Aug. 17: Brokers wanted, MLO jobs; webinars of note; warehouse mgt., automation, reverse products; comp survey; rates slide

The 10-year yield back down to 1.24 percent!? Watch those early pay off penalties. Along those lines, are you servicing loans? Mind your p’s and q’s, and then some. The report from the CFPB shows the agency is making it clear that it intends to prioritize monitoring mortgage servicers and how they are dealing with struggling borrowers. This is just one example of the interaction with, some would say interference by, the U.S. government in housing. The Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s edict on housing policy and shielding prompted one regional production manager from Massachusetts to write, asking, “Presidential administrations cause enough trouble and confusion setting housing policy. Now we have the CDC involved? Are we bringing back leper colonies?” As part of the infrastructure package, the government is looking at what amounts to an Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) for corporations. It supposedly would look at increases in book value and tax that increase at 15% as a floor. Think mortgage servicing rights. As of now, mortgage servicing rights are capitalized when created, and there is no income realized until they are sold or fees are collected. The MBA is on it, since under the new proposal, MSRs would be taxed immediately, since book value increases once they are capitalized. If Basel-like capital requirements are placed on non-bank GNMA originators, it will impact MSR pricing and therefore borrower’s rates. (Today’s audio version of the commentary is available here and this week’s is sponsored by Candor Technology. Lenders using Candor produce a high-quality loan that requires only 1 underwriter touch on 70% of loans.)

Employment, business opportunity, & transitions

“With cycles of hiring and firing, you lose valuable support. At Planet Home Lending, our multi-channel model means we don’t experience typical fluctuating staffing levels among the people MLO’s rely on. Join us for consistent production and committed capital that leads to accurate pricing, award-winning service, and the support you need to pivot toward profit in all market cycles. Watch our Retail Sales Leader Caleb Mittelstet talk about why originators are moving to Planet. Then send a note to Caleb or SVP Talent Acquisition Brian Miller. Grow your business with Planet Home Lending – Right Place, Right Size, Right Now!”

BrightPath Mortgage is seeking to acquire mortgage brokers. “Don’t be the last one standing in this go-around of musical chairs. Unlike others who may be scrambling, we have long standing experience with such acquisitions. That results in giving you the autonomy you need without the industry headaches. Often, we leave your brand in place and such acquisition is invisible to your clients. Great way to spread the risk.” If you have any interest, contact Joe Poindexter (404-357-5212).

Wyndham Capital Mortgage, known as a “digital” lender, is making a foray into having nationwide physical locations and retail mortgage loan officers. The move is spearheaded by Karen Mayfield, head of national retail sales, and builds on Wyndham’s direct-to-consumer channel.

Lender & broker services and products

Last week Fannie Mae announced an initiative to make homeownership more accessible by factoring rent payments into the underwriting process. FormFree has already built the rails for seamlessly delivering 12+ months of asset history for lenders that use AccountChek and the Desktop Underwriter® (DU®) validation service, enabling them to welcome more inclusivity into their underwriting process when the program goes into effect Sept. 18. Of note, FormFree’s extended asset report shields certain transactions (such as gift deposits received more than 60 days prior to applying for a conventional or VA loan) from unintentional underwriting scrutiny. Also, lenders using FormFree will not have to order separate reports or create alternative review processes. To learn more, contact your FormFree rep or schedule a meeting with Shawn Crawford at Great River MBA or Christy Moss, CMB, at CMBA Western Secondary. 

Floify, the leading provider of digital mortgage technology, just released Floify TPO, the company’s new automated loan submission platform that directly supports wholesale lenders and their third-party originators. Wholesale lenders can use Floify TPO to dramatically improve visibility, communication, and efficiency throughout their TPO channel, resulting in shorter loan cycle times and a dynamic mortgage borrowing experience. Floify TPO enables third-party originators to streamline the application and documentation gathering process, easily register new loans with the lender and seamlessly pull new conditions from their LOS to create the corresponding document requests in the borrower’s loan portal. Once a loan application is submitted, third-party originators will be automatically connected with their borrower so they can work together to confirm mortgage loan requirements are met and ensure a smooth process, including completing tasks such as running product and pricing scenarios. Inquire about Floify TPO’s Early Access program to learn more!

