Jan. 23: MLO jobs; call mgt., non-QM, trading products; comp survey; moderate U.S. economic expansion continues

Did you know that you can vote by smart phone (smartphone? Smartphone?) in Seattle? Did you know that less than 20 percent of the world’s population has ever taken a single flight? (U.S. citizens? About 50%.) Did you know that many economists have forecast that this year will bring neither a recession nor outstanding growth? Market indicators, however, signal strong investor optimism. How about future housing values this year? The Basis Point’s latest deep dive on current/future state of home valuations have two major implications for debate and discussion: a hybrid robot/human valuation model makes the system safer than human-only appraisals, and valuations can now power instant home buying, financing, improving. Instant home buying? Push button get mortgage? What if I can’t get the movers out to my place for 30 days?



Caliber Home Loans, Inc. is excited to welcome Drew Dyet to the team as SVP of Caliber Portfolio Lending (CPL). Drew will be leading the charge to grow and execute CPL strategy for the organization. In 2019 Caliber reached over $60 Billion in originations and, with Drew’s dedication, the CPL teams will continue to play a big role in Caliber’s success in 2020. Drew comes to Caliber with an extensive background in mortgage lending, including leadership roles in sales, management, and business development. Throughout his career, his number one focus has been delivering an exceptional custom experience based on trust and accountability. Caliber looks forward to Drew’s partnership and continuing to invest in Non-Agency product strategy. Drew is one of many strong additions to Caliber’s leadership in 2020. Top-producing originators interested in joining Caliber should email Brian Miller.


The Construction Division of Thrive Mortgage saw tremendous growth in 2019. From the addition of new products, new partnerships with national builders, and new investors; Thrive’s National Builder Division (BUILD) is poised for even greater results in 2020. “We’ve been heavily involved in construction lending for well over a decade, so we had a great foundation to build upon,” stated Brian Hurd, VP National Builder Division. “No other lender has our product mix.  One-time and two-time close programs, VA, FHA, Manufactured Homes, new Condo financing, 3D-Printed homes… it’s extensive.” Michael Jones, CFO of Thrive, added, “Our knack for innovation is now being brought to a national stage. There’s so much growth opportunity for companies like us with the ability to see five to ten years (or more) down the road.” For info on partnership opportunities, send a note to info@thrivemortgage.comSales professionals looking to Thrive in 2020 should visit join.thrivemortgage.com.

Finance of America Mortgage knows that in today’s environment, the mortgage process needs to be as transparent, efficient, and borrower friendly as possible. This is why we have taken up the task of bringing the mortgage process into the 21st century through our advanced Client Experience platform. With Finance of America Mortgage, your more technologically savvy clients are able to quickly and easily sign and provide whatever documentation is needed for their applications through their own personal online portal. And for your clients needing a bit more hand holding, we have you covered. Our team of highly experienced mortgage advisors are here when your borrower needs direct assistance. To learn how you can become part of the Finance of America Mortgage team, and therefore simplify the mortgage process for your clients, click HERE.”

CIS Credit Solutions(“CIS”), a market leading services and solutions provider to the mortgage industry, announced that John Dalton is the first member of its newly formed Advisory Board.

Lender services and products

A reminder for everyone who missed it on Tuesday, Episode 003 of the “Clear to Close” podcast from Maxwell was released this week and introduces an insightful discussion about the future of the loan officer in this age of digital transformation. The episode features Homebot CEO, Ernie Graham, and challenges what the responsibility and focus of a loan officer should be in an industry in flux. Great listen for all lending professionals. Download and subscribe from your favorite podcast platform: Apple, Spotify, Google Play, Soundcloud, or listen in your browser here.

GSF Mortgage Corporation (GSF) is excited to announce the latest addition to its line of Single Close Construction products: A Jumbo Construction to Permanent (CTP) program aimed at supporting large scale projects outside of the parameters of conforming or high balance agency products. A few of the Jumbo highlights include a max loan amount up to $1,500,000 (some restrictions apply) and up to 90% LTV (Primary Residence). GSF’s foundation and core values are built around delivering the best products, turn times and service levels in the CTP space, and is led by a team of experts that have over 100 years of combined CTP experience. Please send all inquiries and questions to our Construction Resource team.


