Apr. 4: LO jobs; buydown, corresp., POS, eClosing, outsource, insurance products; FHFA/Freddie/Fannie changes continue

I was having dinner in Manhattan last night, with the topics including Virgin Orbit filing for bankruptcy and the continuing Homepoint rumors (any questions should be directed to your wholesale AE or the publicly-held company itself!), when the waiter came up and asked how everything was before I’d taken a bite. Does that constitute a “dishruption?” Want a visual of something as disruptive as an FHFA pricing change with no notice or lead time? Here you go. For more acronyms that begin with “F,” the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) announced the framework of a marketing process for the approximately $60 billion loan portfolio retained in receivership following the failure of Signature Bank, New York, New York. Dig your loose change out of the couch and buy some of the portfolio “comprised primarily of commercial real estate (CRE) loans, mostly multifamily in NYC, commercial loans, and a smaller pool of single-family residential loans.” (Today’s podcast can be found here and this week it’s sponsored by Milestones. Giving homeowners an all-inclusive homeownership experience including home value and equity monitoring, home maintenance reminders and how-to articles, cloud-based document storage, one-click access to hire professionals for various projects around the home, and much more. Hear an interview with Personetics’ Jody Bhagat on automating consumers spending habits and pitching vendor technology to banks.)



Directors Mortgage signals a new growth strategy in contracted market opening two new locations in Albuquerque, NM, and increasing the company’s team of loan officers across other states.” “This market presents unique opportunities for us because we are privately owned and able to shift quickly to the needs of our clients and team members,” said CEO and President Mark J. Hanna (NMLS-91462). “And our tech-enabled, people-focused approach makes Directors Mortgage a preferred place for loan officers to land.” Founded in the Pacific Northwest, Directors Mortgage will continue to focus on that region, and also further its foothold after expanding a few years ago into the Southwest and West. Learn more about becoming part of the team at Directors Mortgage, recognized 3 years in a row as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For by Oregon Business Magazine. (NMLS-3240. Arizona Mortgage Banker License BK-0942517. Equal Housing Opportunity Lender.)

Lender and broker services and software


If your lawn tends to get lost beneath springtime overgrowth, employing a team of goats can be a cost-effective solution. When it comes to uncovering the hard-to-find mortgage opportunities buried in your database, TrustEngine is the GOAT (Greatest of All Time). Movement Mortgage’s Keith Collins credits Sales Boomerang borrower intelligence alerts with helping him retain a three-time customer who suddenly started shopping with a competitor. A custom Total Cost Analysis (TCA) presentation from Mortgage Coach helped him enhance the experience even further by illustrating the potential impact of different loan scenarios based on the borrower’s current financial situation and goals. See for yourself how TrustEngine’s real-time homebuyer insights and advice help lenders mow over the competition.

ICE Mortgage Technology® releases new “What Borrowers Want” data. Based on the findings from their recently conducted 2023 Borrower Insights Survey, this eBook offers a fresh look at today’s borrower preferences by generation, mortgage experience, and more. Whether you’re looking to create new programs, better promote your current offerings, or improve how you communicate with borrowers, this brand-new data will inform your decisions. If you’ve ever wished you could read borrowers’ minds, the ICE Mortgage Technology’s “What Borrowers Want” eBook is the next best thing! Click here to download the eBook now.

You wouldn’t build a house on a shaky foundation, so why build a mortgage business on technology that’s anything less than rock solid? Black Knight, an industry-leading provider of technology, data and analytics that are helping to transform the mortgage industry, has released a new article that takes a deep dive into how you can build the right tech stack for your business. Find out how the cloud-based, all-in-one Empower® LOS can serve as the cornerstone for your success. From evaluating your goals to selecting the components you need to meet them; you’ll learn how to apply a critical eye to your current technology and determine whether you’ve truly set yourself up to compete at your best in today’s challenging market. Read the article here, and then contact Black Knight to learn more.

Are you a mortgage leader looking for ways to improve your customer experience and make your teams more efficient? Matic is a home insurance platform built for mortgage enterprises that has helped top lenders and servicers reduce friction for their processors. Embedding the insurance purchase experience into the mortgage process means no more chasing down insurance documentation, accelerate loan closings, your loan teams won’t need to refer borrowers to outside insurance providers, which keeps borrowers within your own ecosystem, add a passive revenue stream. And mortgage enterprises can generate extra income by offering home insurance  Want to learn more? Book a demo with our team of mortgage experts to learn about partnerships.

