Daily Mortgage News & Commentary

Apr. 11: Product dev., AE, MLO jobs; BI, non-QM products; CFPB, CRAs, telemarketing, and HMDA; Comp survey; 2.75 10-year

Prepare yourself. Inflation data for March will be released tomorrow, and it’s bound to be ugly and reflect everything you’re seeing at gas stations and restaurants. Thank you to everyone who wrote in with thoughts about Saturday’s commentary, noting the difference in compensation between being a carpenter, with a starting wage of about $58k per year, or a truck driver (Walmart: up to $110,000), and its implication for labor building homes for first-time buyers or affordable housing. But this is only one concern. How about the spreading influence of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau? As Attorney Brian Levy points out, “CFPB Director Rohit Chopra gave a speech March 28 titled ‘Reining in Repeat Offenders.’ But if you get past the title, the emphasis was probably more about the issue of large dominant players than the repeat offender issue. Chopra also seemed to admit that regulatory enforcers tend to go after small players and let the big guys skate with relatively small penalties.” At least that’s the take of attorney Brian Levy in his latest Mortgage Musings. (Today’s audio version of the commentary is available here and this week’s is sponsored by SimpleNexus, an nCino company and award-winning developer of mobile-first technology for the modern mortgage lender. Today’s includes an interview with Claire Barber, an attorney with mortgage law firm Polunsky Beitel Green and a member of the first-ever Texas Work Group on Blockchain Matters, on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology as it relates to residential mortgage lending and mortgage industry regulatory matters.)

 

Employment, promotions, and personnel moves

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Do you have a strategic mind when it comes to products and planning? Are you like a Swiss Army Knife of talent when it comes to leadership, development, and implementation? If so, Motto Mortgage and wemlo have the perfect role for you: Vice President, Mortgage Product and Strategy. Using your technical vision and industry knowledge and expertise, you’ll pilot the development and implementation of all Motto and wemlo products from creation to completion, while overseeing engineering, product management, product support, education, and more! It’s not that you’ll be wearing many hats, you’ll be wearing THE HAT, showcasing your ability to take product and strategy to the next level. If you’re interested in this officer level position at a publicly traded company where you can make a difference for yourself, your team and the company as a whole, check out more details about the role here. You can also forward your resume to Kathy Hribar.

Sprout Mortgage has over 35 uncommonly good non-QM and conventional mortgage solutions not commonly found elsewhere. From jumbo loans up to $10M, investor loan products with debt service coverage, to our asset optimizer loan and bank statement loans with 40-year, 10 year I/O options, we have solutions that help despite rising interest rates. That’s why we’re hiring AEs and MLOs across the nation: we’ve got explosive growth! You too can benefit from having over 35 unique non-QM and QM solutions to meet all varieties of customer scenarios. Reach out to Jessica Fieramosca, SVP of Recruitment, at 657-888-9878.  You’ve got earnings potential to gain. #SowYourSuccess at Sprout!”

FHA has one open position for a Supervisory Accounting Specialist in Washington D.C to serve as a principal financial advisor, maintains the insurance-in-force records for the FHA programs, bills and collects mortgage insurance premiums and processes mortgage record changes and loan terminations.

How would you like to have everyone in the industry, people in Congress, and regulators, looking at your compensation? And no politician wants anyone to have a higher salary than they do. Try being in senior management at Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. I mention this because Fannie Mae’s CEO, Hugh Frater, and Sheila Bair, the chair of its board, announced they will resign from Fannie effective May 1. Fannie Mae’s president, David Benson, will serve as interim CEO and board member, starting May 1, although that decision is subject to approval by Fannie Mae’s conservator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Fannie Mae said it plans to conduct a national search for a permanent CEO. Fannie Mae’s board also elected Michael Heid, who currently chairs the community responsibility and sustainability committee, to succeed Bair as chair of the board.

NTERSOL, a digital transformation strategy and solutions firm serving banks, lenders, and fintechs, announced two additions to its executive team: Tim Von Kaenel, Chief Strategy Officer, and Christopher Cronk, Managing Director of Data and Analytics.

Lender & broker products and services

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On this day 68 years ago… nothing happened. No, really! The True Knowledge search engine analyzed more than 300 million historical facts and found that April 11, 1954, was the most uneventful day of the 20th century. 68 years later, why not make April 11 a day your LOs will remember by empowering them to win over more borrowers with Mortgage Coach? For years, Fulton Mortgage Company has been using Mortgage Coach’s Total Cost Analysis (TCA) loan comparisons to provide modern, educational service that gives customers the confidence to transact. According to Fulton SVP Brian Morely, “LOs using Mortgage Coach have increased volume, reduced rate shopping and seen their personal book of business grow as they have elevated themselves from order takers to advisors.” To learn how Fulton Mortgage stays strong by differentiating itself on advice over price, download the free case study.

