Jan. 10: DTC, LO, compliance jobs; vendor updates of note; training this week on cybersecurity, LO sales; FHA’s premium cut helpful for some

What does $1.38 million, uh, I mean $138 thousand, buy you in South Dakota? (Of course the heating bill is $3,000 a month…) Buying it may be a little easier with the FHA reducing its annual mortgage insurance premium (MIP) by 25 basis points for most new mortgages with a closing/disbursement date on or after January 27, 2017.


In job news, San Diego’s Guild Mortgage is in the market for a Compliance Manager who plays an important role in the organization by performing a number of activities related to the company’s compliance functions “with a focus on providing regulatory compliance support for our Retail, Correspondent, Financial Institutions Services, and Servicing Divisions. Responsibilities also include identifying areas of risk and developing and executing plans to minimize that risk, while ensuring company operations are being conducted in accordance with all applicable laws and guidelines. Located in San Diego, this position will be responsible for the oversight of our Marketing and Advertising compliance review team, and will address escalated complaints with the support of staff and recommend necessary changes as needed.” Interested individuals can contact Bella Titiyevskaya.


Ally Bank is expanding its product line with adding a Direct to Consumer Channel that will be known as Ally Home. Ally’s goal is to “do it right” and deepen its relationship with the company’s 5 million existing bank customers, “which has allowed us to reach even more customers with our new products. We are currently in search for Mortgage Sales Managers in both Charlotte, NC and Salt Lake City, UT. We are looking for a person with a diverse background in direct to consumer environment, experience partnering with various vendors, and 5+ years of MLO experience. If interested please apply here!


Service First Mortgage, “a rapidly growing mortgage lender built on the ability to close on time, every time, has recently moved and expanded its corporate headquarters to accommodate its aggressive growth. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, and licensed in 20 states, Service First has experienced consistent year over year growth while increasing production by 132% over the past 4 years. Throughout this time, the company has maintained its culture of integrity, innovation, accountability and passion and is deeply committed to these core values moving forward. Service First utilizes a unique, non-linear fulfillment process which eliminates bottlenecks, develops more trust with referral sources, has CDs out an average of 5 days prior to closing, and allows Loan Officers to focus on sales. We’re projecting 2017 growth of 31% – do you want to join a company with a proven track record that can help you grow your business? Visit JoinServiceFirst.com today.”


In vendor news, it seems they continue to gain market share by doing something very, very well versus mortgage companies hiring and spending money building it themselves. Of course, there are those who would disagree, but I bet a lender that does everything from soup to nuts is nearly non-existent. On the technology side, one periodical published a list of 25 Startups Transforming The Mortgage Industry.


How long will it take you to close a loan in 2017? It turns out that the time to close a loan edged higher recently, jumping from 46 days in October to 49 days in November of 2016. The folks at Maxwell think that’s the opposite direction this number should be headed. In fact, their software empowers loan officers and their teams to be more efficient — reducing document collection turnaround time by 45% by connecting to thousands of financial institutions — while giving borrowers a modern, centralized experience. “Loan officers tell us we save them a day a week,” says John Paasonen, Maxwell’s CEO. “That extra time allows loan officers to focus on their clients and to build their business rather than monotonously sending emails and chasing down documents.” Maxwell is inviting Chrisman readers to schedule a personal demo to learn how Maxwell can save you time and set you free. Don’t forget to mention the Chrisman Report to receive a 10% discount for the first year.


For those companies using Dovenmuehle as their sub-servicer, Richey May & Co will again be conducting a sub-servicer oversight review on behalf of numerous clients, with an on-site visit to Dovenmuehle’s facility scheduled for January 17th & 18th. In addition, Richey May has expanded its loan-level testing options in numerous servicing areas to assist clients in fulfilling their oversight responsibilities. Richey May & Co, an accounting and advisory firm that is heavily specialized in the mortgage industry, has developed an oversight review program that includes testing of Dovenmuehle’s policies and procedures and internal controls on behalf of multiple clients at the same time, thereby sharing expenses and creating cost savings that are passed on to participating clients. If you are interested in learning more about Richey May’s sub-servicer oversight review program, the expanded loan-level testing available, or how to participate in the upcoming Dovenmuehle review, please contact Kurt Blohm.


XINNIX introduced a game-changing production platform to the mortgage industry through its ORIGINATOR program. This program quickly transforms new talent into producing loan officers. Now, it is delivered completely online, making it more accessible than ever. Find out why XINNIX Certified Originators are producing an average of 3.1 applications in their first month. Click here for more information! XINNIX is celebrating its fifteen-year anniversary and is pleased that this singular platform equips students with everything they need to launch successful mortgage careers. To learn more about this new learning technology platform watch this video from XINNIX CEO and Founder Casey Cunningham.


Lendsnap uniquely serves lenders with any non-QM products or who sell any portion of loans to investors other than the GSEs. Lendsnap automatically collects borrower documentation during loan application including W2s, pay stubs, bank statements, and tax returns. We are the only account aggregator gathering original source documents from the financial institutions, as opposed to generating a VOD based on transactional data. We provide the actual statements which are universally accepted on the Secondary Market and can go back as far as 36 months for original asset/income statements. This allows lenders to provide an enhanced customer experience, gain quicker access to credit validating data, and improve operational performance all while maintaining portfolio liquidity. Please visit our website or contact Mike Romano for a demo.


Opes Advisors announced a partnership with Blend “bringing Blend’s advanced, automated platform to Opes Advisors’ clients, offering a streamlined, more transparent mortgage application process. Together, Blend and Opes Advisors are creating a digital mortgage ecosystem where authorized data replaces documents and borrowers experience a simpler, faster application process using their desktop, tablet, or mobile devices.”


