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Apr. 16: LO jobs; Latino, networking, pricing engine, VOE products; Agencies address foreclosures & potential NAR settlement

“Congratulations to the Kardashians on their 20th season. And to me for never having watched a single minute of a single episode.” There are certainly more important things in life, like the rising cost of homeowner’s insurance, and the changing climate. Manmade or natural, it doesn’t matter: If an insurance company won’t insure the area, if an investor worsens your price, or flat out refuses to buy a loan on a property prone to disasters, regardless of root cause, you and your borrower are impacted. The SEC will stay the implementation of its new climate disclosure rule as the agency pushes to consolidate the legal challenges that have already been filed attempting to overturn it. While lawsuits from more than 20 Republican-led states and various business groups argue that the disclosure requirements are beyond the SEC’s legal authority, the regulator still believes the rule is within its power to order. The SEC recently weakened the rule, including requirements for some companies to report Scope 3 emissions from their supply chains and customers using their products. (Found here, this week’s podcasts are sponsored by Optimal Blue. OB’s smart solutions automate critical functions like pricing, hedging, trading, and social media. More originators and investors rely upon Optimal Blue’s integrated solutions, data, and connections to support their unique business strategies, no matter how complex. Hear an interview with Experian’s Joy Mina on misconceptions associated with verification and advances in reporting technology.)

Employment

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In the Northwest and California, Banner Bank is searching for Mortgage Loan Officers looking to create lasting Realtor and builder relationships at a bank focused on the market today. Banner has opportunities for lenders looking for local decision making with FHA, VA, USDA, state bond and true Portfolio lending opportunities along with servicing retained Fannie and Freddie loans to assist in client retention. Additional highlighted products cover CRA lending with private label no payment down payment assistance to help assist all borrowers with the right opportunity. Banner is the right fit for an established team, or the individual looking to grow their business and take the next step in their career. Please send resumes to Aaron Miller.

Loan officers! Discover the radius advantage. Are you navigating a market that’s forgotten the value of loyalty? At radius financial group, we’re rewriting the script with our MLO Partnership-Proposition (MPP). We understand the industry’s pulse and the need for a genuine partnership—not just a platform to process loans. As lenders focus on consumers, we concentrate on you, the heartbeat of our business. You’re not just a number here; you’re the face of our brand, co-branded for success. We’re committed to investing in you, providing a stable home where your talents are nurtured and your book of business flourishes. For confidential inquires please contact Carla Herrera (781-742-6500).”

Lender and broker products, software, and services

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Grab your sunglasses and connect with Optimal Blue in Scottsdale and Miami next week! First, we’re headed west to Arizona to engage with industry collaborators at The Gathering by HousingWire, taking place from April 21 – 24. As you make your way through the event, stop by our kiosk to chat, or schedule a meeting to discuss your goals with the Optimal Blue team. After learning and networking in Scottdale, Optimal Blue will jet set to sunny south Florida for the Horizon Dark Matter User Conference, happening from April 24 – 26. We can’t wait to engage with other industry leaders about the future of mortgage technology. While you’re there, stop by our table at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, or schedule a time to meet with the Optimal Blue team to learn more about how we’re innovating for your future. Your future is bright with Optimal Blue, so don’t forget your sunblock!

AFR Wholesale® is thrilled to announce the renewal of our partnership with AIME for 2024, underscoring our commitment to the wholesale channel. As we continue our collaboration, we are committed to providing essential resources, comprehensive training, and robust support to independent mortgage professionals and the wholesale channel. This partnership will allow AFR to set new industry standards, promote best practices, and deliver exceptional services to our clients and partners. We also will look to spearhead innovative initiatives aimed at boosting operational efficiencies and enhancing customer experiences. Reflecting on a history of successful collaborations, we are excited about the potential for even greater achievements. This announcement is just the beginning, as AFR plans to unveil several exciting partnerships and updates in the coming weeks. Join us in driving change in mortgage lending. To get involved, contact us, 1-800-375-6071, visit AFR.”

Reap the benefits of working with a single source for all the data you need to make better lending decisions. Xactus, the leading verification innovator for the mortgage industry, can help you benefit with increased savings and greater efficiencies by giving you access to the power of Xactus360 – its robust, proprietary technology that revolves around you. It was designed by mortgage technologists who are committed to advancing the modern mortgage by closely consulting with you every step of the way, ensuring you have the right tech to respond to continually changing market conditions. You’ll also gain access to Xactus’ experienced team of experts who will regularly share best practices to help optimize workflows, reduce costs and stop data waste. Xactus is your single source for success. To experience the power of Xactus360 for yourself, email Xactus and schedule a showcase today! For the latest updates and news about important industry innovations, follow Xactus on LinkedIn.

You’ll see a lot of technology at both the upcoming Great River MBA and HousingWire-Gathering conferences. What you won’t see is the industry’s only unified platform for both origination and servicing that MortgageFlex provides with our high-performing solutions and increased productivity while building trust and delivering more results than anyone else, and you need to see it! Call John McCrea, SVP at 1-860-460-7418 to get a customized demo.

Today’s unique market requires flexibility and a pricing engine that empowers lenders and their LOs to put the right loan products in front of borrowers at the right time. Enter Polly. Purpose-built in the cloud and for the cloud, Polly helps to automate and optimize the entire capital markets value chain, enabling users to confidently create profitable and advantageous loan programs on the fly. If you are attending #MBASecondary24 next month, make your connection with the Polly team! Let’s discuss your goals and objectives, and how Polly can help you and your loan officers win.

Winning Agent Business: The lender’s guide to building a strong referral network, updated for 2024! In the aftermath of the NAR ruling, agents are more incentivized than ever to show their clients value. That means they’re actively looking to partner with top-tier lenders in their market. Want to take advantage and grow your referral business? Maxwell just updated its Winning Agent Business eBook with new tips straight from agents to help you better network to create a strong funnel of referral leads. Download your free copy to learn qualities agents value in their lending partners, networking dos and don’ts, ways to become a go-to lender, and more.

