July 28: Ops, LO jobs; sales, workflow, customer service tools; Black Knight to add $1.8 OB to $62 million Compass asset

I could see that my cat Myrtle was miffed last night. I doubt if it had anything to do with the supply chain issues impacting appliances and new home construction, although her mini-frig has been on back-order for two months. My guess is that it had something to do with the latest “Arctic Char Quarterly’s Most Connected” list not including her. She doesn’t seem to grasp that usually, publishers are either paid by those wanting to see their names in print, are already big advertisers, or are listed as a favor. Lists change from year to year, just like what draws the attention of lenders changes. Remember when TRID was going to close the industry down? When Amazon was going to take over residential lending? Early last year when every lender had better hop on the blockchain train, or else? These days every lender seems to be focused on closing the loans in their pipelines, helping borrowers one at time in a compliant way. “Old school” using new technologies, and doing it very profitably.


Employment & transitions


“In just five years, Home Point Financial has grown from a startup to become the second largest wholesale lender and the #13 largest correspondent lender in the nation. Per IMF, we’ve grown 177% year over year and 44% through the first 6 months of 2020 overall. We are also ranked 18th overall year-to-date among all mortgage lenders and expect to fund over $55 billion in 2020How did we grow so fast? Because we are committed to being true partners to our mortgage brokers and correspondent lenders. To meet our continued demand, we’re hiring 800 positions this year, including underwriters at all levels and operations positions. Learn what being a part of the Home Point family is all about. For immediate consideration, visit our careers page or send your resume directly to John Eite.


“Summer home sales are heating up. JMAC Lending is closing purchase loans in 21-days with special pricing. Get .250 bps off pricing for Conforming, High-Balance, FHA and VA Purchase Loans locked through 8.31.20. Contact our sales team today to take advantage of this special deal: Email Sales@JMACLending.com, call 844.888.JMAC or visit JMACLending.com. JMAC Lending is currently recruiting talented Conventional, Jumbo and Government Underwriters to join our growing team. Email us at JoinJMAC@JMACLending.com or apply online at www.jmaclending.com/careers.”


Rates are low, business is booming and opportunity is everywhere! While that’s all true now, what happens when rates creep up, refinances slow down, and your volume slows? That’s when you need a powerful marketing platform like Total Expert. A platform that helps you succeed in any and all market conditions. That’s just one of the benefits of continuing to grow your career with PrimeLending! With easy-to-deploy digital campaigns, social posts, videos, partner marketing options, print-ready materials and more, Total Expert is your path to more likes, more shares, more contacts and most importantly, more business. If you’re ready to prospect, close and retain customers for life, contact Nic Hartke, VP Recruiting, to start the conversation! 


Planet Home Lending, LLC, announced some promotions. Congratulations to Michaelene Whyte, the new VP of national fulfillment, distributed retail, Stephanie Gibbons, VP and national underwriting manager, distributed retail, Lauren Reames is the new VP of national fulfillment, retention, and Nicole Berg, Planet Home’s new VP of national underwriting manager of retention.


Lender services and products


There is still time to join this new MBA webinar today: “5 Strategies for Growing Your Consumer Direct Inbound Sales,” at 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.”


Maxwell’s Clear to Close Podcast Ep 009 was just released, featuring Kurt Reisig, Founder and President of American Pacific Mortgage. Titled “Thinking Like An Executive,” the crew and Kurt discuss and debate the evolving role of the loan officer and how mortgage professionals can learn to grow their skill set and add an executive level of strategic thinking to extend their career potential. A great listen for the work day; listen, download, and subscribe at your favorite places for podcasts: AppleGoogleSpotify, or listen in your browser here: www.himaxwell.com/podcast.


Informative Research announces the exciting addition of Kelly Richards to its team as its Head of Sales Support. Prior to IR, Richards worked at Factual Data for over 30 years as their Vice President of Account Management. Leading 20 account managers, she maintained customer and prospect relationships, while also focusing on process development to improve a customer’s workflow and experience. At IR, Richards will focus on proactive client outreach and onboarding, along with leading a sale engineering initiative to support real-time workflow efficiencies for clients. “Informative Research continues to invest in building a team that will bring IR’s services to new heights. Kelly is definitely part of that investment,” commented Matthew Orlando, President of IR Mortgage Vertical. “Her vast client support and management knowledge will make a huge, positive impact across all departments and I can’t wait to put her ideas into action.” For more details, click here.


