Feb. 16: MLO jobs; SaaS, secondary marketing, non-QM, servicing system, compliance products; builder confidence improving

Raquel Welch, who passed away yesterday, was an icon in the 60s and 70s. Mick Jagger was as well, and sang, “Just My Imagination” many years ago. But it is not your imagination that residential lending is facing some renewed speedbumps. (Yeah, I know that’s a stretch, but it’s a cool song.) Last night in Spokane at the SMLA meeting, key topics including pricing and rates. It isn’t your imagination that lenders are rolling out the new conforming loan level price adjustments this week, given the delivery requirements from Freddie and Fannie, and despite the redisclosure and operations problems that will inevitably arise. It is also not your imagination that we are being hit by mortgage rates moving higher. Jobs, inflation, and retail sales data all point toward a solid economy, recession be damned, and as a result, higher rates. But for some good news, homebuilder confidence is improving, according to the NAHB, seeing the largest monthly increase for builder sentiment since June 2013. (Builder news? If anyone out there is thinking about a bathroom remodel, here are the supposed six top trends homeowners are chasing. And if you’ve read this far, how about this: “Why the housing market is making your toilet paper more expensive.” At least we’re not dealing with perceived shortages, right? (Today’s podcast can be found here and this week’s is sponsored by the STRATMOR Group, the data-driven mortgage advisory. At STRATMOR, insights and knowledge are applied to guide mortgage clients to make sound strategic decisions and take actions that improve their success. Todays has an interview with Justin Barry of Morris, Manning, and Martin LLP on the build-to-rent space and current housing supply woes and fixes.)

Employment; JV partner sought for tech integration


Joint Venture partner wanted to fully integrate our SaaS into the digital mortgage manufacturing process. After 11,000+ hours of development, The Complete 1003 Software recreates the human questioning sequence a mortgage application goes through in underwriting. And by analyzing over 70,000 underwriting decisions, we have identified and sequenced the 165 questions where underwriter discretion comes into play. Overall, we capture a dataset beyond any of the newer AI/ML/RPA/OCR systems. Our solution produces the blueprint to originate a truly digital mortgage and could prove especially valuable should Amazon, Salesforce, etc. decide to enter the mortgage industry and underwrite mortgages using a fixed dataset. If your firm operates in POS/LOS/AUS and/or any aspect of mortgage AI/ML/RPA/OCR, our unique business model will produce an increase in revenue for you of 400-500%+ over traditional software integrations. Interested JV partners can contact Alan Bercovitz or schedule an intro meeting here.”

When you #LandAtPlanet, our mission is your mortgage career! Increase purchase volume with niche products targeting today’s market challenges. Bridge loans let borrowers buy while they live in and sell their current property. Cash 4 Homes gives buyers cash-offer power. Bank statement loans reach gig economy and self-employed workers. Construction loans give dream-home seekers one-time close. Manufactured housing and ADU home loans deliver affordability. Once you gain new customers, keep them for life. Planet retains the majority of our servicing and includes your name and image on monthly statements. Reach out to Planet’s VP Talent Acquisition Peter Briggs (435-709-6278) to find out more about working for Planet: a true partner to you in your mortgage career.”

Success is contagious at Caliber Home Loans and Newrez, where you can join a roster of seasoned veterans and proven winners. The numbers don’t lie: Together, we recently ranked fourth for Inside Mortgage Finance’s Top 50 Firms in Owned Mortgage Servicing for the fourth quarter of 2022. Not only that, but we are the only distributed Retail company to land in the top 15. With over 3 million servicing customers, we share existing customer leads with our retail loan officers… Is your company able to do the same? Don’t miss out on the opportunity to partner with us! To learn more about what we have to offer, contact Tina Jablonski.”

