Nov. 18: Lenders wanted; licensing, loan data, non-QM products; customer service survey; no Fed move ’til April?

Do you dread “Smonday?” (That’s when Sunday stops feeling like a Sunday, and the anxiety of Monday kicks in.) Here is something to dread. All this talk about MLOs losing their jobs to automation, or real estate agents losing their job to internet options. Automation, algorithms, and artificial intelligence have already reduced the amount of human labor in specialty manufacturing, warehouse parcel delivery and resume screening. A new report from analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch estimates the rise of automation could make up to 800 million jobs (nearly half of all jobs worldwide) obsolete by 2035. Guess we’ll all sit around playing Sudoku and selling Hot Wheels or Matchbox sets back and forth on eBay. Seriously, the personal touch is critical in lending. I guess it isn’t in warehouse parcel delivery.

Employment

Guaranteed Rate is seeking acquisition opportunities nationwide. Licensed in all 50 states, Guaranteed Rate is on a mission to find the right partners to expand market share across the U.S. The ideal situation is to acquire mortgage companies originating between $200M and $10B annually that are looking to maximize their profitability and revenue by implementing best-in-class pricing, lower corporate cost per loan, world-class technology, marketing, recruiting, and business development resources. Allow us to handle the logistics of the business with our proven model and technology that provides companies with the opportunity to focus on growing their business. Interested parties please e-mail Mark Filler and specify this listing.

Guaranteed Rate Affinity announced that Jon Altizer has joined the company as an SVP of Mortgage Lending to focus on loan origination for Guaranteed Rate Affinity and bolster his relationships with real estate agents in the region.

Lender services and products

First Tennessee Warehouse Lending is now First Horizon Bank Warehouse Lending, named after its parent First Horizon National Corporation. Once the recently announced merger with Iberia Bank is complete, the combined First Horizon Bank, headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, will have $75B in assets and will continue to serve mortgage bankers throughout the nation. First Horizon Bank (formerly First Tennessee) has nearly 300 mortgage warehouse clients and over $8 billion in active warehouse lines. If you have recently had reliability issues with your warehouse bank, or if you need better or additional warehouse capacity, please give us a call.  We listen and we understand. Contact Scott Walker (901-759-7770).

Here’s a true story about the power of personalized marketing automation: On a Mortgage Company’s Production Cruise in 2003 one of the winners slipped near the pool and landed on the back of his head. He was unconscious for 20 minutes, but when he woke up, he felt fine. Turns out he wasn’t fine. In fact, he almost died and spent a year in the hospital. The crazy thing is he did $12 million in production that year. How? He had great relationships, a great assistant, and his marketing was automated. His Realtors and Customers had no idea he was even sick. They continued to get great service from his assistant and targeted, personalized marketing from Usherpa. According to the Loan Officer, “Without Usherpa, I’d be out of business.” Killer Content sent to the right people at the right time with the right message: Usherpa.com

 

In today’s marketplace, loan originators need the right tools to navigate non-QM products to increase loan volume and serve more customers. LoanNEX has the answer. The LoanNEX Qualifier is designed specifically to serve the expanded credit market, and is pleased to announce the addition of Luxury, Angel Oak and Sprout to the LoanNEX platform joining Caliber, Deephaven, NewRez, NewFi, Silvergate, SG Capital, and Verus. Larry Maitlin, of Luxury’s Correspondent Lending Division said: “Luxury is focused on ease of use in the Non-QM loan manufacturing process. With the addition of the LoanNEX platform, our correspondent lenders are able to quickly and confidently find a fit for their borrowers across Luxury’s Non-QM loan programs.” The platform is a free service to correspondent sellers. LoanNEX is serving over 200 sellers and is pricing over $1.5 billion of expanded credit loans monthly. For more information, email sales@loannex.com or click to request a demo.

Caliber Home Loans, Inc. is launching “Caliber HomeRate Advantage” a new strategy that improves the most competitive segments of our rate sheets. Caliber believes this is an opportunity to help our Loan Consultants target and grow their production. That’s how Caliber Rules Retail! Visit us online or email Brian Miller today to learn more.