REMN Wholesale announced that it is a 2022 PLATINUM SPONSOR of AIME (Association of Independent Mortgage Experts); and their 3rd consecutive year sponsoring AIME (GOLD SPONSORS for 2020 and 2021). REMN is recognized for its continuous commitment and support for the broker community nationwide. REMN has also joined ARIVE, the industry’s full-stack origination platform and wholesale marketplace for independent mortgage brokers. REMN’s loan products, pricing, and integrated loan registration is available automatically to REMN-approved Brokers. The ARIVE platform has 50,000+ users. The origination surge for Renovation (Refinance) Lending continues to be a welcome segment during unprecedented record low inventory. REMN (recognized as a top renovation lender nationally for the past decade), offers renovation lending concierge service, combined with product and process expertise, making REMN an incredible resource. Together with Non-QM offering (Investor Cash Flow, Asset Qualifier, 1099-Only, Bank Statement, Full Doc), REMN maintains its standing as a relevant wholesale lender during the best and most difficult of times.

In a competitive mortgage market, the same old, same old just won’t do. Stop compromising profitability, the customer experience and regulatory compliance with legacy technology. Black Knight can help transform your operations with integrated technology, data and analytics solutions for originations, servicing, and secondary marketing. Make plans to visit with Black Knight’s team of experts in Las Vegas at MBA’s Technology Solutions Conference and Expo, today through April 14. Request a one-on-one meeting at a time that suits your schedule, or stop by Renoir 2 during the event.

For underwriters, less is more. Less slog, more satisfaction. Less time grinding out income and asset calculations, more loans! Welcome to the best underwriting automation tools on the marketBrought to you by Richey May in partnership with Zoral Group, this specialized toolset, powered by robust automation, OCR, and AI/ML capabilities, goes beyond mere validation of data points. It extracts data from borrower income and asset documents, performs complex analyses, checks for mismatches, flags malicious code, and supplies your team with a GSE fraud checklist and ongoing analysis, all without your processing and underwriting teams having to extract data from borrower documents and enter it into your LOS. Bonus: Support for a full range of borrower types and loan products, including self-employed, FHA, VA, and jumbo. Want to learn more? Sign up for a demo today.

Homeownership is one of the best ways to build wealth, but is unattainable to many without down payment support. Down Payment Resource makes sustainable homeownership more accessible by helping lenders connect borrowers with homebuyer assistance programs, which help lenders attract more business to boot. Mountain West Financial has achieved astounding lead volume and conversion by empowering its retail mortgage advisors with Down Payment Resource’s lender suite. To date, the lender’s retail brand has earned more than 55,000 visits to its Down Payment Resource consumer portal, with select retail branches experiencing lead conversion as high as 47%. For the full scoop on how Mountain West Financial grew its retail lending business with Down Payment Resource’s comprehensive homebuyer education and support, download the free case study.

Sleep Easy with ACCACC is the oldest Non-QM lender since 1999. The lender that survived 2007-08. The only Non-QM lender to lend throughout COVID. Now in 2022, with all the market volatility, ACC has honored every single lock and will continue to honor their 30-day locks. Gamble in Vegas, not with rates in this environment. If your company is struggling with Non-QM or you are looking to make a switch, call us 877-349-050.

A single lightning bolt unleashes five times more heat than the sun. Harnessing that kind of power doesn’t happen very often. Like catching lightning in a bottle, Pinnacle Bank is streamlining its mortgage lending operations and increasing revenue with SimpleNexus’ Nexus Vision turnkey business intelligence (BI) solution. The Georgia-based bank’s engagement with Nexus Vision is the newest piece in a larger strategic effort to make mortgage operations a more meaningful contributor to its balance sheet. If you’ll be at the MBA Technology Solutions Conference and Expo in Vegas on Wednesday, don’t miss SimpleNexus’ Lori Brewer’s technology strategy panel session at 2 pm PT. She’ll break down how banks like Pinnacle can harness Nexus Vision’s shockingly effective business intelligence capabilities.

Compensation survey

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When it comes to hiring and retaining the best people for your organization, compensation matters. According to STRATMOR Group’s Fall 2021 Compensation Connection® Study data, 36 percent of Fulfillment’s total compensation was variable, compared to a 2018-19 average of 19 percent. Would you like to know if you are offering the right balance of fixed vs. variable compensation to attract and keep employees? Participate in STRATMOR’s Compensation Connection® Study. Participants submit data and receive a report comparing their responses to survey averages on key company differences and characteristics, analyzed and separated into useful profiles and relevant categories. Don’t miss your chance to have the data you need: registration for the Spring 2022 Compensation Connection® program closes this Friday, April 15. Sign up today!

CFPB: The consumer’s guardian!

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The 2022 edition of the “Guide to HMDA Reporting: Getting It Right!” is now available here. The 2022 version was developed by member agencies of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council and includes appendices that provide additional implementation materials you may find useful.

