July 20: LO & AE jobs, secondary team available; Academy buys First Mortgage & Cunningham; vendor updates

This morning we’ve had the usual Thursday initial jobless claims economic release. At the other end of the teeter totter, here’s an amazing stat to talk about at Happy Hour tonight. It is estimated that 50% of net business formation in the United States since the recession has happened in about half of 1% of U.S. counties. That’s 20 of the 3,100 U.S. counties.


“Starting ten years ago as a single shop in Bellevue, Washington facing a fractured mortgage industry, Axia Home Loans has established a national presence and is currently on a record setting pace in 2017. Built upon bringing ethics, responsibility, and sustainability to a fractured mortgage marketplace, Axia’s footprint grew from Seattle to San Antonio and Maui to Orlando and is now the first 100% employee-owned lender. Axia has spent the past ten years working to redefine the home buying experience with a high touch, high tech, and high trust approach…but we’re not done yet! We look forward to many more decades of growth and innovation. Join us!

Parkside Lending, LLC, a national wholesale and correspondent lender, is pleased to announce the addition of Jack Tragna to the Account Executive Team. Jack is joining Katie Plezia and Elizabeth Nichols as part of their New York team. Parkside is also expanding and is looking for seasoned Account Executives in WA, MI, MA, TX, CO, WI, MN, OR. Parkside is also hiring Inside Account Representatives to manage accounts in LA, AL, OA, KY, KS, OK, NH, NE, AR, NM, MT, DE, MS, ME. Inside Account Representatives can be based in Michigan or any of Parkside’s Regional Offices in the US. In some instances, remote work may also be possible. If you are an exceptional Account Executive or Inside Account Representative looking for a company that truly values long-term client relationships and does not have a retail channel that competes for your customers, send your résumé to Rick Nelson.

Pendo, a nationwide appraisal management company (AMC), recently announced a new partnership with The Mortgage Collaborative. Prior to the announcement, Pendo’s co-founder, Jeff Sandman received a 2017 HousingWire Rising Star award and their VP of Marketing, Alicia Branstetter, received a NAWRB Roaring Thirty award. Want to be part of this growing company? You’re in luck. Pendo is looking to expand its national sales team and is in search of a VP of Sales to drive and oversee the company’s growth strategy. The position will be responsible for developing and executing a national sales strategy that is as personal and service oriented as the brand. This person will serve as a key member of the executive team. Experienced candidates must be energetic, passionate and capable of leading with the same accountability, high-performance and service standards the company is built on. Previous experience in developing client-focused strategies from start to finish, establishing performance metrics and driving market share growth are required. Individuals interested in the opportunity should contact Jeff Sandman.

Looking to take your Secondary Marketing mortgage banking expertise and business to the next level? A highly efficient and seasoned Secondary team is available to discuss the possibility of a “plug n play” approach or via an advisory role. This one-stop-shop team has an unmatched track record in delivering outstanding outperformance over many years, and can operate fully independently with its own established process and vast industry contacts. This team uses advanced and sophisticated techniques to solve complex data and market inputs and offers the full gamut of Secondary services, which includes managing your loan offering pricing, market intelligence, pricing competitiveness, hedging and analytics, margin management, pooling and delivery, and a highly sophisticated Best Execution optimization algorithm to arbitrage between Non-Agencies and Agencies cash vs MBS execution, while maximizing on specified payups  presented in the market. All institution sizes and varying locations are considered. Please send inquiries to secmktinquiry@gmail.com


Utah-based mortgage lender Academy Mortgage Corp. will establish a presence in Nebraska on Aug. 1 with its acquisition of First Mortgage Co. of Oklahoma. In fact, Academy Mortgage Corporation has announced its acquisition of the entire Oklahoma City-based First Mortgage Company and Cunningham & Company Mortgage Bankers, the name under which First Mortgage Company operates in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. (First Mortgage was founded in 1953 and operates 75 branches throughout Oklahoma, Nebraska, New Mexico, Idaho, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa and Texas.) Academy has over 260 branches in more than 30 states.

