All kinds of things are being found. A woman in Missouri’s “tiny house” was found after being stolen. Then New York Times found more money to pay its crossword puzzle constructors ($500 for a weekday edition). Of the $300,000 scattered from a Brink’s armored truck in New Jersey, $125,000 has been “found” and turned in. (My guess is the $188,000 can still be found in wallets of turnpike travelers.) And I am pleased to announce that, after yesterday mentioning United Security Financial, a second Black/African American-owned mortgage bank has been “found” in the United States. President Mike Yates wrote, saying, “Best Capital Funding was established in 2008. We are a FNMA / FHLMC approved seller servicer in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles and are licensed in 25 states doing both wholesale and retail.” Thanks Mike!
Jobs & retirements
FirstBank Mortgage, a division of FirstBank with $5B in assets, is aggressively seeking loan officers and teams throughout TN, AL, & GA that possess an entrepreneurial spirit and love to work hard and have fun while doing it. “Backed by a management team of former producers, FirstBank Mortgage has the technology, training, pricing and marketing to help you exponentially grow your business and industry knowledge. Expansive product offerings include portfolio, jumbo, super jumbo, multiple down payment assistance programs and expanded credit programs. Come thrive in an environment where your voice is heard, your opinions matter, and the customer comes first. Excellent compensation package included.”
New Year – Fresh Start! Are you an experienced Wholesale Account Executive wanting to make a change? Looking for a company with an entrepreneurial mortgage culture of collaboration, team-based success, and the security of working for a bank? Then it’s time to call Florida Capital Bank’s Andrea Lefebvre, SVP, National Director of Production (617.899.1428), or Bob Eisendrath, National Account Manager (414.350.3986). “FLCB is agency approved and has a suite of portfolio products along with money back service level agreements that will set you apart from your competition. Come join our bank and have some fun again with a team environment where everyone is passionate about delivering an exceptional customer experience with every loan. We offer competitive compensation, an energized culture, and an experienced operations & support staff.” Florida Capital Bank is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
Caliber Home Loans, Inc. has made BIG strides in 2018. In Q1, Caliber introduced one of the industry’s largest suites of mobile apps – for its retail and wholesale producers, its customers and its real estate agent contacts across the country. The result? Big, of course! Over 100,000 app downloads and customer payments of over $340 million as of last week. In Q2 came big product news from Caliber, with the introduction of Elite Access – a jumbo non-agency loan product – which has a $3 million loan limit and no MI. This also yielded an increase of 122% in non-agency production for Caliber since June 2018. Caliber ended Q3 2018 with a year-over-year increase of 25.9% in government volume, earning a #3 ranking industry-wide, according to Inside Mortgage Finance. If you’re a producer with big goals in 2019, join a lender with big results. Contact Jeremy DeRosa or visit www.joincalibernow.com.
Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc. (PRMI), announced the retirement of two of its co-founders and long-time executives, CEO Dave Zitting and CFO Steve Chapman. Former VP of Finance and Board Member, Kenneth Knudson, will assume the role of CEO and president at the conclusion of 2018.
Congrats to Pennsylvania’s Sherry Wallace for her promotion to AVP overseeing of CNB Bank’s mortgage process to include product development, pricing, underwriting, documentation, funding and reporting for 41 branch offices of CNB Bank, ERIEBANK, FCBank and BankOnBuffalo. Wallace joined CNB Bank in 1995 as head teller.
Lender products & services
Mortech, the mortgage technology business Zillow Group acquired back in 2012, recently rolled out a new customer retention platform. The solution leverages property data on Zillow’s websites and mobile apps, which average more than 175 million unique users per month (according to Google) and capture more than 2/3rds of the U.S. market share of real estate internet traffic (according to comScore). Using a proprietary prediction model, the platform periodically identifies the likelihood that addresses within a lender’s database will be listed for sale within 90 days. These predictions provide lenders the advantage of proactively reaching out to customers via out-bound calling, emails, etc. who are likely to need a new mortgage at an opportune time with relevant messaging. For more information – contact Mortech Sales via email or call 1-855-298-9327.
