Feb. 16: AE & LO jobs; M&A hoppin’ as PHH cuts back – G-Rate & LenderLive ink deals; Ginnie, FHA, & VA changes

Bank of America has opened 3 completely automated branches without any employees. Customers can use ATMs or have video conferences with employees at other branches, and the branches are about 25% the size of a normal branch. Bank of America indicates that since 2009 it has reduced its branch footprint by 23%, as the percentage of customers doing automated transactions has jumped 94%. What about if you rely on some holographic gal in your house for companionship more than actual humans? Check out this disturbing short video…competition for Siri?


For real-live people, EMM Wholesale is hiring Wholesale Account Executives with a book of business in the Northeast & New England region. EMM Wholesale is a division of E Mortgage Management, LLC, a privately held mortgage lender licensed in over 36 states and is an A+ rated, accredited member of the Better Business Bureau, member of the Mortgage Bankers Association and maintains the highest of compliance standards with the CFPB. E Mortgage Management has cultivated a fun team environment where there is opportunity to learn, develop and advance your career while contributing to the company. For confidential consideration e-mail your resume to John Miriello, Vice President, Human Resources.


Michigan Mutual, Inc. is currently seeking Wholesale Account Executives nationally to join its sales teams, specifically in the following key markets of Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC. Michigan Mutual is an agency direct/seller/servicer/issuer established in 1992 and based in Port Huron, Michigan. “We are very excited about the success of our wholesale expansion efforts and look forward to welcoming new team members to the MiMutual family in 2017!” If you are a successful mortgage professional seeking an opportunity to join a thriving company with a positive culture, strong corporate values, and a clear vision for the future, please contact President of Michigan Mutual, Vince Parlove (248.943.3709) or HR Specialist, Karley Warwick (248.286.9490).You may also visit the careers page to complete an application.


Open Mortgage, a nationwide residential mortgage lender, is looking for Wholesale/Non-Delegated Account Executives to join our team. Headquartered in Austin, TX, “Open Mortgage is hiring talented, experienced AEs in key markets across the country. Open Mortgage offers a full product line and dedicated operational teams to provide our business partners with fast, efficient, and personalized service. Our business model is built on proven practices that emphasizes superior customer service and results in repeat business from our clients. Join our team, grow with us, and see why our motto is ‘Where Better is Possible.’”


On the retail side, Assurance Financial continues to expand after increasing production by 29% in 2016 while opening several offices in new markets throughout the country! The company has a solid reputation for closing loans on time, appealing to anyone wishing to grow their origination business. Our back office supports its mortgage loan originators and branch managers so they can focus on originating more new loans rather than worrying about closing their pipeline. Assurance plans to expand its footprint further this year by selectively hiring producing branch managers and MLOs in good markets. For more information, contact Paul Peters, CMB at 225-239-7948 or visit LendTheWay.com/Careers.


Merger & Acquisition news.


For various reasons (age of owners, shifting business models, cost of compliance) the mergers and acquisitions situation has been off to a strong start, and expected to continue. The latest example is Realogy Holdings Corp, a full-service residential real estate services company, and Guaranteed Rate, an independent retail mortgage company, announced a new joint venture, Guaranteed Rate Affinity, which is expected to begin doing business in June 2017. The twist with this deal is that it involves a company that has been scaling back: PHH. As Guaranteed Rate moves in to work with Realogy, PHH announced it is exiting its existing joint venture with Realogy.


Under the agreement, Guaranteed Rate Affinity will originate and market its mortgage lending services to Realogy’s real estate brokerage and relocation subsidiaries, respectively NRT and Cartus, as well as to other real estate brokerage and relocation companies across the country. With PHH pulling out, Guaranteed Rate Affinity will acquire certain assets of its mortgage operations, including four regional mortgage origination and processing centers, its relocation division and employees across the United States.


(And in other news regarding divvying up the still living body, LenderLive Network, LLC announced that it has reached a definitive agreement with PHH Mortgage Corporation to assume its private label fulfillment operations in Jacksonville. In late 2016, PHH announced that it would exit the private label fulfillment business, and this agreement is expected to facilitate a smooth transition for both PHH employees and clients.


