July 17: Recruiting, mgt., sales, Ops jobs; builder, sales, data analysis tools; Ginnie & FHA program tacks

Want an estimate of how many borrowers might be out there, benefitting from your assistance by you giving them a lower rate (assuming they, and the property, qualify, of course)? Go to page 11 of Black Knight’s report. Is “oodles and oodles” a real number? Woe to any investor who paid 105 four months ago for a loan that is about to prepay at 100. Why should they pay 104 now? Volumes & margins are rock-solid out there. Informa Financial Intelligence tells us June mortgage rate-lock volume increased 73% YoY and 27% MoM across all channels, while funded volume increased 54% YoY and 18% MoM. In the retail channel, lock volume increased 70% YoY and 22% MoM, while funded volume increased 76% YoY and 15% MoM. Average 30-year conforming FRM funded loan note rates have fallen 102bps from June 2019. Compared to 2019, YTD purchase lock volume is up 1% with funded volume down 11%, while YTD refinance (R/T & C/O) lock volume is up 168% with funded volume up 202% YoY. (Informa sources a statistically significant data set directly from lenders to produce these figures.)

Employment & personnel moves

Are you looking for more flexibility and opportunities for growth? Come join a team who will invest in you!  First Guaranty Mortgage Corporation is hiring 150+ Sales & Operations Positions to support our various production channels! Don’t miss out on this opportunity to join a well-capitalized, national mortgage lender who is experiencing a year of record-breaking growth. Our award-winning leadership team is looking for highly motivated sales professionals, processors, underwriters & closers who are ready to join a team of all-star #MortgageMavericks. Benefits may include: Unlimited PTO, Aggressive Compensation Plans with Sign-On & Retention Bonuses for Operations Positions, Monthly Incentive Programs, and 401-K Match with 2-year vesting! Plus, all Operations Positions are eligible for remote work. Contact us today at careers@fgmc.com  or apply online to learn more!

Synergy One Lending welcomes its new EVP/CMO, Tim Wagner, a mortgage and tech industry veteran. Tim has held a similar role most recently at Supreme Lending. “I am honored to be part of Synergy One as we concentrate on building a world class organization that leverages the best in digital and technology for our originators while we focus on increasing production, growing market share and expanding our footprint,” said Wagner. Tim will help drive Synergy One’s aggressive growth goals, building its digital infrastructure and strategy. “We are proud to add Tim to the team,” said Steve Majerus, CEO.  “He has a great grasp of supporting a field sales force in addition to having a vision we share in order to compete in the digital mortgage space.” Synergy One Lending is based in San Diego, CA, is licensed in 29 states. If you’re looking for opportunities contact Aaron Nemec.

A Midwest-based Independent Mortgage Banker is searching for a Director of Sales Recruiting. The IMB is well capitalized, has agency direct, niche products, a construction lending department, has a “best in class” marketing department and a superior fulfillment team. “Responsibilities would be sales recruiting and building a recruiting team that will focus on full-cycle recruiting by partnering with the CEO, Sales EVP, hiring managers, and outside recruiting contractors to source, attract and select key talent for our organization. The Recruiter will excel at creating sourcing plans and managing a high volume of pipeline candidates.  They will work relentlessly to deliver a high value of service to the organization.” For confidential consideration, please email resume to Anjelica Nixt.

Assurance Financial is continuing to grow production, add retail branch offices and is expanding our production reach into the midwestern U. S., particularly Colorado, Arizona, Kansas, and New Mexico markets. Assurance Financial is searching for an established Regional Production Manager to help create and develop mortgage origination branches in the new midwestern territory, someone that is an outstanding talent and proven retail sales leader with a demonstrated track record of hiring and managing multiple production offices across several states. We are a profitable and well capitalized full-service mortgage banker offering an entrepreneurial customer-focused sales support environment, FNMA/FHLMC/GNMA direct status and are well-positioned to compete for more growth with state-of-the-art operations/support technology. This new Regional Production Manager position will report to the CEO. If you are interested in joining a dynamic group of mortgage bankers and building a dynamic production team, please contact Paul Peters, CMB.

Lender & broker services and products

Sales Boomerang notifies mortgage lenders when someone in their database is ready for a loan. “Look at the opportunity cost you have by not having Sales Boomerang. Last year we closed over $72M in loans that we would have lost from not having Sale Boomerang.” (Stephen Barton, Eustis Mortgage) “In the first 4 months we took in $180M in applications and we have about 100 LO’s. That is a significant impact to our business. My top performing LO attributes 25% of her business to Sales Boomerang alerts.” (Katherine Campbell, Assurance Financial) “Sales Boomerang gives us a conversion that is 2 ½ times better than our normal conversions.” (Tim Lewis, Castle and Cooke) “The numbers speak for themselves: 20X Avg ROI, $240 Avg Cost Per Acquired Loan, 10-20% average lift to loan volume. Want to see exactly how much you lost this year? Request your report today. We will show you which competitor took your deal, what was the loan amount, what type of loan it was, the term and much more.”

