Daily Mortgage News & Commentary

Aug. 25: AE jobs; DSCR, marketing, compliance, asset mgt. tools; non-Agency news; STRATMOR on lenders staying or exiting

Nothing is simple or easy in this world. Take pine nuts. Simple, easy, right? Nope. A staple of pesto, and some salads and desserts, those in the United States don’t come from the United States. They come from China, Russia, and Afghanistan! Our allies? Lenders handling volumes expected to drop more than 40 percent in 2022 isn’t easy. Our housing market isn’t simple. Plenty of attention-grabbing headlines have appeared, saying the U.S. housing market is in bad shape, even plummeting. Like this “U.S. Housing in Much Worse Shape Than Fed Admits.” Remember that millions of households have solid balance sheets, lots of equity, decent credit, and jobs, and there are plenty of millennials that want to own their own place. But the current housing market prompted one West Coast broker to write saying, “Nothing is easy anymore. The Federal Reserve will destroy housing. For some reason, the FOMC will not change the ancient method of containing inflation, namely raising interest rates. Since it takes six months for an increase, or decrease, to make its way through the economy, one would think the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee would wait and see the effect. I think that, as in the past, the Fed will create a recession. Again, the lower wage earners will be the first to be out of work. Renters, already hit hard by high rent and COVID, will be hit hard again. With some luck, housing will not be trashed, as the loans are reasonable, qualified loans made to borrowers who have the ability to repay.” (Available here, this week’s podcast is sponsored by Richey May, a recognized leader in providing specialized advisory, audit, tax, technology and other services in the mortgage industry and in banking. Today’s has an interview with Michael Nouguier on cybersecurity considerations for mortgage companies, especially in a downturn.

Employment

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Acra Lending continues to expand its footprint as the industry’s leading private mortgage lender with the addition of their newest team led by VP of Sales, Sharif Touny. Alongside Sharif is his team of experienced Wholesale AEs, Naki Wilson, Holly Sedgwick, Debra Freeman, Julius Rosas, Michael Genzoli, Rob Kielar and two new Junior AEs, Rod Stewart and Stephen Yanik. Sharif said, “From the minute I started speaking with the leadership team at Acra I knew this would be my new future home. The management team led by CEO, Keith Lind was a critical part of my decision to join Acra, as was Steve Cutter, SVP and the company’s reputation being instrumental in recruiting top talent in every facet of the organization. I was given the opportunity to spend time with key members of the executive team including Managing Director’s, Greg Meola, Jeff Lemieux, Craig Timmins and Hitz Mistry, Head of Marketing. There was a common theme of mutual respect, open communication, and a willingness to be creative whilst continuing to find innovative solutions to improve the organization daily.”

Lender and broker services, software, programs

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Mortgage solutions provider Maxwell is proud to announce it has ranked as the 164th fastest-growing private company on the 2022 Inc. 5000 list. Maxwell made the list for the second year running, also earning spots as 14th fastest-growing financial services company and 7th fastest-growing company in Colorado. Maxwell’s placement on the list shows the impact its comprehensive mortgage solutions drive for lenders on its platform. In the past year, Maxwell has launched several offerings to help lenders thrive across market cycles, including Maxwell Private Label Origination, an all-in-one solution providing the infrastructure and resources lenders need to launch new products and channels, and an innovative Spanish-language loan app offering a fully bilingual mortgage experience. These features help lenders improve their margins, increase their efficiency, and boost their profitability even in challenging markets. Click here to learn more about the tech-powered solutions that make Maxwell one of the fastest-growing companies in America.

Recently, there have been numerous reports of layoffs within the mortgage industry as rising rates and declining volume has caused lenders to cut staff. And that means lenders must do more with less. Retaining top lending talent is key to mitigating the knowledge and productivity lost to those staff cuts as well as maintaining a profitable lending business. Crucial to achieving any company’s mission is to source great people, equip them with the right technology, and ensure their commitment to using that technology to productively and efficiently close more loans. While the right technology support is a requirement in today’s environment, that doesn’t necessarily mean getting the most complex digital loan origination system. Instead, it comes down to finding the right integration partner to help mortgage lenders reach long-term success by providing flexibility and efficiency. MeridianLink Mortgage, (formerly known as LendingQB®), is a proven configurable, streamlined SaaS cloud-based end-to-end loan origination software system that empowers you to process compliant loans fast while hiring and retaining the best talent.

HELOC analytics solution: A lender’s ability to offer HELOCs is becoming a more valuable solution with the record home equity many homeowners currently have. Members of HouseCanary’s executive team recently held an in-depth webinar to discuss HELOCs, and how HouseCanary’s HELOC solution can help lenders evaluate leads and pre-underwrite immediately with granular mortgage and property analytics. View the webinar and see if HouseCanary’s HELOC Analytics Solution is right for you.

