July 29: Mortgage recruiting & new products; Regions Bank’s cuts; PHH, NationStar in the news; Radian & NAREB partnership

My plan has always been pretty simple with my children: feed and clothe them in a loving home, make sure they get a college education followed by a good job, then at some point, send them an invoice. But I’ve been told by the San Francisco Fed that I should ask my accounts receivable gal to stop calling my oldest. In, Wage Growth Gap for Recent College Grads, Bart Hobijn and Leila Bengali writes, “Median starting wages of recent college graduates have not kept pace with median earnings for all workers over the past six years. This type of gap in wage growth also appeared after the 2001 recession and closed only late in the subsequent labor market recovery. The wage gap in the current recovery, however, is substantially larger and has lasted longer than in the past. The larger gap represents slow growth in starting salaries for graduates, rather than a shift in types of jobs, and reflects continued weakness in the demand for labor overall.” The best laid plans, I tell ‘ya, the best laid plans…..


Building on its recent buzz at the recent CMBA Secondary conference meetings, AmeriHome Correspondenthas gone live with its 5 year Core Jumbo Program – including an I/O option (product guide details include 700 min FICO, max loan amount up to $3 million, cash out to $500K, no required AMC, delegated option, and TPO allowed) and AmeriHome’s new VA and VA IRRRL Programs. These come quickly on the heels of the recently announced Expanded Program (up to 83% LTV, down to 600 FICO with 2 yrs. out of BK or FC and 1 year from DIL or Short Sale, another program with 89.9% LTV to $1.05 million with no MI). For all product details click here. Click here for more information on how to become an approved Seller or contact AmeriHome’s sales executive on the East coast – Steve Lemon.


And the need for down payment assistance continues as evidenced by the popularity of First Mortgage Corporation’s Access (California) and FirstDOWN (AZ, NM, NV, TX & UT) programs. Combined with an FHA 1st, these 3% DPA 2nd’s, allow low-to-moderate income borrowers buy a home with as little as .5% borrower contribution. With nearly four years of originating and buying these FHA 1st & 2nd’s, FMC has seen the loan performance mirror that of its standalone FHA 1st’s. (For information about their FMC’s Correspondent program, contact Sharon Magnuson or visit First Mortgage.


On the jobs side, “successful companies have abandoned the traditional recruitment post and pray approach and moved to an all-out Recruitment Marketing Campaign. The 60 Day Recruiting Workshop, hosted by EMAC Recruiting Academy is training Hiring Managers on how to utilizing innovative marketing strategies and tactics to pursue high-performing employees, in the same ways they pursue customers. Join us on our next “The Quest for Top Talent” workshop starting Wednesday, July 30th at 3PM EST and learn how to develop a Recruitment Marketing Campaign to attract the best talent. Instructor Jim McGrath guides Hiring Managers to create a unique Recruitment Marketing Campaign. “The mortgage market is active, the question is, ‘Are you effectively articulating your value-proposition to lure candidates to your brand?’”


Speaking of which, Alabama’s Regions Bank (assets of $117 billion) said it has reduced headcount by 3.5% in the first half of this year (about 839 jobs), as the bank is focusing its efforts on improving efficiency, consolidating branches, optimizing branches and managing expenses.


In other personnel moves, PHH Corp. has put its president and CEO, Glen Messina, in charge of its mortgage subsidiary, the unit’s fourth top executive in two years. But PHH has been in the news recently for other reasons as well. Citadel Advisors LLC, a hedge fund headed by Kenneth Griffin, increased its total stockholdings in PHH Corporation to 5,465,878 shares or 9.5% stake based on its 13G filing with the SEC. And last week a California jury ordered PHH Corp. to pay $16.2 million to a customer who almost lost his home through a bungled mortgage modification. The payment includes $15.7 million in punitive damages for Phillip Linza, a homeowner in the northern California town of Plumas Lakes. The industry, of course, hopes that the punitive damages are greatly reduced or eliminated entirely – the precedent it would set is unimaginable. Of course the lawyers are reaping the temporary attention.


