Halloween: AE, LO jobs; verification, HELOC, POS, servicing transfer products; webinars today & tomorrow; Fannie’s solid earnings

“Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.” Corporate changes are the name of the game. Atlanta’s Crescent Mortgage’s bank owner is aligning all mortgage facets of the enterprise and moving to “retail only” and eliminating third party. Rather than wind down, Colorado’s Universal Lending is rumored to be inking an agreement with Lower LLC in a partnership setting up Universal Home Loans being in the same markets as a division of Lower LLC and improve its competitive position. Every discussion that I’ve had with real estate agents lately involves a) thousands of agents leaving the business due to the lack of… business, and b) how 8 percent mortgage rates have absolutely ground transactions, and even interest in looking at properties, to a halt. Meanwhile, I’m having similar conversations with loan originators as a) NMLS licenses are declining, and b) 8 percent mortgage rates have ground activity to a halt. From a broker-dealer’s perspective, BAML’s trade desk reported that, “Supply limped into the weekend, closing at 1.2bn amid a light rate move, dragging the 5 day average to 1.8bn.” (Today’s podcast can be found here, sponsored by Richey May, a recognized leader in providing specialized advisory, audit, tax, technology and other services to the mortgage industry for almost four decades. Hear an interview with Richey May’s Seth Sprague on the servicing marketplace, strategic planning, and returns to profitability from an advisory perspective.)

Jobs & transitions

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First Community Mortgage (FCM) continues to experience remarkable growth, having doubled our branch locations, spanning from coast to coast. Despite challenging market conditions, FCM continues to thrive, committed to expansion. As a state-chartered lender, FCM loan officers can originate in 48 states, unlocking a world of opportunities. Our dedicated transition team is ready to support you during your first 120 days, ensuring the journey to FCM is seamless and successful. Our unique business model is tailor-made to empower our leaders with the support and flexibility they need to cultivate their businesses and deliver exceptional customer experiences, yielding outstanding results and a significantly higher income potential. Our unwavering commitment to enhancing your experience shines through in our substantial investments in technology, aimed at simplifying your workload and unlocking your full potential for business growth. Come along with us and discover the possibilities. Contact Bret Head or visit us online.”

Brokers and correspondents should know that Arc Home, a leading Non-QM and Non-Agency lender, is delighted to announce the appointment of Brian Devlin as President. Brian brings more than two decades of diverse industry experience, making him the ideal leader to guide Arc Home through its next phase of growth. In addition to his role as President, Mr. Devlin is set to assume the position of CEO following a transition period with current CEO, Richard Bradfield, who will embark on new opportunities. Brian shared his excitement, saying, “Joining Arc Home is an incredible opportunity to collaborate with the best professionals in the industry. We’re committed to providing top-notch Non-QM and Non-Agency products, processes, and service to our valued clients.” To learn more, click here, or reach out to your Arc Home Account Executive. Find out why this leadership addition, along with our top-tier products and pricing, makes Arc Home your go-to partner for Non-QM and Non-Agency lending in 2024.

As part of its ongoing growth and expansion, top tier Third Party Origination Go (TPO Go) announced the hiring of Katie Plezia, Kim Kriel, and Brice Waterman as Account Executives who will be instrumental in driving sales production and operational excellence. Each brings more than twenty years of mortgage industry experience across all lending channels, including roles in sales production and management as well as operations management, and are regarded as top performers, having received multiple awards and recognition for sales production, including rankings among the top 10 AEs in the country for several consecutive years. Adam Millstein, VP and National Sales Manager shared, “Katie, Kim, and Brice’s passion for this business is evident and their respective patterns of success are enviable. They exemplify the type of people that we want and need to represent the TPO Go brand as we continue on our journey, and I can’t wait for the great things we’ll do together.” TPO Go is a national mortgage wholesaler, offering Fannie, Freddie, Ginnie, niche renovation lending products such as VA, 203k, Fannie Mae Homestyle and Freddie Mac’s Choice Renovation, USDA, VA, TPO GO 100/Chenoa, and a proprietary TPO GO first-time homebuyer program to brokers.

Lender and broker software, products, and services

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On this Halloween, don’t get tricked: Stop and think before you click. The human element is the easiest target for cyberattacks, from phishing emails to phone calls. However, with proper training, your team can become your greatest defense against these attacks. In an industry that values sales goals, it’s tempting to pursue every mortgage lead without hesitation. But recent data reveals the dangers of careless clicking. In 2022, social engineering was the top attack vector, even for the best teams. Discover how to strengthen your human cybershield here and reach out to Richey May’s cybersecurity experts to assess and define your cybersecurity training needs.

