Feb. 15: Retail sales jobs; ECOA, sales tools; virtual events and training from soup to nuts, all from your living room

While there are always juicy headlines out there, like this weekend’s Senate acquittal in the second impeachment trial of former President Trump, or LeBron James breaking the record for most turnovers in NBA history, those headlines don’t always have an impact on rates. For an in-depth look at how news impacts rates, MCT wrote a piece detailing just that at the tail-end of last year. Hint: investors are much more concerned over further stimulus and U.S. growth estimates than the fate of an ex-president or ex-Cavalier. Coincidentally enough, MCT, the “industry’s leading provider of fully integrated capital markets services and technology” sent Kristen McCarthy, who heads up MCT’s Business Intelligence Group, to speak to Robbie on today’s Chrisman Commentary: Daily Mortgage News podcast. Subscribe and listen wherever you get your podcasts from.


We’re adding branches in 44 states: rapid underwriting/ops turn times, and close your loans and be paid more! Named a Top 5 Best Mortgage Companies to work for by National Mortgage News and Top Mortgage Employer by NMP Magazine, Geneva Financial, Home Loans Powered By Humans®, is filling 500+ Branch Manager and Loan officer positions in 44 states. With the recent addition of a National Operations Manager focused on industry-leading turn-times, Geneva is committed to closing your deals while paying you more! Geneva is currently ranked a nationally fastest growing mortgage company with plans to double market share in 2021. Explore Branch and Originator opportunities and our unmatched no-cost marketing offering for our Originators at www.GenevaFi.com/opportunity.

Westerra Credit Union is looking for people as excited about the future as we are! We have an 86-year history but think like a start-up… And you can help build it! Denver-based Westerra is revamping from top to bottom. We’re building a well-oiled mortgage machine for the long-term on a solid foundation of competitive pricing, innovative loan programs, and new loan processing technologies. We’re well-capitalized with a positive, opportunistic vision of how to help our community, families, and employees now, while also being future focused for our mortgage professionals’ longevity. We have immediate opportunities for: Retail Mortgage Sales Manager, Member Direct Mortgage & Consumer Sales Manager, Mortgage Processing Supervisor, Lending Product & Quality Manager, Senior Mortgage Processors, Senior Mortgage Underwriters, and Mortgage Loan Officers – Retail & Member Direct. Join this amazing team! Contact Mike Prosser or Thom Hollingsworth to apply for the sales manager roles. For all other opportunities, apply here.”

Gateway Mortgage, a division of Gateway First Bank, ended its 20th anniversary year with record-breaking residential mortgage production. The company funded over $11.3 billion in mortgage loans, surpassing the previous record year of $7.7 billion funded loans in 2019. In the wake of COVID-19, Gateway successfully transitioned 1,400 team members to remote work within two weeks and maintained high level production, helping more than 53,600 families achieve or maintain their dream of homeownership. Gateway serviced more than 85,000 mortgage loans and expanded its reach across the U.S., opening 17 new mortgage centers, bringing the total number to 163. Through all the growth and transition, the Gateway team has remained committed to its primary mission of strengthening families and communities. By putting people first, Gateway’s culture is strong and will be the driving force behind future success. To learn more about Gateway’s 20-year tradition of mortgage and banking success, visit www.GatewayFirst.com.

First Option Mortgage, a national residential mortgage lender, continues its mission to grow the company’s brand nationwide. The new locations and managers are in Ft. Myers, Fla., led by Whitney Hall; Corbin, Ken., led by Ben Minton; San Antonio, Texas, led by Shane Kelley; and Ashland, Ken., led Tom Hobbs. “We are expanding into markets nationwide where we can add instant value with our rapid turn times,” said Fobby Naghmi, EVP and national sales manager. “We have built a retail operation platform that decentralizes the operating system. It allows multiple touches from underwriting while enhancing turn times.” managing partner Alvin Shah explained. “This makes the branch responsible for putting together loans that work, which makes resources available in other areas to help with the flow of the file.” Reach out to Fobby to learn more about the opportunities at FOM!

Broker and lender services and products

Loan Officers it would be a mistake to wait until rates go up to foster your Realtor relationships. While competitors are focusing on the refi boom, you need to stay ahead of the curve and concentrate on your long-term purchase business strategies. Remind your agents how vital they are to your business and that you are all in when it comes to providing value. Usherpa automatically keeps your name in front of your agents with valuable marketing content, business-building alerts, and elegant co-branding campaigns. Is your CRM tapping into data intelligence and multi-channel marketing technology to build your referral machine? Here’s how to Supercharge your Realtor Relationships today. You’ve earned their trust, now remind Realtors of what you bring to the table!

