Aug. 20: Underwriting & Ops jobs; FDIC goes after BNY Mellon; bank M&A; Agency affordable housing goals little changed

I continue to hear about the overkill in paperwork as lenders attempt to cover their collective “assets” against potential liabilities. But that is only on factor, and MetaSource came out with a White Paper titled, “Guide to Gaining a Competitive Advantage through Mortgage Document Management”. Did someone say “overkill”? Hey, that rhymes with Buffalo Bill – as in “Silence of the Lambs.” And check this out: the house where Buffalo (“Precious! Put the lotion in the basket!”) Bill lived in the movie is up for sale at $300k.


Homeward Residential is growing again. “We are a full-service mortgage lender providing our customers with fast, accurate and innovative solutions, while maintaining a culture in which our customers and associates are treated with courtesy, dignity and respect. We are looking for experienced Government and Conventional Underwriters in Mount Laurel, NJ and throughout the United States. We also have opportunities in Westborough, MA for operations and government insuring associates. Homeward offers direct lending, wholesale, emerging banker, delegated and non-delegated programs to meet the diverse needs of our clients. Become a part of Homeward’s family, and be a part of our 2015 growth story. For more information or to apply, please contact Dena Linzay.


A National Mortgage Bank is looking for a VP of National Underwriting Manager. The Bank is a FNMA & FHLMC Seller/Servicer, GNMA I&II Issuer, and jumbo and non-QM lender in 50 states. The VP position will be responsible for underwriting policies and guidance to Operations and Underwriters on all products including Conventional, FHA and VA as well as being responsible for setting and monitoring Underwriter quality standards and performance. The ideal candidate will have a minimum of 10 years Mortgage Banking experience with emphasis on credit risk assessment of both Conventional and Government loans and 5 years management experience at corporate level. Individual must be a FHA DE Underwriter and VA LAPP Underwriter in good standing with HUD and VA. Position will be part of the Senior Management team that drives the overall production strategy on a Regional and National level. Salary commensurate with experience and location. Please send confidential inquires & resumes to me at


Rural housing folks know that recently the RHS/USDA proposed some changes in the program to reduce financial reporting burden on owners. Here is a write-up worth a gander.


As a reminder, Walter Investment Management Corp. spread the word that Ditech Mortgage will be merging with and into Green Tree Servicing, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company (GT Servicing). GT Servicing will be renamed Ditech Financial LLC and will be relocated to Tampa, Florida. Walter Investment Corp, the parent company of both Ditech Mortgage and GT Servicing, has decided to consolidate and streamline its businesses and operate under Ditech Financial LLC. The merger will be effective August 31.


Blackstone’s Finance of America Mortgage announced its affiliation with the Mike Ferry Organization. “The alignment includes serving Ferry’s current clientele base which spans the country. The Ferry organization offers an array of services to real estate agents that include one-on-one coaching, productivity and prospecting schools, and their world famous superstar retreats, attracting thousands of real estate agents from across America.”


Gosh, no sooner does the Bank of New York Mellon settle its bribery case over interns then news breaks of it being sued by FDIC over $2 billion in soured mortgages. Talk about a cast of characters: Guaranty Bank, US Bancorp, BBVA Compass, JPMorgan Chase, EMC, Bear Stearns, Countrywide Home Loans Inc. The list goes on and on.


Bank mergers and acquisitions don’t let up, even in the dog days of summer. There were about 18,000 banks and thrifts in 1984 vs. about 6,500 as of the end of 2014 – that’s a decline of about 64% in 30 years. Pioneer Bancshares, Inc., the holding company for Pioneer Bank, SSB, and FC Holdings, Inc., the holding company for First Community Bank, N.A., jointly announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement that will result in a combined community banking franchise with total assets of $1.1 billion and 22 branches across Texas. The Bank of North Carolina ($4.2B, NC) will acquire SouthCoast Community Bank ($486mm, SC) for $95.5mm in stock. In Illinois First National Bank of Pana ($143mm) will acquire The State Bank of Blue Mound ($33mm). First State Associates ($134mm, IA) will acquire Miner County Bank ($47mm, SD).


How about playing catch up on some changes with around the residential world with various investors to gain a sense of the trends out there. As always it is best to read the full bulletin or contact the lender for details.


A while back Flagstar spread the word that loans that have been underwritten and remain inactive for 44-45 calendar days will now be denied with a reason code of Credit Application Incomplete. This represents a change from the 120 day period currently in effect. Additionally, effective this same date, adverse action letters will be sent to applicant(s) by Flagstar Bank on correspondent loans that were designated to close in Flagstar Bank’s name.


And also a while back Kinecta Federal Credit Union posted Piggy Back Heloc enhancements.


Sun West accepts initial loan application and applicable disclosures executed prior to closing using electronic signature (“e-signature”) if the documents are in compliance with the requirements of the Federal E-Sign Act. However, lenders must utilize an E-Signature Vendor from Sun West’s list of Authorized E-Signature Vendors available in the HELP section of sunsoft. Keep in mind at the time of loan submission, you must submit an Audit Trail (such as a Certificate of Completion from an Authorized E-Signature Vendor)


As a reminder, Wells Fargo Funding’s non-escrow fees are state-specific and differ between fixed and adjustable-rate products. The non-escrow fees, which are updated quarterly, can be found on page four of the rate sheet.  Also, updates to the format and content flow in sections 500 and 505 of the Wells Fargo Funding Seller Guide align the Seller Guide with current process. Policies in these sections were not impacted. The titles of sections 500 and 505 have been changed as follows to better reflect the content contained in therein: Section 500: Delivery of Funding Package to Delivery of Loan Package and Section 505: Delivery of Loan Funding Package to Section 505: Delivery of closed loan package.


