Daily Mortgage News & Commentary

Jan. 25: Processing, AE, LO, FHA jobs; automation, efficiency, pricing, LOS products; Freddie & Fannie news, soup to nuts

Numbers are interesting things. “1” is the number of dogs, that I know of, rescued by a drone dragging a sausage and leading the dog to safety out of a mud flat. “38.2” was the United States’ median age in 2018. (Yes, half above, half below… and it is up from 37.2 in 2010.) “$9 trillion” is the Federal Reserve’s bond portfolio which Federal Reserve officials are set to discuss reducing, and how fast they will shrink it when the time comes, which would serve as a tool for tightening monetary policy as the Fed tries to curb high inflation. “2022” is the year that Fannie Mae anticipates we will establish a new “normal” for the housing market. The top-level view is that inflation will remain elevated for the year, and home price appreciation will slow to the high single digits. Economic growth will also return to longer term trends. Expect GDP to fall to 3.1%, home price appreciation will grow 7.6%, and inflation will start at 7% before slowing to 4%. (Today’s audio version of the commentary is available here and this week’s is sponsored by TMS, a top 10 subservicer with a 98 percent customer satisfaction rate. TMS is on a mission to “Grow Happiness” and delivers next level service with their award-winning proprietary technology, SIME.)

Employment

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Throughout 2021, InterLinc Mortgage, a full-service mortgage banking firm based out of Houston, TX, expanded into several new markets, onboarded 12 branches and brought on over 160 new associates. With an updated mission, vision, and new leadership under CEO Gene F. Thompson III, InterLinc has rebranded, launched new innovative systems and tools such as SimpleNexus, a proprietary marketing utility platform and an optimized digital customer satisfaction tool, and achieved 5 new designations with elite showcases such as Top Mortgage Employer, Best Places to Work and Inc. 5000’s Fastest Growing Private Companies. All this and more has set the stage for an expansive 2022 ahead. For more information on InterLinc’s leadership, culture and value propositions, head to JoinInterLinc.com and download its comprehensive booklet.

Jeremy Smith, a proven leader with 15 years of experience, joins AmeriSave Mortgage Corporation as Retail Regional Vice President, Texas. “We are honored that a leader of Jeremy’s caliber has chosen to join the team. Jeremy has proven he can succeed at the highest levels…his best work is yet to come,’’ said Leif Boyd, Head of Retail Production. Smith seeks team members who are problem solvers, leaders in their area of expertise, and desire to make a difference. “It means everything to me to be able to put originators in the position to succeed – not just with clients, but also with referral partners,” expressed Smith. To learn more about AmeriSave, please reach out to Peter Schwartz at 916-770-0053. AmeriSave Mortgage Corporation, operating in 49 states and D.C., is one of the largest privately owned mortgage lenders in the country. For more information, visit https://www.amerisave.com/. NMLS ID #1168.

Bigger loans, risk-based pricing, and funding in as fast as 5 days: That’s why experienced real estate investors rely on Anchor Loans for fix and flip, new construction, and rental loans. Last year was an inflection point for Anchor: we became first bridge lender to pass $10 billion in total fundings, and then we were acquired by Pretium, a specialized investment management firm with approximately $30 billion in assets. To keep the pace with what’s to come, Anchor is looking for Account Executives and Processing staff for in-office, remote and hybrid positions. We’re offering signing bonuses, highly competitive compensation, comprehensive training, and a culture of caring and success. Contact Desiree Falcon to learn more. Come join the new A team and make history with us!

Want to work for the government? Calling all underwriters living in Denver or would like to live in Denver: FHA has an opening for a Supervisory Underwriter in Denver: Announcement Number 22-HUD-676-P. FHA is looking for a Review Appraiser in Philadelphia, PA (Announcement Number 22-HUD-725-P) with a salary range of $103-134k per year. And FHA has one vacancy in Albany, NY for a Supervisory Loan Servicing Specialist: the USAJOBS Website, announcement number 22-HUD-736-P.

Lender and broker products & services

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We’ve come a very long way since the invention of the first cell phone — a behemoth that weighed about 2.5 pounds and stood nine inches tall. But thanks to swift technological advancements over the past 50 years, today there’s no better way to reach your consumers than in the palm of their hands. That’s why FormFree is making it easier than ever for borrowers to permission verification of assets, income, employment (VOAIE) and rental payment history via smartphone using the Passport mobile app. When lenders text borrowers a link prompting them to download Passport, they can knock out VOIE and verification of rental payment history in a matter of minutes. Learn how you can help aspiring homeowners reach their goals without the troublesome paper chase by scheduling time with Gregg Palmer virtually or in person at MBA IMB.

