May 7: Retail, CFO & Ops jobs; Fannie & Freddie status; training & events; comments on CFPB’s recent study; fraud investigator accused of fraud

Rob Chrisman

Rob Chrisman began his career in mortgage banking – primarily capital markets – 31 years ago in 1985 with First California Mortgage, assisting in Secondary Marketing until 1988, when he joined Tuttle & Co., a leading mortgage pipeline risk management firm. He was an account manager and partner at Tuttle & Co. until 1996, when he moved to Scotland with his family for 9 months. Read more...

For aging LOs and real estate agents, a report by Genworth Financial finds the median bill for 1 year in a nursing home is now $91,250 vs. $87,600 one year prior, but that costs vary widely by state. The highest was AK at $281,415, but was only $60,225 in OK. Meanwhile, the median cost of an assisted-living facility was $43,200 and 1 year of visits from home health aides was $45,760.

 

In retail job news Firstrust Bank in Philadelphia is looking to grow its retail origination teams in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.  Founded in 1934 Firstrust is a privately owned bank with assets in excess of $2.6 billion. With 19 branches in the Southeastern PA and Southern NJ market Firsttrust is looking to expand their retail origination team to support the banks growth and existing customer base. A local processing and underwriting team provides originators with an unusual advantage of quality customer service and local expertise. Management is seeking experienced Loan Originators who have an understanding of Fannie, Freddie, FHA, VA, jumbo lending and portfolio products – confidential inquires may be sent to Kelley Tyrell.

 

A 20 year old company in the northeast is looking for an experienced CFO. The company is a Ginnie, Fannie, and Freddie approved lender, issuer and servicer with a large servicing portfolio. 100% of all loans are servicing retained and the company is currently funding $1B per month in loan originations through correspondent, third party origination and retail channels. Candidate should have experience with raising capital from institutional investors. IPO or REIT experience is a plus. Candidate should also have experience with agency loan servicing. If you are interested please forward your resume to me at rchrisman@robchrisman.com.

 

And three thousand miles away California’s Paramount Equity Mortgage, is expanding its lending footprint. “We are looking for either a Sr. Licensing Coordinator or Licensing Manager, depending on the applicant’s level of experience.  Our projected expansion into 15 additional states this year will require you to hit the ground running as a productive addition to our licensing team, so mortgage licensing experience is a must. This position will be located in our Roseville, CA headquarters. Paramount Equity Mortgage was founded in 2003, and we are committed to making a positive impact in the lives of our customers and employees.  We aren’t just another mortgage company – we’re a family that’s dedicated to your success!  We have been awarded the A+ Employers’ Award by the Sacramento Business Journal 7 of the last 9 years, recognizing Paramount Equity Mortgage as an exceptional place to work.  If you are interested in being part of an amazing team, please send your cover letter and resume to Paul Ueckert.”

 

In other company-specific news, Mercury Network was acquired by Serent Capital, a leading San Francisco-based private equity firm that invests in high growth, profitable businesses. Prior to the acquisition, Mercury Network (a valuation vendor management platform) was a subsidiary of a la mode, inc., a technology leader for the financial services industry. “Mercury Network’s SaaS platform is used by mortgage lenders and appraisal management companies to manage compliance and workflow for more than 20,000 appraisal transactions a day.  A 375% customer growth trajectory over the past 4 years with a remarkable 93% retention rate, combined with a reputation for customer-focused innovation, positions Mercury Network as the leader in the space in terms of technology excellence and client service.”

 

Fannie Mae had a good first quarter and announced it will pay the Treasury Department $1.8 billion after reporting net income of $1.9 billion for the first quarter. (Kind of like a kid earning money mowing lawns and then having to give it all to his parents who in turn give him a pat on the head?) Fannie will have returned $138.2 billion to the federal government after it makes the payment next month, according to a regulatory filing Thursday.

 

This is on the heels of Freddie Mac announcing it will send $746 million to the Treasury Department next month after reporting first-quarter net income of $524 million. After the payment it will have returned $92.6 billion – far beyond what the company received in federal aid to stay afloat during the credit crisis.

