Feb. 25: LO jobs; non-QM, workflow & profitability products; study on referrals; events & training coming up

When you hear “Midwest” what comes to mind? Missouri? Illinois? What about “Mideast?” Some place a long way from Missouri! “Rob, have you heard that the cost to originate a loan is different based on geography?” I have, but would be hard-pressed to prove what I heard, which is that the cost to originate in the Midwest is roughly $6,500 per loan versus the West where it is closer to $10k based on average loan balances and personnel costs. The national average is about $8,500, and the line items of cost can be found in the sample Performance Report found here.

Jobs, job change, promotions

If you believe your company should be providing you with stronger local support and a higher level of customer service for your clients, Firstrust Bank is interested in speaking with you. “We are looking for individual loan officers or retail teams in the PA/NJ markets. Firstrust Bank offers a diverse product menu that includes Portfolio, PHFA, USDA and FFD as well as an

aggressive compensation package. If you or your team is interested in making a move please reach out to SVP Mike Scheier. Firstrust Bank is a third-generation family bank, the largest family owned commercial bank in the region with an unbroken commitment to the Philadelphia market for over 85 years.”

Atlantic Coast Mortgage (ACM), based in Northern Virginia, represents the next generation of mortgage lending. If you are looking for a technology-centered, next generation lender, who is one of the top private mortgage banks on the East Coast, consider contacting Jon Coy, President of ACM, to learn more. ACM is adding Branch Managers and Loan Officers in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, North & South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. Founded and managed by top producing loan officers, ACM’s operation is one of the most successful and innovative mortgage banks nationally. Marketing automation, reasonable, and quick underwriting, Portfolio products, 24 hour a day on call branch support and a wide selection of products for Loan Officers and Producing Branch Managers.” If you are along the East Coast, contact Jon Coy, President and Co-Founder, for your confidential discussion today.

Bell Bank Mortgage named Lee Turner as VP/Market Manager “with a focus on recruiting, hiring and training residential mortgage lenders as Bell grows its mortgage branch network in Wisconsin.”

And Gateway Mortgage Group appointed Scott Henley as chief production officer, “responsible for supervising all strategic initiatives that push mortgage volume across the organization and leading the sales and operations function for both retail and correspondent lending.”

Lender products and services

Axos Financial, Inc. (NYSE: AX) continues to provide its business partners with unique Jumbo purchase money and cash-out programs. Our products distinguish us from other Non-QM lenders with features such as 100% financing, utilizing cross-collateralization, as well as bridge financing on listed residential properties, true Nonresident Alien lending, and transaction limits now increased to $25MM with no cash out restriction. Axos Bank applies common sense guidelines to today’s complex Super Jumbo landscape. Program features allowing for higher DTIs and leveraging post-close liquidity take the monotony out of today’s Non-QM landscape bringing your high net worth borrowers more suitable solutions. In addition to wholesale and correspondent lending, Axos Bank supports its partners with warehouse lines of credit, commercial loans and C&I lending. Contact Axos Bank today (833-307-1535).

“For startups and smaller businesses who have an interest in servicing loans, now’s the time to start. Squash the myth surrounding servicing. The big misconception, it’s hard to start or convert from a third-party servicer. It’s simpler with an advanced tool to help you. To stop this misconception, use an intuitive system that will deploy in weeks using a browser-based solution that’s Microsoft Hosting. Also, use a tool that manages all end-to-end servicing needs, including a complete digital experience for the customer to access payments, history, and data. One system that works in real-time and generates reports while reducing yearly servicing costs. MortgageFlex Systems provides this kind of support as well as, an automatic workflow queue-based system to save time. If your worry is a challenging long process, MortgageFlex can help ease your thoughts. Our system has a short learning curve with 24/7 support and access. Servicing made for all.”

Deephaven Mortgage continues to heat things up this winter by “amplifying” the impact of its Bank Statement Product, expanding the maximum LTV on their 1 Year Alt Doc program by increasing the LTV to 90% for clients with a 680+ FICO score. Deephaven is in the business of helping originators understand Non-QM. It’s time to get into the product line and get started with Deephaven today. Pricing engines, Identi-Fi tools, and Rate Sheets/ Matrices have been updated, and Deephaven is ready to help you. So, what are you waiting for? Get moving! Contact Wholesale or Correspondent.

