From Twitter: “When self-driving cars become mainstream, dead old people will occasionally just arrive places.” Morbid humor aside, will it really help traffic when cars are programmed to take laps around city blocks rather than look, and pay, for parking? Speaking of city blocks, how’s your jumbo product? If you’re an independent/non-depository mortgage bank, the odds are your jumbo pricing doesn’t stack up too well against the bank pricing that are out there. Those darned portfolio products! What about the really big home loans, say, $10-20 million? There are only 230 of them out there, mostly funded in the last six years, mostly refinances, and mostly ARMs. Closing one would sure make your day, huh?


For loan officers, “Premier Nationwide Lending is pleased to announce that National Mortgage News ranked us as the 22nd Best Mortgage Company on their inaugural 2019 Best Mortgage Companies to Work for List. The Awards Program identifies and recognizes the Best Employers in the Industry based on exhaustive employee surveys and employer reports on benefits. “We are an inclusive company committed to providing our employees the best possible culture, benefits and professional work environment. Our success depends upon our staff and exceeding client expectations, one loan at a time,” stated Murdock Richard, CEO. If you are interested in joining one of the Best Workplaces in the industry with a 4.95 out of 5.0-star verified Social Survey rating by thousands of happy clients, contact Joe Collins or John Hammonds.

Those interested in a growth-oriented career with ClearEdge Lending in the Arizona area should email Matt Shaw for inside and outside sales positions and Sandy Simmons for loan disclosure specialist and closer/funder positions. Visit the Careers Page for more information. (See more information a few paragraphs down.)

Lender products & services

Galton Funding specializes in the acquisition of 1st and 2nd lien Non-Agency QM and Non-QM residential mortgage loans focused on Prime and Near Prime credit borrowers significantly lowered their base rates. Check out Galton’s expanded loan features including non-owner, cashout to 95% LTV, I/O and > 80% LTV no MI options; streamlined 1st and 2nd lien programs utilizing a FNMA DU cert; and full and alternative documentation alternatives. Galton has improved rates across the board across ALL products including A+ credit grade (Full Doc- material rate improvements < 660 credit score and > 80% LTV), A credit grade Full/Alt Doc (major improvements especially above 65% LTV…lowering rates an average of 80bps!), A+ credit grade (Alt Doc – largest improvements over 65% LTV and over 660 credit score), and Streamline 2nd Liens (SL2 – .25% rate reduction). Contact Galton’s Business Development team at to learn more about their programs.

Looking for ways to grow your business? Freddie Mac is collaborating with clients to deliver automation and insights that provide a competitive edge. Cut back on documentation and reduce time to close with Loan Product Advisor® automated income and asset assessment capabilities. Save borrowers time and money with ACE appraisal waivers, now available for certain condo unit loans. Grow your condo business with Freddie Mac’s unit-level condo exception tool, Condo Project AdvisorSM. Get greater efficiency with simpler collateral QC and underwriting in Loan Collateral Advisor® Get The Freddie EdgeSM.

ClearEdge Lending is service driven wholesale Non-QM firm that sets itself apart by focusing on simplicity and speed at point-of-sale. Our clients have recently told us, ‘We went from submission to docs in 8 business days with a very good fixed rate.’ (Broker, Riverside, CA.) ClearEdge issues LEs/CDs, full underwrites, loan scenario requests, or bank statement reviews completed same day or next dayWe do not offer retail lending and we are a true end-investor which allows us to make critical credit decisions, same day. Those interested in a growth-oriented career with ClearEdge Lending in the Arizona area should email Matt Shaw for inside and outside sales positions, and Sandy Simmons for loan disclosure specialist and closer/funder positions. Visit our Careers Page for more information. We are accepting new brokers to join ClearEdge Lending team, get approved today.”

Thinking about how to make your goals come true now that the new year is in full swing?

Join Sierra Pacific Mortgage as they host a webinar on Optimizing LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network. You’ll learn tactics specific to LinkedIn, but you’ll find that the brand and marketing lessons are transferable to your other social media platforms as well. Don’t miss this opportunity to increase your online brand persona. Register now for Wednesday, February 20th.