 

F&F are required to pay the Treasury all profits above a minimum net worth under terms established after they were seized by regulators. The money counts as a return on the U.S. investment and not as repayment for the aid, leaving no existing mechanism for them to exit government control. Freddie and Fannie own or guarantee about half of all U.S. mortgages, worth about $5 trillion. Along with other federal agencies, they back roughly 90 percent of new home loans.

 

In a slight twist, in its filing Freddie Mac also said that the company’s regulator had informed its board that they could propose adjusting CEO Layton’s pay, which totaled $600,000 last year. Heck, a good AE or LO could earn that much, right? But regulators and politicians don’t like it when others earn more money than they do. This was Freddie Mac’s 14th straight profitable quarter.

 

What is the public seeing about Fannie & Freddie? Here’s an opinion piece about “Frannie” in U.S. News & World Report. “FHFA needs to restore the enterprises to a safe and sound condition before they can be safely replaced with other sources of mortgage capital.”

 

The publication of the Collingwood Group’s Mortgage Industry Outlook Report raises the question: will private capital dry up in the absence of GSE reform? According to the survey, the biggest risk for keeping the GSEs as-is, is private capital abandoning the space. Due to the provisional QM exemption and government guarantee, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s pricing is more aggressive than pure private sources. Some of the industry professionals suggested combing the GSEs into one entity, while others said the biggest risk is using the GSEs as a political puppet or as a bank to fund budget deficits.

 

For some upcoming training and events…

 

TRG has just launched their “Ready For It!” YouTube channel, which has a four-part training series on the upcoming CFPB changes.  The topics covered include the Loan Estimate, Closing Disclosure and tolerance levels.  This is a great resource for agents and loan officers to familiarize themselves with what’s coming August 1st.

 

In Northern CA Silicon Valley CAMP is hosting annual Mini Fair this Friday in Campbell Community Center: two breakout sessions featuring Compliance and TRID. More than 30 lenders and vendors are in the trade show to give mortgage professionals options when helping clients. It’s free for members but pre-register required. Mini Fair includes Taco Lunch, Happy Hour and Apple Watch as grand raffle prize. Lots of other raffle items and the proceeds goes to PAC fund and State Lobby Day!

 

The MGIC May Training Calendar has posted. Webinars for the month include: Reviewing an Appraisal, Evaluating Income and Assets, LinkedIn Strategies for Loan Officers, MI Basics, AGI Method Basic and Advanced, SAM Method Basic and Advanced, TRID, as well as recorded webinars on numerous mortgage topics.

 

The National Association of Professional Mortgage Women announced it is expanding its educational offerings, and extending its outreach by partnering on two growing national conferences. The NAPMW is taking leading positions with the Ultimate Mortgage Expo being held June 22-24 in New Orleans and with The Mortgage Star Conference, a unique leadership event for women in the mortgage profession, being held this year on Nov. 18-19 at the Canyons Resort in Park City, Utah.

 

On May 14th in San Diego, NewLeaf Wholesale is conducting Why, What and How of Selling Agents on the TRID Rules – What You Must Know in its TRID Training Workshop.

 

Skipping to regulator news…

 

In Connecticut: “State Fraud Investigator Accused Of Mortgage Fraud.” You can’t make this stuff up!

 

I received dozens of e-mails yesterday focused on the CFPB. None of them were complimentary after news was released that the CFPB found that 26 million Americans are “credit invisible,” meaning they do not have any credit history with a nationwide consumer reporting agency. The report also found that Black & Hispanic consumers, and consumers in low-income neighborhoods are more likely to have no credit history with a nationwide consumer reporting agency or not enough current credit history to produce a credit score. Director Richard Cordray was quoted saying, “Today’s report sheds light on the millions of Americans who are credit invisible…A limited credit history can create real barriers for consumers looking to access the credit that is often so essential to meaningful opportunity—to get an education, start a business, or buy a house. Further, some of the most economically vulnerable consumers are more likely to be credit invisible.”

