Dec. 11: Management jobs in credit, sales; MI, post-closing, MBS pooling tools; Freddie, Fannie, and the Supreme Court

While here in Hawai’i, if anyone receives a message from me about canned meat, don’t open it. It’s Spam! With many sticking close to home, holiday traditions have renewed importance. Putting up the Christmas tree results in sap on your hands? Well, here’s how you get it off. Shelter in place like a boss! The CFPB is certainly being “a boss” and has issued two final rules to amend the ATR/QM Rule. These rules were largely in line with expectations. The General QM Final Rule amends the General QM definition and is available here. The Seasoned QM Final Rule creates a new category of qualified mortgages and is available here. Want a summary showing recent changes? Here you go. As long as I’ve been in this business the overriding principal has been to build a perfect mortgage, and right now, top lenders are firing on all cylinders: marketing, compliance & QC, origination, processing & closing, cost control, best execution in the secondary markets. To the untrained eye, originating mortgages is a breeze. Actually it is very difficult… just ask Mr. Miyagi.

Employment & transitions

C.L.A. Title a national title company located in Maryland is looking to add to its sales team. If you feel like you would be interested in talking, please contact John Coester.

A fast-growing IMB seeks an experienced Director of Sales to lead our outstanding team as we continue our rapid expansion across the East Coast. We are a full-service lender headquartered in Massachusetts. The Director of Sales will be experienced in recruitment and market expansion with well-established connections in the national mortgage industry. The candidate will focus on market growth, developing solid relationships with existing branches, and working with stakeholders to provide the best possible mortgage experience for our customers. The Director of Sales will provide leadership and advancement of the company’s sales and marketing efforts leveraging tools to succeed in a new digital environment. Essential qualities include strong talent recruiting and management skills. This is an executive-level position requiring a minimum of 10 years of industry experience. To be part of our dynamic team, contact Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt to forward your confidential note of interest.

Towne Mortgage continues to add top talent to its TPO sales force and is very pleased to welcome Tim Fitzgerald (North Jersey and Eastern PA) and Douglas Smurthwaite (Northern CA) to the Towne Family. “Adding top talent is critical in this competitive landscape. Relationship is still a very important part of the business and we are extremely excited to have attracted this type of talent and expertise to the Towne team”, said Mark Zierott, SVP TPO National Sales. AEs at Towne can sell all three channels of TPO business including delegated and have access to a full FNMA/FHLMC/GNMA agency product set, renovation (203K & FNMA HomeStyle), Construction, no minimum FICO FHA, manual underwrites and manufactured housing loans. And at Towne we service most of our loans! If you are an AE interested in learning more about opportunities at Towne, please send confidential inquires to Mark.

On Q Financial is proudly expanding employment opportunities in the mortgage industry! We currently seek a Credit Manager. The ideal candidate will be energetic and analytical with a proven record of accomplishments. We are looking for an individual with a Quality Control Management background. This position will ensure effective management of Pre-Funding and Post-Closing Reviews and Underwriting Guidelines for Retail/TPO channels. At On Q Financial, we are passionate about making the dream of homeownership a reality! We are highly collaborative, extremely innovative, and like to have fun… And we move FAST! If you are someone who accelerates and propels Quality Control to the next level, we want to meet you! Interested candidates please email your resume to Lisa Sleeper.”

As Stearns continues to experience significant growth, it welcomes Linda Vo as its new VP, Joint Venture Business Development Manager. Linda is joining the team with over 20 years of business development experience, helping drive growth at Movement Mortgage, Citi Group, Bank of America and more. “Welcoming Linda to the team was a no-brainer,” said Steve Stein, President, JV Partnerships. “We knew Linda was the right person to help us navigate our business development strategy as we continue to focus on sustaining our positive momentum and growing our joint venture business. Linda has a great reputation in the industry and we’re lucky to have her.” If you’re interested in joining the growing team at Stearns or any of the brands that make up Strategic Mortgage Partners, check out its careers page.

Finsbury, the global strategic communications consultancy, announced that Vickee Jordan Adams will join as a Partner in January 2021 when the firm becomes Finsbury Glover Hering. Vickee was SVP, Communications for Consumer & Small Business Banking at Wells Fargo Bank NA and has served in senior in-house and consulting roles over more than three decades, advising C-Suite executives on reputation and crisis communications in high-stakes situations.

