July 12: VP, Controller, AE, LO jobs; doc, U/W products; LO training; Fannie, ARMs, and SOFR; yield curve news

Glenn Freezman sent, “I have a step ladder. I never knew my real ladder.” Toddlers, drunk people, and yoga pants don’t lie. What about statistics? Denver’s medical marijuana dispensaries outnumber Starbucks locations 3 to 1. In fact, this source says they outnumber Starbucks and McDonald’s combined. Colorado or elsewhere, who says the economy isn’t changing? What about the real estate market? If someone doesn’t believe scientists about climate change (natural or man-made), why should we believe Redfin about bidding wars? Buyers are now about four times less likely to face a bidding war than they were just a year ago.


A motivated and experienced investor is seeking to acquire a FULL EAGLE/HUD Designated. Licensed in CA would be preferred but is not required. The ideal situation is for current shareholders to liquidate all or a large portion of their equity through the transaction. Principals would be willing to negotiate/keep the existing team. Interested parties should contact Anjelica Nixt; please specify opportunity.

Universal Lending is a FNMA, FHLMC, and GNMA approved lender headquartered in Denver, Colorado with offices in other states. No other independent mortgage banker has been owned and operated in Colorado longer than our 38 years. We are proud to have earned best in class from the STRATMOR Group in overall customer satisfaction. Universal Lending ranks well ahead of the national benchmark in all major driver categories, most notably in Loan Officer and Processor satisfaction. LO’s and Processors have strong teams to support them all the way from prospecting to post-closing. We are hiring a Controller. This individual will be part of our management team and will oversee accounting and human resources and will also be responsible for our sub-servicer oversight. If you are an experienced mortgage professional with a strong accounting background, earned your CPA designation and are interested in joining a fun, friendly, and successful company, please send your resume to HCollins@ulc.com.”

A “best in class” VA and FHA lender who has experienced unprecedented growth is looking for 2 VPs who can bring an experienced, loyal team of multi-state licensed consumer direct mortgage bankers capable of handling a high inbound call volume. Ideal candidates must have expert knowledge of VA or FHA loan programs and managing large sales teams. Leaders will be responsible for managing the sales force and call conversions of an abundance of customer calls looking to refinance at or above our company standards. Lead conversion, pricing and loan structure skills must be exceptional. It is required for the team to generate complete mortgage applications, ensuring appropriate company procedures and policies are followed, while meeting sales goals and objectives. Please send Anjelica Nixt your resume and specifically mention these roles, if interested.

CrossCountry Mortgage is pleased to announce the acquisition of PERL Mortgage and bemortgage. Together, these three lenders have formed one all-encompassing company under the CrossCountry Mortgage name and are bringing the power of a national lender to every branch. “With this union, CrossCountry Mortgage is gaining new energy and more experienced individuals,” says Beth Keckley, Chief Marketing Officer for CrossCountry Mortgage. “This will inevitably strengthen our position as a heavy-hitting mortgage company across the country.” To find out why CrossCountry Mortgage is experiencing so much success and to learn more about career opportunities at one of Inc. magazine’s Fastest Growing Private Companies in America, email Jeana Ziroli‑Kobielsky or call 949-233-5635.

“If career opportunity were an algebraic formula, the formula would be ‘G + C + I = O.’ That’s ‘Growth + Culture + Innovation = Opportunity.’ Quicken Loans® Mortgage Services is growing faster than any other lender in its space.1 Our ability to innovate new products, processes and services is what sets us apart. We’re looking to add passionate, smart and creative people to the following roles: Account Executive (Detroit) and Credit Underwriter (Detroit). As America’s largest mortgage lender2 serving the needs of brokers, regional banks and credit unions, we want to attract the best and the brightest. Is that you? Are you ready to jump-start your career? Check out our job openings.” (1Quicken Loans is the fastest-growing top 10 wholesale mortgage lender based on wholesale mortgage volume reported by Inside Mortgage Finance, Q4 2018. 2Based on Quicken Loans data in comparison to public data records.)