 

A small sample of the e-mails I received from around the country:

 

“Millions don’t have credit.  Ya think? What can the CFPB do about this? Force everyone to get a charge card and use it? How about allowing use of alternative credit to obtain a reasonable mortgage loan. I now believe there is NO ONE within the halls of the CFPB that has any common sense. Mr. Cordray may know a lot of worthless trivia, but knows nothing about common every day life.”

 

“Sadly, the fact the CFPB had to spend Federal Reserve money and had to do a study to figure this out is disgusting. What the regulators should have spent their time and manpower doing is a study to find the negative and positive impacts of the CFPB’s rules on minorities and lower income. Ironically, it is my understanding that a study of that nature is required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act over at SBA.”

 

“Dear CFPB – thank you for ‘shedding light’ on this insightful news. I have heard rumors that some people don’t have bank accounts, some use money clips instead of wallets, the vast majority of the population doesn’t own individual stocks, and that some bank branches don’t serve ice water to their customers waiting in line. Can you please study these disturbing trends and report back.”
“Ask any experienced lender: not everyone deserves credit, and not everyone deserves to be able to buy a house. The CFPB has no skin in the game if a loan goes bad. At some point the growing number of lending rules and regulations will backfire on the government – the same government that encouraged lenders to lend fifteen years ago. As you noted in your commentary Saturday, ‘Regulatory confusion and lenders running scared have made this a net negative for the same consumers regulators are supposed to be trying to protect.’”

 

Meanwhile in the markets, stocks are back to where they were at the beginning of the year, rates have been creeping up, locks have been slower, and management teams are starting to analyze changing margins as processing backlogs clear away. Bond prices sank, and rates moved higher, Wednesday despite weaker-than-expected economic data and instability in equity markets that could have prompted bond buying under other circumstances. The ADP Employment Change in April was +169k – lower than estimates. Non-farm business productivity declined while unit labor costs increased.

 

Maybe what did it was nervousness ahead of tomorrow’s unemployment number combined with some comments from Janet Yellen. She said that equity valuations are “generally quite high…and there are potential dangers there.” Yellen also said that “long-term interest rates are at very low levels…we could see a sharp jump in long-term rates” when the Fed begins its tightening cycle. Greece successfully made a 200 million euro payment to the IMF – peace and economic tranquility overseas will also nudge US rates higher.

 

If there is any good news it is that agency MBS rates are doing better in the selloff than Treasury rates. The yield curve (a graph of the yields on risk-free Treasury securities from overnight to 30 years) has steepened significantly in May but the demand for MBS – much of it by the Fed – is keeping mortgage prices decent on a relative basis.

 

This morning we’ve had the only substantive scheduled economic news: Jobless Claims. They were +3k to 265k – kind of a non-event. For rates we closed Wednesday at 2.24% on the 10-yr and this morning we’re at 2.23% with agency MBS prices better by .125.

 

 

A loan officer from Arizona was unemployed.

He could not find a job so he opened a medical clinic and puts a sign up outside: “Get your treatment for $500, if not successfully treated get back $1,000.”

One Realtor thinks this is a good opportunity to earn $1,000 and goes to his clinic.

Realtor: “I have lost taste in my mouth.”

LO: “Nurse, please bring medicine from box 22 and put 3 drops in the patient’s mouth.”

Realtor, tasting it: “This is gasoline!”

LO: “Congratulations! You’ve got your taste back. That will be $500.”

The Realtor pays but is annoyed and goes back after a couple of days later to recover his money.

Realtor: “I have lost my memory, I cannot remember anything.”

LO: “Nurse, please bring medicine from box 22 and put 3 drops in the patient’s mouth.”

Realtor: “But that is gasoline!”

LO: “Congratulations! You’ve got your memory back. That will be $500.”

The Realtor pays again but leaves angrily and comes back after several more days.

Realtor: “My eyesight has become weak.”

LO: “Well, I don’t have any medicine for this. Take this $1,000.”

Realtor: “But this is $500!”

LO: “Congratulations! You got your vision back! That will be $500.”

 

 

Rob

 

(Copyright 2015 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.)