With the snow expected in the Northeast this week, countless households washed loads of pajamas yesterday so that they could have clean work clothes this week. Y’all think 2020 is bad? Just wait until it turns 21 and starts drinking. Yet 2020 has been good for rates. The Fed has tamped down Treasury yields since the start of the pandemic in March, though those yields are quite the double-edged sword for the central bank. Higher Treasury yields/sinking bond and MBS prices can signal greater confidence in the economic recovery and are likely to be accompanied by rising inflation expectations, which the Fed hopes to see. But yields that climb too much also raise long-term borrowing costs, something the economy certainly does not need with the pandemic surging and millions still out of work. Purchase applications have grown in 2020, however. By the way, the St. Louis Fed is a good place for anyone needing charts and graphs.
Employment & promotions
“At Caliber Home Loans, we’re dedicated to helping people reach their full potential and supporting the communities where we work and live. That’s why we’re proud of Caliber University, our six-week training course for recent college graduates and those with mortgage experience. This program is for individuals seeking a career in the mortgage industry. Caliber University provides loan origination training and mentoring from start to finish. The inaugural class made significant impacts within Caliber and their communities by implementing financial education webinars to promote home ownership and sponsoring local philanthropic efforts. The next Caliber University program begins on Jan. 15. If your goal is to combine a great job with making an impact in your community, join us! We’ll help you grow professionally. Visit our website today to view open opportunities. To be immediately considered for Operations or Sales positions, email Jonathan Stanley or Brian Miller, respectively.”
Academy Mortgage saw an opportunity to Inspire Hope when they had to cancel its 2020 President’s Club and Executive Club Sales Conferences due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The independent lender gifted the funds that would have been used for these annual sales trips to each qualifier to use to Inspire Hope in their family or for a family or organization in need. The stories of how the 175 qualifiers chose to invest their funds are uplifting and inspiring, such as this story of three team members who provided 2,000 moments of joy for foster kids, or this story of a team member who used her gift to establish a scholarship fund in honor and remembrance of a loved one. Possibilities to Inspire Hope are all around us in this season of giving and looking to the New Year. Contact EVP of Production Patrick Welberg to join Academy in making a difference.
Reggora is seeking Sales, Customer Success, and Marketing professionals to join our rapidly growing team. If you haven’t already heard, Reggora is transforming the residential appraisal process to make it easier and faster for everyone involved. This is your chance to join an early stage fintech company backed by the same investors behind powerhouses like Twitter, Slack, Wayfair, and Draftkings. Reggora is based in Boston though we’re working remote for now! Check out these roles (plus a few others) on our website or send any inquiries to [email protected].
Do you plan to expand your market share and continue growing in 2021? We haven’t invented a crystal ball yet, but change is inevitable and market experts are predicting more than a 50% drop-off in refi volume next year. Are you prepared for the impact this could have on your business? Forward-thinking organizations are planning ahead and investing in growth initiatives today. Model Match incorporates everything you need to supercharge your growth and ace talent acquisition in the new year. Model Match is a proven system, process, and strategy, all in one central, collaborative space. With one click, gain insights into production metrics to identify priority candidates and gain nationwide access to total volume, unit counts, product breakdowns, and more. With the ability to customize and scale our solutions, we’re confident we have the perfect plan to fit your recruiting needs. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Continued M&A activity exists, including this inquiry. A new well-capitalized mortgage organization is looking to acquire a “shell” corporate entity that currently has active seller/servicer approvals with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae. All three are not required, so please reach out with other options. If you are interested, please email Anjelica Nixt with the “Shell entity for sale” in the subject. All inquiries remain confidential.
Congratulations to Chuck Bishop who was recently named head of Wells Fargo Home Lending Diverse Segments and will expand his leadership to a business-wide diverse segments team and strategy focused on serving multi-cultural customers and underserved communities, and growing diverse homeownership nationwide. Chuck is a 30-year veteran of the financial services industry, including 25 years of extensive focus on diverse segments, fair lending, and the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). He most recently led diverse segments and various sales support functions for Wells Fargo’s correspondent channel.