Vendor news

No one has definitively proved that a lender’s use of vendors has decreased the cost to produce a loan. Conversely no one has proved that they aren’t affective in helping produce loans in compliant, efficient, cost-effective ways. It is good to see what they are up to and see what’s new out there.

Wells Fargo is already testing and preparing its own digital mortgage solution by 2018. Small lenders are already under pressure to compete with large lenders that continue to invest heavily in a digital process. From what we’ve seen, small and medium-size lenders benefit from lightweight platforms, like Maxwell, that help them move quickly into a digital experience. One feature we hear a lot about is their FileFetch technology that automates borrower document collection by linking to thousands of financial institutions to automatically pull in actual bank statements, W-2s, paystubs and full tax returns. Maxwell also keeps the borrower and real estate agent in tune with regular notifications. These features, along a customizable loan app, team collaboration, and an API to integrate into open LOS platforms, help the frontline guys compete. The team there tells me that loans facilitated on Maxwell close 40% faster than the national average. You can sign up for a demo of Maxwell using the link.

Secure Insight has released a new tool to supplement its Closing Agent Search Engine. The Performance Review tool allows lenders to review and rate the performance of settlement professionals. “Performance Reviews will be ‘by lenders for lenders’ and allow key staff members to review a closing agent on a transaction basis based upon a uniform set of industry expected tasks: lender and borrower communications, closing disclosure assistance, following closing instructions, accurate disbursements, timely package return, and overall professionalism.” (Questions can be sent to Andrew Liput, President & CEO.)

The Mortgage Collaborative announced a new partnership with national correspondent investor and mortgage loan servicer, The Money Source. “The new relationship with The Money Source adds another best-in-class national correspondent investor to their preferred partner network. The Money Source Inc., specializes in direct to agency loan securitization. Its approach is to provide robust product offerings for their sellers with minimal to no overlays while retaining the servicing and offering the homeowner continued customer service after the loan closes. The Money Source prides itself on empowering their sellers to create their own guidelines and credit culture to fit the needs of their respective lending communities.”

Mortgage document preparation vendor IDS has expanded the settings and capabilities of its eSign room within the idsDoc mortgage doc prep platform. The expanded capabilities allow loan officers and borrowers to upload custom documents to the eSign Room and assign a signature type to the document. new LO comment feature, which allows LOs to insert digital “sticky notes” with directions or other pertinent information into documents.

Spiegel Accountancy Corp. has formed a professional alliance with Bedford Cost Segregation to assist its Mortgage lending clients in applying research and development tax credits as a beneficial tax strategy. While the R&D tax credit has been around since 1981, it was recently made permanent and the incentives were expanded upon to increase opportunities for those who develop “internal-use” software, which broadens the types of businesses the credit may be applicable for. Now, certain mortgage lenders may benefit from this tax credit. The R&D tax credit was designed to encourage economic stimulation and is an incentive for businesses of all sizes to invest in research and development activities and increase technological growth and competitiveness. (To have a feasibility analysis conducted to see if your activities qualify, please email info@spiegelcorp.com or call 925.977.4000.)

MortgageFlex Systems Inc., an innovative provider of enterprise level loan origination technology, has released a new White Paper entitled “Reducing the Sprawl in Mortgage Lending” which speaks to the problems lenders are experiencing when they employ multiple loan origination systems within the same enterprise. “A single LOS should be the goal of every lender,” Bechtle said. “Platforms exist today that can originate all types of loans, including mortgages, HELOCS, consumer, auto, 203Ks, USDA, 203Bs, construction, bridge, and manufactured housing loans. Relying on a single LOS means the lender has better information on every borrower it serves, giving bank customers the feeling that their financial institution really knows them. It also reduces overall maintenance and training costs.”

LoanLogics has enhanced its LoanHD Loan Quality Management platform with an Audit Response Center (ARC). The new ARC enables mortgage lenders to efficiently address defects and conditions on loans immediately after each loan has been reviewed. Importantly, it also provides lenders with a compliance trail showing how each defect was addressed, so regulators and investors can see what actions were taken. 

