Feb. 26: Ops and production jobs; lender & bank mergers, acquisitions, and production shifts; upcoming events & training

Here in North Dakota, at -9 degrees this morning, appraising properties is a walk in the park, right? What about for appraisers in the Lake Erie area where there’s a land-yacht? And then we have this little tax snafu where property taxes weren’t paid on half the house. You just can’t make this stuff up! There are plenty of mortgage & bank moves out there you can’t make up either, with a list below of news from PHH, Chase, FBC, Bank of America, Stifel, and others.


Out in southern California, First Mortgage Corporation is looking for an Operations Manager. This person reports directly to the President and her/his duties will include overseeing the flow of the origination process through to closing. Direct reports will include the supervisors of Processing, Funding, Shipping, and Insuring. Founded over 40 years ago, FMC is based in Ontario, CA and is California’s 5th largest FHA originator. If you’re looking for a long term opportunity, please send your resume to Clem Ziroli Jr. for a confidential interview.


And Caliber Home Loans is continuing to expand and is now hiring highly skilled Branch Managers and their teams as well as individual LOs in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. “If you can imagine a mortgage company where sales are the main focus, marketing is robust and plentiful, servicing is retained and leadership listens… You have just imagined Caliber Home Loans, Inc.  Caliber Home Loans is dedicated to providing their sales force with the most cutting edge sales tools, marketing and customer retention platform in the industry. With a servicing portfolio of over $60 billion and growing, a fulfillment team committed to getting your loans closed quickly and accurately, and the recent acquisition of Cobalt Mortgage, Caliber Home Loans is primed and ready for major growth in 2015.” Contact Bobbi Jo Wiggins, Senior Sales Recruiter, for a confidential conversation or interview.


At the branch level Greg Frost is looking for a few more Branch Partners. “Yes, it’s the same Greg Frost who was the mortgage industry’s first billion dollar Loan Originator and current popular motivational sales trainer. Greg’s organization currently has Branch Partners in New Mexico, Arizona, California, Colorado, Texas, South Dakota, Illinois, Iowa and Mississippi. If you’re operating in one of these states, and would like to investigate his very profitable Branch Partner business model, just click here to schedule a confidential conversation with Greg. Imagine working with and being mentored by one of the industry’s’ most prolific mortgage professionals. Click Here now.”


What events & training are there of note coming up?


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 10AM – 1PM 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.”


Richey May, the leading public accounting firm serving the mortgage industry, will be hosting its 6th annual Mortgage Banking Roundtable in Denver on June 2nd and 3rd. “This event brings together the leaders and executives of independent mortgage banking companies throughout the country, and provides a format that encourages the sharing of ideas and open discussion among attendees on the most current topics and trends affecting the industry. This year Dave Stevens will offer the keynote and answer questions, and I will lead and moderate a panel focused on alternative financing.” If you’re interested in attending, please reach out to Dustin Pfluger.


The California MBA has partnered with Pepperdine University to re-design its annual Future Leaders Program, which now includes a customized leadership and academic component.  Applications (must be a member of the California MBA) are being accepted through Wednesday, March 4!


National MI recently added a Homebuyer Education course to its offerings. This online course will help first-time homebuyers navigate the home buying process, from how to qualify for a mortgage at affordable terms, to where to find a homebuyer assistance program. Upon completion, the borrower will receive a HBE certificate, which is a requirement with the recent expansion of 97% LTVs.


Register now for a webinar on New RESPA/TILA Integrated Disclosures provided by the CMBA and the California Land Title Association. Click the link to register for this March 4th event.


Chase is conducting a webinar on March 5th, Mortgage Fraud: Detecting Income and Employment Misrepresentation. During this webinar, Chase subject matter experts will utilize examples of income, employment and tax documents to walk through: Red Flag Detection and Documentation Authentication. Register here.


Chase is also offering underwriting training opportunity on March 11th: Analyzing Credit and Liabilities with session topics to include: assess credit history, review credit report requirements, debt analysis guidelines, collecting acceptable documentation, available resources and tools. Register Here.


The FHA has training opportunities being offered as a series of webinars. Webinar I: Overview HUD Early Delinquency Activities and Loss Mitigation Programs on Wednesday, March 4th. FHA’s National Servicing Center will provide an overview of FHA-Approved Servicer requirements including: early delinquency activity, timelines, general loss mitigation, and collection best practices. Register here for Webinar I. Webinar II.1: HUD Loss Mitigation – Home Retention Options on Wednesday March 11th. FHA’s National Servicing Center will provide guidance on HUD’s Loss Mitigation Home Retention Options – Special Forbearance and Loan Modification. Topics include: the features and benefits of each option; how to review, qualify, and process each option; and the actions required to comply with HUD. Register here webinar II.1.


Webinar II.2: HUD Loss Mitigation – Home Retention Options (FHA-HAMP) on Wednesday, March 25th. FHA’s National Servicing Center will provide guidance on HUD’s FHA-HAMP Loss Mitigation Home Retention Option. Topics include: how to review, qualify, and process the FHA-HAMP option; and the actions required to comply with HUD. Register here webinar II.2. Webinar III: HUD Loss Mitigation – Home Disposition on Wednesday, April 1st. FHA’s National Servicing Center will provide guidance on HUD’s Loss Mitigation Home Disposition Options – The Pre-Foreclosure Sale Program, and Deed-in-Lieu. Topics include: the features and benefits of each loss mitigation home disposition option; how to review, qualify, and process each option; and the actions required to comply with HUD. Register here webinar III.


The Michigan Mortgage Lenders Association (MMLA) is having a large Sales Symposium on March 19 in Howell, Michigan. Several industry folks are on the agenda to speak and there will be a vendor expo with this event.


