Daily Mortgage News & Commentary

Jan. 19: MLO, pricing, U/W jobs; credit, homebuyer, non-QM tools; LLPA changes & condo news; MLO CE legal settlement

As I head to Orlando this morning for business meetings, much of the concern is about Treasury yields, with mortgage rates tagging along, climbing to a two-year high. Loan officers and lenders can’t do anything about rates or the market’s servicing values, but they certainly can do something about technology and cost savings. (Speaking of savings, a friend of mine was fond of saying, “’Free’ is a good price, and you and me and other taxpayers are footing the bill for free COVID tests; all you have to do is ask.) During a recent STRATMOR workshop session, I heard Partner Jim Cameron state, “Outsourcing is the gateway drug to automation.” Every 18 or so months, computer processing speed doubles, an observation known as Moore’s law. A complaint that I hear from lender CEOs and owners is that AEs and LOs don’t even know what technology is available to them. “Educate yourselves on what’s available and then we’ll talk new software” they say. Education is certainly important: Forty-four state financial agencies, led by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI), have reached settlements with more than 400 mortgage loan originators nationwide who deceptively claimed to have completed annual continuing education as required under state and federal law. (Today’s audio version of the commentary is available here and this week’s is sponsored by Sagent. Today features an interview via loanDepot Wholesale’s Renovation Radio of how someone in their 20s enters mortgage banking. Sagent delivers the modern experience customers expect from loan originations to servicing with platforms that let consumers manage their home-owning lives from anywhere.)

Employment & promotions

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Berkshire Bank, headquartered in Boston, MA, a purpose-driven community bank with locations primarily in New England and New York, is seeking a Senior Mortgage Underwriting Professional to help support our growing and expanding mortgage lending operations. Candidate must have extensive experience underwriting to secondary market standards and knowledge of government lending with a DE certification. Candidate must be versed in correspondent underwriting and lending practices. Must have strong communication and interpersonal skills, be detail oriented, and have strong analytical skills with a focus on customer service. A minimum of 5+ years of real estate secured underwriting is required. Qualified candidates located in Rhode Island to apply by clicking on this link and for any inquiry, please email Stephanie Reusswig.”

An established, independent mortgage banking company is in search of a Head of Correspondent Pricing. Excellent opportunity for a candidate that has Encompass and Optimal Blue system set-up and management skills. Ideal candidate also has experience directly working as a correspondent investor in the areas of rate sheet management, lock desk functions, margin management, mandatory trading, etc. Remote work availability or hybrid/in-office in one of our two corporate sites (Orange County or Dallas area). Please send resumes to Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt. Also looking to hire for the following positions: Client Service Rep (replacing the current AM role with different functions), Purchaser, Funder/Wire Desk, Encompass Programmer, Underwriters, Underwriting Manager, and Loan Acquisition Representative (replacing the “set-up” role with slightly different functions).

Evergreen Home Loans™ has taken home financing to the next level. With Evergreen Advantage™ loan officers, borrowers, and real estate agents can tap into an exclusive mortgage technology platform that brings mobility and convenience to mortgage origination. The platform provides an integrated loan origination system (LOS), point of sale (POS) system, online application, digital income/asset verification, loan officer mobile app, agent mobile app, CRM, eClose, eNote, remote online notarization (RON), and more. This allows loan officers to access their business anytime and anywhere. Evergreen Advantage is an ideal way to simplify your workflow and increase customer satisfaction and referrals. Loan officers interested in taking their business to the next level in 2022 are encouraged to visit the Careers page.

Broker and lender products & services

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How can integrated solutions for mortgage origination and servicing transform your operations? Just ask VyStar, the largest credit union headquartered in northeast Florida. VyStar’s recent case study, “Lending Built on Innovation,” looks at the impact of Black Knight’s Empower® loan origination system and MSP® servicing system on the credit union’s digital transformation efforts. This report examines the digital expectations of today’s consumers, how innovative software can enhance the customer experience and the benefits of end-to-end technology across the mortgage life cycle. Download the case study today to discover how you can use Black Knight’s innovative origination and servicing solutions within your own operations.

