July 1: COO, Ops, AE, LO jobs coast to coast; broker, marketing products; mortgage rates: “steady as she goes”

Thank God for the Rolling Stones: They’re older than we are! Halfway through 2020 already? Welcome to Q3! Social D. sang, “Life goes by so fast; you only want to do what you think is right. Close your eyes and then it’s past; story of my life.” Yes, we’re aging. The U.S. Census Bureau announced the nation’s 65-and-older population grew by 34 percent (13.8 million people) during the past decade, driven by the aging of Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964. The growth of this population contributed to an increase in the national median age from 37 years in 2010 to 38 in 2019. Since the first Baby Boomers reached 65 years old in 2011, no other age group has seen such a fast increase in the past 10 years. In fact, the under-18 population was smaller in 2019 than it was in 2010, in part due to lower fertility in the U.S. (For pure numbers, millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, number about 72 million. Boomers are 73 million, a stat not lost on reverse mortgage lenders.)

Employment & transitions

ServiceLink is pleased to announce David Lee as its new VP, Sales, ServiceLink Auction. Lee, who brings more than 16 years of industry experience to ServiceLink, will be responsible for leveraging his deep industry knowledge and auction expertise to continue to strengthen ServiceLink’s reputation for providing superior client service. He is excited to continue his career at ServiceLink, citing its wide breadth of integrated default services that work together with auction to improve efficiencies and deliver better results for its clients. Prior to joining ServiceLink, he served as VP, Client Management at Auction.com. Before that, he held Senior Vice President roles in Business Development and Account Management at Jordan Capital Finance and Matt Martin Real Estate Management following a distinguished career in the United States military.

AAFMAA Mortgage Services is looking for experienced mortgage professionals in sales and operations roles. “We have Loan Officer, Branch Manager and Closing/Post-Closing opportunities in Virginia Beach and Northern VA, as well as the Raleigh, Fayetteville, and Wilmington NC areas. Great opportunity to be part of a mortgage team, with centralized support and marketing leads to help you grow! Email Tiana Fallavollita for details! Plus, with a wide range of low-rate and low-cost mortgage products, you can help Veterans and military members build, buy, or refinance a home. Join us and be part of a not-for-profit, member-owned association founded in 1879.”

Agility 360, a mortgage-centric recruiting and project staffing firm, continues to see unprecedented need for qualified originations and servicing staff. With the pressure of historically low rates, re-bounding demand for purchases, and increasing delinquencies, finding qualified mortgage personnel can be difficult, but finding great talent can seem almost impossible. This is when Agility’s nationwide candidate database and our proprietary methodology can deliver results and find that unique fit between employer and employee. Whether you need immediate direct hires or temporary contract personnel, Agility always finds “the right person for the job”. Leveraging over a decade of industry experience, Agility has created the most sophisticated recruiting and talent management network in the mortgage industry. If you’d like to learn how we can help, please contact Raj Sharma at 469-208-6337.”

Is your company becoming too corporate? Do you love the company you used to work for? Check out PacRes Mortgage Dreams Approved Daily and go back to being proud of where you work and having fun again. Contact Jeff Strode, EVP (503-805-0991) to find out about joining The PAC.

“With a 600 percent year over year growth, and a target of $1.3 billion in our 2nd year of business, 11 MORTGAGE is looking for high caliber team members to support this growth. If you have extensive wholesale experience, we may have an incredible opportunity for you in Underwriting, Account Managers, Closers, Set up and Disclosure Desk. We offer a lucrative bonus program with opportunities for additional earnings through overtime (including weekend O/T). All of these positions are available remote. On the sales side, we are looking for champion Account Executives with an active book of business in key states across the nation. 11 MORTGAGE offers attractive compensation, very aggressive pricing, unmatched broker/ops level of service, NO AMCs, very low AE turnover, and untapped wide-open territories. If you want to double your production and territory with an exclusive organization that provides the industry’s best customer service, contact 11 Mortgage EVP of Wholesale, Thomas MichelArea sales managers with successful teams are also encouraged to reach out.