Lender and broker software, products, & services


When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, loans were basically walking themselves into underwriting. But in a post-mortgage-apocalypse world, loan officers must provide tangible value to reliably convert inquiries into applications and applications into loans. The only survivors will be those who have the tools to identify timely opportunities and win over borrowers. The TrustEngine Borrower Intelligence Platform (BIP) was built for just that purpose. Dubbed “the most essential addition to the mortgage tech stack since the advent of the loan origination system” by HousingWire, TrustEngine’s BIP offers lenders a competitive advantage so good, it’s almost unfair. Lightyears ahead of standard alerts and triggers, the platform helps lenders optimize processes, improve borrower experience and unlock the full potential of their tech stack. TrustEngine’s BIP is now available to select lenders in a limited beta release, so get it while it’s hot!

The coolest party at MBA servicing just got hotter. It’s going to be a busy week at MBA Servicing ‘23, and Team Sagent is bringing the heat. Come talk shop with a few of our key players at our booth (#700) or schedule some one-on-one time in our meeting room (Bayhill #17). And don’t miss two of our leaders, CLO Wendy Lee and SVP, Product Management, Derek Meadows, who will take the stage at Servicing to share expert insight on data privacy and quality servicing transfers. And last (but certainly not least), Sagent is back again with the coolest party at MBA Servicing, but this time, we’re turning up the temperature with an exclusive party on 2/22 @ 6:30PM at Cuba Libre that is guaranteed to light a fire during this year’s conference. You won’t want to miss out, so click here to learn more about what else we’ll be up to at #MBAServicing23.

Keeping an award-winning garden requires the best tools and an eye for planning. In a rapidly evolving mortgage landscape that is difficult to plan for, loan compliance certainty is more important than ever. From using the right document, to choosing a signing and closing method, to providing lien services, Wolters Kluwer ensures you have all the tools you need to maintain compliance at your disposal. With professional document preparation, a full suite of integrated eClosing services, professional lien for multiple lines of business, and compliance analytics, you can significantly reduce compliance risk and empower your mortgage lenders to focus on what really matters: building borrower trust. Plan to grow a stunning mortgage “garden” to harvest. Learn more from an expert today.

If you’re like most of the industry, you’re probably doing more with less. Yet, your HMDA LAR is still due, and the March 1 deadline will be here before you know it. Preparing your LAR for submission takes time. Fortunately, Firstline’s team of HMDA pros will get it done for you with fast, friendly service. Don’t wait until the last minute! Contact Firstline Compliance, the mortgage compliance experts, to see how inexpensive and effective your HMDA scrubbing can be.

Rocket Pro TPO believes that UWM’s Ultimatum was one of the worst things to happen to independent mortgage brokers in 50 years – limiting choice for both brokers and their clients through contracts. To put power back in brokers’ hands, Rocket Pro TPO introduced Bully Shield, a new program that indemnifies brokers who choose to work with Rocket – or even Fairway. This includes covering the anticompetitive Ultimatum penalties and resulting court costs that UWM attempts to hold over brokers. Reach out to Rocket if you are looking to get out from underneath UWM’s suffocating agreement. As Mike Fawaz said, enough is enough. Brokers deserve better. The clients of brokers deserve better. If you missed Rocket’s latest IGNITE Live event where Fawaz announced this initiative, check out the video here to see all the updates. As a reminder, Rocket Pro TPO is offering a VA 50 bps purchase incentive until March 5, 2023!

AmeriHome Correspondent is the largest bank-owned correspondent investor in the country and offers a full suite of Agency, Government and Specialty products, both delegated and non-delegatedAs a subsidiary of Western Alliance Bank, AmeriHome also offers Western Alliance Bank solutions to their clients, such as traditional warehouse lines, MSR financing, note finance and treasury management solutions. This powerful combination of resources makes AmeriHome/Western Alliance a “must-have” relationship!  Interested in learning more about the benefits of partnering with AmeriHome? Don’t miss your opportunity to connect with them at one of the many upcoming conferences across the country! Catch them at the upcoming MCT Exchange, Great River MBA Conference, MBA National Secondary Conference, Arizona MLA Annual Conference, CMBA Western Secondary Conference, NAMB National, and more! Check out their Upcoming Events page for more details and reach out to learn more about how AmeriHome could benefit your business. Western Alliance Bank, Member FDIC.

