July 21: Legal & LO jobs, products to help originators; state-level changes from coast to coast; housing & rates

Under the heading, “What’ll they think of next?”, especially for aging Boomers, comes stairs that store energy and help the next person walk up them!

Jobs & LO products

Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp is looking to fill an Associate General Counsel Capital Markets position to support the company’s growth. This position will be primarily responsible for working with other departments on agreements, and can be in Dallas, Madison, or Chicago. Fairway is a top independent mortgage company employing more than 5,400 employees, with a strong focus on purchase business, funding more than $17 billion in 2016. For questions, or to submit a resume, please contact Julie Fry.

Out in California, Julie Stevenson, a 20+ year veteran of the real estate industry has joined Big Valley Mortgage as the Director of Strategic Partnerships. She will have the responsibility of managing and growing “in-house” realtor partnerships throughout the Big Valley Mortgage footprint. According to Buzz Howard, Senior Vice President of Big Valley Mortgage, “Julie is an exceptional addition to the BVM Management Team! Not only does she have an infectiously optimistic and outgoing personality, she has DRIVE and an outstanding reputation for bringing people together! Julie worked for two of the largest Title insurers in the country and managed operations throughout Northern California. She was responsible for leading one of the most profitable division’s in the nation. BVM funded over $821 million last year and is a DBA of American Pacific Mortgage which ranked #15 in the nation according to the 2015 Mortgage Executive Magazine with over $8.0 billion in loan volume.

In response to the industry need for a disclosure solution that provides a better experience for lenders and borrowers, Floify has created a system that centralizes and streamlines the electronic delivery, signing, and receipt of mortgage disclosures across a lending operation. There is significant ROI in automating the disclosure process. You can read about the Floify Disclosure Desk or schedule a demo here.

OpenClose, an industry leading SaaS-based, end-to-end, multi-channel LOS provider reports that, because of tremendous company growth, it has multiple positions available for Enterprise Software Salespeople, Software Implementation Specialists, and Software Developers. The ideal candidates will have experience in mortgage technology and lending for banks, credit unions and mid to large size mortgage bankers. Experience working with LOS platforms is a plus. Each position will be involved with OpenClose’s multi-channel LOS, LenderAssist™. Occasional travel to customer sites will be needed for the sales and implementation positions.  OpenClose provides a unique, boutique-style, very hands-on approach to LOS implementations, customer training and post implementation support.  OpenClose is headquartered in West Palm Beach, Florida.  Visit the company’s Careers page for more information or contact them directly at (561) 655-6418.

New York Times bestselling author, Todd Duncan, announced the launch of his newest brand, ToddDuncan.com. Accompanying the launch, he’s releasing Todd Duncan TV, a weekly video series delivered via email,  designed to equip businesses and their teams. Each week, Todd covers topics that will help this community build high trust and achieve greater success in every area of their lives, through teaching, mentoring, and high-impact interviews. For more information and to subscribe, please visit www.ToddDuncan.com.

Independent mortgage lender Academy Mortgage announced that it has acquired First Mortgage Company. First Mortgage is based in Oklahoma City, Okla., and operates 75 branches throughout Oklahoma, Nebraska, New Mexico, Idaho, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, and Texas. (The company operates as Cunningham & Company Mortgage Bankers in Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee.) “First Mortgage and Academy Mortgage are a good fit, as we share the same commitment to the practice of putting people first,” says First Mortgage Chairman Ron McCord. “The Academy platform is built on purpose, people, and then profit, which leads to prosperity for all involved.” The acquisition of First Mortgage brings an additional element of scale, scope, and talent to Academy, which will enhance the combined organization’s capacity and capabilities to grow and make a difference in the lives of its borrowers, referral partners, and communities. Loan Officers, Branch Managers, branches, and firms interested in growing with Academy should contact Vice President Kevin Haycock.

The Mortgage Collaborative, the nation’s only independent mortgage cooperative, announced that Arthur Prieston has been appointed chair of its newly formed Capital Markets Committee. In this role, Prieston will lead capital market engagements for the group’s lender members.

State-level changes

An elderly man tells his wife, “My joints are stiff.” His wife replies, “You’re rolling them too tight.” And so it goes, growing old in Colorado. Moving on to actual mortgage-news…

When lenders complain about federal regulation and oversight, at least, in theory, it originally came from one source and is uniform across the 50 states. But when a multi-state lender must contend with all 50 states doing different things, things become complicated, and expensive, in a hurry.

Michigan has amended Act 79 of 1915, concerning the required statement of marital status in written instruments conveying or mortgaging real estate, effective immediately. The Act as amended requires that all written instruments conveying or mortgaging real estate, or any interest in real estate, executed and offered for record before April 6, 2017, must state whether any male grantors, mortgagors, or other parties executing the instrument are married or single.

Additionally, if an instrument offered for record before April 6, 2017, was recorded in the office of a register of deeds without record of marital status, and 10 years has elapsed since the recording, the record of the instrument or a transcript of it may be given in evidence in all cases and is effectual for all purposes as a legal record and the instrument must be construed to be as valid and effectual as if it had contained a statement showing the marital status of the male individual or individuals executing it.

Through Senate Bill 136, the state of Vermont enacted provisions regarding home loan escrow accounts. A lender cannot require a borrower to deposit into escrow any more than what is necessary to pay taxes, insurance premiums, and other charges with respect to the residential real estate. However, the lender may require aggregate annual deposits.

Lenders are now required to conduct escrow account analysis to determine the monthly escrow account payments for the next year based on the borrower’s current tax liability and after any applicable adjustment for a state credit on property taxes.