What’s Really Causing July Spike In Mortgage Forbearance Extensions? Forbearances that received extensions spiked from 6.52% to 43.03% in the last month. This spike is happening roughly 90 days after April 1, and it’s no coincidence since servicer forbearance plans are usually established for 90-day intervals. So the spike may not imply worsening strain for homeowners, and may just be an indicator that many needed a full six months to begin with (as CARES allowed) rather than just 90 days. But the COVID economy is very fluid, and Sagent’s is analyzing the data in real-time. Matt Tully who leads Sagent’s team in Washington outlines the next critical forbearance milestones here. And please reach out to directly connect with Matt for more.

PrimeLending Joint Ventures = Excellent Customer Experience + Increased Profitability for Home Builders. You already know PrimeLending as a powerhouse mortgage lender providing an excellent home loan experience to customers across the U.S. Its proven joint venture model is no exception, providing home builders with a dependable formula for success, including an easy-to-use, fully digital mortgage process, a huge range of loan options, an award-winning operations team, and solid backing from Hilltop Holdings Inc. and all its subsidiaries. If you are a home builder considering the next step to increase your profitability and give your customers a better mortgage experience, watch our videos and get more information at www.primelendingventures.com or contact Mike Matthews


Production Managers, we’re talking to YOU! Since the beginning of time you’ve wondered “How can I get all my originators working more like my top producers?” You’ve been looking for the holy grail: habit duplication. Usherpa has been researching habits of highly successful Loan Officers for 25 years and has helped literally thousands of LOs increase production using habit duplication… through every conceivable market condition! How? Using data analytics (and lengthy history in the industry), Usherpa identified the most powerful habits of successful producers. Leveraging those trends coupled with Usherpa’s technology and commitment to customized training, you can ensure your team is primed to operate like the big hitters. Make your life a little bit easier and give your LOs the tools to duplicate top producers’ habits here.  While you’re at it download the Usherpa eGuide “3 Habits of Top Producing Loan Officers (You Can Duplicate).”


FHA, VA, and Ginnie news from around the biz

Are you ready for VA IRRRL and FHA Streamline refinance opportunities in this market?  Learn how to efficiently submit your files once for a final approval! Join Freedom Mortgage Wholesale for live webinar training sessions on VA IRRRL or FHA Streamline mortgage products and origination processes. Ideal for new or experienced government originators. Sign up for a VA IRRRL or FHA Streamline webinar July 20 (VA IRRRL) or July 22 (FHA SL).

New people entering our business wonder who these women are that everyone keeps talking about, like Fannie Mae and her sister Ginnie. (And don’t forget their brother Freddie.) Focusing on Ginnie Mae for today, aka GNMA, it is a nickname for the acronym for the Government National Mortgage Association, created in 1968. Ginnie is quick to point out that, “Unlike the GSEs, Ginnie Mae has never needed a bailout from the federal government” and that its securities are the only MBS to carry the full faith and credit guaranty of the United States government.” Although its mortgage backed securities consist primarily of FHA and VA loans, Ginnie Mae has a lot going on, and is worth knowing about. Put another way, LOs should know that whatever HUD, FHA, VA, or Ginnie do often directly impacts your borrowers and/or your rate sheets.

Issuance of Ginnie Mae single-family mortgage-backed securities soared to an estimated record $177.71 billion during the second quarter of 2020, according to figures compiled by Inside FHA/VA Lending. As one would expect, refinance activity, in particular the VA program, has been the main driver. Some $91.83 billion of FHA and VA refinance loans were securitized in the second quarter, a 14.0% increase. “VA accounted for more than two-thirds of the refi total for the two programs as volume surged 25.8%. At the same time, securitization of FHA refi loans fell 5.6% from the first to the second quarter.”

Mayer Brown LLP sent out a worthwhile piece regarding Ginnie Mae restricting “long time legitimate business activities of mortgage servicers.

FHA’s ML 2020-20, extends, for the second time, the flexible alternatives for industry partners that must re-verify a borrower’s employment and/or conduct appraisal reviews while observing prudent physically-distancing practices associated with COVID-19. As outlined, FHA’s extension of the re-verification of employment guidance is effective immediately for cases closed on or before August 31. It is also effective immediately for appraisal inspections completed on or before August 31.

FHA issued a temporary partial waiver of its Single-Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1 (SF Handbook) to provide mortgagees with flexibility related to quality control (QC) field reviews of appraisals, and issued a temporary Waiver of its Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1 (SF Handbook) to temporarily suspend the requirement that mortgagees select and review all Early Payment Defaults (EPDs) on a monthly basis. An EPD refers to all mortgages that become 60-days delinquent within the first six payments.

