Daily Mortgage News & Commentary

Aug. 4: MLO, Ops, AE jobs; processing, analytics, jumbo, underwriting tools; M&A and news from the wholesale channel

WalletHub released its 2021 Home Overleverage Report after determining where homeowners have the most unsustainable mortgage debts. WalletHub compared the median mortgage debt to the median income and median home value in more than 2,500 U.S. cities. Chester, PA, has the lowest median mortgage debt, $41,859, which is 18.6 times lower than in Beverly Hills, CA, the city with the highest at $780,457. Bronxville, NY, has the lowest mortgage debt-to-house-value ratio, 16 percent, which is 12.7 times lower than in McKees Rocks, PA, the city with the highest at 203 percent. Scarsdale, New York, has the highest median income, $214,970, which is ten times higher than in Bastrop, Louisiana, the city with the lowest at $21,583. Not only are lenders and MLOs interested in demographics in their markets, but also technology, removing intermediaries, providing relevant, subject-matter help for consumers. Along those lines, the audio version of today’s commentary, available here, is sponsored by Origence and features another interview with Michael Farris, its VP of Strategic Solutions, on Build vs. Buy – what technology makes the most sense for you as a lender?

Employment 

CashUp™ by Evergreen is helping loan officers and agents compete, win, and repeat. With this exciting program, homebuyers can turn their offer into cash and stand above the competition. Agents are thrilled to see their clients’ offers accepted over other offers for more money. Additionally, the transaction can close in as little as 10 days. Customers get the home they love and agents can grow their business more efficiently. Loan officers also have a powerful tool to help their agent partners thrive in an ultra-competitive market. It’s a win, win, win. Evergreen Home Loans™ is a leader in digital mortgage technology and niche programs designed to help loan officers stand out in their markets. If you’re interested in working for a company that develops innovative programs to help loan officers succeed and repeat, visit the Careers page.

Are you trying to get in a vacation during these last few weeks of summer? Are multiple members of your team hoping to do the same thing too? Sales teams at Supreme Lending can start packing their bags knowing they have backup ready to help. Supreme’s Loan Partner Program is designed to assist Loan Officers and branches who are understaffed, have overflowing pipelines, or simply want to focus on what they do best: selling loans. The independent lender’s LPP team includes multistate-licensed Loan Officers and Processors who have deep knowledge of all loan programs and proven experience in getting files from application to closing with the quickest turn-times possible. This tremendous resource frees up time and capacity for Loan Officers to go after more business, make more money, and head to the beach! To find out more about this added-value program to grow your business, contact National Production Manager Ryan Baxter and follow Supreme Lending on LinkedIn.

Towne is hiring Account Executives. Towne Mortgage Company is a multi-channel, national mortgage lender with the strength and stability of nearly 40 years in business. Despite an influx of acquisitions throughout the industry (and the heartburn that comes with it) we are still growing and have a strategy in place to continue. Today we offer single account territories in large markets to ensure AE’s have the opportunity to expand and excel. Our AEs sell cross-channel (Wholesale, Non-Del, and Full Delegated) and have access to full Agency and Renovation product sets. Currently, Towne has wide-open markets: WA/OR, VA/MD/DC, OH/IN, TX, FL, TN/AL/KY, LA/MS/AR, NC/SC/GA, Illinois and Connecticut. If you’re looking for an extremely competitive compensation and benefits package, along with a one-of-a-kind business support Team look no further. Come for the stability, stay for the culture. To apply today visit Towne Mortgage Careers or contact Mark Zierott directly.”

Finally, there’s a better business model that provides LOs with ultimate control, unmatched pricing & a proprietary LOS that promotes faster closings! See how top producing loan officers are leveraging digital storefronts to expand market reach and increase volume. Canopy Mortgage is hiring top producing Loan Officers and Branch Managers. Build your business the way you want, Join Canopy to stand out in the following markets: CA, CO, FL, GA, HI, IL, NC, SC, TN, TX, and WA. Reach out to Josh Neumarker at Canopy Mortgage for more information 801-330-5016.

