Aug. 9: LO jobs, promotions, capital raises; wire fraud & training products; Zillow/MLOA Q&A; rates treading water

Lots of originators are fascinated by demographics. Every year, about 27,000 people move from New York City to Philadelphia, making that specific move one of the largest region-to-region migration flows in the United States. New York in general is often the first stop for immigrants coming to the U.S., and Philly is appealing to both young families trying to get a lower cost of living as well as immigrant populations seeking a long-term community after arrival – and the chance to spend the summer at a beach house with all your next-door neighbors from back in Philly! The number of Philadelphia residents born abroad has increased by 69 percent since 2000.

Jobs & promotions

In retail news, Mason-McDuffie Mortgage Corporation “is pleased to announce it has raised significant additional equity capital committed to our long-term growth and carry on the Mason Mac tradition that started in 1887. We pride ourselves in being a loan officer centric company and we endeavor to provide our loan officers with the best in class service and tools to help them achieve maximum success in a team work environment. Our new SWIFT Success platform is designed so our loan officers can leverage technology for their success. Swift includes Blend Digital Application and the Salesforce CRM just to name a few. We are proud to have been named a Top 10 Mortgage Company in Customer Satisfaction by SocialSurvey, along with being a Top Workplace by the Bay Area Newsgroup since 2012. If you are interested in learning more about a career, please contact Kevin Conlon (925-242-4430).”


Study after study shows that company culture is a leading indicator of success, both for the company and for the loan officer. Assurance Financial is seeking high-producing loan originators who want to work with a company that believes in them, and one they can believe in. We’ve just completed three of the best months in our company’s history and a new record month of sales-yes, even in these market conditions. We’ve partnered with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to change lives for real, and this is your chance to make a difference, too. Sound like a nice place to work? Close more loans on time with the same effort you’re giving now. Your family deserves it. Call Paul Peters, CMB (225.239.7948). Assurance Financial is a growing full-service independent mortgage banker seeking dynamic producing branch managers and MLO teams throughout the South, Southeast, Southwest, East, and Midwest. Watch this 1-minute video now.

Gateway Mortgage Group, which is on track to originate $6B in new mortgages and surpass $20B in its servicing portfolio this year, recently appointed Stephen Curry as Chief Executive Officer. Curry brings more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry to his new role and has held leadership positions at Bank of America, NationsBank and various other executive positions in Dallas, Charlotte, New York and Boston. Most recently, Curry ran Everett Advisory Partners, an advisory firm that provides corporate strategy, governance, M&A, transformational change management, compliance, information technology and operations advisory services to CEOs and Board of Directors of community and regional financial institutions. “It is an honor to have the opportunity to lead a great company like Gateway,” said Curry. “This company is full of people who are fiercely committed to enriching the lives of their customers, their communities and their fellow team members.” (See below for more Gateway news!)

Kimberley Veeder-Caffrey has joined Planet Home Lending, LLC as correspondent regional sales manager for the northwestern U.S., serving lenders in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, and Northern California. “She’s a top-notch sales professional with a strong following because she helps customers grow their business,” said Planet Home Lending Director of National Sales-Correspondent Division Jim Loving. “I joined Planet because they have the veteran leadership, a strong balance sheet, and the ability to prosper in all market conditions,” Veeder-Caffrey said. “I also wanted to be able to offer manufactured homes, 203(k), and non-QM products that can lift volume in a purchase home loan market. You can reach her at or (425) 652-0029.

PrimeLending welcomes Danny Talia and Joe Sesi, powerhouse mortgage experts based in San Diego with a combined 50 years of mortgage experience. Danny will lead the new branch, which adds strength to the company’s already well-established Southern California footprint. Why was PrimeLending the perfect fit for Danny and Joe? The company checked every box this dynamic duo was looking for, including leadership, sustainable stability, vast product offerings, advanced technology, powerful marketing tools, and stellar operations and support. But more importantly, it was the people and the culture – PrimeLending’s relentless focus on providing outstanding service combined with a genuine team-oriented approach creates an environment in which Danny, Joe and their entire team can take their performance to the next level. What do you need to raise your game and achieve greatness? Contact Sherri White at 469.737.5743 to explore your options.

Services and products for lenders

FundingShield is pleased to announce Jerry Halbrook has joined its Senior Advisory Board. Jerry has held senior leadership roles as CFO of Prudential Home MortgageCIO of Bank of America consumer real estate and as President of Black Knight Origination Technology and Business Intelligence Divisions to name a few. “Jerry’s extensive experience, relationship network and understanding of the mortgage & real estate markets will drive strategic partnerships, product expansion and fuel further rapid growth for Fundingshield. We are excited to have a tenacious and well-connected partner who has a similar vision on the impact fintech will have on financial institutions’ bottom line, risk and operations,” shared Ike Suri, Chairman & CEO. “I am excited to work with the talented and diverse team at Fundingshield to achieve new heights assisting their rapid growth to deliver to the market need for validated & verified parties and actionable intelligence at the loan level,” added Jerry. Contact or call 800 295 0135 x2 to prevent wire fraud from impacting your firm.

