Dec. 14: Retail jobs across the nation; upcoming events; Rhode Island fraud; Ally re-entering the biz; FOMC week!

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” So said William Arthur Ward. Various examples of politics fits into each one of those, and here’s an example of where the internet and politics intersect that my son Robbie sent along:


“Movement Mortgage is dedicated to being more than just a mortgage company. Our commitment is to be a Movement of Change in our industry, corporate cultures and communities by the way we love and value people. If you are a recent college graduate, military veteran or professional making a career change, Movement University is our six-week, salaried training program designed to effectively prepare you and establish the groundwork for a successful career at Movement. Visit MovementU to find out about this incredible opportunity available in Charlotte, Virginia Beach, and Phoenix, and then send your resume to Movement offers top benefits, exciting perks, competitive pay, community investment and numerous career development options for employees to thrive both personally and professionally.”


Thousands of miles away SecurityNational Mortgage Company is growing throughout the Pacific Division. “We are currently looking for Area Managers, Branch Managers, Originators, Processors, Funders and Underwriters (DE a must, VA a bonus). These positions are additional to our group and we can accommodate all geographic locations in California, Oregon and Washington. SNMC is a 25 year old, publically traded company with offices nationwide. This is an opportunity to join a respected, full-service mortgage banker that will consistently close your loans on time, provide state-of-the-art technology, best in class marketing support, allow you to enjoy an aggressive compensation plan, provide first class medical, dental and vision plus a matching 401K program. SNMC has a history of demonstrated growth, efficient, local operations and a commitment to employee growth and opportunity.” For more information and a confidential interview, contact Divisional Manager Bill Lawton.


And Assurance Financial, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is hiring branch managers and MLOs across the Southeast and Southwest. This is a great opportunity for anyone wanting to open a branch in an environment where they can substantially increase their personal and branch production. The company is aggressively expanding into Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, North Carolina and South Carolina. Assurance Financial is an established full-service mortgage banker with a 15-year history of consistently closing loans on time. Paul Peters, CMB, Sales Recruiting Manager, says loan officers joining Assurance experience a sizeable increase in income without extra work. For more information, contact Paul Peters.


Congrats to Jennifer Rocha who has joined JMAC as its VP of Government Operations!


Are you making any money this year? I hope so, as most believe that margins will decline next year. Heck, why wait for next year? It appears that margins were lower in the 3rd quarter for independent mortgage bankers versus the 2nd quarter (although higher from the 3rd quarter of 2014). Marina Walsh, the fabled VP of Industry Analysis at the MBA, summed things up: “In the third quarter of 2015, profits were $1,238 per loan (55 basis points), compared to $897 per loan (42 basis points) in the third quarter of 2014. The average production volume in the third quarter of 2015 was significantly higher at $614 million per company, compared to $437 million per company in the third quarter of 2014. At the same time, the share of purchase production to total production by dollar volume was similar at 70 and 72 percent respectively.”


Yes, there are profits to be had, and there is a lot of money out there. It continues to flow into start-ups in mortgage banking and related fields. For example, here is a story about how Income& unveiled the “first peer-to-peer marketplace for PRIMOs, a fully transparent, superior-yielding and low-risk fixed income product backed by real property.”


And the more things change, the more they stay the same. Ally is re-entering the mortgage biz.


A 22-count federal grand jury indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court in Providence charges six individuals, including a Rhode Island real estate attorney, a real estate agent, a licensed loan originator, a former loan officer, a loan processor and a real estate investor, with allegedly participating in a conspiracy to obtain money they were not entitled to from financial institutions and individuals through mortgage loans, residential property sales and fees.


(While we’re talking about a particular state, since the fourth quarter of 2012, the states with the highest percentage of loans in foreclosure include New Jersey, New York and Florida, according to the MBA. Although, the foreclosure rate in each of these states is dropping, as Florida’s inventory has dropped by 266 basis points over the year ending in the third quarter of 2015. The decline in foreclosure inventory for New Jersey and New York dropped 95 basis points and 149 basis points, respectively as well. On a national level foreclosure inventories dropped by 51 basis points. New Jersey had the greatest decline in the nation as its foreclosure inventory fell by 84 basis points in just one quarter and New York experienced the largest quarterly decline in its history during the third quarter, dropping by 54 basis points.)


Sure Christmas is next week, but that doesn’t mean training, events, and conferences cease!


“Be our guest in Orlando on Tuesday December 15 from 12:30 PM to 8:00 PM for the National Mortgage Professional Magazine Holiday Networking Party. The program starts off with the ‘Next Gen Mortgage Professional’s Rally.’ Followed by two powerful seminars: ‘Winning Sales Strategies for You and Your Real Estate Professionals’, presented by Barry Habib, and ‘Secrets to Make Your 2016 Your Best Year Ever’ presented by Frank Garay. The day wraps up with the HOLIDAY NETWORKING PARTY including music, food, prizes and a heavy dose of holiday cheer! There will be a collection for the U.S. Marines Toys for Tots program with uniformed U.S. Marines collecting unwrapped toys. Remember: ‘The Only Thing Better than a Closed Loan is a Free Party.’ If you haven’t registered as of yet, you can register for FREE with your NMLS number on-site at the venue – Holiday Inn Hotel – 5905 S. Kirkman Road, Orlando, FL.”


