June 24: Ops, AE jobs; marketing, broker, tax products; VA, construction webinars; tech partnerships

Companies worldwide are grappling with continued travel bans, and how to bring back employees in waves, if at all. Others are re-designing office layouts, thinking about renting more space, and looking at the cost of footprint changes. Some employees can’t wait to return to office life, others are doing fine without commuting, and still others will spend part of the workweek at home and in the office, all the while helping clients & borrowers. Most “experts” expect less office space to be required. It’s crazy! Traditional economic models and measurements are in disarray as well, as any economist worth their salt will tell you. For starters, many of the government’s statistics are driven by surveys, and distressed people and businesses often aren’t wild about answering surveys. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the economy faces potentially significant long-term damage from higher unemployment and a wave of small business failures due to the coronavirus pandemic despite recent signs of an economic rebound. “Until the public is confident that the disease is contained, a full recovery is unlikely,” Mr. Powell told the Senate Banking Committee. Low rates ahead.

Employment, transitions, & retirements

A well-capitalized lender in Los Angeles is aggressively looking to bring on exceptional talent and is seeking an experienced VP of Operations to assist in continued growth by hiring, building, and managing a robust operations team of experienced Processors and Underwriters. The lender is operating on Encompass and originating all products including Conventional, FHA/VA, Jumbo and Non-QM. Excellent compensation and bonus structure and full benefit package. Please forward resumes to Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt.

“Looking for a company offering continuous growth, a full-scale marketing strategy, continued training, career improvement courses? At Carrington Mortgage we offer a complete suite of products including FHA, VA, FNMA, FHLMC and a robust menu of loan programs which has further fueled our growth. We are currently recruiting for an experienced AE with FHA and VA experience for the Chicago, IL, or if you are located in or around Plano, TX, join our Inside Sales team and make Chicago your calling territory. If you feel your sales skills and experience would be a fit with Carrington, please email John Cervantes.”

Would you like to be a Radian Account Manager in the Pacific Northwest? Here you go. Radian is looking

Interfirst Mortgage Company, a private equity-backed mortgage originator, announced that Lou Friedmann has been named Chief Marketing Officer where he will lead all of Interfirst’s strategic marketing and communications as the Company relaunches under a new business model that includes an integrated retail and wholesale residential mortgage origination offering.

It is the end of an era at MBS Securities as Gail Schaumann announced her retirement (set for the end of the month) and turning the proverbial reigns over to Sara Weber. “After more than 30 years in the securities industry, it is time to have time! I will forever appreciate, and be grateful for, all the wonderful people I have come to know in the mortgage banking and securities industries.”

Lender services and products

First American TaxSource property tax reporting delivers full national coverage with the most current tax status and rapid results through the latest technology and data resources vetted through multiple validations from one reliable, trusted partner. Lending professionals need on-demand, real-time tax status reporting outside of the cyclical tax cycle for transactional data that shows the currency of property tax payments to make informed decisions and mitigate risk. First American property tax status reporting creates workflow efficiencies in a single-source solution, delivered via robust, seamless API integration or online self-service PDF reports. As the industry leader in data and technology, American expertise, innovation, and consultative approach provide the best in tax status reporting services. From managing defaults or selling off a package of loans, to monitoring tax liabilities, procuring tax status reports outside of annual cycles is now easy!

Start doing business faster with Stearns Wholesale Lending. Secure a lock in 3 steps. Log into Stearns SNAP broker portal and use PriceIt to input loan data to generate pricing. Then, select your program and rate to forward lock and enter borrower’s first name, last name, address and social and lock instantly. If you’re not ready to lock you can save the scenario and revisit at a later date. The portal continues to be enhanced with tools such as Calc My Income, Instant VOI, MI Price It, and LO Portfolio making it easier for clients to submit a loan. If you’d like to be contacted by an Account Executive, Click HERE.

Record sales and 50 percent 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 percent 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.”