Xome®, the premier asset management provider, offers data-driven solutions for mortgage servicers and the expertise required to optimize portfolio execution and reduce credit losses. With a massive audience at the ready, and an auction platform built for scale, Xome can help get you the quickest sales, at the highest price, possible. Benefitting not only you, but also our communities, by helping facilitate a healthy, stable housing market. Xome’s solutions include multi-channel disposition strategies, a leading nationwide auction marketplace, analytics, and loan recapture solutions. Xome also offers affordable housing solutions, including First Look programs for homeowner, owner-occupants, community development nonprofits, HUD-approved nonprofits, and governmental entities. Learn more about how Xome can help you build capacity & optimize efficiencies.

After 75 years, the Little League Baseball World Series still manages to capture the nation’s attention. This year, a player went viral for hitting bombs while wearing everyday work gloves instead of batting gloves. Imagine what he could do with the right equipment! Lenders using Sales Boomerang and Mortgage Coach, the industry’s only automated borrower retention and conversion platform, are working with the right equipment and adding an average of 2 loans per month, per mortgage advisor. As one mortgage advisor flexed, “by combining Sales Boomerang alerts with Mortgage Coach TCAs, what used to take a full day now takes me 1 hour. No joke!” Want to win more business? Get more home runs with the right equipment.

Do you know a compliance professional that deserves to be crowned Compliance Champion? On National Compliance Officer Day, September 26thActiveComply will announce the winner of its first inaugural Award. “This award shows the holders’ commitment to the highest standards of professionalism and their dedication to supporting compliant marketing practices in the mortgage industry.” In addition to their award, the winner will be featured on ActiveComply’s website and receive a new reMarkable 2Nominations will be accepted until September 21st. Interested in saving time and money while managing your compliance with confidence? Explore ActiveComply’s wealth of compliance resources, learn more about their no-headache compliance solutions for IMBs, banks, credit unions, and other lenders. Request a free demo with real-time social media data from your company today!

Total Quality Lending (TQL), announces the launch of its MLO marketing studio, Total Quality Marketing. TQL is investing heavily in technology and marketing for mortgage professionals geared around helping them generate new strategic partnerships which will aid in increasing purchase production. “Total Quality Lending believes now is the time to provide more resources and marketing solutions so that mortgage professionals can find opportunities regardless of market conditions. As an originator myself, I am coaching daily on the powers of social media and how to generate more conversations in your local market. As part of the TQM marketing studio, we are equipping loan officers with daily action items that allow them to build their personal brand to find families they can better serve. In today’s market, transparency, collaboration, and marketing resources are the three keys to success for originators” says Chris Paliska, CEO of Total Quality Lending. TQL is actively hiring Mortgage Loan Originators and Branch Managers across the country. For more information, please contact Taylor Burkhart at 714-914-4468.

Major pricing improvements at ClearEdge Lending continue to excite and attract brokers! The limited time offer is set to expire September 6, so contact us today to take advantage of 50 bps price improvement across Non-QM programs including DSCR, Prime Connect, purchase and cash-out. ClearEdge Lending offers an extensive and innovative portfolio of Non-QM and specialized mortgage solutions backed by a diverse team of experts. If you’re a mortgage professional looking to grow your pipeline, call us at (866) 690-2474 or visit our site to become an approved mortgage partner.”

This week, Mortgage Professional America interviewed MCT COO Phil Rasori, to discuss how MCT’s new integration with Freddie Mac’s Cash Settlement Purchase Statement API will improve accuracy and efficiency for mutual clients of MCT and Freddie Mac. In the interview, Mr. Rasori states “It’s faster, and there’s no labor involved because it’s all automatically flowing, whereas these purchase advice reports per loan are literally hand-entered into the loan origination system. So there’s large labor cost savings as well there.” In case you missed it, last week MCT announced they were the first company to integrate with Freddie Mac’s Cash Settlement Purchase Statement API. This API connection allows MCT Mark-to-Market and Hedge Accounting Reports to be updated with Freddie Mac purchase data directly, instead of waiting to run reports through a Loan Origination System (LOS). Read the full press release or join MCT’s newsletter to receive updates on upcoming innovations.

STRATMOR: should lenders stay or should they go?

