Feb. 20: HELOC, construction, compensation, & title products; lender’s digital borrower products

Morgan Stanley buying E-Trade is causing some chatter this morning, and last night’s Democratic debate had plenty of chatter. (Some would use a stronger term than “chatter.” By the way, here’s a quick, easy quiz about which candidate agrees with your views.) Our industry is filled with “chatter,” the latest example being rumors of PHH and Citi re-entering the correspondent channel. (One small mortgage banker retorted, “If they do, I hope that Citi doesn’t try to charge me a pair off fee on a best efforts lock like it did before!”) Perhaps the competition will lead to a better secondary market price for some loans for some lenders, and counteract some of the potential lost profits from FHA loans IF Chase and Wells return to offering that at the retail level. As the rumor world turns…

Lender services and products


As rates continue to drop, having a sound portfolio retention solution is critical to retaining your clients. At Sutherland, we have a proven turnkey solution that identifies at risk run-off and can support Servicers on all phases of the processConversational AI/Chatbots and Analytics to identify potential run off prior to departureOrigination, and fulfillment solutions to help you scaleCall Center solutions to aid in outbound and inbound calls in 12 different languages. With over 150 Customer Engagement Management Clients globally in 20 countries, Sutherland is uniquely positioned to expand your capabilities. If your attending the MBA Servicing Conference and would like to schedule a live Chatbot demo, email Neil Armstrong. For those of you unable to attend the conference, use the same email to schedule a call. Come see why Orlando’s largest employer, Disney, partnered with Sutherland to expand their customer experience.

Patty Arvielo, Co-Founder and President of New American Funding,  joins the “Clear to Close” Podcast for Ep 004 from Maxwell. The influential leader and the usual pod crew have an amazing discussion around diversity and inclusion in the mortgage industry, the impact it has in our day-to-day lives, the profitability booster it can be for businesses, and what the future holds for the industry. A great listen for all in the industry, download and subscribe from your favorite podcast platform: Apple, Spotify, Google Play, Soundcloud, or listen in your browser here.


SUCCESS STORY: Fay Servicing Increases Productivity by Over 500% Without Increase in Staff with ACES Audit Technology™. Once ACES was in place, Fay Servicing’s QC team felt the impact immediately on its audit efficiency and productivity, which included: Increased productivity by over 500%; A 200% increase in the number of audits conducted per month with room to grow; Create reports with a click of the button for investors, executives and regulators; Maintain high internal compliance scores; Expanding sampling and loan selection criteria data points from 300 to 2,000; and Increasing audit productivity without adding staff. “Due to the outstanding performance of the ARMCO Professional Services team, we were able to implement ACES within budget, at a higher quality than anticipated.” (Howard Cohen, Chief Risk and Compliance Officer at Fay Servicing.) READ FULL CASE STUDY


How are you different? The most successful mortgage brokers understand winning business is more than just selling a rate. You need to offer products, benefits and advice that go beyond just price. Brokers across America are differentiating themselves with QLMS’ YOURgage. This product lets you uniquely tailor loan terms by giving your clients choice of any term from eight to 30 years. Be different by presenting loan options that lower clients’ payments without going backward in term, or shortening the term without increasing their payments. This is one more way QLMS can help you provide differentiated value, in addition to savings. Call your AE now to run through a few more scenarios where your clients can benefit from a YOURgage, or for new brokers connect with QLMS here to learn about products to help your clients.


Are you going to the SFVegas Conference in Las Vegas Feb 24, 25, 26? Do you have a need for title searches, title QC or title diligence? If so, don’t miss the opportunity to discover how String Real Estate Information Services can help you increase profits, minimize risk and shorten cycle times. String, a SitusAMC company, is the largest independent provider of title searches in the country with a team 1100+ title search experts and a track record of 17+ years. Schedule time in Vegas with the String team to discover how String can help you lower costs and improve turn times with the most compelling value proposition in the industry: competitive pricing, a seamless integration with SItusAMC’s title diligence team and an ability to leverage 15E certifications for rated RMBS transactions. Don’t worry. We’ll keep the initial meeting brief. In less than 20 minutes, you will discover the power of String.