Mergers and acquisitions activity in the mortgage industry has significantly increased since the financial crisis. Most of these deals involve the acquisition of assets, which includes the data on all loans the acquired lender has originated or was in the process of originating at the time of purchase. However, what often get overlooked are the systems in which that data is housed. If the acquired lender was using a different system than the acquiring lender, there will be some significant issues and costs in maintaining access to that data. The newest whitepaper from MetaSource tackles these challenges.


In depository bank M&A news, this week it was announced that Heartland Financial USA ($8.3B, IA) will acquire Citywide Banks ($1.4B, CO) for about $203mm in cash and stock. Gulf Coast Bank and Trust Co. ($1.5B, LA) will acquire SBA lending company CapitalSpring SBLC (TX). In Alabama Progress Bank and Trust ($730mm) will acquire First Partners Bank ($274mm) for about $41.9mm or roughly 1.37x tangible book.


It’s not all rainbows and unicorns. Research by BankRate that looked at the largest branch closures from 2010 to 2015 finds the top 5 were: Bank of America (closed 1,177 branches or about 20% of its total), Wells Fargo (350, 5%), Citizens Bank (273, 24%), SunTrust (253, 15%) and HSBC (251, 52%). Not in the top: Chase.


Chase has made a well-publicized move away from FHA lending due to potential liabilities. Certainly the FHA & VA changes that other lenders and investors make continue, however, as does Ginnie Mae, so let’s see what’s new in that lending sector.


NAR took a look at the aspiring homeowner in its latest survey. Affordability was the #1 reason for people not owning a home, followed by flexibility concerns. That said, 88% of non-owners eventually do want to own a home. There still seems to be a disconnect between what people think they need (as far as a down payment) versus what is actually required. FHA loans remain the best way to get these people their first home.


Curious about FHA average credit scores on new endorsements? While the average credit score on new FHA endorsements has fallen as the agency has withdrawn from its counter-cyclical role during the crisis, the changes have been uneven across products and loan purposes. A recent MBA chart depicts the average credit scores on new FHA mortgage endorsements between 2010 and 2016. There is a clear drop in the average credit scores for all products following policy changes in 2012 and 2013 that increased the effective mortgage insurance premium (MIP). At the height of the refi boom in 2012, average credit scores were higher for refinances than for purchase endorsements, while average purchase credit scores have recently been a bit higher than refinances.


The MBA’s team tells us that with the subsequent reduction in the annual MIP rate introduced in January of 2015, there was a tripling in FHA refinance activity over the short term, and a more persistent upward shift in FHA purchase endorsements over the longer term. The MIP reduction also had the impact of stabilizing the credit profile of the FHA book by drawing stronger credit borrowers to FHA via conventional to FHA refinances. On the home purchase side, the typical credit score for home purchases following the MIP decrease did not change compared to 2014.


Renovation projects funded in the Fannie Mae HomeStyle product at M&T Bank are given up to nine (9) months to complete work, as opposed to a six-month renovation-term cap in FHA 203(k) products.  Larger size projects will benefit from this, and should the customer need even more additional time, extensions are always considered for viable, documented reasons.


Ginnie Mae is informed its users of changes that impact the web addresses (URLs) that are used to access Ginnie Mae’s disclosure webpages.


NationStar Mortgage has updated its Seller Guide. This update includes information that effective with new loan registrations on and after June 20, 2016, its newly expanded credit offerings are available, which includes expanded lending parameters for Government (FHA/VA/USDA) and Conventional (FNMA/FHLMC) deliveries.


PennyMac is updating overlays for VA full doc and IRRL loans.


HomeBridge Wholesale allows VA IRRRL’s with less than 6 payments on its 30-year fixed product. For details, contact Justin Smith.


