Dec. 9: MLO jobs; back office, construction loan, social media products; inflation news; notes on FoA/AAG, UWM’s Loan Shield

Stage presence during the holidays? Here’s an example. Christmas, and 2023, is roaring our way… What are you telling your bosses? If you’re working on projections for next year, next Thursday at 11AM PT join the MBA’s fabled chief economist Mike Fratantoni and me whilst we debate the future with Sales Boomerang and Mortgage Coach. Something for the whole family! “Rob, are you hearing that lender fallout is increasing, and with it costs that are incurred early in the process like running credit?” Absolutely. Lenders, in their zeal to lock in volume, seem to start processing and locking borrowers sooner, but then deals are falling out of contract for various reasons. And volume is not good: According to Curinos, November 2022 funded mortgage volume decreased 68% YoY and 20% MoM. In the retail channel, funded volume was down 73% YoY and 20% MoM. (The average 30-year conforming retail funded rate in November was 6.59%, 52bps higher than October and 332bps higher than the same month last year.) Curinos sources a statistically significant data set directly from lenders to produce these benchmark figures, drilled into it further here. (Today’s podcast is available here and brought to you by SimpleNexus, an nCino company and award-winning developer of mobile-first technology for the modern mortgage lender!)

Jobs

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PrimeLending’s leadership team has been through challenging markets before and knows how to navigate volatile conditions. The company’s executive team epitomizes experience, loyalty and resilience, averaging 15 years tenure at PrimeLending. And when it comes to the production leaders, the company’s regional managers have worked at PrimeLending an average of nearly 12 years and our branch managers average 9.4 years of service – simply remarkable! What does that mean for our loan officers across the country? Confidence and peace of mind that comes with knowing PrimeLending is in expert hands. In fact, the number one reason so many loan officers are choosing to join the powerhouse national lender is it’s strong, stable leadership and proven track record of over 35 years. Contact Nic Hartke to learn more about opportunities to join our winning team.

America’s best FHA and VA lender is looking for Loan Officers and Branch Managers that are tired of passing up good loans because their company has an overlay that kills the deal. We are looking specifically for military and government markets. We have been around and have successfully executed this model for over 26 years. We have the most aggressive VA and FHA underwriting platform in the industry, 100% servicer with maximum latitude to serve the best interest of military and public servant families. Ask yourself this:  How many Approve/Eligible loans have you declined in 2022 because of an overlay? And, How many times did you not even bother submitting a file that requires a manual underwrite due to an overlay? In this market, every deal matters, we understand that! Confidential inquiries can be sent to Rob Clennan, President of Mortgage Solutions: I will call you to discuss sales/producing leadership opportunities.”

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.

Lender and broker software, products, and services

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MORA MORA on the wall, who’s the luckiest lender of them all? “Not I,” said a single lender. Playing Auditopoly without the right pieces is like training for a marathon the day before a race, waiting to study until the day before the test, and waiting to brush your teeth until the day of your dentist appointment. It can be done but it’s not pretty or yield the best results. Just like you want to brush your teeth consistently to avoid plaque buildup, building the right Compliance Management System (CMS), including Internal Audit, throughout the year prevents compounding risk and poor exam results. Download today, comply tomorrow, with MQMR and SWS Risk Advisory’s new whitepaper, “Audit-opoly: MORA Edition, How to Win at the Mortgage Industry’s Most Dynamic Game.” With 20+ years of time at Fannie, Steve Spies and the MQMR Team guide you through how to “win” at Fannie’s MORA exams.

“It’s complete: New York Community Bank (NYCB) and Flagstar Bank are now one.  What does this mean? It means Flagstar, an established leader in the space — the 2nd-largest warehouse lender in the country — just got stronger, with an even larger capital base to finance your warehouse line and provide MSR funding. For current Flagstar clients, it’s banking as usual, keeping their same dedicated relationship manager + operations/loan processor teams they know and rely on today. And Flagstar’s class-leading commitment to service remains what you’d expect from a 35-year leader in the space, as we grow to serve you even better. Discover the power of an even stronger Flagstar Bank. Contact Patti Robins or Jeff Neufeld to discuss how we can finance your organization’s growth and consolidate your existing warehouse lines with Flagstar.”