Sure, Connector by Velma® extends Ellie Mae’s Encompass™ Digital Lending Platform with exquisite communications and workflows. And Connector has a dynamite ECOA-Adverse Action compliance solution. But did you know Connector can send more than NOI letters? Yep, let Connector take your print and mail headaches away too. Automagically send one-off goodbye letters, insurance transfer notifications, statements, and more…straight from Encompass. More info here.

Training & webinars closing out February and into March

RSVP now for the California MBA Legal Issues Committee’s first (FREE) quarterly webinar of 2021! On February 16th at 11 am (PST) our experts will cover a number of timely topics, including: COVID-19 Legal Issues, with Nema Daghbandan, Partner, Geraci, LLP and Michael Flynn, Of Counsel, Buchalter; Update on New QM with Kris Kully, Partner, Mayer Brown; Employment/HR Law with Natalie Vance, Managing Shareholder, Klinedinst PC; and CFPB Update with Richard J. Andreano, Jr., Partner, Ballard Spahr. Click here to RSVP!

On Tuesday, February 16th, join WMBA for Tips and trick from Steve Richman, Genworth’s “That MI Guy”, on planning your business and implementing for 2021. Register now for

There’s No Going Back.

Register for a Mountain West Financial Webinar: Meet the new URLA, Wednesday, Feb. 17th. Samantha Steen & Beryl Johnson from MGIC will walk through the new URLA and highlight the benefits.

On February 17th, at 11 am (PST) join the California MBA Mortgage Technology & Marketing Committee (MTAM), sponsored by Insellerate, for a timely and insightful (and FREE) webinar where we will discuss how the pandemic has accelerated the convergence of consumer direct and retail lending principles to usher in new era of digital lending.  We will discuss the importance of borrower intelligence & retention as a new hybrid lending model emerges, the solutions to better engage with your customers, and how to create borrowers for life in today’s digital lending environment.  Speakers include Josh Friend, CEO/Founder, Insellerate; Mark Foley, Marketing Technologist at Homestead Funding Corp.; and John Seroka, President, Seroka Brand Development.

The 2021 VMBA Virtual Loan Officer Summit on February 17 is geared towards loan officers and will feature energizing sessions, inspiring speakers, and opportunities to network with other loan officers. Sessions to include, “Building a Balanced Business in 2021,” “Housing and Interest Rate Outlook,” a Top Producer Panel, and “Mastermind Discussion on 2020/2021 – Where We Go From Here.” Registration for the Summit is FREE! Learn more about this virtual event here. Contact Walt Lyons with questions.

Register for a Mountain West Financial Webinar: Meet the new URLA, Wednesday, Feb. 17th. Samantha Steen & Beryl Johnson from MGIC will walk through the new URLA and highlight the benefits.

Register to join MBA of Florida and National MI on February 18th. for a webinar to discuss NextGen Sales in a New Era of Customer Experience.

Join Mitch Kider & Michael Dunn, CMB, on February 18th at 2PM EST for ActiveComply’s informational “Social Media Compliance Webinar”. 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.

TMBA is bringing the Virtual Southern Secondary Market, February 22-23, directly to you. Register for Rethink, Rebuild, Renew now. The Texas Mortgage Bankers Association has gathered a generous lineup of experts, leaders, and influencers from across the country to bring you the vital information and insights you need.

SimpleNexus has opened registration to and announced the agenda for its third annual SimpleNexus User Group (SNUG) conference, which will be held virtually on February 22-24.

Attend a complimentary webinar for mortgage professionals on Wednesday, 2/24 at 10AM PT: The State of the Economy & Key Strategies to Secure Your Investments and Build Wealth. Hosted by Cindy Ertman, CEO of The Defining Difference, with guest experts. Topics include the state of the economy, the future of interest rates, the health of the housing industry, and discuss key investment strategies for what you should be doing with your money and how to protect it.

October Research is bringing together three experienced experts to share their insights in the upcoming Getting to Know Your Regulators webinar February 24th. Former CFPB Deputy Director and Alston & Bird Partner Brian Johnson, former CFPB Assistant Director of Enforcement and Goodwin Partner Tony Alexis and former Principal Deputy Enforcement Director and General Counsel for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Hunter Wiggins.

Is your social media marketing compliant?  How can you keep your pipelines full, yet ensure compliance with your social media campaigns?  The next California MBA Mortgage Quality & Compliance Committee (MQAC) webinar (sponsored by The Compliance Group) will answer that question, as we cover one of the most timely topics for compliance/QA teams – social media compliance!  Join us on February 25th at 11 am (PST) as Philip Yee, SVP, Chief Marketing Officer at Plaza Home Mortgage, and Mike Zastoupil, Sales Solutions Specialist at Black Knight provide expert analysis and practical takeaways for your team!  Make sure you sign up for this FREE webinar today!