As we continue our Gear Up For Growth 2020 initiative, Stearns Lending is excited to welcome KJ King, Account Executive, to the Wholesale team. KJ comes to Stearns with nearly a decade of experience in the industry, which includes roles at top wholesalers. Throughout his career, he has played a key role in company growth and client success in wholesale lending. King stated, “Stearns has always been a leader in the industry, so I am honored to join the team and excited to have the opportunity to provide premium products with unmatched service to my clients”. Even with our sustained growth, Stearns is looking to add more operations and sales positions to the team. For more information or to inquire about open sales and operational roles with Stearns Wholesale Lending, click here.

St. Louis, Mo.-based, and 100 percent employee-owned, USA Mortgage ranked among 2019’s top 60 U.S. mortgage loan originators by Scotsman Guide after booking loan volume of $2.45 billion, is looking for a Chief Operating Officer (COO). Primary duties (from the big picture perspective) are to plan, develop and implement internal and external initiatives that advance goals set by the CEO and ESOP Board of Directors. Qualifications: a BA or BS in business from a four-year university (MBA preferred); detailed knowledge of mortgage loan products; and at least five years of executive supervisory experience. For an inside look at the factors powering the rise of USA Mortgage, which now employs 767 people at 106 locations in 40 states and the District of Columbia, here’s a recent story from the St. Louis Business Journal. If you think you are a fit, let’s get started. Reach out today to joinus@USA-Mortgage.com.

Lender & broker services and products

Union Home Mortgage Corp. TPO recognizes this time of uncertainty for our Partners and their families. We are committed to prioritizing our purchase transactions. In 2020, our purchase business goes from submission to funding in less than 25 days on average. In our Wholesale and Non-Delegated Correspondent production channels, we are offering the following products: FNMA, FHLMC, FHA, VA, USDA loans. We will continue to adapt to changes, keep you informed, and do our personal best to fund all loans on time as expected. We’ve made changes to our workflow and technology to create Raving Fans. Thank you for your business and partnership. We are here for you. We’re an organization dedicated to providing world-class service at competitive prices. LEARN MORE: Contact Jim Wickham, Vice President – Third Party Origination (248.318.8553).”

When Dan Gilbert founded a small mortgage brokerage called Rock Financial 35 years ago, the three-person operation had grit, hustle, and a penchant for innovation. Those qualities still permeate through the Quicken Loans we know today as the nation’s largest mortgage lender, guided by its unmatched culture. A decade ago, QLMS was created so the company could return to its roots and support brokers who look like Rock Financial did in 1985. Now, QLMS is in the midst of incredible growth. It has a partner network that is 40,000 LOs strong and has done more broker business in the first half of 2020 than in all of 2019, which was a record year. This growth is thanks to the infrastructure and processes that have been honed over the last three and a half decades. If you want this expertise on your team, click HERE to start working with QLMS tomorrow.

As wholesale brokers continue to uncover new ways to optimize their business, the team at ReadyPrice has been hard at work developing their technology focused on saving brokers’ time, clicks, and dollars. ReadyPrice is the first cloud-based software that brings together product pricing eligibility, DO/DU underwriting, and loan delivery within a single, easy-to-use platform, creating a smarter way for brokers and lenders to work together. Best of all, ReadyPrice is a lender-sponsored tool, which means there is no cost for brokers to sign up and start working more efficiently. ReadyPrice launches July 16th and is already taking pre-launch registrations. Sign-up today to experience ReadyPrice and the Modern Era of Mortgage Technology! 

Record sales and 50 percent lower cost per loan! How Steven J. Sless and his PRMI Reverse Division rocked their best months ever using direct mail: “You know, PRMI is just a powerhouse in the mortgage industry now. And Monster Lead Group has been an unbelievable partner. Monster knows what they’re doing, they know how to make the phones ring, they know how to generate business, but they also know how important it is to help us grow a brand at the same time. It’s a real marketing system. It’s not just sending mail. I think the consistency of the campaigns is what we rely on… Our cost per funded loan is about 50 percent of the industry average… So that story should be told. We’re able to grow and scale our operation because of the predictability of the Monster campaigns. That is what’s allowed us to get to this point.” Want BETTER direct mail?

Capital markets

Fannie Mae’s Trading Desk made a temporary change to the maximum extension period for mandatory commitments. “When making mandatory (non-Servicing Execution Tool) commitments in Pricing & Execution – Whole Loan (PE – Whole Loan), the maximum extension period has been temporarily moved from 30 days out to 60 days. Any commitment extended for more than 25 days will still be ineligible for the auto-extension process.”