Hispanics are the only demographic that significantly grew their homeownership rates last year. How did they do it? And how can you better address the needs of this persistent demographic? Get the answers by attending MGIC’s webinar, “The Freshest Insights on Latino Homebuyers – Straight from the Source” featuring NAHREP and their newly released 2023 State of Hispanic Homeownership Report. Register for the April 25 webinar now.

Government Agency & GSE changes drives the industry

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The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs released its VA Servicing Purchase (VASP) program to help VA borrowers facing financial hardships avoid unnecessary foreclosures. Through VASP, the agency will modify and purchase qualifying loans in default to provide meaningful payment assistance to VA borrowers in financial distress. Consumer advocates at the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) and the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) expressed support for the new program and urged the VA to extend the foreclosure pause, currently set to expire on May 31, 2024, until the program is widely available to eligible VA borrowers in need.

MBA’s President and CEO Bob Broeksmit, CMB, released a Statement on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) release of its Veterans Affairs Servicing Purchase (VASP) program.

USDA Rural Development posted an Advance Notice regarding the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP) announcement of upcoming revisions to technical Handbook 1-3555, Chapter 9, Income Analysis; Chapter 10, Credit Analysis; and Chapter 16, Closing the Loan and Requesting the Guarantee. These changes are expected to be implemented on May 6, 2024. Below are the highlighted revisions:

Freddie Mac published an Industry Letter in response to inquiries regarding a proposed settlement agreement, subject to court approval, entered into by the National Association of Realtors®. The Letter serves as a reminder of our current requirements for interested party contributions, as defined in the Single-Family Seller/Servicer Guide (Guide). Sellers are encouraged to review the Letter for information regarding the current treatment of property seller-paid buyer agent fees.

Freddie Mac announced a series of policy and process enhancements that further strengthen underwriting due diligence, bolster fraud detection and deterrence, and mitigate other risks. Effective April 18, the changes include enhanced property inspection requirements and additional due diligence, among other measures and will appear in Freddie Mac’s Multifamily Seller/Servicer Guide (“Guide”).

In in a recent Selling Notice, Fannie Mae addressed its awareness of the proposed settlement agreement, subject to court approval, announced by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) in the Burnett et al and Moehrl et al cases. While there are no immediate changes to our Selling Guide policies, we are clarifying the current treatment of seller-paid real estate agent fees under our interested party contributions (IPCs) policy.

Fannie Mae’s latest Quality Insider features property data collection (PDC) and how quality control professionals may approach this element of its property valuation framework to manage risk and save time.

In March, Fannie Mae hosted a loss mitigation webinar for servicers, focusing on guiding delinquent borrowers to understand their options based on our workout hierarchy. The presentation is now available online.

In a recent Press Release, Ginnie Mae announced an additional expansion of its Low-to-Moderate Income (LMI) disclosure initiative to include pool-level data for its Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) Mortgage-Backed Securities (HMBS) program. Over the last year, Ginnie Mae made a number of advancements with respect to its securities program, including producing security-level LMI disclosures across the Single-Family program, and publishing the Ginnie Mae Social Impact and Sustainability Framework and updating its prospectus addressing loans pooled from 2012 through the present time.

Capital Markets: rates up some, down some, for months to come

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Sticky inflation, diminishing rate cut expectations, no significant escalation in hostilities between Iran and Israel. Glad you’re all caught up from the past week. We begin the day with Agency MBS… We did learn yesterday that Retail Sales for March beat expectations and included an upward revision to February’s growth, yet another sign of the enduring strength of the U.S. consumer, and yet another reason bond yields hit new year-to-date highs. The New York Fed’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey for April contracted more than expected, and the NAHB Housing Market Index was unchanged from March.

Yes, the Fed is still expected to start cutting rates this year, but robust consumption and investment as well as easing supply-chain problems have allowed for continuing strong domestic growth in the face of higher interest rates. Concerns over war, geopolitical tensions, and persistent inflationary pressures aren’t yet enough to overshadow the fact that many economic indicators remain positive. That sentiment was on full display yesterday as cautious optimism returned to markets despite the Iranian attacks on Israel over the weekend. Markets have already scaled back bets on policy easing as recent “Fed speak” has revealed no urgency to cut interest rates in the near term. And keep in mind that last week closed with year-ahead inflation expectations and long-term inflation expectations both increasing. Both are figures to which the Fed pays close attention.

This week’s economic calendar will be dominated by housing data. We received the aforementioned NAHB housing market index yesterday, housing starts and building permits were released a matter of minutes ago ( respectively -14.7 percent, 1.321 million annual pace; -4.3 percent, 1.458 million annual pace), and existing home sales are due out on Thursday. Housing starts and building permits were both expected to have edged lower in March after mild weather fueled increases in February. Later today brings Redbook same store sales for the week ending April 13, Industrial production and capacity utilization, Treasury auctions, and remarks from several Fed speakers. Okay, it’s time…We begin the day with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged from Monday evening, the 10-year yielding 4.65 after closing yesterday at 4.63 percent, and the 2-year at 4.94.

Grammar is a good thing, but there are things to remember. (Part 2 of 5)

Never use a big word when a diminutive alternative would suffice.

Subject and verb always has to agree.

Placing a comma between subject and predicate, is not correct.

Use youre spell chekker to avoid mispeling and to catch typograhpical errers.

Don’t repeat yourself, or say again what you have said before.

Use the apostrophe in it’s proper place and omit it when its not needed.

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 titled, “Relying on the Fed: How Did This Happen?” 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 2024 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.)