“I don’t want a lot for Christmas. There’s just one thing I need. Improve your TPO Communications. Make it easier for your brokers please. I just want to close some loans. More than you could ever know. Make my wish come true. All I want for Christmas, is to work with you!” Mariah Carey might be the queen of Christmas, but you too can be royalty by upgrading your TPO Experience with Velma Connector. Brokers love working with mortgage businesses that have a smooth and easy communication and engagement process. Connector helps you do that by working with your LOS to automate the process, ensuring both parties are in constant communication so there are no surprises. Ever. So, unwrap a 600%+ ROI this holiday season by upgrading to Velma Connector! Want some more good cheer? Complete a demo by December 30th to get your first 3 months free AND a discount on implementation!

Making an impact with social media can be daunting. To succeed, you’ll need to narrow your scope. Ask, where are the people I’d like to help hanging out online? Emphasis is on help. Your clients and prospects need information from you about changes in the market and tips about getting mortgages. Your Realtors need steady advice on what’s going on in the industry. Position yourself as a thought leader. By and large, you’ll find people who need what you have on Facebook and LinkedIn. Then, as in Marketing 101, you need enough frequency and ongoing regularity when posting. At Usherpa, we know social media can become a full-time job. Which is why Usherpa has automated 100% of the writing of compelling content and posting regularly for you. Usherpa is designed to help you create social media impact automatically. Check it out here. Download 3 Tips for Social Media Success.

What is Built? Built takes construction loan administration online, connecting lenders with key stakeholders to expedite funding and provide real-time project visibility via a cloud-based digital platform. In addition, Built’s Marketplace provides lenders with powerful risk mitigation tools like real-time project monitoring, contractor management, and flexible inspection services. Why Built? Excessive handoffs and manual processes make construction loan administration inefficient and risky. In addition, legacy processes and systems limit visibility and make aggregated reporting impossible. Built brings efficiency, transparency, and risk mitigation to a once risky and cumbersome process, with features like an intuitive digital portal to enable enhanced visibility and collaboration, streamlined draw and inspection workflows for faster funding, real-time project monitoring with proactive risk alerts, digital collateral management to maintain compliance, and real-time portfolio management and data insights. Get started today! Visit getbuilt.com to discover all of Built’s solutions. Or, schedule a live demo to see Built in action.

The key to finding profitability in 2023 is transforming your borrower experience and back-office operations. Maxwell offers innovative technology that centralizes your processes, promotes team productivity, and helps you close more loans with less work. Lenders using Maxwell Point of Sale slash their time-to-close by 13+ days and save an average of 21 BPS in costs per loan. Loan officers using Maxwell POS close 15% more loans per month, helping top lenders attract and retain the industry’s best talent. Beyond front-end improvements, Maxwell Processor Edge, a first-of-its-kind processing workflow technology, transforms the loan fulfillment process, accelerating document review, reducing errors, and boosting processor capacity. Set up a call with our team to learn how you can increase your lending profitability and combat margin compression with Maxwell technology.

News in the forward and reverse channels

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Reverse mortgage lenders continue to weigh in on the news that Finance of America Companies (the sixth-largest U.S. reverse mortgage lender by volume) plans to acquire assets of the top HECM lender, American Advisors Group. In exchange, FoA will provide AAG with a combination of cash and equity. The seller is Reza Jahangiri, per the SEC filing, who founded AAG in 2004. Jahangiri will receive at least $10 million in cash, plus shares of FoA’s Class B common and Class A units. Some of these units will be exchangeable for FoA common, which presently trades for $1.20 apiece.

