Apr. 1: Bank of America & Super Liens; non-bank servicer standards; MBA Tech conference report; upcoming events & training

Residential lenders across the land wonder at their good fortune for great origination volumes in March, with many setting records, and they are to be truly complimented for being able to do that. I head to San Antonio today for the Texas Mortgage Roundup. But one doesn’t have to travel far to figure out why it is so hard to make money servicing loans – or even investing in them. All you have to do is look in the New York Times. “Now a legal quirk could bring a surreal ending to her foreclosure case and many others around the country: They may get to keep their homes without ever having to pay another dime. The reason, lawyers for homeowners argue, is that the cases have dragged on too long.”


Speaking of potential nightmares, it rarely results in a tasty treat when one puts super lien states, delinquencies, home owner associations, and Bank of America into a stew pot, blends, and let simmer. (Thanks to Scott Short for sending that along!) On the flip side of all the legal wrangling, out in the West RPM Mortgage and WJ Bradley have reached a settlement.  “The parties have entered into a mutually acceptable settlement agreement and have dismissed all claims against each other with prejudice.” Always good to put these things behind…


Yes, there is always a mix of politics, housing, and special interest gropes, uh, groups…


Earlier this week John Councilman, President of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers, called on President Barack Obama to update his speech material to reflect the current realities of the mortgage business, particularly with respect to individual mortgage professionals and the role of the CFPB. “It is my hope, as our President, that you will speak more positively of mortgage brokers,” stated Councilman. “They are providing the most cost-effective origination channel, the widest variety of programs, and the best customer service. I believe you can honestly be assured that mortgage brokers provide a wonderful alternative to the large banks.”


Cynics would say that most politicians, including the president, don’t know what a mortgage broker is. The letter, however, went on. “Citing the extensive efforts by NAMB and its state affiliates to bring about legislative and regulatory reform in the mortgage industry, Councilman challenged President Obama to recognize the leadership role played by NAMB members and the small businesses they represent in communities across the country. ‘Since the onset of the financial crisis, no one in the industry has worked more diligently than mortgage brokers to prevent a recurrence of those events,’ continued Councilman. ‘NAMB has worked tirelessly with state legislatures around the country to pass laws regulating mortgage brokers and mortgage originators.’” The letter from NAMB to President Obama can be found here or by visiting www.namb.org.


And the CSBS issued proposed regulatory prudential standards for non-bank mortgage servicers. One wonders why we all need to know more acronyms. The Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) and the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators (AARMR) issued Proposed Regulatory Prudential Standards for non-bank mortgage servicers. The proposal is open for a 90-day public comment period. The proposal includes a set of baseline standards for all non-bank mortgage servicers licensed by and operating in the states.  To the extent possible, the baseline standards will leverage existing standards or generally accepted business practices and will cover eight areas: capital; liquidity; risk management; data standards; data protection (including cyber risk); corporate governance; servicing transfer requirements; and change-of-control requirement. The proposal also includes “enhanced” requirements for large or complex servicers.


Let’s see what’s coming up with training and events…


Richey May, the leading public accounting firm serving the mortgage industry, will be hosting its 6th annual Mortgage Banking Roundtable in Denver on June 2nd and 3rd.  This event brings together the C-level executives and owners of independent mortgage banking companies from around the country, and provides a format that encourages the sharing of ideas and open discussion among attendees on the most current topics and trends affecting the industry. This year Dave Stevens will offer the keynote and answer questions, and I am fortunate to attend and moderate a panel focused on alternative financing.  If you’re interested in attending, please reach out to Dustin Pfluger at dpfluger@richeymay.com. Hope to see you in Denver in June.


MBA’s Legal Issues & Regulatory Compliance Conference, May 3- 6, will dedicate a full track of sessions to TRID on Sunday, May 3 at this year’s Conference. Hear from top compliance, title, realtor, settlement, operations and technology staff all in one day. Attend the following sessions to stay abreast of everything TRID: click here. Additionally, the conference this year will provide an opportunity to earn up to 17 CLE credits, including Ethics credit, depending on your state’s requirements.


