Daily Mortgage News & Commentary

Apr. 10: U/W jobs; broker, eTitle, productivity, digital products; upcoming events from home (you’ve got the time, right?)

While rumors swirl of the JPMorgan warehouse line requiring a minimum credit score of 700, and any loan on the line longer than 3 weeks being hit with a 15% haircut, obviously hitting non-bank lenders, in captivity it is important to keep your temper in check. One good thing about everyone staying home is that Mother Nature has come roaring back. Pollution has plummeted, and people can see the Himalayas. As a quick aside, to end the week, thank you to Marie C. for this cool video from Pennsylvania of wildlife passing over a log. (What is that beast at the 45 second mark?) And who can resist photos of newborn cheetah cubs? Sunday is Easter. Don’t ask me how we moved from the crucifixion and resurrection to Peeps and Zombie Bunny Lollipops. Marketing? My family still hasn’t decided where to go for Easter: the living room or the family room. Centuries ago it was decided that Easter would be held on the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox, and at this point Easter’s date depends on the ecclesiastical approximation of March 21 for the vernal equinox. 2020 is a weird year. Not only did March have 290 days, and weed is legal, but if you want toilet paper you need to “know a guy.”

Employment

PRMG is hiring experienced underwriters remotely! Underwriting has drastically changed over the years, especially with the influx in the ability to work remotely. That is why, in times like these it’s important to remain flexible to maintain a path-to-pivot. This is the perfect opportunity to work more hours while remaining safe and at home with family. “At PRMG we’ve invested millions of dollars to ensure we make underwriting easier on the underwriters. We fully believe in underwriters doing more with technology and not being replaced by it. Our support and Leadership for Ops is rivaled by few. If you want to join, now is the time. PRMG employs over 2000 people across the country and is licensed in 48 states with nearly 180 branches located throughout the nation. Contact HR@prmg.net for a complete job description or confidential inquiries.”

Lender services and products

 

The Rule Tool was built to give Loan Officers fast 24/7 access to investor overlays and agency rules. With rules changing every day, it is important you are on target with guidelines at lock. With the market moving fast, you too need to move fast, secure your rate/price, and protect it through underwriting approval. Invest $20.00 per month, and a few minutes of your time to assure that you do not lose a lock due to an overlay causing the loan to mark to market. Sign up today at www.theruletool.com.

In our business, speed matters. For instance, did you know 78% of customers buy from the company that responds to their inquiry first? To help LOs answer the demand for instant availability, Top of Mind recently unveiled Power Messaging. The new feature for SurefireCRM sets LOs up to win by instantly responding to any lead, from any source, via text message. Here’s another stat for you: text messages enjoy a whopping 98% open rate (compared to 18% for emails). That may explain why Power Messaging was such a huge hit last Friday at the Virtual Demo Day hosted by HousingWire. If you missed it, be sure to get a demo for yourself.

 

Branch offices and Independent Mortgage Brokers may find it harder to sustain their operations in the current COVID-19 work-from-home climate. Smaller offices who lack the IT resources of larger operations may struggle to sustain production. How can production teams tackle this issue? Maybe you saw this 7-minute case study showing how Equity Mortgage Group scaled their remote team’s production by 3x, freed-up LO’s time 75%, and grew revenues 280% — achieved with automated, yet remarkably simple online checklists from TeamworkIQ. Today, TeamworkIQ announced more free resources to help mortgage teams quickly streamline remote operations and increase production. study to coordinate LO/LOA/Processor team workflows, free up more time, make sure things get done, and always know what’s going on. Then, save even more with free assistance from TeamworkIQ’s process automation experts. But, sign up now. Space is limited.

 

Mad Mortgage, a show for those passionate about the mortgage industry, officially releases Episode 2 featuring Matt Hansen, president and CEO of SimpleNexus. Mad Mortgage’s host Mace sits down with Matt as they discuss the popular SimpleNexus digital mortgage platform. Topics range from company beginnings, meeting lender needs, the future role of Loan Officers, and exciting new features to come. 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 emerging technology. Watch Mad Mortgage on YouTube or stream audio from popular podcast sources.

