Aug. 22: Ops, LO jobs; POS, broker, marketing products; trends in customer service, digital survey

Thank you to everyone who wrote yesterday correcting me that Hawai’i’s 1959 statehood is 60 years old and not 50. I know it’s not the case, but sometimes it seems like admitting Hawai’i was the last thing Congress agreed on. In these days of gridlock, most members of Congress exhibit a sort of learned helplessness, waiting for someone else to come up with an idea so that they can come out against it. Maybe those in Congress should view their constituents as their customers. In lending, when are we going to reach the point where lenders will bid on giving a customer a mortgage after viewing all the credit and property information on some kind of secure portal? Like, “Here I am, and the property I want to buy. Lenders, give me a rate and price!” Dealing with customers, and assuring their satisfaction, is critical to lenders’ success. Old Republic’s Eric Lapin has a recent write-up regarding the digital age and how to interact with customers. Lots more on customers below.

Employment & board moves

A well-capitalized national correspondent lender is seeking a VP of Operations for its Southeast headquarters. The position will manage loan setup, audit, underwriting and final docs.  Must have FNMA, FHLMC, FHA, VA, USDA, and regulatory & compliance experience. This company is growing, so it’s a good opportunity for a strong operations executive to drive growth in a fast-paced environment. Send confidential resumes through Anjelica Nixt.

With more than 15 states pending, Pacific Residential Mortgage (PacRes), headquartered in Lake Oswego, Oregon, is now approved in Montana and Illinois as PacRes expands outside of its historic footprint of the West Coast. PacRes will continue its expansion across the United States in the coming months. After 15+ years in the business, PacRes has emerged as a market share leader, and a financially strong and stable retail mortgage banking platform for loan officers and branch managers. The company structure is based on no underwriting overlays, and a streamlined management structure to ensure the most competitive pricing on a market by market basis. New opportunities to run production for target markets and to add the next billion in production are available. For Regional Production Leaders, Branch Managers and Loan Officers, contact Jenni Connor (828-238-8963). Or check out PacRes’ Ad for consumers, and to learn more about how PacRes Approves Dreams Daily, by going to

Fannie Mae has a new board member: Sheila Bair. Ms. Bair is obviously an underachiever, only serving as the Chair of the FDIC, Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, SVP for Government Relations of the New York Stock Exchange, and Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Lender products and services

Today’s borrowers, referral partners, and top performing loan originators all want an organized, transparent, and highly efficient digital mortgage process as the backbone of their transactions. Floify’s mortgage automation and point-of-sale platform is giving loan stakeholders just that – and much more.  With a modern, embeddable loan application, secure loan document management portal, automated notifications and prompts, unique partner management features, and loads of best-of-breed integrations, Floify makes the perfect digital centerpiece for all front-end mortgage operations. The platform’s incredible level of customizability and white labeling functionality gives lenders the power to shape the borrower’s experience to meet brand expectations. If you’re looking for a modern mortgage platform proven to shave days off the closing cycle, improve referral generating relationships, and provide borrowers with a streamlined single-access experience, request a demo of Floify today!

PlainsCapital Bank National Warehouse Lending, a subsidiary of Hilltop Holdings (NYSE: HTH), is excited to announce its all-in-one BTW Services! “A partnership with PlainsCapital Bank includes a unique opportunity to take advantage of three great platforms within one company to help further reduce costs and streamline services: broker-dealer/Treasury Management/warehouse lending, HilltopSecurities‘ TBA/Specified Pool desk which helps qualified mortgage lenders hedge their origination pipelines by buying and selling TBAs and specified pools, and PlainsCapital Bank Treasury Management group which helps mortgage lenders meet the challenges of managing their cash positions with clearing accounts and escrow management for FNMA, FHLMC and GNMA. For over 25 years, PlainsCapital Bank National Warehouse Lending has provided lines of credit to mortgage lenders across the country and offers multiple incentive pricing options to reduce costs for our customers. To learn more about PlainsCapital Bank National Warehouse Lending, please contact Deric Barnett, EVP National Warehouse Lending, or for HilltopSecurities’ Broker Dealer, please contact George M. Meillarec, Managing Director.