Events for training & information

Mark your calendars Calyx customers: CalyxVision 2020 is headed your way! A completely reimagined, next generations user event, Vision 2020 will deliver both hands-on software training and strategic insights in an engaging, online format accessible from your own location. Join us from August 18-20 for live interaction with our software specialists, lenders, integrated service providers, insightful keynote sessions, overviews of the newest Calyx products and more! For more information, please visit the Registration page  or contact Calyx directly at calyxvision@calyxsoftware.com.

GSF Mortgage Corporation’s SVP of Construction Sales, Robert Stephens, will be hosting a webinar for partners, builders, and single close clientele on July 9th at 12:00 pm Central. As the construction market starts to see signs of recovery, Robert will give an update on the current market and on the Single Close Construction program offered by GSF Mortgage Corporation. Register here or reach out to Robert Stephens.

Join National Mortgage Professional Magazine and Boots Across America for a very special on demand webinar to become a “Certified Military Home Specialist.” This one of a kind webinar will help you build a rapport with your military niche market and provide them with the specialized skills they deserve, whether they’re seeking a VA loan or some other form of financing. Upon successful completion, you will receive your Certified Home Military Specialist certificate. Topics to be covered include: Increases knowledge and confidence to better serve military clients, establishing credibility specifically with this market, service members Civil Relief Act guidelines and benefits to share, pay and allowance categories and which ones to use, special situations, disability and retirement benefits, and resources to use and share. You may take and complete this course at your leisure. Click here to register.

Technology partnerships march on

Lenders, don’t miss your chance to have great insight into the CRM, Point of Sale, Origination, Closing and collaboration tools: All the mortgage technology solutions available in the market today. Participate in the System Survey, the first survey of STRATMOR’s 2020 Technology Insight Study, and get the answers you need. The System Survey can be completed in less than 10 minutes and lenders who participate receive the report for the survey for FREE. Take the System Survey now and rate the systems you’re using — hurry, this survey closes July 10!

Hey, did you know that there is actually whistle blower software!? There’s a lot of tech news out there; let’s take a random walk through what has crossed my desk lately about who’s partnering up.

IDS announced it has expanded its partnership to become the exclusive integrated document preparation vendor of Mortgage Builder. The newly rebuilt integration now fully incorporates the IDS eSignature platform and custom form generation capability and includes the migration of Mortgage Builder’s client base to idsDoc, IDS’ flagship document preparation platform, which is recognized for unequalled customization and superior customer service. The integration also supports new data points to meet more recent demands and upcoming needs, including TRID documents, eClosing process fields and impending URLA updates.

Ameriprise released an announcement on its new partnership with Embrace Home Loans giving Ameriprise clients’ access to mortgage products and services to complement their existing relationship to financial advisors. Ameriprise clients will gain competitive interest rates, no application fees, and a streamlined application process with a dedicated loan consultant from pre-qualification to closing.

OptifiNow integrated its platform with the Ellie Mae Digital Lending Platform, including using Encompass Partner Connect API technology. This integration allows lenders to share data efficiently and securely between the two to drive quality and efficiency in the loan origination process. OptifiNow’s extensive integration capabilities enable lenders to create an advanced sales and marketing process that connects data with Encompass and other vital systems.

SimpleNexus and Mortgage Coach have enhanced their integration with real-time data syncing for instant analysis of lifetime loan costs. The original integration ensured that every borrower who applies for a mortgage loan via SimpleNexus immediately receives Mortgage Coach Total Cost Analysis (TCA), improving the borrower experience by updating key loan information in real time and enabling loan professionals to incorporate video narration into TCAs from within the SimpleNexus app.

LBA Ware has announced that Centier, Indiana’s largest private, family-owned bank, has implemented CompenSafe to automate incentive compensation for its residential lending department. Built for the mortgage industry, CompenSafe is an automated ICM platform that bridges the gap between lenders’ loan origination and payroll systems to eliminate manual data entry and provide actionable insight into staff performance and profitability. Since implementation, Centier has reduced man-hours spent on calculating incentive comp by 99 percent.