Seroka, a brand development, digital and strategic communications agency, and NAHREP Consulting Services (NCS), the consulting arm of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, formed a professional alliance whereby both firms services will be made available to each other¹s clients and the mortgage industry. “It will help the industry meet minority compliance requirements and reach Hispanics, the country¹s largest demographic of new homeowners.”


CoesterVMS Borrower Valuation Delivery System (BVDS) within the Direct Encompass Integration is a streamlined and automated way to ensure your borrower gets a copy of the appraisal report. Users can manage the status of their delivery records directly from their appraisal Pipeline in Encompass or its client module. Its system assists its clients in maintaining compliance with the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau amendment to Regulation B of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) with the update effective January 18th.


The training & events just keep coming. Some are very valuable, and some are downright free! Nothing to lose. Along those lines, do we all have ADD? Deloitte research finds most learners won’t watch videos longer than 4 minutes in length. Does that apply to adult videos?


Will 2017 present a wild ride for our economy?  Find out by attending the Vantage Production Economic Forecast 2017 webinar with Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. on Thursday, January 12th. Hear what economic drivers will influence bond markets, and ultimately home loan rates, in the year ahead.


California MBA is hosting a free cyber incident webinar on January 11th with presenters Mitch Tanenbaum, Partner & IT Director, CyberCecurity LLC and Edward (Ted) McGuire, Underwriter, Bankers Insurance Service to discuss how to effectively deal with this situation.


Floify, mortgage automation software provider, is hosting “The Path To $100M in Loan Volume” webinar on Jan 25th from 1-2 ET. Top-performers and industry coaches Lisa Wells and Andy Zemon, who drive a combined $120M in annual loan volume, will break down the path from $10M to $30M to $90M+ in annual loan volume and reveal how success is achieved through replicable methods and process, not by working harder. Created for LOs, this powerhouse panel will present the stages of LO business growth and how to assess which stage you’re in (hint: it’s not about loan volume or how many hours you work), why culture, hiring and systems are critical areas to master, and how business priorities shift through the stages. High loan volume is achievable by anyone willing to learn the methods. All registrants will receive a recording of the webinar. Register Now!


TPG & TMC are hosting a complimentary webinar on Fannie Mae’s Day One Certainty Program on Thursday January 19. “Are you and your team fully aware of the content and implications of Fannie Mae’s Day 1 Certainty Program which was announced in October?” Topics include DU validation services for income, assets, & employment, the changes to Collateral Underwriter, and the changes to the enhanced Property Inspection Waiver. Please click here to register for the webinar.


“Are you prepared to generate more purchase volume? Click here to register for a special webinar tomorrow, January 11 at 1PM ET: Scripts to Convert Rate Shoppers in 2017. We’ll discuss how to compete more effectively in light of recent digital mortgage trends, the hidden reason you’re losing deals right now and how to overcome it, how to script your referral partners in a way that reduces rate shopping,” and so on.


In mortgage news, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro announced the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will reduce the annual premiums most borrowers will pay by a quarter of a percent. That is good news for borrowers: FHA’s new premium rates are projected to save new FHA-insured homeowners an average of $500 this year. So…the FHA is reducing its annual mortgage insurance premium (MIP) by 25 basis points for most new mortgages with a closing/disbursement date on or after January 27.


The rumors began Friday, coincidentally ahead of the inauguration. Smart mortgage folks are talking about the impact of this on things like pricing credit score ranges, Ginnie security values, Ginnie versus Fannie pricing spreads (which mitigates the impact), servicing values, and so on. Will MI companies respond with a cost cut of their own? Ops folks immediately noticed that this is based on closing and disbursement dates versus case numbers, making this hard for the new administration to unwind even if they wanted to. The change reflects the fourth straight year of improved economic health of FHA’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMIF).


Everyone, and their brother, weighed in with their thoughts, opinions, forecasts, etc., about the telegraphed move. “A reduction of the upfront MIP would have been more helpful, but we will take what we can get,” was how one veteran California LO summed it up. The step restores the annual premium to close to its pre-housing-crisis level. It should help originators and lower-price-point builders due to better credit availability.


Some weren’t pleased, and the stock prices of private mortgage insurance companies took it on their collective chins. Analysts view the reduction as a negative for private mortgage insurance companies, including Radian, MGIC, Essent, Genworth, NMI Holdings as it makes FHA “significantly more competitive” in 680-719 FICO band of borrowers, potentially resulting in MI share losses for all private MI companies.


We may hear more about this during Ben Carson’s HUD confirmation hearing on Thursday but the Trump administration may condemn the MIP reduction announcement though it is unlikely to reverse it. Republicans oppose cuts as pricing reductions shift more risk to federal government away from private sector. On the flip side Democrats support cuts like this, arguing FHA pricing should return to historical levels, and that lower pricing increases homeownership levels.


MBS prices improved, as did Treasuries, yesterday although the U.S. can’t take too much credit. The rally began overnight as London opened with fixed-income securities improving somewhat. The spread in price between Ginnie securities and Fannie securities was moved by the announced change in the MIP cut, since FHA (and VA) loans make up the bulk of Ginnie securities. At the end of the day the 10-year had improved .375 in price (closing yielding 2.38%) while 5-year notes and agency MBS prices improved about .250.


This morning we’ll see a bunch of 2nd tier numbers in terms of economic news like the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index (which hit a 12-year high), the Redbook Weekly Same-Store Sales Index, updates on wholesale inventories and job openings from JOLTS, and a $24 billion 3-year note auctioned. In the very early going the 10-year is nearly unchanged at 2.37% and agency MBS prices a smidge better.



Snow? Here’s a chart showing how various parts of the nation handle various amounts. (Thanks to S.W. for this one.)






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Rob Chrisman