Feb. 28: AE, LO, MI, CTO jobs; marketing, AMC, credit, servicing products; CFPB closes lender; Interview with Flagstar’s Lee Smith

“Life was much easier when apple and blackberry were just fruits.” But perhaps not as interesting. Here’s what happens when you put a West Coast MI rep on TikTok, sending out her message through the internet and technology. Meanwhile, the California MBA spread the word that, given the end of COVID’s emergency status, the DFPI’s “Guidance Regarding Remote Work” is posted on the internet. Here in Las Vegas, the ICE Experience is in full swing, and with it, technology talk abounds, as does how the cost per loan continues to rise despite tech tools. Certainly, compliance and regulatory costs enter into that (just like permitting and inspection costs enter into the cost of a new house), and we find our very Consumer Finance Protection Bureau making the headlines again; More below. (Today’s podcast can be found here and this week is sponsored by Built Technologies. Increase efficiency, streamline processes, and improve construction and real estate financing. Built connects lenders with key stakeholders to expedite funding and provide real-time deal visibility via a cloud-based digital platform. Today’s features an interview with Flagstar’s Senior EVP and President of Mortgage, Lee Smith, on Flagstar’s recent merger with New York Community Bank.)


Employment & transitions; IMB wanted


Enact MI (formerly Genworth Mortgage Insurance) is hiring. We have two open positions in the West Region: an Account Manager for Orange County, CA & an Account Executive for the Utah/Montana territory. The Account Manager role in the OC is open for the first time in 30 years, presenting a unique opportunity for the right candidate to come in and continue to manage this productive territory. The Account Executive in the Utah/Montana territory provides a great career path for an up-and-coming sales candidate to continue developing themselves in a well-established territory.” To learn more about these positions, visit the Enact Careers page here or contact Enact’s RVP Sales for the West Region Erin Kirkeeng.

“Welcome home” is an expression that is trending at Academy Mortgage as the company has welcomed over 50 new sales team members, 8 branches, and the TaylorMade Region in 2023. The company also continues to welcome back many familiar faces who have returned home to Academy. The addition of the TaylorMade Region expands Academy’s presence throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The TaylorMade Team solidified their decision to make the move to Academy based on the company’s culture, values, transparency, leadership, and the opportunity to grow personally and professionally. Academy is amping up its recruiting efforts with the recent appointment of Scott Starr as VP of Business Development and Recruiting. In his role, Scott oversees the recruiting, acquisition, and business development strategy to drive Academy’s strategic growth initiatives. With a background in origination and over 20 years in the mortgage business, Scott understands the needs of originators and branch managers looking to find a new home in the industry. Contact Scott Starr to find your forever home at Academy.

“Are you thriving or surviving? When asked how Churchill Mortgage withstands difficult times and thrives in healthy markets, COO, Matt Clarke, said, “Constantly focusing on our people.” Owned by the employees across the country, from originators to receptionists to leadership, everyone is on the team and has a voice. Churchill owners are laser-focused on the success of our company and well-being of our customers. This ethos is just one reason why we’ve been voted a Top Workplace for 11 consecutive years!  If this type of work environment and leadership mentality interests you, learn more about us here. We’re growing and would love to speak with you about opportunities in your area. Contact Jesse Vazquez or (214) 308-6177.”

“Are you looking for a new challenge and an opportunity to advance your skills and career in a great working environment? Do you have experience in the fintech space? An Austin-based fintech is looking for an experienced, ambitious Chief Technology Officer to lead its technology development and implementation. The CTO will be responsible for providing solid technical leadership in all aspects of our business and ensuring that the technology infrastructure and systems support our business goals. This person will be working with a talented cross-functional team to bring industry-leading solutions to market. Candidates must be well-versed in current financial market and technology trends as well as modern software development practices, cloud computing and containerization. Want to learn more? Send your resume to us.

Non-QM + CDFI Wholesale lender, Champions Funding, is hiring highly seasoned Non-QM Account Executives to offer its flagship “No Ratio” loan program alongside its comprehensive Alt-Doc and DSCR options. Join a team led by notable leaders in the mortgage industry such as CEO Evan Stone, President Natalie Verrette, and EVP Sales, Kimberley Torres. Their mission is to empower its team members to maximize their growth potential with the newly launched, seamlessly and beautifully designed, HERO broker portal, a CRM with prospecting leads opportunities, no territory restrictions, and predictable fulfillment with 24 hour turn times. Contact Kimberley Torres for a confidential conversation.

National Mortgage Lender Looking to Acquire IMB: A leading privately-owned national mortgage lender is seeking to acquire a thriving IMB. With over 130 retail branches nationwide, this lender services $10.5 billion in loans. The company is licensed in all 50 states and retains nearly 100 percent of service rights on its mortgages to Fannie, Freddie, and Ginnie Mae. The lender supports every facet of marketing, including lead generation campaigns, social media, content creation, PR, events partner programs, and more. If you’re interested in learning more, you can fill in your confidential information here.