Upon receipt, the lender must review a revised property tax bill. After confirming that the tax bill has been reduced since the date of the last escrow account analysis the lender must: conduct a new escrow account analysis, recalculate the borrower’s monthly escrow payment, and notify the borrower of any change. This must be done within 30 days of receiving the bill.

Whenever an escrow account analysis is conducted, financial statements relating to the borrower’s escrow account must be on a form consistent with the federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. Read the Vermont Senate Bill 136 Full Text for all the details.

Effective July 1, 2017, Maryland repealed and reenacted, with amendments, an act affecting closed end credit loans to eliminate duplicative disclosures. The amendments streamline the loan process by substituting the financing agreement and commitment disclosures with the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosures.

Should a Loan Estimate Disclosure (“LE”) be provided to the borrower in conjunction with the timing requirements set out in 12 C.F.R. Section 1026.37, the LE will act as an alternative satisfactory option for a financing agreement.

Closing Disclosures provided to the borrower and in compliance with C.F.R. Section 1026.38 will act as an alternative satisfactory option for a commitment.

Oregon House Bill 2562 amends ORS 86A.196 regarding notices required for reverse mortgages, to include the requirement that a reverse mortgage advertisement include a clear and conspicuous summary of terms of the reverse mortgage, including a statement that failing to pay property taxes, insurance, maintenance and related taxes “may subject the property to a tax lien or other encumbrance or possible foreclosure.” It addresses a lenders responsibility to send out annual notices to any agent paying property taxes from an escrow account as well as to the reverse mortgagee. Specific language required in the notice is also included in the amendment.

The General Assembly of the state of Rhode Island has amended Chapter 11-18 of the General Laws that updated law providing five scenarios that constitute residential mortgage fraud. Each scenario requires intent to defraud; however actual financial harm is not required. The penalties for said act(s) are outlined as well.

The first scenario involves a person knowingly making an omission, the second is where a person knowingly uses or facilitates the use (or attempts to use or facilitate the use). The third scenario is where a person knowingly receives (or attempts to receive) proceeds or any other funds relating to a residential mortgage transaction that resulted from a violation of the first two scenarios. The fourth scenario is where a person conspires with or solicits another to engage in an act or acts that would be a violation of the first two scenarios. The last scenario is where a person files (or causes to be filed) with a city or town clerk any document involved in the mortgage lending process that he or she knows includes an omission of a material fact or a written misrepresentation or misstatement of a material fact.

Capital markets & interest rates

The Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center has just released a new research brief by nonresident fellow Jim Parrott: The Common Securitization Platform. A Cornerstone for Reform. In the brief, Parrott discusses the common platform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are building through which they will eventually issue a single mortgage-backed security. The brief explains the effort, why we need it and how, with some adjustment, it could become a centerpiece of housing finance reform.

The Federal Reserve will be challenged by conflicting economic data when it meets next week to discuss interest rates. Unemployment reached a 16-year low in May, while inflation figures have been weak for the past three months. But heck, there is always conflicting data, right? Market investors currently expect the Fed will start to shrink its $4.5T balance sheet at the Sep 20 meeting and hike rates next at the Dec 13 meeting.

Housing and jobs drive the U.S. economy, so it is worth taking a good look at the recent housing numbers. June statistics bring new hope to the housing market as Housing Starts increased by a solid 8.3 percent and permits for new residential construction increased by 7.4 percent. The multifamily housing market still looks rather negative as overbuilding has resulted in slower absorption and weaker rent growth, however the single-family side of housing looks much more promising in the coming months. Single-family starts and building permits increased by 6.3 and 7.4 percent respectively in June alone, and contrary to the multi-family market the trend line looks positive for single-family housing.

Housing, as a whole, is still underperforming relative to recent cycles, and a recent study suggests that student debt could be responsible due to its significant impact on potential young adult homeowners. Builder confidence also appears to have eased in early July as builders become increasingly concerned by rising material prices and the resulting impact it could have on affordability.

Looking at interest rates, Thursday saw some intra-day volatility but ended the day nearly unchanged versus Wednesday’s closing levels. The big news – the ECB statement from Europe on rates – was a near carbon copy of the June 8 statement, so was a non-event. This morning, on no substantive news, rates are a smidge lower than Wednesday and Thursday: the 10-year is yielding 2.25% and agency MBS prices are a few ticks better.

Part 3 (of 3) of Tom Swifties.

“Did you say to zip up my sleeping bag or the door?” Tom asked inattentively.

“This pizza place is great!” Tom exclaimed saucily.

“I dropped my toothpaste,” Tom said, crestfallen.

“Do you write fairy tales as well?” asked the brothers, grimly “This tooth extraction could take for ever,” said Tom with infinite wisdom.

“I love hot dogs,” said Tom with relish.

“The exit is right there,” Tom pointed out.

“I’ve an urgent appointment,” said Tom in Russian.

“What a lovely tattoo you got in New Orleans,” Tom said flirtily. (American pronunciation: Fleur-de-lis) “My therapist told me I suffer from multiple personality disorder,” said Tom, being frank.

“Screw you, George Hamilton!” said Tom, going off on a tangent.

“Pardon my flatulence,” said Tom astutely.

“If you want me, I shall be in the attic,” Tom said, loftily.

“We’re going to see Riverdance, and that’s final,” said Tom, flatly.

“My favorite authors are Slaughter and Hemingway,” Tom said frankly and earnestly.

And thanks to Philippe T. for these!

I used to make poi,” Tom expounded.

I used to be a prospector,” Tom exclaimed.

I like New Zealand,” Tom bleated, sheepishly.

Whoa!” said Tom, hoarsely.

Vincent, this car is like new!” said Tom, convincingly.

I wish I were better-endowed.” Tom said, longingly.

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