“BOO! No tricks here, only treats! Did you know that even the leanest of teams can leverage the same enterprise ecosystem technologies as the largest players in the mortgage industry? For purchasers of mortgage assets, Blue Water (“Blue Water Financial Technologies Services, LLC”) has turnkey solutions available that can dramatically widen your funnel. For example, SuperTransfer™, ensures that you receive docs and data from any number of sellers exactly in your stacking order and format with exception remediation* built into the process. Buy directly from sellers or buy from aggregators to access hundreds of sellers. Blue Water technology can help drive your valuation-based pricing* to target your footprint and return objectives- at the loan level. From pricing, valuations, transactions, transfer, QC, to boarding, Blue Water makes it easy to scale up your pipeline. *Patent pending. Connect with our expert Sales Team today.”

Maximize your return on every loan with better secondary pricing and industry-leading technology. To achieve profitable mortgage lending, you need solutions built for your bottom line. Maxwell’s tech-enabled platform enhances each step of the process, from point of sale to the secondary market. You’ll gain competitive secondary market pricing on a wide array of products, including non-QM and jumbo, and full-service fulfillment support on both wholesale and mini-correspondent offerings. Maxwell Capital customers leveraging Maxwell Point of Sale close 36 percent more loans than top competitors, increasing and accelerating closes, while built-in business intelligence tracks and benchmarks performance. Schedule a call with our team to learn more about Maxwell Capital and Maxwell Point of Sale to ensure profitability on every mortgage origination.

Take your Encompass® experience to the next level with the Encompass Essentials – 10 Free Tools Package from KensieMae, where seamless enhancements await at no cost. We get it; this market can be tough, and we’re here to make it a little easier… for free! No gimmicks, no hidden fees, and no strings attached. Our free tools package includes 10 simple, but powerful, time-saving tools trusted by thousands of lenders, and they won’t cost you a dime. Installation is a breeze, and upgrades are on the house. Whether you’re a new KensieMae customer or already part of the family, these tools are our gift to you. Save time, reduce frustration, and streamline your workflow with tools like Doorbell, Navigation Buttons, and Macro Automation. Your lending business deserves these game-changers, so why wait? Claim yours today and supercharge your operations with the Encompass Essentials – 10 Free Tools Package!

We all remember the houses that give the full-size candy bars just like we remember the houses that give toothbrushes and raisins. Why should your digital mortgage experience be any different? Borrowers remember a slick, easy-to-use loan app, and just like the neighborhood kids, will tell you where to go and what to avoid. Be the full-size candy bar house with LiteSpeed by LenderLogix.

Symmetry Lending has some very exciting news: As of tomorrow, November 1, Symmetry is enhancing the Borrower-Paid Broker Fee payouts on its Standalone HELOCs! Mortgage loan officers and brokers can now earn 1.5 percent on the Symmetry Standalone HELOC draw amount, with no maximum payout. Symmetry will also continue to allow for a $500 borrower-paid broker fee on its Piggyback HELOC solution. This increased payout on Symmetry’s Standalones offers a big opportunity to increase your income while the first mortgage market remains challenging and slow. In fact, HELOCs, especially Standalone HELOCs, continue to gain a lot of interest, with homeowners looking to this lower-interest financing solution to make renovations and repairs to their current home, versus buying a new home at a high interest rate, offset debt and increase cash flow in an inflationary economy, increase their home value in preparation for a future sale, and more! Don’t wait until it’s too late! Talk to your clients about the benefits of a HELOC before someone else steals this business opportunity from you. Contact Symmetry to learn more about their HELOC solutions, pricing, and industry-leading speed and service.

Verification products: trust but verify

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Truv is saving Lenders 60-80 percent over competitors. That’s the savings of multiple full-time employees. For example, Compass Mortgage saved roughly 60 percent in verification costs and maintained their same conversion rate. “Truv has given us the ability to lower costs, all while speeding up the verification process and providing better employment data” said Justin Venhousen, COO, Compass Mortgage. Stop wasting money. Contact TRUV today to discuss how we can help you with your income, employment, insurance, and asset verifications.

It may be spooky season, but don’t let the risk of buybacks frighten you. Reports of falsified data are on the rise, and buybacks have become an increasing problem for mortgage lenders. Requesting paper paystubs or W-2s from the applicant may be your default method of verification, but it can be burdensome for both you and the applicant, and fake pay stub generators are easily accessible via the web. Scary! Third party verification of income through The Work Number® is one of the best ways to mitigate risk, helping to reduce potentially costly buybacks. Available for use by credentialed verifiers with permissible purpose under the FCRA, The Work Number database provides instant access to 163 million current employment records directly from 2.9 million employers and payroll providers. With buybacks on the rise, why use paper-based processes when instant GSE-approved options exist?