Warehouse Line New Year’s Resolution: Don’t get caught on the short list. “With the industry facing reduced originations and compressed profit margins, you may find your warehouse lender revisiting the terms of your agreement. Now is the perfect time to make a change and partner with a bank that is more agile with the terms and conditions of a warehouse line. At FLCB (Florida Capital Bank) we’ll negotiate customer specific terms, regarding covenants, haircuts, pledge accounts, per loan fees, line rates, non-usage fees and more. We have over 80 approved takeout investors, in addition to our own competitive products. Don’t wait until the end of the year to partner with a cost effective and efficient warehouse team. Contact Dan Hastings, CMB, National Warehouse Sales Manager (318-547-1357) to ring in the New Year with a warehouse line tailored with the best terms to meet your 2019 business goals.”
SettlementOne continues to push the mortgage valuation industry to its limits. With a focus on removing all that was stale in the appraisal process and injecting a much-needed human touch, SettlementOne has reinvented the AMC model. In order to help get loans closed faster and with less hassle they have flipped the appraisal management model to be proactive instead of reactive. Finally, an AMC is using data up front to get the right appraiser to evaluate the property. The results are amazing when you start with the most knowledgeable appraiser, not just the most convenient. Furthering their commitment to innovation and excellence, SettlementOne also continues to expand its network of partnerships within the industry and is thrilled to announce a new partnership with American Financial Resources (AFR) for both retail and wholesale appraisal services. For more information on the partnership, click here.
Hurry! For every approved new lender that signs up with TMS before Dec. 31st, they’ll donate $250 to Family Reach —a national non-profit dedicated to alleviating the financial burden of cancer. You can sign up here.
Do you use Dovenmuehle, Cenlar or LoanCare as your subservicer? Richey May & Co., a public accounting firm recognized as the leader in providing audit, tax, and compliance services within the industry, is planning its 2019 subservicer oversight review program to assist companies with their monitoring and oversight responsibilities. Richey May’s program and subsequent 120+ page report provides value beyond the basic compliance requirements, including face-to-face interviews with all key department heads to observe their processes and challenges, a comprehensive review of business continuity and IT assessments to ensure client and consumer information remains secure, and a summary of the subservicer’s notable accomplishments and strategic initiatives for the future. The optional loan level testing provides succinct and valuable insight into how your personal portfolio is being serviced, potentially uncovering unobserved information and assisting in the client-subservicer relationship. To learn more or to participate in the 2019 oversight program, please contact Kevin Lohry.
2018 has been hard on lenders and who knows what next year will bring. The theme for 2019 will be efficiency and technology; how do you streamline processes without breaking the bank? Strategic Compliance Partners (SCP) has responded to the evolving mortgage lending industry with compliance technology solutions for vendor management and social media to help you increase productivity and streamline processes. SCP’s vendor management software ShareDiligence is a shared approach to vendor management that is often more affordable and time efficient than the competition. With SocialEyes for Lenders launching soon, SCP will be providing a secure and compliant way for Lender’s to promote employee advocacy on social platforms. To learn more about ShareDiligence or other SCP technology solutions, contact Leslie Benjamin (301.578.6002).
Simplify your underwriting process with Loan Product Advisor® asset and income modeler (AIM). Through the expertise of third-party service providers, AIM automates the manual processes of assessing borrower assets and income. AIM reduces the burden of traditional documentation, speeds up the loan origination process and helps you close loans faster. Freddie Mac is working hard to bring you solutions that create efficiencies for your business and improve the borrower experience – giving you a competitive edge. These capabilities are available for Loan Product Advisor submissions and resubmissions on and after December 9, 2018. Gain greater efficiency in your underwriting processes with AIM – get The Freddie Edge.
