Feb. 19: Jobs & opportunities; upcoming training & events; OB & Google “compete” with CFPB’s rate checker? Elizabeth Warren & community banks

Quicken Loans recently released its monthly Home Price Perception Index (HPPI) and Home Value Index (HVI). According to the HPPI, appraiser’s home value estimates are only 1.43% more than homeowner’s opinions per the national composite, indicating that the home value estimate gap between appraisers and homeowners is tightening. (I don’t know if that means both are wrong, both were wrong, or one or the other was or is wrong. Maybe there is no wrong or right.) December was also the sixth consecutive month where home value opinions narrowed. Appraisers in more than 77% of the cities surveyed by Quicken Loans maintain higher opinions of home values than homeowners. Baltimore, Maryland and Chigo, Illinois were the two cities where home value estimates between appraisers and homeowners were more comparable. In Baltimore, appraiser values were 0.46% higher than owner estimates and appraised values were 0.14% lower than homeowners’ opinions in Chicago.


Northeast Ohio based lender, NLC Loans, is expanding their footprint and is searching for experienced support employees. A Ginnie Mae Issuer and Fannie Mae Seller/Servicer licensed in 48 states, NLC Loans is looking for key positions such as west coast underwriters, pre-funding auditors, and seasoned Encompass administrators. For a full list of employment opportunities please visit NLC. If you are interested in joining a vibrant, creative, and efficient team, please confidentially e-mail Eric Roman.


Homeward Residential announced its newest addition to Homeward’s growing team, Timothy King, Regional Sales Manager for the Wholesale and Emerging Banker division covering the West Coast and Northwest markets. “Tim has an exceptional track record as a Regional Manager and Account Executive. He is responsible for over $7 billion in funded residential mortgage volume since 2001. We are currently expanding in Tim’s West Coast and North West Region! Our recruiting team would like to connect with experienced AEs that would like to learn more about this exciting opportunity with us as we grow our footprint!” Homeward Residential is a FNMA, GNMA and Freddie Mac seller/servicer approved and licensed to do business in 48 states. Contact Dena Linzay to discuss opportunities with Homeward.


Mortgage Search & Acquisition (MSA), is currently representing a variety of lenders seeking to acquire small to mid-sized privately held mortgage banking entities. Tami Coffey, MSA President, commented, “We have been retained by a handful of national lenders to assist them in expanding their footprint via acquisition. Location is not important although our greatest need is in the Midwest and from Texas west to the coast. We are looking for firms ranging in size from $500mm-$2billion in annual production with at least 80% of volume comprised of retail originations. Our clients have a variety of different and financially aggressive solutions for lenders seeking to continue doing business with their existing teams.”  Interested parties should contact Tami Coffey.


And here is a note regarding next week’s MBA National Mortgage Servicing Conference & Expo. “As we look to the upcoming servicing conference in Dallas next week, I’m excited to see what the sessions have in store. I continue to see master servicers deficient in their oversight of their servicing department or sub-servicer. HUD guidelines clearly state the audit criteria for servicing QC in chapter 7; however, most lenders are unaware of how to properly perform the audits. Subsequent QC, the servicing QC arm of MQMR, is attending the conference and will be happy to speak with master servicers about implementing an oversight program. Here’s a primer for your readers, or you can reach out to Angela E. Watson to meet at the conference.


While we’re talking about upcoming conferences and training sessions…


Nine of the nation’s top producing loan originators are continuing to share their insights and best practices at the upcoming Top Producer Round Table event series that continues Feb. 23-27 in San Ramon, Portland, Seattle, Scottsdale and Vegas. The series goes on to New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC in March. The events are from 10:00am – 1:00pm local time, and feature a packed agenda with back-to-back presentations and live Q & A.  Top Producer Round Table is designed to “inspire originators with best practices from top producing loan originators from different parts of the country, and a 60-day plan of action to implement. Topics include how to save time and create more efficiency in your loan process, how to grow Realtor relationships in light of the CFPB’s recent rulings on MSAs, and how to diversify your sources of business to include CPAs attorneys and financial advisors.”


