Daily Mortgage News & Commentary

Dec. 23: CFO, LO jobs coast to coast; more on loanDepot vs. CrossCountry; on this date in 1888; classic Christmas joke

Why are you even at work today? Just so you can read, “It’s not a recession unless it’s from the Recession Region of France, otherwise it’s just Sparkling Misery.” Or to learn that, on this date in 1888 in France, Vincent van Gogh sliced off his left ear as a love-drury. (More lookbacks below.) Been to the store lately? A dozen large eggs, and there aren’t a lot of substitutes for eggs in baking, in the American Midwest is now going for around $5 at wholesale, up from $1.60 at the same time last year, due to the worst-ever bird flu ripping through the poultry population of the United States. So far 57.5 million birds have died as a result of outbreaks, most of which are egg-laying hens. (The flu is expected to continue for the rest of the winter.) In other trends more germane to real estate, the increase in work from home means that some developers of downtown commercial real estate are kicking off transitions of office towers into apartments & condominiums. In 2022 there were just 11 office-to-apartment conversions in the United States according to CBRE, but that’s expected to hit 34 conversions in 2023. The transitions can reduce vacancy rates and don’t involve constructing a whole new building, but on the other hand the installation of plumbing in the new units often means that they need to be gutted, and that’s not even addressing dealing with the regulatory issues with their expenses. (Today’s podcast is sponsored by Richey May, a recognized leader in providing specialized advisory, audit, tax, technology, and other services in the mortgage industry and in banking.)

Employment coast to coast

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Trinity Oaks Mortgage is proud to announce the promotion of John Picinic from Sales Manager to Executive Vice President, Production. John has over a decade of experience and embodies our culture through and through. He understands how to build a successful business and knows how to coach producers to help grow their business while thinking differently in an ever-changing mortgage market environment. John states, “My family and I are overjoyed & excited about the opportunity. I look forward to the days ahead, collaborating and working with the Executive Team at Trinity Oaks Mortgage.” Trinity Oaks Mortgage’s brand vision is Helping people find their way Home, and we do that by being a Joyful, Hope-Filled, Loving Guide. John Picinic has demonstrated this in leading his own business and we look forward to John’s leadership of the Trinity Oaks Mortgage sales organization for years to come!”

A Mountain States-based loan servicer is seeking a Chief Financial Officer with strong mortgage-related skills to lead our accounting team. Candidates must have a history in mortgage accounting and an in-depth understanding of mortgage financials, capital markets, GAAP, and the accounting aspect of servicing mortgage loans. The position is located in the Rocky Mountain Region. If you are interested in joining a growing servicer, please send your resume to Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt for confidential forwarding.

In a market where many lenders are pulling back, NOVA® Home Loans continues to grow. NOVA® has a rich history of financial strength and stability, and for over 40 years NOVA® has thrived in all market conditions. We are looking to have conversations with Regional & Branch managers as well as originators looking for a home built by Loan Officers for Loan Officers. We spend more to support our Loan Officers than our peers. Our Loan Officers also produce more loans per month and stay longer than Loan Officers at other companies. To learn more about the NOVA® advantage that will help you close more loans, visit us & please reach out to Jenny Skaggs, Director of Recruiting & Corporate Engagement, 520.202.4102.”

Start 2023 off right by accelerating your business, full speed ahead. Guaranteed Rate Affinity is all about embodying our core value: “Grow for Good,” which means kindness is at the core of every decision we make, with positivity lighting the way. With our passion for excellence, combined with our tech tools and team-based approach, you’ll be able to grow your business like never before to achieve your goals for the New Year. Our dedicated support team will work with you to develop winning strategies to maximize your personal and professional potential. This is why Guaranteed Rate Companies has the most originators on the Scotsman Guide Top Originators List for the tenth year in a row. Join us, because it’s more than just a place to work. It’s a haven for success and growth. Learn more about opportunities and year market. (Source: Based on the Scatman Guide 2021 Loan Originators List)

New Year might be the right time for a new opportunity. Sovereign Lending Group has been in business for over 17 years and ranked by INC. Magazine 5000 as one of the fastest growing companies 10 years in a row. SLG is consistently introducing new products like Solar and establishing partnerships with some of the biggest Credit Unions to ensure you have the competitive advantage. To learn more about SLG we invite you for a discreet conversation with Ed Vaccaro, Head of Retail (925-997-1846).

