Feb. 24: MLO jobs; servicing, customer service, decisioning, retention tools; events & training this week

(To listen to the audio version of today’s commentary with an interview with industry vet Joe Garrett, please click here.) There’s a cost to staying at home as much as we do. I went to the doctor the other day. She told me, “I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that your weight is perfect. The bad news is that you’re two feet too short.” What is the cost of you keeping a customer versus the cost of finding a new one? According to STRATMOR data, the average time to close a refinance loan is currently around 60 days, with many lenders (depository institutions in particular) experiencing cycle times in the 90 to 110-day range. How are originators supposed to delight borrowers when cycle times are out of control? It starts with setting the right expectations. Data from MortgageSAT, the Borrower Satisfaction Program with more than 260,000 borrower respondents in 2020, shows that one in five loans in Q4 failed to close within the expected time frame set by the lender, costing 57 points on the Net Promoter Score (NPS) – from 87 to 30. MortgageSAT Director Mike Seminari offers three suggestions to help set appropriate borrower expectations and mitigate long cycle times in his February MortgageSAT Tip.

Employment & transitions

“Track record of long employee tenure = Assurance Financial. Best tech stack in the mortgage marketplace = Assurance Financial. Exemplary record of servicing purchase money market MLOs = Assurance Financial. Incredible entrepreneurial branch manager business model = Assurance Financial. Community-service oriented in all markets with St. Jude as our philanthropy partner = Assurance Financial. Founded in 2001, licensed in 43 states, all agency approvals, not controlled by private equity, and growing in all markets. If you are an aggressive producing branch manager or senior mortgage loan officer considering another opportunity, contact Paul Peters, CMB to discuss a mutual opportunity or visit AssuranceMortgageLO.com to learn more!

FHLBank San Francisco announced its new leader: Teresa Bazemore. Teresa is its new President and CEO (starting in mid-March), after a lengthy and storied career at places like Prudential, Radian Guarantee, NationsBank, and Nextstar. She joins the long and growing list of people in our industry that announce retiring but then don’t. (Insert smiley face here.)

NewRez LLC announced that Michael Iorio has joined the Company as Senior Division Manager within the Joint Venture lending division.

Justin Demola, CMB is the new president of Lenders One, replacing Brian Simon, CMB, who resigned from his role as President of Lenders One to take on an executive role with a bank.

Lender, correspondent, & broker services and products

March is almost here, which means the deluge of mortgages and refis will only increase, forcing lenders like yourself to leave valuable loans on the table. Here’s the good news; Truework empowers you to verify anyone’s income or employment information quickly, accurately, and cost-effectively. With our tech-forward, fast verification platform and instantly verifiable network of 35 million employees (and growing), we are committed to tackling and completing any and all VOE/VOI requests. Additionally, we lead the industry in coverage for small and mid-sized companies, so you can verify hard-to-get employees, instantly. Get started on Truework today. And for a limited time, Rob Chrisman readers get 6 free Verifications ($240 value). Let us do the heavy lifting so you can focus on what matters. Set up time with Zackary Green now for questions and to claim this offer.

How do you keep overall customer satisfaction rates at 98% during the toughest year in a century? With a happy team doubling down on core values. It’s what helped TMS earn a record NPS score and positioned them for a great 2021. Read the TMS blog to see how it plans to have the same success in 2021 by staying committed to their people. Partner with TMS today.

MLOs, are you tired of working in your files and know you need to reconnect with referral partners? Are you ready to take control of your mortgage business so it doesn’t control you? When you coach with me, your business isn’t the only thing that expands: your life does too. Learn more about how I can help you take your business to the next level of success. Schedule your complimentary coaching strategy call or email us. “I’m excited to share my expertise in building high impact teams and mastering relationship strategies to expand your referral partner network so you can succeed in any market. Learn the key strategies and tactics that I used to achieve 7-figure success in my mortgage business, get your systems in place and learn to focus on the key activities that will drive your results!”

“Homeownership has long been a cornerstone of the American dream and the Correspondent Division of Citibank N.A. is dedicated to helping homeowners in underserved markets realize this dream. We are pleased to announce that Citi is the first mortgage investor to leverage ICE Mortgage Technology’s newest feature within the Encompass Product & Pricing Service™ (EPPS) that allows originators to drive Community Reinvestment (CRA) pricing incentives to the consumer at point of sale. EPPS is the mortgage industry’s only pricing engine to support CRA lending for participating mortgage investors, and those lenders doing business in underserved areas. This feature is now available to sellers and is the first of many new products and services the Citi team will debut in 2021. Learn how to be a part of this exciting growth with Citi by contacting our National Client Services Team today at 800-967-2205 or complete the Prospective Seller Questionnaire.”

