Feb. 16: IT, MLO, training jobs; VA IRRRL, sales, final doc tools; non-Agency product trends; Mortgage rates? Ouch!

Despite the lousy weather in many parts of the nation, and Mardi Gras being cancelled, the year is off to a fine start for lenders, and borrowers benefitting from lower rates. Might there be clouds on the horizon? Sure. Rates are creeping higher, especially this morning. Are all your vendors set with URLA? With all that business done in 2020, far-sighted CEOs and owners know that repurchase requests or indemnification requests will pick up in 2021, and are setting aside money for them. Depository banks with concentrations in residential or commercial lending have increased reserves. Regulators are interested in the capital levels of non-depository servicers, especially those who have been retaining servicing during 2020. Servicing continues to evolve, and the latest STRATMOR article is titled, “Servicing: A Valuable Asset”. Lenders are still constrained by staffing levels in operations, and the payroll for qualified employees has ballooned. Any recovery in the United States, if you can call it that, has been in part based on geography, and the owners of servicing know that. (To listen to the audio version of today’s commentary, please click here.)


XINNIX is looking for a SVP of Learning & Development to join its award-winning team! This individual will hold a role on the XINNIX Executive Leadership Team and will lead the content development of future programs and services. Those who are interested should reach out to Steve Stall, XINNIX SVP of Business Strategy. On another note, for those who missed last week’s webinar, “Beyond the Daily Commentary 2021” featuring yours truly, click here to access a recording of the full presentation available now through the end of the month. We received some great questions from leaders across the industry, and you’ll definitely want to listen in if you haven’t already.

Last week, PrimeLending hosted its 2021 Sales Rally virtually. This fully digital, world-class event allowed our team to engage in dynamic, informative, and engaging content safely. RISE Together, our 2021 theme perfectly encapsulated the resilience and grit of the entire team, as well as our optimism and drive entering an exciting new year. Featuring powerful speakers, including top-performing loan officers, and information-packed sessions, the two-day event focused on building momentum around our game-changing Modern Originator platforms – Blue Sage and Total Expert. Sales Rally 2021 marked the beginning of what is sure to be another phenomenal year, as PrimeLending continues to place a high priority on operational excellence and delivering a best-in-class borrower experience. If you’re ready to work with a company that is always prepared to pivot in the right direction for its loan officers, contact Nic Hartke to start the discussion.

Caliber Home Loans was a primary sponsor of the “Building an Inclusive Recovery” virtual webinar hosted by The Clinton Foundation. The event, featuring former President Bill Clinton and leaders in the public and private sectors, focused on the issue of economic and racial disparities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the help of community development financial institutions (CDFIs), financial organizations have made strides in positively impacting traditionally underserved communities. “Caliber is proud to sponsor and contribute to these discussions that further build and strengthen critical relationships between us and our communities. At Caliber, it’s our duty to be a lender that provides fair and equitable housing for all. To be immediately considered for Operations or Sales positions, email Jonathan Stanley or Brian Miller respectively.”

Black Knight continues to experience significant growth with its Empower® loan origination platform in response to increased market demand for comprehensive, task-based workflow LOS technology proven to automate, scale and grow lender origination volumes. To serve that demand, the company is continually seeking knowledgeable, qualified, and experienced mortgage sales professionals to join the team. Today, Black Knight is adding an experienced sales executive to its Origination Technologies business. The sales executive will represent and sell the suite of market-leading products in Black Knight’s Empower LOS to innovative mortgage lenders in his/her assigned territory. While the company is headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., this position is remote. To learn more, contact Megan Goulette.

On Q Financial make the Dream of Homeownership a reality for a young family facing hardship. The O’Brien’s dream of homeownership turned into a nightmare after a fire destroyed their Reno, Nevada home on two separate occasions. When top-rated national daytime talk show “The Kelly Clarkson Show” came calling, On Q Financial answered immediately with kindness and generosity! See video from The Kelly Clarkson’s show segment. On Q Financial has a rich history of giving back and pushing for inclusivity, so much so it’s become ingrained in its DNA. From scholarships to charity coat and food drives, to assisting families in need like Mimi and Scott O’Brien, On Q Financial is always looking for ways to give back and be an active contributor to local communities. “Check out our career page at On Q Financial. Our mission is to make Mortgages Simplified and make the dream of homeownership a reality for everyone!”

