Aug. 24: LO jobs; best ex, cybersecurity, audit, LO profile, credit reporting, QC products; better.com IPO is today

“I’m not a fan of elevator music. It’s bad on so many levels.” Whether or not you think that the environment and value of owning stock in lenders and vendors has been “bad” over the last year or two, it certainly has been dicey. If you want to “be long” lenders or other mortgage-related companies, you could put some of your hard-earned savings into RKT, ICE, GHLD, UWMC, HMPT, LDI, PMT, FOA, or COOP. Now you’ll have a new vehicle: BETR. Yes, Better.com is going public, in what many would term a “challenging” environment. In a combination of stock market news, along with the reminder that making predictions about markets is like throwing darts, an ETF that was started on March 1, 2023 to track Jim Cramer’s stock picks has only garnered $1.3 million in assets and is closing. Maybe this is the free market saying that Jim Cramer is full of fluff and no value. (Today’s podcast can be found here and this week’s is sponsored by PHH Mortgage. For over 30 years, PHH Mortgage has provided industry-leading mortgage services and helped countless homebuyers and homeowners find financing solutions to meet their needs.)

 

Employment

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Attention Visionary Branch Managers! When you’re running a successful branch, flexibility is more important than ever when it comes to building your team, defining the model, and making decisions on where to spend your resources. That’s why PrimeLending offers three different branch structures to empower you to be more than a manager so you can truly lead and grow your team in the way that best fits their strengths and goals. If you’re not satisfied with the status quo, and you want to explore all the options available to grow your branch and your career, it’s time to look at PrimeLending. We’re focused on the future and always hiring talented, driven mortgage professionals ready to take the next step. Contact Nic Hartke today to find out more and position yourself for success in this ever-changing environment!”

Lender and broker software and services

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Are you attending IMN’s 6th Annual NPL, Notes & Default Servicing Forum in September? If so, be sure to check out the session “How Do You Determine the Pricing of Distressed Deals?” where Velocity Servicing’s President, Matt Stadler, will be moderating! During this session, Matt will lead panelists through the nuances of pricing distressed loans, including the following: Where are distressed deals coming from, and how can you source them? What impacts are inflation and interest rates having on distressed product pricing? What factors determine the pricing of distressed deals? Important due diligence factors to consider when pricing. And more! If you are interested in scheduling time to meet with Matt during the conference, contact matt.stadler@loancare.com. Click to learn more or call today at 646-361-6808 to partner with Velocity Servicing, a LoanCare® division, for your specialty servicing needs.

Free AML Module to staff and MLOs! Optimize Compliance (MtgEd) is dedicated to IMB Educational Compliance, org cost cutting, and audit preparedness. The Client Portal hosts the MOST ROBUST Tracking and Audit Center, built from IMB Compliance team input. MLO CE is not enough to satisfy regulators- our solution solves for that. For the free AML promotion, contact Dave Olchek. For TMC members, see ya’ in Nashville.

Feeling constrained by your current down payment assistance options? At Click n’ Close, we make DPA available for all with no income restrictions or first-time homebuyer requirements. These are just some of the many reasons why Highland Mortgage chose Click n’ Close. As Highland’s Director of Capital Markets Morgan Clemm notes, “With Click n’ Close, we not only get superior DPA programs that follow AUS and allow for qualification under a ‘blended credit score’ option, but we also have access to a full suite of other innovative loan products and hands-on customer service with quick response times and the ability to structure deals with our account executives.” Click n’ Close’s SmartBuy DPA programs also have newly enhanced options for manufactured homes to help borrowers secure a more affordable home AND mortgage. Contact our wholesale (Adam RiekeKerry Webb and Soliman Martinez) or correspondent team (Julas Hollie) to learn more.

AFR Wholesale® (AFR) is here to calm the chaos of an uncertain rate environment. We recognize the effort it takes to keep up with the latest rate information, which is why we consistently evaluate our offerings to provide you with multiple options in a clear and concise manner. Our Quick Pricer feature grants clients access to detailed rate quotes for each scenario, while the AFR Loan Center ensures you stay informed about the most current rates and market changes. Additionally, our comprehensive AFR Resource Center supplies up-to-date information whenever you need it. Here at AFR, our commitment lies in offering competitive pricing and serving as a partner to help grow your business. Partner with AFR today to start taking advantage of these impactful features and so together we can bring more families home! Contact AFR by going to afrwholesale.com, email or call 1-800-375-6071.”

