Feb. 4: Sales jobs; Agency updates indicate lending trends; Millennial-monster-mania: catch the wave!

Appraisers, and pet lovers, will find this house dedicated to felines of interest. Personally, I view it as somewhat quirky. Maybe not so quirky are the marriage laws for the various states. After I asked yesterday about the Census Bureau using the age of 15 for its marriage stats, Dan Macy was kind enough to send this site listing the teen marriage laws, perhaps enough to make parents wince.


Castle & Cooke Mortgage LLC wants folks to know that it is expanding and actively seeking highly skilled and experienced Branch Managers and their teams. “CCM is one of the few lenders in the country that is a direct Fannie/Freddie/Ginnie seller/servicer, which means amazing speed and control of your files. We’re looking for branch managers and their teams that are seeking a platform that provides the support, technology, and advances needed to be an industry leader in today’s marketplace. The positions report directly to the SVP of Sales & Marketing and require at least 2 years in branch management experience. Candidates being considered for this position will be subject to additional background checks as required.” Please contact Christopher Jensen for further information or go to Castle & Cooke MortgageEEO Statement – All qualified applications will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, sex, national origin, protected veteran status, or disability.


Indecomm Global Services, a leader in business process outsourcing, consulting, learning, and technology solutions to the mortgage industry, is seeking additional talent to Indecomm’s sales team, specifically a Sales Director for the Eastern Seaboard accounts. To submit a confidential resume, please contact Linda Bomar.


And three thousand miles away Stonegate Mortgage continues hiring in its West Coast Operations Center. Stonegate Mortgage Corporation (NYSE: SGM), a leading, publicly-traded mortgage company, is also growing its field force and is seeking AEs to solicit brokers and correspondents in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Sacramento; and Sales Directors to solicit both credit unions and community banks in both the No Cal/Nevada and So Cal/Arizona territories. “Stonegate’s vision is that year after year it will be considered the ‘Lender of Choice’ and its people will be regarded as the most respected mortgage professionals in the industry.” More information about careers with Stonegate can be found here and resumes can be submitted to resumes@stonegatemtg.com.


A quick congrats to Tim Smith. Due to its growth, Tennessee’s First Community Mortgage announced that he has joined FCM as Vice President, Regional Sales Manager.  Based in Minneapolis, Smith will be focusing specifically on building sales teams in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota. In August of 2012, FCM opened its second operations office in Louisville, KY, which now houses correspondent lending functions and a branch retail team, led by Michael Hilleary and Shane Gilmet. If you’re an LO or branch and interested in seeing what FCM is up to in a confidential manner, contact Tim Smith.


“Invest in real estate – they’re not making any more of it.” They’re not making any more Millennials either, and housing and lending analysts love to talk about them. Many are still hunkered down on their parent’s couches while others are roosting in city centers around the nation, clustered around mass transit and trendy dining places. A recent story in the Wall Street Journal points out that many of these Generation Y folks will, at some point, head for the suburbs especially after they bear children of their own. The poll, done by the National Association of Home Builders (surprise!), shows nearly 70% of those asked want to live in the suburbs. One must ask if a similar poll carried out 10 years ago would show the upcoming trend of moving into city centers. Little pink houses for you and me!


And how does one “sell” to a Millennial? I asked Kristin Messerli, owner of Cultural Outreach Solutions. She agreed that Millennials want to own a home and that certain things were very important to them. They want authenticity (trustworthiness from a counterparty is important), accessibility (hence the city center lifestyle), and tend to rely on customer reviews and referrals when making a purchasing decision. The group tends to be price sensitive but willing to spend more on products they perceive to be investments. Ms. Messerli is quick to point out that roughly 40% of Millennials are Hispanic – about 18 million Americans! They prefer homeownership, low debt, and higher average household size.


There are fewer homeowners in negative equity, as home values have improved since the recession, yet there always seems to be a cohort in the housing industry that gets sidelined despite the advancements. As home prices increase in value, homeowners are benefiting from the gains but young adults are being out-priced from the market. The rise in home values closes the revolving door of homeownership for young adults, who end up delaying their plans to purchase a home according to data from Zillow Housing Confidence Index. Zillow compared the 20 most populous metro areas in the U.S. and found that a greater share of young renters plan to buy a home in the next year in metros where home values are lower, compared to a greater share of young renters who plan to wait at least 5 years until buying a home in areas with higher home values. Expensive homes may make more young adults wary about their ability to purchase a home in the future, with a greater amount of millennials moving to expensive metro areas where employment opportunities are great but homeownership is out of reach. Data indicates that married young adults living off of income from two, full-time jobs are more than three times as likely to own a home as their unmarried counterparts. The recent hike in home prices can be seen as a positive for the industry, but more affordable housing is necessary to engage millennials in the market.


Has the recession affected the job market for Millennials? According to Wells Fargo Securities, LLC Economics Group, a greater number of young adults are now employed in leisure & hospitality, and retail industries than before the recession. These two industries employ the largest share of Millennial workers and a growing number of young adults are finding employment in these low-paying sectors.  About 45% of employees in the retail sector and 60% in the leisure & hospitality sector are Millennials.


