Aug. 30: Production & Ops jobs, personnel news; lender disaster updates; tech survey interview; Wells’ rate lock lawsuit

I love it when a roomful of 50, 60, or 70-year old residential lenders is complaining to me about a lack of “new blood” in the business, and I ask them if any of them have training programs for new loan officers or underwriters or AEs. Or any job. And they look around in kind of a startled, “I’d never thought of that” way, and then find someone and ask, “Herbert, didn’t you guys have one?” and Herbert snorts, “We stopped doing that in 2003 – don’t the big banks do them?” I hope that you have an answer for a young college grad who wants to enter the business and work for a company that will train them.


Employment opportunities and expanding companies


Guardian Mortgage welcomes back team member, Laurie Simmons, to its Correspondent Lending Division. With nearly 20 years of experience in the mortgage industry, Laurie has recently returned to Guardian’s Correspondent team as an Account Executive, managing and maintaining client relationships as well as prospecting and obtaining client approvals for residential mortgage loan purchases in OK, AR, KS, and MO. The Guardian Correspondent Lending Division supports mortgage bankers throughout the Southwest. With more than 22,000 current satisfied customers and over $2.5 billion in its servicing portfolio, Guardian offers several important advantages to mortgage bankers wanting a positive experience in every aspect of the home mortgage financing process. Guardian Mortgage is rapidly growing and seeking additional colleagues in multiple departments. If interested, contact Guardian’s HR Manager Beth Fisher for more information. Guardian Mortgage, a division of Sunflower Bank, N.A.

Are you looking to be a part of a growing team? Village Mortgage, a direct Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac seller/servicer, is expanding in Massachusetts and is looking for Loan Officers, Processors, Underwriters and Closers for its new operations center in Waltham and sales office in Brockton. Village’s team is committed to providing a hassle-free experience for its loan officers and borrowers and offers competitive rates, compensation and benefit packages. Village offers a full array of products including conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, renovation, jumbo and non-QM products. The company was established in 1996 and is licensed to lend in all of New England, Florida, Nevada and Colorado. If you are interested in learning more about opportunities at Village Mortgage, please contact Frank DiCostanzo, Michelle Donofrio, or apply online.

“As one of the industry’s most influential and visible leaders, loanDepot’s Chief Production Officer, Dan Hanson consistently shares his vision, experiences and life lessons publicly via his blog. A constant theme in Dan’s writing is that true success is only achieved with the ability to inspire, lead and benefit others during their pursuit for personal growth.  Dan feels this philosophy is paramount for organizations whose ambition is to accelerate innovation and advancement in our industry. Thanks to Dan and the entire leadership team, this philosophy is loanDepot’s DNA; a thriving culture where every member of the team is a key stakeholder. As a result, loanDepot has quickly become the voice of our industry and the leader in attracting, developing and empowering the best-of-the-best in sales, operations and technology.  If you’re inspired by a team with an unrivaled desire to win and that believes in maximizing your talents, reach out to loanDepot or contact Peter Tenfjord.”


Informative Research, a market leader in delivering a range of technology-driven solutions for the mortgage industry, proudly welcomes Blair Biehle as their new Vice President of National Sales. Biehle was previously a top Strategic Account Executive at CoreLogic for four years and awarded the Circle of Excellence, Top Performer in 2014. In this new position, Biehle will play an integral role in driving business development with top-tier lenders and insurance providers in the mortgage space. “I’m so happy to have this opportunity to offer the absolute best in the industry. Informative Research is delivering unique technology solutions that you can’t find anywhere else and their straightforward customer service model is completely unmatched. I’m excited to be a part of the future of our industry and can’t wait to get started,” explained Biehle. With substantial growth in the past six months, Informative Research plans on continuing its trend of recognizing and supporting the success of talented individuals in the industry.

Paul Best, Regional Manager for Warehouse Lending at People’s United Bank, is excited to announce that Bob Smedley has joined the group as a Relationship Manager. Bob is a seasoned warehouse lender and is ready to help with the growth in Warehouse Lending credit at People’s.