In San Jose, on Friday 3/13, Silicon Valley CAMP will host a session on an overall view of the secondary market:  how rates work, how markets move, what kinds of debt there are, why different companies post different prices, and much more, visit SiliconValleyCamp for more details.


Freddie Mac has the following training events offered during the first quarter of 2015Freddie Mac Campus: Costa Mesa, CA, March 9-12, The Power of Strong Underwriting  – In this 2-day workshop, you will gain an overall understanding of Freddie Mac’s underwriting guidelines and policy changes for credit, capacity, collateral, quality control and fraud. Increase or reinforce your expertise and knowledge to improve your underwriting practices. Home Possible Mortgages  available dates: During this interactive 90-minute webinar, you can learn about how our innovative mortgage options can help first-time homebuyers, move-up borrowers, retirees, families in Underserved Areas, new immigrants, and very low- or low- to moderate-income borrowers. We’ll also present Home Possible Advantage, a responsible mortgage option offering more flexibility for maximum financing.


Freddie has more. Loan Coverage Advisor   available dates: Attend this 90-minute webinar to learn about Loan Coverage Advisor, a flexible web-based system that enables you to track selling representation and warranty relief dates for loans sold to Freddie Mac based upon the selling representation and warranty framework. Construction Conversion & Renovation Mortgages   available dates: attend this 90-minute interactive webinar to get the information you need to originate and document these mortgages that benefit borrowers preparing for construction conversion and those in need of home renovation funds. This session will provide an overview of transaction and documentation requirements for the permanent mortgage replacing interim construction financing.


The 32nd Annual Regional Conferences MBA will be held in Atlantic City, March 8-12. Discussing Housing Policy and Enforcement: What We Might See Leading up to 2016? The Panel for this event includes: Brian Montgomery formerly FHA Commissioner, Rob Couch, former HUD Counsel, Joe Murin past President, Ginnie Mae, and Mike Vitali Loan Logics and former VP TBI Mortgage. The conference will include the following options for education opportunities: Commercial Property March 8-12, Residential March 10-12, and Combo Commercial Property/Residential March 8-12. Follow the link for details and registration forms. Pre-registration Closes Monday, March 2, 2015.


Uh oh! The CFPB’s consumer rate shopping tool has some competition out there. Missing, of course, is any semblance of thinking that the experience of the company or originator adds to the borrower’s experience…


Optimal Blue rolled out its Originator Plus. “Get answers with a click! Results include your Investors’ rates, LO Comp, fees, MI and eligibility & guidelines all priced in one place. Automatically monitor your entire pipeline, with both loan officer and borrower alerts when specific prices or rates are achieved, or when a specific borrower’s rate improves. Disseminate personalized and current borrower pricing automatically for your entire pipeline of prospects. Generate Open House Flyers with current rates at the touch of a button for your real estate agents. Online Consumer PreQualification & Application – Instant and accurate pricing and personalized 1003 application directly on your website. Optimal Blue products allow you to thrive in a purchase market.”


And Bobby Welch sent this. “Google started something that may have some big implications as it catches on for mortgage companies. Try this for yourself.  Go to Google and type in, ‘how much can I afford at 3000 a month.’ You’ll note that it instantly comes up with an interest rate estimate and a monthly payment for a 30 year loan. You can click the arrow next to the term and a drop down lets you select a new term, which pulls a new rate for that term along with the new payment. No APR or closing costs are quoted. It’s an interesting tool for a homebuyer but what hit me was the rate shopping implications. Depending on how the rates are calculated, it brings instant and easy transparency in what current rates might be each day. If it turns out to be a credible average – smart consumers will use that in comparing interest rates as the tool catches on. Used to be a consumer might shop a handful of lenders then settle with one but this might make tracking of rates over time simpler for them and creating more rate pressure. It’s Google, so even if the tool isn’t 100% on target today, chances are it will evolve.  Transparency is increasingly the competitive norm in business.” Thanks Bobby!