The 8 percent mortgage rate housing market is here, and it’s time for lenders to get lean and cut out complicated fluff. Truework is saving lenders $100 on every VOI/E by connecting every major verification method into a single platform. With one-stop verification, you can verify income for 95 percent of applicants and replace expensive and clunky legacy systems. Now is the time to sharpen your processes and with Truework Income, lenders are accelerating applications and cutting verification costs.

Fannie’s Mae’s earnings are, once again, solid

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This morning Fannie announced that it had $4.7 billion of net income for the third quarter of 2023, with net worth reaching $73.7 billion as of September 30. It is certainly being “recapitalized!” Net income decreased $295 million in the third quarter of 2023 compared with the second quarter of 2023, primarily driven by a decrease in benefit for credit losses, partially offset by an increase in fair value gains. Fannie acquired approximately 224,000 single-family purchase loans, of which more than 45 percent were for first-time homebuyers, and approximately 45,000 single-family refinance loans during the third quarter of 2023.

Tune in today and tomorrow

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Today, Halloween, is the next Mortgages with Millennials with Kristin Messerli and Robbie Chrisman. Tune in every Tuesday at 10AM PT to the weekly video show designed to empower mortgage professionals to tap into the millennial market. This show demystifies the psychology of first-time homebuyers and offers strategies to win more market share with a key segment of the market. Sign up for a weekly reminder with the link to join and a sneak peek into the next episode. Top Millennial producer Sean Herrero is today’s guest.

A shout out to Lender Toolkit and its 2024 Supercar event in Las Vegas to kick off ICE Experience 2024 on March 18! The company is offering early bird discounts on sponsorships, but only until October 31. Imagine your logo on an exotic car with your clients and prospects behind the wheel. And yours truly will be doing a live podcast! To get the deal on sponsorships reach out to Brent Emler or grab the sponsorship form.

Join the AEI Housing Center for the 12th Annual AEI Housing Conference, today, Oct. 31st and Wednesday, Nov. 1st, both in-person and online.

Looking for more in-depth commentary on weekly mortgage news? Register here for “Mortgage Matters: The Weekly Roundup” presented by Lenders One. Every Wednesday at 2:00 PM EST/11:00 AM PT is a dive into a range of mortgage-related topics, including market trends, interest rate fluctuations, innovative mortgage products, and industry advancements. This week’s episode features Charlotte Brown, Qualia’s VP of Product Design, discussing pain points in the closing process and working with title and escrow.

Capital markets: don’t base your hopes on lower rates soon

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Both a big federal budget deficit and a clearer path for the economy to return to low inflation without a recession are putting upward pressures on interest rates that will likely persist into next year. The December fed funds futures are nearly certain there will be no change at this week’s meeting that begins today and concludes tomorrow, and the probability for a hike in December at the subsequent Federal Open Market Committee meeting has fallen from around one-in-three a month ago to one-in-four currently. We still have the jobs report on Friday.

We also have the quarterly refunding data this week with investors preparing for increased issuance on longer dated tenors, as Treasury officials attempt to offset a widening budget deficit. There was some intraday speculation yesterday that the quarterly refunding statement for the U.S. Treasury could show increased borrowing needs for Q3, but the release showed that the Treasury plans to borrow $776 billion in Q4, which is $76 billion below the estimate from three months ago. Keep in mind that the last few Treasury auctions didn’t go well, so the bond market will be sensitive to these.

Today’s busy month-end economic calendar is under way with the Q3 Employment Cost Index (+1.1 percent, slightly higher than Q2), where a 1.0 percent quarter-over-quarter increase was expected, the same as the prior quarter. Later this morning brings Redbook same store sales, August house prices from S&P/Case-Shiller and FHFA, Chicago PMI for October, Dallas Fed Texas services, and several Treasury auctions. We begin Halloween with Agency MBS prices better than Monday afternoon by .125-.250 and the 10-year yielding 4.82 after closing yesterday at 4.88 percent; the 2-year is at 5.03 percent.

Tonight’s the night. How ‘bout some for the kids!

When does a ghost have breakfast? A. In the moaning.

What do ghosts drink at breakfast? A. Coffee with scream and sugar.

Where does a ghost go on vacation? A. Mali-boo.

Where does a ghost go on Saturday night? A. Anywhere where he can boo-gie.

Where did the ghost get its hair done? A: At the boo-ty shop.

Riddle: the maker does not want, the buyer does not use it, and the user does not see it, what is it? A. a coffin.

What do they teach in witching school? A. Spelling.

Why does a witch ride a broom? A. Vacuum cleaners get stuck at the end of the cord.

What do you call a witch’s garage? A. A broom closet.

What do you call two witches living together? A. Broommates.

What do you get when you goose a ghost? A. A handful of sheet!

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. STRATMOR’s current blog is titled, “Mind the Down Payment.” The Commentary’s podcast is live and at any place you obtain your podcasts (like Apple or Spotify).

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(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