Are you part of the 75% of lenders (MBA’s Q4 Report) that continue to lose money on every loan? If so, it’s likely you need a shift in strategy and business structure in order to survive in today’s market and thrive in tomorrow’s. Maxwell outsourced solutions help lenders of all volume sizes and scales solve this challenge and stay profitable. Forward-thinking Banks, IMBs, and CUs across the country are using Maxwell to shed fixed expenses and, in turn, shift their origination expense into a variable cost. Maxwell’s onshore single-point fulfillment solution saves lenders from costly overhead, while their innovative Private Label offering allows lenders to outsource the entire origination process, from technology and talent to vendor relationships and process management, all white-labeled to the client and charged on a simple per closed loan fee. Schedule a meeting or learn more at himaxwell.com.

Did you know that cats take fewer injuries from higher falls? Taking the time to plan for the landing allows a falling cat to adjust to lessen the impact. Dealing with an ever-changing digital mortgage ecosystem can feel a lot like free fall, but forward-thinking lenders can prepare and adjust to maximize their mortgage efficiency. In a recent whitepaper, Wolters Kluwer examined the future of eClosing and eClosing hubs and their importance in helping lenders achieve their digital lending potential. By considering borrower expectations and lender needs, lenders can be prepared to take full advantage of innovative technology supporting Mortgage. Prepare for the impact of evolving technology and regulations; read the white paper today!

Do you know what your online loan application’s bounce rate is? Prospective borrowers “bounce” to another lender’s site when they click your Apply Now link just to realize that they have to create an account or need instructions on how to proceed. When lenders use LiteSpeed by LenderLogix as their front-end point-of-sale, prospective borrowers convert in under 90 seconds. That’s lead capture the way it should be: fast and easy. If a lead is worth, let’s say, $500, can you imagine how much potential money you’re losing if your bounce rate is 50% or higher? Don’t let prospective borrowers slip through the cracks. Check out LiteSpeed.

TPO products


“Are your clients on the fence about purchasing a home? Don’t let high interest rates keep them from missing out on the home of their dreams. If you partner with AFR Wholesale®, it’s no longer about the rate; It’s about partnering with a company that wants to provide your families a foot in the door now. Borrowers can buy the home of their dreams now and receive a lender credit* if they refinance in 2024 (must use both our original client and AFR and still meet mortgage seasoning requirements). *To be applied at closing towards closing costs. AFR Wholesale partners have access to various programs and features like 2:1 Temporary Buydown, DPA Advantage, a full suite of renovation loan options, HomePossible, HomeOne, HomeReady, Manufactured Home financing, New Construction options, and much more. Turn those pre-quals into funded loans with AFR. Contact AFR by going visiting us, email us or call 1-800-375-6071.”

TMS Correspondent is a renowned national correspondent investor known for its broad guideline eligibility and its guaranteed 24-hour turn time of initial funding package review. Ready to see what sets TMS Correspondent apart? Catch TMS at any of the following conferences: the Great River MBA Conference, Regional Conference of MBAs, NALHFA Annual Conference, Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference, and the MBA Secondary & Capital Markets Conference. To learn more about TMS Correspondent, email todayCheck out our affiliate company Servbank, to learn more about our subservicing opportunities. Servbank!

Servbank Subservicing Sub-par subservicing stops here For too long, lenders have been missing the ”service” part of their subservicing experience. Where did it go? At Servbank it’s in our DNA. That’s what has made us one of the nation’s Top 10 subservicers. We are a different kind of company, we do business in a different way.”

FHFA, Freddie, Fannie… ceaseless changes impacting borrowers


Black Knight: told us that February home prices saw their first monthly rise (after seven straight declines) from modestly easing affordability in January and early February along with worsening inventory levels. This is good news for owners and lenders and given that the bulk of production is “Agency,” let’s see what they’re up to.

The FHFA is making the COVID-era six month deferral permanent, allowing borrowers to skip up to six monthly payments and then tack them on to the end of the mortgage. Directed Thompson noted, “The Enterprises completed more than one million COVID-19 payment deferrals during the pandemic, helping borrowers nationwide to stay in their homes… Based on the success of the COVID-19 payment deferral, we are making this solution a key part of our standard loss mitigation toolkit that is available to all borrowers with eligible hardships.” FHFA posted details on its Announced Enhanced Payment Deferral Policies for Borrowers Facing Financial Hardship.

That’s not all. The Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General (FHFA-OIG) released the Audit Report on Conservatorship Decisions.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General released a white paper, An Overview of the Federal Home Loan Bank System, on Friday, March 31.

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will begin the next phase of the GSE Credit Score and Reports Initiative. This work will require the use of two new credit score models and require two, rather than three, credit reports. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have provided an industry playbook, including timelines and FAQs. The next step is asking industry stakeholders for feedback to inform implementation planning, and you’re invited to share your feedback.