How about the story of the California Association of Realtors and NationStar? Perhaps it is much ado about nothing, or perhaps not: time will tell.


Lending is now a litigious industry. House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) sent a letter to Attorney General Holder raising questions about the DOJ’s “inclination to enter into settlement agreements with respect to mortgage securities fraud” claims. The Chairman notes that large RMBS settlements to date have been predicated on violations of FIRREA, which allows the DOJ to initiate lawsuits seeking civil money penalties. The letter suggests the DOJ’s decision not to litigate or secure a criminal plea diverges from the agency’s strategy in other contexts. Chairman Issa asks the DOJ to produce, by August 14, all documents and communications since January 2011 referring or relating to two recent major RMBS settlements, as well as any policies in effect during that time governing the decision to conclude pre-suit negotiations.


On the more constructive side of things, representing community-based lenders, the Community Mortgage Lenders of America (CMLA) named Glen Corso as its new Executive Director in April. As many of you know, Corso is well known in mortgage banking circles – and in Washington, D.C. His appointment was the first of many signals the CMLA intends to be an influential voice in all lending policy and regulatory discussions, while expanding its membership. CMLA will be a presence at the upcoming Lenders One Conference (August 2-6) in Nashville, TN, as well. On Sunday afternoon (3:00 P.M.), CMLA is hosting a Members-Only session for a regulatory update from senior Execs of the CFPB, the NAR and CMLA’s Washington lobbyist Rob Zimmer. Tuesday morning’s open session on “2014 Election Outlook: Impact on Mortgage Finance” will feature Ken Trepeta, NAR and CMLA’s David Horne.


And the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) has entered into a two-year partnership with Radian Guaranty Inc. The partnership, which could be extended beyond 2016 by mutual agreement, will provide training on private mortgage insurance solutions to the NAREB 93-chapter network. Under the agreement, Radian will develop a nationwide training program that educates NAREB member agents (“Realtists” – as if we need a new occupation term to remember) and lenders about private mortgage insurance through on-demand training, face-to-face sessions, video and interactive webinars so they can, in turn, better inform their consumers. “Both Radian and NAREB share a mutual commitment to ensure that minority homeowners realize the American dream of homeownership in a sustainable way,” said Brien McMahon, Radian’s Chief Franchise Officer. “Minorities are critical to the recovery of the housing market and the U.S. economy and Radian will work directly with NAREB to provide consumers with information, tools and resources to make the right choices.”


Keeping on with investor & lender updates during the last several weeks


In Saturdays newsletter an LO mentioned difficulty finding a 90% LTV on a jumbo loan, and I received this note from a rep at Flagstar Bank. “Flagstar happens to have a nice niche on our 5/1 and 7/1 Jumbo Arm. We offer a 90% LTV to $800,000 with a 740 fico score, and the private MI companies who will insure it are Essent, Genworth, and MGIC LPMI too.”


Weslend Wholesale is offering its Purchase Special, for fixed rate terms, has been increased from a 0.375 improvement to the price to a 0.625 improvement to the price! Also, DU Refi Plus Fixed minimum FICO score for Owner Occupied Properties, Second Homes and Investment Properties has been lowered to 620. WesLend Direct product clarification has been added as it pertains to using large deposits to meet asset requirements. In addition, retirement funds are now an eligible source of funds to meet postclosing liquidity requirements for WesLend NonConforming Loans, subject to certain requirements.


Plaza Home Mortgage Wholesale has some articles of interest; follow the links to view “Ohio Appraisal Fee changes”: Ohio Appraisal fee. Underwriting guideline updates including Inconsistent or Large Deposits, Total Qualifying Debt-to-Income Ratios, and Rental Income: UW guidelines.