Breaking: Digital mortgage platform Maxwell made the Inc. 5000 list as the 15th fastest-growing software company in the country! Inc. magazine’s annual list is out, and Maxwell ranked as the 154th fastest-growing private company and the 15th fastest-growing software company in the U.S. What drove all that growth? Put simply, lenders across the country choose Maxwell because it has a real impact. LOs on the platform close 20% more loans than the national average, and lenders shave 10+ days off the time to close each loan. Maxwell provides a powerful suite of solutions from point-of-sale technology to loan fulfillment and diligence services. And with the momentum from fast growth and its Inc. 5000 award, the company only plans to accelerate the value it offers lenders in its network. Click here to learn more about Maxwell’s game-changing solutions, or set up a call today.

Tech Providers! Did you know ReverseVision has API Integrations that could help you expand your customer base by reaching 11,000 potential new customers every day? As the leader in the reverse mortgage industry, ReverseVision continually seeks new ways to empower its tech partners and lenders alike with the fastest way to connect to reverse mortgage lending options. Lenders are regularly asking for a seamless reverse mortgage experience within their existing technology. You could be their go-to solution! It is easy to get started, learn how to partner with ReverseVision today.

Sometimes the industry standard is substandard. LERETA’s tax and flood services go beyond what is considered “industry standard” to get it done right, every time. Whether it is setting up meticulously accurate tax lines or using our ParcelPro™ technology to identify “ghost parcels”, we take the necessary steps and care that other tax service providers don’t. Our streamlined implementation process onboards portfolios quickly and our experienced associates leverage our advanced technology to identify potential issues before they become problems. Isn’t it time to work with a tax service designed to support diverse business rules and at the same time solve for vendor diversification? Experience the LERETA difference today, contact Jess Johnson for more details.

Is your technology roadmap creating efficiencies or headaches? If your tech roadmap isn’t being enhanced by intelligent automation across all areas of your business, it’s time to upgrade. The Richey May mortgage industry experts, partnered with Zoral’s world-class automation platform, can help you design and implement a tailored technology roadmap enhanced with intelligent automation to create efficiencies, improve reliability, and increase profitability for your business. Intelligent automation can help all your systems run more smoothly and create efficiencies by eliminating repetitive, manual tasks so your employees can spend time focusing on what’s important. Contact Richey May for a demo to see how RM Automate can help you differentiate in a competitive market.

As Steve Jobs stated, “Innovation is the only way to win.” IMBs can transform processes and boost profits now with OptiFunder, the industry’s only warehouse management platform that automates purchase advice reconciliation, reporting and shipping to save time and money. OptiFunder enables IMBs to maximize warehouse line utilization while streamlining workflow, reducing hours of manual data entry work to a few clicks. And OptiFunder is now integrated with Encompass® LOS by ICE Mortgage Technology™, expediting access for Encompass users.  We’re bringing IMBs and Warehouse Lenders together in a new way for simpler, better transactions. A 20-minute demo can give you post-close clarity and efficiency. Don’t wait, see why CFOs love OptiFunder. Contact us today for more info or to request a demo.

Company sponsored events

Chase invites correspondent lenders to an eNote overview with its partners from MERS®/ICE Mortgage Technology on August 18 from 2-3PM ET. Click here to register for this informative session on transitioning to eNotes.

ReadyPrice Presents: Define Your Process with Chris Vinson. What’s your process at work? How do you engage in team-building? Join ReadyPrice for a live educational event at 11AM PST / 2PM EST on August 19th as CEOs Rick Soukoulis and Chris Vinson sit down to discuss the topic of Defining Your Process. In this engaging webinar, Chris and Rick will talk about how the three steps of Recruiting Talent, Designing a Team, and Defining your Mortgage Process will lead to success in the workplace. Join the online event by using this link. We look forward to seeing you there!

What’s next for consumer direct lending? Heightened expectations from the next generation of homebuyers combined with a shift to purchase market means lenders must evolve their processes and technology to outpace the competition. Join Total Expert’s upcoming webinar as industry experts break down how to cut through the noise to reach today’s consumers, strategies to increase operational efficiencies, and insights on the future of “smile and dial.” Register now to join us live on Aug. 24 or to receive the recording.

The Woodstock Music & Art Fair was scheduled to end 52 years ago today (though it actually rolled over into the next morning!). Despite lasting just over 3 days, the festival became a cultural event many will always remember. That’s the kind of lasting impression mortgage lenders hope to make. Yet, regrettably, more than 80% of borrowers forget about their lender when it comes time for another loan. Join Homebot’s Ernie Graham and Sales Boomerang’s Alex Kutsishin on August 31 at 1 pm ET as they share retention strategies that will ensure your borrowers think of you for their next loan. Remember, you don’t have to help your borrowers into their forever home to be their always lender. Register today to learn how to become the lender your borrowers always remember.

