Feb. 11: AE, MLO jobs; warehouse, anti-fraud, pricing products; Federal Reserve: steady as she goes

I’ve never set foot on a Lear Jet, but was not excited to hear the iconic product ceasing production. Freddie Mac’s 4th quarter results are pretty exciting. I was very excited that Chrisman LLC was voted the #1 Workplace in the “Free Daily Mortgage Commentary with 5 or Fewer Employees” category. Don’t ask me what I had to pay for that honor! Just kidding. Pay for an award? But I guess plenty of lenders pay for awards as publicity, as they do to self-report and put MLOs in top categories. Publicize my top LOs in this competitive recruiting environment? Besides, any residential originations company will tell you that Ops, and underwriters, are critical to the team and that lender’s success. I guess sometimes underwriting a residential loan is a breeze, other times it feels like landing a jet bomber without wheels. Have you tweaked your processing to deliver faster and more reliable service to the client? For example, do you have a pre-underwriting done on a file prior to a trained underwriter seeing it? With underwriter comp shooting up, this is a hot topic at discussions like the STRATMOR Operations workshop and other virtual venues. Don’t forget about the Federal Holiday Monday!


Let’s make 2021 your most productive year yet! Did you have challenges with operational turn times in 2020? Do the same issues continue as we enter another busy year? Bay Equity Home Loans maintained 48 to 72 hour turn times on purchase and refinance transactions through the busiest of times! Don’t let turn times cost you business! Now is the time to consider a company with a primary focus on helping originators and branches leverage a proven platform to increase volume and income. It starts with a confidential conversation to explore the possibilities: Contact Sean Wilson (415-622-5768).

“Every year, Caliber Home Loans recognizes our top-performing retail loan consultants with our annual Circle of Excellence (COE) awards. We pride ourselves with having the best loan consultants in the market, and this year, they exceeded all expectations. We’re especially excited to celebrate our best and brightest in November 2021. Caliber Retail achieved a 28% increase in market share and a 44% purchase growth rate. This is certainly a reason to celebrate! Visit our website to find out how you can be a part of the best loan consultant team in the country. To be immediately considered for Operations or Sales positions, email Jonathan Stanley or Brian Miller or respectively.”

“This is kind of a BIG deal. Our TPO business is expanding, and we are looking for a high-level Account Executive in the following key Mid-Atlantic market: Northern Virginia, District of Columbia, and Maryland. Founded in 1982, The Towne Mortgage Family of Companies has nearly 40 years of experience in the mortgage industry dedicated to our clients, community, and team members. Come join a growing company and help make a difference: our volume has increased by 300% over the last year! You can expect a strong benefit offering and a full-time territory position. If interested, please contact Mark Mazzenga or call 610-496-1277.”

“Ready to find a job you love? If so, Citizens Home Mortgage is ready for you! We’re committed to providing our mortgage colleagues with opportunities to enhance their physical, emotional, financial, and social well-being. We also provide a wide range of benefits like great pay, generous time off, a 401(k) with a 100% match, education assistance, plus discounts on everything from banking to shopping. You’ll also love our focus on transforming our mortgage business. We’re digitizing our experience from end-to-end, making this a great time to join our team as we streamline processes for our customers and colleagues. We need mortgage professionals with forward-thinking mindsets to join us on this exciting journey. If you’re ready to love your career, visit jobs.citizensbank.com to see all of our openings today!”

Broker & lender products and services

“It’s no secret that everyone’s feeling the deluge of mortgage and refis, and as a result, leaving valuable loans on the table. At Truework, we’re here to help. With our tech-forward, fast verification platform and an expansive and ever-growing network we are committed to tackling and completing any and all VOE/VOI requests. Additionally, we lead the industry in coverage for small and mid-sized companies, so you can verify hard-to-get employees—instantly. Start a verification on Truework now. Now, we need your help. We’d like to ask you a few questions about the verification process for mortgage purchases and refis. It’ll only take 7 minutes, and your answers will help us make Truework even better. For our thanks, you’ll receive a $20 Amazon gift card. Click here to get started.

