Apr. 11: LO jobs; Product & pricing engine, CRM, jumbo, warehouse products; Freddie & Fannie changes continue; squirrel humor

“The human brain is the most amazing organ in the human body. It works 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, from birth up until the moment that you buy your first NFT.” Money, some say, makes the world go ‘round. Last week we all learned that net production income for independent mortgage bankers fell to a $301 loss (13 basis points) for all of 2022, according to the MBA, a series low for the index which began in 2008. Marina Walsh, CMB, MBA’s VP of Industry Analysis, sagely observed, “The stellar profits of the previous two years dissipated because of declining volume, lower revenues, and higher costs per loan (which hit $10,624 per loan).” True: 1.5 closed loans a month per production employee stinks. LD knows a thing or two about rough times, and the industry took note of loanDepot’s settlement and cooperation agreement with Anthony Hsieh, its founder, chairman, former CEO, and largest shareholder. (LD is now trading around $1.52/share after having been over $22/share soon after its IPO.) The agreement is over Hsieh’s desire to replace one of the members of the company’s board of directors at its 2023 annual meeting. (Today’s podcast can be found here and is sponsored by SimpleNexus, an nCino company and award-winning developer of mobile-first technology for the modern mortgage lender. Nexus Closing delights homebuyers with a convenient, single sign-on experience that makes it possible to close on a loan from anywhere. Hear an interview between Robbie and me on current trends in the mortgage ecosystem.)

Employment and a promotion

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Movement Mortgage exists to love and value people. As an Impact Lender, Movement uses a significant portion of its profits to create long-term positive impact in communities close to home and around the world. Movement is in the business of Mortgages that Mean More. Want to see what Movement’s all about? Join a virtual discovery call with members of the company’s leadership team next Thursday, April 20 from 3-4 pm ET. Participation is anonymous!

Residential mortgage lender Ruoff Mortgage announced Blake Music as the company’s new President. Blake joined Ruoff Mortgage in 2013 as a member of the retail sales team, helped establish the direct-to-consumer division, and initiate and implement the creation of the Ruoff Institute of Mortgage Operations, which seeks out talented individuals and provides them with the training and mentorship to enter the mortgage industry well equipped for success.

Lender and broker services, programs, & software

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Hopefully, you didn’t miss free cone day at Ben and Jerry’s! The only thing sweeter than free ice cream is a free webinar about how you can draw borrowers out of the woodwork with down payment assistance (Zillow reports 1 million unique users requested more about the programs last year). Mountain West Financial’s Laura Martell is a master of down payment assistance and affordable lending strategies, and now you can be too! This Wednesday at 1 PM ET, don’t miss a TrustEngine webinar featuring Dave Savage, Laura Martell and Down Payment Resource Founder and CEO Rob Chrane. The group will discuss how you can drive huge engagement by educating buyers about accessible, affordable opportunities available right now. Register for some sweet tips!

Particularly during times of market uncertainty, independent mortgage bankers are looking for a reliable bank partner to help them do what they do best: finance the American dream for their clients. As a well-capitalized and state and federally regulated institution, Northpointe Bank has been a dependable partner in warehouse lending since 2009 to over 100 client lenders, large and small. Northpointe’s mortgage warehouse program began during the great recession when a local mortgage banker wrote Chuck Williams, Northpointe’s Founder and CEO, inquiring about the opportunity to start a relationship. That initial letter resulted in building from the ground up a first-class warehouse business. The program has grown each year since and provides customized solutions that go beyond client expectations. This happens by quick decision making, through a flat organization structure, and by leveraging state-of-the-art home-grown systems. Contact David Christel or Ashley Lockaby to learn more about how Northpointe can help you grow your business.

“April showers bring May flowers, and innovative tech brings success. If you’re heading to San Antonio for the Texas MBA’s 107th Annual Convention, don’t miss your chance to experience a treasure trove of expertise by visiting the Black Knight and Optimal Blue booth. We’re attending as a proud Diamond Sponsor, and our experts will be ready to share their knowledge in originations, servicing, secondary marketing and more. This includes solutions to manage the latest market conditions. Additionally, Optimal Blue is a Hole-In-One sponsor of the conference golf tournament. But regardless of whether you bring your golf clubs, your business is sure to win with innovative solutions from Black Knight and Optimal Blue on your side.”