Mortgage Intelligence Platform allows mortgage professionals to visualize their loan data in real-time! We already told you about how X-Ray transforms massive amounts of information on loans, leads and accounting from your loan operating systems, into easy-to-understand, readily available analytics and reports that drive top-level decisions at mortgage companies/branches. The new version of the dashboard features three new benchmarking tools that help you quickly get accurate reads on the close of loans and projected close rates. It also features a goal report based on historical performances. These benchmarking tools give you the ability to forecast in real time at the touch of a button from a smartphone or tablet. If you haven’t checked X-Ray out yet, sign up for a demo.

CLOES.online presents Deb Killian introducing Mortgage Professional Practices, a post-licensing course focused on day-to-day skills in originating. Comprised of 18 video sessions, case studies and continuous assessment, the course elevates loan originator education to increase practical knowledge and competency in origination activities. Loan originators learn “Best Practices” in originating and closing loans into the 2020’s. Mortgage Professional Practices is part of the Mortgage Professional Certification program, 60-hours of comprehensive origination competencies providing detailed instructions for each step through the mortgage process. This cost-effective program compliments internal training, providing a foundation for all originators. Assessments identify knowledge gaps and aid in evaluating originator performance. Consistent delivery insures all employees learn the same content in the same way. Courses offered on demand, on any device, any time. Contact Deb Killian to learn about using CLOES.online as part of your training program.  Charter Oak Systems, LLC, NMLS Approved Provider #1405047

Customer satisfaction is what its all about

STRATMOR Group would like to congratulate the top performers in the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study, including MortgageSAT client Guild Mortgage, a “Top 3” lender for the third consecutive year. The study included 20 lenders with results representing 4,602 borrowers. Special mention goes to PrimeLending who placed fourth in the 2018 study and had higher scores in 2019 but missed the sample size cutoff this year. STRATMOR also extends congratulations to mid-size IMBs like Certainty Home Loans and Universal Lending Corporation whose samples size may not have met the J.D Power cutoff, but whose results, according to data from STRATMOR’s MortgageSAT Borrowers Satisfaction Program of more than 40 lenders and 100,000 borrower survey respondents YTD, shine along with those of the very top J.D. Power performers.

Colorado CHFA FHA Streamline Refinance Program is now available with PRMG. A pre-recorded training webinar can be accessed at the PRMG University YouTube channel.

First American announced the launch of Endpoint, a mobile-first title and escrow company that provides a re-imagined closing experience for buyers, sellers and their real estate agents. “Developed as a new stand-alone company, Endpoint combines First American’s title and settlement expertise with the innovative approach of an agile startup to provide a digital real estate closing experience from start to finish. First American has invested $30 million to drive the company’s development and growth.” “Our investment in Endpoint reflects our commitment to developing innovative, state-of-the-art technologies that improve the process of transacting real estate.” said Dennis Gilmore, CEO at First American Financial Corporation.

HouseThis rolled out an app for your computer or mobile device at www.HouseThis.app as well as the Chrome extension that integrates our app into Zillow and Trulia. “We just announced that the HouseThis neighborhood app is now available on Amazon Alexa. You can now ask Alexa to provide real estate information about a specific zip code/area. Open Alexa Skills page on your mobile device or go to  https://www.amazon.com/alexa-skills/ on your computer. In the skills search field type in: HouseThis.”

eOriginal Inc. has launched ClosingCenter a cloud-based solution designed to deliver a simple and intuitive closing experience for lenders, borrowers and settlement agents. “ClosingCenter was designed to deliver the closing experience the mortgage market is demanding. We’ve made it simple to use and scalable to grow transaction volumes over time, and it’s built on our open platform to integrate with doc prep providers and other solution extensions,” says Simon Moir, Chief Product Officer at eOriginal.