Traditionally, most young adults have found employment in industries that require few skills and more flexible hours. This has held true among the Millennial generation, mainly because of the weak labor market. In 2013, 30.6% of workers between 16-34 years old were employed in these two industries, a 2.2% increase since 2007. This shift has been just as prominent for older Millennials, those between 25-34 years old, as this cohort accounts for a higher share of retail, leisure & hospitality workers. Millennials have also moved into lower-paying industries at a faster rate than their older counterparts. Conversely, the construction and financial industries have evidenced a decline in the share of young workers and the manufacturing and information industries employ the least amount of young adults. To read more about Wells Fargo’s article, click here.


Wells Fargo published another article comparing employment rates among Millennial men and women. Among Millennials, more women have obtained a college degree than men, a trend that has favored women since the 1990s and has been closing the labor participation gap between the two genders. Despite the education level of women, research indicates that females still take on a more noticeable role at home. Many young women do not engage in income building activities because they are held back by family responsibilities, with the employment gap between men and women largest among older Millennials (aged 30-34). Young females are more likely to work part time, as 21% of women between the ages of 25 to 34 years old are employed part time compared to 9% of men. Even so, the workforce participation rate among Millennial women is most similar to men their age than any other generation. This statistic is mainly due to a greater decline in participation among young men. More women are engaging in the workforce, but labor participation has declined among women between 16 to 34 years old.  The wage gap between Millennial men and women has narrowed, but women are still earning less than their male counterparts. Female workers are more inclined to be employed in industries that offer fewer working hours and lower pay. Data suggests that the wage gap only increases with age, as full-time female workers who are 45 and older realize earnings that are 25% below men earnings. This may be due to family responsibilities women experience as they age, as research suggests that child rearing reduces female earnings. Women may also not be taking advantage of their education, for example, men are twice as likely to be employed in high-paying science, technology, engineering, and math jobs as women.


Let’s see what the agencies have been up to lately!


Fannie Mae released a new FM Commentary introducing its 4th quarter Fannie Mae Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey Topic Analysis titled: Survey Shows Lenders Are Looking to Grow Their Origination and Servicing Businesses. Yes, the industry suffered through regulatory changes, a shift from a refinance to a purchase market, and the modest pace of housing growth. But the vast majority of lenders remains largely positive and are planning to grow their origination and servicing businesses this year. No lenders reported plans to downsize or exit their origination business, and only 4 percent of lenders reported plans to downsize their servicing business. In particular, consistent with industry trends observed, lenders reported plans to increase marketing to first-time homebuyers and move-up homebuyers as part of their 2015 origination strategy.


(Banks are supposedly easing standards for mortgage loans but some have noted weaker demand for mortgages linked to purchase activity, according to the Fed’s Senior Loan Officer Survey.)


Good news for Greystone Healthcare Lending Group, which is a national provider of multifamily and healthcare mortgage loans; recently the group announced it has earned Program Plus status from Freddie Mac Multifamily. The new designation enables Greystone to offer loans of all sizes for multifamily properties in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Greystone has been a Freddie Mac Multifamily Targeted Affordable Housing Seller/Servicer, providing financing for affordable housing since 2011. Greystone began offering Freddie Mac seniors housing and assisted living loan products in 2013, and the Agency’s Small Balance Loan product earlier this year, which enables acquisition and refinancing for properties between $1 million and $5 million. The new Program Plus license completes a full spectrum of multifamily property financing options available from Greystone with Freddie Mac. FHLMC Program Plus lenders by state.


And recently the FHFA released its 2015 Scorecard for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs), as well as Common Securitization Solutions (CSS). This Scorecard sets the priorities for the GSEs and CSS while they remain in conservatorship and provides a strong indication of FHFA’s policy goals for the coming year. Key takeaways include a commitment to finalize improvements to the seller Representation and Warranty Framework, and additional clarity around servicer performance and remedies standards and eligibility criteria. Also an increase in GSE risk sharing goals for 2015, to $150 billion for Fannie Mae and $120 billion for Freddie Mac. Let’s not forget a commitment to finalize the structure of the single security while continuing to develop the common securitization platform. Notably, these will be pursued on their own timetables, following MBA’s strong recommendation to this effect in the association’s comment letter on the topic. The FHFA will also work to modify GSE servicer eligibility standards to reduce counterparty risk exposure. MBA has already had preliminary discussions on this topic and anticipates that public comment will be requested for any changes. FHFA and the GSEs pursuing strategies to reduce severely aged delinquent loans and vacant real estate owned properties held by the GSEs by short sales, deed-in-lieu, and other foreclosure alternatives with an emphasis on improving outcomes in hardest hit markets. Lastly, work to encourage HARP-eligible borrowers to pursue refinance opportunities and develop solutions for borrowers facing HAMP resets.


Freddie announced an update to the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP®) Pay for Performance incentive program, effective April 1, 2015 in its Bulletin 2015-1. The expansion of the HAMP Pay for Performance incentive program includes a HAMP Year Six Pay for Performance incentive, which was developed with Fannie Mae at the direction of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. This new incentive will provide a $5,000 lump sum principal reduction for borrowers with eligible HAMP modified mortgages.  Read Guide Bulletin 2015-1 for complete details on the HAMP Year Six Pay for Performance incentive.


As I am sending this out and flying to Florida it’s darned early, but somewhere the markets are trading. Yesterday was not a good day for anyone who didn’t lock on Monday as the 10-yr went back to 1.80% and agency MBS worsened by about .250. Up some, down some…



A small boy got lost at a shopping center, so he approached a uniformed security guard and said, “I’ve lost my granddad!”

“The guard asked, “What’s he like?”

The little boy hesitated for a moment and then replied, “Beer and women with a lot of cleavage”.




(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