Everyone needs someone to turn to, even mortgage brokers. Thanks to a new program from Rocket Pro TPO, all its broker partners will have a whole Crew. With this program, called “Crews,” each Rocket Pro TPO broker partner will now have direct access to a small, dedicated team of mortgage experts (Underwriters, Closing Specialists, Purchase Title Coordinators, etc.) who know the broker, know their business and can help get loans closed fast and with certainty. While other lenders may give brokers access to underwriters or closing specialists, Rocket Pro TPO is giving brokers a full team dedicated to their success. There also will be East Coast and West Coast Crews, who know are available during each broker’s specific working hours. Brokers, reach out to your AE now to meet your crew and learn how they can best help you succeed.

Looking for more from auction in 2022? RealtyBid®, Covius’ national online and live auction platform, differentiates itself with its unique blend of auction, real estate, and customer service expertise. RealtyBid delivers increased sales with shorter timelines, as well as targeted services for aged inventory and occupied assets. 2021 brought significant site enhancements benefitting servicers and investors, including partnering with Weiss Analytics to offer price indexing, forecasting and analytics for 80 million properties. Additionally, RealtyBid offers highly experienced and long-tenured staff, skillful micro-marketing of challenging assets, a structured, yet adaptable, process that is easily scalable and on-demand portfolio performance metrics via Dynamic Dashboard reporting. Our focus is success for our lender and servicer clients, and we continue to evolve and deliver on the most important performance metrics: accelerated sales and best execution at a lower cost. Learn more at RealtyBid.com.

loanDepot Wholesale is now offering SOFR ARMs on our Jumbo Advantage Express program giving you more options for Jumbo Borrowers. Available for primary residence, second home, and investment properties. Purchase, rate/term, and cash-out refinances. Loan amounts up to $2,000,000 and 80% LTV/CLTV. Credit scores as low as 700. 7/6 and 10/6 terms available. Refer to the Jumbo Advantage Express program matrix for more details and contact your Account Executive today with any questions.”

As the refinance market continue to shrink, lenders may need to pivot into new products or lines of business. Imagine if the LOS platform that you have purchased does not support TPO, Construction Lending, Rehab Lending, HELOCS, Consumer lending, Business Entity lending, Chattel Lending, or Foreign National Lending, or short/long term servicing. What about supporting online origination or servicing in Spanish? These are all opportunities that you may be missing because the platform that you are using is holding you back. Lenders need options, at MortgageFlex, we provide them. Please contact SVP John McCrea or visit MortgageFlex today.

“Start off the new year celebrating your independence by connecting with Optimal Blue, a division of Black Knight, at the MBA Independent Mortgage Bankers Conference Jan. 24–27 in Nashville. Stop by the Optimal Blue booth to learn about the power of its product, pricing, and eligibility engine, which is used to lock 34% of U.S. mortgages. Optimal Blue also offers premier hedging analytics solutions, as well as expertise in MSR valuation, loan trading and social media management. We are ready to discuss your needs as an independent mortgage banker to help you propel revenue growth with distinctive automated solutions. Contact Optimal Blue today to learn more about the company’s best-in-class secondary marketing solutions or request a one-on-one meeting at the conference.”

For nearly 30 years, Sourcepoint has focused on the mortgage industry with the singular intent of creating a full suite of products and services that help lenders and servicers improve efficiencies and the borrower experience. Did you know that we now offer Mortgage Quality Control and Due Diligence services? Sourcepoint recently acquired The StoneHill Group, the leader in QC and Due Diligence, whose services are accepted by the top rating agencies, GSEs and hundreds of financial institutions across the country. Enabled by our proprietary platform, you can seamlessly scale loan QC operations, eliminate staffing challenges, and rely on best practices and subject matter experts, all without any upfront capital investment. What’s more, our web-based client portal and robust dashboard reporting provide deep insights into loan-level defects and round-the-clock access to your performance data. Contact our experts to learn more about how we can help you meet your QC and compliance goals in 2022 and beyond.

Get ready to crush your 2022 goals! Capacity, an AI-powered support automation platform, is offering free consultations to mortgage companies that would like to learn more about automation. During a 30-minute phone call, you’ll talk with an industry expert to uncover what processes and tasks in your company are ripe for automation. Capacity empowers mortgage professionals with instant knowledge and automated workflows. Are you ready to provide a superior employee experience? If your answer is “yes,” there’s no better time to get started on your automation journey. Let’s connect!