M&T Bank posted that the implementation of the revised document upload process in GUS has been delayed from August 12th to August 26th.


PennyMac posted a new announcement with various changes. Information in the bulletin consist of changes to affordable LTV ratio calculation added to DU, increased LTV, CLTV, HCLTV ratios of limited project reviews, and the policy for leased solar panels.


Continuing with agency-related news, Ian Katz with Bloomberg spread the word yesterday that, “Mortgage lending to low-income families could increase slightly under a plan by Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt. Purchases by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for low-income, single-family homes will be targeted at 24 percent of the companies’ business through 2017, the FHFA said Wednesday.” But that’s only one percentage point higher than last year’s level. And another goal, for the poorest families, was reduced to 6 percent, from 7 percent in 2014. Remember that a 2008 federal law requires the Federal Housing Finance Agency to set annual housing goals for mortgages bought by Fannie and Freddie.


The biggest change in the final rule was to increase lending in low-income areas to 14 percent of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s book of business for 2015 through 2017 from 11 percent last year. That goal applies to mortgages made in areas where incomes are low as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. A preliminary rule released a year ago proposed a 23 percent target from 2015 to 2017 for low-income, single-family homes and 7 percent for the very poor, unchanged from 2014.


Joe Light with the Wall Street Journal, however, observed that generally the goals were little changed from 2014 and from what was proposed a year ago, apart from adjustments reflecting changes in the overall mortgage market. “Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s regulator won’t push the mortgage companies to direct additional lending resources to low-income borrowers, a blow to affordable housing advocates…Under the new goals, which are effective from this year to 2017, 24% of Fannie’s and Freddie’s mortgages to buy homes will be expected to go to families with incomes no higher than 80% of their areas’ median income, up one percentage point from 2014. Fannie and Freddie will also have the goal of directing 6% of their home purchase loans to families with incomes that are no more than half of their areas’ median, down one percentage point from 2014.”


Speaking of Agency business, congratulations to Greystone, a real estate lending, investment and advisory company. Recently it originated and delivered to Freddie Mac the 44 loans totaling approximately $120 million as part of Freddie Mac Multifamily’ s first guaranteed Small Balance Loan securitization. Freddie Mac’s guaranteed Small Balance Loan offering, includes fixed-rate and hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage loans ranging from $1 million to $5 million (with five or more units) on multifamily acquisitions or refinancings. “We are honored to have reached the securitization milestone first with Freddie Mac and look forward to continuing to offer this option to multifamily owners nationwide” said Rick Wolf, senior managing director and head of Greystone’s small loan lending group. For more information, visit Greystone’s website.


A new documentary highlights how Greystone works to provide affordable housing for low-income and elderly residents in rural areas across the nation. The USDA’s Rural Development division has supported the efforts to provide critical affordable housing preservation. The film identifies residents of affordable housing communities in rural areas in the U.S. see a complete transformation of their residences due to financing and restoration organized by Greystone. Greystone manages the relocation and renovation of apartment complexes in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. They are also working in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee. Recently, Greystone collected $117 million in financing from various sources to help property owners renovate 1,362 apartments in 44 different communities in rural Georgia.


And Greystone has provided two FHA-insured loans for almost $19 million for the acquisition and refinancing of affordable housing properties in Denver, Colorado. Jefferson Square Apartments, which is a 64 unit multifamily property in Denver, was acquired for $5,076,300 with a low-rate-FHA-insured loan for a 35 year term. Highland Crossing/Square Apartments, a 184 unit affordable housing community in Denver was also acquired and refinanced for $13,719,700, with a 35-year term at a low rate.


Turning to interest rates, the dollar was on the defensive against the euro and yen on Thursday, having pulled back sharply after Federal Reserve meeting minutes suggested that policymakers were in no hurry to raise interest rates. MBS close higher and tighter (relative to risk-free Treasury securities) since the FOMC Minutes seem slightly dovish and provided no clear picture about short-term interest rates – reminding us that no one has a crystal ball – and in fact reflected some sense of hesitancy by the Federal Open Market Committee.


Several members noted that a material slow-down in Chinese economic activity could pose risks to the U.S. economic outlook. Is this a surprise to anyone? Some participants also discussed the risk that a possible divergence in interest rates in the United States and abroad might lead to further appreciation of the dollar, extending the downward pressure on commodity prices and the weakness in net exports. Fortunately for MBS, participants generally favored continuing reinvestments during the early stages of normalization, initially using only increases in the target range for the federal funds rate to reduce monetary policy accommodation.


So there was enough nervousness about events abroad to push rates down as the certainty of a September move by the Fed ebbed from the market. By the time the whistle blew the 10-year Treasury note was higher by .625 (2.13% yield) while agency MBS prices improved .250-.50 depending on coupon.


This morning we’ve already had Initial Jobless Claims (227k versus the expected 270k, below 300k since March) and coming up are Existing Home Sales (expected strong), the Philly Fed (expected higher), and Leading Economic Indicators (expected to slip). Soon after Jobless Claims we find the 10-yr at 2.11% and agency MBS prices a shade better than Wednesday’s close.



(Part 3 of 5 of some trivia to mix things up a little.)

Why do X’s at the end of a letter signify kisses?

In the Middle Ages, when many people were unable to read or write, documents were often signed using an X. Kissing the X represented an oath to fulfill obligations specified in the document. The X and the kiss eventually became synonymous.

Why are people in the public eye said to be “in the limelight”?

Invented in 1825, limelight was used in lighthouses and theatres by burning a cylinder of lime which produced a brilliant light. In the theatre, a performer “in the limelight” was the center of attention.





(Copyright 2015 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.)

Rob Chrisman