Today’s home buyers are taking matters into their own hands to research their problems, weigh solutions and potentially eliminate any interaction they would have with a loan officer. To up the stakes even more, 65 percent of consumers have cut ties with a brand after just

one subpar experience. What’s the key to being successful in the Amazon, Uber and Netflix era? Organizations must revamp their sales and marketing strategies and re-think how they interact with their customers – including lenders and their loan officers. Read the Total Expert blog: More Transactions, Less Transactional Selling.

Optimal Blue’s digital loan trading platform, Resitrader, has achieved unprecedented growth in 2018 – leading the industry in the number of participating sellers and overall trading volume. The company has reported that they expect to reach 200 sellers and $6–8 billion in monthly traded volume by summer 2019. The growth has been attributed to the rapid expansion of trading functionality and overall platform capabilities. By example, Resitrader now includes robust APIs designed to create lights-out integrations with investors’ in-house systems to automate offer pick-up, bid return and trade confirmations. Furthermore, with the addition of new loan products including non-QM, Jumbo, and HELOCs, and CRA loans, Resitrader expands the value they deliver as a unified trading platform to originators, investors, other hedge advisory firms, and the industry as a whole.

BCG has released its first industry white paper of 2019 on the next wave of digital transformation in mortgage. The paper analyzes mortgage market conditions, details how many lenders are using digital solutions to establish differentiated value propositions, and provides initial results observed from new solutions by review data from Blend, a leading lending platform that processes more than 100,000 applications per month and is used by more than 125 lenders nationwide. The next generation of homebuyers wants a digital-first experience from end-to-end. The paper takes a close look at how digital solutions are poised to help lenders fight their way through tough times ahead. View the white paper here.

Conventional conforming changes continue

Yesterday, we incorrectly reported that, “American Financial Resources had discontinued its Home Possible Advantage product line(s)” and apologize for any confusion. In fact, AFR continues to offer this product. To further clarify, Freddie Mac combined their Home Possible and Home Possible Advantage programs in October, and the program is now referred to as Home Possible. For more information about Home Possible or other GSE programs, contact (800-375-6071).

U.S. Bank Global Corporate Trust is now partnering with Fannie Mae to pilot its new certification system, which includes the ability to provide whole loan certification services. U.S. Bank is one of the first organizations approved by Fannie Mae to provide the service. Joe Giordano, president of U.S. Bank Global Corporate Trust says, “As an established document custodian committed to the mortgage industry, we are dedicated to the safekeeping of important documents for our clients. We are known for working with our clients one-on-one to understand their unique requirements and deliver customized, proactive strategies to help meet their objectives.”

During the weekend of March 23, Fannie Mae will implement an update to Desktop Underwriter® (DU®) Version 10.3. This update will simplify and consolidate DU validation service messages – 11 new messages will replace 41 existing messages. This release also will include updates to the HomeReady® Area Median Income (AMI) determination, messaging about properties located in disaster-impacted areas, the DU Underwriting Findings report, and other changes to align with the Selling Guide. If you would like more information, read its

Release Notes.

Freddie Mac has closed its first Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Fund with Enterprise Community Investment, Inc. and its first equity investment within that fund. The closing marks Freddie’s re-entry to the LIHTC (or Housing Credit) market, which finances the overwhelming majority of the country’s affordable rental housing. The Fund has already begun to finance much-needed affordable housing. Freddie Mac and Enterprise also announced an $8.2 million investment in Wintergreen West, which will provide 40 apartment homes for residents of Summit County, Colorado, a rural area 75 miles west of Denver. The units will range from one- to three-bedrooms and offer homes to people making between 30 and 60 percent of the area’s median income. Currently, it is difficult for low- and moderate-income residents to find affordable homes in the area, and short-term rentals have exacerbated the challenge.

AmeriHome is now accepting “eligible” income, employment, and asset verifications generated by the Freddie Mac automated Asset and Income Modeler (AIM).

The mortgage industry is increasingly using digital technologies to reduce errors and costs, speed up transactions, and drive richer and better customer service. Fannie Mae recently surveyed senior mortgage executives to better understand lenders’ views about artificial intelligence and machine learning technology, including their adoption objectives, implementation challenges, and which application ideas are most appealing.

