July 6: U/W, production jobs; DPA, leads, PMI products; investors ruminate on employment data: shrug?

Here’s a blunt reminder of what can go dramatically wrong in a fireworks stand. And here’s a blunt email that I received over the weekend. “Rob, what don’t people understand? If someone is threatened with a potentially fatal illness, the last thing on their mind is buying the latest Apple phone, a new car, a suit, a new computer, whatever. They will focus entirely on food, housing, transportation, healthcare, and insurance. (Housing alone accounts for almost a third of spending.) Until this virus is taken care of, we can expect a slow economy, and low rates… a double-edged sword for our industry. End of story.” Maybe some are more focused on ridding the United States of its Star Spangled Banner since Francis Scott Key appears to have come from a slave-owning family. And those focused on mortgage legal matters learned that in the G-Rate non-solicitation case (Cook County Case No. 2020 L 371, Guaranteed Rate as Plaintiff and Harry Richter as Defendant) the judge reversed her decision, refusing to find Guaranteed Rate’s employee non-solicit overbroad. The defendant, Harry “Rick” Richer, was ordered to answer Guaranteed Rate’s complaint seeking relief for Richter’s violation of the non-solicit by July 17. (The judge had previously ordered Richter to answer Guaranteed Rate’s claim for breach of fiduciary duty by July 17.)

Employment 

Caliber Home Loans is excited to announce its first chartered Employee Resource Group, DREAM, supporting women in business. DREAM stands for Developing, Recruiting, Empowering, Advocating for, and Mentoring women. Membership is open to all Caliber team members, male or female. DREAM program activities will include panel discussions, workshops, social outings, and volunteerism. Our goal is to deliver programs and activities that resonate with the current life stage of all Caliber employees. We will strive to break down barriers, whether perceived or real, that impact women. It is DREAM’s vision to inspire women to stay curious, drive change, and motivate members to achieve or exceed their goals. Join Caliber, where your DREAM is your success! If you have an interest in one of our posted job opportunities, please contact Jonathan Stanley for consideration. If you are interested in a sales opportunity at Caliber, please contact Brian Miller for immediate consideration. Visit the Caliber Careers website for opportunities across the organization!”

A leading multinational corporation is growing its operations and is looking for seasoned underwriters. This is a ground floor opportunity for critical team members here in the US.  Serving more than 65 mortgage lenders, including 5 of the top 20 IMB’s, the company offers a competitive salary and benefits package for this work-from-home position. “With more than 60,000 file touches per month and supporting $200B+ in mortgage lending per year, our continued growth provides for unlimited advancement potential.” Experience with due-diligence underwriting is a plus. Interested candidates may send their resume to Anjelica Nixt.

Evergreen Home Loans believes in the WOW and creating positive change in our communities. With the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognized a greater need than ever to fight hunger. Through the Evergreen Cares Foundation, we donated $250,000 to non-profit organizations providing hunger relief. A total of 60 organizations in the states we serve received funds as part of our WOW Giving for Hunger 2020 initiative. Evergreen is also a sponsor for Rock the Harvest benefiting Northwest Harvest, the leading hunger relief agency in Washington and Oregon. At Evergreen, we believe in helping customers find home and supporting the communities we serve. If you believe in that too, check out our Careers page or contact Chuck Iverson.

TruLoan Mortgage, home of “The Lending Experience You’ll Love,” in Charlotte, NC is expanding. Founded by retail branching industry veterans Daniel Jacobs and partners, TruLoan Mortgage is a boutique lender providing incredible support to help successful producers double their business. Leave the corporate red tape and status quo behind; experience action, support, innovation, and growth now!  Be a part of a team with impactful millennial homebuying seminars (last virtual event attracted 60 attendees and 18 highly qualified applicants!), closings loans in 8-21 days, 5-star reviews and a lot of fun doing it. TruLoan Mortgage is delivering on its promise for a lending experience you’ll love. If you’re a successful producer or team of producers in the Charlotte market or in the Southeastern US, want the support you deserve and an environment to grow, earn more, and have fun, contact us now at Grow at TruLoan.