Help your clients manage their money with Freddie Mac CreditSmart Homebuyer U Developed to guide homebuyers, CreditSmart® Homebuyer U presents key learning principles for homebuyer preparedness and establishes a foundation for successful money management skills including setting priorities based on life goals such as buying a home. Managing priorities by establishing a spending plan. Debt reduction strategies. Utilizing wise techniques to stay within a spending plan. Planning for the future by saving money. Available in English and Spanish, fulfills first-time homebuyer education requirements for low down payment mortgages such as Freddie Mac Home Possible® , Freddie Mac HomeOne® and Freddie Mac HFA Advantage®.

Under the direction of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Freddie Mac’s Single-Family Seller/Servicer Guide Bulletin 2023-7  announces the delay in implementation of the Debt-to- Income Ratio > 40% credit fee that will now be effective for mortgages with settlement dates on or after August 1, 2023.

With housing in short supply and living costs at all-time highs, ADUs and home renovations can be part of the solution that supports affordable and sustainable homeownership. Freddie Mac’s CHOICERenovation® offering provides an option to use a no cash-out refinance mortgage to pay off short-term financing that financed ADU Renovations, including the addition or renovation of an ADU that is completed prior to the note date. Discover 4 Reasons Why Freddie Mac ADU policies and Reno financing help your business.

Make the GreenCHOICE: Grow Your Business with Green Home Loans typical U.S. family could reduce energy bills up to 30% by making energy-efficient upgrades. With GreenCHOICE Mortgages®, one of Freddie Mac affordable mortgage solutions, you can help borrowers finance energy and water efficiency features that can reduce home utility costs.

Freddie Mac Guide Bulletin 2023-5 announced the expiration of the remaining temporary COVID-19 related underwriting requirements, including the requirements announced in Guide Bulletin 2020-17 for borrowers with existing mortgages. To help answer questions about mortgage eligibility if you become aware of missed payments on a borrower’s existing mortgage, or the existing mortgage is in a loss mitigation program, or of the use of proceeds from a “no cash-out” refinance transaction, Freddie Mac prepared Retirement of Bulletin 2020-17, Selling Guidance Related to COVID-19 FAQs.

To begin the multiyear rollout phase, the GSEs have posted an industry playbook, technical specifications, and sample appraisal reports. Access the resources and learn more on the Freddie Mac UAD page and Fannie Mae’s Resource page.

Fannie Mae issued LL-2023-04, Payment Deferral, Disaster Payment Deferral, and Other Updates, to broaden the standard payment deferral workout option. Key changes include allowing the deferral of at least two and up to six months of past due principal and interest (P&I) payments, including escrow and servicing advances paid to third parties. The borrower may not defer more than 12 months of cumulative past-due P&I payments over the life of the loan. Servicers may implement these changes starting July 1 but must implement by Oct. 1.

Capital markets: what about everyone who predicted bank chaos?


It seems the bank catastrophe headlines are in the rear-view mirror, but there was a lot of yelling and screaming about a disaster in the U.S. banking system. Calmer heads seem to have prevailed. Keeping things in perspective, the new month and quarter kicked off with Treasury prices rising and MBS prices by not as much, due to investors’ prepayment risk fears and a smattering of softer data. Oil price fears also played into the market movement, and Treasury yields slid, including the 10-year hitting the lowest level in a week. The March ISM Manufacturing Index decreased more than expected in February to slide further into contractionary territory for the fifth straight month.

The Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, rose just 0.3 percent in February, good news in the central bank’s fight to bring down prices while avoiding a recession. U.S. year-ahead inflation expectations have receded to the lowest in nearly two years, according to the final March reading from the University of Michigan.

Separately, perhaps of more interest to those who make a living lending money on real estate, total construction spending declined 0.1 percent month-over-month in February when it was expected to remain flat as new single-family construction remained a weak spot. On a year-over-year basis, total construction spending was up 5.2 percent as higher interest rates and increased costs for labor and materials are making construction projects more expensive to finance at a time when concerns about a future economic slowdown/contraction are taking root.

Today’s U.S. economic calendar has little to move rates: Redbook same store sales, factory orders, and JOLTS job openings (both for February). Three Fed speakers are also scheduled: Governor Cook, Boston President Collins, and Cleveland President Mester. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices worse a tick or two (32nds) and the 10-year yielding 3.46 after closing yesterday at 3.43 percent with the 2-year at an even 4.00.

Meeting with my new pastor, I asked if I could have a church service when I eventually die.

“Of course,” he said, grabbing his date book. “What day do you want?”

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).


(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