MBA’s Understanding the Mystery of Secondary Marketing, Part I is scheduled on Tuesday, May 5.This webinar will provide the basics of secondary marketing, including the “who and how”, the key to becoming a seller servicer and methods of sale and pricing. Click the link to register for part 1. MBA’s part 2 webinar will webinar dig deeper into secondary marketing and explore the following topics: Risk management, Pipeline management, Best execution, Commitment types and Current issues update. To register for part 2, click here. Sign up for both webinars and receive a 15% discount. Enter promo code, SECONDARYMARKETING15 online for discounted rate.


MGIC is providing a Webinar with David Luna of Mortgage Educators and Compliance that will walk you through everything you need to know regarding GFE and TIL. There were two dates available for registration, now one: March 30 or April 8.


The Real Estate Services Providers Council’s (RESPRO) April 20-22, 2015 Annual Conference in San Diego, California will focus on how real estate brokers, mortgage lenders, and title/settlement service companies can successfully offer diversified services for home buyers through legally-compliant affiliated businesses, joint ventures, and marketing agreements. Numerous sessions on cross-marketing strategies, enforcement trends under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and UDAAP, RESPA-Truth in Lending Act Disclosure implementation, and regulatory compliance strategies also will be offered, with a focus on the unique issues facing companies that offer diversified services through affiliated businesses and marketing agreements.


Wells Fargo Funding is providing a special webinar event on April 2 to learn more about its Non-Conforming program. To register, click here.  Use Access Code: Webinar0402.


While we’re on events, how about the final fan favorite report from the MBA Tech Conference? “Eileen O’Grady of Elliott Bay Associates writes, “Hi, Rob – As you know, the MBA Tech Conference, like any conference, is actually three conferences:  The ‘Conference of Sessions’ for people who have registered to actually attend the sessions, the ‘Conference of Meetings’ for people who have registered to have meetings; in the hallways, at restaurants, in suites, and in cabs/Ubers to/from the airport, and the ‘Conference of the Vendors in the Exhibit Hall,’ where the vendors set up to sell their solutions to the attendees of the ‘Conference of Sessions’ –and, if attendance is light, to each other – and the ‘Conference of Meetings’ whose attendees stroll – or jog – past the booths, their speed based on what “shiny object” (as Scott Moriarty, COO of CUMAnet Mortgage CUSO would say) that vendor is giving away.


“There are vendors who actually have ‘The Solution’ for which the market is searching, based on the latest breakthrough or regulation. They may have a booth, a suite, or just a table in the exhibit hall scoped out for conversations over diet cokes and tacos, compliments of the host hotel. (OK, there is one more Conference type; the Conference of Drinking, about which I know nothing.  At all.  Nada. Zip. But that is where everyone in attendance has early drinks, late dinners with wine, and deep conversations, then does deals, but can’t remember any of them the next morning.)


“I was a hybrid attendee at the MBA Tech Conference in Orlando this year; both a ‘Booth Betty/Conference of Vendors’ attendee and a ‘Conference of Meetings’ attendee. I say all this so that you understand why I can’t rate any of the ‘Conference of Sessions’ because I attended only one Session. It was the Second General Session that did a take-off on ‘speed dating’ and did ‘speed demo’ing’ of 8 technologies; each getting 8 minutes to demo their product before the buzzer buzzed. I would feel bad listing them at the expense of the other 78 vendors in attendance, but you can find them at the MBA Tech Website, if you’re interested.  I did stay for five minutes at another session, but left when I heard the speaker say ‘technology will affect every aspect of our daily lives.’ Umm, really?


“I heard from ‘Conference of the Sessions’ attendees that subject matter was a bit light at the conference this year, but that there was good content at the MISMO Certification session.

