Feb. 12: AE, vendor mgt., LO jobs; sales, marketing, broker products; team sponsor wanted; American borrowing stat

Clients want LOs to be subject matter experts on products and current events. But what do lenders know about their LOs, their originator turnover rate, or what the age bracket is of the highest producing originators? More originators change jobs in the fourth quarter than any other quarter, about 36 percent. Of that 36 percent, of those who reported a reason, 78 percent reported leaving voluntarily. The first quarter is the lowest for changing jobs with about 14 percent leaving. According to STRATMOR’s Originator Census® Study, the originator turnover rate in the Retail channel was 35 percent in 2018; the 35-40 age bracket is the highest producing originator group and has a tenure of 2.6 years. And originators with less than five years’ tenure did a higher percent of purchase business compared to originators with more than five years tenure. (Don’t miss your opportunity to find out all you can about your sales force by participating in the 2020 Originator Census® Study. Participants receive a customized summary report comparing their company data to industry averages. Sign up today as registration closes February 28.)

Jobs & transitions

Celebrating a record setting 2019 and setting goals for 2020 at their recent sales conference in Scottsdale, Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions is proud to recognize Steve ArnoldEric MorgensonBob HutchensScott Gruebele and Chris Taylor as a member of the 2019 $100 Million Club. They each won awards among the Top Producers as they embodied Angel Oak’s strong customer-focused culture. They clearly demonstrated the theme “The Difference is You” as part of a 110+ person sales force that is continuing to add staff across the country in markets such as Minneapolis, Virginia Beach and Olympia, WA to help brokers and correspondents grow their business. To learn more, view the Careers Page or email National Business Development Manager, Andy Looker.

FormFree is seeking an experienced vendor management and compliance analyst to support the firm’s vendor management relationships, responsibilities and compliance related projects. The selected candidate will be able to work out of FormFree’s Athens, Georgia headquarters or remotely. FormFree is a market-leading fintech company providing its team members the unique opportunity to help change the credit decisioning landscape and encourage lenders nationwide to incorporate a more holistic view of each borrower’s financial DNA. View the full job listing on LinkedIn or email your resume to FormFree directly.

Laser-focused on 2020, Nations Lending Corporation is sprinting into the new year after record growth in 2019. The company pushed past $2 billion in origination volume (20% growth from 2018) for the first time, saw an 80% growth in branch development, and obtained its final licenses to lend in all 50 states. “Last year was a historic year for us,” said CEO Jeremy Sopko. “We’re growing in all the right areas: revenue, branch development, and talent. We expect 2020 to bigger and better.” To support Nations Lending’s growth strategy and vision, the company expanded and strengthened its leadership team by adding Corey Caster (EVP of National Production), and Jim Collier (EVP of Operations). Other key additions include Nino Saso (Division Sales Manager, Western region), Doug Opdycke (VP of National Sales Recruiting), Kathryn Edelen (Regional Sales Manager), and Don Riggs (Area Sales Manager). Interested in making history with us in 2020? Give Doug Opdycke a shout.

Wells Fargo is realigning its three current operating segments into five business lines. As part of that, Mike Weinbach, who most recently served as the CEO of Chase Home Lending at JPMorgan Chase, will join Wells Fargo in early May and become CEO of Consumer Lending. At the other end of the tenure spectrum, Shana Chrisman, Regional Sales Executive for the Great West Region and who has been with Wells Fargo for 26 years, announced her retirement as of April 1.

Lender products

Before going farther, I wanted to make sure that everyone had the correct link to the complimentary compliance webinar hosted by Johnston Thomas’s Mortgage Banking Practice Group and The Mortgage Collaborative at 10:30 AM PST, on March 19, titled Invaluable Tips for Maintaining Compliance in 2020 and Beyond.”

The industry continues to be impressed by SimpleNexus’ commitment to lender process improvement via its omni-device lending platform. This week from the SimpleNexus User Group (SNUG) stage at the Snowbird Ski Resort (queue winter sports FOMO), the lending platform announced three new features that enhance functionality for desktop and mobile users: 1) Encompass credit liability mapping, which populates credit reporting data into corresponding Encompass fields; 2) Optimal Blue price locking enablement via mobile app; and 3) ability to view Fannie Mae DU findings via mobile app. If you want to learn more about SimpleNexus’ features, schedule a demo with one of its friendly reps.