Investment in cutting-edge technology for TPOs and correspondents is a competitive differentiator for Home Point Financial that underscores the company’s dedication to the broker business. As the sales team grew to be 5x as big as its team of LOs, Home Point’s HR team realized it could no longer afford to manage the 40 different compensation plans on spreadsheets. That’s why they turned to LBA Ware’s CompenSafe. Download the free case study here to read the benefits Home Point gained by streamlining incentive compensation across consumer-direct, wholesale and correspondent channels with CompenSafe.

GSF Mortgage Corporation (GSF) announces the elimination of all fees associated with an interest rate float down for its Single Close Construction products. A complimentary float down analysis will be provided for all locked loans free of charge for both borrowers and lenders. In our falling rate environment, the full benefit of a lower interest rate will be automatically applied to reduce the original interest rate at the time of modification. In today’s market, the benefit may be as high as a .75 basis point rate improvement, with no additional costs included. GSF continues to innovate and develop its Single Close Construction product suite for those building homes today and in the future–including lender partners and shared clients. GSF is the only lender in the country offering FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie 95 and Jumbo 90 Single Close Construction options. For more information, please contact Robert Stephens.

HELOC originations are expected to increase by 3.4% in 2020. Is your bank or credit union ready? Learn how to navigate the world of home equity, including volatility in consumer appetite, disruptive online competitors, and elevated consumer expectations. Get prepared with a Digital Lending Platform. Download the infographic.


Built, a leading provider of construction finance software, has appointed Jim Fraser to lead its commercial real estate (CRE) construction finance practice. As the Director of CRE Strategy, Fraser will continue to expand Built’s commercial construction lender strategy, identify new channel opportunities, assist in product development and navigate regulatory requirements.

Rushmore Correspondent Lending Services, a division of Rushmore Loan Management Services, Inc. (RCLS) has added Beverly Sheehy in the mid-Atlantic region and Joe Molkeen in TX, OK, LA, and AR as its newest AEs to strengthen existing relationships and developing new partnerships for the company.

Newbold Advisors has added John Bordon, a 35-year mortgage industry veteran, as a Managing Director to focus on mortgage operations and technology and to pivot Newbold from primarily business consulting towards technology innovation in the mortgage industry.

California MBA free education

The California MBA has three great live (and FREE) webinars, something for almost everyone, premiering in the few weeks. Starting February 25, at 11 am (PST), the Legal Issues Committee will host a presentation on hot topics in class action litigation, featuring Sanford Shatz, Ashley Fickel, Jennifer Gray, and Ian Rambarran. The webinar will also include a short CFPB update from Richard J. Andreano. Next, on February 27 (11 am PST), the Mortgage Quality & Compliance (MQAC) Committee will present on “The Clock is Ticking: What Mortgage Lenders Should Do To Prepare for LIBOR’s Replacement,” featuring Michael Flynn and Jennifer Schachterle. Finally, on March 19th at 11 am (PST), the Mortgage Technology & Marketing Committee (MTAM) will host a webinar entitled “Consumer Controlled Data is King” and feature Brian Vieaux with Finlocker, PRMG’s Kevin Peranio, and Paul Diegelman with Fiserv. Click here to register.

Digital trends

Leave it to STRATMOR Group’s Sr. Partner Garth Graham to coin a new phrase — the mortgage mullet. In his new article in the February Insights Report, Graham draws on current data to illustrate where mortgage industry stands in the digital evolution, which leads to his mullet observation and that, “What’s going on above doesn’t always match with what’s going on below.” He analyzes origination costs and lender technology spend, what technology lenders are looking for and how satisfied they are with what they’ve bought and what the next big game changer will be in digital. Don’t miss “Digital Transformation: the World According to Garth” in STRATMOR’s February Insights Report.

