Jan. 10: Marketing, LO, Ops jobs; sales, non-QM products; Ginnie’s Bright resigns; M&A: Movement/Eagle, HFG/Dorn deals

Let’s see… How much does it cost you to produce a residential loan? Pizza for the shippers, underwriter bonuses, copy paper, HP-12C batteries – it all adds up, and pretty soon you’re over $8 grand a loan! Boston Consulting Group released a new white paper exploring how, in the face of rising rates and increasing mortgage production costs, lenders are turning to digital solutions to combat margin compression and create a market advantage. “Despite production revenue per loan increasing 20% between 2012 and 2017, production costs have risen more quickly, going from just over $5,000 to more than $8,000 per loan in the same time frame, a 57% increase. The result? A 68% decline in net production income per loan during that stretch.”

Employment & personnel moves

NOVA® Home Loans is seeking a VP of Marketing. “Nova Home Loans, a large regional $3B mortgage bank located in the Southwest, is looking for our next superstar Vice President of Marketing. NOVA® Home Loans, founded 34 years ago, is consistently ranked among the Top 50 Mortgage Lenders in the United States and as one of the Best Places to Work in the Southwest. NOVA Home Loans has branches in Arizona, Colorado and Nevada and can originate loans in 13 states and offers stimulating work in a fast-paced, customer-oriented, compliance-focused work-environment with a competitive benefits portfolio. The ideal candidate will have 7 to 10 years of solid marketing management experience, mortgage industry preferred, strong marketing through branding background along with a strong background in evaluating and implementing state of the art marketing technology and digital platforms, and experience managing an advertising budget of over $6.5 million that drives results. Contact Kim Carson, HR Manager. The successful candidate would need to be prepared to relocate to NOVA Home Loans’ corporate office in Tucson, Arizona. 

PrimeLending has been recognized as one of 2019’s Best Mortgage Companies to Work For by National Mortgage News and Best Companies Group. While ranking third overall, PrimeLending was the top workplace among national lenders for this industry-focused award that measured workplace policies, practices, philosophy, demographics, and the overall employee experience. PrimeLending Chairman and CEO Todd Salmans said, “In the highly competitive mortgage industry, it’s the quality and dedication of our people who set us apart. That’s why we continue to focus on fostering a strong, rewarding culture in which every team member feels appreciated, supported and engaged.” With a commitment to employee happiness and success, it’s easy to see why PrimeLending is a premier destination for loan originators. If you’re ready to join our proven powerhouse, let’s talk about your options. Contact Brian Miller today to get started.

Stearns Lending has an exciting growth opportunity in the Dallas, TX market, where management is building a new, high energy call center platform to support a headline brand. If you’re a highly skilled and customer focused MLO, Sales Manager or Fulfillment Specialist with the ability to meet high standards for productivity and customer satisfaction; please send your resume to Donovan Stamps or Lindsey SpraggjnsStearns is ramping up staff while the shrinking market is forcing competitors to scale back. Partnering with a national lender; together they have built a great customer lead base, industry leading technology, and a fully end to end digital experience.

Lender products, training, & services

Broaden your sales knowledge in the New Year with Sierra Pacific Mortgage’s Homestyle Renovation webinar on January 15 at 10AM PST. This informative and free webinar will include a high-level program overview, marketing ideas and special details around the loan process to ensure a smooth closing. Don’t miss an opportunity to help your borrowers get a second chance home. Register today and grow your business tomorrow.

Retain leads. Increase pull-through rates. Improve bottom line. If one of those is on your mind going into 2019, you’ll be happy to hear that Informative Research, a market leader in delivering a range of technology-driven solutions for the mortgage industry, just added CreditXpert® Wayfinder™ to their impressive lineup of products. With an improved algorithm and upgraded user interface, Wayfinder automatically gives lenders a step-by-step plan on how borrowers can potentially increase his/her credit score. With this tool, lenders can close more loans by helping borrowers manage their credit and qualify for better mortgage terms. Wayfinder also helps lenders lower rapid rescoring fees by finding plans that require fewer account actions.  To learn more about CreditXpert Wayfinder, call Informative Research at 800-473-4633 or reach out via email.

2018 gave birth to amazing technology companies so that 2019 is a year to be excited about. Data became a really important topic in 2018 and now people are beginning to understand that great data is a seed for great customer experiences, lowering costs and increasing loan volume like never before. One of the best companies that emerged in 2018 is Sales Boomerang which has helped its clients (lenders, wholesalers, brokers etc.) realize how much volume they are missing/losing every year (over $8B in missed loans in 2018) and then equips them with automated tools designed to retain more of their customers (almost $500M in saved loans in 2018), reduce funding costs and increase overall volume. See why top lenders across the country have chosen Sales Boomerang. Schedule your demo today.