Re: Ultra-Efficient Loan Pipelines… What would the impact of 1.5x, 2x or 4x efficiency be for your operations? This division of American Pacific Mortgage knows. They made their loan pipelines four-times (4x) more efficient with TeamworkIQ’s remarkably smart task-based workflows. Head of Operations, Indica Weatherwax, said, “Not only are we processing four-times the loan files every day compared to before, but we also now sleep better at night knowing that nothing can fall through the cracks.” TeamworkIQ streamlines loan pipelines by intelligently coordinating and prioritizing actions for mortgage teams. It tracks every detail, deadline, and document for every loan and can communicate with your POS+CRM+LOS. Without smarter tools teams can spend up to 75% of their workday tracking down information and figuring out what to do next. Combine that with high loan volumes and inevitably something gets missed. Eliminate wasted time. Detect issues before they become costly mistakes. Get efficient. Get TeamworkIQ.

It’s been almost a year since the world became enamored with Netflix’s “Tiger King” series and Carol Baskin became a household name. “Tiger King’s” popularity led it to overshadow another intriguing docuseries released around the same time, “McMillions.” Luckily, lenders who team up with Sales Boomerang, the #1 automated borrower intelligence and retention platform, don’t have to resort to con artistry to cash in on their own McMillions. “In the first 4 months we took in $180M in applications and we have about 100 LOs. That is a significant impact to our business,” says Katherine Campbell, Assurance Financial. Sales Boomerang notifies mortgage lenders the moment someone in their database is ready for a loan. Lenders using Sales Boomerang see an average 20-40% lift to loan volume and 65% borrower retention rate for around $299 per acquired loan — a 20x ROI. Claim your own McMillions with Sales Boomerang.

The upcoming ACES QC Now webinar series will feature industry expert Steve Spies on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 2:00 PM ESTReserve your seat! The Antidote for Audit Anxiety: Expert Advice on How to Prepare for a Regulatory Exam. The 30-minute webinar will cover common audit challenges, regulator audit scope deep dive, how to best prepare for an audit, current regulator focus, eliminating the stress with automating QC, and reporting on actionable data.

Stearns Wholesale recognizes the importance of an efficient, customized experience to serve more borrowers effectively and keep your referral partners satisfied with our Accelerator Program. In a recent release, Stearns Wholesale has reduced the minimum credit score from 700 to 620 on all Accelerator transactions up to 90% LTV. Streamlining the process and improving the price on popular scenarios with the same best-in-class fulfillment was the driving force behind this development. Better value, faster, sustainable. If you want to learn more about this exciting new update or partner with Stearns, click here to be contacted.”

With critical decisions at stake, capital markets professionals need the most robust data and modern technology to support their analysesBlack Knight provides proven, cutting-edge solutions to help optimize decisions. Developed specifically for users working with housing-related assets, our Rapid Analytics Platform℠ (RAP℠), for example, offers a unique, cloud-based data marketplace and decision-science studio. With RAP, you can immediately source Black Knight’s diverse, comprehensive data assets as well as add your own, and execute queries, create advanced analytics, and train machine-learning models. Our long-standing, trading-quality AFT℠ Prepayment and Credit Model leverages innovative modeling techniques and dynamic data collected directly from the source to quickly adapt to market shifts. And, our servicer-contributed McDash℠ data provides the most comprehensive loan-level data in any single source, with the option for daily delinquency, forbearance and payment data. Learn more how these and our other solutions can help you.

Are you looking to close more loans, faster? Capacity allows you to take care of your borrowers with superior customer experience and 24/7 automated support, all through a mobile-friendly chat interface. Capacity correctly and instantly answers more than 84% of all prospective and current borrower questions without any human intervention. Top lenders like AmeriSave, APM, and PRMG turn to Capacity to effortlessly tap into key systems throughout the entire loan life cycle. Want to hear more? Capacity makes scaling an organization easy by simplifying tasks in the UW Scenario Desk, Lock Desk, and Encompass Support Desk. Capacity reduces the level of human interaction required to answer expense and HR questions and to complete tasks for compliance requirements and document processing. Bottom line, Capacity allows you to take care of borrowers with superior customer experience and 24/7 automated support. Deploy within 30 days. Request a demo.

Lakeview Loan Servicing is pleased to announce that as of February 1, 2021, we are the proud Master Servicer for the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority (SC Housing) Palmetto Home Advantage program. A self-sustaining agency, SC Housing is committed to ensuring that residents have the opportunity to live in safe and affordable housing. Designed to serve both first-time and move-up borrowers, the Palmetto Home Advantage program offers down payment and closing cost assistance for both conventional and government loans. Become an approved participating lender today. Visit SC Housing for more information.”