XINNIX is bringing the industry a first-of-its-kind Leadership Lessons live webinar event on Thursday, September 9 at 1:00 PM ET to continue the conversation on growing through challenging times with leaders who have been there and done it. Reserve your seat for “Leaders Who Dominate Disruption” featuring CEO of Ziglar, Inc., Tom Ziglar, and XINNIX Founder & CEO, Casey Cunningham. XINNIX’s new EVP, Michael Norton, will make his XINNIX debut as host and facilitator of the live session. XINNIX also announces the addition of Kim Norton as the new VP of Learning Enablement. Norton previously served as Co-Founder and Chief Experience Officer of Tramazing, now a XINNIX company, and as VP of Account Management and Client Services at Sandler Training. As part of her new role, Kim will lead the charge in developing new programs and expanding XINNIX’s current offerings.

Comp: name of the game?

Lenders, are you doing everything possible to recruit and retain talent in the current lending environment? In STRATMOR’s Spring 2021 Compensation Connection® Study, 34% of participating lenders provided a recruiting or retention bonus for processors, underwriters, and closers. As we navigate high production levels and strain on FTEs throughout the origination pipeline, it is important to come to the table with compensation offers comparable to your peers. Get the data you need to be competitive by participating in STRATMOR’s Fall 2021 Compensation Connection® Study. Participants receive a report comparing their responses to 2020 survey averages on key compensation metrics and characteristics for mortgage industry positions. The registration deadline for the Fall survey session is September 15: sign up today!

Capital markets

While the Fed can’t control the supply and demand imbalance in the housing market, nor does it directly set mortgage rates, it can influence mortgage rates. This issue will probably push up the tapering process, especially for MBS purchases. And the Fed is watching plenty. Wide-spread price inflation continues to be one of the main economic themes of the moment. The Consumer Price Index increased for the seventh consecutive month in July and nearly every sub-component is above the Fed’s 2 percent annual threshold; many significantly. Energy prices were up 24 percent over the last twelve months and used cars are up 42 percent. Core prices gained 4.3 percent for the year. Producer prices have also held above the Fed’s threshold with headline prices up 7.8 percent for the year, the highest annual reading since 2011. Elsewhere, last week we learned that initial claims for unemployment were 375,000 for the week ending August 7, more or less within the range observed for most of the summer. Purchase mortgage apps remain a little soft, which may indicate soft new and existing home sales for July when those numbers are released.

The question on many people’s lips these days is if the global recovery is in jeopardy. It will certainly have an impact on mortgage rates, whichever way things go versus expectations. Maybe it was just some start-of-the-week nervousness yesterday, but economic slowdown concerns driven by weak data out of China, a weaker than expected Empire State Manufacturing Survey at home, and the Delta variant around the world, weighed on sentiment. That isn’t even mentioning the Taliban forces quickly taking control of Afghanistan. By the end of the day, Treasuries had rallied slightly and the MBS basis closed mostly wider.


Today’s economic calendar contains the most market moving data of the week, and is already out of the gate with July retail sales (-1.1 percent, not good but June revised higher). Later this morning brings Redbook same store sales for the week ending August 14, July industrial production and capacity utilization, June business inventories, and the NAHB Housing Market Index for August. Fed Chair Powell and Minneapolis Fed President Kashkari are both scheduled to speak in the afternoon. The Desk will purchase up to $4.4 billion of conventional MBS across 15-year 1.5 percent and 2 percent and 30-year 2 percent and 2.5 percent. Yesterday, Boston Fed President Rosengren said the economic outlook has improved despite the Delta variant and that he expects the Fed will soon begin reversing accommodative policy by saying in September that it is going to start tapering its asset purchases in October. The Fed wants to avoid a repeat of the 2013 “taper tantrum” where rising Treasury yields got away from them quickly. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged and the 10-year yielding 1.24 after closing yesterday at 1.26 percent on continued virus fears and international unrest causing a flight to quality in our bond market.

Carol K. suggests, “If you think that you’re smarter than the previous generation… 50 years ago the owner’s manual of a car showed you how to adjust the valves. Today it warns you not to drink the contents of the battery.”

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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 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 Copyright 2021 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