Mar. 23: COO, AE jobs; anti-fraud, servicing products; borrower satisfaction survey; corona-driven product shifts

While in captivity it is important to have a goal. And remember, “It’s only quarantine if it comes from the quarantine region of France; otherwise, it’s just sparkling isolation.” YouTube views of yoga classes have skyrocketed. Families are arguing over the dog, the hat, the canon, the shoe, or the iron. As millions of women around the nation remember how to do their own nails at home, and men are wondering about haircuts, the lending industry continues in turmoil. Some things have been cleared up, however: California and Ohio have ruled that finance sector (e.g., mortgage) workers are essential. And CEOs are forcing LOs to go through pipelines to make sure loans in process and locks are “real” and aren’t using up hedge costs in a volatile time.

Employment

A leading national title insurance and settlement services agency is looking for its next great Chief Operating Officer to help take it to the next level. The agency is located in the northeast, has a well- deserved reputation as an innovative partner to its numerous lender clients and on the leading edge of e-closings. The ideal candidate would have worked their way to a senior level or c-level at a mortgage banking firm or title company, have had experience integrating people, process and technology into the customer experience, and importantly, is ready for a new challenge. The company has decades of experience, high customer satisfaction scores and a diverse client base. If interested, contact Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt with your resume.

Carrington Mortgage Services is hiring inside Wholesale Account Executives in its Orange County (CA), Plano (TX) & Providence (RI) offices. “Great tech, great pricing, hundreds of accounts ready to be called on, first class product line up. (USDA, VA, FHA, Non-QM & Conventional), and a top tier compensation plan.” Contact Kevin DeLory or call (401) 298-7000 to learn more.

 

The wholesale market is growing and so is Commerce Home Mortgage. CHM is excited to announce the addition of James Hooper (SVP Production) and Mel Freyre (SVP of Sales) to the CHM family to help spearhead its growth. With the launch of its TPO division seven months ago, CHM has experience phenomenal growth and is quickly becoming a leader in the NON-QM space. CHM is one of the nation’s only Community Development Financial Institutions (“CDFIs”) in the residential mortgage lending space. This certification allows CHM to offer increased access to credit allowing members of underserved markets to realize the American Dream of homeownership through products like its Community Mortgage. This market is estimated to include more than 32 million homeowners. CHM is looking to further expand its family by adding experienced account executive in all markets, as well as operational support in its Irvine and Phoenix locations. Click on Apply Here to apply for any open sales or operations positions.

Lender services and products

“Our team at CMC Funding, part of the Computershare Group, was honored with Freddie Mac’s Servicer Honors and Rewards Program (SHARP) Award. CMC Funding’s Silver designation recognizes their superior servicing portfolio performance, outstanding customer service to borrowers, and positive efforts to prevent and alleviate delinquencies in 2019. “CMC Funding and our servicing partner, Specialized Loan Servicing, take great pride in providing a superior borrower experience, from loan boarding through the servicing of the loan,” says Richard Dybel, National Sales Manager. Click here to learn more about CMC Funding’s co-issue servicing acquisition program.”

Gateway First Bank, one of the largest banking and mortgage operations in the United States, has selected Black Knight’s Origination Technologies Suite to support both retail and correspondent growth. Gateway will use AIVA, Black Knight’s artificial intelligence solution, to improve document classification, extract data and streamline the buying process by organizing documents into a complete, indexed file. Gateway will also implement Empower enterprise LOS to electronically capture, process, underwrite and close loans in support of their retail, wholesale, consumer direct, correspondent and home equity channels. “The combined power of AIVA and Empower will help reduce origination costs and risk as we continue to expand lending operations,” said Stephen Curry, CEO of Gateway. “Leveraging AIVA’s innovative capabilities increases processing speed, simplifies compliance and improves accuracy. With Empower, we are utilizing best-in-class technology to enable our lending teams to deliver a great customer experience.”

Mad Mortgage, a show for those passionate about the mortgage industry, officially launches with Episode 1 featuring Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae. Mad Mortgage is hosted by Mace, CEO and Founder of Mace Innovations, as he interviews Jonathan to discuss how Covid-19 affected Experience 2020, the new URLA, Ellie Mae strategy, and mortgage technology innovation. Mad Mortgage will continue to release new episodes featuring interviews with mortgage industry leaders, in-depth discussions, and provide the latest strategies to help lenders stay cutting edge in the rapidly changing digital mortgage space. The show’s topics cover the entire loan process, from origination to post-closing, compliance, secondary, and technology. Watch Mad Mortgage on YouTube or stream audio from popular podcast sources.