Lender products and services

Attending the upcoming Western Secondary Market Conference? We know that you work hard getting loans in the door. You’ve built strong relationships with your investors to sell those loans to. Chasing trailing docs slows your team down and causes them to lose focus. You don’t have to let this inherent inefficiency cause a bump in your road. At DocProbe, your tailing docs is our business. It’s all we do. We retrieve, audit, manage corrections, and ship complete and correct trailing documents to your investors on time, every time.  Guaranteed. No missed deadlines.  No errors. No penalties. DocProbe’s per loan fee structure and simple on-boarding process makes it easy to start today. And our proprietary LOS-integrated software keeps you in the know all the way through. Nick Erlanger will be attending. To set up a meeting and learn how you can get back to focusing on your core business, email nerlanger@docprobe.net or call 866-486-0554.

The mortgage industry is in flux. Fluctuating interest rates. Shrinking inventories. Changing borrower needs. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some consistency– especially from your automated underwriting system? Freddie Mac Loan Product Advisor® delivers reliable eligibility findings that foster responsible lending and give you confidence that you’re originating quality loans. Its innovative capabilities were developed in collaboration with lenders, providing automation and insights that help reduce costs and increase efficiency. What does it all mean for you? Greater opportunity for business growth and an edge on the competition– The Freddie EdgeSM. Learn more about ACE and AIM, available exclusively through Loan Product Advisor®.

LO Training

Here’s a new webinar: “What The Top 5 Banks Don’t Want You To Know About Selling Conventional Loans.” Think selling conventional loans are too much work for too little money? The big lenders count on that mindset and make billions in the 80% of the loan market you’re not fishing in. If the bulk of your business is in the govy pond, you can’t afford to miss this webinar by Monster Lead Group where we reveal the statistics and strategy of how to create explosive loan revenue in any market, regardless of rates. You’ll learn exactly how to make this strategy work for your business even if you’re a small lender or don’t have a large marketing budget. In this webinar, you will learn: 1) The top 3 reasons small companies don’t fish in the same ocean as the big lenders; 2) Why just focusing on VA and FHA is the biggest mistake many brokers and lenders make; 3) How to build a predictable, successful conventional line of business without going broke. TUES., JULY 16TH, 2PM ET. Register for FREE.

Looking to grow your business? Ryan Mecum is hosting a training workshop in Oakbrook, Illinois on July 18th, titled “5 Concrete actions to grow your mortgage business.”  The training is on specific strategies, scripts and daily actions to ignite your client database, as well as implementing product strategies to serve the additional volume that is generated.  Ryan has appeared in Scotsman Guide as a top producer for many years (#78 in volume in 2018), and is better known as who many top 1% loan officers call for guideline, sales, and operations guidance.  Learn more or sign up here.

Capital markets

The Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC) published a whitepaper titled “Options for Using SOFR in Adjustable-Rate Mortgages,” outlining a framework for the use of the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) for newly originated consumer residential ARM products in advance of the possible cessation of LIBOR at the end of 2021. “Fannie Mae is pleased with the progress the industry is making to ensure it is prepared for a market where the LIBOR index may not exist. The whitepaper and framework demonstrate the potential solutions that exist as a replacement for LIBOR, and reflect input from ARRC members, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, lenders, investors, servicers, and consumer advocates. The framework outlined in the whitepaper is comparable to today’s existing ARM structure and seeks to offer a product that is attractive to both investors and consumers while providing appropriate consumer protections.

“Though the transition to SOFR is voluntary, Fannie Mae will use the framework to develop a SOFR-indexed ARM product for new originations in advance of the possible termination of LIBOR, leading the way for industry, consumers, and financial markets. Fannie Mae expects to make an ARM product based on overnight SOFR available once systems and processes have been put in place to accommodate the new index. We will provide reasonable notice in advance of the offering to our lenders and will communicate complete details about any new product(s).”