Interest rate volatility has disappeared from the market, much to the satisfaction of capital markets folks everywhere. But this is sobering: not expecting air travel to return to pre-virus levels until perhaps 2025, Airbus will cut 15,000 jobs. One of the major headlines fueling market movement is if the federal government will engage in further stimulus. When Congress returns from recess in mid-July, it will consider additional fiscal stimulus before emergency unemployment benefits expire and the much longer August recess begins. Between now and then, we will receive some very important labor market-related economic data, which will likely play a key role in shaping the outcome. Bills discussed range from $500 billion to roughly $1 trillion in size, with the bulk of the money going towards state and local aid and stimulus to households through policies like a payroll tax cut or another round of direct household checks. Markets have yet to price in or forecast for any additional stimulus, meaning another round would bump up forecasts for GDP growth, employment growth, Treasury yields, etc., with the actual magnitude dependent on the ultimate size and design of the package.

Taking a step back for perspective, economic data last week continued to show small signs of improvement from the massive contraction that occurred earlier in the year. The Eurozone PMI hit a four-month high, as did the UK and Japan. While all these economies are still contracting, they are not contracting as much as they were over the previous three months. U.S. personal income reverse course in May, declining over 4 percent after jumping nearly 11 percent in April thanks in part to the fiscal stimulus. But in April personal spending dropped almost 13 percent only to rebound 8 percent in May as pent-up demand drove sales. Personal savings fell to a still high 23 percent in May. Durable goods orders rebounded in May as all major categories with the exception of commercial aircraft saw gains. Initial unemployment claims declined by 60,000 to 1,480,000 for the week ending June 20 and continuing claims were 19,522,000. And new home sales jumped over 16 percent in May to a 676,000-unit annual rate after a weak April, although existing home sales fell to their lowest annual pace since late 2010.

Turning to yesterday, the last day of Q2 2020 saw the U.S. Treasury yield curve steepen, with longer durations pulling back a couple bps and the 2-year yield rallying one bp on mixed news. China passed the new national security law for Hong Kong, putting an effective end to the “one country, two systems” principle, though markets paid more attention to Fed Chairman Powell and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin delivering testimony before the House Financial Services Committee where they talked about measures undertaken to support markets, though neither offered anything new. Mnuchin told the House that the economy continues to recover and expects 17 percent growth next quarter and 9 percent in Q4. Powell, in his prepared remarks, stressed the importance of containing the coronavirus amid the recent resurgence in cases, and also said he and his colleagues can see possibly lowering the threshold for the central bank’s Main Street lending facility again. Powell also said the Fed is prepping for a second virus wave. Both men walked a fine line, welcoming a recent rebound in economic activity while warning the pandemic remains a significant risk.

Talking of economic activity, U.S. consumer confidence rose in June by more than forecast as optimism increased amid business reopenings, though sentiment remained well below pre-pandemic levels. Separately, the Chicago PMI increased in June from May but was still below expectations. And the S&P Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index rose 4.0 percent in April, missing 4.1 percent expectations but increasing from 3.9 percent in March.

Turning to today’s economic activity, mortgage applications decreased 1.8 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending June 26. That comes despite the 10-year yield falling 6 bps during the reporting period with mortgage rates mostly lower as we may be beginning to see some refinance burnout. We’ve also had some labor market indicators, with job cuts from Challenger (172k cuts in June, down from May’s 397k) and ADP employment (2.369 million, less than expected). Later this morning brings the final June reading for Markit manufacturing PMI, ISM manufacturing PMI, and May construction spending. With regards to the Fed, Chicago Fed President Evans and San Francisco Fed President Daly will both deliver webinar remarks. The afternoon brings the minutes from the June 9/10 FOMC meeting which may give more color on any yield curve control discussions. And the Desk of the NY Fed will conduct two FedTrade purchase operations totaling up to $4.665 billion. We begin today with Agency MBS prices unchanged from Tuesday’s close and the 10-year yielding .68 after closing yesterday at 0.65 percent.

Wearing a mask can be scary. Not wearing one can be deadly.

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, “Knowing a Borrower’s Mind”, focused on operations changes. If you have the 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. This newsletter is designed 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 2020 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.)


Rob Chrisman