FHA published Mortgagee Letter (ML) 2020-21, Enhancements to FHA’s Claims Without Conveyance of Title (CWCOT) Procedures. The guidance in this ML enhances FHA’s CWCOT procedures by: allowing a second appraisal upon vacancy for a property that had an exterior-only appraisal, where an interior appraisal could not be obtained; allowing mortgagees to submit eviction costs and certain eligible property preservation expenses incurred during post-foreclosure sales opportunities; updating the policy and allowable fee structure related to independent third-party providers that conduct foreclosure sales or post-foreclosure sales efforts under CWCOT procedures; and regularly updating discounts in FHA Connection and changing to tier-based pricing factors based on a property’s location, occupancy status, and appraised value. After the property’s appraised value has been established and the Commissioner’s Adjusted Fair Market Value (CAFMV) has been determined, authorized mortgagees may access the CAFMV via the link in FHAC at: https://entp.hud.gov/clas/index.cfm.

FHA published Mortgagee Letter (ML) 2020-22, FHA’s COVID-19 Loss Mitigation Options. This ML announces an expansion of loss mitigation options that are available to assist single family borrowers with FHA-insured forward mortgages impacted by the COVID-19 National Emergency. In addition, this ML updates the guidance for forward mortgages detailed in

ML 2020-06.

MCT distributed its Ginnie Mae Field Guide Part 2 – Delivery Resources Explained! with tips on how to best maximize GNMA’s online resources for delivery. These include avoiding common mistakes in Ginnie delivery, maximizing the use of GinnieNET, Ginnie Portal, and Ginnie Manual for delivery.

Wells Fargo Funding has aligned its effective date for the previously communicated temporary flexibilities for verbal VOEs and appraisals with the extended dates announced for FHA cases closed on or before August 31, 2020.

Recent announcements from First State Mortgage include temporary guidance on verification of all mortgages and self-employed borrowers and revised requirements regarding minimum FICO scores for government loans.

PennyMac Correspondent posted updates to government loans due to COVID.

Utah Housing Corporation (UHC) is increasing the income and sales price limits for all of the UHC programs. Beginning July 9th, these FHA 1st mortgages, and Down Payment Assistance (DPA) programs will be available. Effective with loans locked on and after July 9, 2020, FirstHome, HomeAgain and Score income and sales price limits are increasing by county.

For details, refer to Mountain West Financial Wholesale Matrix.

For Wholesale and Correspondent government loans with PRMG, the minimum credit score is now 640 for standard balance and 660 for high balance. For Wholesale and Correspondent loans, no credit score/non-traditional credit is no longer available. Any loans that were not locked as of 3/27/2020 with scores less than 640 for standard balance, less than 660 for high balances or no credit score/non-traditional credit are no longer eligible.

Capital markets

As I alluded to yesterday morning, the day was filled with a lot of economic releases. June Retail Sales increased to exceed expectations, but sales activity in July figures will be hurt by efforts to pause or roll back reopening activity in response to a surge in coronavirus case counts. That news was not enough to keep MBS and Treasuries from rallying slightly on the back of strong Fed buying support and initial claims remaining well north of one million.

Initial claims were essentially unchanged from the prior week, continuing to run at about double the highest value seen during the previous recession. While it may seem good news that the pace of decline has slowed in recent weeks, it’s actually a troubling sign for the labor market recovery. More than 51 million unemployment insurance claims have been filed since the start of the pandemic. Continuing claims remain at historically elevated levels, indicating the labor market is improving only incrementally and the total extent of joblessness remains unprecedented.

Tying up some odds and ends. The Philadelphia Fed Survey fell in July, the NAHB Housing Market Index rose well above expectations in July, and Business Inventories fell as expected in May. Chicago Fed President, Charles Evans, said that the Fed will begin removing accommodation once inflation reaches 2.0 percent or 2.5 percent. Finally, the European Central Bank made no headline changes to its policy stance, though EU leaders are set to discussing a pandemic relief fund. Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending July 16 saw another record low in the 30-year fixed rate, which fell to 2.98 percent. The 15-year rate also hit a survey low of 2.48 percent.

Today’s economic calendar kicked off with June housing starts (+17.3 percent!) and building permits (+2.1 percent). The only other release on the schedule is preliminary June Michigan sentiment. The two MBS FedTrade operations will see the Desk purchase up to $3.4 billion starting with up to $2.5 billion UMBS30 2 percent through 3 percent followed by $868 million UMBS15 2 percent and 2.5 percent. We end the week beginning today with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged from Thursday’s close and the 10-year yielding .60 after closing yesterday at 0.62 percent.

It is good to keep things in perspective. Thank you to Maryland’s Ken S. who sent a short video, “This is Bill Conner. His 20-year old daughter died. So Bill set out on a 2,600-mile bike ride…” (Warning: you may need tissues.)

Visit www-dhwbl.hosts.cx 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, “Mortgage Outlook: What if it is Cloudy?”, focused on the current political climate. 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-dhwbl.hosts.cx. 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