Join Ellie Mae’s free webinar on Thursday, December 17th, “HMDA: The New Reporting Frontier”. The new rules include: changes to depository and non-depository applicable institutions, changes/additions to collected, reported data fields and quarterly reporting, applicable transaction type changes and reforms to notifications and availability of the Disclosure Statement and Modified LAR.


Add it to your calendar if you’re in New Mexico. NMMLA’s January 14th Luncheon will include Guest Speaker Mayor Richard J. Berry. Registration information will be available soon.


Peoples National Bank is presenting the 2nd annual Colorado Mortgage and Real Estate Summit on January 12th. Understand The Issues, Changing Laws, And Economic Housing And Interest Rate Forecasts Affecting The Real Estate And Residential Lending Industry Going Into 2016. With special guest speakers, admission is free but you must pre-register.


Washington Mortgage Bankers Association hosting its January 19th dinner with a CEO Panel meeting at the Overlake Golf and Country Club. The Panel will be moderated by WMBA Charmain of the Board Ken A. Larsen, Executive Vice President – Banner Bank Mortgage Banking Director. Details and registration are available here.


In a recent commentary I wrote that I should get caught up with issuance YTD for the third quarter before prognostications started filtering in for 2016. Ask and yee shall receive, I guess. BAML recently released an initial forecast, along with revising 2015 numbers. The bank revised 2015 supply up to $1,262B gross, and $128B net, which is an increase of this year’s forecast by $64B gross and $13B net. BAML notes “We revise our 2015 supply forecast slightly higher to $1,262bn gross and $128bn net. We also release our 2016 supply forecasts, pegged off a 2% on the 10-year UST yield. Full details follow on the key factors driving our outlook for $1,325tn in gross and $146bn in net issuance. The seasonal attributes of mortgage supply, especially given the high share of purchases, backloads a majority of this net supply in the latter half of 2016.“ More to come, I’m sure.


A great American once said, “When you come to a fork in the road….take it,” and while there are many financial forks yet to come before we put 2015 to bed, none is more important than the inevitable Fed Funds interest rate increase. Recently, someone asked me if I remember a time when there has been this much lead-up to an FOMC decision. While all FOMC decisions have moved interest rate markets in one way or another, no, I can’t remember an event which has garnered this much anticipation and speculation; the timeliness of this move will surely be studied by economists and business schools for decades to come. Why? I would argue that conflicting data-sets have added uncertainty to classical economic modeling. But let’s turn to Wells Fargo’s September Housing Chartbook. “Assessing the strength of the U.S. economy is not an easy task. GDP growth has been unusually volatile in recent years, with weakness during the early and latter parts of the year and robust gains during the spring and summer. The pattern has defied the statistical agencies best efforts to correct for ordinary seasonal variations. Swings in economic growth have been amplified by unusually harsh winter weather, port disruptions, government shutdowns and possibly some echo from the Great Recession, which has led to more pronounced seasonal swings in measured economic activity. As we sift through the data, one trend seems abundantly clear–the further you get away from the global economic slowdown the better the economy seems to be.”


Turning to the bond markets, there is only volatility when something unexpected happens. And everyone expects the FOMC to raise short-term rates on the 16th, so will there be volatility when they do? Perhaps not; there may be more if the FOMC leaves rates unchanged. Looking back to Friday, agency MBS prices improved as did all fixed-income securities: there was a “flight to quality” bid as stocks and oil prices tumbled.


We have a new week of economic news, most of which will be ignored as the Fed’s increase in short term rates is pretty much a forgone conclusion. (Don’t forget that if a rate increase causes our economy to slow, we can look for mortgage rates to actually eventually drop!) But we start off with zip today (and zip on Friday). Tomorrow includes numbers like Empire State Manufacturing, the Consumer Price Index, and the National Association of Homebuilders Market Index. Wednesday is the MBA’s mortgage application survey, the Housing Starts & Building Permits duo, and, for a special bonus, Industrial Production & Capacity Utilization. Thursday is Jobless Claims, and Leading Economic Indicators.


But most importantly on Wednesday the 16th, at 2PM EST, is the Federal Open Market Committee Meeting. As noted above everyone is expecting an increase in short term rates; the Fed doesn’t, of course, set long term rates. Now the debate in the press has turned to “how long and how fast” it raises rates – after all, the talking heads need something to talk about, right? Anyone thinking about mortgage rates today should know that the U.S. 10-year closed Friday at a yield of 2.14% and this morning we’re at 2.15% with agency MBS prices a shade worse.



I receive my fair share of automatic e-mail responses which increase during the holidays. Typical “out of office” replies usually go something like, “Thank you for your message. I will be traveling for business on Friday December 4th and will have limited access to email. I will respond to your message as soon as I am able. Thank you!” Some are actually apologetic about taking a day off, or even leaving work for the day. And every once in a while someone breaks out of the mold. (Part 1 of 5 where I took the time to look for some of the more interesting & ironic ones; I made none of them up.)


Thank you for contacting me. I will be out of the office on Friday December 4th, after watching Thursday Night Football, returning Monday December 7th.


I’ll be out to Dec 15. I’ll be accompanying my wife, Ruth, as she checks off a bucket list item – National Finals Rodeo. I’ll continue to watch emails and voice mails and return messages – just not as quickly as I usually do.


I will be out of the office on Friday with no access to email. I will be checking emails periodically throughout the day, however, and if you need immediate assistance related to Quality Control please contact…





(Copyright 2015 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