Banks continue to merge and acquire, shuck and jive. Security First Bank announced the execution of a definitive agreement for the merger of Security First Bank into Los Angeles based SunPac Financial. In North Dakota the parent company of North County Bank ($64mm) and American Bank Center ($1.2B) will acquire United Community Bank of North Dakota ($308mm). And after much anticipation ViewPoint Bank has completed the acquisition and merger with LegacyTexas Bank. ViewPoint chose to retain the name LegacyTexas Bank. Viewpoint Bank Warehouse Division, now known as LegacyTexas Bank Warehouse Division, will continue to serve its current clients and future relationships with even greater financial strength. The newly formed entity has a financial position in excess of $6 billion. (If you have any questions, please contact Jerry Davis, Managing Director, or Martha Reitz, SVP, LegacyTexas Bank Warehouse Division.


In a recent speech Doreen Eberley (the FDIC Director of the Division or Risk Management Supervision) said community banks represent 93% of all banks in the US, hold 14% of banking assets and account for about 45% of all small loans to businesses and farms originated by banks. She also said the examination interval should be extended to 18 months for well run and well rated banks with total assets of less than $500 million. Go Doreen – wouldn’t that be good news?!


Speaking of banks, in spite of the increasing M&A, Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has said she is “skeptical” of claims that community banks needed relief from regulations imposed by the Dodd-Frank Act, citing profit statistics for the past year. Although moderate Democrats have shown some sympathy for community banks, Warren’s comments may derail talk of bipartisan reform. Yet a report from Harvard University finds community banks with assets <$10B have seen their market share (based on assets) fall 12% since the Dodd Frank Act passed in 2010 and C&I loans fall 23%. Technology advancements, low interest rates, low margins, heavy regulation and high compliance costs were all cited as contributors to the decline.


Turning to the markets, with all this chatter about Greece, it is good to remember to that its GDP is about the same as Arizona’s. But the overreaching concern is the impact on Europe and critics say that what is happening is inevitable since it is impossible to have an economic union and not a political or philosophical union. Greece, by the way, “blinked” and is open to a bailout.


Here in the U.S., anyone who is basing their business model on interest rates had better dust off their Ouija Board. Yesterday things improved somewhat after the FOMC minutes certainly moved rates, and 30-yr agency MBS prices finish up/better 1/4 to 1/2 point. That was then, this is now, and here in the U.S. we had weekly Initial Jobless Claims (304k down to 283k – more job improvement). Later we’ll have January’s Leading Economic Index (+0.5% prior) and February Philly Fed index (+6.3 last). We had a 2.07% close on Wednesday on the 10-yr, and in the early going we’re at 2.09% with agency MBS prices worse a shade.



PHONE REPAIR: Lawrence, Kansas.

A Kansas farm wife called the local phone company to report her telephone failed to ring when her friends called and that on the few occasions, when it did ring, her dog always moaned right before the phone rang.

The telephone repairman proceeded to the scene, curious to see this psychic dog or senile lady.

He climbed a telephone pole, hooked in his test set, and dialed the subscriber’s house. The phone didn’t ring right away, but then the dog moaned and the telephone began to ring.

Climbing down from the pole, the telephone repairman found:

  1. The dog was tied to the telephone system’s ground wire with a steel chain and collar.
  2. The wire connection to the ground rod was loose.
  3. The dog was receiving 90 volts of signaling current when the number was called.
  4. After a couple of jolts, the dog would start moaning and then urinate.
  5. The wet ground would complete the circuit, thus causing the phone to ring.

Which demonstrates that some problems CAN be fixed by pissing and moaning.

Just thought you’d like to know.





(Copyright 2015 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