Daily Mortgage News & Commentary

July 22: Ops jobs; digital, servicing, ECOA products; webinars to wrap up July; Agency changes continue

The names “Google” and “Alphabet” are the answers to many trivia questions involving search engines, market value, and advertising. If you think Google doesn’t know (and record) exactly what you’re searching for, you’re wrong. Thank you to Jeremy P. who sent along an interesting video showing, by month, what the majority of people searched for in each state. Google’s analytics are amazing. Freddie and Fannie’s analytics are right up there too, and “under the guidance of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Freddie Mac will start charging a 5% fee (of UPB) for a five-year recourse offered as a repurchase alternative. This fee will be implemented beginning on August 1, 2020. As outlined in Section 3602.2 of our Single-Family Seller/Servicer Guide, we may offer an alternative remedy to repurchase, such as recourse, for certain mortgages that do not meet our requirements. In each case, our QC team will notify client of the type and terms of the repurchase alternative.” More Agency changes below.

Jobs

Business is BOOMING at RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing Corporation, nationally recognized as a Top Workplace. As a result, we are hiring Loan Originators, Underwriters, Processors, and Closers in Fort Mill, SC, Dallas, TX, as well as remote positions. If you’re an awesome professional and interested, please email Christopher Hodge. For a look at all open positions, please click here.”

Broker & lender services and products

Join this new MBA webinar: 5 Strategies for Growing Your Consumer Direct Inbound Sales, TUESDAY, JULY 28th, 2 PM ET. Join us on this new MBA webinar as Michael Hammond, host of the FinTech Hunting podcast, interviews industry leaders Ken Bartz, Chief Visionary Officer of Monster Lead Group and Ryan Farhat, Regional Senior VP of The Federal Savings Bank as they reveal how to structure your organization to leverage and capture every possible loan in this once-in-a-generation boom market. Join this tactical and strategic conversation on specialization, recruiting and hiring, marketing, managing growth and selling without over-spending or over-hiring. These are the same strategies TFSB used to grow 130% in 2019 and achieve extraordinary loan volumes in 2020. Not an MBA member? Not a problem! Register here for free with PROMO CODE: MONSTER100 and save $299.

“At Stearns Lending, we continue to invest in and make an impact on our brokers and Wholesale Lending. And now, the ultimate broker tool just got better. This week, we’re excited to announce the launch of our new and improved Snap platform! Broker and Non-Del clients can now explore a plethora of new features, including improved navigation, an enhanced user experience that helps complete processes quickly and easily, Account Executive contact information throughout for guidance and help, and quick access to loan management and pipelines. This is but the first of many exciting new updates we have in store for our clients. Over the next few months, our Snap platform will continue to roll-out upgrades that will improve business processes and usability based on feedback from our users. Stearns Wholesale clients can contact their Account Executive for a tour. If you’d like to partner with Stearns, click here to be contacted.”

With nationwide social-distancing measures in place due to COVID-19, Digital Mortgage Closings are garnering a lot of attention as the industry looks to minimize or eliminate physical contact between borrowers, settlement agents, and notaries. Many lenders are scrambling to navigate the rapidly changing regulatory and policy landscape, select the right technology providers, and implement the process changes necessary. These initiatives have gained even more momentum as Ginnie Mae announced the launch of its Digital Collateral Program on July 16, 2020. A Washington DC based advisory firm, Falcon Capital Advisors , is answering the call by offering customized Digital Mortgage Closing Roadmaps. This turn-key offering (also referred to by the firm as an “eClosing accelerator”) helps lenders quickly and clearly determine how “e” they can and should be, and how best to implement digital mortgage closings for their business. For more information on Falcon’s Digital Mortgage Advisory services, contact Camelia Martin.

 

Have you heard? Connector by Velma added an automated NOI letter to its ECOA-Adverse Action compliance workflow solution for Ellie Mae’s Encompass Digital Lending Platform. The new ECOA workflow tracks loans nearing the 30-day notification window and automates the LO file update. Multiple manual steps for the loan officer and the operations team are eliminated and no loans are missed. Best of all, no time is spent by anyone logging into Encompass! Exciting stuff: get more information here.