STRATMOR released its Insights report today with an interview of Sr. Partner Nicole Yung who discusses the firm’s 2017 Technology Insights Survey (TIS). The TIS is the industry’s only independent technology survey gathering crucial data on lenders’ experiences with loan origination systems (LOS) and tracks market share, overall satisfaction, functional performance, implementation experience and more. This year’s expanded survey includes more broad-based mortgage technology questions, including a new section on adoption of Digital Mortgage technology—a potential game changer no lender can afford to ignore. “More than 50 percent of lenders have not focused Digital Mortgage efforts on one functional area but instead looked across the process to implement digital tools where the perceived Customer Experience benefits are high and the barriers are low,” says Yung. “In this ‘sea-change’ environment, getting the right technology—and using it in the right ways—takes on special importance.” Read the interview in “Getting the Right Technology—Peer Perspectives of the Technology Experience.”

Legal news

Of course, anyone can sue anyone for anything. Big banks are an easy target, but Wells Fargo has led the pack in the last year for bad press and bad news: the sales practices scandal, the auto insurance scandal, and recall in early June Wells Fargo’s retail group saw some turnover at the senior levels as Drew Collins, Sandy Streator, and Greg‎ Gwizdz (EVP/National Sales Manager) were laid off/dismissed/quit voluntarily/no longer with the company.

Now a homeowner has filed a proposed class action lawsuit accusing Wells’ retail group of improperly charging thousands of customers nationwide to lock in interest rates when their mortgage applications were delayed. Wells Fargo managers allegedly pressured employees to blame homeowners for the delays, sometimes by falsely stating that paperwork was missing, so homeowners could be stuck with extra fees.

The lawsuit accuses Wells of violating numerous state and federal consumer protection laws, including the U.S. Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and the U.S. Truth in Lending Act. Wells Fargo recently disclosed that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was investigating the fees the company charged to lock in interest rates for delayed mortgage loans. In a securities filing, WF said it was working with regulators to see if customers had been harmed by the fees.

The fees could be significant, amounting to 0.125 percent to 0.25 percent of the loan amount, the complaint said. The named plaintiff in the lawsuit, Nevada resident Victor Muniz, said he was charged $287.50 for an interest rate lock extension earlier this year after his application for a mortgage was bogged down by bank delays.

Lender & investor disaster updates

The rainfall accumulation (as of Tuesday) at Cedar Bayou near Mont Belvieu, Texas, was 51.88 inches due to Hurricane Harvey – the new, preliminary tropical cyclone rainfall record for the contiguous United States.

Flagstar Bank is suspending funding in Texas counties: Aransas, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Harris, Jackson, Kleberg, Liberty, Matagorda, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria and Wharton. Louisiana parishes include: Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis, Orleans and Vermillion. Once funding has resumed, a re-inspection will be required in the counties identified. Loans that have already been issued a Final Approval Clear to Close status will be placed in an Approved with Conditions status until a re-inspection is performed. Please note that appraisal re-inspections are not required to be completed by the original appraiser; however, a Flagstar Bank eligible appraiser must be utilized. For loans that have an appraisal that was ordered via Loantrac, an appraisal re-inspection may be requested via the Appraisal Management module by selecting “Yes” to the “Do you need a property/Disaster Inspection” question.

M&T Bank will enforce the Disaster Re-Inspection Policy for all properties located in the affected counties of Aransas, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Harris, Jackson, Kleberg, Liberty, Matagorda, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria, Wharton

Appraisals Completed prior to 8-28-2017 (Refer to Ex #03-600: Disaster Affected Areas, for expiration). For loans secured by properties, in the designated disaster areas, and appraised prior to the Federal Government / State Government declaration, please refer to the matrix for required Re-inspection guidance.

First Community Mortgage disaster policy and procedure can be viewed in its product full guidelines. View a copy of the FEMA declared disaster counties.