Optimal Blue has partnered with Andrew Davidson & Co (AD&Co), a leading provider of risk analytics and consulting for residential lending and MBS, to introduce a valuable new resource titled Mortgage Pricing Insights. Released monthly, this timely report leverages proprietary data and analytics produced by both firms to provide a comprehensive view into mortgage finance across the primary and secondary markets. Each report includes updates to mortgage metrics like rates, yields, volumes, and prepayments, and also highlights the most relevant current and ongoing trends within the mortgage industry. Leading mortgage professionals can save valuable time and still remain up to date on key metrics and monthly mortgage finance commentary by subscribing to receive the Mortgage Pricing Insights via email with a free, unlimited access subscription.


How quickly are you providing homeowners access to COVID-19 relief? Mortgage relief programs changing rapidly, and your customers need access to delinquency alternatives now. Fortunately, sophisticated workflow technology can now intuitively survey borrower needs by easily guiding them through intelligently designed questions to identify the best relief options. It’s happening through CLARIFIRE COMMMUNITY®, an innovative feature unique to CLARIFIRE, which is helping servicers eliminate customer backlogs, address investor requirements, and deliver real-time loss mitigation options. That includes automated extensions, payment deferrals, loan modifications and more. Want to learn how to optimize your resources and defend your organization from the next wave of delinquencies? Download Clarifire’s new eBook, “Self-Service Loan Modifications: The Next Step in Automated Mortgage Relief,” and find out how you can provide scalable, flexible, 24/7 self-serve support for your customers, en masse…. with no delays, easy answers, immediate eligibility determinations and fast results.  


Do you feel like you never really know exactly when an appraisal will occur? Is it difficult to provide a firm delivery date to your clients? If so, Connexions’ new Predicted Delivery (PD) is the solution you’ve been looking for. This innovative, new feature is available on Connexions’ platform that forecasts the delivery date of an appraisal based on the appraisal service and predetermined turnaround times (TATs) within a geographical region. PD allows you to provide a more realistic expectation of when appraisal reports will be completed and set more accurate timelines around closings, thereby providing an overall better client experience. Connexions is a leading provider of innovative technology and intelligent valuation solutions for lenders, mortgage brokers, appraisers, and appraisal management companies. Interested in Connexions’ Predicted Delivery? Contact them today!


SimpleNexus has inked a deal with the mortgage division of Arvest, a regional bank that originated more than $2 billion in mortgage volume in the first half of 2020 alone. Arvest says it needed a tech partner that could tune its mortgage division to work as efficiently as possible while delivering a memorably simple mortgage experience. (I’d want to be “memorable” to my customers, too, if I had a $66 billion servicing portfolio!) Says Matt Kendall of the bank’s mortgage division, “SimpleNexus was the clear choice with its simple, cohesive, omni-channel experience that lets loan officers focus on delivering personalized service instead of chasing tasks.” Get the full scoop here. 


Training to wrap up July


Join this MBA WEBINAR: 5 Strategies for Growing Your Consumer Direct Inbound Sales, today, 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! Free registration here with PROMO CODE: MONSTER100 and save $299.


On Tuesday, July 28thPlaza’s Wholesale and Mini-Correspondent are welcome to register to learn all about Plaza’s FHA 203(k) Renovation Loan Programs. On Wednesday, July 29th learn all about Plaza Correspondent’s FHA 203(k) Renovation Loan Programs. Register for the webinar.


Join AEI’s Housing Center director Edward Pinto and director of research Tobias Peter for the monthly update of AEI’s Housing Market Indicators, Wednesday, July 29th. This month’s webinar will highlight the following housing hot topics: Near-real time housing market indicators on purchase loan rate lock volume, credit, and cash-out refinance trends through July 24, 2020.

