While the world is watching 0% or-.5% interest rates in Denmark, in this country Zillow is competing with lenders, real estate agents, and mom & pop fix & flippers. In its last quarter, $248.9 million of the data company’s $599.6 million in revenue came from buying and selling homes directly. The company bought 1,525 homes from April to June in 15 markets, and sold 768 homes (supposedly losing $71 million doing that) with plans to be in 26 housing markets by the middle of 2020. The number of homes it bought is higher than the number it sold, leading to conjecture about flipping houses, buying up properties and investing in repairs and then selling them. Can humans looking for value compete with Zillow’s algorithm designed to exploit inefficiencies? Perhaps not. And Julian Hebron with The Basis Point wrote two targeted pieces: How Zillow Makes Billions Reinventing How We Buy & Sell Homes and How Zillow Makes Money On Its Mortgage Business.
“Allied Mortgage Group a 25+ year old nationwide lender based in Bala Cynwyd, PA is looking for Multi State Licensed Loan Officers for its growing Direct to Consumer Business. The Loan Officers would be located in Bala Cynwyd, PA and supported by a diverse and competitive product menu with excellent lead and operations support. If you are interested in joining our winning team please contact Rebecca Hartey.”
Bell Bank Mortgage in Brookfield has hired Lee Turner as vice president/market manager. The move is part of the company’s focus on recruiting, hiring and training residential mortgage lenders to expand its mortgage branch network in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin. Turner served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years, retiring as a naval flight officer. He spent the past 18 years in mortgage banking. Bell Bank, one of the nation’s largest privately-owned banks, began expanding its mortgage presence in Wisconsin last year, hiring nearly 30 lenders in the Milwaukee area.
“Are you a Texas-based Account Executive looking to make a change with a local presence? Plaza Home Mortgage has an exciting opening for a seasoned Wholesale and Non-Delegated Account Executive that covers the Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma markets, who will take over a number of open and active accounts, as well as bring in your book of business. Enjoy selling one of the largest product menus in the country, with the traditional conventional and government programs – plus Plaza’s five Renovation Programs, distinctive One-Time Close Construction-to-Permanent Loan Program and our new Freddie CHOICERenovation offering. Non-QM products? Look no further, because Plaza offers eight Non-QM products, from well-priced Jumbos to programs using Bank Statements for income. You will also have access to our convenient Dallas sales and operations center. Plaza is nationally recognized for its service excellence, and has the products and technology to help you achieve the success you’ve always wanted. Contact Nick Pantell at 208-871-0850.”
Bank of Hope announced the appointment of Ken Logan as EVP and Head of Residential Finance, reporting directly to President and COO David Malone, and is tasked with further building out the warehouse lending and residential mortgage platforms. (L.A.’s Bank of Hope is the first and only super regional Korean-American bank in the United States with over $15 billion in total assets and 58 full-service branches.)
And Cloudvirga announced that Dan Sogorka is taking over as its Chief Executive Officer, moving up from his role as Chief Revenue Officer, with a goal of having Cloudvirga automate the entire back office to help reduce the 30 days it takes to close a mortgage.
Lender products and services
With the recent uptick in volume, lenders have all hands-on deck assisting with closing loans and are challenged with balancing staff. Hiring and eventually laying off can be a painful process, inefficient and demoralizing. “At DocProbe, we understand your concerns and created a pricing model with your business in mind. We take over the retrieving, auditing, managing corrections, and shipping of every deed and title policy to your investors on time. But, most importantly, because you only pay per loan – you only pay for what you need. Your expenses stay in sync with your volume. No extra overhead and instant scalability as needed since your dedicated, NJ based, DocProbe team becomes an extension of your operations. And with our No- Penalty guarantee, and no integration or set-up fees, there are no added hidden fees. With DocProbe’s per-loan fee structure and easy onboarding process, getting started is a snap. Contact Nick Erlanger (866-486-0554) or catch the team at the TMC Conference in Nashville next week.”