Lender & broker products

How should lenders invest in their businesses in 2021? At Maxwell’s recent MAXOUT 2020 conference, Managing Director of Transformational Mortgage Services Les Parker and I discussed 4 business areas that help small to midsize lenders stand out from the competition. If you’re wondering where to spend excess cash from 2020, consider differentiating yourself by doubling down on these high-ROI segments. Want to gain an edge and build a sustainable, standout business? Don’t miss these timely tips from our session summarized by Maxwell. Click here to read “The 4 Areas Where Every Lender Should Invest in 2021”!

Have you heard how Connector by Velma® does ECOA – Adverse Action right?  Learn how Connector reduces risk, rescues at-risk prospects, eliminates hassles, and saves time for your sales and operations teams. Oh, and you will never need to print out and stuff another NOIA letter again!

‘Tis the season for a Piggyback HELOC with Symmetry Lending! Loan Officers and Processors, having trouble with those pesky Jumbo Investor Guidelines? Having trouble with your transaction timelines? If you aren’t using a Symmetry Piggyback HELOC in your toolkit, you’re missing out on a competitive advantage for your clients’ needs! With a DU/LP Approval on your first-lien mortgage, you can trust that Symmetry will follow agency underwriting guidelines with very limited overlays on a convenient Piggyback HELOC. Provide your clients with flexible liquidity, an interest-only payment during the draw period, and an experience that Symmetry has designed for Service, Speed, and Simplicity.  Contact your Symmetry Area Manager today to learn more about a Piggyback HELOC experience that will give you the confidence and certainty that you need to stay competitive. And while you have them, ask about Symmetry’s recently expanded program guides and reduced margins!

NMI Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: NMIH), the parent company of National Mortgage Insurance Corporation (National MI) , has been recognized on Fortune’s 100 Fastest-Growing Companies list for 2020. The list ranks the top performing, publicly traded companies in revenues, profits and stock returns over a three-year period ending on April 30, 2020. “We’re very pleased to be listed on Fortune’s list of the fastest-growing companies,” said Claudia Merkle, CEO of National MI. “National MI’s consistent growth since our inception in 2012 has been achieved by dedication and hard work, while building value every day for our employees, our customers and our shareholders.” NMI Holdings, Inc. ranked first on Fortune’s list in the category of diversified financial companies and ninth on the list for three-year growth in revenue. The company reported an annual three-year growth rate of 45 percent.

President of Truepoint Lending, Chris Chudacoff shares insights about engaging his database: “I have been originating for 28 years. I only started Homebot last year. It is the single greatest post-closing tool on the market! My engagement & open rate is over 90%. I have removed all generic post-closing drip campaigns other than holiday and birthday.” Put your client retention strategy on autopilot with Homebot.

Conforming conventional sector: never stagnant

Sure the ultimate fate of the Agencies is up in the air, but that doesn’t mean they are sitting on their hands, or while away the hours playing Tetris. For example, just yesterday Fannie sent out COVID-19 Lender Letter updates extend expiration of dates via Originations Lender Letter (LL-2020-03) to extend the verbal verifications of employment and power of attorney flexibilities, and Impact of COVID-19 on Appraisals Lender Letter (LL-2020-04) to extend temporary flexibilities to Jan. 31, 2021.

Fannie also clarified the last date to sell loans in forbearance due to COVID-19. “In accordance with Lender Letter LL-2020-06, loans in forbearance due to COVID-19 with note dates no later than Dec. 31, 2020 may be delivered to us through Feb. 28, 2021. These dates will not be further extended. Want some loan delivery information? Here you go.”

There is a lot of chatter about the Supreme Court hearing regarding the GSEs (Government Sponsored Enterprises, aka the Agencies, aka Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae… who says this business is confusing?). The case itself is at best complicated, at worst byzantine and could throw the housing finance market into turmoil. The Case focuses on the FHFA’s leadership. A ruling backing the administration’s approach could make it easier for President-elect Biden to replace Mark Calabria (the FHFA’s Trump-appointed director) who is in favor of ending U.S. control of Fannie and Freddie.