American Pacific Mortgage announced three executive leadership changes: Current APM CEO Bill Lowman will move to the newly created position of Vice Chairman, President Ned Payant will be promoted to CEO, and EVP Dustin Sheppard will be promoted to President. “Bill will focus on APM’s strategy and direction, balance sheet and P&L management, key counterparty relationships, and company M&A activity, Ned will run the day-to-day operations of APM, and Dustin will focus primarily on driving company production and supporting APM’s 400-plus branches. Kurt Reisig will remain chairman and continue to be actively involved with the overall financial wellness of APM, key counterparty relationships, ESOP management, APMCares, and other strategic opportunities, including M&A and mountain biking.

Cenlar FSB announced that Pete Johnson has joined the company as VP of Special Products in Loan Operations, heading up Special Products including HELOC and Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).

Broker and lender products and services


At CBC Mortgage Agency, we know that homeownership is more than just a financial investment. It’s a dream, and as the leader in nationwide down payment assistance, we are committed to making that dream a reality for as many people as possible. Our Chenoa Fund program is the primary choice for IMBs and credit unions because we don’t complicate things. With one set of guidelines that streamlines our program across the country and our dedicated team to provide support every step of the way, it is simple to understand and implement. For originators, this is particularly appealing because it allows you to focus on what you do best: helping your clients. With the Chenoa Fund program, you can trust that you are providing the best possible program and helping your clients achieve their dream of homeownership. Visit our website today and let us make homeownership a reality for your clients.”

Loan officers, are you ready to win more business and close more loans? It starts with the Be Loangendary newsletter, your source for all things mortgage marketing. This weekly (and free) newsletter was created by mortgage industry pros with over a decade’s worth of experience growing brands and building businesses. That’s why you’ll get proven marketing advice, resources and content ideas every Friday that help boost your loan volume and referral business. We’re talking about insights from the nation’s top LOs, digital marketing tactics, and access to free tools and templates that simplify your marketing efforts. Think you’ve heard this all before? Think again. The Be Loangendary newsletter is your ticket to standing out from the crowd and dominating your market. So, what are you waiting for? Join the Loangendary crew and take your business to the next level!

Attention mortgage professionals! You undoubtedly promote your business on social media, attend networking events, use mobile-capable applications, and employ software that helps borrowers know how to increase their credit scores (CreditXpert, of course). But there are other, lower-tech ways to address this high-interest, low-inventory market, too. Download our complimentary eBook, How Should Lenders Handle a High Interest, Low Inventory Market? to learn about different mortgage products that can help you secure more loans and help your borrowers get into the home of their dreams! Follow Birchwood Credit Services on LinkedIn to access even more industry-related news and informational content that will help you close more loans quickly!”

To be insured or not to be, that is the question! R3 is the only AMC in the country that offers an insured appraisal covering repurchase AND bias risk mitigation with Val-Insure™. It’s the industry’s first appraisal solution that provides protection from overvaluation inaccuracies and undervaluation due to biases or other regulatory issues. Val-Insure combines mandatory bias training with enhanced E&O Insurance to uniquely safeguard lenders from the negative impacts of discriminatory practices. Val-Insure also includes a thorough review of appraisals as an added layer of protection against claims alleging discrimination. Be sure to visit R3’s new website to learn more. You can also email Brent Jones, CEO/Chief Appraiser at R3 to schedule a no-obligation consultation or call him at 800-791-6817.

Introducing all-in-one portfolio management designed for today’s volatile economic conditions. LoanCare Analytics was built to support MSR investors with a focus on customer engagement, liquidity, and credit risk. The platform offers clients unprecedented transparency into their loan portfolios without requiring a team of analysts to decipher. Real-time data visualization easily connects the dots to help all servicing stakeholders make quick decisions on a variety of topics including when they should buy or sell MSRs. Email or click to schedule a demo today.

Who remembers the Slinky jingle? For lenders specializing in purchase originations, it’s hard to argue that “a spring, a spring” is “a marvelous thing.” As anticipation builds for the homebuying season, make sure your top sales and marketing people pounce on the opportunity to learn from one of the greats. Melissa Wright, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer at American Pacific Mortgage, is teaching the tactics lenders need to achieve market dominance this homebuying season. Know which opportunities to focus on this Spring? Have a ‘Plan B’ for helping borrowers who keep getting outbid? Are your originators actually USING the technology you’ve invested in to avoid pipeline bottlenecks? Answer ‘yes’ to these questions and more after you join Melissa along with Dave Savage from TrustEngine (formerly Mortgage Coach and Sales Boomerang) and Ben Miller from SimpleNexus, an nCino Company on March 9 at 2 pm ET. Register here.

Do you feel trapped by your data? Do you wish you could have just a few more insights to help make sense of a prospect’s viability? Does your staff ask you why they don’t have access to certain marketing segmentation? To compound this segmentation gap conundrum, there’s the presence of erroneous data input by various users with access to your systems. So, how do you secure the data that you need, ALL of the data? Cole Information has the data. With our Advanced Search feature, you gain access to nearly 300 pivotal attributes, including confirmed renter/owner, credit indication, income level, vehicle ownership, and more. Imagine being able to tap accurate information, readily integrated into your auto-dialer or CRM, that immediately delivers meaningful prospecting results. Experience the power to expand and create viable leads that are actionable, not an accident. Interested? Find the prospecting data you’re missing at Cole Information!