Capital markets

As we move towards the end of the year, one question concerning the economy seems to be whether consumer spending will continue to support expansion or will slowing global growth and a manufacturing recession spill over into the rest of the economy. Strong consumption, buoyed by the lowest unemployment in nearly 50 years, has offset declining capital expenditures and a prolonged downturn in manufacturing. Although retail sales increased more expected in October, the details were not as rosy. Increasing motor vehicle costs made up for a nearly 600,000 decline in unit auto sales and rising gasoline prices helped to bolster the official gas station sales figure. Manufacturing output continued its downward trend which began last December, but analysts are hopeful for a rebound in November’s data now that the GM strike has ended. Inflation at the core level remains under control for both producers and consumers. Both measures of inflation were well below the Fed’s target over the last twelve months. In recent testimony before Congress, Fed Chair Jay Powell indicated a desire to leave the Fed Funds rate steady, however the Fed would lower again if economic conditions worsen. Currently, the markets expect the Fed Funds rate to remain steady until April.

Put another way, consumer spending continues to be a bright spot for the US economy, but it is likely not expanding enough to warrant increasing business investment. Retail sales rose in October, offsetting September’s decline. The increase was due in part to higher gasoline and motor vehicle prices. Consumer inflation increased 0.4% during the month, the quickest rate over the last eight months, however core CPI was up only 0.2 percent. Interestingly, prices for the consumer goods subject to the recent 15 percent tariffs which went into effect in September, such as apparel and household furnishings, declined during the month. Producer prices also increased during October, but industrial production fell last month as slowing global growth and trade uncertainty took their toll. Additionally, the numbers were negatively affected by the GM strike, which ended towards the end of the month as well as the ongoing Boeing 737 Max issues. Mining has also come under pressure as declining energy prices over the last year weighed on capital investment by energy producers.

U.S. Treasuries ended an abbreviated last week pulling back slightly, including the 10-year yield closing +2 bps to 1.83 percent. Markets were forced to react to scant progress on the trade front (though this was disputed by several officials from the Trump Administration), and make of Fed Chair Powell’s testimony before Congress what they wished.

The Fed’s goal is to maintain both full employment and low and stable inflation, though the traditional indicators may be more unreliable tools than ever. Officials have long believed that very low joblessness would quickly push prices higher, but the historically low current rate of unemployment coupled with slow wage growth and inflation remaining well below the Fed’s 2 percent goal has challenged that notion. Federal Reserve Chair Powell painted an optimistic picture of the United States economy before Congress, though he warned that threats to the economic outlook, such as sluggish growth abroad and trade developments, persist.

 

The United States’ central bank has cut interest rates three times since late July, in the hope consumers, the main engine of economic growth, keep spending. The Fed now appears more comfortable than it once was maintaining a seemingly tight labor market, which could keep it from rushing to raise rates out of fear that prices might take off. In terms of future rate cuts, the Fed appears to be in wait-and see mode going forward. Fed Chair Powell pinpointed unemployment in this regard, saying it appears the economy can operate at a much lower level of unemployment than many would have thought, and that the Fed may not know where maximum employment precisely is.

Turning to this pre-Thanksgiving week, today’s calendar begins later this morning with the NAHB Housing Market Index for November. That is the only economic release of the day outside of TIC data for September, though Cleveland Fed’s Mester speaks. The Fed will conduct its usual buying, one of three this week (Wednesday and Friday) targeting up to $2.724 billion MBS when they purchase up to $1.604 billion UMBS30 2.5 percent ($531 million) and 3 percent ($1.151 billion). Tomorrow sees October Housing Starts and Building Permits before markets receive October FOMC Minutes in the midweek session. Slated for Thursday is the November Philadelphia Fed Survey, October Existing Home Sales, and October Leading Indicators, in addition to Class D 48-hours and the announcement of month-end 2-, 5- and 7-year notes along with reopened 2-year FRN. The week closes with Final November Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey. We begin today with Agency MBS prices better by a few ticks (32nds) and the 10-year yielding 1.83%.

Thanksgiving, already just next week! Let the pranks appear.

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, “Fannie & Freddie: A Snapshot” 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 hundreds of 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 2019 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.)