Don’t miss your change to sign up for The StorySeller Virtual Summit on April 19. You’ll learn how to use StorySelling and the nine human archetypes to launch your next chapter in life and business. “When I first learned about the nine archetypes, it was a life-changing experience for me,” says event host, Gibran Nicholas. You’ll walk away with a step-by-step guide for how to use the nine archetypes to overcome burnout, rediscover purpose, and find more meaning in your work. The event also contains exclusive interviews with seven guest speakers including NAR chief economist Dr. Lawrence Yun: How to Overcome Objections About Today’s Housing Market, and industry legend Tim Braheem: Your Inner Story and Top Habits of Top Producers. Other guests include Hope Atuel, CEO of the Asian Real Estate Association of America, Ben Miller, CEO of SimpleNexus, best-selling author Mitch Anthony, and industry coach Carl White. Click here to reserve your spot.

GHMC’s Max Jumbo and Max Express Jumbo products are now live! Eligible applicants must meet a 660 minimum FICO score (on certain transactional/LTV limits). Cash out refinances are accepted up to $3,000,000 and are available on second homes. Investment properties are allowed for Max Express Jumbo only. With GConnect, you can price your loan anywhere at any time. Its intuitive design and state-of-the-art features allow you to price scenarios, lock loans, and seamlessly manage your pipeline within a high-tech, high-touch TPO portal. GRewards is GHMC’s points-based rewards system. Earn rewards when you do business with GHMC such as price adjustments or a VIP quick pass to expedite your initial underwrite and closing disclosures. GHMC now offers Conventional and FHA Manufactured Home Loans. Applicants must meet a 620 minimum FICO score for Conventional and a 640 FICO for FHA. Look out for GHMC’s Down Payment Assistance Program coming soon!

How much should you be spending on a CRM? You don’t have to break the bank to find an amazing marketing solution! Velma CRM offers a cost-effective platform that’s designed to meet the needs of small and medium-sized mortgage businesses. With our intuitive and user-friendly interface, your team can easily manage customer relationships, automate tasks, and track sales pipelines, all in one place! Our advanced reporting tools provide valuable insights that help you optimize performance and improve your bottom line. PLUS, our responsive customer support team is always here to help you succeed! Don’t overspend on a CRM that doesn’t meet your needs. Choose Velma CRM and start transforming your business today!

Conforming conventional changes from F&F roll on

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FHFA Announces Updated Equitable Housing Finance Plans for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
 has been posted.

Previously, in response to FHFA news release last October, Freddie Mac announced targeted pricing changes, including the elimination of upfront credit fees for certain borrowers and affordable mortgage products with specific limits on the borrower’s income as a percentage of area median income (AMI%). To help you determine whether a loan may be eligible for a credit fee cap, as detailed on Guide Exhibit 19 and Exhibit 19A, Freddie Mac developed the new, map-based Area Median Income and Property Eligibility Tool. When you enter a property’s address, the tool will return pertinent information, such as the AMI% for that location and whether your low- to moderate-income borrowers meet the AMI% requirements for certain Freddie Mac mortgage products.

Issued 04/05/2023, Freddie Mac Bulletin 2023-9 is effective immediately unless otherwise noted. Updates include information on property appraisals, condominium projects, servicing contract rights and various reminders.

Freddie Mac  published updates to its three-year Equitable Housing Finance Plan, the company’s roadmap to promote sustainable homeownership and rental opportunities for traditionally underserved Black and Latino communities across the nation. The Plan is an important component of Freddie Mac’s mission-driven efforts to expand affordable housing and improve outcomes for renters and borrowers in all communities. The company today also published a progress report highlighting its accomplishments against the 2022 Plan.

Fannie Mae released its annual update to the 2022-2024 Equitable Housing Finance Plan. This plan is focused on two objectives that address common obstacles faced by many Black and Latino renters and homeowners: reducing up-front rental and homeownership costs and eliminating outdated barriers related to insufficient credit to directly drive meaningful and measurable improvements in housing access and stability, and Improving the chances for long-term success for underserved borrowers and renters by focusing on education and counseling, successfully navigating the mortgage process, and housing stability. Details on the new actions and initiatives Fannie Mae incorporated into the Plan’s update are outlined in Katrina Jones’ Perspectives blog.