Lender & broker products & services
Right Time, Right Alert! Alex Luzadre, Senior Loan Officer and Branch Manager with Coastal Pacific Lending turned a $2 alert to a $440k app in 1 day! “Sales Boomerang sent the notification. I called, reinstated the relationship, and now this customer is in processing. This was all in one day!” IT’S AS EASY AS 1…2…3… with the #1 Automated Borrower Intelligence and Retention system in the Mortgage Lending industry. Reward your Loan Officers with the highest converting and most profitable loans in existence. The numbers speak for themselves: 20X Avg ROI, $240 Avg Cost Per Acquired Loan, 10-20% Avg Lift to Loan Volume. Learn more about Sales Boomerang.
Are you ready for VA IRRRL and FHA Streamline opportunities in this market? Learn how to efficiently submit your files once for a final approval! Join Freedom Mortgage Wholesale for live webinar training sessions on VA IRRRL or FHA Streamline mortgage products and origination processes. Ideal for new or experienced government originators. Sign up for a VA IRRRL or FHA Streamline webinar on 12/15 (FHA SL) or 12/18 (VA IRRRL).
Hold on to your hats. In a recent HousingWire article, FormFree Founder and CEO Brent Chandler has unveiled his next big move: to put consumers in control of their data with a combination of blockchain technology (FormFree Chain) and smart contracts (Passport Token). Writes Chandler: “We’ve changed the industry once with AccountChek, and we have the chops and the vision to do it again. As lending becomes decentralized, lenders will need an immutable source of real-time, direct-source data. That’s blockchain. Where applications of blockchain in lending to this point have focused on post-closing, we are bringing blockchain to the origination side. With the FormFree Chain housing the consumer’s ability to pay (ATP) determination and the Passport Token smart contract representing the lending opportunity, consumers are finally at the center of their borrowing process.”
Non-QM lender Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions continues to lead the way by helping originators prepare for 2021. Join Regional VP of Sales John Jeanmonod and Account Executives Lisa Lee (Salt Lake City) and Carlos Betancourt (Miami) on Tuesday, December 15th at 10:00 PDT/1:00 EDT as they walk through Angel Oak’s product suite, how to sell non-QM and the types of borrowers it serves. Bring your questions and scenarios and they’ll answer them live. You’ll soon realize why Angel Oak has originated more non-QM than any other lender. Register here.
Wholesale brokers nationwide continue adopt ReadyPrice as the only Product Pricing Engine that manages pricing from every category of loan product including Non-QM, Government, Jumbo, and GSE loans. Brokers aren’t the only ones actively engaging with ReadyPrice, as wholesale lenders across each of those product categories are joining the platform at an exponential rate. Freedom Mortgage Wholesale, ACC Mortgage, and Kwik Mortgage are just a few of lenders that have joined the dozens of lenders on their network. ReadyPrice features lenders of all sizes, from the industry titans like Stearns Wholesale and PRMG, to the regional lenders, as well as lenders that are just entering the wholesale space. For lenders that thinking now might be a good time to learn more about the ReadyPrice platform, you can visit www.readyprice.com/lenders or schedule an intro call today!
There is continued chatter about the Fannie & Freddie shareholder suit. In the mealtime, uh, meantime, the Agencies, lenders, and investors motor on.
Fannie Mae’s LL-2020-03 extends the verbal verifications of employment and power of attorney flexibilities. Fannie Mae also issued LL-2020-04, Impact of COVID-19 on Appraisals Lender Letter to extend temporary flexibilities to Jan. 31, 2021.
In accordance with Fannie Mae 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.
Fannie Mae updated its Servicing Guide to remove the property-level earthquake insurance requirement on mortgage loans on all Puerto Rico properties, and on Guam properties constructed of masonry.
Fannie Mae Servicing Lender Letter 2020-02 addresses temporary MI termination and extends the existing suspension of certain foreclosure-related activities to Jan. 31, 2021.
The 2021 loan limit increase will bump most of the country to $548,250 — a 7.42% increase over the 2020 limit, effective for whole loans delivered to Fannie Mae and loans in MBS pools with issue dates on or after Jan. 1, 2021. Read more information in Fannie Mae’s Lender Letter LL-2020-14.
Penny Mac Correspondent Group posted information on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s upcoming Conforming Loan Limit Increase in Announcement 20-78.
Penny Mac Correspondent Group posted Announcement 20-77: updates to Conventional LLPAs.