Pete Mills, SVP, Residential Policy and Member Engagement with the Mortgage Bankers Association, shot over, “Certainly the Court’s ‘intent’ is not to throw markets into turmoil, and they often try to find ways to avoid such outcomes… within the bounds of the laws they are interpreting. This is what they did in the CFPB (Seila) case: The remedy did not strike down all of Dodd Frank or the entirety of the CFPB, as some of the plaintiffs had asked. They simply determined that the Director must serve at the pleasure of the President. That said, the FHFA case before the court, while sharing some similarities, is actually quite different. Different statute, different underlying claims and… A different court (Coney Barrett replaces Ginsberg).

“The Collins case is incredibly convoluted and it is hard to predict the exact outcomes. Add in the fact that the Court itself is unpredictable and it is going to be an exciting few months.  I think we can say given Seila, it is extremely unlikely that the Court will declare the FHFA unconstitutional or otherwise ‘destroy’ the agency. Also, obviously none of this should impact the GSE Charters or any actions taken by Congress outside the context of a direct action taken by the FHFA Director. For actions outside of the PSPA amendments, Director Calabria could simply ratify them after the decision. This is what Director Kraninger did after SeilaI guess you could argue the ‘strength’ of those ratifications, but they are pretty widely accepted.”

FHFA announced that the Enterprises will extend the moratoriums on single-family foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) evictions until at least January 31, 2021, applicable to Enterprise-backed, single-family mortgages only. More information is available in the News Release.

It appears that the rush to shift the Freddie and Fannie out of conservatorship before inauguration day has simmered down. NAR publicly called on the Treasury Department to delay the release of GSEs, following many other individuals and groups. The NAR website states, “NAR sent a letter to the Treasury and Federal Housing Finance Agency asking them to refrain from any rushed actions to end the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

Capital markets

Maximize specified pay-ups while simultaneously, and automatically, minimizing high balance price adjustments. Black Knight, a premier provider of high-performance software, data, and analytics, recently announced yet another significant enhancement to its Pool Optimizer solution. Pool Optimizer, part of the CompassPoint platform, has been adding value to lenders’ bottom lines for almost a decade. Following the recent enhancement to MBS securitization in October, the newest release includes logic to support mortgage lenders that deliver primarily to the GSE cash windows. Lenders who incorporate the Pool Optimizer into their best execution analysis can leverage advanced and configurable automation to help boost profitability and minimize price adjustments, create multiple optimized commitments with each GSE cash window in just one click, and eliminate data inconsistencies caused by human error, saving hours on manual entry. To learn more about transforming your loan sale processes by implementing powerful and comprehensive secondary marketing tools, please contact

MAXEX announced  that lock trading volume on its digital mortgage exchange exceeded $13 billion, more than double its total volume over the previous three years. Despite a significant shortfall in non-agency liquidity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has already been able to more than double its 2019 total. MAXEX has also onboarded 70 new sellers, including several leading bank and non-bank mortgage lenders, launched a strategic partnership and technology integration with Ellie Mae, and was approved as a direct Seller to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Congratulations.

Between no breakthrough on further fiscal stimulus and an unexpected increase in jobless claims, U.S. Treasuries and MBS rallied in curve-flattening fashion yesterday. The unexpected jump (+137k) in initial jobless claims this week means the Federal Reserve will likely remain focused on near-term downside risks to the economy at the next Federal Open Market Committee meeting on December 15 and 16. The Fed is widely expected to leave interest rate policy unchanged near zero, but we could see some changes to the Fed’s asset purchase program and perhaps changes to other programs as well. Despite recent vaccine approvals, the increasing coronavirus spread and tightening social mitigation policies present several near-term downside risks for Q1 2021 GDP growth. Aiding the move was a strong 30-year bond auction.

Today’s economic calendar started with the November Producer Price Index (headline and core both +.1 percent, slightly less inflationary than expected). The only other release of note will be preliminary December Michigan sentiment. Markets will receive some remarks from Fed Vice Chair of Supervision Quarles in the afternoon. The NY Fed Desk schedule contains the last two operations on the current schedule totaling up to $5.4 billion, starting with $1.8 billion GNII 2% and 2.5% and followed by $3.6 billion UMBS30 1.5% and 2%. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices better/up nearly .125 and the 10-year yielding .89 after closing yesterday at 0.91 percent.


1) You believe in Santa Claus.

2) You don’t believe in Santa Claus.

3) You are Santa Claus.

4) You look like Santa Claus.

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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 Copyright 2020 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.)

Rob Chrisman