American Mortgage Network: Join us and be an employee-owner. American Mortgage Network is a 100% employee owned company (ESOP) created for the benefit of all employees. Unlike traditional mortgage banking, this was an effective way to build a strong team and provide fair compensation for employees’ contributions.  Joseph Restivo, Dave Wallace and Sherry Chappell, the leadership team, supplied the initial equity for the company but pledged their ownership shares to the ESOP. The ESOP structure brings needed balance between compensation levels such as those between sales and operations. In a little over a year, our employees are now owners, actively participating in decision-making. They’ve received their first distribution of shares and operate in a bureaucracy-free environment that gives them the freedom to work for the company’s success every day. If you are interested in becoming an owner and a member of the AmNet team, please click here.”

Mr. Cooper is excited to announce new developments for our Correspondent channel! As a leader in the industry, we’ve enhanced our eNote acquisitions with the addition of Remote Online Notarizations (RONs)!  Our clients can now experience an end-to-end, virtual loan process. We believe RONs are the way of the future, and we’re excited to provide this offering!  Additionally, we’ve broadened our FHA Program (Purchase & Rate Term) by reducing the minimum FICO to 600. Co-Issue is back! Let our Co-issue experts help you across both Agency and Government.  One of Mr. Cooper’s core values is Champions for our Clients, and we deliver through efficient turn times, robust delivery options, and access to liquidity. Ready to become a Mr. Cooper client? Please contact the Regional Sales Team. If you’re interested in joining our growing Delegated and Non-Delegated teams, contact Pamela Peak. Mr. Cooper is a leading Correspondent investor and the largest non-bank servicer with a servicing portfolio of $600B+.”

Finance of America Mortgage has continued to shatter our own monthly records in 2020. Our retail branches are up significantly over last year almost doubling their usual volume, and considerably above the national average increase. Now we’re looking to share that success with you and your organization. If you are a mortgage company interested in becoming part of the Finance of America Mortgage family, contact us today. Why not join an organization that continues to succeed month after month? Let our past victories become a part of your organizations’ continued growth and success. If you are part of the executive management team of a mortgage company and are interested in your company becoming part of the Finance of America Mortgage family, please contact Jerry Ray today.”

Broker & lender products

“Every loan officer wants an edge on the competition. Some rely on relationships and others rely on state-of-the-art tools. PMI Rate Pro was created by loan officers that recognized the value of quoting all 6 private mortgage insurance providers to save time and increase conversions. With PMI Rate Pro, home buyers can save an average of $35 on monthly premiums and over $2,000 on single premiums. With the average loan officer shopping only 2-to-3 MI providers, PMI Rate Pro provides its customers a significant competitive advantage at an affordable price. Seeing is believing. Try us free for 30 days and get back to doing what you do best – close deals.”

Record sales and 50% lower cost per loan! How Steven J. Sless and his PRMI Reverse Division rocked their best months ever using direct mail: “You know, PRMI is just a powerhouse in the mortgage industry now. And Monster Lead Group has been an unbelievable partner. Monster knows what they’re doing, they know how to make the phones ring, they know how to generate business, but they also know how important it is to help us grow a brand at the same time. It’s a real marketing system. It’s not just sending mail. I think the consistency of the campaigns is what we rely on… Our cost per funded loan is about 50% of the industry average… So that story should be told. We’re able to grow and scale our operation because of the predictability of the Monster campaigns. That is what’s allowed us to get to this point.” Want BETTER direct mail? Contact Monster Lead Group.

Join Golden State Finance Authority for an in-depth look at the new GSFA OpenDoors down payment assistance program! “OpenDoors is a game-changer when it comes to helping homebuyers in California purchase a primary residence with little-to-no money out of pocket. The GSFA OpenDoors Program features homebuyer assistance up to 7% of the loan amount, FICO requirements as low as 620, flexible DTI requirements and enhanced pricing. FHA, VA, USDA, and Conventional loan financing is available. Plus, GSFA delegates the loan process to the Participating Lender so no additional compliance review from GSFA is necessary, making the process simple and easy for both borrower and Lender. Ready to start closing more loans?? Join us for a Lender Training Webinar and view Program guidelines at www.gsfahome.org. You don’t want to miss out on this EXCITING new Program!”