FAMC updated its Conforming Fixed 97 Product to include Freddie Mac’s new HomeOne Mortgage offering. Loans may be locked using this updated product called Agency Conforming Fixes Rate 97.

Freddie Mac announced new Loan Selling Advisor® warning edits to prevent delivery of Investor Feature Identifiers for cash specified payups for low loan balance loans, and for the data point Due Date of Last Paid Installment (ULDD Data Point Last Paid Installment Due Date, Sort ID 440). Also added, a new purchase statement data export capability and clarified the instructions for cash specified pool type selection for super conforming mortgages. Read the Single-Family News Center Article for more information.

Franklin American Mortgage has updated its Home Possible Fixed Rate guidelines to now permit non-occupant co-borrower with an LTV/CLTV*/HCLTV less than or equal to 95%. *CLTV of 105% is permitted with an eligible Affordable/Community Second. Note that income from non-occupant co-borrowers must be considered in the program income limits.

Mortgage Solution Financial posted an announcement regarding DU Refi Plus/LP Open Access Discontinuation.

Events in the next couple weeks

Help your low- to moderate-income borrowers achieve their new year’s resolution of becoming a homeowner in 2019 by offering a HomeReady® mortgage. It may be a better solution for their homebuying needs with a down payment as little as 3% and innovative income flexibilities. Join us on February 14 at 2 p.m. ET for a live webinar geared toward loan officers (but open to all lenders and housing professionals). This webinar will demonstrate how HomeReady features can help you serve more borrowers, with plenty of time to answer your questions. Register today.

Are you prepared for the HMDA deadline? Join MBA Compliance Essentials webinar on Thursday, February 14th and get the specifics on the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) rule March submission deadline. This webinar is complimentary to MBA members. Use promo WEBINAR at checkout for access.

The Mortgage Collaborative’s 2019 Winter Conference will take place February 17-19 at the J.W. Marriott in Austin, TX. The interactive agenda will feature over 30 lender led discussion-based educational breakout sessions, a heavy emphasis on peer-to-peer networking and experiences with third parties and exchange of best practices, with a sharp focus on lender growth and efficiency solutions. Visit or contact TMC COO Rich Swerbinsky.

On February 19th, the California MBA Legal Issues Committee is providing a free webinar presenting information on multiple topics including legal pitfalls of CCPA, hot topics in labor law, and Hoang vs. BofA.

Sierra Pacific Mortgage hosts a webinar on Optimizing LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network. You’ll learn tactics specific to LinkedIn, but you’ll find that the brand and marketing lessons are transferable to your other social media platforms as well. Register now for Wednesday, February 20th.

You have a Facebook Business Page, you regularly connect with people on LinkedIn and know the difference between a hashtag and a hash brown. What’s next to take your social media game up a level? On February 20th, the MBA of Greater Philadelphia is sponsoring a webinar on Social Media Strategy. This webinar will focus on examples using Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and touch on using these same strategies on other platforms.

Capital markets

Kind of a snoozer of a day yesterday in the ol’ bond market. The U.S. 10-year closed yielding 2.66% as Treasuries sold off with the optimism surrounding the U.S. trade delegation arriving in Beijing for this week’s trade talks. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He expected to join U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in high-level talks Thursday and Friday.

But the threat of a shutdown in Washington also looms, with political tensions flaring again between Congress and the president. If no deal is reached on the U.S.-Mexico border wall, parts of the federal U.S. government may shut down again later this week when stopgap government funding expires. That could come as the dollar has entered its longest rally since January 2016 (being the highest yielding currency) recouping its year-to-date losses, as central banks around the world tilt more to the dovish side, boosting the relative appeal of the greenback.

Today’s economic calendar kicked off with the January NFIB Small Business Optimism Index (continuing to fall). December Job opening from JOLTS are due at 10AM ET with expectations for a slight increase over the previous reading. Fed Chair Powell takes the stage today, as does Cleveland’s Mester, and Kansas City’s George. We begin today with Agency MBS prices down/worse a few ticks vs. last night’s close and the 10-year yielding 2.68%.

Last night I opened my electric bill at the same time I opened my water bill.

Needless to say, I was shocked.

Visit 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, “How are You Going to Compete.” 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.


(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 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.)

Rob Chrisman