NonQM Lenders, Community Banks, and Credit Unions: tired of not having a product & pricing engine able to handle your unique or portfolio guidelines, long delays and high costs of waiting for your PPE vendor to make requested changes to your custom guidelines, or hesitant to commit to a multiple year contract for a product that may not meet your specific needs? You need to check out LoanPASS. Built off the latest technologies, LoanPASS is able to add any custom field or rule in minutes, is easy enough for your Admin to easily maintain rates/guidelines, and can deliver results in under 1 second without a “Submit” button! With a month-to-month contract, no limit or fee increase for number of users, and free Open API – ROI can be achieved within weeks or months, not years! Our newest client, NonQM specialist LendSure Mortgage, has seen how LoanPASS can both increase its broker volume while simplifying workflow. Click here to try LoanPASS yourself or email Mike Lewis or Derek Long, and prepare to be amazed!

FundingShield is celebrating reaching the $1 Trillion mark in preventing wire and title fraud in closings with its automated API driven services for firms nationwide. The award winning, MISMO certified tools are available on numerous POS, LOS, strategic platforms and direct via our IBM Cloud Partner approved APIs. FundingShield’s plug and play integrations save time and cost for lenders while securing funds as part of automated workflows that create funding controls and deliver on closing agent compliance requirements. Lenders, commercial real estate platforms, title companies and warehouse banks seamlessly work with any licensed and good standing closing agent in the country leveraging the industry’s largest ecosystem while cutting operating costs and eliminating wire and title fraud. Contact FundingShield at Sales@fundingshield.com today to learn more about its services.

Merchants Bank of Indiana’s Correspondent and Warehouse Lending divisions would like to thank each of our customers for an incredible 2020. It’s meaningful to imagine the many lending partners and borrowers we served in 2020 and the impact our work had in the midst of a challenging year. We experienced historic volumes in 2020, and for that we are grateful. But we are only beginning. Continuing our growth and relationship building strategy, we are expanding again in 2021 in both Correspondent Non-Delegated and Warehouse Lending services. Contact Rob Wilson to learn more about our Correspondent Non-Delegated platform or Martin Schroeter for Warehouse Lending.

Company-sponsored events

Join National Mortgage Professional Magazine for, “How Loan Officers Make More Than $1M a Year Working Less Than 40 Hours A Week” on Thursday, February 11 at 1 pm ET / 10 am PT. Attend this webinar to learn the proven system leveraging today’s technology so loan officers earn millions of dollars while working 40 hours per week or less! Join Eric Mitchell, author of the new book The Why Of Money as he helps you learn the top 6 money-making activities, how your subconscious is sabotaging you, how to change your association with money, make $1,000,000 or more a year in sales, and the reasons only 1% of salespeople build wealth. Eric will show you two daily practices that will radically change your business. After attending, you will go from “Always Accessible” to being “Worth Waiting For. If you attend this seminar and don’t have a clear path to exceeding $1M in commissions in the next year, Eric will pay you $1,000 for your time! Register for “How Loan Officers Make More Than $1M a Year Working Less Than 40 Hours A Week” webinar here. 

Join Mitch Kider & Michael Dunn, CMB, on February 18th at 2PM EST for ActiveComply’s informational “Social Media Compliance Webinar”. In this series, we will discuss the social media lending landscape, examine the Biden Administration and what it means for the industry, evaluate fair lending & RESPA concerns, and explore other regulatory issues with social media compliance. Sign-up for the free webinar today! ActiveComply: Do you know what your LOs are saying online? Are you saying NO to social media because you don’t know the rules or feel protected? ActiveComply can bring you no-headache solutions to be regulatory compliant on social media. ActiveComply helps lenders meet responsibilities through our compliance system technology: automatically find all company and LO accounts related to your brand, examine profiles for NMLS IDs & Equal Housing information, and ensure posts are compliant (image scanning included). Download our Social Media Compliance Cheat Sheet to learn more!

Originator Census

Sure, 2020 was record breaking, but how did that volume spread out across your sales team? According to STRATMOR Group’s 2019 Originator Census® Study, participants reported 61.4 percent of volume came from the top 20 percent of originators. Did this hold true in 2020, or were the lower quintiles able to use the record volume to close the gap between top and bottom producers? This is the type of data you should be looking at to understand how sales for your staff could look in 2021. Make sure you have the analysis of your sales team you need: Participate in STRATMOR’s 2021 Originator Census® Study. Register today.

