Feb. 6: Ops, LO jobs; non-QM, CRM products; from processing to MI shopping: vendor news

For years there has been name confusion between Fannie Mae and Fannie May. Name overlap isn’t limited to those two; MERS, familiar to mortgage bankers everywhere, is not the same as MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). And trying to find great employees isn’t limited to mortgage banking. Lawyer recruiting has come a long way from the days of Rolodexes and landlines, Jack Newsham reports. Today’s legal recruiters are constantly in touch with candidates via LinkedIn, email, and text, while ever-more sophisticated databases help them track lawyer moves and law firm statistics. Despite technology, placing associates and partners at law firms still comes down to a recruiter’s network and reputation in the industry, they say. And there’s more competition now than ever, with large and small recruiting outfits seeking to capitalize on the increasing mobility of law firm partners and associates.

Jobs & transitions

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Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp. (DKMC) announced that Corinne Shanahan has joined the company as Regional Manager, spearheading the national lender’s growth and recruiting in the Minnesota and Wisconsin markets. “Corinne joins us with 33 years of industry experience and an accomplished leadership and origination background,” said DKMC CEO Paul Lueken. “We look forward to seeing her bring our successful lending platform to Minnesota and Wisconsin.” Founded in 1893, Draper and Kramer was the nation’s third FHA-approved lender. Today, it is a Scotsman Guide-ranked top 100 lender and is expanding its presence in markets across the country. The company is known for fast closings, leading-edge technology and award-winning workplace. Originators who are interested in learning about DKMC’s opportunities in Minnesota and Wisconsin should email Corinne or email Director of Recruiting Eileen Andersen for opportunities in other states.

When you work with Finance of America Mortgage, you can expect something new and improved every day. Whether it’s our Forward, Reverse, Commercial, Renovation, or our proprietary Construction to Permanent products, you can expect to have a full suite of industry-leading products to meet the needs of your customers. When coupled with our cutting-edge origination technology and sales tools, we ensure that our sales force is positioned to deliver innovative solutions with a world-class experience to their customers every day. We are constantly driving towards new innovative products and improvements to the experience we offer to meet the needs of borrowers, regardless of their situation. Want to learn about working with us and gaining access to this arsenal of different tools and products? Visit JoinFAMtoday.com to learn more and to get your new journey started.”

AmeriHome Correspondent will be out in full force at industry conferences across the country in 2020! The team had a great time this week at the MBA IMB in NOLA, and they’re gearing up for Southern Secondary in Houston later this month! Check out the AmeriHome events page to find out when they’ll be at a conference near you. Also be sure to check out AmeriHome’s Non-QM Income Flex program as it is getting lots of traction. AmeriHome’s Non-Del channel is growing steadily and they are looking for experienced underwriters and underwriting managers in its Westlake Village, CA and Dallas, TX offices. Visit the AmeriHome careers page for more information!

Western Alliance Bank has added mortgage industry veteran Chris Romano to its Mortgage Warehouse Lending team as SVP. (The group serves non-bank mortgage companies requiring lines of credit to fund consumer real estate loans, MSRs, residential, light commercial and mixed-use notes.)

Lender services and products

OptifiNow announced the release of its Insights OnDemand business intelligence module, enhancing OptifiNow’s CRM and sales enablement platform with powerful tools designed to help mortgage lenders optimize their business performance. OptifiNow is an end-to-end sales and marketing automation platform with innovative tools that enable mortgage lenders to execute sophisticated sales and marketing strategies. The platform is known for its flexibility to manage retail, wholesale, consumer direct and reverse mortgage lending channels. OptifiNow’s intelligent API connects LOS, POS and other data sources to their platform, allowing the new Insights OnDemand to create visualizations that identify trends, spot problem areas and enables more accurate forecasting of production volume. Learn more about OptifiNow and schedule a demo today.

LoanStream’s new NanQ (Non-QM) pricing improvements are RED HOT. Load your pipeline with Pricing Improvements up to 1.25bps, rate reductions and improved guidelines on our most popular Non-QM programs: DSCR, Bank Statement Loans, Foreign National, Investor and more that create more differentiation for brokers and their loan officers. Check out our pricing and matrix here. Register for our Non-QM products overview here.”

Vendors: always up to something

Vendors do other things besides create names by combining words and capitalizing letters in the middle. Let’s take a random look.

Docutech, the leading provider of document, eSign, eClose, and digital to print fulfillment technology, announced an agreement to integrate with Origence, a leading provider of lending technology and solutions to the financial services industry. Integration of the Origence mortgage lending platform with Docutech’s ConformX and Solex platforms will allow lenders to generate dynamic loan documents and enable those documents for eDelivery, eSignature, and eClosing capabilities thereby improving the borrower experience and optimizing the lending process. “The Origence platform may reduce loan cycle time by upwards of 10 days, increase lender productivity and decrease costs per loan. Through the integration with Docutech, the streamlined workflow for generating, distributing, and signing loan documents and disclosures will help lenders continue to reduce costs per loan while expediting the mortgage process.”

LoanSnap, a new lending services technology for banks, has launched a mortgage calculator called LoanPulse for borrowers to get an accurate sense of their ability to take out loans — and at what price.

Grappling with pricing out private MI costs? Out of Kansas comes PMI Rate Pro, a new software platform that allows loan officers to identify the most affordable private mortgage insurance rates available. “PMI Rate Pro cuts the time needed to quote the cost of private mortgage insurance and directs mortgage officers to find the lowest rates for homebuyers. Additionally, the software lets loan officers access results from all six national private mortgage insurance providers within seconds.”