Would you like to do a better job leveraging social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to drive qualified leads while building awareness of your company and what you offer? Social media is effective for any of these goals and an important component of your overall marketing and public relations strategy. Seroka Brand Development will develop your strategy and content to ensure your social presence plays the role it should in driving real business results. These platforms are constantly changing and adding functionality. Seroka will help you stay on top of them and prioritize the platforms most important to your business. Reach out to Seroka and get ready to #TurnUpYourBrand!

You offer more than a rate. As the financial expert your clients trust, you offer a solution! With all the different products, benefits, and advice you can offer, it’s important to go beyond what your clients are looking for – but find out WHY they want it. Whatever your client’s goal is, YOURgage from QLMS will help them reach it faster and easier, because YOURgage lets your client choose any loan term from eight to 30 years. So whether your client is saving for that dream vacation, a child going to school, or retirement, let them choose the home loans they need that provides them the cash flow and peace of mind they’re looking for. Call your AE now to run through scenarios where your clients can benefit from a YOURgage, or for new brokers, connect with QLMS here to learn about products to help your clients.

Correspondent exit

“It saddens me to announce the closure of the ResX Partners correspondent lending platform effective today, August 21st, due to the pending acquisition of United Bank by Peoples United Bank, Bridgeport, CT. It has been an honor to launch and grow this business for United Bank and to work with a truly professional team. Good luck to all of my great correspondent clients!”

The customer is king!

Whether you’re a vendor or a lender or an investor or whatever, where would your business be without customers? Gripe all you want about taking real estate agent cookies for their open house. Consumer expectations are changing with respect to timelines and the overall customer experience. If there is something I hear repeatedly at conferences, it is that the race to acquire customers is paramount. Customer acquisition technology is fundamental. And the smarter companies wonder where it is going in the coming years.

Everyone knows that the best data is your own data, and with rates dropping quickly, Compass Analytics announces a new product that can help you to determine which of your customers is now a great lead for a refinance, purchase, or home equity. Whether existing or new customers, CompassCapture can automate the selection and pricing of leads. Arm your Loan Officers with monthly payment savings, life of loan savings, cash out potential amounts and more, to close the deal. A CompassCapture client recently priced every loan in a client’s retained portfolio to derive dozens of options, even applying their branch-level pricing to find the best scenarios for their best leads. By delivering actionable, customized loan pricing scenarios to originators on a daily basis, CompassCapture can help you to boost servicing retention and increase lead pull-through. Contact for more information!

“Digital is no longer a competitive advantage — it’s the new reality,” says STRATMOR Group’s Senior Partner Garth Graham. “Borrowers expect a digital experience and lenders who are not offering their customers options for executing disclosures, uploading docs and other origination steps are falling behind their peers.” STRATMOR has just completed the Digital Innovations portion of its 2019 Technology Insight Study and this new article “Digital Fuels Innovation for a Better Customer Experience” has insight on the top perceived benefits of Digital Mortgage and the top five live digital capabilities as reported by lenders. Of note: lenders offering dynamic online applications for borrowers has jumped from 29 percent in 2017 to 74 percent in 2019.

National Mortgage Professional is having a free webinar on customers today at 11AM PT, 2PM ET. “How the modern customer journey has changed. What businesses can do to obtain new customers with qualified leads. Which tools can help your business streamline the loan process?”

J.D. Power released its 2019 U.S. Primary Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction Study. There is a “trust gap” created by the involuntary nature of the mortgage servicing relationship, where customers do not select them but are acquired when the servicers purchase loans in the secondary market. Digital tools are not keeping pace and that transferred customers require special care, because their satisfaction scores are lower and they have a significantly higher incidence of problems with payment and escrow accounts. The study also provides the ranking of mortgage servicers.

Last year, in keeping with the spirit of the football season, Ally Home (Ally Bank’s direct-to-consumer mortgage business) kicked off the availability of The Mortgage Playbook using football to outline the plays consumers need to know to understand the mortgage application process and find the mortgage that’s right for them. The Mortgage Playbook was authored by four of Ally Home’s loan experts as a useful guide for anyone – not just Ally customers. Download your free copy of The Mortgage Playbook.