Sourcepointa leading provider of products and services to the US mortgage industry, continues to innovate its offerings to help servicers reduce operating costs and elevate borrower experience. Sourcepoint recently launched its Servicing Solutions suite to help servicers accelerate digital transformation across the mortgage servicing lifecycle by identifying areas ripe for automation along with the tools and resources needed for transformation and ongoing support. The suite comprises innovative digital solutions: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to streamline post-closing functions and loan boarding; firstCustomer Intelligence – a speech and text analytics solution to gather rich customer insights and transform traditional call centers into thriving, omnichannel contact centers; firstChat – AI-powered customer support to provide immediate assistance for client requests; and Intelligent Automation – RPA, automated document classification and unstructured data extraction to automate workflows. Contact them to learn how they can help you transform into an agile, customer-focused organization.

FundingShield’s analytics reported an additional 62% increase in wire fraud and regulatory compliance violations within the last 10 business days alone.  It is crucial to take the necessary steps to prevent wire and title fraud with FundingShield’s fintech solutions- now more than ever. During this volatile time, leveraging an API driven digital strategy is paramount to success. FundingShield’s partnership with EllieMae in addition to our APIs deliver you integrated solutions to help you originate more loans, lower costs, and reduce time to close- all without skipping a beat as America makes the transition to being a remote workforce that is Working From Home (WFH). In just two weeks FundingShield has seen an additional 62% increase in Wire Instruction errors, Perpetuated fraud attempts, Incorrect/altered wire instructions, Phishing attempts, Requests to fund unauthorized/unrelated 3rd party accounts.  These items were found, corrected, validated, and protected by FundingShield. Contact info@fundingshield.com for more information or a demo or to join our distribution list.

 

Borrowers still matter

In this time of market volatility and interest rate uncertainty, lenders must ramp up communications with borrowers or risk serious damage to their reputations. According to data from STRATMOR Group’s MortgageSAT Borrower Satisfaction Program that surveys more than 130,000 borrowers annually, borrowers are much more likely to be delighted and refer business when they receive phone call updates versus email updates (Net Promote Score of 89 vs. 75). Yet, only two percent of originators are making the phone calls. “Now more than ever, the more you can personalize communications with the borrower, the more you differentiate your service and set yourself up for referrals,” says MortgageSAT Director Mike Seminari. In his March MortgageSAT Tip, “COVID-19 and the Customer Experience,” Seminari offers four ideas to help lenders ensure the borrower experience thrives in these uncertain times.

Product shifts

Are you going to be a “hero” and try to fund that non-QM or jumbo loan despite warehouse banks not lending on that product, or taking a 10% haircut, or the investor for that particular program just eliminated it? How long would you be in business if you produced a car, or a suitcase, or anything, if no one wanted to finance your operation or buy the product?

Athas Capital Group sent out a note that represented many. “Market liquidity is currently volatile to nonexistent, with uncertainty of funding, selling, and securitization. In response, Athas Capital Group is focusing its efforts working with capital markets and banking partners, as well as industry leaders, to determine the anticipated target state of mortgage lending and secondary market appetite. To accomplish (this), we are temporarily suspending all new lending activity in order to determine the appropriate products and programs for our customers moving forward. We appreciate your patience during this challenging time, as these steps are necessary to restoring stability to an otherwise unstable Non-QM lending environment…”

A loss of liquidity is the fastest way to close a company. If you don’t have a market for your production, or Is this 2008 all over again? Perhaps, or worse, since in 2008 we weren’t faced with a worldwide health crisis and political strife in the United States. it being an unprecedented time of market volatility and disruption in the financial markets. Rumors are rampant about companies ceasing taking locks in anything non-Agency, especially non-QM and jumbo. It is indeed reminiscent of 2008 when the lenders would lose their warehouse lines overnight and close the doors.

Over the weekend the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Conference of State Bank Supervisors, CFPB, FDIC, the National Credit Union Administration, and the OCC reminded institutions to “work constructively” with borrowers impacted by the coronavirus. “The agencies encourage financial institutions to work with borrowers, will not criticize institutions for doing so in a safe and sound manner, and will not direct supervised institutions to automatically categorize loan modifications as troubled debt restructurings (TDRs).”

Caliber? “Like so many others in the industry who have opted to not accept applications for Non-QM loans, we are temporarily no longer accepting applications for our Caliber Portfolio Lending (CPL) product suite. But to be clear: Outside of CPL, we are open for business and we are lending robustly!… Effective immediately, Caliber is temporarily suspending Caliber Portfolio Lending (CPL) new submissions and locks. For any loans in the pipeline we will issue additional clarifications by Monday morning, March 23.”

Ginnie Mae has added “Ginnie Mae Statement on Covid-19”.

Due to market volatility, Alabama Housing Finance Authority (AHFA) is suspending acceptance of new reservations effective immediately. Updates will be sent when the acceptance of reservations resume.

Lakeview Correspondent posted COVID-19-02. This announcement covers updated COVID-19 Correspondent FAQs.

AmeriHome is suspending the Core Jumbo and Non-QM Income Flex programs. No new locks/commitments will be accepted.