“Pricing engine not locking correctly in your LOS? Final docs didn’t get automatically updated when the pricing changed? We can help. For a fraction of the cost of heavy, “legacy” platforms,  ReadyPrice can help you start or improve your channel and increase your profitability. The ReadyPrice all-in-one Pricing Engine, LOS and Wholesale CRM platform is fully configured out of the box, and up to 80% less expensive than other more cumbersome competitors. It comes complete with D1C, deep Fannie DU integrations and can be stood-up in a couple of weeks. The ReadyPrice LOS/PPE has funded over 300k units for $70 BILLION and is leading the way forward for today’s mortgage bankers as we ‘utilitize’ essential mortgage tech.” Call them at (408) 357–0931 or email hello@readyprice.com to get a free demo today.

Study on referral tactics

What — or who — drives borrowers to choose a particular lender? According to data from STRATMOR Group’s MortgageSAT Borrower Satisfaction Program, recommendations from real estate agents continue to be the number one reason borrowers choose their lender. The real currency of a referral relationship is in building trust through transparency and reliability. As we move deeper into a purchase market, with LOs (and by proxy, lenders) relying heavily on referrals for leads, lenders need to make every effort to ensure these relationships flourish.  In this month’s MortgageSAT TipSTRATMOR’s MortgageSAT Director Mike Seminari addresses the question, “What are the essential elements of keeping referral partners happy and referrals flowing?

Upcoming events and training

The California MBA’s Mortgage Technology & Marketing Committee (MTAM) free webinar: How technology is changing the life LO is set for February 27th.

As the number of self-employed borrowers steadily increases, join Freddie Mac for a free webinar on Thursday, February 28th to review the factors that can affect qualifying monthly income for the borrowers of the future.

National MI March training schedule includes: 3/6 5-Habits of Highly-Effective Salespeople – Session 1 of 5 – 11AM PST, 3/13 Oh, Shift! Session #6 – Personal Power – 12PM PST, 3/14 Tweet Others the Way You Want to Be Tweeted: A Guide to Twitter for Business, 3/20 Advanced Self Employed Borrower 10AM PST. To view the National MI full calendar for March trainings, click here.

The titling of manufactured homes can be a complex issue with nuances that vary by state. Join Fannie Mae in a session with Marc Lifset of McGlinchey Stafford on March 5th at 3PM ET as he reviews legal issues of MH with an emphasis on titling and the process of MH title conversion to real property, state titling laws that provide owners of MH the ability to title their homes as real property, and an overview of Fannie Mae’s new MH loan offering, MH Advantage, will also be provided.

Are you a C-level exec looking for a different conference experience? Tired of the rush of meetings with clients and vendors at industry events? Check out the California MBA’s

Annual Chairman’s Conference, on April 7-9 in San Diego (think warm, sunny weather…). This event is designed with the CEO/Company President in mind. In addition to hearing from top industry minds and inspirational speakers, you’ll be networking with and learning from colleagues in the mortgage industry who face the same challenges you face. Registration is limited only to “C-Suite” executives.

IMN’s 6th Annual Mortgage Servicing Rights Forum will be held April 15-16 at The Conrad Hotel in NYC. Don’t miss the opportunity to connect with other Investors, Servicers, and Originators.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is hosting its 20thAnnual Lenders Conference in San Antonio, TX, April 23-25. Join senior Loan Guaranty Service officials from both Washington, DC and the Regional Loan Centers to discuss a wide variety of topics related to the VA-Guaranteed Home Loan Program and the San Antonio Fiesta! If you’re considering expanding your footprint into the VA space, this is a must-attend for your senior leadership.

Have you registered for the TMBA 103rd Annual Convention: “Perspective: The Years Ahead” scheduled for April 28-30 in San Antonio? This year’s special keynote speaker is Dennis Miller, comedian, actor, political and sports commentator, best known as a cast member of “Saturday Night Live”. Please note, there are a limited number of tickets available for the VIP Meet and Greet with Dennis Miller. These will be made available on a first-come basis.