MCT is proud to announce that on December 18th it became the first organization to connect lenders to Fannie Mae’s Loan Pricing API via its Bid Auction Manager (BAM) loan trading platform. Through the API connection, lenders gain instant visibility of live Servicing Marketplace® (SMP) pricing from each of their servicing partners for loan populations of any size directly within BAM. The API allows end users to retrieve Servicing Released Premium (SRP) pricing based on the loan details provided in the request and returns pricing for each approved SMP relationship with a single call. Following best execution analysis and selection of the winning buyers, all loans can be committed with a single click via MCTlive! Rapid Commit. Since launching in 2017, SMP has seen strong growth, boasting 11 active servicing buyers, 6 of which have no advertised minimum volume requirements. SMP provides sellers with a competitive servicing released execution with all the benefits of a Fannie Mae relationship, and should be considered in every seller’s best execution toolkit. The new connection results in a faster, more convenient process for lenders selling to Fannie Mae and improved Mark-to-Market reporting. Reach out for more information about how BAM can save you time and improve your loan-sale process.

“Are you experiencing agency fallout on your loans? Don’t let another deal pass you by, take advantage of First Guaranty Mortgage Corporation (FGMC) Wholesale Division’s biggest Non-QM Guideline Expansion today! FGMC Wholesale has expanded our Non-QM offerings through our proprietary Non-QM product suite, Maverick Solutions. Our Non-QM expansions include loan amounts up to $5,000,000, up to 95% LTV with a 700+ FICO, DTI up to 55%, Condotel and Mixed-use Properties up to 75% LTV, and more! This is on top of a bank statement program, second lien product, debt service coverage ratio (investor cash flow) on investment properties, and options for credit scores as low as 500. Do MORE with Maverick Solutions. Email our Non-QM Scenario Desk to see if we can help or contact your Account Executive today to take advantage of this expansion. Don’t have an Account Executive yet? Reach out to Michael Massella to learn more.”

Conquering Shifts is a must read. Some of the industry’s most prolific originators shared their stories with authors Cindy Douglas and Kathleen Heck. Recently Cindy caught up with Tom Ninness. When asked what he planned to shift to increase business in 2020 Tom shared he is incorporating social media and video education. His advice to new LO’s is “to add everyone they know with their email addresses to start their database. Make them a bird dog for finding opportunities. Taking the “Rule of 250” educate those people with all that the MLO has to offer, and share knowledge of value. The original 250 can encourage their connections to share with people they know about the LO. If word of mouth stops there, that’s 62,500 connections. Create stellar experiences and the potential becomes endless. Looking to boost production purchase before the discount ends 01/30/2020.


BIG NEWS: It’s no secret that calling the right people at the right time with the right message is a killer way to win new business. The problem is knowing who, when, and why to call, right? That’s exactly why we created the UsherpAlert Call Management App! Every day, UsherpAlert serves you up a list of that day’s most high-value calls and makes it easy to stay in touch with a text, call, or email with a click of a button. It’s as close to snapping your fingers and getting deals as you can get! Stop losing opportunities because you missed these important follow-up calls. Download the app so you know exactly who, when, and why to call! Text the word USHERPA to the number 435-06 for links to download on Apple or Android. Or if you’re not a Usherpa member yet, check them out at Usherpa.com.

Compensation survey

In the 2018 STRATMOR Compensation Connection Study, lenders reported that 42 percent of their LO incentive/commission compensation was based on a tiered bps structure. In a challenging employment market where top producers are in high demand and unemployment is at an all-time low, are your compensation plans competitive to recruit and retain these valuable resources? STRATMOR’s Compensation Connection Study provides participant lenders with compensation information for roles that are unique to the mortgage industry, from sales to post closing. And, because there is more to compensation than salary, we provide details on incentives and benefits paid, like bonuses, educational allowances and time off, giving you the information you need about the market and your peers to build a compensation plan to attract and keep the right people. Don’t miss this opportunity to have the most mortgage-specific compensation information available. Only lenders who complete the survey are eligible to purchase this year’s complete results. Sign up to participate in the 2020 Compensation Connection Study today!