Orion Lending is always offering broker training through https://www.orionlending.com/training.

Partners Credit is sponsoring the upcoming edition of The Mortgage Collaborative’s Rundown and Tracey King will be co-hosting! Tracey, Rich Swerbinsky, the COO of The Mortgage Collaborative, and I will be discussing current events in the mortgage market for 30 minutes on Friday the 26th at 3PM ET in, “The Rundown with Rob and Rich.”

The OMBA has partnered with Diehl Mortgage Training and Compliance to offer FHA and VA training webinars. A 12-hour FHA Underwriting & Processing Training via Live Webinar will take place in three 4-hour segments from 1:00pm to 5:00pm on March 4th, 11th, and 16th. The VA 8-hour Underwriting & Processing Training Webinar will take place in three 4-hour segments from 1:00pm to 5:00pm on March 9th and March 16th.

October Research is bringing together Franzen and Salzano President Loretta Salzano and Mayer Brown Partner Holly Spencer Bunting to clarify the rule on the upcoming Protecting the Consumer – RESPA Section 9 Webinar March 3rd. Learn best practices for compliance and how this rule affects your business.

Please join the Charlotte Regional Mortgage Lenders Association (CRMLA) on March 4 for a virtual conversation with Rob Chrisman! (Yes, moi.) Where might things for residential lending go in 2021? Please register for the Zoom event to hear a fast-paced Q&A. The CRMLA looks forward to a full Zoom event, so register early! Please send any questions you may have to Amy Ramsey.

Qualia, the leading digital closing platform, will host its second annual Future of Real Estate Summit (FORES21). The virtual event will take place March 11 and will explore the theme “Real Estate is Local,” offering perspectives on how industry innovation and technology are enabling and strengthening local expertise. Speakers include Joe Tyrrell, President of ICE Mortgage Technology, Spencer Rascoff, entrepreneur, and co-founder of Zillow and Pacaso, and basketball legend, Magic Johnson. Register here.

Capital markets

Investors in fixed-income securities don’t like inflation because it pushes their returns down. (If you’re earning 2 percent year after year, and inflation is 2.5 percent, well…) Inflation is once again, as it has been for the last several decades, a market focus as analysts look ahead to a re-opening economy and pent-up consumer demand driving prices higher. Those concerns may be a little premature, however, as recent inflation data showed little price acceleration with consumer prices rising 0.3 percent in January. Excluding food and energy, prices were unchanged from December and up just 1.4 percent from a year ago.

Many expect that an additional $1 trillion in fiscal stimulus, if passed, would quickly ramp up consumer spending as we approach the mid-point of the year due to consumers dipping into accumulated savings in combination with the fiscal support and increasing employment. Assumptions are that consumers will have both the means as well as the eagerness to re-engage in the services and activities that have been on hold for more than a year. Despite these trepidations around inflation, the Fed has repeatedly stated that it will allow inflation to run above its preferred 2 percent level until the labor market sufficiently recovers and therefore expectations for accommodative monetary policy remain.

Looking at rates Friday, U.S. Treasuries finished last week in curve steeping fashion, with longer durations pulling back several basis points, including the 30-year T-bond hitting 2.00 percent for the first time in nearly a year. All durations of Treasuries saw yields rise over the course of the week. Friday’s two FedTrade operations saw the Desk purchase the $5.3 billion maximum with a 37.5 percent hit rate as $14.1 billion was tendered. (For the week, the Desk purchased $32.5 billion. 65.7 percent was in Class A, 9.8 percent was in Class B and 24.5 percent was in Class C.) Economic data on the day showed the preliminary February reading of the University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment fell to from the final reading in January. The drop was owed to lower expectations among households with incomes below $75k.

Anyone sending out a rate sheet on a holiday will err on the conservative side since locks can’t be hedged. With bond and equity markets closed today for Presidents day, this holiday-shortened week includes some higher-tiered economic releases including retail sales, industrial production and capacity utilization, and new and existing home sales. Fed appearances are on the light side, but Wednesday does include the minutes from the January 26-27 FOMC meeting. With regards to MBS and in addition to tomorrow’s Class C and Friday’s Class D 48-hours, the Desk will purchase up to $32.4 billion of various securities, keeping the demand side of the fixed-income equation strong.

How it starts (Part 1 of 5)

One year, I decided to buy my mother-in-law a cemetery plot as a Christmas gift.

The next year, I didn’t buy her a gift.

When she asked me why, I replied, “Well, you still haven’t used the gift I bought you last year!”

And that’s how the fight started.

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, “Servicing: A Valuable Asset”. 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