During uncertain times it’s comforting for brokers to know that REMN Wholesale is still there for them. REMN’s proactive approach to COVID-19 has ensured that REMN is still adhering to its industry-leading 24-hour turn-time promise for purchase transactions, and delivering the same level of customer service that current REMN broker customers have long relied on. Earlier this year, REMN introduced its Platinum program, ensuring that brokers can now look to REMN not just for speed and quality, but for very competitive pricing on government purchase products as well. When price, reliability, and speed matter, brokers can depend on REMN. Brokers interested in finding out more about REMN’s Platinum program for government loans, or the other products it offers, can email their account executive directly or connect with a REMN regional manager through its website.

 

If there’s a company that’s well-poised and ready to digitally close loans right now, it’s eTITLE. They’ve been building a secure, state-of-the-art digital platform for over 20 years and if there was ever a perfect time for digital closings, it’s right now. They created the eZSUCCESS suite of tools and technology which lets you close digitally anytime, anywhere, any way, 24/7. They can sign and notarize documents remotely, safely and securely because every transaction is protected by the highest levels of security out there. They’ve uniquely positioned themselves in this current market. If you’re a realtor, loan officer or independent mortgage broker, they’re definitely worth having a conversation with.

A broker’s Superpower is choice. Brokers thrive by giving their clients options from many lenders. That Superpower has never been more apparent than right now. At a time when some lenders are unfortunately struggling with capacity and cash flow, other lenders are doing well and continue to provide value and liquidity to brokers. In recent years, some lenders and associations have worked hard to get brokers to reduce the number of lenders they work with. That self-serving advice is now backfiring. QLMS is proud to have taken the exact opposite view. We believe brokers should work with a wide variety of well-capitalized and innovative lenders who bring enduring value in all markets, good and bad. In the last six months, 2,000 more brokers have joined forces with QLMS to enhance their Superpowers even more. To learn more about QLMS, click here.

Events

You’re invited to Floify’s upcoming “Top Tech for a Remote Mortgage Team” webinar, Thursday, April 16th at 11:00AM PT. With nearly 88% of organizations encouraging or requiring their employees to work from home, lenders are facing new challenges, including how to manage demand and maximize profitability in these unique market conditions. In this 30-minute webinar, Floify’s senior leadership team will explore the challenges mortgage professionals are facing in 2020, how lenders are adapting to remote and work-from-home scenarios, the productivity solutions lenders are implementing to reach their business goals, the benefits of an all-digital mortgage operation, and how you can take advantage of these opportunities, too. Don’t miss this opportunity to level up your lending operation. Register for Floify’s “Top Tech for a Remote Mortgage Team” webinar now.

The much-anticipated Mortgage 2020 Virtual Conference next week! Reserve your seat (on the living room couch) now for this must-see event by clicking here. Attendees will get important industry updates from over 50 industry leaders and peers in this livestream 2-day event (the list of speakers is too long to print here). A portion of the event proceeds will benefit MBA’s Opens Doors Foundation, which provides mortgage and rental payment assistance grants to parents and guardians caring for a critically ill or injured child, allowing them to take unpaid leave from work and spend precious time together without jeopardizing their cherished homes. The event is brought to you by the Knowledge Coop, Firstline Compliance, Shred Media, and MBA Opens Doors.

NAMMBA is hosting a Town Hall event and virtual conference on Friday, April 24, from 1-4PM ET. The agenda is being worked on, but includes a session with Dave Stevens, Mitch Kider, and Rob Chrisman (who?). The event will bring together industry stakeholders, policy makers, and CEOs to discuss the current state of the mortgage industry. These sessions will be 30 – 45 minutes in length and feature a “fireside” chat conversation. Watch for registration details or contact Tony Thompson with questions.