Cole Taylor Mortgage, a division of Cole Taylor Bank sent a bulletin to clients addressing a change in the ownership of Cole Taylor Bank which is expected to occur on or about August 18. “The merger transaction is a merger between Cole Taylor Bank and MB Financial Bank, N.A., both federally-regulated Chicago-based banks. When the two banks combine, MB Financial Bank, N.A. will be the resulting bank…as we continue to process your customers’ applications and following the closing of the Merger Transaction, you may notice that correspondence from us, when and as applicable, will have our new legal name – MB Financial Bank, N.A. You may also continue to see Cole Taylor Mortgage, a division of Cole Taylor Bank, on certain documents. This is a standard process for this type of change. Our goal is to make this change as seamless as possible.”


New Penn Financial posted updates to include UW guideline updates on government and conventional products regarding LPOA Large Deposits and POA. Also, revised Broker Application is now posted on the “Get Approved” Page clarifying premiums over 104.5 and the release of Custom Terms for Conforming Standard and High-Balance are available Custom Terms.


Fifth Third Correspondent recently published clarification regarding non-delegated Fannie Mae products as second homes stating property is no longer subject to reasonable distanceaway from the borrower’s primary residence, provided ALL other requirements are met. It also is addressing income stability and inspection and certification requirements for all Fifth Third products. For complete information, contact your sales representative.


Quicken Loans announced changes to its LPMI special. Further reduction in the cost of LPMI, especially in the 8-20 year term buckets, up to an additional 7/8’s reduction in the LPMI. Please see website for price improvements for any new locks. Updates on turn times and some nice UW changes effective 6/25/14including cash out in First 6 months is now allowed: If the client inherited or was legally awarded the property, there is no waiting period to obtain cash out. Also Delayed Financing rules have been added to GURU, so this is no longer an exception. Delayed Financing rules still apply: new loan amount not to exceed initial purchase price + cc and prepaids, transaction was arms-length, and additional documentation requirements (HUD-1, documenting source of funds and title with no liens), but this no longer requires a management exception. To view all the updates, visit QLMS.


CitiBank Correspondent weighed in on large deposits with loan transactions now being closed. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have aligned their large deposit policies; therefore, Citi updated its policy to align with the Agencies. Large deposits are defined as a single deposit on an account statement that exceeds 50% of the total monthly qualifying income for the loan; this revises the current 25% threshold. See Citi’s bulletin for complete details 2014-07.


First Community Mortgage Wholesale product and pricing Bulletin 2014-06B announced its 7 day lock policy incentive for all loans locked on or after June 24th. Loan must be in “modified with conditions” status or later and can only be added manually by the lock desk, 7 day locks will receive 25 bps incentive to the currently offered 15 day pricing. View the link for all the details FCM.


Turning to a market update, it isn’t only borrowers here in the United States that default, or certain towns and cities… entire countries can do it. The latest conjecture focuses on Argentina. (But heck, 10-yr bond yields in Spain are yielding 2.47% – remember when that country was in dire trouble?)


Sometimes I feel sorry for Lawrence Yun, that National Association of Realtors’ chief economist. Every NAR statistic that is released, he has to come up with something pithy at the risk of not repeating what he might have said previously. Yesterday, after three consecutive months of solid gains, pending home sales slowed modestly in June (-1.1%) and is about 7% lower than a year ago. Mr. Yun says the housing market is stabilizing, but ongoing challenges are impeding full sales potential. “Activity is notably higher than earlier this year as prices have moderated and inventory levels have improved,” he said. “However, supply shortages still exist in parts of the country, wages are flat, and tight credit conditions are deterring a higher number of potential buyers from fully taking advantage of lower interest rates.”


The 10-yr closed at a yield of 2.49%, and this morning we start the work day at 2.47% and agency MBS prices are better by a tad. Ahead of us we only have the S&P/Case-Shiller house price numbers with their two-month lag, along with Consumer Confidence.



Three guys are on a boat and they have four cigarettes, but no matches or lighters. In fact, they have nothing to light the cigarettes with. What do they do?

They throw one cigarette overboard and the whole boat becomes a cigarette lighter.





(Copyright 2014 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