It’s 2020. We don’t get out encyclopedias to research something, we “Google it.” Brokers, how are you researching the loan programs from the lenders you work with? Do you pull out a file folder full of flyers? Do you search for emails from AEs? QLMS has a better way. The forward-thinking lender has “Guru,” a search engine for mortgage qualifications. Guru makes underwriting guidelines easy to find – just search like you would for anything else in your life. Once the search results show you the mortgage product you’re looking for, the tool give you all the details about the loan product and the qualification guidelines. You can even compare products against each other on one screen. Talk to your AE to learn more about how to get the most out of Guru. If you don’t work with QLMS, you can connect with them here and start working smarter not harder.

National lender Sierra Pacific Mortgage Company, Inc. has announced the much-anticipated release of its proprietary loan origination portal, ExpressLoan. ExpressLoan features an array of customized tools that provide Sierra Pacific’s Third-Party Originator (TPO) partners a more intuitive and modern technology experience that supports the incredible client experience that has become the hallmark of Sierra Pacific Wholesale. ExpressLoan’s extensive suite of tools include a more automated and organized document management solution along with integrated solutions for validating income and assets at the point of sale. In addition, the design of the user dashboard along with clarity around the pipeline and processing milestones, bring enhanced and transparent functionality to the TPO partner. As a result, the partner gains more control and sees their efficiencies improve. To learn more, email tposales@spmc.com or call (916) 932-1700.

Mortgage technology and automation are driving a rapid decrease in cycle times, improved customer service ratings, and reduced expenses, all while aiding the originator at the point of sale. The perfect storm of positive change driven through technology. This same positive force drives everything that Deephaven Mortgage invests in when it comes to technology to aid the originator at the point of sale. Over the past year, Deephaven has rolled out its full suite of IDENTI-FI technology tools, including the IDENTI-FI AUS, IDENTI-FI Scenario Calculator, IDENTI-FI Bank Statement Calculator, and the IDENTI-FI Scenario Desk. All of these tools are aimed at driving technology into the hands of the originator to help them “IDENTI-FI” whether their client is eligible for Non-QM financing. Get in touch today and get started building your Non-QM business with the help of the Deephaven Team and technology. Contact brokerinfo@deephavenmortgage.com (Wholesale) or sales@deephavenmortgage.com (Correspondent).

“How important are first impressions to you?  Are they an indication of the overall service you can expect of a company? At Stearns we are passionate about the experience and delivering an ‘I Can Help You’ attitude from beginning to end. Through our SNAP START online process, you provide 12 pieces of information and within 24 hours are given the opportunity to Forward Lock and Register a loan. The wholesale test drive is a simple and convenient way for Stearns to show how we lead the wholesale marketplace through convenience, technology and service. If you’re interested in working with a lender who shares a passion for service, click HERE to be contacted by your local Account Executive.”

A 30-minute conversation with Planet Home Lending, LLC at the Texas Mortgage Bankers Association’s Southern Secondary Market Conference can increase your product menu and increase your margins. Reach out to Planet Home Lending today for competitive products and pricing, flexible delivery and superior service. Contact Regional Sales Manager Stuart Blend (469-939-9055).

“Looking to grow in 2020? Monster Lead Group introduces The Monster Wayan unprecedented 8-week plan to radically change the future of your mortgage business. The Monster Way is a formidable combination of a direct marketing system, a sales process and a custom playbook for growing your organization. It includes a dedicated team of Monster mortgage experts who works with you to create an 8-week direct marketing campaign that generates a consistent flow of the right leads to your inbound call team. We’ll train your MLOs how to turn more of those calls into apps using the same professional sales techniques as the highest producing originators in the country. Your reps will graduate with the secret sauce for generating record sales in any market, regardless of rates. Join our clients who originated more than $10 billion in 2019. Find out if your organization and The Monster Way are a good match: Apply. (Space is limited due to high demand.)

