July 26: LO & Ops jobs, construction process risk product; blockchain primer; lender tech rollouts

The United States is a fine country, and the residential lending industry is filled with fine individuals working to help borrowers, or help others help borrowers, with owning a home. Periodically I am asked about a list of organizations around the nation who support the financing of home ownership and related activities. From the MBA, here you go – just scroll down. (Speaking of the Mortgage Bankers Association, its president Dave Stevens sat down in his waning administrative days to discuss his view of the future of mortgage lending with XINNIX CEO Casey Cunningham on a very special episode of Inside the Mortgage Mind, a XINNIX podcast.)


Military Direct Mortgage, a growing VA direct to consumer lender, licensed in 39 states around the nation is looking for remote Loan Officers. Join a growing team while helping our veterans utilize their benefits. Military Direct offers the VA Rehab loan along with a complete suite of loan products. For more information please contact Military Direct President, Patti White.


“Looking for more control in your career? Maybe it’s time to investigate Motto Franchising, LLC. As the first national franchised mortgage brokerage model, we offer something totally unique. Own your own business and take advantage of an out-of-the-box mortgage company solution. With franchisee setup support for compliance, LOS training, licensing, wholesale lender mix, brand and marketing, we streamline the process of starting your own business and controlling your own future. To find out more about this disruptive new model, contact our team at www.mottomortgage.com/franchises (866.668.8649).”

Wrapping up a record Q2, Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions, a leader in non-QM lending, announced the addition of 6 more AEs to help brokers and correspondents grow their business. Adding additional coverage across the country, Mark Dombrowski came on-board in Arizona, Tim Saucier in Maine, Gil Moran in Chicago, Shawn Hartman in Indianapolis, Robyn Smith-Manchas in Eugene, Oregon and Jennifer Hernandez in Southern California. “To support this record volume growth, the AOMS Operations team is also hiring underwriters and other positions in both Atlanta and our newest center in Dallas. As more companies realize the benefits of offering responsible non-QM products, it only makes sense to work with the market leader. If you are interested in learning more, please visit www.angeloakms.com/careers.”


Fortune Magazine recognized Houston-based Cornerstone Home Lending, Inc. in two of its Top 100 PLACES TO WORK lists this year, FORTUNE’S BEST WORKPLACES IN FINANCIAL SERVICES, and FORTUNE’S 100 BEST WORKPLACES FOR DIVERSITY. Cornerstone also earned national recognition in the GREAT PLACE TO WORK Best Workplaces national employee survey for achieving ratings of 98% and higher on: Workplace Atmosphere, Company Pride, Communication, Rewards, and best Bosses. Founder and CEO Marc Laird sites Cornerstone’s servant-leadership management style and its meaningful Mission Statement as the driving factors for the company’s success over the past 30 years. For more information about Cornerstone Home Lending employment opportunities throughout the U.S. contact Tom Lott.

How many more residential loans could you and your branch team close with better back office support? You work too hard to experience the same chokepoints over and over again. Assurance Financial offers you a committed team of experts who have spent the last 17 years with only one objective: Help you close loans on time, every time. If you even THINK you may be losing origination opportunities to build your business in your current situation due to poor support, contact Paul Peters, CMB (225.239.7948). Assurance Financial is a growing full-service independent mortgage banker seeking dynamic producing branch managers and MLO teams throughout the South, Southeast, Southwest, East, and Midwest, U.S. Watch this 2-minute video now.

Lender products & services

Flagstar Bank has been working with Ellie Mae to integrate with Encompass Investor Connect, which establishes a secure system-to-system workflow to the loan delivery process. This integration will allow correspondents using Encompass to deliver required data and documents directly to Flagstar with just one click, thus reducing time and errors. The result is lower costs and more efficiencies for both Flagstar and its correspondent customers. Full rollout is set for mid-August. This is among several exciting technology enhancements that Flagstar has planned for the coming months. Stay tuned to see what’s coming next.