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau


Although my cat Myrtle has never been a big fan of the CFPB, its mission is spelled out in its name. You and I both want to be protected, right? It will be interesting to see if the CFPB’s funding structure is protected. The CFPB is in the new, not for the (rumored) 55 words that you can’t use in emails per the CFPB (no, I don’t have the list, and certainly don’t use personal emails for work purposes to get around it), but for the Supreme Court agreeing to hear a case involving its structure and funding source, and also the CFPB shutting down a lender that didn’t seem to listen to its warnings over the years.

More specifically, The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a challenge that threatens to hobble the CFPB. At issue is the way Congress set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Instead of relying on annual spending legislation like other agencies, the CFPB is funded by the Federal Reserve, an arrangement intended to ensure its independence.

A while back, Ed Groshans with Compass Point Research & Trading, LLC, addressed the potential outcomes. “SCOTUS can hear the case and rule that the CFPB’s funding is constitutional. This outcome would have no bearing on the CFPB, and it would continue its normal operations. Or SCOTUS could hear the case and concur with the 5th Circuit opinion. In this scenario, we expect the CFPB would have to cease its operations until such time that it receives appropriated funds from Congress. If this opinion was issued in June, we expect that the CFPB’s activities would be halted until December 27 (page 3), at the latest.

“Congress must address FY2024 funding at some point this year. It can pass appropriations bills, a continuing resolution, or an omnibus spending bill. We project that Senate Majority Leader would use his position to ensure that some level of funding is provided to the CFPB regardless of the type of legislative vehicle. SCOTUS could deny the petition, in which case the 5th Circuit ruling would stand. This is an interesting outcome. As noted, the CFPB has not altered its operations since the opinion was issued.”

Meanwhile, CFPB permanently banned RMK Financial Corporation, which does business as Majestic Home Loans, from the mortgage lending industry by prohibiting RMK from engaging in any mortgage lending activities or receiving remuneration from mortgage lending.

“In 2015, the CFPB issued an agency order against RMK for, among other things, sending advertisements to military families that led the recipients to believe the company was affiliated with the United States government. Despite the 2015 order’s prohibition on these and other actions, the company engaged in a series of repeat offenses, including disseminating millions of mortgage advertisements to military families that deceptively used fake U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) seals, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) logo, and other language or design elements to falsely imply that RMK was affiliated with the government. In addition to the ban, RMK will also pay a $1 million penalty that will be deposited into the CFPB’s victim’s relief fund.”

Capital markets: temporarily quiet


Pending Home Sales rose 8.1 percent MOM, but are still down 24 percent compared to a year ago. That said, the National Association of Realtors doesn’t really see much of a pickup in home sales until 2024. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun thinks, “Home prices will be steady in most parts of the country with a minor change in the national median home price.” All four U.S. regions posted monthly gains but saw year-over-year drops in transactions. Unlike most other data points we receive, pending home sales are a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings.

Markets took yesterday’s mostly better than expected data (like Durable Goods) in stride, mostly as last week’s releases and hawkish Fed talk already had a strong repricing on the terminal fed funds rate and the higher-for-longer narrative. This despite the Fed’s continued fight to restrict activity. Consumer inflation accelerated at its fastest pace since October in January all but assuring continued monetary policy tightening from the Federal Reserve. The minutes from the FOMC’s last meeting suggest that more members have shifted their positions from dovish to hawkish.

Housing continues to bear the brunt of this tightening cycle as we learned last week that existing home sales saw their largest year-over-year decline of -36.9 percent in January. The cooldown has helped to ease historically high home prices as the median single-family price was $363,100, down from a peak of $420,900 in June 2022. However new home sales jumped 7.2 percent in January to a 670,000-unit annualized pace with the median sale price $427,500; a mere 0.7 percent lower than a year ago as builders return to offering incentives to move inventory.

Today’s month-end calendar begins with advance economic indicators for January: Goods trade balance, wholesale inventories, and retail inventories. Later this morning brings December home price indexes from FHFA and S&P/Case-Shiller, Chicago PMI for February, consumer confidence for February, the Richmond Fed manufacturing and services indexes for February, and Dallas Fed Texas services for I’ll let you guess which month. There is one Fed speaker scheduled, Chicago President Goolsbee. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged from Monday night, the 10-year yielding 3.94 after closing yesterday at 3.92 percent, and the 2-year still up at 4.80.

(Part 2 of 5.) You can retire to California where…

1. Your income is over $450,000 but you still can’t afford a house.

2. The fastest part of your commute is going down your driveway

3. You know how to eat an artichoke. And prefer organic avocado oil.

4. When someone asks you how far something is, you tell them how long it will take to get there rather than how many miles away it is.

5. The four seasons are: Fire, Flood, Mud, and Drought.

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. “Valuing a Lender” is the current blog. 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 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 2023 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