Training, events, & membership opportunities to wrap up February

19 for 12 is back! The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) is running a special for the month of March. New members that join now can take advantage of 19 months of MBA membership for the price of 12 (7 months free!). MBA membership grants access to committees, information, education, research, and so much more. Membership also supports MBA’s highly successful legislative and regulatory advocacy programs. In 2020, MBA’s advocacy efforts secured numerous significant victories that helped members manage through COVID and address regulatory uncertainties: see for yourself. In 2021, MBA is already hard at work at both the state and federal level to defend and support the mortgage banking industry. For example, look at its campaign to secure greater flexibility for remote work options for MLOs and others engaged in licensed activities. This is just one example of their ongoing advocacy efforts. To learn more, contact Tricia Migliazzo, VP of Member Engagement (202-557-2858).

Attend a complimentary webinar for mortgage professionals today at 10AM PT: The State of the Economy & Key Strategies to Secure Your Investments and Build Wealth. Hosted by Cindy Ertman, CEO of The Defining Difference, with guest experts. Topics include the state of the economy, the future of interest rates, the health of the housing industry, and discuss key investment strategies for what you should be doing with your money and how to protect it.

October Research is bringing together three experienced experts to share their insights in the upcoming Getting to Know Your Regulators webinar today. Former CFPB Deputy Director and Alston & Bird Partner Brian Johnson, former CFPB Assistant Director of Enforcement and Goodwin Partner Tony Alexis and former Principal Deputy Enforcement Director and General Counsel for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Hunter Wiggins.

Candor and HW offer this moderated discussion with AFN, APM, and loanDepot tomorrow at 1PM CT which should shed more light on how Candor is providing a processing lift to lenders around the nation.

Here’s a free CFPB FinEx Webinar: CFPB resources for working with servicemembers and veterans on Thursday, February 25, from 2:00-3:00 pm ET. Join the webinar for an introduction to education and empowerment materials from CFPB’s Office of Servicemember Affairs. To view the presentation slides please join the event directly here. Event number: 199 082 2346.

The next California MBA Mortgage Quality & Compliance Committee (MQAC) webinar (sponsored by The Compliance Group) will answer question on social media compliance by covering one of the most timely topics for compliance/QA teams: social media compliance! Join on February 25th at 11 am (PST) with Philip Yee, SVP, Chief Marketing Officer at Plaza Home Mortgage and Mike Zastoupil, Sales Solutions Specialist at Black Knight.

Partners Credit is sponsoring this Friday’s edition of The Mortgage Collaborative’s Rundown, and Tracey King will be co-hosting! Tracey, Rich Swerbinsky, the COO of The Mortgage Collaborative, and I will be discussing current events in the mortgage market for 30 minutes on Friday the 26th at 3PM ET in, “The Rundown with Rob and Rich.”

MBA Education continues to deliver webinars, complimentary to MBA members, like Commercial/Multifamily: Market Distress and Loan Workouts – February 24, Compliance in a Rapidly Changing Servicing Environment – February 24, MAA Quarterly Webinar: February 2021 – February 25, Achieving Touchless Mortgage Automation: Insights from Industry Experts – March 3, and Multifamily Real Estate Financial Crimes Training – March 10.

Capital markets

While the global “reflation trade” (with bonds selling off and commodities rising) has been the norm lately, U.S. Treasuries ended yesterday on a mixed note after a volatile start. Money flowed out of equities to start the day, but we then saw the release of a better-than-expected Consumer Confidence report for February, where attitudes about current conditions improved for the first time in four months, aided by some improvement in the view of the labor market. The release of Fed Chairman Powell’s prepared remarks that were delivered to the Senate Banking Committee reiterated that any changes to the Fed’s bond buying plans will be communicated well in advance, which provided welcomed certainty for investors. The day’s $60 billion 2-year note auction was met with soft demand ahead of today’s $61 billion 5-year note sale. The FHFA Housing Price Index increased by 1.1 percent month-over-month in December after increasing 1.0 percent in November, while the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index rose 10.1 percent year-over-year in December, more than expected. Housing is strong!

Today sees Fed Chair Powell back on The Hill to testify on the monetary policy report before the House Financial Services Committee. Two other Fed speakers (Governor Brainard and Vice Chair Clarida) are scheduled to make appearances elsewhere. On the data front, we’ve seen that mortgage applications decreased 11.4 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending February 19. Later this morning brings new home sales for January and that $61 billion 5-yr Treasury note auction. Today’s MBS purchase schedule by the Fed is the largest of the week with the Desk scheduled to purchase $7.6 billion over three operations, including over $6.2 billion in UMBS30s. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices down/worse .250 and the 10-year yielding 1.38 after closing yesterday at 1.36 percent.

For some Hump Day R&R, thank you to Carey A. who asks, “Can you guess the city from a virtual walk around the streets?” (Hint: start easy, like in the United States.)

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