Lender and broker products, services, & events

With Biden’s new CFPB pick at the helm, how can lending professionals expect oversight and regulations to change? CFPB nominee Chopra’s previous track record and Biden’s stated market goals point to a few likely priorities. In short, mortgages will endure a lot more scrutiny, and staying informed while finding practical, policy-friendly solutions will be the key to avoiding a run-in with the CFPB. To learn everything, you need to know about the changing regulatory landscape, from discrimination standards to technology compliance, click here to read leading digital mortgage platform Maxwell’s latest blog post, “How Biden’s CFPB Nominee Will Shake Up the Mortgage Industry.”

It’s not an official holiday, but yesterday marked the beginning of “discount candy week,” when people shop around for the best deals on conversation hearts and boxed chocolates. Speaking of which, your borrowers could be shopping around for a better loan. If they were, would you know? Sales Boomerang, the #1 automated borrower intelligence and retention platform, notifies mortgage lenders the moment someone in their database is ready for a loan. Lenders using Sales Boomerang see a 20-40% average lift to loan volume and enjoy 65%+ average borrower retention for around $299 per acquired loan: an average 20x ROI. Keep your borrowers from shopping around and give them the best deal at the right time with Sales Boomerang.

“Leading mortgage lenders know the value of a perfectly timed email. But reaching customers with the right message at just the right time is easier said than done. Download our guide complete with four strategies to drive meaningful engagement and strengthen customer relationships. Find out how a top mortgage lender leveraged Total Expert’s Campaign Builder to generate $77 million in closed refinances and 264 refinance loans, with a 57% email open rate to 38,000 contacts. Learn more.”

When a company like PennyMac earns the distinction of being the nation’s fastest-growing wholesale lender in 2020 (according to Inside Mortgage Finance), the first question you might ask is, “How’d they get there?” The answer is simple: since its founding in 2008, PennyMac has been 100% committed to the mortgage industry. That commitment includes programs that give its broker partners an edge. Like Perfect Rate, Perfect Term that lets broker partners customize borrower loan terms to the exact month and rates to the .001%. They offer netting of escrows on PennyMac-to-PennyMac refis, as well as competitive and consistent turn times. And they just launched Peak Performance, an exciting loyalty program that rewards top broker partners with improved pricing, complimentary rate lock extensions, float downs, and more–helping brokers take their business to new heights. Now, the second question you might ask is, “How do I become a PennyMac broker partner?” The answer: “Right here.”

Are you ready for VA IRRRL and FHA Streamline refinance opportunities in this market?  Learn how to efficiently submit your files once for a final approval! Join Freedom Mortgage Wholesale for live webinar training sessions on VA IRRRL or FHA Streamline mortgage products and origination processes. Ideal for new or experienced government originators. Sign up for a VA IRRRL or FHA Streamline webinar on 2/16 (FHA Streamline), 2/18 (VA IRRRL) or 3/02(FHA Streamline).

With mortgage rates remaining at record lows, the refi boom continues, and the purchase business is picking up as well. While there may be some predictability on who the closing agent is for a refi on a conventional retail loan, that isn’t the case on a purchase. When the tedious post-closing follow-up begins, the lender must connect with tens or hundreds of unfamiliar settlement agents a month to keep up with the Final Docs. Chasing after Final Docs with folks whom you have no previous relationship with, can become quite a chore. Thankfully, DocProbe built a network of over 30,000 title companies, settlement agents and law firms nationwide and has established relationships with many of them. Let DocProbe’s experienced and knowledgeable team, powered by their cutting-edge technology, step in to manage the Trailing Docs for you, so you can get back to focusing on closing that next loan. Email Nick Erlanger or visit us to learn more.

Jumbo, non-QM, general product news

Bring your unique loan scenarios to the Sprout Mortgage Non-QM Scenario Station on 2/17 at Noon ET / 9 AM PT. Webinar topic: Tips to Gain Success With Non-QM. Register today!

FAMC posted Leasehold condos located in Battery Park City, New York are ineligible for purchase.

If you’re a borrower and need a $10 million loan, one option is Watermark Home Loans.

Wells Fargo Funding has simplified its policy for VA, Guaranteed Rural Housing (GRH), and Non-Conforming Loans to borrowers in forbearance with the removal of its overlay that applies to rental payments. As a reminder, even if the mortgage is current, if there is an indication in the file that the mortgage is in forbearance, Sellers must provide documentation from an independent third party that specifically states the borrower exited forbearance prior to the date printed on the Note.