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Psychologists estimate that the average person makes as many as 35,000 decisions per day. In the mortgage industry’s current environment of rising rates, shrinking volumes and tight-enough-to-choke margins, lenders are faced with making tough decisions in their efforts to “right the ship.” What’s a lender to do? In the just-released August issue of STRATMOR Group’s Insights Report, STRATMOR experts offer insight into the factors lenders should consider in weighing, at the highest level, the three logical options available in this environment: stay in the fight, sell the company, or shut down the enterprise. This is a must-read article for all lenders on the framework needed for the critical discussions around making an informed decision on which option to choose. Find the article in STRATMOR’s August Insights Report

Non-Agency news

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Non-QM is not dying, it is recalibrating. ACC Mortgage, the oldest Non-QM lender, just hired 8 new account executives, continue to do 90% Bank Statement, 80% DSCR and 80% ITIN loans. Experience Matters. Check out www.NONQMPRICER.com. (ACC is searching for account executives: email recruiting@accmortgage.com if you are looking for a stable home.)

Citi Correspondent Lending Bulletin 2022-10 includes credit policy updates on Gift Letter, Stocks & Other Securities: Margin Accounts, Desktop Appraisal Eligibility, LPA Transactions: Additional Dwelling Units and LPA Transactions: Automated Employment & Income Assessment.

 

AmeriHome Correspondent Product Announcement 20220808-CL – Portfolio Expanded – Asset Qualifier & Bank Statement Calculators.

Effective August 14, 2022, Citi Correspondent Lending retired COVID overlays restricting off-us cash-out amounts, LTVs, and FICO requirements. Both topics have been revised to reflect this update. Impacted Manual Section(s): Agency COVID-19 Policy Actions, Non-Agency COVID Policy Actions. See Citi Correspondent Lending Bulletin 2022-11.

MWF added the availability of GSFA Platinum Select to its One-Off Exceptions offerings. Platinum Select provides the standard Platinum first mortgage with an amortizing 15-year Second Mortgage Loan, sized at 3.50 percent of the first mortgage loan amount, with optional Gift funds, up to 1.50 percent. Follow Correspondent lending | U.S. Bank (usbank.com) and Golden State Finance Authority, as well as the underlying first mortgage guidelines. Platinum Select is available on all loan types if borrowers meet the occupational requirements.

 

loanDepot Wholesale released LDW WNTW 8-15-22 which includes Disaster Announcement – Kentucky, Disaster Announcement – Missouri and updates to Advantage EXPRESS FLEX.

Capital markets

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Market volatility discussion: HouseCanary’s Chief Research Officer and Head of Product recently hosted a webinar and discussed the current market volatility and specific topics such as the Fed hike and inflation and how these factors are impacting the real estate and rental markets. Other topics include how today’s conditions compare to 2008, and markets that could potentially become hot purchase or rental markets. Learn about these crucial topics and see how it could affect your industry.

Looking at the bond market, Treasury yields, and mortgage rates, rose to their highest level since June yesterday after hawkish commentary from Minneapolis Fed President Kashkari. Economic data was mixed, as pending home sales showed a smaller than expected decrease in July while durable orders were unchanged in July against expectations for growth. Traders remained hesitant to make any huge bets ahead of Fed Chair Powell’s speech (at the Jackson Hole economics meeting) which may provide clues on how hawkish the Federal Reserve will be despite mounting economic challenges.

 

Sure rates have gone up, but nearly 60 percent of renters say their rents increased in the past 12 months, with a ratio of nearly 1 in 3 seeing rent increases of 10 percent or more, according to a newly released Freddie Mac survey. Just 38 percent of renters saw their wages increase, and a third say their raise won’t cover their increased rent. Nearly 1 in 5 who experienced a rent increase say they are now extremely likely to miss a payment. “The surge in rents that took place over the last 12 months has created even greater housing uncertainty for the most vulnerable renters,” said Kevin Palmer, head of Freddie Mac Multifamily. “Our survey shows that the national housing affordability crisis is worsening, and that inflation is a key driver.”

 

Today’s calendar is under way with the minutes from the July 21 ECB meeting, which were hawkish despite the significant signs of slowing in European economies and amid record inflation in some countries. Domestically, we’ve received the second look at Q2 GDP (up to -.6 percent) and weekly jobless claims (243k). Later this morning brings Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, Kansas City Fed manufacturing for August and a Treasury auction of $37 billion 7-year notes. Today’s MBS purchase operation sees the Desk in UMBS30s for up to $777 million 4 percent through 5 percent before releasing a new schedule, the last for perhaps a long time, covering the August 25 to September 14 period and expected to total $4.4 billion. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices worse a few 32nds and the 10-year yielding 3.13 after closing yesterday at 3.11 percent after the GDP data.

Wait for the phone to ring for the voice mail. This is the wished-for answering-machine message for Pacific Palisades, CA high school, and also attributed to the Maroochydore High School in Queensland, Australia. Snopes said it is neither, but it would be good if someone had the guts…

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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 2022 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.)