On May 6 Altisource is hosting a one-day virtual summit on how Covid-19 is impacting the mortgage industry. The Mortgage Industry Pandemic Summit will take place on May 6 featuring 28 of the most influential leaders in Originations, Servicing, Vendor Management and Government discussing the operational challenges facing mortgage and real estate companies as a result of the pandemic. There is no cost to attend and registrants can select the all-access option for all sessions or choose individual sessions that interest them the most.

Thrive in today’s mortgage climate with Blend’s latest solutions. On May 19, Blend is hosting Forward, a digital summit for mortgage executives and Blend project teams. Blend leaders and customers will unpack relevant tactics for today’s challenges. Discover upcoming innovations that can further increase productivity and help you provide even better service to your customers. Sign up here.

Movement Mortgage CEO Casey Crawford invites anyone in our industry to join New York Times best-seller and world-renowned leadership coach John C. Maxwell for a LIVE one-hour session on “Leading Through Adversity” at 12 p.m. EST on Tuesday. This Maxwell roundtable will feature leaders from across our industry speaking to Maxwell about how to lead in these challenging times. You can participate free by watching LIVE on the Movement Facebook Page beginning at 12 p.m. EST on Tuesday.

Ellie Mae is Bringing Experience 2020 to You! Register now to take advantage of this unique opportunity to access highly anticipated Experience 2020 keynotes, sessions, demos and partner integrations, during the first-ever Virtual Experience conference, available from April 20-May 31. Gain an exclusive look inside Ellie’s newest innovations, product roadmaps, and expert best practices, all at no cost to you and available from the comfort of wherever you are and on demand whenever you have the time.

Capital markets

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who led the Fed through the 2008-09 financial crisis, stated U.S. banks are in much better shape than they were back then and could act as a shield against the weakening of the economy. He added that he does not see a quick, sharp rebound in the economy after a precipitous fall this quarter due to efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, saying “We’ll probably have to restart activity fairly gradually and there may be subsequent periods of slower activity again.” He added that the economy could contract at a 30 percent annualized rate or more in the Q2, but brushed aside comparisons to the 12-year-long Great Depression and opined that this should only last a year or two. Finally, he does not see inflation as a high risk and suspects the Fed will hold the short-term interest rates it controls effectively at zero for “quite a while,” seeking to lift inflation and return the labor market to full employment.

Despite yesterday featuring the worst initial claims report on record, that figure was merely an afterthought as the big news on the day was an announcement from the Fed that it is introducing additional actions that will provide up to $2.3 trillion in loans to support the economy.

This includes a funding facility for state and local governments, a provision to buy high-yield bond ETFs, and a $600 billion Main Street Lending program that will be available for businesses employing up to 10,000 workers or with revenues of less than $2.5 billion. Treasuries rallied, including the 10-year yield closing the day -3 bps to 0.73 percent, and the stock market experienced further gains. The day also featured a contention from Fed Chair Powell that inflation is not a first order concern right now. Ya think?

Liquidity has firmed up marginally and overwhelming origination volumes have subsided from their peak during last week’s rally, but conditions have yet to completely normalize as bid/ask spreads are still multiple ticks wide and true price transparency remains an ongoing challenge. The Fed will purchase approximately $30 billion in Treasuries every day next week, up from the $25 billion “tentative maximum” this week. The other big news on the day was OPEC+ holding a virtual meeting to discuss oil production cuts, and though Saudi Arabia and Russia reportedly agreed on the outline of a deal to cut oil production in an effort to lift the market from a pandemic-driven collapse, oil prices sank as traders feared any supply cut won’t be enough to offset the demand destruction that has already occurred. Market are closed today for Good Friday, so no Agency MBS prices or treasury yields to report, but both CPI and the budget statement for March are due to be released later this morning.

(Thank you to Mark W. for this one!)

Played monopoly with the family last night.

Ran out of money.

Totally unrealistic game!

Where’s the FED?

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.)