Other takeaways from MBA Tech:  Biggest booth:  Ellie Mae.  Person I saw the most times, while I was walking to and fro:  Jonathan Corr, President and CEO, Ellie Mae (Coincidence?  You be the judge). Skinniest vendor attendee: Theresa Whaley, LoanScoreCard’s National Accounts Manager. Least skinny vendor attendee: Me, after ingesting two lunches, two dinners, 16 cans of coke, 27 cups of tea, and every chocolate candy sample offered in the Exhibit Hall.  Session I regretted missing: Ginnie Mae Modernization and Transformation. ‘Tchotchke o’ the Day’ today was Kofax’s blinking yoyo; I ‘still got it,’ in the yoyo department, Rob, but couldn’t do a walk-the-dog, for the life of me.  Most ironic moment:  When Theresa Whaley, Jenny Harlowe (Marketing Director of Calyx Software; hey, they have a new SaaS workflow/rules-based LOS:  PATH), as we share a cab to the airport today, ask our cab driver if he likes state-of-the-art mortgage technology (yeah, we’re punchy), and he says, ‘I don’t want to talk about it. I lost my house in foreclosure in 2009. I declared bankruptcy, and I’m driving a cab.’  The cab got real quiet after that.


“Time to go home and not talk for 36 hours, toss my OnBase baseball around, work on my walk-the-dog yoyo moves, and sweat off the 27 pounds I gained in 3 days. BTW, the conference continues through Wednesday, but the ‘Conference of Vendors’ ended promptly at 4 PM Tuesday; everybody is gonegirlgone. The speed with which those booths disassemble is breathtaking. The final session? You guessed it: TRID. Then it’s time for me to do follow-ups and take next steps after some interesting discussions with Rob Landauer of Andrew Davidson & Co. – ADCO (I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of Rob and ADCO in the mortgage origination space very soon, as they reach into mortgage lending from their prestigious place in mortgage bonds/portfolio analytics), Leonard Ryan, President of QuestSoft, and my old Sears Mortgage Securities Corp buddy, Craig Bechtle, COO, MortgageFlex.


“Bottom line for me:  I’m looking to see more young people, with or without suits and ties, bringing the game-changing tech that will reinvigorate the industry and elevate it out of regulation purgatory with elegance. The ‘8 in 8 minutes’ demos were a start, but…we need to accelerate from there. To that end, Susan Greenwald, SVP, Director of Lending Operations at HomeStreet Bank in Seattle, is contacting Disney World today to ‘get ‘em while they’re young’ and reverse the aging process of the industry. Her take is if a kid can survive the ‘California Screamin’ Ride’ with dignity intact, Susan’s ready to hire. She gets the necessity of the skillset.”


Here in this country we learned yesterday that two months ago home prices rose .87% month-over-month and 4.56% year-over-year according to Case-Shiller. The West and Southwest continues to outperform the Midwest and Northeast. A measure of housing market “healthiness” indicates the housing market is in the best shape since 2001. We also learned that the number of living people who witnessed the 19th century has dwindled to four, after Misao Okawa, the world’s oldest person, died in Japan at the age of 117. No one makes it out alive…


Treasuries traded higher, meaning that rates went lower, in a curve steepening trade, as a weak March Chicago PMI outweighed a strong beat on the March Consumer Confidence number. The Chicago Purchasing Manager’s Index for March badly missed expectations. But when entire countries are in the balance – think Iran or Greece – what difference does a monthly number like that make? Good question. Along those lines March Consumer Confidence was much higher than expected. MBS outperformed Treasuries and other debt Tuesday despite Treasury yields declining on mixed data and lower risk appetite as equities began to fret about looming Q1 earnings: both agency MBS prices and Treasury prices improved about .250.


Here we are in April already, done with the first quarter. Ahead of us today are the MBA application numbers, February ADP Employment Report, March ISM Index, and February Construction Spending. For numbers the 10-yr. closed with a yield of 1.93% yesterday, but it’s too dark outside to know where it is today – probably around 1.91% with agency MBS prices about unchanged.



The teacher said; “Take a pencil and paper, and write an essay with the title, ‘‘If I Were a Millionaire.'”

Everyone began to write feverishly, except for Chet who leaned back with arms folded.

“What’s the matter,” the teacher asked. “Why don’t you begin?”

“I’m waiting for my secretary,” Chet replied.





(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.)

Rob Chrisman