ServiceMac is new, our technology is state of the art. We invite you to join us on a live demo on Wednesday, July 29th from 2:00 – 3:00 ETRegister Now. Explore the Control Tower, a mortgage servicing quality assurance platform that enables servicers to monitor their full portfolio for adherence to applicable federal and agency requirements in real-time. Additionally, our leadership will give you an inside look into our client portal (website and app). Please submit any questions to Mike Vowell, 704-905-1683.

Join us at this year’s Calyx Vision® 2020 for an informative discussion with leading wholesale lenders Plaza Home Mortgage, Freedom Mortgage, OakTree Funding Corporation, & Caliber Home Loans – on the current state of lending and opportunities for brokers. On Wednesday, August 19 from 11-12 CT Jeff Leinan, Keith Bilodeau, Kristopher Martin and David Schroeder will discuss best practices for brokers when working with wholesale lenders, how wholesale lenders are making it easier for brokers by digitizing and automating processes and the return of non-agency and non-QM lending. Register today, early bird registration ends July 31st!

2019 has been synonymous with fluctuation in the market, high call volumes, and long wait times with creditors. To remain agile and ensure that lenders are getting the support they need ASAP, Informative Research has ramped up their digital solutions and service with Click 2 Chat. With Click 2 Chat, clients can instantly connect with an Informative Research support member without waiting on the phone. Lenders need all the resources they can get to weather the coronavirus storm this year and Informative Research is the first vendor to offer instant messaging for their clients. To talk to an Informative Research rep about their services and get more information, just click here.

Events & training for July

You’re working from home ten hours a day. You have time to do a few of these from the comfort of your La-Z-Boy.

Join National Mortgage Professional for 3 Tips for Increasing Customer Engagement | Key learnings from Podium’s 2020 State of Business Texting on Thursday, July 23rd at 1 pm ET / 10 am PT. Consumers today crave convenient, frictionless experiences, especially when it comes to consumer-to-business communication. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to adapt is critical. Join us while we delve into the results of Podium’s 2020 State of Business Texting report and provide key insights on what businesses need to do to effectively implement a text messaging strategy. Joining NMP we have Hayley Sonntag, Marketing Specialist at Podium and Joseph Jenkins, Head of Professional Services Sales, Podium as they cover the benefits of Meeting the needs of consumers with business text messaging.

Join TMBA’s next webinar ‘MSRs, Forbearance and Servicing Cash Flows’ on Wednesday, July 22nd, at 10 a.m. CST. Seth Sprague, CMB, with STRATMOR and Candace Russell with Carrington Mortgage discuss the impact of forbearance and delinquencies on the Servicing Cash Flows, the Servicing market and your Servicing operations.

FHA is offering a Free Webinar: FHA-Approved Lender Notifications and Updates: What FHA Needs to Know and When. FHA representatives will provide detailed information on how FHA-approved lenders can successfully submit notifications regarding actions affecting the institutions’ profile information, via the Lender Electronic Assessment Portal (LEAP). This webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, July 22nd from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM (Eastern).

NALHFA 2020 Virtual Conference: Unique Solutions for Affordable Housing, July 29th – 30th. This virtual event will include sessions on a variety of hot topics including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on affordable housing, cyber security and data sharing best practices, Single and Multi-family market outlooks, the latest on down payment assistance and much more.

Apply for free online learning through MBA’s Path to Diversity Scholarship. This scholarship provides diverse industry professionals with up to $2,000 per year (three year maximum) to use towards professional development through MBA Education. View the full list of eligible offerings in the month of July.

Are you connected to California MBA’s Linkedin/Facebook/Twitter accounts? California MBA has relaunched the marketing for the August Mortgage Innovators Conference-100% Virtual. Help expand MBA’s social network by reposting this messaging. Feel free to use your own posts or use this link. Also, please use the following two hashtags when you post/repost about the conference: #daretoinnovate or #mortgageinnovators20

Agency moves

For the most part the FHFA’s goals for Freddie and Fannie next year won’t change much. The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that it will extend the same benchmarks of the past three years for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2021. Kind of like rates: steady as she goes.

Freddie Mac is turning 50 and to mark the anniversary, they’ve launched new resources to showcase how Freddie Mac has helped families own or rent a home over the past 50 years. The new interactive map and report details how they’ve provided more than $10 trillion in funding to the U.S. housing market, making home possible nearly 80 million times.