The NCBA has partnered with the American Bankers Association and other state banker associations to host the American Mortgage Conference. This event connects the leading experts in the financial services industry, policy makers, investors, and mortgage practitioners of every kind to discuss important issues in the mortgage field and to analyze what progress is being made in Washington. Registration is open for this premier mortgage conference scheduled for April 29 – May 1 at the Pinehurst Resort.

Capital markets

The U.S. 10-year closed last week yielding 2.66% in another snoozer ahead of today’s two Treasury note auctions and tomorrow and Wednesday’s semiannual testimony by Fed Chairman Jay Powell’s on monetary policy. Speaking of the Fed, we received multiple speakers to end the week, the most notable comments coming from Vice Chair Richard Clarida, who said that the Fed will consider new tools, like capping Treasury yields, that could be used to ease policy if needed. It is newsworthy because it suggests the Fed may not be as optimistic about the economic outlook as it would like the market to believe.

There’s a lot of scheduled news this week although the chances of any of it significantly moving rates are slim. (Despite the start of March on Friday, the February payrolls report is not due for release until next Friday.) Of interest to the MBS and structured finance markets will be the SFIG Vegas 2019 conference that kicked off yesterday and runs through Wednesday as GSE reform and the private label RMBS markets are expected to be key topics.

This morning we’ve had January Chicago Fed’s National Activity Index (sank to “-.43”). Next up is December wholesale inventories and sales, which are both expected to be unchanged. Fed Vice Chair Clarida and Dallas Fed President Kaplan will participate in a discussion together – their first of two public discourses throughout the day. Today the Treasury will auction $39 billion 6-month T-bills, $40 billion 2-year notes, $48 billion 3-month bills, and $41 billion 5-year notes.

Tomorrow brings December S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index, December Housing Starts and Building Permits, December FHFA Housing Price Index, and February Consumer Confidence. Wednesday sees the usual Weekly MBA Mortgage Index but also January Advance International Trade in Goods, Advance Retail/Wholesale Inventories, December Factory Orders, and January Pending Home Sales. Thursday’s releases include Q4 GDP figures, weekly Initial Claims and Continuing Claims, and February Chicago PMI. The week closes with December Personal Income and Spending data, February ISM Manufacturing Index, and Final February Michigan Consumer Sentiment. We begin today with Agency MBS worse a few ticks and the 10-year yielding 2.68%.

(Thanks to Jan M. for this one.)

Farmer Jack once lived on a quiet rural highway, but as time went by, the traffic slowly built up and eventually got so heavy and so fast that 3-6 of his free-range chickens were being run over every week.

So Farmer Jack called the local police station to complain. “You’ve got to do something about all these people driving so fast and killing all my chickens,” he said to the local police officer.

“What do you want me to do?” asked the policeman.

“I don’t care, just do something about those crazy drivers!”

So the next day the policeman had the council erect a sign that said, “SCHOOL CROSSING.”

Three days later Farmer Jack called the policeman and said, “You’ve still got to do something about these drivers. The school crossing sign seems to make them go even faster!”

So again, they put up a new sign: “SLOW: CHILDREN AT PLAY.”

That really sped them up. So Farmer Jack called and said, “Your signs are no good. Can I put up my own sign?” In order to get Farmer Jack off his back the policeman answered, “Sure. Put up your own sign.”

“The phone calls to the police station stopped, but curiosity got the better of the officer, so he called Farmer Jack, “How is the problem with the speeding drivers, Did you put up your sign?” “Oh, I sure did and not one chicken has been killed.”

The policeman was really curious and thought he’d better go out and take a look at the sign. He also thought the sign may be something the police could use elsewhere to slow drivers down. So he drove out to Farmer Jack’s house.

His jaw dropped the moment he saw the sign: “NUDIST COLONY! Slow down and watch for chicks!”

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 are You Going to Compete.” If you have both the time and 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 2019 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