PMG Home Loans is making a huge investment in expansion and growth in order to become known as the #1 mortgage banker in Sacramento, CA. and we are looking to expand our close-knit family with a few new family members. As a result, we have an immediate opening for 5 new processors and 5 additional MLOs. MLOs will receive a consistent stream of the absolute highest quality of exclusive inbound leads that we generate in-house. Our Processors will enjoy a streamlined loan process that takes much of the frustration and guesswork out of processing. We offer one of the most aggressive compensation packages in the mortgage business for both Mortgage Loan Originators and Processors, offering salary + bonus + commissions, and in addition to our full benefits package, we offer flex-time opportunity and a work-from-home capability. We’re confident that you won’t find a better deal or a better group of people to work with anywhere else in the mortgage business. Contact Michael Drake (916-765-4826) and discover for yourself how the right opportunity can help you unlock your true income-earning potential!”

Lender broker products and services

Lock in low rates on VOE/VOIs with multi-year contracts. Credit bureaus don’t offer multi-year contracts for VOE/VOIs so they can raise prices each and every year. Truework offers volume discounts and multi-year commitments, ensuring your origination costs don’t skyrocket. Truework can verify any U.S. employee, including 1099 workers and employees at government agencies. If your team uses Encompass, you can automate your VOE/VOIs directly through Truework to save even more time. Their customer support team is the best- it’s never hard to talk to a real human.

We’re all getting back together at the MBA’s Annual Convention in San Diego. What’s your strategy for making the most of the conference and visiting with the media? As specialists in the mortgage and real estate industries, the public relations experts at Seroka Brand Development have long-standing relationships with the industry press. Seroka’s team will help you take a modern approach to your PR strategy that results in better pitches that include elements that publishers love to see, ties together your PR and marketing, and leverages your social media channels with an expert touch to drive better engagement and following. Reach out to Seroka today to learn more and get ready to #turnupyourbrand!

Compliance is back on the agenda, and forward-looking lenders are taking steps to reinforce their compliance efforts. Case in point: New American Funding has just integrated with Covius Document Solutions for its default servicing operations. Specifically, New American will use Covius’ 50-state template library and on-demand printing services to prepare and deliver compliant pre-foreclosure/breach letters. Speaking of compliance, check out Jennifer Keys’ latest podcast on new servicing rules and their very fast implementation timelines.

The opportunity to cash in on Jumbo continues to grow at Stearns Wholesale! Currently, brokers only own 10% of total jumbo production in the marketplace. To help you compete and win that business, Stearns provides a variety of six jumbo products, resources dedicated to technology and operations, and the best rates in the nation. Not only are they #1 in jumbo pricing, but they are also amplifying their virtual resources with month long trainings on each of their jumbo products! If you would like to register for one of these Stearns Jumbo Product Trainings, click here. If you’d like to partner with Stearns or learn more, click here to be contacted.

Are your underwriters underwater when it comes to time-consuming, manual tasks? In today’s competitive market, underwriters have more loans on their plate that require quick, informed decisions. Now, the underwriting process is easier, faster, and smarter with Black Knight’s Underwriter Assist. Eliminate many stare-and-compare tasks with automation that gives underwriters time to process more loans each day and deliver a better experience to borrowers. The solution leverages artificial intelligence and machine-learning technology to deliver robust automation and a dynamic underwriting workflow that can reduce the costs and risks associated with manual review. Leverage Underwriter Assist to streamline tasks and increase job satisfaction for your underwriting team. Whether it’s simple document recognition and data extraction or complex analysis of a borrower’s income, assets and property appraisal, Underwriter Assist elevates the performance of your underwriters helping to increase job satisfaction. See how Underwriter Assist can transform your business today.

With low mortgage rates and a recent rise in existing home sales, buyer demand may continue to foster a strong housing market. Mortech, a Zillow Group business, can help you identify borrowers looking to take advantage of these low rates before your competitors with the help of its predictive analytics platform. This solution leverages Zillow’s data from over 135 million homes to flag customers in your current database that will likely list in the next 90 days, giving you the ability to better target your marketing spend to these specific homeowners before they look elsewhere for financing. If you’re looking to source more high intent borrower leads this month, contact our team at sales@mortech.com to set up a demo.

“It’s no secret that loan officers have the time-consuming task of searching through a large variety of documents and information during the mortgage process. At Capacity, we realize that repetitive tasks like this can cost lenders and create an outdated experience that drives borrowers away. Capacity’s new Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) technology simplifies how loan officers access information from contracts, bank statements, loan applications, guidelines, and more by extracting key information from your files and adding it to your knowledge base for instant access. And that’s only one way Capacity supports the mortgage process. Capacity is a mortgage support automation platform, powered by artificial intelligence, that empowers mortgage professionals by connecting to apps, mining documents, capturing tacit knowledge, and automating processes. Want to learn more? Get a quote.