WebMax has chosen Optimal Blue as its partner to provide a unique digital mortgage experience with lender-specific, real-time, compliant pricing, rates and product eligibility through the Optimal Blue API. “This integration will allow WebMax to provide accurate, instantaneous data at the time of application submission, further enhancing and providing a better path to completion, as well as increased efficiencies for the lender and enhancing customer satisfaction.”

Informative Research and Veri-Tax, new verification report suppliers for tax transcript data, have been approved and are available in Day 1 Certainty to provide verification of income via their 4506-T Tax Transcript reports. The reports verify Social Security, self-employed, retirement, and commission income types. To get started with the DU validation service and Day 1 Certainty, review the Implementation Checklist, complete the activation process with Informative Research or Veri-Tax, and submit the DU or DO validation service set-up form.

Lender Price has integrated with Ernst Publishing which allows the Lender Price pricing engine to return Ernst closing cost quotes instantly, ensuring accurate settlement fee data is transmitted for each loan quote. Ernst fee data is also accessible from within the Lender Price application program interface, providing flexibility for lenders to choose the applicable fees by client.

Simplifile has extended its e-recording network to include 21 additional recording jurisdictions across the southern United States (including counties in AR, GA, LA, NC, TX, and VA). Settlement agents in these jurisdictions can now electronically submit documents directly to the county recording office via Simplifile’s secure e-recording service.

News from digital mortgage front: Blend  announced the launch of the industry’s first-ever native mobile app that allows loan officers to fully manage their business, including borrower requests and applications, anytime, anywhere. Blend Mobile is “freeing loan officers from their desk and empowering consumers to pursue the most important financial transaction of their lives at a time, and place, that’s convenient for them.”

Valuation Partners announced a bidirectional integration with LendingQB, a web-based LOS for mortgage lenders. This integration enables lenders to order, track and receive appraisal reports and communicate in real time with Valuation Partners all from within the LendingQB platform.

Capital markets

Rate-wise, steady as she goes. Yesterday U.S. Treasuries and MBS prices spent the day inside narrow ranges, as participants hesitated to alter their positioning ahead of policy statements from two major central banks which occurred last night. The 10-year (2.27%), 5-year, and agency MBS prices all ended the day pretty much where they were Tuesday night.

The Bank of Japan released its policy statement overnight and was expected (no surprises), and the country’s inflation target was pushed out one year until 2020. For its part, the European Central Bank’s decision was to leave interest rates unchanged – no surprise there either.

This morning we’ve seen, in this country, initial jobless claims (-15k to 233k, close to a 44-year low) and the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Survey (-8.1 to “19.5”). Coming up is the June leading indicators number. As a proxy for the general interest rate environment, ahead of the ECB press conference, the 10-year is currently yielding 2.26% and agency MBS prices are better a few ticks versus Wednesday’s close.

Part 2 (of 3) of Tom Swifties. (Thank you to folks who wrote in with that.)

“We could have made a fortune canning pineapples,” Tom groaned dolefully.

“I wish I drove a Scandinavian car,” Tom sobbed.

“Careful with that chainsaw,” Tom said offhandedly.

“I’m here,” Tom said presently.

“Happy Birthday,” Tom said presently.

“Walk this way,” Tom said stridently.

“I stole the gold,” Tom confessed guiltily (giltily).

“I’ve got 1760 yards of paddy fields,” said Tom with a wry smile (rice mile) “Bingo,” Tom exclaimed winningly.

“You ever seen one this big?” Tom bragged cockily.

“Where did all the carpet on the steps go?” asked Tom with a blank stare (stair).

“I used to be a criminal pilot,” he ex-plained con-descendingly.

“I have no flowers,” Tom said lackadaisically.

“I’m going to do the laundry now”, Tom said cheerfully. (Thanks to Robin S. for this one.)

“I know not which groceries to purchase,” Tom said listlessly.

“I’d like my money back, and some,” said Tom with interest.

“I decided to come back to the group,” Tom rejoined.

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, “Does Everyone Want a Job?” 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 over 300 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 2017 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