Acra Lending (ex-Citadel) announced the launch of Jumbo Prime mortgage solution, designed as an extension to its suite of programs for purchase or refinance of higher valued properties. Featuring LTVs up to 90% with loan amounts up to $3 million, the program comes at a time when jumbo mortgages are harder to access for borrowers due to ongoing economic downturn caused by COVID-19.

The Plaza Home Mortgage Jumbo 1 is back offering up to $2.5 million to qualified borrowers with flexible eligibility requirements with competitive pricing. Key features include FICOs from 680, Primary, second home or investment eligible, Purchase, Rate/Term and Cash-out options.

loanDepot Wholesale/Correspondent’s weekly Announcement includes information on

Tax Service Fees for CA & HI, product expansions on loanDepot Select, Fannie Mae updates for Seasonal and Secondary Income, and Home Possible Transactions Secured by 2-4 Units.

Close more bank statement loans for FICOs as low as 620 with Carrington Mortgage Services. 12 or 24-month personal or business bank statements or 2 years W-2 or Tax returns, ARM, IO & fixed rate programs, Max 80% LTV, 1X30X12 mortgage history ok, $500K max cash-out, $2M max loan amount. Interested? Email Dianne Minor.

Flagstar Bank’s Non-Agency Guidelines have been updated. Review Memo 21019 for details. And “Flag” is requiring all new appraisals for Non-Agency loans to be reviewed by Appraisal Management for all loan amounts. Appraisal Review will also review all corresponding CDAs. Don’t forget that the max price cap of 102 is effective for all loan amounts and new locks for the Jumbo Fixed, Doc. #5413 program.

Fulton Mortgage Company launched a new product, the Fulton Bank Community Combo purchase mortgage. This 80% First Mortgage combined with up to a 20% Second Mortgage* is a flexible, affordable option designed to meet a diverse range of financial and family needs including homebuyers who have limited funds for a down payment or face unique circumstances.

LoanStream Mortgage will credit back up to $800 in appraisal fees when a broker’s loan closes on all DSCR FastONE loans locked February 1st – 28th. “DSCR FastONE allows our brokers to move their DSCR loans faster to closing (about 10 days) by utilizing a dedicated process to assist with these NanQ programs quicker than other lenders.”

Capital markets

Last week’s economic calendar was relatively light, but the expectation remains for improving Gross Domestic Product growth during the second half of the year as more people are vaccinated and social mitigation policies ease. In related news, the major European economies saw worse annual GDP performance than the U.S., and the U.K. recorded its worst annual GDP decline in more than 300 years (yes, three centuries) at minus 9.9 percent in 2020. Back home, U.S. unemployment was officially 6.3 percent in January, but Fed chairman Jerome Powell believes the rate is closer to 10 percent due to “misclassifications” in the data. The Fed is expected to continue its accommodative stance through the middle of the year and possibly for the entire year depending on the path of inflation. Mortgage applications eased 4.7 percent for the week ending February 5 but on a four-week moving average basis were up 14.9 percent year-over-year. If longer bond yields begin to firm, based on either the economy picking up or the realization that someone has to pay for the stimulus, expect mortgage rates to inch up throughout the spring.

Now that bond and equity markets are open after the long holiday weekend, despite 10 million people being out of work, suddenly investors believe that the support that we’re expecting from the Biden Administration is going to provide assistance for a lot of households who are in financial distress. Theoretically the stimulus will help growth, and any kind of growth that we’re going to get will put upward pressure on rates. Sure enough, rates have moved higher.

This morning, besides having much of Texas without power, we’ve received the latest NY Fed manufacturing (+8.6 to 12.1). Two Fed speakers are currently scheduled to speak today, Governor Bowman and San Francisco’s Daly. Tomorrow sees a much busier calendar, with January Retail Sales, January PPI, December Business Inventories, January Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization, the February NAHB Housing Market Index and January FOMC Minutes. The Desk will conduct two operations but for just $4.6 billion, which is the least daily support on the current schedule. First up is $1.4 billion UMBS15 1.5 percent and 2 percent followed by $3.2 billion UMBS30 1.5 percent and 2 percent. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices worse .250-.375 and the 10-year yielding 1.25 after closing last week at 1.20 percent, post-pandemic highs from economic stimulus optimism.

How it starts (Part 2 of 5)

My wife and I were watching Who Wants To Be A Millionaire while we were in bed.

I turned to her and asked, “Do you want to have sex?”

“No,” she answered.

I countered with, “Is that your final answer?”

She didn’t even look at me this time, simply saying, “Yes.”

So I said, “Then I’d like to phone a friend.”

And that’s when 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