Strategic Compliance Partners (SCP) announced that it will combine forces with the Offit Kurman law firm to service its mortgage banker clientele effective March 1. It “will afford clients the benefits of a flat fee holistic compliance engagement complimented by integration with Offit Kurman, a full-service law firm, which represents lenders nationwide. SCP will remain in business focusing on services for brokers and its ShareDiligence vendor management platform.”

Avenu Inc., creators of the IntroLend transactional convergence platform, made to empower home buyers, agents, and lenders, announced the official launch of its platform with RE/MAX Associates Utah. The platform has been incorporated for all RE/MAX Associates team members across the state to serve home buyers better while transforming the monetization model for the agents. The company refers to the RESPA-compliant, Affiliated Business Arrangement-Third Party Origination platform, as Transactional Convergence. Moving the agents from a single-monetization event, i.e., sales commission, to developing new services they can now provide their valued client while at the same time generating new revenue flows from these services.

FormFree teamed up with LexisNexis® Risk Solutions to help lenders “intelligently pre-fill the Universal Residential Loan Application (Form 65/1003) for mortgage applicants. The combined solution, part of FormFree’s Passport all-in-one verification app, significantly reduces the amount of information a consumer must manually input into a digital loan application, greatly simplifying the application process, minimizing input errors and improving the likelihood of completing the loan application.” The LexisNexis Digital Mortgage Application Prefill solution works behind the scenes to verify the consumer’s device, providing an initial layer of fraud defense before the transaction begins. Once the device is authenticated, consumers who opt to authenticate their identity and use the Passport electronic verification service can view, confirm and edit loan applications that have been prefilled with their personal information, including two year address history, assets and other real estate owned, employer information from Passport, monthly income, and combined housing expense information.

A while back LBA Ware announced that CMG Financial is using CompenSafe to streamline incentive compensation for the lender’s more than 500 loan originators (LOs) and other commission- and bonus-based employees. Branch and senior managers at CMG Financial have also begun leveraging CompenSafe’s reporting capabilities to improve pipeline management and monitor expenses. “Built-in reports make it easy for managers to compare current production to historical trends, and they now know exactly how much the company is paying out in commissions and bonuses at the individual loan level.”

Capital markets

On the central bank front, what are the experts saying about the path of the Fed after its latest meeting? Through the first half of 2020, Federal Reserve monetary policy is still expected to be very predictable and Fed Chairman Powell and other Fed officials reinforced the idea that the Fed is in “pause” mode after a series of three 25 bps interest rate cuts during the year. According to Powell, the Fed will maintain the current level of the fed funds rate until their outlook “materially” changes. The last time the Fed followed a similar pattern was in the 1990s, when the pause lasted for about two and a half years, allowing for one small adjustment.

The dot plot from December (there was none for January) showed that most Fed officials expect to keep the fed funds rate unchanged through 2020, setting a moderately high bar for any future policy changes. The Fed’s dot plot for 2021 shows that the majority of Fed officials believe that their next move will be to increase the fed funds rate once in 2021. But that could be challenged by cooler U.S. economic performance, likely from financial market volatility, and the challenge of controlling inflation, which is still below the 2 percent target.

The 2021 dot plot implies that the Fed believes that economic performance will be reasonably good, and that inflation pressures will increase. However, looking at the fed funds futures market, the majority of interest rate speculators assume the opposite. The futures market shows that most speculators believe that the Fed will decrease the fed funds rate by at least 25 basis points by the end of 2020. This implies that most speculators believe downside economic risk is the dominant factor, and it flies in the face of the Fed’s expectations. We will all find out which way monetary policy goes as it unfolds. The path of the U.S. economy through 2020 will be shaped by monetary policy, hiring, and business investment.

Looking at the bond market yesterday, Treasuries, and with them MBS, once again sold off following reports of potential vaccines for coronavirus. (Due to the impact on rates, lenders have always scorned good news and relished bad news, right?) A strong ADP report which showed the addition of 291,000 private payrolls in January when the consensus was 160,000 was largely ignored. A better than expected ISM Non-Manufacturing Index also failed to move markets, though it marked the second straight month of accelerating activity in the services sector, an encouraging marker for the continued U.S. economic expansion.

The Trade Balance report for December showed a widening in the deficit, though the goods deficit with China actually decreased in 2019 as tariff measures contributed to a decrease in exports and a much larger decrease in imports. As widely expected, President Donald Trump will remain in office through the end of his term with the Republican-controlled Senate voting to acquit him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Finally, the U.S. Treasury confirmed plans to issue a 20-year bond in the first half of 2020.

Today’s calendar began with January job cuts from Challenger, Gray & Christmas (nearly 68,000, high, but it’s nearly always high in January). We’ve also had initial claims for the week ending February 1 (-15k to 202k), preliminary Q4 Productivity (+1.4%), and preliminary Q4 Unit Labor Costs (+1.4%). Both the Dallas Fed’s Kaplan and the Fed’s Vice Chair Quarles will make public remarks later in the day. Early on Agency MBS prices are a smidge better and the 10-year is unchanged at 1.65 percent.

Hospital regulations require a wheelchair for patients being discharged. While working as a student nurse, however, I found one elderly gentleman already dressed and sitting on the bed with a suitcase at his feet, who insisted he didn’t need my help to leave the hospital.

After a chat about rules being rules, he reluctantly let me wheel him to the elevator.

On the way down I asked him if his wife was meeting him.

“I don’t know,” he said. “She’s still upstairs in the bathroom changing out of her hospital gown.”

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, “Home Ownership is Still Part of the American Dream” If you have the 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 2020 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