July 3: Vendor and mortgage insurance company news; the unemployment data’s impact on rates

This weekend, between the BBQ and waiting for fireworks, or dodging hurricanes, don’t make the mistake of playing the parlor game of making a list of last names that are the same as occupations. Surnames that match jobs, just in the English language, total more than 600. If a man was a carpenter he might be called John Carpenter and because sons very often followed their father’s occupation the surname stuck. Some occupational surnames are obvious, like Smith, Potter, Shoemaker, Cooper, Mason, Tailor or Taylor, Weaver, Miller, Baker, Cook, Fisher, Shepherd, Carter, A fowler caught birds. A waterman rowed a boat or a barge. Some are a little less obvious. A sawyer was a man who sawed logs. A turner was a man who turned wood on a lathe and made things like wooden bowls. A roper made ropes. A shoesmith made horse shoes. A Mercer was a dealer in fine cloth. A chapman and a hawker sold goods at markets. People who sold goods of a certain kind were also called mongers. An inman was an inn keeper. Baxter is an old English word for a (usually female) baker. Brewer and Brewster both, obviously come from brewing. Like I said, there are hundreds; thousands if you throw in foreign languages.


My colleague Garth Graham wrote an interesting piece about eDisclosures, noting that the processing of getting the initial disclosures done electronically has really taken off.  Of course, we all know that the eClosing has proved elusive, but Garth also points out that the CFPB may actually be leading the way on this topic.


Speaking of back-office trends, sometimes one has to “bite the bullet” and play major league catch up with all the vendor and MI updates that have crossed my computer in recent weeks. Let’s do it! Besides, it seems that vendors make up half the attendance at some of the mortgage conferences anyway. As always, it is best to read the full bulletin for details, but these will give you a feel for what has been going on out there. So in no particular order…


Remember RMIC? “On June 27, 2014 the North Carolina Department of Insurance issued a Final Order (“Order”) Approving the Amended and Restated Corrective Plan (“Plan”) for Republic Mortgage Insurance Company and its affiliate, Republic Mortgage Insurance Company of North Carolina (collectively the “Companies”). The Order is available on the Companies’ website at www.rmic.com. In accordance with the Order, effective with claims settled on or after July 1, 2014, the Companies will resume payment of all valid claims at one-hundred percent (100%) of the claim amount without further deferrals. Furthermore, the Companies will pay, in full, all deferred payment obligations (“DPOs”) which are outstanding as of June 30, 2014. These payments are expected to be remitted to policyholders no later than July 31, 2014.”


NMIH announced a settlement agreement with Arch U.S. MI and the legacy PMI receiver for an immaterial amount to be paid by NMIH and its insurance carriers. Arch will release NMIH and the other Defendants from all alleged claims in the complaint. The settlement of this litigation was largely expected by late summer. However, it appears that the settlement amount will be less than expected.


Radian Group Inc. completed the acquisition of Clayton Holdings LLC.  As previously disclosed, Radian Group paid aggregate cash consideration of $305 million, subject to customary purchase price adjustments, to purchase all of the outstanding equity interests in Clayton and to repay Clayton’s outstanding debt. “Today we welcome Clayton Holdings to our family. The mortgage solutions and capabilities they bring will help diversify our revenue stream and expand our core competencies, positioning Radian for new opportunities as the U.S. housing market evolves,” said Radian’s Chief Executive Officer S.A. Ibrahim. “The Clayton acquisition builds on Radian’s strong heritage and experience in delivering innovative products and solutions that allow our customers to achieve their goals.”


United Guaranty Rate Runner Now Calculates State Taxes for Properties in Kentucky. You’ll find the new KY address box on the Rate Runner screen and the new rate calculation on the Rate Quote PDF.


MGIC announced New York has now approved both borrower-paid and lender-paid single premium rate changes. These changes, which were put in place for most states last December, will be effective for MI applications received after June 15, 2014. The credit score classifications for standard nonrefundable borrower-paid and lender-paid single premiums are being modified and most rates are being lowered. Below are examples of the new rates in key cells. Complete rate cards with these lower rates are available at MGIC Rates


National MI joined forces with XEROX MORTGAGE SERVICES’ BLITZDOCS®.

Integration of private mortgage insurer and BlitzDocs simplifies process for lenders using the Xerox collaborative network. National MI stated joining forces with Xerox allows its lender customers who use BlitzDocs to transmit their documents easily, another option to offer customers to transmit loan documents electronically and securely.


Radian has lowered pricing for LPMI single premiums with powerful savings for credit scores of 720+ effective August 11, 2014. And in many cases, Radian’s pricing is lower than other MI companies! It created a new 760+ credit band and reduced rates for borrowers within certain LTV bands and credit scores of 760+ and 720-739. Visit Radian website for the complete information premiums eBulletin 2014-4.


United Guaranty has a new Master Policy coming in October. UG’s new master policy is the only one in the MI industry to include a Policy Commitment Letter—specific to each lender—that clearly defines each party’s roles and responsibilities, and clearly spells out policies and practices governing underwriting, claims, and appeals. To view the information, visit the website Master Policy.