Hey, mortgage sales professionals DO NOT join radius financial group for our amazing culture, president club trips, best workplace accolades, 100% 401K match or because of our shared success program which grants phantom stock to ALL employees. Join radius to grow your business, mortgage team, and wealth. Over the past 23 years, radius has become the best at what we do by caring intensely about the career growth of our team members and investing in technology that simplifies and automates our process. We are a world-class customer obsessed team focused on our loan officers’ growth and success. So, if you want real opportunities to grow, the ability to make a positive impact starting on day one and the freedom to chart the career you’ve always wanted, at radius, you can! For confidential inquires please contact Craig Williamson.

loanDepot versus CrossCountry

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Wednesday news made the rounds that loanDepot (“LDI”) (NYSE: LDI), in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (the “Court”) was granted a preliminary injunction against CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC and six former loanDepot employees now employed by CrossCountry (the “Defendants”).

I received this note from Alex Ragon, Chief Legal Counsel with CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC. “The preliminary-injunction order issued earlier this week by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois is virtually identical to the temporary order that had been in place since April 2022, when this case began. This new order explicitly rejected loanDepot’s efforts to expand the pre-existing order, finding that loanDepot’s proposed nationwide no-solicitation bar was improper and instead preserves the status quo so that loanDepot’s claims can be determined on their merits. CrossCountry denies those claims, will vigorously defend itself against loanDepot’s lawsuit and its improper efforts to chill fair competition, and intends to pursue its counterclaims against loanDepot.” Thank you, Alex.

Remember when…

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If you’re reading this, thank you! The following snippets help us keep things in perspective.

Two and a half years ago, black applicants were found to be more likely denied mortgages. Has much changed? “Owning a home is one of the main ways people build wealth in this country, so the fact that nearly 75% of white households own their home, compared to 44% of Black households, goes a long way toward explaining the persistent wealth gap. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is out with new data digging into that disparity. While Black Americans made some gains in homeownership last year, they were far more likely to be turned down for a mortgage than other racial and ethnic groups.”

Three and a half years ago, in the middle of calls for reform of Freddie and Fannie, the Fed’s Quarles said the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ‘probably’ doesn’t need a government guarantee.”

What was happening exactly six years ago? “The rapid home price appreciation we have seen in some markets mean that people who have been foreclosed upon may find themselves with a profit at the end. This has historically been an extremely rare event, and even today it only happens in the hottest housing markets like Seattle and Denver.”

How about 15 ½ years ago, Bear Stearns collapsed. Yup, the financial crisis began as creditors began to auction off collateral at two Bear Stearns hedge funds. Since then, Dodd-Frank, the CFPB, TRID…

Capital markets: why are we even at work today?

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U.S. Treasuries and MBS ended Thursday on a mixed note after upwardly revised Q3 GDP and another low jobless claims report. The third estimate for Q3 GDP growth came in at 3.2 percent, stronger than previously expected. Initial jobless claims increased by 2k to 216k, a remarkably low level associated with a tight labor market, and one that will encourage more Fed tightening.

The Leading Economic Index was down 1.0 percent in November, worse than expected. Only stock prices contributed positively to the U.S. LEI in November while labor market, manufacturing, and housing indicators all weakened. The report reflects serious headwinds to economic growth in addition to a lack of growth momentum in the near term. Despite the current resilience of the labor market and improving consumer confidence, it would appear the Federal Reserve’s monetary tightening cycle is restricting various aspects of economic activity, especially housing.

Before today’s early close in the bond markets, we do have some economic releases of note. Always volatile, November Durable Orders came in (-2.1 percent) when they were expected to drop 1 percent. November Personal Income registered (+.4 percent, better than expected) when it was expected to increase 0.3 percent, while Personal Spending came in at unchanged, about as expected, PCE Prices (+4.7 year over year, slightly higher than expected), and core PCE Prices (+.2 percent, with a higher back-month revision). Later this morning brings November New Home Sales (expected at 600k) and the final December University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment survey before the Treasury market closes at 2 p.m. ET. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices worse about .125 and the 10-year yielding 3.71 after closing yesterday at 3.67 percent, as if anyone is going to lock a loan.

Three men died on Christmas Eve and were met by Saint Peter at the pearly gates.

“In honor of this holy season” Saint Peter said, “You must each possess something that symbolizes Christmas to get into heaven.”

The Englishman fumbled through his pockets and pulled out a lighter. He flicked it on. “It’s a candle,” he said.

“You may pass through the pearly gates”, said Saint Peter.

The Scotsman reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of keys. He shook them and said, “They’re bells.”

Saint Peter said, “You may pass through the pearly gates”.

The Irishman started searching desperately through his pockets and finally pulled out a pair of ladies’ panties.

St. Peter looked at the man with a raised eyebrow and asked, “And just what do those symbolize?”

The Irishman replied, “These are Carols.”

And so, the Christmas Season continues…

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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 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 2022 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