With these low rates plenty of lenders are thinking about adding servicing. After a lender dedicates capital to holding servicing, most hire a subservicer rather than service the loans themselves. Any lender currently using a subservicer should take this 4 minute survey on subservicing (mostly multiple choice) and you could receive FREE advertising for your company in this commentary!
U.S. Bank, Freddie Mac and MGIC are joining forces to deliver an educational morning for Correspondent lenders in King of Prussia, Philadelphia. Join this exclusive event on Tuesday, September 10, featuring collaboration by industry leaders to discover “Down Payment Options for First-Time Homebuyers: They’ve saved every penny but still need some help.”
Presentations will include, “How Today’s Economy Impacts First -Time Homebuyers; How to Put Less Money Down: Products for First-Time Homebuyers, and How First-Time Homebuyers Can Overcome Unique Challenges in Today’s Market and Recent Updates to Underwriting Flexibilities.” Find out how you can help more first-time homebuyers get closer to move-in day. Correspondent Lenders in the King of Prussia, PA area can register to attend here.
The largest industry conference for independent mortgage brokers is back! On October 12, 2019, AIME’s National Fuse Conference returns to the Bellagio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV with a robust list of speakers and exhibitors emphasizing the message that Brokers Are Better! Come join us along with thousands of fresh faces, including two well-known keynote speakers; media mogul and serial entrepreneur, Gary Vaynerchuk and Million Dollar Listing New York and Sell It Like Serhant TV personality, Ryan Serhant. Fuse unites the community, celebrating and enhancing the value of mortgage brokers. Network with top brokers and help reinforce AIME’s mission of empowering independent mortgage brokers around the country. Register now for an event you WON’T want to miss https://fuse.aimegroup.com/
Do you originate loans in Indiana? Did you know Indiana House Bill 1668 goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020 but Equifax, TransUnion and Experian have already started to comply? Are you getting errors when you pull a report such as insufficient information for file search – additional data is needed; inquiry information identified as fraudulent by consumer; or state legislation requires match on more identification information? If so, you are not alone. Credit Plus is helping our mortgage lender clients expertly navigate these upcoming changes. Want to work with one of the nation’s leading verifications companies that specializes in keeping clients a step ahead of important industry developments? Contact Credit Plus to learn how to embrace this change and smoothly operate through it.
FinLocker, a financial data and analytics company, and ARIVE, a private technology company, have partnered to assist brokers in achieving a superior customer relationship throughout the loan origination process and beyond. This alliance will support access to FinLocker technology as a component of the ARIVE marketplace. FinLocker is a lead generation, cross-selling, and customer for life data platform leveraged by banks, mortgage lenders, and their customers. Acting as a personal financial assistant tool that captures consumer financial data to analyze and streamline financial transactions, FinLocker will bring this value to broker lenders and third-party vendors that conduct business on the ARIVE workflow platform. Offering independent originators access to sophisticated technology and tools, this partnership allows brokers to brand the secure reusable financial “locker” in their name, creating an innovative offering for their customers, and adding to the inherent value of the ARIVE mortgage ecosystem. Contact Brian Vieaux to learn more today.
Freddie Mac Single-Family is ALL FOR building the future of home. Affordable lending is evolving and Freddie Mac is ALL IN on providing solutions that enable emerging populations to achieve the dream of HOME. We are changing perceptions by developing products and resources that drive real opportunities for businesses while creating a renewed sense of access for borrowers. Read an Executive Perspective from Danny Gardner, Senior Vice President, Freddie Affordable Lending and Access to Credit, that highlights the value of education and strategic outreach to overcome barriers to homeownership. In addition, don’t miss Freddie Mac’s take on The Future of Affordable Lending in Housingwire. Learn more about All For HomeSM, Freddie Mac’s approach to affordable lending, and discover key insights to inform your business and take advantage of solutions and tools that will further enable your borrowers to make Home Possible®. All in. All of us. All For Home.
