Dec. 22: HELOC, broker, and correspondent programs; First American’s cyber issue; 10-year yield back to end of 2022’s levels

“If you know someone who has an intense fear of store Santas, would you say they were suffering from Claus-trophobia?” For individuals or companies, do you have a fear of being hacked? Under the heading of “It’s not if, but when…” First American “has experienced a cybersecurity incident. In response, we’ve taken certain systems offline [like the main website above] and working to return to normal business operations as soon as possible.” First American owns First American Title and also owns ACI, one of the largest appraisal software providers. This outage stopped appraisers using ACI from having the ability to upload appraisal reports to FLS. Some lenders acted quickly. Fairway Independent, for example, stated that if a Fairway borrower’s closing was negatively impacted, corporate would cover any hotel, meal, or storage expenses incurred by their clients. (Today’s podcast can be found here, and this week’s is sponsored by Lender Toolkit’s AI-powered AI Underwriter and Prism borrower income automation tools. Get loans approved in under two minutes. By providing lightning-fast underwriting decisions, your market reputation with borrowers and Realtors will soar.)



Editor’s note: Yesterday’s Commentary had a short passage on a new job, but the email was incorrect. Here is the corrected version: Congratulations to Chris Cordry for his new role as Senior Director, Capital Markets, at Zillow Home Loans!

Broker and correspondent (TPO) products


AFR Wholesale® is excited to present a unique opportunity that benefits you and your clients: the Jingle Bell Float Down. From now until 12/29/2023, lock your loans with us and enjoy the security of our special offer. With the Jingle Bell Float Down, you can lock your loan for up to 30 days. When the loan goes for final review, we’ll adjust to the current day’s rate – ensuring you get the best deal without falling below your locked price. This offer applies to all AFR’s loan programs and is available through the Correspondent Non-Delegated, Correspondent Table Funded, and Brokered Channels. *Please note, some exclusions do apply. Ready to lock in your loans? Visit the AFR Loan Center now! To learn more about this exciting opportunity, connect with AFR: visit here, email us, or call: 1-800-375-6071. Don’t miss out on this special offer… Contact AFR today!”

To say this year has been tough might be a bit of an understatement. Still reeling a bit from the pandemic, our industry faced record high fed rates and growing inflation, all while still trying to stay competitive in the digital & AI economy. But this year is coming to an end, bringing a new year and a fresh start. Symmetry Lending is here to partner with you as you begin to build your plans and strategies for 2024. HELOCs continue to grow in popularity, and with Symmetry’s industry-recognized customer experience, record turn-times, exceptional guidelines, expansive offerings, and competitive broker fees who better to have as your HELOC partner going into the new year? Let’s make 2024 a great year together: Contact Symmetry today to get started!

Lest I forget, there are so many states, so many programs, and so many wholesalers. Anyone wondering about a particular product should visit and type in the state and then the program. (Any questions about this site should be directed to Mark Paoletti.

JMAC Lending: More products + faster service + open lines of communication with operations = more loans funded. Today’s market demands fast, dependable service with a complete range of mortgage solutions to qualify your clients: FHA with FICOs from 500, VA and FHA with Manual Underwriting, LENDER PAID 1-0 Buydowns, 3-2-1 and 2-1 Buydowns, Jumbo to $4M, Unlimited cash-out to max. LTV, Closed-End Seconds to $500K, Alt Doc, No Ratio investor DSCR, Bank Statements, 1099, WVOE, Self-Prepared P&L, 40-year fixed, 30- and 40-year Interest-Only… whatever your borrower’s scenario, JMAC Lending can find a fit for your loans. JMAC has been in business since 1997. Start lending with JMAC today! Click here join JMAC and sign up for marketing and rates or contact sales. Let’s grow your business and fund more loans in 2024. Happy Holidays from Team JMAC. Let’s Win the Market in 2024.

Kind Lending expanded access to credit and provides support for affordable rental housing, the maximum allowable LTV, CLTV, & HCLTV ratios for 2–4-unit, principal residence, purchase, and limited cash-out transactions are now updated to 95 percent, does not apply to high-balance mortgage loans and loans with manual underwriting. To adhere to these changes, Kind’s updates have been applied to Fannie Mae’s (FNMA) Conforming & HomeReady programs, Fannie Mae (FNMA) HomeStyle is not available at Kind Lending.

