rebound is overdone. Risk sentiment was always likely to turn a bit more cautious ahead of today’s Fed events. Additionally, the day’s $29 billion 10-year Treasury note reopening was met with weak demand and the 10-year yield closed the day -6 bps to 0.83 percent. As far as economic releases went, the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index increased slightly.

The big economic event today as far as the mortgage market is concerned will be the June FOMC Rate Decision, due out this afternoon. No change is expected to the fed funds rate, but the Fed should shed some light on various lending plans. Officials will also publish their employment and growth targets for the first time since the outbreak amid increasing focus on the racial disparities in joblessness. Along with the release of the statement will be the return of Summary of Economic Projections, which was not released for the March meeting, followed by Chair Powell’s press conference, both of which should provide further thinking regarding the form of forward guidance, along with the how the Fed plans on capping yields and an update on current lending programs.

Ahead of the Fed, the MBA is already out with its Weekly MBA Mortgage Index which showed mortgage applications increased 9.3 percent from one week earlier for the week ending June 5. If anyone cares about inflation, or the lack thereof, we’ve also had May CPI (-.1 percent). The May budget statement will be released in the afternoon. The Desk of the NY Fed will conduct two FedTrade purchase operations today totaling up to $4.47 billion starting with up to $1.5 billion GNII 2.5 percent and 3 percent followed by up to $2.97 billion UMBS30 2 percent through 3 percent. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices a shade higher/better versus Tuesday night and the 10-year yielding .80.

(Thank you to Stephen S. for this one, from back when there were dormitories and people went on dates.)

At a girl’s college dormitory, dates were permitted only on Saturday night. One young man showed up on a Tuesday evening, explaining to an older woman in the lobby of the dorm that it was imperative he see a certain young lady immediately.

“I want to surprise her. You see, I’m her brother.”

“Oh, she’ll be surprised all right,” said the woman. “But think of how surprised I am, I’m her mother!”

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

Rob

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