M&T Bank issued an FHA 203(k) LTV Calculation Reminder: The lender must calculate two (2) LTVs for an FHA 203(k) transaction. 1. MIP LTV to determine MIP factor, and 2. CASE LTV (a/k/a/ Loan LTV), which represents the overall LTV of the loan. The CASE (Loan) LTV is what should appear on the Transmittal (HUD-92900-LT) under “Qualifying Ratios,” on the AUS Findings, and must also match Step 5-B from the 203(k) Online Calculator. Lenders are reminded that Step 5-B (Case LTV) has instructions printed on the 203(k) Calculator screen demonstrating how to calculate the Case LTV. These instructions are not located in the FHA 4000.1 Handbook. M&T is seeing many loans with an incorrect and/or mismatched Case LTVs and as a reminder, please note that the Case LTV involves the LESSER of two calculations. The published M&T FHA 203(k) Product Page (located on MEME) lists the formulas used by the online calculator for lender convenience.


PennyMac Correspondent posted a new announcement regarding VA student loan payment calculation.


Franklin American Mortgage Company’s overlay which capped Real Estate Commissions to 8% has been removed.  Its conventional, FHA, VA & USDA product chapters have been updated.


Lenders using Prior Approval process for VA loans or for one-off prior approval submissions should be aware, effective February 13th, all VA prior approval loans must be submitted electronically through the VA WebLGY system instead of being mailed in overnight packages.


Mountain West Financial’s latest bulletin informed lenders that effective immediately, VA has confirmed clarification and new guides for Student Loan Debts and Obligations. The clarification will apply to deferred student loans and the new policy will provide guidance for student loans in repayment or, to begin repayment within 12 months of a VA loan closing.  This policy will apply to all student loan repayment types.


Pacific Union’s Non-Delegated Correspondents should not that it is revising the seasoning requirement for VA IRRRL transactions to require a minimum of six consecutive monthly payments prior to loan closing date. If the credit report does not reflect six consecutive monthly payments, the required payment history must be obtained from the servicer. If the credit report/payment history does not reflect six consecutive monthly payments when the loan is underwritten, the loan will be conditioned for an updated payment history and a Clear to Close will not be issued until the required payment history is provided. This is the removal of a previous overlay as the GNMA seasoning requirement refers to “at the time of the refinance”.


Altisource announced a specialized Federal Housing Authority (FHA) offering, taking advantage of its end-to-end product suite to assist in improving controls and mitigating risk throughout the lifecycle of servicing an FHA asset. FHA loans represent a growing share of many Servicers’ portfolios and require specialized processes to comply with complex servicing guidance.




U.S. Treasuries and MBS traded lower (down in price) Wednesday as data for January showed headline consumer price inflation accelerating to a four-year high of 2.5% year over year, retail sales growth exceeding expectations, and the Empire State Manufacturing Index showed improving sentiment among purchasing managers in New York state. And all the Fed speakers appear to be laying the groundwork for three short-term-rate hikes this year. On the good news side of things, Fed Chair Yellen has said that the Fed does not intend to sell MBS (preferring natural runoff instead); remember that the NY Fed is buying $1-2 billion a day using money from its holdings that pay off early.


For numbers, the 10-year yield hit a session high of 2.52% after all those numbers showed our economy is doing well, and inflation is nearing the Fed’s target. But its price bounced and the 10-year closed yielding 2.50% while 5-year T-notes and agency MBS prices worsened about .250.


This morning we’ve already had weekly Initial Jobless Claims (+5k to 239k), Housing Starts for January (-2.6%, permits +4.6%), and the Philadelphia Fed Survey (43.3, topping forecasts) – and that about does it for scheduled market-moving news. We find the 10-year T-note yielding 2.48% and MBS prices a shade better than last night’s close.



Daughter: “Mommy, where did I come from?”

Mom: “Sweetheart, you came out from Mommy’s body.”

Daughter: “How exactly?”

Mom: “Well, your head came out first, then your arms, followed by your legs.”

Daughter: (thinking about what she just heard) “How did you assemble them?”






(Copyright 2017 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