July 9: QC, LO, reverse opportunities; sec. mktg., marketing products; compliance news: is a “like” a “thing of value”?

United Airlines may lay off 36,000? Bed, Bath, and Beyond closing 200 stores? Walgreen’s cutting 4,000? Yup. Lower rates won’t save those jobs, but we’ll have low rates for a long time. Things are different for residential lenders. When we began 2020, who thought things would be where they are now in our biz to the point of me receiving this note from the CEO of a well-known retail lender: “We’re seeing crazy volumes and profits. Controlling overhead and making money is not our problem. My LOs have been working twelve hours a day, seven days a week, as have processors and many of my Ops staff. Burnout is the problem. The days of aggregators pricing servicing at zero are gone, although few want low credit score product, spec pool bids have come roaring back, fears of escalating forbearance problems have temporarily subsided, our margin-related cash crunch has gone away, our strategy of retaining the servicing on a certain portion of our loans is paying off. There is worry about pools of servicing hitting the market later in the year, but for now, let the good times roll!” What has also caught the attention of the biz is the release of mortgage companies who took advantage of the PPP (click here for a link to the story, which has a link to the spreadsheet). Times were different a few months ago, when chaos was the norm, margin calls reigned, investors were bailing, pricing was all over the map, and cheap, well-intended money was being offered.

Employment & transitions

In August of 2019, Caliber Home Loans revealed its fully digital and secure online loan application, BOLT. Our enhanced digital loan application provides the ultimate homebuying experience for customers. BOLT is faster and simpler than competitor’s digital platforms, operates across all devices, and involves an intuitive and seamless experience. Since launching BOLT, Caliber’s new digital loan application platform has attracted over 100,000 loan applications! Reaching this milestone is an example of Caliber’s commitment to building innovative and cutting-edge technology. Don’t have FOMO; join team Caliber and support the optimization of the mortgage lending experience for borrowers and loan officers!

Two industry veterans with existing highly profitable reverse mortgage group are looking to relocate the group to large branch lender. “Do you have a large loan officer sales force? If so, we can provide you with the reverse volume/solution. Reverse volume at huge documented net profits. Our system works extremely well in the branch lender environment. Our model is completely unique to the industry. This is not a referral model. Small group (team of 5) originating high quality, high revenue reverse loans with to no risk and with very little upfront expense. Please email Chrisman LLC’s Angela Nixt  to receive more detailed information on this very profitable opportunity.”

 

“At Home Point Financial, the key to success is our people. We believe that our associates are the driving force in creating a better borrower experience. We had a record first half of 2020, and we couldn’t have done it without our talented team. To continue hitting our targets, we’re hiring hundreds of underwriters and operations positions at every experience level. When we take care of our associates, they take care of our customers. Join our team, get involved, and reap the rewards! For immediate consideration, please send your resume directly to John Eite.”

Agility 360, a mortgage-centric recruiting and project staffing firm, continues to see unprecedented need for qualified originations and servicing staff. With the pressure of historically low rates, re-bounding demand for purchases, and increasing delinquencies, finding qualified mortgage personnel can be difficult, but finding great talent can seem almost impossible. This is when Agility’s nationwide candidate database and our proprietary methodology can deliver results and find that unique fit between employer and employee. Whether you need immediate direct hires or temporary contract personnel, Agility always finds “the right person for the job”. Leveraging over a decade of industry experience, Agility has created the most sophisticated recruiting and talent management network in the mortgage industry. If you’d like to learn how we can help, please contact Raj Sharma at 469-208-6337.

 

Highlands Residential Mortgage announced Scott Brown has joined the company as Sr Vice President and will be a part of the National Production leadership team. For over 25 years, Scott has served in a broad range of positions with some of the top lenders in the country with his extensive experience in sales, operations, and construction lending. Scott is a frequent guest speaker at industry seminars and conferences and has always been passionate about helping those around him succeed at the highest of levels. “Scott Brown has been a well-respected, versatile leader in our industry for many years. We are extremely excited to add his outstanding talent and skills to our growing team at Highlands Residential Mortgage.” said Danny Deaton, EVP-National Production Manager. Highlands has experienced tremendous growth for seven consecutive years and Scott will play a key role in supporting continued expansion efforts.