Capital markets

The latest economic data continues to support the narrative of moderate economic expansion for quite some time. December’s retail sales were slightly below expectations, rising a mere 0.3 percent as auto sales declined 1.3 percent. Excluding autos and gasoline, retail sales increased 0.5 percent. Residential construction spiked 16.9 percent in December to an annualized rate of 1,608,000 units. Both single and multi-family starts increased with the former rising 11.7 percent and the latter jumping 29.8 percent. US Industrial production dipped 0.3 percent due mostly to a 5.6 percent decline in utilities output. Turning to inflation, both producer and consumer prices nudged higher during December, however both remain at or below the Fed’s target on an annual basis. For the previous twelve months core CPI rose 2.2 percent and core PPI was up 1.5 percent. With tepid growth and low inflation, mortgage rates have moved much since the end of November. Purchase mortgage applications rose 15.5 percent for the ending January 10 and refinance apps were up 42.7 percent. Baring a significant change in the economic or geopolitical outlook, there is little incentive for the market to deviate from its current pattern.

Housing starts finished the year much stronger than expected surging to their highest level since December 2006 at a 1.61 million-unit annual pace. While the headline number is certainly attention grabbing, it is important to note there are seasonal factors at play such as a very mild temperatures across the county in December. Additionally, multi-family starts tick up at the end of the year as developers rush to start projects before newer, more restrictive codes go into effect. Despite those factors, it was still a very good month for housing starts and the National Association of Home Builders index remains near a 20-year high. Manufacturing data was also positive at the end of the year, rising 0.2 percent in a sign the sector may be stabilizing and both the New York and Philly Fed surveys in January exceeded expectations as well. The NFIB small business index eased to 102.7 in December, however feedback remains positive and most owners expect improving conditions over the next few months.

U.S. Treasuries spent yesterday in a narrow range, reversing some of Tuesday’s declines to end the cash session near their closing levels from Tuesday. Existing home sales increased beyond expectations, though serious inventory constraints in the existing home sales market continue to drive up prices. Wuhan, the Chinese city at the center of a widening respiratory-virus outbreak, suspended outbound flights and rail service as China ramped up efforts to contain an illness that’s killed at least 17 people and infected hundreds. Residents of the city, which has a population of more than 11 million, will not be allowed to leave Wuhan without a special permit.


Other news from overseas included a representative from China’s National Development and Reform Commission saying that there is no timetable for the next phase of trade talks with the U.S., the French Finance Minister said that he is willing to delay digital tax payments until December in an effort to find a compromise with the U.S. Treasury, and Prime Minister Johnson’s Brexit deal cleared its final hurdles in Parliament, possibly bringing to a close the crisis that’s paralyzed British politics since the U.K. voted to leave the European Union almost four years ago. Back home, the U.S. Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump entered its second day as Democratic House managers began presenting their case on why the Republican should be removed from office.


There were no surprises from the Norges Bank and the ECB, out with their latest monetary policy decisions. The U.S. calendar has Weekly Initial Claims (+6k to 211k). Later this morning brings December Leading Indicators and KC Fed manufacturing for January. Treasury will announce the auction sizes for month-end coupon supply consisting of 2-year, 5-year and 7-year notes and new 2-year FRNs, followed by $14bn new 10-year TIPS auction. In between, the Desk will conduct a UMBS30 FedTrade operation targeting up to $687 million 3 percent ($501 million) and 3.5 percent ($186 million). We begin today with Agency MBS prices better nearly .125 and the 10-year yielding 1.74 percent after closing yesterday unchanged at 1.77 percent.

(Thanks to Heidi B. for this one!)

Police: “I’m sorry to both of you. Your son set the school on fire.”

Parents: “Arson?!”

Police: “Yes, your son.”

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(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