With 2018 shaping up for lower volumes, compressed margins and a purchase driven marketplace, lenders across the U.S. are struggling to find ways to produce revenue and are searching for innovative products to support their origination platforms. CFSI Loan Management is a full-service construction risk mitigation company, helping lenders manage the construction process from beginning to end. “We help our lending partners to ensure that the contractor and project feasibility phase is set prior to loan approval and after loan funding we provide full service fund control (including lien releases) and a national inspection platform that allows our clients to ensure that the project is progressing on time and the percent complete is accurate for funding each draw. Lenders manage credit risk, CFSI manages construction risk. Let CFSI Loan Management help you lead your market with real estate agents, borrowers and builders with a construction loan program.” Please contact President Brian Mingham for information.

We all want to be just like Google and Amazon, web-enabled companies that created real disruption in consumer buying. Is Blockchain the technology to create this kind of disruption in the mortgage industry? In the July issue of STRATMOR Group’s Insights report, Principal Andrew Weiss outlines Blockchain technology and its possible impacts in his article, “Connecting the Blocks: Practical Applications of Blockchain for the Mortgage Industry.” Weiss explains Blockchain through mortgage-related examples, including one that proposes what the industry could see in the year 2026 if Blockchain is widely adopted. Blockchain is one of the hottest technology discussions going today, and lenders, if you’re wondering how it might help you get a leg up in the current market environment, be sure to read this article. The July issue of Insights also offers an article on diversity in the borrower’s experience that includes data analysis from the STRATMOR MortgageSAT Borrower Satisfaction Program that may surprise you. It appears the mortgage industry isn’t doing as well as we think serving some ethnicities. STRATMOR Insights report.

Lenders & investors rolling out new tech plays

Many small and mid-sized lenders don’t have the time, money, or dedicated vendor manager to vet products and roll one out. (These lenders certainly couldn’t afford a complete re-do of TRID.) With limited personnel, sometimes the task falls to the CEO, the owner, the head of IT…

Ruoff Home Mortgage recently rolled out their proprietary digital mortgage solution, Loan Butler. This exclusive online loan technology gives homebuyers access to apply for home financing with a few simple clicks and keeps them apprised of the progress along the way. Loan Butler is cutting-edge online loan technology that gives potential homebuyers the ability to digitally provide required documentation at the touch of a finger. Applicants can initiate a credit check and review their scores, digitally verify their employment information, and seamlessly transfer asset documentation all from the convenience of their digital device.

Sun West Mortgage Company, Inc. announced a technology update to its SeeMyLoanStatus. Enhancements include a new option “Price the Loan” has been added to “Originator Access” to check out the Sun West’s excellent pricing on any scenario without creating a loan number.

Pacific Union Financial has chosen Total Expert to deploy its new proprietary marketing operating system (MOS), EXPmarketing. Pacific Union Financials’ Retail loan officers will be able to manage and communicate with prospects and customers while maintaining company brand standards and regulatory requirements.

AmeriHome’s Correspondent Connect has a new landing page where you will find: AmeriHome and industry news, product and program highlights, Information about upcoming sponsored events and more. The new landing page also provides centralized access for logging into Correspondent Connect and SellerWeb.

Fannie Mae recently launched “Ask Poli”, a new tool that uses natural language processing to better understand your policy questions and quickly find the answers you’re seeking. Available to Fannie Mae sellers and servicers, Ask Poli not only provides answers, but it tells you where to find relevant details in the Selling and Servicing Guides, and allows you to share or print the answers to keep for your files. Give Ask Poli a spin at AskPoli.fanniemae.com or on the Selling and Servicing Guide pages.

Franklin American Mortgage announced a new and improved customer experience powered by Blend’s digital platform. Homebuyers can submit, including on nights and weekends, all required documentation when applying for a loan from their mobile device or desktop computer. Recent studies have shown that the streamlined process allows up to 80% of borrowers to complete their applications in just one sitting. Additionally, borrowers can directly link their financial accounts to the portal, giving loan officers and processors access they need to quickly verify income information.