In the last few days long-term rates have gone up, but prior to that, plenty to “experts” were fretting about the yield curve. The recent inversion of the yield curve had many market participants speaking of an imminent recession, at the same time causing analysts to question the yield curve as a reliable recession indicator. Let’s keep in mind the depth and duration of the inversion is important to predict an imminent recession, as before the last two recessions the spread of the 10-year note over the 3-month bill fell to as little as -60 bps and -100 bps in early 2007 and in late 2000, respectively. Additionally, the yield curve remained in negative territory for several consecutive months prior to the last three recessions. While the curve stayed above the zero line in April, in late March the spread slipped into the negative zone for the first time in the post-Great Recession era, and fell to -12 bps on May 29.

Compared to historical standards, the recent inversion is very shallow, and the depth and duration do not indicate a recession in the near-term, as per many experts the yield curve would need to invert significantly and for a longer duration to be a reliable recession signal. Furthermore, the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program may have affected the yield curve, depressing longer-term yields and making the curve more inverted than it may otherwise be.

Wells Fargo’s Probit model that uses the yield curve as a predictor estimates a 23.8 percent probability of a recession during the next six months. Although this figure is the highest in the post-Great Recession era, the probability of a recession remains below previous thresholds associated with a recession. That same model predicted a 55 percent probability in Q1-2007 and a 61 percent probability in Q1-2001. Remember, the index of Leading Indicators is healthily in positive territory, the stock market remains generally supported, and employment growth is positive. But a further sustained inversion of the curve, along with a generalized restriction in financial market conditions and deterioration in the economic fundamentals could spell the end of sustainability for this current economic expansion.

As the US is in its longest economic expansion in history, of course people are going to voice their opinions about when it is going to end. But data has been mostly positive. The main headline was the jobs report which showed 224,000 jobs added in June and unemployment at 3.7 percent, although income gains “only” rose 0.2 percent for the month despite difficulties many businesses have finding qualified workers. New claims for unemployment remain at low levels though they have inched up slightly since April. Manufacturing data continues to be closely watched as the ISM manufacturing index declined to 51.7 in June, continuing a downward trend. It is still above 50.0 however; the divider between expansion and contraction. The trade gap widened in May to -$55.5 billion as imports increased $8.5 billion possibly influenced by a strong dollar as well as generally weaker foreign demand for goods.

Despite the fact that the US economy is still expanding, albeit at a slower pace, the markets fully expect the Fed to lower the fed funds rate at the end of July by 25 basis points. In a speech on June 25th Fed chair Powell said, “Many FOMC participants judge that the case for somewhat more accommodative policy has strengthened. But we are also mindful that monetary policy should not overreact to any individual data point or short-term swing in sentiment.”

U.S. Treasuries again closed a day of Fed Chair Congressional testimony with losses across the curve, taking yields to their highest level in a month after a poor bond auction, including the 10-year closing +6 bps to 2.12 percent during a session that saw more steepening in the 2s10s spread and the 2s30s spread as markets continued to digest Wednesday’s headlines rather than react to much new Thursday. New York Fed President Williams did say he has lowered his 2019 growth outlook for the U.S. to around 2.25 percent. In inflation news, consumer pricewise, the report yesterday showed that the yr./yr. uptick in core CPI should seemingly diminish the prospect of a 50-basis points rate cut at the July meeting.

After yesterday’s strong core CPI reading for June, today’s calendar is underway with June producer prices (+.1%, weak, core +.3%, strong). All that is left to really impact the mortgage market will be remarks from Chicago Fed President Evans. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged and the 10-year yielding 2.13%.

(Thanks to Stephen S. for this one.)

An 8-year-old girl went to the office with her father on “Take Your Kid to Work Day.”

As they walked round the office she started crying and getting cranky.

Her father asked what was wrong.

As the staff gathered round, she sobbed loudly, “Daddy, where are all the clowns you said you worked with?”

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, “Residential Lending, Banks, and Market Share.” 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