Penny Mac Correspondent Group posted Announcement 20-76 regarding Freddie Mac Bulletins 2020-43 and 44, Fannie Mae LL 2020-03 and 04.
In the Wells Fargo Funding Newsflash C20-073, multiple topics are covered including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s conventional Conforming Condo project requirements, non-escrow adjusters update effective December 1, 2020, prepaid interest overlay removal and policy update, Seller Guide update regarding hazard insurance premium, and Manual underwriting and Wells Fargo Home Opportunities program ineligible – conventional Conforming Loans, effective December 4, 2020.
First State Mortgage posted Guide Announcement 2020-037 regarding revisions to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae temporary requirements for assessing self-employed income.
2021 loan limits conventional Conforming Loans effective date December 15, 2020 Beginning December 15, 2020, Wells Fargo Funding Sellers can: Enter into new Best Effort Locks and Mandatory Commitments at the 2021 conforming loan limits. Change existing Best Effort Locks based on the 2021 conforming loan limits. Sellers can make changes on wellsfargofunding.com.
Details on AUS requirements for Loans at the 2021 limits are available in Newsflash C20-075.
Effective immediately, FAMC Correspondent is accepting Conventional Conforming 2021 Loan Limits. Refer to Bulletin 2020-55 for more information.
Click here to view Flagstar’s information on 2021 Agency Loan Limits.
The FDA approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine and millions of doses are en route or have been delivered to all 50 states. While this is a positive end to the year, it will still be months before vaccines will be available to the general public and the pandemic becomes a thing of the past. In the meantime, cases continue to rise and local governments in parts of the country have re-instated stricter social mitigation policies in the hopes of curbing the spread. Even without government mandates, certain social economic activities may subside as people choose to take precautions especially with cold and flu season upon us. Those who are struggling financially patiently await and additional relief package as many of the expanded benefits are set to expire at the end of the year. Statistically the unemployment rate has fallen since its peak earlier in the year, however the labor force has also fallen by 4.1 million workers which has been attributed to childcare and health concerns.
Friday closed with a whimper in the bond market. There was no Brexit deal abroad and no stimulus deal at home, though the Senate did manage to avert a government shutdown by passing a one-week stopgap spending bill. Treasuries rallied across the curve and the UMBS basis closed tighter, led by lower coupons. Despite the recent talk of Treasury yields increasing, yields of all durations declined on the week last week, including the 10-year ending down 8 bps from where it started on Monday.
In terms of economic releases, total producer prices and core PPI both missed expectations, aka don’t hold your breath for any imminent inflationary pressure. The preliminary December University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment rose well beyond expectations. Interestingly enough, it was due to partisan shift in economic prospects: expectations among Democrats rose by 39.5 points while expectations among Republicans fell by 34.9 points. Separately, the Desk released a new MBS purchase that saw no changes to coupons with GNII operations targeting 2% and 2.5% versus 1.5% and 2% in UMBS15s and UMBS30s a mix between 1.5% and 2% and 2% and 2.5%.
With no economic releases today, let’s look forward to some market-moving highlights coming later this week. The biggest should be Wednesday’s Fed events following its two-day meeting. This last full market week of the year also includes updates on regional Fed surveys, import prices, industrial production/capacity utilization, retail sales, PMIs, business inventories, housing data and leading indicators. With regards to MBS and in addition MBS FedTrade purchases, today’s schedule sees the Desk targeting up to $4.1 billion starting with $1.4 billion UMBS15 1.5% and 2%, followed by $2.7 billion UMBS30 1.5% and 2%. We begin the week before Christmas with Agency MBS prices worse/down more than .125 and the 10-year yielding .94 after closing last week at 0.89% based on progress on the coronavirus front.
New York’s Ira S. writes, “I wasn’t allowed to say anything until today, but it’s now okay for me to share that I volunteered for the Covid-19 vaccine trial in partnership with Pfizer.
It’s the one that has been developed in Russia.
I received my first dose last Tuesday, and I wanted to let you all know that it’s completely safe, with иo side effects whatsoeveя, and that I feelshκι я чувю себя немного стрно и я думю, что вытл осные уши.”
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, “Work Longer and Harder, or Work Smarter”.
(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 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.)