Wholesaler morsels

We all know that we’re in a cyclical business, and this was made apparent with loanDepot’s results, announced yesterday. “LD” earned $26.2 million in the second quarter, an envious number for many lenders but a 94% sequential decline as lower originations, weaker gain-on-sale margins, and servicing markdowns were noted. CEO and founder Anthony Hsieh stated, “We’ve entered a transitional period and expect to see industry consolidation as some lenders may not be in a position to withstand the headwinds, whereas we are confident and excited for the future.” Like many others, LD alluded to company layoffs and other cost-cutting measures late in 2Q21. In the 2nd quarter loanDepot $34.5 billion, down 16.7% from the first quarter. Its gain-on-sale margin slipped to 228 basis points compared to 298 bps in 1Q21 and 539 bps in the year-ago quarter.

Yesterday Figure Technologies announced that it has signed an agreement to merge with Homebridge Financial Services, Inc. Homebridge currently has more than 2,500 associates, more than 180 retail branches, but two wholesale origination platforms (Homebridge Wholesale and REMN Wholesale), and funded more than $25 billion in residential home loans at the close of 2020. “This merger joins Figure, a FinTech leader in transforming financial services through the power of blockchain technology, to Homebridge, one of the nation’s largest privately held, non-bank lenders… Homebridge is gaining a tech platform partner that will help to maximize the customer experience and set Homebridge apart from the competition.”

The parent company of Rocket Mortgage is making a foray into the solar-energy industry in a bid to make it easier for homeowners to install solar panels on their properties. The first piece of Rocket Companies’ new initiative is a new refinance product that allows homeowners to consolidate pre-existing loans used to finance energy-efficiency improvements with their overall mortgage. The product is designed as a rate-and-term refinance rather than a cash-out refinance, which Rocket said offers more flexible guidelines including a higher loan-to-value ratio. The refinance will be available to anyone with a solar loan, including so-called PACE loans and private loans. Homeowners who refinance will still be able to receive federal tax credits for installing the solar panels. But unlike with other loans tied to financing solar panels, borrowers who take out one of these refinance loans will not be required to put the proceeds of that tax credit toward paying down their debt.

First State Mortgage sent out a Homebuyer Education and Counseling guide.

First Community Mortgage Wholesale posted information regarding increasing THDA Acquisition Cost Limits.

Land Home Financial Services, Inc. teamed up with Connexions for appraisal orders. Effective yesterday, lenders no longer need to visit additional websites, Appraisal orders are requested from the loan screen in Land Home Financial Services eXPRESS portal. The cost of the appraisal can be viewed when ordering and the appraisal can be tracked within the borrower’s loan.

loanDepot’s Summary of Recent and Upcoming Changes include Commitment Fee Changes, Jumbo Advantage EXPRESS, Texas Homestead Refinance Curtailments.

Capital markets

No real news of impact on the bond market yesterday meant no movement to Treasuries, while MBS prices were also little changed versus Monday’s close. Economic releases continue to take a back seat to COVID news. It may be that way the rest of the week leading up to payrolls on Friday. Economic releases showed factory orders for manufactured goods increased more than expected in June, with business spending continuing to increase at a pace that supports economic growth. The final look at July agency prepayment speeds showed a decline of 4 percent to 5 percent, despite a 9 percent decline in the Refi Index. Gross issuance declined for the third straight month to $249 billion, down nearly 33 percent from this April’s high and the lowest reading since April 2020.

Today’s economic calendar kicked off with the usual mortgage applications from the MBA for the week ending July 30. Mortgage applications decreased 1.7 percent from one week earlier. Ahead of Friday’s payrolls report, we’ve also received July ADP employment (+330k, much weaker than expected). Later this morning brings Final July HIS Market Services PMI, ISM non-manufacturing PMI for July, and a Treasury announcement on the details of next week’s Quarterly Refunding. Today’s sole Fed speaker is an important one in the midst of recent tapering talk with Vice Chair Clarida speaking on outlook and monetary policy. The Fed Desk will purchase up to $5.2 billion 30-year 2 percent and 2.5 percent across GNIIs and UMBS30s. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices up/better by .125 but the 10-year yielding unchanged from Tuesday, yielding 1.18 percent.

When I was a child, I thought “Nap Time” was a punishment. Now, as a grownup, it feels like a small holiday.

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. The current blog is, “A Primer on What Originators Should Know about the Fed”. 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 designed 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 2021 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.)