At its national convention, the National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) announced the launch of its new platform, NAMB All-In. Powered by Calyx Software, NAMB All-In provides mortgage professionals with the three essential components they need to conduct business: a point-of-sale solution (POS), a cloud-based loan origination system (LOS), and a single point of access to premier wholesale lenders—the Calyx Wholesaler MarketPlace. Participating wholesalers include Stearns Lending, Plaza Home Mortgage, Quicken Loans, Freedom Mortgage, Caliber Home Loans, and United Wholesale Mortgage. Additional institutions are scheduled to onboard in early 2019. In addition, because NAMB believes in an open market, brokers can still export a FNMA 3.2 file to work with any wholesaler that is not in the network. NAMB All-In is available to all NAMB members at no cost and will be ready for use in January 2019. For more information, visit www.NAMBAI.com.
Equifax announced the release of its Mortgage Lead Generation Models, a new solution that uses connected and differentiated data to help predict the likelihood that a lead will apply for a mortgage within the next two to six months. This solution aims to help mortgage lenders better identify prospective buyers earlier in the process and retain them. The solution uses credit, wealth/asset, property and demographic data, and includes four different models, which are segmented based on the consumer profile: New purchase, First-time home buyer, Refinance and HELOC. Equifax’s models create a score that appends to a name and address provided by the lender or even identify new leads for those likely to transact in specific geographic areas to assist lenders in better execution of marketing campaigns. In an internal test of the solution, Equifax found impactful lift across segments: The top 10 percent of the scores captured between 2.4 to 4 times more mortgage applicants than a randomly selected sample of equal size.
Finicity and Princeton Mortgage announced an integration agreement in which Princeton Mortgage’s digital mortgage platform, SnapApp, will leverage Finicity’s Verification of Assets (VoA) solution to give lenders access to the data insights they need to streamline the loan application process. “Borrowers want an effortless mortgage experience, and with our new SnapApp they get just that. Through SnapApp’s automated digital mortgage process, borrowers can apply, verify their income and assets, pull their credit, run an automated approval and even receive a pre-approval letter in the middle of the night, at their convenience,” said Nicole Gordon, Princeton Mortgage Sales Enablement Manager. “We are excited to partner with Finicity to help make this digital mortgage process seamless and simple.”
As expected, the Federal Reserve has raised the target range for its benchmark interest rate to 2.25% to 2.5%, despite opposition from President Donald Trump. (The central bank has trimmed projections for next year to two increases.) Fixed-income security prices rallied, pushing yields to the lowest point since early April 2018. The yield curve flattened even further, with the 2-year 10-year spread falling to 10 bps, while 2-year to 5-year spreads actually inverted. Mortgage rates also continued to fall with many lenders posting rates in the 4.5-4.625% range yesterday. Falling rates may help spark some uptick in production but the flat curve will continue to hurt mortgage banker margins (since warehouse costs go up) and bank net interest margins. Stock markets weren’t happy with the somewhat dovish elements of the statement, thus the slight yield-curve flattening and the S&P reaching a 2018 low.
The U.S. 10-year closed Wednesday -5bps to 2.78%, as Treasuries across the curve all moved in the same direction after the afternoon release of the December FOMC rate decision. Remember that even though the Fed raised interest rates, this had been expected and baked into market prices for a while. The fed funds target rate range is now 2.25%-2.50%, as expected, though the rest of the statement and economic projections were not as hawkish as prior meetings. The 2018 inflation forecast was lowered to 1.9% from 2.1% while the outlook for inflation in 2019 was lowered to 1.9% from 2.0%. The FOMC narrowed its GDP growth forecast for 2019 to 2.3%-2.5% from 2.4%-2.7% estimated in September, and the median estimate of the neutral fed funds rate was reduced to 2.8% from 3.0%. Rate hike projections expect the fed funds rate being increased above the rate that is perceived as neutral.
Following yesterday’s Fed decision, the Bank of Japan and Bank of England came out with their latest policy decisions ahead of today’s open. The US calendar is busy with the usual weekly jobless claims (214k) and the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey (dropped to 9.4). Finally, November leading indicators are seen rising 0.1% MoM at 10:00am ET. We begin today with the 10-year yielding 2.76% and Agency MBS prices worse .125-.250 from Wednesday’s close.
How about a little fun holiday from the USAF band? (Thanks to Robert K. for this one – definitely entertaining.)
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, “Low Down Payments Can Help Borrowers AND Lenders.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of 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 www.robchrisman.com. 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.)