Are you challenged to build new referral partners? Are you losing the price war to your competition? Do you have the support system in place to take your business to the next level of success? If the answer is no, check out Cindy Ertman’s Mortgage Mastermind Elite (MME) coaching group starting October 2018 at As one of the industry’s Top 100 Mortgage Loan Originators in the U.S. for over a decade, Cindy’s MME group brings together a vetted community of High-Performance Mortgage Professionals committed to sharing best practices, increasing their income, and expanding their referral partner network. Learn more at and receive her FREE training guide!

nmpU’s Purchase Bootcamp 2-for-1 tickets are almost gone. If you are concerned at all about the slowing market, then now is the time to act and register for the next nmpU Purchase Bootcamp Weekend Event. Taking place at the San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront Hotel in San Francisco on Saturday and Sunday, September 15th and 16th, originators from around the country will converge to attend this high-performance, hands-on purchase focused success program. Purchase Bootcamp is not a multi-speaker infomercial event disguised as training.  Presented by Ron Vaimberg, the President and Head Coach of nmpU, a division of National Mortgage Professional Magazine, and one of the nation’s leading leadership trainers and coaches, Purchase Bootcamp is a complete step-by-step system for increasing purchase production regardless of where you are today.  To see what others say about Purchase Bootcamp, and to take advantage of the 2 for 1 ticket purchase, visit Remember to use the code “CHRISMAN” to save an additional $200 on registration.

Impac Mortgage Corp. (IMC) continues to drive the NonQM marketplace. The company recently entered into a strategic partnership with a global private equity firm to sell up to $600 million of NonQM loans over the next 12 months. Based on IMC’s current NonQM growth rate, tech advancements, and product roll outs such as their new “Premier Series”, production should substantially outpace the commitment. The private equity firm is currently working on an initial securitization that is 100% backed by IMC’s NonQM loans and IMC expects to co-invest in future securitizations. The strategic partnership allows IMC to return to its securitization roots and signals the relevant private investor demand for its NonQM products.


I keep being asked, “Will Zillow Mortgage/MLOA use Zestimate as a home’s value?” (On a serious note, what happens when the two do not match?)

Zillow provides a nationwide bridge to the MLS through the internet for buyers to potentially bypass real estate agents. What will happen? Agent advertising makes up nearly ¾ of Zillow’s revenue, and Zillow values the role agents play in transactions recommending that home buyers use a real estate agent, and Zillow listings include a list of local buyer’s agents. “Many home shoppers begin looking for a home online, and engage an agent later in the process, when they are ready to begin taking tours of homes, want advice about neighborhoods, or need guidance about making an offer. In fact, for Zillow Offers, we pay a commission to an agent and broker on each transaction.”

Will the same thing happen on the mortgage side? Will Zillow continue to send leads to mortgage lenders? The answer is yes. Zillow is not planning to make changes to the role of lending professionals in its mortgage advertising marketplace and will continue to support all its lender advertising products. “With 23 million loan requests last year, our lender partners are vital to fulfilling the needs of those consumers.”

Will/can Zillow’s lender contact anyone who uses Zillow for rental searches to get them to buy? Mortgage Lenders of America will be focused primarily on supporting Zillow Offers.

Will Zillow pre-qualify and give consumer’s information to its lender? When this transaction closes, Zillow Group will own a lender, Mortgage Lenders of America, which will pre-qualify consumers who request a pre-qualification from MLOA.

Will Zillow’s lender allow its LOs to broker loans out to wholesalers? Today, Mortgage Lenders of America operates as an independent mortgage banker and does not broker out loans to wholesalers. “Post-closing, we don’t expect that will change.”

If Zillow will send out a pre-qual letter, will that cost the real estate agent more, since that lead is pre-qualified? The acquisition isn’t expected to close for several months. You can bet that Zillow will be exploring various ways it can make Zillow Offers transactions as seamless as possible for buyers.

Capital markets

There is still a lot of Fed talk out there. Despite our Central Bank holding rates steady in the July meeting, expect another increase next month. The FOMC held the fed funds rate target steady as expected after its last meeting via unanimous decision, keeping it at 1.75-2.00% although the FOMC upgraded its assessment of the economy from the previous meeting citing strong growth in household and business spending, both of which were strong in the latest GDP data. Given the Fed’s duel mandates of full employment and price stability, the FOMC signaled the need for “further gradual increases in the target rate” to achieve those goals. Presently, the economy can be at full employment given the low unemployment rate and overall tightness in the labor market. Additionally, as measured by the PCE inflation rate, inflation is running near the Fed’s target of two percent.

Things are a bit slow in the dog days of summer. The U.S. 10-year closed yesterday unchanged despite trade tensions ratcheting higher with dates now set for billions in tariffs against China and new sanctions put on Russia. The sanctions are in response to the Russian government using a chemical weapon against an ex-spy and his daughter in Britain in March. As far as treasuries went, yesterday’s largest-ever 10-year ($26 billion) auction saw robust demand.

Today’s calendar kicked off with July PPI (expected +0.3%, it was flat, as was the core number, so lower than expected) and weekly jobless claims (expected to increase slightly, they were -6k to 213k). Ahead is June wholesale inventories are seen unchanged MoM. Finally, at 2PM ET the NY Fed will report MBS purchases for the week ending August 8. We also have some Fed speak, with Chicago Fed President Evans taking the stage. We have the 10-year at 2.95% and agency MBS prices little changed versus Wednesday’s close.

ACME Steel, feeling it was time for a shakeup, hired a new CEO.

The new boss was determined to rid the company of all slackers. On a tour of the facilities, the CEO noticed a guy leaning against a wall. The room was full of workers and he wanted to let them know that he meant business.

He asked the guy, “How much money do you make a week?”

A little surprised, the young man looked at him and said, “I make $400 a week. Why?”

The CEO said, “Wait right here.”

He walked back to his office, came back in two minutes, and handed the guy $1,600 in cash and said, “Here’s four weeks’ pay. Now GET OUT and don’t come back.” The fellow scampered out.

Feeling pretty good about himself, the CEO looked around the room and asked, “Does anyone want to tell me what that goof-ball did here?”

From across the room a voice said, “Pizza delivery guy from Domino.”

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(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 2018 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