Have you heard the big news? The nation’s second largest credit union has selected the Black Knight MSP® loan servicing system. State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) will use MSP to enhance the experience of current and future members. With the addition of SECU, Black Knight now provides servicing technology to the nation’s three largest credit unions. No matter the size of your servicing portfolio, Black Knight’s scalable, integrated technologies, data and analytics create an end-to-end experience so you can exceed your customers’ expectations throughout the mortgage servicing journey. From convenient, self-service tools and easy-to-use workflows, to data and analytics that can assist during periods of hardship, Black Knight’s solutions are built to help you serve your customers. If you’re ready to start going the extra mile for them, make plans to meet with Black Knight from Feb. 21 – 24 during the MBA Servicing Solutions Conference and Expo in Orlando.

With the growing stability in the market and recent improvements in securitizations and spreads, non-QM loans continue to be an attractive option for borrowers and lenders alike. With Verus volume increasing in 2023, now is the perfect opportunity for originators to expand their loan offerings and increase their profits. Verus Mortgage Capital is the #1 investor in non-QM and is the sector’s indisputable leader. Take advantage of our financial resources and expertise so you can meet the unique needs of creditworthy borrowers while you grow with a new, profitable and sustainable source of business. With Verus’ flexible guidelines and expansive range of programs, we can help you succeed in non-QM. Now’s the time to get ready for the spring home buying season. Contact Jeff Schaefer, EVP, Correspondent Sales, or call 202-534-1821 to learn more.


Capital markets: biased toward higher rates


MCT’s experts provide an unmatched experience for secondary marketing professionals. While the company offers the most comprehensive capital markets platform in the industry, deep dedication to delighting clients is its hallmark. From market-driven content (the latest piece is a market commentary special feature on LLPA changes, Wells Fargo’s exit of the correspondent space, and the U.S. Treasury possibly defaulting) to holistic teams structured for lenders and investors of any size and sophistication, MCT is proactive in its approach to client engagement, constantly striving to earn its position as “your trusted capital markets partner.” Clients are the priority, not shareholders. Contact MCT today or sign up for its newsletter to stay tuned-in to the latest capital markets content.

Economists, Fed officials, and bond market traders are still ruminating over the recent inflation, jobs, and retail sales data. For example, the consumer price index rose 0.5% month over month and 6.4% year over year in January, according to the Labor Department, after a 6.5% year-over-year increase in December. “We must remain prepared to continue rate increases for a longer period than previously anticipated, if such a path is necessary to respond to changes in the economic outlook or to offset any undesired easing in conditions,” Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Lorie Logan says. What recession?

Yes, retail sales bounced back last month, rising 3 percent in January after declining in three of the prior four months. The largest increase in two years points to consumer resilience and upside risk to Q1 spending, though recent volatility takes some shine off this report. Combined with the CPI report showing the overall rate of inflation slowing just slightly, and separate measures of manufacturing coming in better than expected, the figures reveal an economy shunning the Fed’s efforts to rein it in.

I am heading from Spokane to Seattle this morning, thus the early commentary. But after Tuesday’s CPI reading, we will receive the Producer Price Index this morning, along with January Housing Starts, Building Permits, and weekly jobless claims. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices a touch better in price than Wednesday evening and the 10-year yielding 3.79 after closing yesterday at 3.81 percent.

Yesterday’s Commentary had a batch of age-related observations. From Arizona, Steve K. writes, “Here’s a few more of ‘Things you say after 60.’”

They have the best early-bird special in town.

Oh, you know the film….it’s the one with you-know-who from that show you like.

Anyone up for a game of canasta?

Oh, I’m not going all the way over there; it’s almost 5 miles!

Where do they find the energy?!

What did I have for breakfast? Hmmm….

Ugh…you call that music??!

Ronald Reagan. Now there’s a President for you.

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. “Valuing a Lender” is the current blog. 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 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 2023 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