Amid current challenges and social distancing measures, the new integration between Wipro Gallagher Solutions (WGS), and DocMagic, Inc., offers state-of-the-art, relevant functionality for lenders, settlement providers and other stakeholders. It allows borrowers to easily eSign documents and execute completely paperless eClosings, and will enable WGS to advance digital mortgage processes via a seamless integration to DocMagic services. With this partnership, WGS is expanding the scope of its NetOxygen suite of products to better equip lenders to overcome new lending challenges and provide seamless digital experience.

Sterling Federal Bank has selected Finastra’s Fusion Phoenix as its core technology to support its efforts to expands its business from consumer banking and mortgages to one with a strong presence in the commercial banking scene. Sterling Federal Bank already uses Finastra’s Fusion Mortgagebot and Fusion LaserPro for consumer loan and mortgage origination, servicing, and documentation. Fusion Phoenix will provide exceptional integration with these platforms, saving the bank over 50 hours of redundant data entry per month. Fusion Phoenix was also favored for its ability to service various loan types in a single system so staff only need to be proficient in a single system and will have all the information they need in one place.

Not so much technology but certainly a partnering, Ally Lending is offering home improvement financing partnering with Authority Brands, LLC, a leading provider of home services that includes more than 250 franchisees of Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, Mister Sparky Electric and One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning. Customers seeking assistance with unexpected and planned plumbing, electrical, and HVAC expenses now have access to financing solutions backed by 100 years of lending experience.

Clarifire, a leader in workflow automation, announced that the Idaho Housing and Finance Association has selected CLARIFIRE as its loss mitigation platform. “Idaho Housing will rely on the flexibility and automation capabilities of CLARIFIRE to increase the efficiency of its loss mitigation services.”

Capital markets

Mortgage rates, and Treasury rates for that matter, have hit the summer doldrums for volatility. Look at the mix of news from last week. The rebound in retail sales in May was met with mixed reviews. The big headline gain that easily beat everyone’s forecasts was impressive, but the number was 6.1 percent below May 2019’s level. (For example, clothing store sales gained 188 percent for the month, but were 63.4 percent below their level from one year ago. Food services and drinking places saw a 29.1 percent monthly gain, but were down 39.4 percent year-over-year.) This is the pattern with most of the categories on the report with the notable exception of non-store retailers. Clearly there was pent up consumer demand as stay at home restrictions began to be lifted, but it’s a long way to go before the economy is back to its normal state. While the quick rebound provides hope for growth in the second half of the year, there were 21 million people unemployed in May whose extra benefits will expire next month.

Yesterday features another slow session with minimum movement of U.S. Treasuries, though fears around the U.S. – China trade deal continued unabated. New home sales increased sharply in May, rising 16.6 percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 676,000 after a sharp downward revision for April. On a year-over-year basis, new home sales were up 12.7 percent. The increase in contract signings reflect some dissipating COVID-19 shutdown pressures, and should aid expectations that sales activity will continue to improve in coming months given the tight supply of existing homes for sale, low mortgage rates, and pent-up demand.

But turning to today, the Weekly MBA Mortgage Index showed mortgage applications decreased 8.7 percent from one week earlier for the week ending June 19. Both refinance and purchase activity fell despite a record low 30-year rate for the survey (3.30 percent). Later this morning brings the release of the June FHFA Housing Price Index, while the afternoon brings $47 billion 5-year Treasury note auction results. The Desk of the NY Fed will conduct two FedTrade purchase operations totaling up to $4.721 billion, and there is some Fedspeak with both Chicago’s Evans and St. Louis’ Bullard taking the stage. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices unchanged again and the 10-year yielding .73 after closing yesterday at 0.71 percent.

Email from a reader: “Yesterday my husband thought he saw a cockroach in the kitchen. He sprayed everything down and cleaned the room thoroughly. Today I’m putting the cockroach in the bathroom.”

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, “Knowing a Borrower’s Mind”, 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.)