Capital markets

MCT is both a client advisor and a client supporter. With that in mind, MCT created the Client Success Group in May 2019, the first dedicated group of its kind, that is 100% focused on ensuring new clients are as successful as possible during the on-boarding stage and post ramp up with their respective MCT support teams. The group establishes consistent client touch points, providing tools to maximize efficiency and intimate support levels in order to deliver the best possible client experience. Clients can always pick up the phone and get someone on the other end who knows their account. The extra attention to client service is complementary to MCT’s award-winning software, including MSRlive!InvestorMatic, Bid Auction Manager (BAM), MCTlive! and Business Intelligence. Contact MCT  for more information or try its new Mortgage Profitability Calculator.

One way to gauge the industry is by looking at an individual investor’s results. For example, Redwood Trust recently reported its Q4 2020 financial results. Residential lending showed a record $3.8 billion of jumbo residential loan locks, up 81 percent from the prior quarter. Loan purchase commitments were up 108 percent from Q3 2020, while loans identified for purchase were up 72 over that same time period. Redwood purchased $1.6 billion of jumbo loans and sold $810 million of whole loans, completing two securitizations backed by $669 million of select jumbo loans in the process. These securitizations included a $345 million single-investor securitization placed with an insurance company. By the end of January, Redwood had nearly $120 million of residential loan purchases through “Rapid Funding,” a proprietary technology-enabled program that significantly accelerates purchase timelines for qualified originators.

Looked at the fixed income market… Inflation? What inflation? Annual U.S. core inflation per January’s Consumer Price Index eased (flat month-over-month and +1.4 percent year-over-year), while the headline figure saw no change for the second straight month (+0.3 percent month-over-month and +1.4 percent year-over-year). These numbers were unfortunately below expectations, and are well below the Fed’s inflation target, meaning the central bank may not raise rates for years. Oddly, inflation doesn’t quite feel subdued at the supermarket checkout stand when I see the price of Myrtle’s Tender Vittles. The current lack of price pressure presents a conundrum, as elevated unemployment is stifling wage growth, limiting the degree to which inflation heats up, but economic recovery from imminent stimulus passage and the effects of mass vaccination efforts may soon pressure prices. But how soon? Short-term economic growth remains lackluster, but the biggest risk for the market is more likely a premature pricing of the end of the pandemic.

If inflation does begin to rise rapidly, the Federal Reserve may have to pull back on stimulus earlier than expected to keep inflation in check, increasing the risk of a 2013-style taper tantrum. The Chair of the Fed, Jerome Powell, took the stage, and leaned away from the idea that the economy might overheat with additional stimulus. He also said it could take “many years” to overcome scars from long-term unemployment as the U.S. job market remains almost 10 million jobs short of last February’s level and the real unemployment rate remains close to 10 percent. He assured that there will be no monetary tightening “solely in response to a strong labor market.” Investors took it all in stride, with the prevailing sentiment still that the market can continue to count on the Fed not to muddle a rally by raising rates or tapering its bond purchases prematurely. By the end of the day yesterday, Treasuries had rallied and the MBS basis closed wider across the stack (remember, there also was $9 billion of Fed support on the day) due to that cooler than expected consumer price index data.

Weekly jobless claims led off today’s economic calendar. Initial claims for the week ending February 6 (-19k to 793k, not dropping as much as expected, and last week’s revised higher to 812k) and continued claims for the week ending January 30 (4.54 million). Later this morning brings Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending February 11. After yesterday’s $41 billion 10-year Treasury note auction was met with solid demand, the Treasury will auction $27 billion 30-year bonds today in the final leg of this week’s Quarterly Refunding. Today sees the Desk conducting the last two operations on the current schedule which will total up to $5.6 billion. In the afternoon, the Desk will release a new two-week FedTrade schedule commencing with Friday’s operation in addition to the mid-February to. mid-March MBS reinvestment estimate, which is expected to total just over $117 billion compared with $126 billion in the current period. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices unchanged from Wednesday night and the 10-year yielding 1.14 percent after closing yesterday at 1.13 percent.

A husband and wife were sipping some wine, sitting in front of the fire on a cold wintry evening.

The wife began purring. “I love you so much, and look forward to the end of each day. I don’t know how I could ever live without you.”

Her husband asks, “Is that you or the wine talking?”

She replies, “It’s me… talking to the wine.”

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, “Lenders and Vendors Going Public: Pros and Cons”. The Commentary’s podcast is live and at any place you obtain your podcasts (like Apple or Spotify).


(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 2021 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