July 24: LO jobs; non-QM, 4506-T, tech, digital, & sales products; rates edge higher on speculation

Not to sound too preachy, but I bet it would have a noticeable impact on the environment if the hundreds of thousands of folks in residential lending requested “no plastic straw” in their drinks or asked for a paper straw made in the USA. Lenders working with builders know that they are doing something similar “green” with construction materials and features, and in terms of energy, based on current trends in solar energy adoption across the world, of the 238 million new households with access to electricity set to form between now and 2030, 72 million will use solar home systems while 34 million will benefit from microgrids and decentralized energy systems.

Employment & promotions

What’s your Plan B? With flat growth, low inventory, and margin compression, 2018 certainly has its challenges – and the 4th quarter is looming.  If your current quarterly results are making you question whether you’re prepared to handle this market dynamic or have the tools & support you need to grow your business, now is the time to consider a strategic conversation with American Pacific Mortgage. This video describes the unique solution we’ve built, and an invitation from APM’s Chairman, Kurt Reisig, on how we could strategically work together. Our business model empowers independent mortgage banks to operate under their brand, retain the majority of your key employees, and tap into our resources to compete. We provide the support, resources and technology, so you can focus on growing production. If you’re interested in a confidential owner-to-owner conversation, to explore a “Plan B” with Kurt Reisig, please contact Peter Schwartz (916.770.0053) or Mike Haden (916.223.3687).

Gateway Mortgage Group announced the launch of its new digital mortgage platform, LinkStep, that dramatically simplifies the home loan process. The company packaged LinkStep with the unveiling of its new website as the perfect showcase of how the Gateway Experience stands out in a crowded field of competitors. “We’ve utilized state-of-the-art technology to produce an intuitive and fully digital experience that guides our customers safely and easily through the home loan process,” said Kevin Stitt, Chief Executive Officer at Gateway. LinkStep starts with a mobile-responsive loan application and continues to deliver a streamlined mortgage experience all the way to closing. The technology offers seamless document uploads through secure integration with many banks and investment companies, as well as the four major payroll providers. It continues to nurture the borrower through the application and documentation stages by sending automated communications that highlight pending and completed action items, ensuring the borrower remains informed and empowered on their journey to homeownership. Visit the LinkStep page on GatewayLoan.com for more information.

 

“A Great Place to Work & Innovative Products to Help Originators Close More Loans.” Evergreen Home Loans is hiring loan officers seeking a great place to work. It was named the #1 BEST Place to work in Financial Services and Insurance and a top Best Workplace for Millennials by Fortune and Great Places to Work®. It was also recognized for the fifth straight year as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in Washington state by Seattle Business Magazine. The company offers a suite of core products and is one of the few independent mortgage bankers offering one-time close construction loans for stick built and manufactured homes. The focus at Evergreen is helping originators close more loans and serving as a best place to work in the industry. Candidates can learn more about the Evergreen culture here and find the latest job openings on the Careers page.

The StoneHill Group, a veteran-owned, nationwide provider of quality control, due diligence and mortgage fulfillment solutions for the mortgage industry, announced that Pat Gluesing will join the company as president and chief operating officer to oversee the strategic growth of the company as well as its day-to-day operations. David Green, golfer and cat wrangler, and who founded The StoneHill Group in 1996 and served as president and CEO, will remain as Chairman/CEO focusing on strategic initiatives, customer relations and marketing.

Lender products & services

Know a doctor or dentist just out of their residency or fellowship and looking for a home? Stearns Wholesale now offers Doctor Loans that give borrowers a higher loan limit and lower down payment options. “We recognize the hard work and financial investment needed for this type of education and career path and we want to help! We also make it easier to qualify by excluding certain student debt when calculating monthly debt-to-income ratios.  No problem if the borrower is still in their residency or fellowship, they are still eligible to qualify. It’s not brain surgery…. Stearns Wholesale will get these highly skilled individuals into the home of their dreams with the least pain points possible! Contact us to learn more about our Doctor Loan Program.”

TMS Wholesale continues to Grow Happiness for its broker partners by creating a unique digital mortgage experience. The latest from TMS is a new online LE feature that allows brokers to generate and disclose an LE in a matter of minutes—and in just a couple of clicks—inside their proprietary LOS system KISS (Keep It Super Simple) for all new submissions starting July 2, 2018. As an added benefit, TMS has announced they will continue to accept external LEs, generated in the broker’s LOS. According to James Hooper, TMS SVP of Wholesale Sales, “We understand some clients like that control and, in today’s market, it’s all about ease of use. We also love to give clients options to keep them happy.” Visit www.wholesale.themoneysource.com or contact James Hooper SVP of Wholesale to learn more.

In recent news from this past week, more top independent lenders continue to choose Maxwell as their digital mortgage technology partner. Most recently, Maxwell partnered with HomeServices Lending — a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. “We started by looking for an online application tool with secure document upload capabilities. What we uncovered was a partner that has a much larger vision to transform mortgage lending,” HomeServices Lending President and CEO Maureen Sammon said. To find out why lenders across the nation are choosing Maxwell, visit www.himaxwell.com or request your demo here.

Colin Powell once said, “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” With mortgage applications down 7% and volume down 18% nationwide this year, many mortgage originators are struggling to succeed in this down market. However, some loan officers are finding success by focusing on superior customer service, teamwork, timely communication, and integrity. Certainty Home Loans has released a new report that reveals the business techniques that successful top producers have used to grow their business by 68% to 320% year over year. For example, Laura Haines shares how she grew her business by 68% last year to $20.4 million by deepening her relationships with her referral sources. Learn new habits that deliver success from loan officers who found ways to grow their total business even with the decrease in refinances. Receive your free copy of Success During Down Years to receive actionable techniques and tips from nine mortgage originators to help grow your mortgage business.