SNL Financial is hosting its 4th Annual Community Bankers Conference April 15-16 in Sunny Florida. This event includes successful community bank executives, board members, regulators, consultants, and Wall Street professionals offer their visions of and opinions on strategic issues facing community banks.


Turning to a smattering of company-specific news…


Morgan Stanley said it will pay $2.6 billion to the U.S. government to resolve potential claims stemming from the sale of mortgage bonds before the financial crisis, reducing its 2014 profit by more than half. Morgan Stanley said it settled with the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California on Wednesday.


MetLife Home Loans will pay $123.5 million to settle allegations that MetLife Bank knowingly originated and underwritten bad quality mortgage loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration.


PHH Mortgage has made a big shift from correspondent into retail and opening six new retail sales centers throughout the country. BofA disclosed plans to cut an additional 116 mortgage-related jobs in the Dallas area, bringing the total recent layoffs there to 177 lost jobs. In addition, Long Island’s Newsday reports 53 Bank of America mortgage-servicing employees will lose their jobs in Jericho NY. Earlier this month, BofA said it would cut 250 mortgage-servicing jobs in Charlotte, plus 200 jobs at a servicing center in Norfolk, VA. And Chase plans to cut roughly 300 branches (5%) by the end of 2016 as well as some employees at these branches as it moves more into private banking.


Brothers Joe and Robert Nunziata announced that they are buying back their Orlando-based residential mortgage lender firm, FBC Mortgage LLC, from Sterne Agee Group. The Nunziatas and a group of FBC Mortgage executives, employees and former FBC Investors formed Pine Court Holdings LLC, which is buying FBC Mortgage for an undisclosed amount. When the transaction closes – probably next month – the executive management team will continue to be based in Orlando and will retain the FBC Mortgage name.


Speaking of Sterne Agee, Stifel Financial Corp. announced that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire Sterne Agee Group, Inc., one of the oldest and largest privately owned financial services firms in the nation. Sterne Agee bolsters Stifel’s Global Wealth Management segment with the addition of approximately 730 financial advisors and independent representatives nationwide managing over $20 billion in client assets, and complements Stifel’s Fixed Income platform, adding depth and capabilities.


And banks continue to merge. In the last week or so we learned that Horizon Bank ($2.1B, IN) will acquire Peoples Federal Savings Bank of DeKalb County ($470mm, IN) for $73.1mm in cash and stock. Five Star Credit Union ($318mm, AL) will acquire Farmers State Bank ($43mm, GA). The parent company of The Union State Bank ($250mm, KS) and The City National Bank and Trust Co of Guymon ($184mm, OK) will acquire RelianzBank ($51mm, KS). In Minnesota Northview Bank ($248mm) will acquire State Bank of Park Rapids ($98mm). Community Bank System, Inc. (NYSE: CBU) and Oneida Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: ONFC) announced the signing of a definitive agreement pursuant to which Community Bank System, Inc. will acquire Oneida Financial Corp., parent company of Oneida Savings Bank in Oneida, NY, for approximately $142 million in Community Bank System stock and cash.


Matt Martin Real Estate Management LLC (MMREM), a diversified national real estate services firm, has announced that it has executed a definitive agreement to acquire a leading online real estate auction company, RealtyBid.com. MMREM offers real estate asset management services, valuation, title, property and note acquisition, due diligence services, property preservation and inspection, HOA research and curatives services, and more. For additional information, view MMREM website.


Turning to the markets the deluge of housing numbers continues to be announced. Yesterday we learned that New Home Sales were +.2% in January with a median sales price of $294,300 versus the average sales price of $348,300. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of January was 218,000 – a 5.4 month supply – and the median size of completed homes last year hit a new record of 2,415 square feet. In a separate release we learned that the share of loans on which foreclosure actions were started in the fourth quarter was 0.46 percent, down from 0.54 percent a year earlier.


How would you like to buy some German 5-year bunds? They have a negative yield. Germany sold 3.28 billion euros ($3.72 billion) of negative-yielding five-year bunds yesterday, marking the first time ever where investors will pay to lend money to Germany. The Greece story seems to have been resolved in the mind of the market, at least for the next 4 months. Here in the U.S. the yield curve continued to flatten, with 10’s and 30’s being strongly bid. Fed Chair Janet Yellen said nothing significant Wednesday about monetary policy or the economic outlook. She spent most of her time defending the Fed as an institution and its relationship with the Obama Administration.


We have a lot of news today, including Initial Jobless Claims, January Consumer Price Index and Durable Goods. We will also have more housing numbers with the December FHFA Housing Price Index, and then a $29 billion 7-year note auction at noon North Dakota time. As a proxy for U.S. rates we had a 1.96% close on the 10-yr Wednesday and now it is at 1.94%; agency MBS prices are better by roughly .125.



Part 4 (of 5) of “You know you’re Italian” when…

Sunday dinner was at 2PM sharp. The meal went like this…

The table was set with everyday dishes. It doesn’t matter if they don’t match. They’re clean; what more do you want? All the utensils go on the right side of the plate and the napkin goes on the left.

A clean kitchen towel was put at Nonna’s & Papa’s plates because they won’t use napkins.

Homemade wine and bottles of 7-UP are on the table.

First course, Antipasto…

Change plates.

Second course, macaroni.

All pasta was called macaroni…

Change plates.

Third course, roast beef, potatoes and vegetables…

Change plates.

THEN, and only then – NEVER AT THE BEGINNING OF THE MEAL – would you eat the salad drenched in homemade oil & vinegar dressing…

Change plates.





(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