Wells Fargo Retail now uses Blend in its mortgage application process. “Blend…the venture-backed company has “tens of millions of dollars” in annual revenues and 300 employees. It plans to expand soon into software connecting car-loan lenders with consumers.”

Recall that Freddie Mac launched its “Borrower of the Future Campaign” to take a look at how the industry will have to address the younger homebuyer. “The increase in self-employed and the rise of the sharing economy and digitally-driven lifestyles are having a tremendous impact and leading to shifts in behavioral, economic and societal factors,” said Chris Boyle, Chief Client Officer at Freddie Mac. “Collectively, the industry must now consider these dynamics as we think about how to effectively help the next generation find the home of their dreams. We’re excited to serve in this important role to help the industry better understand the Borrower of the Future, and then drive the conversation on how to apply these insights to make the mortgage process more efficient and affordable.”

Earlier this year Guild Mortgage launched Guild 360, a sales, marketing and CRM platform powered by Salesforce Sales Cloud and Pardot with Guild’s proprietary internal systems. The platform gives the company’s loan officers a single reliable source for maintaining current homebuyer information, aiding them throughout the lending process and specific to each customer lifecycle.

Caliber Home Loans joined forces with FirstFunding, Inc. to bring “Caliber Express Connect” for non-delegated correspondent lenders. Caliber is the first wholesale lender
to offer this service and the only lender who’s integrated their services with FirstFunding.
Tune Watch its Vimeo channel for a 5-minute introduction to Caliber Express Connect.

Earlier this year, to foster communication between regulators and industry regarding financial technology, regulators from all 50 states and the District of Columbia designated an Innovation Staff Contact within their offices, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS). The Innovation Contact will be the primary contact for fintech officials, streamlining communication on money transmission, payments and lending. The full list can be found here. John Ryan, CSBS president and CEO, said: “State regulators see how fintech is reshaping the financial services industry. And an Innovation Contact is but the latest step that states are taking to engage with industry and modernize nonbank regulation.”

Capital markets

For actual rate moves on Wednesday, they barely did anything despite Donald Trump reaching some kind of an agreement with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, supposedly averting a trade war. (The two sides agreed to expand European imports of U.S. liquefied natural gas and soybeans and lower industrial tariffs on both sides. Does Congress do anything anymore?) The Bank of Japan refrained from scaling back its bond purchases at a regular operation yesterday, and European government bonds rose ahead of Thursday’s European Central Bank meeting. There was also some domestic news indicating the Senate will present a bill aimed at delaying the imposition of tariffs on imports. And as far as economic releases went, New home sales decreased 5.3% MoM in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 631k, falling well short of 670k expectations after a downwardly revised 666k in May. The decline in June represented the largest monthly drop since December, and it took place despite a decline in median (-4.2% to $302k) and average selling price (-2.0% to $363k).

Headlines today will revolve around the myriad of central bank decisions, starting with the ECB leaving rates unchanged. ECB President Draghi’s press conference offered little new – a good thing as markets don’t like surprises. Not that economic releases tend to move rates much anymore, but in the U.S., we’ve had durable goods orders (+1% in June), weekly jobless claims (at 217k, as expected), and advanced indicators (deficit of $68.3 billion, whatever that means). If anyone cares the Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Survey for July will be released at 11AM ET, and later, at 2PM ET, the NY Fed will report MBS purchases for the week ending July 25 which are expected to total just $1.406 billion net, compared with $2.9 billion in the previous week. Thursday starts, like a broken record, with the 10-year yielding 2.96% and agency MBS prices little changed versus Wednesday’s close.

Here is something interesting, at least from a technology perspective. Website monitoring is partly art and lots of science. The belief that a user will stop looking after three clicks on a website appears to be incorrect. So for anyone re-designing their website, the goal is to make a clear path to the information rather than focus on a maximum number of clicks on tabs.

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, “With Regulations, Be Careful What You Wish For.” 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 2018 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