Tech & vendor chatter
According to the results of the System Survey for STRATMOR Group’s 2019 Technology Insight Study, 74 percent of lenders use a third-party system for lead management/CRM. Would you like to have data like this about digital technologies? Then don’t miss your chance to participate in the next survey of this study on Digital Innovations. This survey asks lenders about implementing digital technologies in the mortgage process and what barriers or benefits they are encountering. The survey can be completed in about five minutes, and lenders who participate in the 2019 Technology Insight Study receive the reports for the surveys they complete for FREE. Complete all the surveys and you’ll have the entire 2019 Technology Insight Study for the investment of your time. Take the Digital Innovations Survey now (it closes Friday, August 16).
For lenders looking to implement new technology into their workflow or maximize the customer experience through current or proposed POS, LOS and operational processes, Cedar Creek Capital has architected a system of customized recommendations to develop a project plan to guide teams through the implementation of critical recommendations, process optimization and technology implementation. Having successfully provided technology and process optimization as well as workflow solutions for loan manufacturing to the Agencies, CCC now offers proven workflow efficiencies and reduced cycle times, increased margins and loan quality standards for all lenders. (Contact email@example.com for more information.)
Ellie Mae announced the expansion of HELOC lending automation in Encompass. Coupled with the most recent 19.3 major release of Encompass, with these new configuration capabilities, lenders can ramp up multiple HELOC offerings in all 50 states, including the ability to dynamically generate historical examples that are provided as part of the Important Terms Disclosure. Significant capability for customers to configure their HELOC offerings and calculations. Major enhancements for customers to configure language within the HELOC Agreement and Important Terms Disclosure.
Black Knight and Docutech have entered into a strategic alliance through which Black Knight will be bundling ConformX, Docutech’s loan doc generation engine, into its Empower Now! implementation model (geared specifically toward mid-tier lenders as well as lenders of any size seeking a quick implementation of a completely scalable LOS). By bundling ConformX with Empower Now!, lenders receive a premier, all-in-one origination solution, eliminating the need to integrate a separate loan document provider or negotiate with two separate vendors
Diehl Mortgage Training and Compliance has launched the mortgage industry’s first mobile app to prepare for the Secure and Fair Enforcement Mortgage Loan Originator (SAFE MLO) licensing test, an exam required since 2008. “Prep2Pass™ app allows users to convert free time, even in small chunks, to a passing score by accessing content anytime and anywhere.” The Prep2Pass™ app, now available for download in the Google Play and Apple iTunes App stores, provides a variety of ways to learn including flashcards, simulated tests, category-specific questions and videos. In addition, users can “ask a trainer” by initiating a question without leaving the app. As the loan originator candidates move through the test prep process, their managers can follow their progress.
On Friday the U.S. 10-year closed +2 bps to yield 2.73% to end what was a wild week for Treasuries that saw many durations touch low yields for the year. Higher trade tensions with China and muted inflationary pressures dominated headlines building into this busy week on the economic calendar.
Today’s calendar is actually light, with only a Treasury auction of $42 billion each of 3- and 6-month bills, both up $3 billion from the prior week, and the July budget statement from the CBO, now estimating a deficit of $120 billion compared with $76.9 billion in the prior fiscal year. And Fedspeak is light ahead of the KC Fed’s economic symposium in Jackson Hole next week. Tomorrow is also sparse on economic releases, only the July CPI and Core CPI due out. Wednesday brings July Import/Export Prices before a very busy Thursday that includes July Retail Sales, Manufacturing, Fed and Production indexes. Additionally Norges Bank will be out with their latest policy decision and the MBS Class B 48-hours is on Thursday Class C is due to close the week, along with July Housing Starts and Building Permits in addition to August Michigan Consumer Sentiment. We begin today with the 10-year yielding 1.69% and agency MBS prices are better by .125 as trade worries continue to push our rates lower.
“If you boil a funny bone, you get laughing stock!”
“Now, that’s humerus.”
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, “Residential Lending, Banks, and Market Share.” If you have both the time and 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.
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2019 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.)