In broker news, “UWM is dropping its pricing, making its pricing more competitive than ever. For years, United Wholesale Mortgage has topped mortgage brokers’ lists in a variety of categories, but pricing wasn’t necessarily one of them – until now. UWM has dropped its rates across the board, for conventional, government and jumbo, giving the nation’s No. 1 wholesale lender the best pricing in the country, to go along with its leading client service, technology, turn times and partnership tools. UWM has removed all state adjustments and most Loan Level Price Adjustments (LLPA), as well. Now, not only will mortgage brokers enjoy the fastest and easiest experience by working with UWM, they’ll also obtain the best rates for their customers.”

ARMCO Launches ARMCO CARES Employee Donation Matching Program: Organization supported 27 non-profit charities in 2018. Introduced during the holiday season of 2018, ARMCO CARES offers a dollar for dollar match of employee donations to a U.S. registered 501c3 charitable organization of the employee’s choice. It is available to both part time and full time ARMCO employees. ARMCO plans to expand ARMCO CARES in 2019 to include employee wellness and community involvement programs. For its inaugural effort, ARMCO CARES provided financial support to 27 different charitable organizations with causes that include health, human rights, animal welfare, human services, veterans, inclusion, youth services, and more. READ THE PRESS RELEASE

JMAC Lending is known for solving challenging Non-QM loans. In business for 21 years, JMAC was one of the first to offer Non-QM products. JMAC’s Newport Streamlined First Lien Jumbo Alternative is one of these dynamic product options. Income and asset documentation requirements are based on DU findings, which is great for borrowers who do not have funds for reserves. Loan amounts are from $100K to $3M. Plus, JMAC accepts appraisal transfers on this program. Purchase, rate-and-term and cash-out go up to 95% LTV to $1.5 million with no MI. Add in the 40-year fixed term with interest-only and the Newport Streamlined First Lien becomes a go-to loan in your Jumbo/Non-QM product lineup. To get help or to submit a scenario, please contact sales@JMACLending.com or 844.888.5622. Click here to learn more about these dynamic Non-QM products. JMAC is now accepting broker and correspondent applications.

Digital mortgage point-of-sale leader, Maxwell, announced the release of its disclosure management platform, which enables borrowers to securely access, review, and sign loan disclosure documents directly within their platform. The launch partner for Maxwell’s disclosure platform is Docutech, with additional providers coming online in the months to come. Maxwell’s disclosures platform enables a seamless borrower experience while expediting compliant disclosure collection for lenders. “Our goal has always been to create a centralized, relationship-driven mortgage experience so that borrowers receive a consistent digital experience from application to clear to close,” said John Paasonen, Maxwell’s co-founder and CEO. This further enriches the borrower experience on top of the already-impressive efficiency gains that Maxwell users enjoy, closing loans 45% faster than the national average. To learn more about Maxwell and its new disclosure platform, visit Maxwell here and request a demo today.


Every bank and lender has been cutting staff over the last several months, the latest news coming from BB&T. And Ginnie Mae, besides motoring along through the partial shutdown, announced EVP and COO Michael Bright will be stepping down on January 16 and has requested that his nomination for President of Ginnie Mae be withdrawn to pursue a new opportunity in the private sector. (I doubt he’s heading off to write a free commentary…) Here’s his resignation letter to HUD’s Ben Carson. Maren Kasper, current EVP of Ginnie Mae, will serve as the Acting President upon Bright’s departure. (If you’re interested in a job at Ginnie, here’s the link.)

Newbold Advisors added Arleen Scavone, the founder & CEO of OpExNow, to its management team. “Arleen has a long track record of executing transformational programs in our industry. As our clients look to re-platform and attract millennial customers in originations and drive down costs in servicing through transformational programs, adding Arleen’s expertise in these areas creates an even more compelling offering for our clients,” said Terry Couto, a Newbold Founding Partner.


Movement Mortgage has significantly expanded its Pacific Northwest and Mountain West market share by agreeing to acquire the retail mortgage operations of Eagle Home Mortgage, LLC. The transaction, scheduled to close later this month, is expected to add $1.5 billion in additional annual mortgage loan volume to Movement’s origination platform and increase Movement’s national retail mortgage footprint by 230 additional mortgage professionals and 35 branch offices. “The Eagle Home Mortgage assets are concentrated in the Pacific Northwest and Mountain West regions, including offices and operations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado. Movement expects to retain the staff across the acquired branch network and integrate the business with its existing retail network of more than 650 branches and 1,500 loan officers nationwide. Movement kicked off the acquisition announcement with a four-day roadshow across four states, as executive sales and operations leadership visited Eagle associates in Seattle, Portland, Oregon; Boise, Idaho; and Denver.”