Wells Fargo Funding Sellers must follow its standard Disaster Policy for all properties located in counties identified by FEMA as being impacted. Precautions must be taken for Loans originated within affected areas. Regardless of whether FEMA has formally declared a disaster, all transactions showing any indication of damage to the collateral should comply with the published Disaster Policy Guidelines as outlined in Seller Guide Section 820.19: Disaster Policy and 820.20: When Required both found in our Conforming Underwriting Guidelines. (Government Loans must follow FHA/VA guidance.) Reminder: When the appraisal is completed on or after the disaster incident period end date, a full appraisal with exterior and interior inspection is required. This includes Loans where a PIW or equivalent was requested by the Automated Underwriting System (AUS).

PennyMac has posted Disaster Policy Implementation: Texas Hurricane Harvey. In response, FEMA has declared 18 counties in Texas as eligible for Individual Assistance. PennyMac’s Disaster Policy requires a post-disaster inspection on all properties located in counties eligible for Individual Assistance.  Due to the continued impact of Hurricane Harvey, FEMA has not declared an incident end date and PennyMac will not be accepting post-disaster inspections and additional counties may be added. PennyMac has also paused funding in the additional counties where the Texas Governor declared a State of Emergency due to the ongoing rain and flooding and potential for additional damage.  PennyMac will continue to monitor counties not yet declared for Individual Assistance for reinstatement.

AmeriHome is implementing re-inspection requirements for four additional Texas counties that were included in an amended State of Disaster declaration made 8/28/2017 by Texas governor Abbott. Those counties are Angelina, Orange, Sabine and Trinity. AmeriHome is also re-inspection requirements for FEMA declared Texas DR-4332 and Louisiana EM-3382.

Capital markets

Don’t think things have changed in the dealer community? Remember when we sold MBS to Salomon Brothers, Kidder Peabody, Bear Stearns, DLJ, First Boston, Drexel Burnham, E.F. Hutton, Lazard Freres, Merrill Lynch, Paine Webber, Prudential Bache, L.F. Rothschild Unterberg, Smith Barney, Alex Brown, Dillon Read, Shearson Lehman, Thomson McKinnon, and Dean Witter? All gone.

Be careful what you wish for. In this case, if you want lower rates to help your business, do you want North Korea to cause them? We’re back to November rates due to yet another North Korean missile test. The Tuesday morning launch raised more than a few eyebrows after Pyongyang sent a mid-range missile into Japanese airspace, past Hokkaido prefecture, and into the Pacific Ocean. “All options are on the table, the UN Security Council held an emergency meeting, and China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said the situation has reached a tipping point. As a result, the benchmark 10-yr yield recovered from levels not seen since November 9/10, but still settled at a fresh low for 2017: 2.14%.

For economic news, as if anyone cares at this point, the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index increased in August: it remained high as the current labor market assessment overshadowed a lot of the political drama that has called into question the ability to implement a tax reform plan this year. And the June Case-Shiller 20-city Index was +5.7%, as expected.

Loan officers should know that mortgage price improvement will lag any rally in Treasuries, and experience price compression. Why? Investors are leery of paying above par for a mortgage, or pool of mortgages, when the risk of early payoffs is eminent. Said another way, why would an investor pay 4 extra points for a loan that may pay off in 3 months in a lower rate environment? So yesterday the 5-year and 10-year notes, that don’t pay off early, improved .125-.250 but mortgages only improved a tick or two.

This morning we’ve had weekly mortgage applications from the MBA for the week ending August 25 (-2.3%, and down 25% from a year ago), and August’s ADP employment data (+237k). We’ve also seen the preliminary (second) Q2 GDP estimate, revised from +2.6% to +3.0%. Rates are slightly higher versus Tuesday’s close: the 10-year is yielding 2.15% and agency MBS prices are worse .125.


If my body was a car, I would be trading it in for a newer model.

I’ve got bumps, dents, scratches & my headlights are out of focus.

My gearbox is seizing up & it takes me hours to reach maximum speed.

I overheat for no reason and every time I sneeze, cough or laugh either my radiator leaks or my exhaust backfires!

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, Will User Names and Passwords Go the Way of Thermal Fax Paper? 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 over 300 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 2017 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