Fannie Mae April Selling Guide SEL-2023-03 update aligns Guide policy for the treatment of medical collections with the risk assessment performed by Desktop Underwriter®; adds reporting requirements for penalties and enforcement actions related to compliance with Office of Foreign Assets Control regulations; allows the use of a borrower’s earned real estate commission for down payment and closing costs; and makes miscellaneous updates.

This month Fannie Mae is retiring KnowYourOptions.com and moving consumer website content to FannieMae.com so renters, homebuyers, and homeowners can easily find the information they need, from a source they can trust. The Single-Family website isn’t changing; you can still use your bookmarks and existing links or find links in the top navigation bar or footer of its updated FannieMae.com homepage. Read FAQ for additional information.

Capital markets: bank issues in the rear view mirror?

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Polly is leading the future of secondary marketing technology. Listen to the latest episode in Freddie Mac‘s Power of Partnership series, where Freddie Mac joins Polly’s Adam Carmel and Jackie Studdert to discuss how modern tech innovation brings efficiencies to lenders like you, to better support capital markets despite the ongoing challenges of market volatility. Listen on demand, here: The Future of Secondary Marketing TechnologyTo discover how lenders across the nation are gaining a clear competitive advantage with the industry’s modern and proven PPE of choice, connect with Polly team or follow them on LinkedIn: #alongcamepolly.

The Federal Home Loan Bank system reported a large decline of about 88% in its debt issuance in the last week in March ($37Bn), compared to the $304Bn issued two weeks earlier. This decline indicates fewer deposits are being withdrawn from banks, a sign that individual and regional banks are stabilizing after the turmoil caused by the failure of Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, and Silvergate Capital.

Economic data over the last week supported the narrative that the labor market has begun to cool. While the nonfarm payrolls report showed job gains that were still above the pre-pandemic average, the pace was the lowest since 2020 and significantly below recent trends. Labor force participation increased, resulting in slower earnings growth and near a level the Fed might consider to be consistent with a balanced labor market. Meanwhile, manufacturers continue to lay off workers and the pace of hiring for service industry jobs has slowed. The number of job openings per unemployed has fallen from nearly 2 per person to 1.67; a 15-month low.

As economic activity slows, businesses are seeing some price relief. Both ISMs showed a decline in the prices paid index for March although the services sector has a way to go before it is near the Fed’s target inflation range. Should these trends continue, it would signal the slowdown is firmly in place and the end of the current monetary tightening cycle is apparent.

Today’s calendar is already underway with NFIB Small Business Optimism (roughly unchanged at 90.10). Later this morning brings Redbook same store sales, a Treasury auction of $40 billion 3-year notes, and three Fed President speakers are currently scheduled: Chicago’s Goolsbee, Philadelphia’s Harker, and Minneapolis’ Kashkari. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices better by a few ticks (32nds) and the 10-year yielding 3.39, after closing yesterday at 3.42 percent, and the 2-year currently at 3.98.

The Presbyterian church called a meeting to decide what to do about their squirrel infestation. After much prayer and consideration, they concluded that the squirrels were predestined to be there, and they shouldn’t interfere with God’s divine will.

At the Baptist church, the squirrels had taken an interest in the baptistery. The deacons met and decided to put a waterslide on the baptistery and let the squirrels drown themselves. The squirrels liked the slide and knew instinctively how to swim, so twice as many squirrels showed up the following week.

The Lutheran church decided that they were not in a position to harm any of God’s creatures. So, they humanely trapped their squirrels and set them free near the Baptist church. Two weeks later the squirrels were back when the Baptists took down the waterslide.

The Episcopalians tried a much more unique path by setting out pans of whiskey around their church in an effort to kill the squirrels with alcohol poisoning. They sadly learned how much damage a band of drunk squirrels can do.

But the Catholic church came up with a very creative strategy! They baptized all the squirrels and made them members of the church. Now they only see them at Christmas and Easter.

And not much has been heard from the Jewish synagogue. They took the first squirrel and circumcised him. They haven’t seen a squirrel since.

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. “A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned” is the current blog. The Commentary’s podcast is live and at any place you obtain your podcasts (like Apple or Spotify).

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(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. This newsletter is 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 2023 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.)

 

Rob Chrisman