Discover how Thrive Mortgage eliminated its reliance on manual QC processes. Thrive automated their entire QC processes across both its servicing and origination lines of business using ACES Flexible Audit Technology®. “ACES has made my life so much easier from a QC perspective”, said Kelly Cooper Spencer, QC Manager at Thrive Mortgage. I’ve never used a portal for exception responses before, and I love it. I would never go back. It’s life-changing”, concluded Cooper. Watch Thrive’s success story.

Xactus, the leading verification innovator for the mortgage industry, recently announced the next generation of its proprietary technology platform, Xactus360, further modernizing the mortgage process for lenders. Xactus360’s game-changing features empower them to work more efficiently, improve automation, and streamline workflows. Lenders are especially excited about the platform’s single login that allows them to quickly access Mortgage Credit and Pre-Qualification reports, saving precious time. They can swiftly unmerge and re-pull a single bureau to a tri-merge report. Xactus360’s new tagline, “Revolving Around You,” perfectly represents its ultimate purpose – to serve the evolving needs of the customers who use it. See how Xactus’ next gen tech can transform your operations. Email us. Did you miss yesterday’s webinar on Advancing Innovation with the Next Generation of Xactus360? Stay updated on upcoming webinars and news by following Xactus LinkedIn page.

What if you could see the production numbers of any LO? With Mobility Market Intelligence (MMI)’s new LO Quick Profiles tool, you can do just that. MMI is giving mortgage professionals like you limited public access to some of the same LO production numbers that its members use to stay ahead of their peers. With the LO Quick Profiles, you simply enter an LO’s NMLS and, in the click of a button, view up-to-date production metrics including loan production volume, transaction types, loan types, top buy-side & list-side agent partners and top regions based on performance. Want to know where you stand against the competition? Take a peek at your competition’s numbers and see who their top agent partners are.

It may feel like the distant future, but your 2023 audit is right around the corner. Will you be ready when the time comes? The mortgage accounting experts at CWDL ensure that our clients are audit-ready every month, resulting in a smooth and uncomplicated annual audit. When we onboard a new client, we use our proven industry-specific methodologies to clean up books and streamline processes, allowing for accurate and timely monthly financials that both management and auditors can rely on. Being proactive versus reactive makes all the difference not only for your audit, but also for managing the financial health of your business. Your annual audit doesn’t have to be painful – reach out to Kasey English or 619.302.0010 or learn more here.

Click links, ask questions later. The most common attack vector for a cyberattack is the human element. It’s what phishing emails, phone calls and text messages all have in common. Yet while it’s the weakest link, the human element could be your organization’s greatest prevention layer if trained correctly. In an industry that incentivizes people based on sales goals, every mortgage lead has bottom line potential. And in the current market, it’s only human to go after leads without stopping to consider their legitimacy. But recent data shows just how risky clicking without thinking can be. According to ISACA, in 2022 social engineering (tricking humans) was the #1 attack vector – and even the best teams are vulnerable. Learn how to do a better job at testing and training your team to identify legitimate leads. Talk to Richey May’s cybersecurity experts for help assessing and defining your cybersecurity training needs.

Capital markets: in housing, new stuff not impacted by high rates

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In any market scenario, it is crucial for lenders to analyze the best execution options to maximize profitability when selling loans in the secondary market. Determining what execution is most efficient and profitable will have a big impact on the bottom line. In MCT’s latest whitepaper, Optimizing your Best Execution Loan Sale Analysis, they provide insight into determining your company strategy, delivery options, retain release decisions, and more. Download the whitepaper or join MCT’s newsletter to stay up to date on the latest educational content.