Your borrowers are the most valuable asset your business has; don’t let them fall into the hands of your competitors. You don’t need to fight over the same borrowers as everyone else when you’ve got a strategy in place to retain your existing customers. Keep your borrowers coming back for more by helping them stay ahead of major life events and refi opportunities with Sales Boomerang. Don’t just win their future business, earn it. Let Sales Boomerang show you how to be there for your borrowers at the right moments and build #BorrowersForLife. Schedule a demo today

And now for something completely different

Do you think like Gary Vee? If you do, then you will want to get involved in the esports industry and this could be your easy way to become a sponsor! A professional esports team is bringing it’s 2019 World Cup Championship qualifier team, Sanguine from Latin America, to Atlanta, GA to train and compete for the 2020 season. It will be playing against teams owned by the likes of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Wiz Khalifa. The esports industry has the same demographics as FTHB! This team is open to having a mortgage company as its team housing sponsor for the year. Think about it: your company name listed on all social media, videos, events, jerseys and the documentary that they are making about bringing this team from Peru, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay to compete against the best pro teams in the world. If you are an ‘outside the box’ mortgage company and want to get in front of this millennial market, then join Ginger Bell on Thursday for an online overview of the world of esports. Register here or contact Ginger Bell.”

Capital markets

The strong labor market continued in January with 225,000 jobs being added and unemployment remained low at 3.6 percent. In another positive sign for the job market, labor participation is increasing even with weakness in the manufacturing sector, which saw declining employment for the third time in the last four months. Wages increased 3.1 percent for the year, however there has not been a sustained period of wage growth it takes to significantly impact inflation. The manufacturing sector crept back into expansion territory following the recent trade deals, however it is too early to know what effects the coronavirus will have on supply chains. Meanwhile the service sector, which is not as impacted by trade and slowing global economic conditions, continued to expand in January. Exports increased $1.5 billion and imports increased $6.8 billion as the trade deficit widened in December. The de-escalation of the trade war is expected to boost overall trade activity this year.

Bit of a snoozer of a day for rates yesterday. The South China Morning Post reported that “hundreds of thousands of workers” returned to work this week, which alleviated some fears about the impact of prolonged closures from the coronavirus on supply chains and growth. There were also reports that the spread of the virus is slowing. New GDP figures out of Britain showed 0 percent growth in Q4 of last year, as Brexit-related uncertainty took a toll on businesses. Treasuries dipped to fresh lows after a $38 billion 3-year note auction was met with lukewarm demand. Fed Chairman Powell appeared before the House Financial Services Committee, but did not say anything unexpected during the first day of his semiannual testimony on monetary policy. He did indicate that the Fed was “closely monitoring” the coronavirus epidemic, which had a discernible impact on Treasury yields.

It was revealed yesterday that Americans increased their borrowing for the 22nd straight quarter as more households took out loans to buy homes or refinance mortgages. Separately, President Trump’s budget proposal from earlier this week assumes significantly faster U.S. economic growth than most analysts predict. His last budget predicted that the economy would grow 3.2 percent in 2019; actual growth was 2.3 percent, according to the Commerce Department.

Mortgage applications increased about 1 percent from one week earlier per the MBA. Surprisingly, refis increased 5 percent from the previous week and was 207 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The MBA’s Joel Kan sagely observed, “The refinance index climbed to its highest level since June 2013, and refinance loan sizes also increased as a result of an active jumbo lending market.”

It’s a busy day for central banks. We’ve had the latest monetary policy decisions from RBNZ and Sweden’s Riksbank. Fed Chair Powell returns to Capitol Hill for more testifying, providing airtime for politicians. We’ll have remarks from Philadelphia’s Harker and San Francisco’s Daly, and the Treasury conducts the second leg of this week’s Quarterly Refunding when it auctions $27 billon 10-year notes. The January budget statement is due with the CBO forecasting a deficit of $32 billion compared with a surplus of $9 billion in the prior fiscal year. We begin today with Agency MBS prices worse a shade and the 10-year yielding 1.62 percent after closing at 1.59 percent.

A group of friends and I run a small restaurant where we often name our specials after our employees, dishes like “Sally’s Chicken” after our maître d who gave us the recipe, and “Rod’s Ribs” after a waiter who had his personal style of barbecue.

One evening after rereading the menu, I broke with this tradition and changed the description of the special we had named after our chef.

Despite her skills and excellent reputation, somehow I didn’t think an entrée named “Salmon Ella” would go over big with our customers.

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, “Home Ownership is Still Part of the American Dream” If you have the 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 2020 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.)


Rob Chrisman