Effective immediately, the MWF Jumbo A Product will be temporarily suspended. This product is currently not available for new registration or locks. Loans under existing locks/commitments will continue to be processed. Lock/commitment extensions will not be granted. MWF will remove this suspension as soon as conditions permit.

“Due to illiquidity in the markets, Land Home Financial Services, Inc our Expanded (Non-QM) programs. As of now, we are temporarily suspending new locks, submissions and approvals on the following programs: Expanded Suspended Product Lines – Peak, Flex, Alpine and Select We value your business and recognize this may cause a disruption…”

Guild Mortgage published Memo PO20-03-20 COVID-19 specifying the temporary suspension of certain products and measures taken, effective immediately, regarding Conventional Refinance Loans in the state of CA, NV, and PA.

Wells Fargo Funding weighed in on the potential disruption of the ability to obtain verification of employment (VOEs) caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Wells noted it is actively working with industry peers and partners on options and will communicate guidance as soon information is received. It updated its Non-Conforming underwriting guidelines to clarify documentation timing requirements for income, assets, collateral, and verbal verification of employment (verbal VOE) requirements.

The Fifth Third Trading Desk will begin closing at 4:00PM ET daily effective immediately. All bid sheet business must be concluded prior to the early close.

loanDepot Wholesale/Correspondent discontinued its jumbo and non-QM product. It posted an Announcement regarding its loanDepot Advantage Programs, Jumbo Advantage, Credit Advantage and Non-Borrower Spouse Debt in Community Property States.

Join MCT on Monday, March 23rd at 1:00PM Pacific for a 30-minute webinar on MCT’s response to the coronavirus. MCT remains fully operational but recognizes the need for increased communication during this time.

David Burner, Strategic Planning and Partnership Manager with Notarize, sent, “I’ve heard some really concerning chatter in the industry around folks using Skype/FaceTime in an attempt to conduct remote online notarizations (RON). Lenders need to know that this is not an acceptable way to conduct a RON session because that technology does not support any of the requirements that the existing legislation requires for compliant RON transactions. As lenders evaluate RON technology as a strategy for business continuity in the time of COVID-19 and social distancing, the MISMO RON standards give them a playbook to understand what to ask potential vendors while they do their due diligence to make sure they’re working with a compliant RON solution provider. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also have great resources available to support their efforts.”

Mountain West Financial told its brokers, “Due to the increasing confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., Mortgage Works LLC has proactively implemented our Business Continuity Plan. Accordingly, our customer support and quality specialists are already set up and successfully working from home. This will ensure that our team members and communities are safe. It also mitigates the risk to our daily operations and ensures we are able to deliver sustained service to our customers.

In a recent AmeriHome message, the mortgagor relayed its’ dedication to the protection of employees, clients, and communities, as well as to ensure business continuity. “Our thoughts are with those affected by this virus. In accordance with recommendations from the CDC and local governments, we have suspended all business travel and internal events, and the vast majority of our staff has moved to secure, remote workstations. Despite these adjustments, we have maintained our productivity and service levels. Our Operations Account Representatives, Account Managers, Sales Representatives, and the entire AmeriHome team are available and ready to help”.

And last week, disastrous for the non-QM sector and partially jumbo sector, Angel Oak, Redwood Trust, SG Capital, NewRez, Caliber, Sprout, Deephaven, Verus, Galton, PRMG, and AmWest Funding all made announcements or notified clients privately.

Capital markets

People are scared, investors are nervous, and with products disappearing and the volatility, lenders are pricing defensively. Despite the NY Fed coming to the rescue of the markets last week (heavy treasury buying across the curve, extending asset purchases to include short-term munis as part of the Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility, and extending FX swap lines to daily from weekly with a number of central banks), the CBOE Volatility Index, known as the “fear gauge,” is almost back to 2008 levels. Most everybody was taken aback by the stock market collapse last week, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing more than 30 percent of its value, wiping out all of its gains since President Trump took office over three years ago. Economists are predicting that the U.S. economy will shrink anywhere from 12 to 24 percent in the second quarter, but until the virus is contained, who knows?

Monday has very little going on in terms of economic news (Chicago Fed National Activity Index for February, rebounding to +.16). With no other economic data of note today, things pick back up tomorrow with New Home Sales for February. Economic releases continue Wednesday with Durable Orders for February and the FHFA Housing Price Index for March, before Thursday brings advance indicators and the third estimate of Q4 GDP. The week closes with Personal Income and Spending for February, the PCE Price Index and final March University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment. We begin today with Agency MBS prices better by 1-1.5 points and the 10-year yielding 0.76 percent after closing last week at 0.94 percent.

I’ve begun my quarantine exercise routine. When you do squats, are your knees supposed to sound like a goat chewing on an aluminum can stuffed with celery?

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, “Drinking from a Firehose is Not a Long Term Business Model” 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.)