Conventional conforming changes continue

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Given that the overwhelming majority of residential loans either are processed using the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae procedures, run through their underwriting engines, and/or eventually are sold to the two Government Sponsored Enterprises, when they make changes, the industry follows. Let’s take a sample of who is doing what.

Freddie Mac’s analytical tool, AIMI, combines multifamily rental income growth, property price growth and mortgage rates to provide a single Index that measures multifamily market investment conditions. A rise in AIMI from one quarter to the next implies an increasingly favorable environment for multifamily investment opportunities, while a decline suggests that attractive investment opportunities are becoming more difficult to find compared with the prior period. Across all markets in the thirds quarter, AIMI showed favorable Multifamily Investment Environments. In addition to national and local values, a sensitivity table is available that captures how the index value adjusts based on changes in certain underlying variables. Additional information about AIMI is on the Freddie Mac Multifamily website, including FAQs and a video.

According to Fannie Mae research, a majority of consumers do not know the minimum credit score, down payment, and debt-to-income ratio needed to qualify for a mortgage, and fewer than 1 in 4 are aware that low-down-payment options are available products, including low-down-payment loans. Data from Fannie Mae’s Q2 2021 National Housing Survey® show that consumers continue to want information about purchasing and owning a home but have lacked a trusted, centralized source. Among those surveyed, renters and homeowners across race and ethnicity reported significant interest in learning about how much home they could afford as well as their financing options.

Fannie Mae launched it new homeownership education course, HomeView™, available free of cost, and accessible online anytime on any device at fanniemae.com/education. HomeView course includes seven interactive learning modules that guide the user through the steps of buying and owning a home providing comprehensive, easy-to-understand content and resources designed to ensure aspiring homebuyers are well equipped to become more informed and successful homeowners. Additionally, HomeView homeownership education aligns with the National Industry Standards requirements for many first-time homebuyers to qualify for certain mortgage products, including low-down-payment loans.

The brand-new, comprehensive homeownership education course is now available: Fannie Mae’s HomeView™ puts homeownership into focus for first-time borrowers by providing tools and information for every step of the homebuying journey. The course aligns with National Industry Standards and is available free of charge.

Supporting its commitment to promote environmentally sustainable single-family housing, Freddie Mac announced its Single-Family Green Bond Framework, to help reduce climate-related risks and increase affordability. Freddie Mac has issued more than $600 million in Single-Family Green MBS since the first bond was issued in April 2021. Each Single-Family Green MBS issued to-date is backed by Freddie Mac GreenCHOICE Mortgages®, where borrowers used refinance proceeds to finance energy efficient home improvements.

Desktop appraisals will be an option for some loans beginning in March 2022, as described in Fannie Mae’s Desktop Underwriter® (DU®) Version 11.0 March release notes. The fact sheet for lenders and appraisers provides high-level information about our requirements and answers to frequently asked questions.

In advance of the excess fee and cost process transition from LoanSphere to Property 360™, Fannie Mae updated the Attorney Authorization Approval (AAA) matrix to include Property 360 references.

Freddie Mac posted an update stating that March 6 Is the Correct Effective Date for New Messages Supporting Desktop Appraisals.

Capital markets

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Turning to the bond market and mortgage rates, this trading week began with covid leaving the headlines and traders considering both Ukraine tensions as well as today and tomorrow’s Fed meeting. Russia has continued to amass troops on Ukraine’s border, with any escalation from here leading toward military action likely spelling a fall for rates (LOs, don’t start rooting for a war, thanks). In regard to the Fed, expectations are for this week’s Fed events to give the all-clear sign for the Fed to start hiking rates as soon as the meeting in March, followed by rate hikes in June, September, and December. It would seem this is when “the punchbowl” is officially taken away. The question now becomes whether economic strength is sustainable without the government’s help or whether it was driven entirely by stimulus.

Today’s calendar is already under way with the Philadelphia Fed non-manufacturing indices for January (+2.6). Later this morning brings Redbook same store sales, November house price indexes from Case-Shiller and FHFA, January consumer confidence, and the Richmond Fed manufacturing and services indexes. After yesterday’s solid $54 billion 2-year note offering, today brings a $55 billion 5-year note sale. With regard to the Fed, day one of the two-day FOMC meeting will get under way at 9:00 a.m. ET. The Desk will purchase up to $3.4 billion of conventional MBS. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices nearly unchanged from Monday night and the 10-year yielding 1.76 versus yesterday’s close at 1.74 percent.

All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

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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.)