The Movement Mortgage acquisition of Eagle Mortgage’s retail operations prompted STRATMOR Senior Partner Garth Graham to shoot over this note. “This deal is interesting because it’s an example of two successful and profitable companies making a deal that could be a win-win for both of them. Eagle is owned by Lennar (the nation’s largest builder) and has apparently decided to now focus all its mortgage activity to support the builder, which is why management sold off the retail (non-builder) channel. Lennar has long had a very high capture rate for builder business and is projected to do over $10B in builder mortgage originations in 2019. So, the sale of the retail unit is really about focusing its resources on the builder.

“Movement’s purchase of the retail unit is yet another example of the consolidation in the industry and is also an example of the big independents getting bigger by focusing on acquiring strong purchase centric platforms. Movement, which is projected to do over $13 billion in 2019, has long been known as a big recruiter in the industry, and this acquisition certainly puts them on the map as an acquirer as well. The Movement deal follows New American’s acquisition of $1 billion Marketplace Mortgage in December, which is another example of a fast growing IMB expanding their capabilities in new geographies. As we wrote in our December Insights, its certain that M&A is going to be increasing this year, as many successful independents continue to use this opportunity to grow their business in a down market.”

(As a quick aside, the STRATMOR Group is interested in speaking with lenders doing as little as $40 million a month, below what some M&A firms are interested in pursuing – shoot Senior Partner Garth Graham an email.)

And Homeowners Financial Group (HFG) has announced a new partnership with Prescott-based homebuilder Dorn Homes. The collaboration between the two companies will produce Dorn Mortgage. The new mortgage company will provide home financing services to all Dorn Homes buyers. Scottsdale’s HFG has more than 30 branches in 12 states and is licensed to do business in 28 states. Last year, HFG funded $1.44 billion of residential mortgages. And Dorn Homes has been building homes in Arizona for 50 years and is Northern Arizona’s largest homebuilder.

Capital markets

The U.S. 10-year ended the midweek session nearly unchanged at 2.73%. A $24 billion 10-year Treasury note reopening drew a high yield of 2.728%, making it the lowest auction yield in a year. On the international front, the World Bank lowered its 2019 global growth forecast to 2.9% from 3.0%.

Headlines revolved around the release of the FOMC Minutes from the December meeting, which acknowledged recent turbulence in equity markets and the widening of corporate spreads. For those, like President Trump, who think policymakers should stop raising rates, the Fed voters have yet to see an impact on real activity resulting from tighter financial conditions. The Minutes noted that many participants shared the belief that the FOMC can be patient with future rate hikes, given muted inflation readings. The minutes also revealed several participants commented on the possibility of reducing agency MBS holdings somewhat more quickly than the passive approach by implementing a program of very gradual MBS sales sometime after the size of the balance sheet had been normalized. We will hear from Fed Chairman Powell later today.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer released a short statement about the conclusion of trade talks between the United States and China, but the statement was short on details. China’s Ministry of Commerce is expected to provide some insight about the talks during a weekly press conference that will take place today.

Today’s U.S. calendar kicked off with initial jobless claims for last week: -17k to a 4-week low of 216k. That’s all as far as relevant economic releases go, though we have a full day of Fed speak: Richmond Fed President Barkin, St. Louis’ Bullard, Fed Chair Powell, Chicago Fed President Evans, Minneapolis’ Kashkari, and Fed Vice Chair Clarida. That’s a lot of words! Thursday begins with Agency MBS prices little changed from last night’s close and the 10-year yielding 2.71%.

A cop pulls over a carload of nuns.

Cop: “Sister, this is a 65 MPH highway. Why are you going so slow?”

Sister: “Sir, I saw a lot of signs that said 22, not 65.”

Cop: “Oh sister, that’s not the speed limit, that’s the name of the highway you’re on!”

Sister: “Oh! Silly me! Thanks for letting me know. I’ll be more careful.”

At this point the cop looks in the backseat where the other nuns are shaking and trembling.

Cop: “Excuse me, Sister, what’s wrong with your friends back there? They’re shaking something terrible.”

Sister: “Oh, we just got off of highway 119.”

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, “Low Down Payments Can Help Borrowers AND Lenders.” If you have both the time and 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 2019 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