 

The mortgage industry is racing to catch up to how consumers expect to interact with companies online – and marketing technology is taking center stage. Mortgage lenders seem to be in a perpetual state of either implementing or trying to get the most out of their technology stack. Making sure you fully realize the value of your technology – quickly – is critical to growing sales and powering your organization. People don’t want technology; they want what technology can do for them. It is critical that your marketing tech stack remove friction and give your loan officers a better way of doing business. Just like digital transformation, technology implementation is not one and done. Read the Total Expert blog to make sure you’re getting the most of out of your technology stack – in record time.

 

Leaders, training is an investment, not an expense. Would you spend $1 to make $10 in profit? That’s what you can expect when you engage with XINNIX. And that’s why they are launching the XINNIX 10X ChallengeWhen you put 10 of your MVPs in any role—loan officer, producing manager, sales leader or recruiter—through XINNIX training, you will receive 10 times the return on investment. How do they know? The XINNIX process is proven. Recently, a top national lender engaged XINNIX to train 10 loan officers. Their investment was $13,000. The return on that investment? In 2 months, they saw a net profit of $134,376, and their projected net profit for 12 months is $806,256! Results like this are waiting for you. Your team’s success is absolutely worth the investment. CLICK HERE to begin the XINNIX 10X Challenge!

 

“New 4506–Transcripts.com Integration: Faster Transcripts Means Faster Closing. Now integrated in Encompass, 4506-Transcripts.com provides fast, accurate IRS 4506-Transcript forms for mortgage loan processing, quality control, and auditing. Eliminating days – even weeks – from the acquisition process, they cut through IRS bureaucracy to deliver fraud protection services that can reduce your risk. “We’re so excited about our partnership with Ellie Mae and the update to automate Fannie Mae D1C with Encompass,” says Sandra James, CEO of 4506-Transcripts.com. Learn more about how it works, watch this short video.

Correspondent lenders: Don’t follow the market—your opportunity to lead is here. Applications are down, but non-QM lending shows continued growth and positive performance. Correspondent lenders looking to grow and reach new customers must look at non-QM. These alternative products help creditworthy applicants who don’t fit into conventional programs. Unlike sub-prime, today’s non-QM loans feature solid underwriting and strong loan performance. Verus Mortgage Capital is an experienced investor that is committed to helping correspondents succeed in non-QM with its innovative products and partnership program. Verus has purchased over $2.4 billion in expanded, non-QM loans and completed five rated securitizations. Learn more about how you can grow with Verus.

Capital markets

Yes, rates moved higher yesterday. Why? Let’s take a simple look at some recent economic news to gain some insight. The Federal Reserve should suspend interest-rate increases to avoid a yield-curve inversion, says James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. “Imminent yield-curve inversion in the US has become a real possibility,” Bullard says. Banks, of course, aren’t too interested in the 2-year to 10-year spread – they’re more interested in the difference between Fed Funds and the 2-year.

A rate increase is highly unlikely to emerge from the Federal Reserve’s upcoming meeting, but the Fed still needs to take steps — such as reducing the probability of a rate increase in September — to indicate whether it is actually pursuing a more dovish strategy as perceived by equities traders, Mohamed El-Erian writes. The Fed also needs to heed the flattening of the yield curve for Treasurys because inversions of the curve “have been a reliable indicator of coming recession,” Justin Lahart writes.

Rates shot up on Monday, the 10-year closing +7bps to 2.97% despite no indication from the Fed that the policy course will be altered after President Trump’s comments against rate hikes late last week. What the comments may have done is prompted some profit taking from participants who had been betting on continued flattening in the Treasury yield curve. Yesterday’s jump took place amid speculation that the advance reading of second quarter GDP on Friday could flirt with the 5.0% mark despite market expectations for a 4.1% rise. A reading around 5% could prompt some conversation about increasing the frequency of rate hikes, much to the chagrin of our president. Additionally, the Bank of Japan is reportedly considering some adjustments to its Yield Curve Control policy, which turned investors’ focus to broader central bank expectations for removing accommodation, including domestically.

As far as economic releases went, Existing home sales decreased 0.6% MoM in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.38 million, failing to meet expectations after May’s downwardly revised 5.41 million. Total sales are down 2.2% YoY and have fallen YoY four straight months as the story remains the same: supply constraints continue to act as a drag on overall sales, and high prices (high, and rising faster than incomes) on what is available is crimping affordability, particularly for first-time buyers.

Today’s calendar highlight is supply with the Treasury auctioning $55 billion one-month bills and $35 billion 2-year notes, increased by $10 billion and $1 billion, respectively. Economic news kicks off with the Philly Fed non-Manufacturing Indexes for July, followed by the FHFA House Price Index for May. Then comes the preliminary July reads on Markit’s Manufacturing and Services PMIs, where no change is expected from June. Finally, the Richmond Fed Manufacturing and Services Indexes for July are out at 10am, which is also when the Senate Banking Committee will begin its hearing to consider various nominations, including Michael Bright for President of GNMA. The day begins with the 10-year yielding 2.96% and agency MBS prices little changed versus last night’s close.

Instead of the usual trivia or humor, today we have… debt. Regardless of political party, you can see that the government borrowed about $65k per citizen and handed us that amount of debt to repay – hence this debt clock. It gave the government enough extra money to make it look like they were doing good things for us, like lowering taxes and getting bonuses at work, but only to a tiny fraction of the debt they handed us.

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, “With Regulations, Be Careful What You Wish For.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.

Rob

(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are over 300 mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2018 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)