Here’s a new webinar from First American Data and Analytics. Get the inside scoop on the biggest factors driving the market in 2022. On January 25th at 11am PT / 2pm ET, join Odeta Kushi (Deputy Chief Economist for First American Financial Corporation) as she provides a 30-minute update on the macroeconomic background and gives an overview of the biggest factors that will drive the housing market in 2022. This webinar will cover topics that include the macroeconomic overview, the housing market’s demographic tailwind, Millennials, measuring the housing deficit, affordability challenges, and more. Register now to save your spot for this must-attend event.

Deephaven is launching a series of webinars for independent Brokers and Loan Officers eager to take advantage of the burgeoning Non-Agency/Non-QM market. As the conventional refinance market continues to taper and the competition for purchase loans remains hotter than ever, the Non-Agency/Non-QM space offers an opportunity for brokers to serve a broader range of borrowers to keep their pipelines flowing. The 30-minute webinars provide training on Deephaven’s core programs and products including Expanded Prime, Non-Prime, Jumbo-Prime, Bank Statement and Debt Service Coverage Ratio programs including a DSCR Foreign National program. While always lending responsibly, in-house underwriting allows Deephaven to be more flexible and innovative with its products and programs. To attend the next Deephaven webinar at 2pm on February 9th (topic: Bank Statement Programs), please register here.

Innovations in technology and online use are changing the way home-buyers shop. America’s home buying process has already been transformed by digital lending. Online real estate brokerages and mortgage marketplaces have made it easier than ever to browse properties and finance a home. Now more than ever, your sales and marketing strategies need to be aligned to so that you can attract more borrowers and close more loans quickly. Download our free eBook, Adapting Your Sales Strategy to a New Era of Homebuying, today.

Birchwood Credit Services has provided credit reporting solutions to financial institutions for over thirty years. We’re passionate about what we do because we believe it matters. Our proprietary bundled pricing models guarantee all add-on fees and back-end processing costs up front so there are never any additional ‘surprise’ fees. In addition to eliminating hidden costs, these models improve TRID compliance and lower your credit expenses. Visit us today.”

Sample of LLPA price changes

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Sure, pricing matters, but so does data. As a reminder, the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) have requested that lenders work with their software providers to implement the updated Automated Underwriting System (AUS) specifications prior to February 2022. The Guaranteed Underwriting System (GUS) will be updated to accept XML file imports meeting the requirements of the Fannie Mae Desktop Underwriter® Specification MISMO v3.4, Document Version 1.8.2 tomorrow. Additional information is available in the USDA Bulletin – GUS System Update.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recently announced updates to Loan Level Price Adjusters (LLPA) that will apply to high balance and second home loans. Effective Tuesday January 11th, 2022, Pennymac is implementing new Conventional LLPAs for Best Effort commitments 60 days and longer. Agency Second Home and High Balance LLPA Changes View Pennymac Announcement 22-02 for details.

Citi Correspondent Lending will be implementing changes to LLPAs for Agency Second Home and Agency Jumbo effective with new locks and commitments on/after Tuesday, January 18, 2022, in alignment with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These changes will be reflected on page 3 of Citi Correspondent Lending rate sheet.

With the recent FHFA announcement of a targeted fee increase for certain High Balance loans and 2nd Home loans, effective Tuesday, January 18th, Citizens will implement the higher Loan Level Price Adjustments (LLPA) for new best-efforts locks. Each of the various pricing vendors has been notified of this change. Franklin American Mortgage lock extensions and relocks for loans not previously impacted by the increased fees will be subject to the new LLPA’s if the loan is delivered after March 1 and/or purchased after March 10. The LLPA may not be reflected in the price until after the lock extension or relock has been completed.

In order to align with FNMA/FHLMC’s implementation date for LLPA changes and keeping consumers in mind with the intent to provide as much flexibility as possible and avoid implementing the fee where it is not necessary, PRMG will begin feathering in the revised price adjusters on applicable Conventional Conforming Second Home and High Balance transactions. View PRMG’s Secondary Marketing Update RE: FNMA/FHLMC Second Home & High Balance LLPA’s for the Implementation Schedule and New LLPA Schedule.

In regard to Conventional High Balance and Second Home LLPA changes, Mortgage Solutions Financial posted Announcement 04-22C.

Information on First Community Mortgage 2nd Home/High Balance LLPA adjustments to new locks is discussed in FCM Announcement 2022-3.