Capital markets

Any economic data from April, May, or June will reflect a tremendous amount of churn occurring in the U.S. economy. States have been reopening, and now closing, at different speeds. Some businesses are coming back to life while many are still struggling, which means many employees are coming back to work as others are still getting furloughed. Additionally, there has been a massive amount of fiscal and monetary policy stimulus. While June figures are expected to be improvements from April and May, the trajectory of the coronavirus through the U.S. and elsewhere is an ongoing concern, as the economy in different geographic locations may be shut down again as caseloads accelerate. What is certain is that the amount of uncertainty around any particular economic forecast is large right now.

Hopefully, everybody enjoyed the long weekend, and your mind was on what to grill, where to watch fireworks, and how to be a better civil rights advocate, rather than the risk-on trade Friday that saw a slight rally in Treasuries and Agency MBS. U.S. economic data released over the last week may have been better received if not for the surging spread of Covid-19 in several states that has resulted in a rollback of reopening plans. Nonfarm employment increased by a record 4.8 million net new jobs and the unemployment rate fell to 11.1 percent. As good as the month-over-month increase was, employment is 9.6 percent below February’s peak and analysts are looking ahead to the potential re-shuttering of some businesses and a return to home for employees who just got back to work. Additionally if the rapid spread of Covid-19 is prolonged, demand for many non-essential items may once again plummet, leaving many businesses with reduced payrolls as they are forced to adapt. New claims for unemployment continued to fall for the week ending June 27 but the rate of decline is falling as well. Manufacturing returned to expansion territory in June as the ISM Manufacturing Index increased from 43.1 to 52.6 with half of the sub-indexes in positive territory and thirteen of eighteen industries reporting growth.

As noted above, last week closed with better-than-expected jobs data, though gains were tempered over angst from the economic impact of rising coronavirus infections. June saw a historic increase in payroll employment: what’s not to cheer about? Despite the positive news, the level of employment in June was still 14.7 million jobs, or 9.6 percent, below the peak from February. Additionally, the report is based on a survey done in the middle of June, before the latest virus surge. And the misclassifying out-of-work Americans as employed has skewed the jobless rate, distorting month-on-month comparisons.

So investors are taking those June figures with a grain of salt. The recent flare ups of COVID-19 cases in several states (U.S. daily cases officially topped 50,000 for the first time last week) have resulted in a new round of layoffs for some workers. Also, the expiration of the PPP loan layoff restrictions for many firms will allow them to shed workers in July. Further complicating the analysis, roughly 19 million workers who remain unemployed are benefitting from enhanced unemployment benefit supplied by the CARES Act. The extra $600 per week, which has encouraged some workers to stay off their jobs, is now scheduled to expire on July 31. There will likely be a new stimulus bill in July that will again modify unemployment insurance benefits.

Following the long weekend, the economic calendar for this first full week in July begins with the final June reading for Markit services PMI, and will be followed by ISM nonmanufacturing PMI for June, shortly thereafter, and the June employment trends index. Releases are scant as well tomorrow, with just May Job Openings, before Wednesday sees the usual Weekly MBA Mortgage Index. Thursday brings weekly jobless claims and May Wholesale Inventories before the week closes with June PPI and Core PPI. The MBS market will digest June prepayments, released after tomorrow’s close. The NY Fed will conduct two FedTrade MBS purchase operations today, totaling up to $4.665 billion and starting with up to $1.768 billion GNII 2.5 percent and 3 percent followed by up to $2.897 billion UMBS30 2 percent through 3 percent. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices down/worse a few 32nds and the 10-year yielding .70 after closing last week at 0.67 percent.

“The worst thing about returning to bars is getting a standard 5-ounce pour of wine instead of the 25 ounces my home-bar offers.”

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, “Mortgage Outlook: What if it is Cloudy?”, focused on the current political climate. 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.)