Don’t forget that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is encouraging mortgage lenders and servicers to work with state housing finance agencies to help borrowers utilize the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF). The HAF was part of the American Rescue Plan Act which Congress designed to provide economic stimulus and aid during the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of the funds is to provide aid to homeowners experiencing hardships after Jan. 21, 2020.

The Interagency Task Force on Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity (PAVE) released its final report to the public, entitled Action Plan to Advance Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity: Closing the Racial Wealth Gap by Addressing Mis-valuations for Families and Communities of Color. The report analyzes the potential causes of racial and other types of prohibited bias in appraisals and commits the CFPB and other PAVE members to action. You can read the report, as well as a statement from the CFPB’s Director about this and other Bureau appraisal work, here.

The HMDA modified loan/application register (LAR) is now available for each institution that filed HMDA data collected in 2021. The modified LARs provide each financial institution’s loan-level HMDA data, as modified to protect applicant and borrower privacy in accordance with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s final policy guidance on the disclosure of HMDA data.

The modified LARs can be accessed here.

Buckley LLP reports that, “The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California denied a motion to dismiss claims brought by the CFPB alleging violations of the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) and the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA). The California-based software company and its owner (collectively, “defendants”) market and sell credit-repair business software and other tools to credit-repair businesses charging unlawful advance fees to consumers. According to the Bureau, the defendants provide substantial assistance to these businesses and purportedly encourage them to “charge unlawful advance fees” even though, under the TSR, companies that telemarket their services are prohibited from requesting or receiving fees from consumers until consumers are provided with a credit report showing that the promised results have been achieved. The court was unpersuaded by the defendants’ argument that the Bureau exceeded its authority…”

And last week the CFPB released a proposed rule and solicited comments on regulations implementing amendments to the FCRA intended to assist victims of trafficking. The proposed rule would establish a method for a trafficking victim to submit documentation to consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) establishing that they are a survivor of trafficking, and would require CRAs to block adverse information in consumer reports after receiving such documentation.

Capital markets: yield curve steepens

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“Volatility should be met with flexibility… That’s the future of the secondary mortgage market. That’s MAXEX. The first digital mortgage exchange allows you to change your strategy as the market shifts, without adding additional infrastructure. Be a seller and a buyer with two-way trading. Let our team of experts help you with a bulk trade or log in to the exchange to get pricing from multiple investors for daily flow trades. You can meet with MAXEX leaders to learn more at this year’s MBA Secondary and Capital Markets Conference, May 15-18 in Times Square. Ready to go now? Contact our team today to see how you can build a more flexible business strategy.”

Looking at bonds, although nothing in financial markets move in a straight line, mortgage rates continued to rise last week as the market continues to attempt and properly price in inflation concerns and the Fed entertaining the idea of a balance sheet runoff. The 10-year note yield hit its highest level since March 2019. Remember, though, that while yield-curve inversion adds to the narrative around growth risks, it doesn’t automatically signify an imminent recession. The narrative for LOs and their clients is that the affordability window is closing fast. Rates have risen dramatically over the last several weeks as home prices continue to rise at the fastest annual pace in decades. Purchase demand remains strong as rising wages have helped some homebuyers offset increasing costs but higher home prices are taking their toll on some first-time buyers. The housing market may freeze up if rates don’t come back down soon.

The FOMC minutes released last week managed to stir things up in the financial markets that were facing an otherwise quiet week. The minutes, as well as recent speeches from Fed officials, suggest the committee is gearing up to combat inflation in earnest. While officials hope their decision results in a Goldilocks economy that is not too hot or too cold, they risk tightening too much or not enough. Tightening too much has the potential to push the economy into a recession. Data suggests there is still ample demand from US consumers as the trade deficit remained near record levels in February. Additionally, job growth remains healthy and there are still many more jobs available than workers who can fill them.

This holiday-shortened week includes an early close on Thursday with both bond and equity markets closed for Good Friday. The Treasury will conduct a mini-Refunding today through Wednesday consisting of $46 billion 3-year notes and reopened 10-years and 30-years for $46 billion and $20 billion, respectively.

Last week, the Desk purchased an average of $1.7 billion per day compared with average originator supply of $3.6 billion. 70.5 percent of originator submissions were in UMBS30s, 5.7 percent were in UMBS15s, and 23.8 percent were in GNIIs. The Desk will purchase $1.4 billion per day on average today through Wednesday, before releasing a new purchase schedule and reinvestment amount on Wednesday. There is no scheduled economic data of note today; Agency MBS prices are worse nearly .250 versus Friday’s close and the 10-year is yielding 2.75 after closing Friday at 2.71 percent.

In the 1980’s I fell off my bike and skinned my knee. I’m telling you this now because we didn’t have social media back then.

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, “Lenders Continue to Pivot” about how lenders and MLOs continue to shift to a purchase-centric focus. 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 2022 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.)