Starting with new locks as of Friday, January 14, 2022, Flagstar Bank implemented FHFA’s new Agency Second Home and High Balance/Super Conforming loan level price adjustments for locks 60 day and greater. Locks less than 60 day will be subject to the existing LLPAs until further notice. Details available in Flagstar Bank Announcement 22009.

Mountain West Financial Wholesale Bulletin 22W-006 provides information on the changes to Conventional 2nd Home and High Balance LLPAs.

Condo-mania

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Wells Fargo Funding C22-001 provides information on Condo and co-op updates, Identity-of-interest, reminder of fee increases on all Loans effective February 1, 2022.

Information on temporary condo review requirements and Fifth Third’s resumption of new locks for Counties in Florida is available in Fifth Third Correspondent Lending Communiqué 2022-1

Updates to Fifth Third’s upcoming Suspense Fee change is discussed in Fifth Third Correspondent Lending Communiqué 2021-13.

First Community Mortgage addressed the new Condominium Questionnaire in FCM Announcement 2022-4.

Mountain West Financial Wholesale updated Condominium Project Questionnaire (Form 1076) to facilitate collection of information regarding deferred maintenance in support of Lender Letter LL-2021-14, Temporary Requirements for Condo and Co-op Projects. In addition, the Condominium Project Questionnaire – Short Form (Form 1077) is being retired due to being insufficient to determine eligibility under the new requirements.

Mountain West Financial issued a reminder that Freddie Mac is making changes in regard to Condominium Requirements. These changes will not be updated in the Freddie Mac selling guide. In addition, Topic 5600 in the Seller Guide will be reorganized to improve user experience.

Sun West has implemented the use of the revised Condominium Project Questionnaire including the addendum. The revised form is available on SeeMyLoanStatus (SMLS) and Sun West Website.

Mountain West Financial Wholesale Bulletin 22W-008 covers Freddie Mac Condo and Co-Op Bulletin information.

Capital markets

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Hoping for lower rates to help your business? Hope isn’t a strategy. Treasury yields and mortgage rates surged higher again yesterday on increased speculation the Fed will enact aggressive countermeasures to tame surging inflation beginning at its March meeting. Yields on the 10-year bond and shorter notes rose to the highest levels in two years. Fed members have suggested .25 percent rate raises will be the most likely outcome of upcoming meetings, although larger rate increases are “in the toolkit”. On the data front, the NAHB Housing Market Index fell to 83 in January when it was expected to remain at 84 from December. Finally, yesterday was Class C (Ginnie Mae) 48-hour day, so lenders were busy cleaning up their open positions. It’s been busy as of late for custom pools.

Today’s economic calendar kicked off with mortgage applications from MBA, which increased 2.3 percent from one week earlier, for the week ending January 14. During the reporting period, 30-year mortgage rates rose 8 bps and 15 bps, according to Bankrate and Mortgage News Daily, respectively. MBA had reported yesterday that its new monthly Loan Monitoring Survey revealed that the total number of loans now in forbearance decreased by 26 bps to 1.41 percent of servicers’ portfolio volume in the prior month as of December 31. According to MBA’s estimate, 705k homeowners are in forbearance plans.

Coming up are December housing starts and building permits and a Treasury auction of $20 billion reopened 20-year bonds. The Desk will purchase up to $3.5 billion 30-year MBS across GNII 2 percent and 2.5 percent followed by UMBS30 2.5 percent and 3 percent, the first operation to include UMBS30 3 percent since August 2020. In the very early going Agency MBS prices are roughly unchanged from Tuesday evening and the 10-year yielding 1.88 after closing yesterday at 1.87 percent.

An English man, a Scotsman, an Irishman, a Latvian, a Turk, an Aussie, a Yank, an Egyptian, a Japanese, a Mexican, a Spaniard, a Greek, a Russian, an Estonian, a German, an Italian, a Pole, a Lithuanian, a Swede, a Finn, an Israeli, a Romanian, a Bulgarian, a Serb, a Czech, and a Swiss went into a pub.

The doorman says, “Sorry. I can’t let you in without a Thai.”

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, “Opening the Door to Consumer Direct” about the pros and cons of the CD channel. 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 2022 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.)