Americans on the move: an examination of share shifts to less dense places. House price appreciation (HPA) trends through May 2020, including an early look at trends through July 24, 2020. Recent shifts in metro-level HPA trends.


Capital markets


GTCR, a leading private equity firm, announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell Optimal Blue to Black Knight (which also bought Compass Analytics last September for nearly $62 million; page 27) for an enterprise value of $1.8 billion, payable in cash. Cannae and Thomas H. Lee will participate as minority co-investors and BKI will own 60% ($1.1bn). The transaction is currently expected to close in the third quarter subject to regulatory approval and satisfaction of customary closing conditions. Recall that BKI had a $500mm equity raise in June. BKI will combine its Compass Analytics business with Optimal Blue in a newly formed entity, and the deal fills certain product gaps in BKI’s origination software offering and should provide highly attractive cross selling opportunities given customer overlap across the business.


U.S. Treasuries and MBS didn’t do much yesterday, taking a wait-and-see approach on bigger economic events later in the week and some political and geopolitical happenings. The day saw relatively disappointing demand at a $48 billion 2-year note auction and $49 billion 5-year note auction, though there was a sizable increase in Durable Goods Orders. To give a high-level view of other things going on in the economy, the dollar continued to break down against other major currencies as gold prices continue to rise, Wall Street is set for a big week of earnings from Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook, Chevron and Exxon, and we have the Fed rate decision, U.S. GDP on Friday, further stimulus bill negotiations and second waves of the coronavirus to contend with. Separately, the US vacated its consulate in Chengdu, China as relations between the world’s two biggest economies are at their lowest point in decades.


The White House and Republicans unveiled their new coronavirus relief package yesterday, proposing a $1 trillion bill, which marks the starting point for negotiations. The bill includes another $1,200 stimulus check for Americans, an extension of the eviction moratorium, and additional funding for testing and contact tracing, but Democrats point out it would shield businesses and other organizations from lawsuits over coronavirus infections. The $1 trillion proposal would slash unemployment supplemental weekly payments to $200 from $600 until states are able to create a system that would provide 70 percent of a laid-off worker’s previous pay up to a state-set cap, but has been dismissed by Democrats as too small. Many Republicans think it’s too big.


As far as economic releases went, total durable goods orders increased more than expected in June as business spending picked up. Take it with a grain of salt, as reimposed shutdowns will likely hurt the July reading. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey revealed that the total number of loans now in forbearance decreased by 6 bps from 7.80 percent of servicers’ portfolio volume in the prior week to 7.74 percent as of July 19. The share of loans in forbearance declined by a smaller amount than in previous weeks, as the pace of borrowers exiting forbearance slowed. According to MBA’s estimate, 3.9 million homeowners are in forbearance plans. The share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance dropped for the seventh week in a row, though Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance increased by 1 bp. Finally, the Desk released a new FedTrade purchase schedule covering the July 28 to August 13 period totaling $61.8 billion. There are at least two operations per day during the period with no changes to the coupons with UMBS30 3 percent and UMBS15 2.5 percent still in rotation with no GNII 2 percent.


Today’s economic calendar kicks off here shortly with Redbook same store sales for the week ending July 25, which will be followed shortly thereafter by the start of the two-day FOMC meeting. Economic releases round out with S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index for May, Consumer Confidence for July, the Richmond Fed manufacturing and services indices for July, and Dallas Fed Texas services for July. The afternoon sees results from a $44 billion 7-year Treasury note auction. To start the new purchase schedule, the Desk will conduct three FedTrade operations totaling $6.343 billion, with two targeting up to $2.795 billion UMBS30 2 percent through 3 percent, as well as up to $753 million UMBS15 2 percent and 2.5 percent. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices up/better nearly .125 and the 10-year yielding .60 after ending yesterday at 0.60 percent.



Most of generation of 60+ were HOME SCHOOLED in many ways. (Part 2 of 5.)

6.  My mother taught me FORESIGHT.

“Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”

7.  My father taught me IRONY. 

“Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

8.  My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.

“Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”

9.  My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.

“Just you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!”

10.  My mother taught me about STAMINA.

“You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”



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 siteThe 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.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.)

Rob Chrisman