Coming off of their third straight month of record volume, AmeriHome Mortgage continues to staff up, and is hosting weekly virtual career fairs! AmeriHome is looking for a Training and Development Manager and an In-Line Quality Assurance Analyst Manager in either Westlake Village, CA or Dallas, TX. It also has many more opportunities available in mortgage operations, loan review, underwriting, and more, both full time and part-time in Southern California, Texas, and remote! Visit its careers page to view all open positions, and submit resumes to jobs@amerihome.com to schedule an interview. You can also follow AmeriHome Correspondent on LinkedIn to keep up with the latest updates, resources, job openings, and more, including its Clients & Communities series! This series highlights AmeriHome clients finding amazing ways to help out in their local communities during these challenging times. If you’re not already signed up to do business with AmeriHome and you’re interested in more information email CLsales@amerihome.com.

myCUmortgage announced that Michael Christians has joined the organization as its VP of Mortgage Risk Management to lead the development and execution of comprehensive mortgage risk management strategies that “deliver on the vision, mission and brand promise of myCUmortgage” and drive the mortgage risk management framework for the CUSO.

 

Sagent appointed Tim Von Kaenel as Chief Innovation Officer and Shawn Stroud as Director of Information Security. Tim will drive Sagent’s product vision and M&A to continue to bring push-button, phone-based simplicity to mortgage servicing. Shawn will join Sagent’s innovation, engineering, and policy teams.

Lender & broker products & services

 

Staying compliant is hard, but it doesn’t have to be. The makers of AcuClix have developed AcuAuditor, a groundbreaking cloud software optimized to manage Marketing Service Agreements, Desk Rentals, and other co-marketing agreements. If you have marketing relationships with realtors, builders, or others, how are you monitoring compliance?  If your co-marketing partner is not performing those services, this could be a violation, because RESPA Section 8 requires payment for services actually rendered. And if you’re not using marketing agreements because of risk concerns, AcuAuditor can now let you use these with confidence! AcuAuditor’s automated features help you make money and be audit-ready, whether you have just a few or hundreds of agreements. Take advantage of AcuAuditor’s limited-time promotion for Rob Chrisman readers, and click here to schedule a demo or for more information contact info@acuauditor.com.

Maxwell’s digital mortgage platform continues to make waves in the industry for small to midsize lenders doing $300M or $3B. Their point-of-sale technology 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 offering in the digital mortgage space.

 

Ever heard the saying, “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, but teach a man advanced hedging strategies and he’ll eat for a lifetime?” Now lenders can tap into a lifetime supply of secondary marketing education with MCT’s Learning Center. Improve your secondary operations and understanding of the mortgage industry with information compiled in the form of webinars, whitepapers, market commentaries, and more! New content is regularly emerging as quickly as new insights and industry trends. Most recently, MCT’s latest whitepaper The Links Between MBS Markets and Loan Prices addresses misconceptions on how mortgage prices are generated. Join MCT on July 16th at 11AM PT for a webinar on Advanced Hedging Strategies. MCT’s Director of Analytics, Bill Berliner, will discuss the use of human intuition as a hedging model, the implications of current securitization practices on hedging/trading, and how to address current market quandaries.

Remember…. Compliance?

Is it true that some RESPA enforcement regulators are finding RESPA violations, claiming that a “like” on social media post is “a thing of value”? Under the proposal, the high-cost mortgage escrow exemption would be expanded to banks and credit unions with assets of $10 billion or less. In addition, these institutions must have originated 1,000 or fewer first mortgages on owner-occupied properties in the preceding calendar year. At the same time, this new exemption, which comes under the Truth-in-Lending Act, is narrower than the existing one in several ways, the CFPB’s notice said. It is limited to insured banks and credit unions, while the existing exemption applies to any creditor (including a non-insured lender) that meets its criteria.