National MI has an economic newsletter, the National MI Market Snapshot, for its lender customers. The Market Snapshot incorporates data and analysis from John Burns Real Estate Consulting as well as data from the National Association of Realtors, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Consumer Credit Panel and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). “The National MI Market Snapshot delivers critical financial and housing information that lenders of the housing market’s most respected consulting firms, we believe our customers will find the newsletter highly useful,” states NMI’s Claudia Merkle.

A while back reports said that Amazon was looking for bank partners to target younger customers with a checking account-like service. Sure enough. Amazon hopes to cross-sell their Prime membership to bank customers to grow that business. Lenders are eyeing Amazon’s potential entry into residential lending. Why would they want to do that if Amazon is known for speed and convenience? What if all it wanted to do is break even on mortgages and instead use the data to cross sell borrowers on more profitable products? Bain research finds Amazon could be the 3rd largest U.S. bank if it wanted to do so, capturing 70 million customers over a 5-year period. (On a smaller scale, the City of Los Angeles tried to launch its own public bank to provide small business loans, finance affordable housing and support marijuana businesses. The measure failed. Meanwhile, some legislators in the state of Washington have also tried to introduce bills to form a state bank.)

Capital markets

U.S. Treasuries ended Thursday in a slight sell off, including the 10-year closing +2 bps to 1.58 percent amid another day of curve-flattening (the 2s10s spread is now compressed to just one basis point) that saw a slight improvement in overall risk tolerance. It may be that markets are becoming numb to bad news, as releases from around the world continued to be less than cheery. The world’s first 30-year bond featuring zero income struggled to find buyers, prompting Germany to admit the sale may have been “too large.” Germany sold 824 million Euros of 30-year debt at an average yield of -0.11 percent. Bids did not exceed the offered amount of 2 billion euros. The auction came as Germany’s Finance Minister said that his country is currently practicing expansive budget policy. In Italy, President Mattarella will confer with party leaders to see if a new coalition can be formed after the resignation of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Tuesday.

But the big news was the release of the much-anticipated July FOMC minutes, which now has Wall Street unsure whether the Fed will sharply cut rates. Minutes from the July 30/31 central bank meeting revealed that, while prepared to cut again if conditions worsen, it didn’t view a July cut as part of an extended cycle. Fed officials viewed the July rate cut as a ‘recalibration’ of policy, or mid-cycle adjustment, in response to the evolution of the economic outlook over recent months,” the minutes said. Several officials favored holding rates steady because they judged “that the real economy continued to be in a good place,” while two officials, favored a more aggressive half-point rate cut at the July meeting, which they said would better address “stubbornly low” inflation rates. Trade tensions and trade uncertainties in conjunction with recent weakness in global economic growth remain downsides, despite a strong domestic labor market.

The fed funds futures market is still almost certain that another rate cut will be announced on September 18, but the implied likelihood of that move has ticked down. Should the economy weaken further, which would pave the way for several future rate cuts, it was revealed that White House officials have contingency plans, including for a potential payroll tax cut and a possible reversal of tariffs. That the White House is discussing ways to stimulate an economy that Mr. Trump called “very strong” underscores concern about slowing growth.

The market’s attention now turns to Fed Chair Powell tomorrow in Jackson Hole, as he should provide further clarity on those minutes. But today’s calendar is already underway, with initial claims for the week ending August 17 (209k, a four-week low). Later this morning brings the preliminary Markit PMI for August, July leading indicators, and the KC Fed Manufacturing Index for August. Additionally, Minneapolis Fed President Kashkari will participate in a panel discussion. We begin the day with agency MBS prices worse a few ticks and the 10-year yielding 1.62%.

(Thank you to Doug B. for these grammar bar jokes, part 4 of 5.)

A misplaced modifier walks into a bar owned by a man with a glass eye named Ralph.

The past, present, and future walked into a bar. It was tense.

A verb walks into a bar, sees a beautiful noun, and suggests they conjugate. The noun declines.

An Oxford comma walks into a bar, where it spends the evening watching the television, getting drunk, and smoking cigars.

Visit 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, “Mortgage Rates: Thinking the Unthinkable.” 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 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.)

Rob Chrisman