FoA officials said the transaction underscores its commitment to invest in businesses that have strong growth potential with structural and demographic tailwinds. But a top reverse mortgage originator wrote to me saying, “It is very concerning that the #1 and #5 reverse mortgage companies have gone out of business recently. I believe that AAG is the largest originator of FHA home equity conversion mortgages. FoA, although it is in the top 5 for HECM lenders, has lost nearly $500 million in the last two quarters. Though the demand is great, and only seen as increasing, for seniors and their families, the secondary market is collapsing for this product. I am worried about options for seniors if this trend in the primary market goes on much longer.”

Switching gears to the “forward” market, United Wholesale rolled out its Loan Shield Program. “UWM Loan Shield, available for conventional and government loans, helps you provide your borrowers with a consistent loan servicing experience and helps you retain their business. When you select UWM Loan Shield, UWM will retain servicing of that loan for a minimum of 5 years, assuring your borrowers receive UWM’s elite client service and protection from unwanted solicitations from other lenders.”

UWM CEO Mat Ishbia shot me a note saying, “We retain servicing on all loans. This is promising it for 5 years, along with giving borrower consistency of same services and a free appraisal when they refi. Brokers can take this and have pricing 15 bps better than everyone else. Or not take it and have 45 bps better than everyone else. Either way, brokers now have more options and can do what is best for their consumer and business.”

But an East Coast capital markets vet wrote to me saying, “I find it interesting how UWM was so big on how other wholesalers sell their servicing and therefore allow others to re-capture their refinances, yet UWM now finds itself charging the borrower 30 BPS for them to hold onto the servicing for 5 years. So UWM gets an extra 30 bps, gets to hold the servicing, and most likely will grab the new transaction as well. Seems like a great deal for them, but what about those borrowers not willing to part with the 30 BPS in these tougher times, as well as Loan Officers now doing less business? I guess those are fair game?”

Capital markets: driven by the Producer Price Index

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Mortgage-backed securities and U.S. Treasuries pulled back yesterday, giving back a portion of their midweek gains. Economic data was limited to the weekly jobless claims report, which showed another low initial claims reading, but continuing claims reached their highest level since the beginning of the year. High continuing jobless claims suggest that perhaps that it is becoming more difficult to find a job as employers are taking a more cautious-minded approach with their hiring plans.

 

Today’s data is headlined by the release of the PPI report for November. PPI came in at +.3 percent, core +.4 percent when expectations were for a 0.2 percent rise after rising 0.2 percent in the prior month, and core was twice what was expected. (Producer inflation is up 7.4 percent for the year.) Later this morning brings preliminary December consumer sentiment. Markets will be watching the inflation expectations components with 1- and 5-year previously at 4.9 percent and 3.0 percent, respectively. Next week sees the $90 billion Treasury mini-refunding over Monday and Tuesday ahead of Wednesday’s Fed events, which includes an updated Summary of Economic Projections. We begin Friday with Agency MBS prices worse .125 from Thursday evening and the 10-year yielding 3.52 after closing yesterday at 3.49 percent.

With about four weeks until the college football playoffs, and eight weeks until the Super Bowl, let’s have some clever football quotes. (Part 5 of 5.)

“Football is NOT a contact sport, it is a collision sport. Dancing IS a contact sport.” (Duffy Daugherty / Michigan State)

After USC lost 51-0 to Notre Dame, his post-game message to his team was, “All those who need showers, take them.” (John McKay / USC)

“If lessons are learned in defeat, our team is getting a great education.” (Murray Warmath / Minnesota)

“The only qualifications for a lineman are to be big and dumb. To be a back, you only have to be dumb.” (Knute Rockne / Notre Dame)

“We didn’t tackle well today, but we made up for it by not blocking.” (John McKay / USC)

“I’ve found that prayers work best when you have big players.” (Knute Rockne / Notre Dame)

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. Supply and Demand are Still Driving Mortgage Pricing” is the current blog. The Commentary’s podcast is live and at any place you obtain your podcasts (like Apple or Spotify).

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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