The CFPB has published its Spring 2020 rulemaking agenda: it is pushing forward on activity during the pandemic, although it does not appear to expect to have much finalized before the end of the year. It issued a final rule revoking the mandatory underwriting provisions of the 2017 Payday Lending Rule.

With new coronavirus outbreaks across the Sun Belt in June and July, the logical question for mortgage companies to ask is how to prepare for a second wave of the virus. Jonathan Foxx, Chairman and Managing Director of Lenders Compliance Group, recently weighed in. In addition to publishing a Business Continuity Plan earlier during the pandemic, his most recent writing includes a ten-step plan. I’ll list his ten recommendations, but advise you visit the above link for the in-depth discussion. Preparation, proactivity, the business continuity plan, internal communication, external communication, absenteeism, crisis management, geography, drills, and recovery. Being prepared as a company can make or break this next stage of response and recovery.

Is it possible to send out Closing Disclosures (CDs) prior to loan approval from underwriting since this may help borrowers to cooperate in providing any remaining documents needed and retain them through closing? The thought is that sending a CD before final underwriting approval could mislead borrowers into believing their loan has been approved when it has not, but not sending could presumably put loan officers at a disadvantage. The truth is that there are fundamental risk management issues associated with implementing such a procedure, even if legally permissible to issue the CD before a “clear to close.” TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (“TRID”) contains extremely complex disclosure rules, based on the model that CDs are normally not going to be issued until after “clear to close.”

Altering that model pushes the envelope on applicable compliance rules and consumer expectations and therefore definitely increases the risk that consumers may be misled. Remember, underwriting may necessitate changes in the loan product or interest rate, which may require not only a revised CD but also a delay in closing to permit the required three-day waiting period to elapse. Additionally, issuance of the CD cuts off a lender’s ability to issue a revised Loan Estimate (“LE”). Thus, issuing the CD before “clear to close” means that you may not be able to issue a revised LE to reflect any increased loan costs that come up during underwriting, exposing you company to greater risk of penalties for incorrect initial disclosures. Some lenders attempt to address this situation by creating specialized procedures linked to the underwriting process which make it virtually certain that any loan that does qualify for an early CD will in fact be approved by underwriting without changes.

Finally, the disclosures associated with adjustable rate loan transactions are going to be much more complex and time sensitive than those for simple fixed rate transactions, and purchase transactions usually have much tighter time frame requirements that can be impacted by additional waiting periods resulting from the necessity of issuing a revised CD versus a refinance transaction.

Mortgage Sentinel is a Philadelphia-based partnership between LodeStar Software Solutions and RDAssociates, Inc., that delivers “secret shopping” services that empower mortgage lenders to self-monitor their services to prevent compliance infractions. The service utilizes proprietary research techniques, in-depth analyses, and hands-on training to improve the interactions between mortgage originators and potential borrowers. Mortgage Sentinel specialists will work with mortgage lenders in advance of quality assurance or “secret shopper” audits to understand all policies and procedures in place to support compliance efforts.

Capital markets

Dog days of summer… Considering the big news yesterday, as far as MBS were concerned, was a well-received 10-year Treasury auction which came at a record low yield, that should tell you there wasn’t much news of note for markets to digest. Atlanta Fed President Bostic said softening data may warrant more action. Today’s economic calendar began with initial jobless claims for the week ending July 4 (-99k to 1.314 million). Later this morning brings May wholesale inventories and sales and a $19 billion 30-year Treasury bond auction. The NY Fed will conduct two FedTrade purchase operations totaling up to $4.4 billion starting with $1.5 billion UMBS15 2 percent and 2.5 percent followed by $2.9 billion UMBS30 2 percent through 3 percent. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices unchanged and the 10-year yielding .65 after closing yesterday unchanged… at 0.65 percent.

Thank you to STRATMOR’s Mike Seminari who sent, “I think we need to stop calling it ‘working from home’ and start calling it ‘living at work’.”

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.)