Fannie Mae’s Servicing Guide update 2020-03 simplifies its loss draft disbursement policies while balancing risk, revises post-disaster credit reporting requirements, authorizes servicers to not send a payment reminder notice to borrowers in an active forbearance plan, encourages servicers to make borrowers aware of our Disaster Response Network, and other miscellaneous updates.

Fannie Mae updated Impact of COVID-19 on Originations Lender Letter (LL-2020-03) and Impact of COVID-19 on Appraisals Lender Letter (LL-2020-04) to extend the temporary policies to applications on or before Aug. 31st. Fannie is also extending the timeframe for verification of self-employment from 10 to 20 days, and extending the temporary guidance related to HomeStyle® Renovation loans until further notice.

Fannie Mae recently updated the FAQs for COVID-19 selling policies to add new content regarding self-employed and variable income in connection with the temporary guidance in the Impact of COVID-19 on Originations Lender Letter (LL-2020-03).

Read about Fannie Mae’s latest COVID-19 resources, including an eLearning on retention workout options in the Fannie Mae workout hierarchy and a payment deferral matrix.

Arch MI will align with Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s announced extensions of COVID-19-related temporary underwriting requirements from July 31, 2020 to August 31, 2020. Arch MI will also support a change to the temporary underwriting requirement for verifying that a self-employed borrower’s business is open and operational from within 10 business days of the Note date to within 20 business days of the Note date. The full overview of Arch MI’s position on the Agencies’ changes can be found in its latest Customer Announcement.

National MI announced multiple Underwriting Guideline changes and clarifications effective July 10, 2020 (unless otherwise noted).

FAMC is announcing temporary guidance in conjunction with Fannie Mae Lender Letter 2020-04 and Freddie Mac Bulletin 2020-11 on the following topics: Appraisal, Project Eligibility Review Waiver, Condo Project Budget. In addition, FAMC is providing a clarification regarding market-based assets (temporary guidance) used for qualification on Conventional Conforming. When market-based assets are used for qualification purposes, the following applies: Employment-Related Assets/Assets as a Basis for Qualification. DU: Follow Fannie-Mae guidelines (the 30% reduction already applies). LPA: Market-based assets used for qualification must be manually reduced by 30%. Distribution Income: The value of the account must be reduced by 30% and the reduced balance of the asset must be divided by the current monthly amount of distribution income being received.

Mountain West Financial posted guideline updates from Freddie Mac. Temporary leave requirements do not extend to employer-initiated actions such as furloughs and layoffs, regardless of whether there is a projected “return to work” date. Regarding unemployment compensation, while many individuals have become eligible for assistance and compensation available through the Unemployment Insurance Provisions provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the assistance and compensation are temporary in nature and therefore do not represent a stable or continuous source of income. As such, unemployment compensation continues to be eligible for use in qualifying only when it is associated with seasonal employment and all other requirements (Section 5303.3 Freddie Mac Selling Guide) are met.

Capital markets

U.S. Treasuries and MBS rallied slightly yesterday on some developments in stories to start the week. European leaders reached an agreement on a rescue fund, though the split between grants and loans was as expected so market movement was minimal. On the home front, Senate Majority Leader McConnell said that he does not expect the next fiscal stimulus bill to be completed by the end of next week. Finally, President Trump’s nominees to the Federal Reserve Board Judy Shelton and Christopher Waller were approved by the Senate Banking Committee, clearing the way to a vote in the full Senate. Not much for markets to move on.

Today’s economic calendar is already underway, with the Weekly MBA Mortgage Index increasing 4.1 percent from one week earlier for the week ending July 17. Later this morning brings the July FHFA Housing Price Index and June Existing Home Sales before an afternoon $17 billion 20-year Treasury bond auction. After purchasing the maximum yesterday, The Desk will conduct three FedTrade operations totaling up to $4.9 billion today starting with $868 million UMBS15 2 percent and 2.5 percent followed by $2.5 billion UMBS30 2 percent through 3 percent and $1.5 billion GNII 2.5 percent and 3 percent at 1:20pm. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices up/better a few ticks and the 10-year yielding .59 after closing yesterday at 0.61 percent.

Glass coffins: will they gain popularity?

Remains to be seen.

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, “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.

Rob

(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.)