National residential mortgage lender PrimeLending, a PlainsCapital Company, announced Loanplicity, a simple, streamlined and stress-free digital mortgage process. “Loanplicity is where home loans and simplicity unite, allowing borrowers to apply online, prequalify for a mortgage, safely upload personal financial documents, track loan progress, pay fees and ask questions at any point in the process. Loanplicity offers the best of both worlds to homebuyers – step-by-step guidance from an expert loan officer and digital convenience that eliminates most of the paperwork from the mortgage process.”

Cherrywood Mortgage, LLC, a national small-balance commercial mortgage lender and affiliate of Angel Oak Companies, announced the launch of Cherrywood – Portal Real-time Online (“C-PRO”). “This innovative commercial loan product tool and broker/client dashboard automates the prequalification process, calculates loan eligibility decisions instantly and allows registered brokers access to their loan pipeline with Cherrywood. This game-changing technology upends the small-balance commercial real estate industry by accelerating a formerly time-consuming process. Now brokers can get the answers and insights they need to grow their businesses autonomously.”

Allied Mortgage Group announced its partnership with AI Foundry, a provider of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) solutions, to develop “ARTificial Intelligence Employee” (“ARTIE”). The initial post-closing phase significantly reduces the time per file from nearly an hour to just minutes.

Capital markets

Over the last few months, three themes have emerged in the overall economy: the resilient US consumer, a weak industrial sector, and relatively benign consumer inflation. Last week’s economic data touched on all three. First, retail sales increased 0.3 percent during January with building materials and eater & drinking establishments seeing the largest increases. Recent gains in hiring and wages are expected to embolden consumers to continue their spending trends throughout the near-term. Looking at industrial production, which fell 0.3 percent in January, a mild winter and the much-maligned Boeing 737 MAX are taking their toll. Utility production dropped 4.0 percent while aircraft & parts plunged 10.7 percent. Going forward, disruptions to the supply chain will be in focus as China continues to deal with the coronavirus outbreak. Consumer inflation inched up 0.1 percent during January and was up 2.5 percent on an annual basis; still very much in line with the Fed’s target. Given current employment and inflation levels, it is not likely that the Fed will change the course of monetary policy anytime soon.

Low interest rates have helped U.S. stocks climb to record highs of late, but Treasuries reversed recent course to pull back slightly yesterday. It wasn’t a big move; the 10-year closed the day +1 bp to 1.57 percent. The news du jour came mostly from China. What else is new? Talk centered around stimulus measures, worsening geopolitical relations due to Washington classifying some Chinese media as government agents and American journalists being expelled from the country, and continued fears surrounding the coronavirus.

The Producer Price Index for January and core PPI were both well above expectations. Despite the large month-over-month increase, producer prices remain relatively tame on a year-over-year basis. The data did clarify that with the Consumer Price Index released last week, there wasn’t much pull through in January to the consumer side of things from the uptick in producer prices. And total housing starts declined in January, but were still well above expectations (registering over a 21 percent year-over-year increase), pushing the three-month average for starts to the highest level since January 2007. Building permits, a leading indicator, increased beyond expectations and were up nearly 18 percent year-over-year.

Today is already underway for markets, and we have had prints for Weekly Initial Claims for the week ending February 15 (+4k to 210k) and the February Philadelphia Fed Survey (36.7, strong); coming up is January Leading Indicators. There is some Fed speak, with Richmond Fed President Barkin taking the stage this afternoon. Separately, Treasury will auction $8 billion new 30-year TIPS. And call it QE or not, the NY Desk will conduct a UMBS30 FedTrade operation, which will target up to $667 million 2.5 percent ($277 million), 3 percent ($315 million) and 3.5 percent ($75 million). We begin today with Agency MBS prices better by .125 and the 10-year yielding 1.54 percent.

A politician visited a remote little rural village and asked the inhabitants what the government could do for them.

“We have two big needs,” said the village headman. “First, we have a hospital but no doctor.”

The politician stepped away, whipped out his cellphone, spoke for a while and then assured them, “I have sorted it out. A doctor will arrive here tomorrow. What is your other need?”

“We have no cellphone reception at all in our village.”

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, “How Epidemics Impact Lending” If you have the inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.


(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2020 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