Shelter inflation is currently 90 percent of core inflation. But there are other things going on impacting the markets. Yesterday bond prices rallied, and yields fell, the most in a single day since June yesterday with European Central Bank and Bank of England terminal rates falling in the process, a welcome relief for originators. The rally began in the morning as a partial retracement of the recent drop in bond prices but was followed by gains extending due to weakening domestic Manufacturing and Services PMI readings. The S&P Global U.S. Manufacturing PMI fell further into contractionary territory in August from July while the S&P Global U.S. Services PMI also fell in August but remained in expansionary territory. Tech industry standout Nvidia gave another stunningly strong quarterly revenue forecast, fueled by surging demand for its AI processors in data centers, which drove some investor sentiment. Yet the day’s $16 billion 20-year bond auction met tepid demand.

Those hoping for lower mortgage rates should start cheering for the 2-year Treasury note to rally. Without a rally in shorter durations across the yield curve, 10-year yields and mortgage rates will continue to reject any short-term improvements. Speaking of bond yields, tomorrow is Fed Chair Powell’s keynote speech at the Jackson Hole Symposium, with pricing in fed funds futures now implying a marginally lower probability of an additional 25 basis points rate hike in 2023 versus earlier in the week. The Minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) July meeting indicated a move toward a “wait and see” mindset. While this gives the committee the flexibility to raise or hold rates steady, the uncertainty leaves markets to themselves to determine if another hike is on the table. Powell is nevertheless expected to map out the final steps in the central bank’s campaign to finish off inflation, which comes as policymakers enter what he’s called the most difficult stage of the inflation fight: knowing when to stop.

After existing home sales data was released on Tuesday, we learned yesterday that new home sales rose 4.4 percent month-over-month and a whopping 31.5 percent year-over-year, according to the Census Bureau. The median sales price fell 9 percent to $436,700 and the seasonally adjusted annual rate of new sales now sits at 714,000 units. New home sales activity, which is measured on signed contracts, increased versus the prior month, and was driven by sales of more moderately priced homes as higher building costs hurt the supply of lower-priced homes while higher mortgage rates contributed to affordability pressures.

Today’s calendar is under way with durable goods orders (-5.2 percent, but ex-transportation +.5 percent), weekly jobless claims (230k, a little less than expected; 1.702 million continuing claims), and the Chicago Fed National Activity Index for July. Later this morning brings Kansas City Fed manufacturing for August, Treasury announcing month-end fixed coupon supply consisting of $45 billion 2-year, $46 billion 5-year, and $36 billion 7-year notes, a Treasury auction of $8 billion reopened 30-year TIPS, and Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Markets Survey. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices worse a few ticks (32nds) from Wednesday night, the 10-year yielding 4.23 after closing yesterday at 4.20 percent, and the 2-year is at 5.00.

(Warning: Rated PG.)

A teenager, his father and his grandfather go out to play a round of golf on Father’s Day.

Just before the son is ready to tee off, a gorgeous woman walks up carrying her clubs. She says her partner didn’t show up and asks if she can join them. The guys say sure, since she is quite a beautiful woman.

The lady turns to the three of them and says, “I don’t care what the three of you do, cuss, smoke, chew, spit, or whatever. Just don’t try to coach me on my game.”

The guys say okay and ask if she would like to tee off first. All eyes are on her backside as her skirt rides up when she bends over to place the ball. She then proceeds to knock the hell out of the ball right up the middle. She just starts pounding these guys, paring every hole. They get to the 18th and she has a 12-foot putt for par. She turns around and says, “You guys have done a great job at not trying to coach me on my game. I’ve never shot par before, and I’m going to ask your opinions on this putt. Now if any of your opinions help me make the putt, I will give that guy a night he will never forget.”

The guys think, “what a deal!” The kid walks over, eyes up the putt for a couple of minutes, and finally says, “Lady, aim that putt six inches to the right of the hole. The ball will break left 12 inches from the hole and go in the cup.”

The father walks up and says, “Don’t listen to the youngster, aim 12 inches to the right and the ball will break left 2 feet from the hole and fall into the cup.”

The grandpa looks at both of them, shakes his head, walks over, picks up the ball and says, “That’s a Gimme.”

 

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. STRATMOR’s current blog is titled, “Improving Revenue Might Be Right Under Your Nose.” The Commentary’s podcast is live and at any place you obtain your podcasts (like Apple or Spotify).

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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 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