Rocket Pro TPO’s innovative “December to Remember” campaign has already delivered 6 valuable wins to partners and clients with more to come. So far, Rocket Pro’s partners have received the following: a 25 bps LLPA on 30-year fixed rate conforming VA and FHA loans, a new Fast 15 Loan Guarantee, the chance to win a $1,050 underwriting credit, discounts for Bloomscape, a donation match for Built for Zero and access to their powerful Credit Upgrade service. Requirements and rules apply. Partners are encouraged to watch their inboxes and Rocket Pro TPO’s social media channels for more wins to come. Interested in learning more about a Broker or Non-Delegated Correspondent partnership? Contact Rocket Pro TPO to learn more.

Newrez Correspondent would like to thank our customers for their partnerships in 2023. As we head into 2024 those who are yet to be approved should contact us today to learn more and see why lenders are choosing Newrez as a trusted advisor. Adding a top-tier aggregator will only better position your company for whatever market presents itself this coming year. We have many exciting enhancements coming soon, so the time is now to become a partner. See what our clients are saying about us: ‘Newrez continues to be one of our best correspondent partners. They have solid pricing, streamlined purchase processes, and are always looking to enhance the customer experience and broaden their product offerings.’ – Chuck I. Click here for additional testimonials. From all of us at Newrez Correspondent, we wish you all a safe and Happy Holiday and look forward to an exciting 2024!”

Capital markets: 10-year yield back to end of 2022’s level


Ahead of the Christmas weekend, data yesterday (weekly initial claims, the third estimate for Q3 GDP, the December Philadelphia Fed Index, and November Leading Economic Index) meshed for the most part with the market’s soft-landing outlook. The soft-landing outlook has translated into some lofty rate-cut expectations for the Fed among market participants. Expectations are often misplaced: Heading into 2023, market predictions were for pain in the stock market and a recession, neither of which materialized. As for 2024, the outlook is for more strength as the labor market remains solid and the Fed’s next move will be to lower rates. Mortgage rates have already trended lower.

LOs know that this week’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey from Freddie Mac saw mortgage rates fall to their lowest levels since May. For the week ending December 21, the 30-year mortgage rate plunged 28 basis points to 6.67 percent while the 15-year rate tumbled 43 basis points to 5.95 percent. Since the highs in late October, mortgage rates have come down more than one percent.

Today’s abbreviated session ahead of the long weekend does have some potential market moving data and is already under way with durable goods orders (+5.4 percent, an upside surprise although always volatile) and Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE): the deflator month over month was -.1 percent, and for the year +2.6 percent. Disinflation!? We’ve also received personal income and spending for November (+.4 percent and +.2 percent, respectively). Later today brings final December Michigan sentiment, November new home sales, and an early close ahead of the long Christmas weekend. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged from Thursday’s close and the 10-year yielding 3.85 after closing yesterday at 3.89 percent. Although we’re back to Treasury yields from a year ago, obviously mortgage rates have not followed lock-step due to prepayment fears and also investors backing off in their demand for certain mortgage products.

(Thanks to several readers who sent this note from Santa along.)

I was going to deliver presents on the 25th of December as usual, but due to hidden messages within TRID, I now have to follow proper guidelines. That being said, below is my revised holiday schedule.

Please make sure you submit your initial list at least 14 days prior to the 25th. Sorry, you may have missed this. This list will be called your IPD (Initial Present Disclosure.) You will then have 3 days before the expiration to modify or change that list.

If you change your IPD wish list, my EDT (Elf Disclosure Team) will send you a COCPL (Change of Circumstance Present List) which must have a valid reason such as, “I no longer want a waffle maker, but would like a healthy shake maker instead.”

At that point, once everything is confirmed, we will issue you a final SPD (Santa Present Disclosure) which will go out to everyone immediately, including closers and funders. Yours will go out 24-48 hours after others. At that point, you have 3 days to decide if you want your presents or decline.

Then I will mount my sleigh and deliver the presents. You will have to wait 3 more days to open your presents, but if you’re not in a NEW home, you will have 3 more days to return the presents and forget the entire thing.

HO HO HO Happy Holidays,


Visit 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. STRATMOR’s current blog is titled, “How Treasury Auctions Influence Mortgage Rates”. The Commentary’s podcast is live and at any place you obtain your podcasts (like Apple or Spotify).


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Rob Chrisman