FormFree Holdings Corporation, an award-winning provider of next-generation verification technology for the mortgage industry, has appointed John Sheppard president and COO. Sheppard, who has more than 25 years of senior leadership experience in the consumer goods and technology industries, will be responsible for overseeing the growth of the company and AccountChek, FormFree’s proprietary flagship product that verifies a borrower’s ability to pay back loans.


Phoenix Capital has acquired Steel Mountain Capital Management, a Denver-based residential loan investment firm that provides performing, sub- and non-performing mortgage sale solutions, in addition to whole loan advisory and analytics support.


PCLender, LLC has acquired the PCLender loan origination system (LOS) and formed a new company that will focus on providing turn-key mortgage technology solutions for midsized mortgage bankers.


Did you know that there is an International Association of Outsourcing Professionals? Me neither! Indecomm, a provider of consulting and outsourcing solutions for mortgage lending, retail banking, and other industries, “has once again ranked among the top global outsourcing companies by the IAOP. The company ranked 54th among the top global 100 companies in the Leaders category for the 2014 Global Outsourcing 100, according to a release. The honor marks the seventh straight year that Indecomm has been recognized by IAOP as a global corporate leader.” But wait, there’s more! Indecomm was also honored among the Best 5 Leaders in Education, the Best 10 Leaders in Corporate Services, and the Best 10 Leaders in Southeast Asia. The firm also ranked among the Best 20 Leaders category in Transaction Processing Services and the Best 20 Companies in India.


AllRegs has launched a “procedures product” line designed to provide clear step-by-step guidance to a lender’s staff about operational aspects of regulatory-based procedures. Dan Thoms, executive vice president for AllRegs, suggested that, “These procedure templates help support our clients in filling gaps in their regulatory compliance infrastructure. Saying your company will implement a policy isn’t enough anymore—you have to be able to show exactly the steps staff members need to take when handling operational tasks, our procedure documents fill that need.” Guidance released by the CFPB in December of 2013 specifically addresses policies and procedures. Beyond ensuring procedure documents cover the key components of the Dodd-Frank rules, the regulatory agency suggests having a process in place for keeping documents accurate as regulations evolve. AllRegs Procedure Templates are offered with a one-time purchase price per company. The templates are delivered in MS Word format and can be personalized by the customer or fully customized by AllRegs to include specific customer requirements. Maintenance plans are available to keep documents up to date with legislative and regulatory changes.


Vantage Production, LLC, a leading innovator in customer relationship management (CRM), marketing, sales and content solutions, announced that Security National Mortgage Company of Salt Lake City, Utah, has selected its Vantage Integrated ProductionSM(VIP) solution to centralize marketing, compliance and sales process management for its national network of retail origination branches. Like many mortgage lenders, SNMC was concerned about standardizing and controlling messaging for Realtors and consumers to ensure compliance with CFPB requirements, as well as making sure that loan officers were utilizing the best possible materials across the country.  SNMC was founded in 1993 as a subsidiary of the Security National Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: SNFCA), which began in 1965 as Security National Life Insurance Company and has invested in mortgage loans for almost 50 years.


A La Mode Software for real estate professionals offered up TOTAL to enhance and simplify document data entry. For example, a common request for appraisers was to overflow field data in the same order as the major form. One of TOTAL’s key addenda features is that it overflows data from the major form to the addenda in the order the fields appear on the form, as opposed to simply the order that the appraiser filled them out. This setting is on by default, so you don’t have to do anything to get it working. If you’re still using WinTOTAL Aurora and haven’t installed TOTAL yet, it’s a free upgrade as long as you have any contract with us. Don’t have TOTAL yet? Visit the website to view all the tools offered:  a la mode.


Alight Planning is a fast-growing provider of industry specific applications that help firms transform how they view planning and budgeting and make it a constant and relevant part of their businesses. Alright has announced Alight Mortgage Lending – a new SaaS application that helps mortgage lending firms achieve top financial performance. To learn about Alight Planning, visit the website at: Alight Planning.


Optimal Blue unveiled new services that included adding the patent-pending real-time lock monitoring functionality, incorporating the “Equivalent Rate” feature, to their Optimal Blue Advantage real-time Fair Lending solution.  When applied to a mortgage lender’s locked pipeline, the Equivalent Rate calculations immediately highlight any loans that may not have been priced equally. “Our clients can greatly reduce the chance for rate disparity and pricing discrimination,” said Tammy Butler, Director, Fair Lending and Compliance. “They need this now more than ever!”


Clear Capital was selected by Freddie Mac as Technology Provider for Appraisal Data Validation in Uniform Collateral Data Portal. By providing appraisal data validation services, Clear Capital will offer Freddie Mac additional insight to appraisal quality and accuracy. “What can Clear Capital offer your company? Clear Capital’s ClearQC examines Appraisals and BPO’s from any valuation provider identifying risky or erroneous reports.  ClearQC’s user-friendly interface and seamless integration key benefits include: elimination of secondary reviews or use of third party data sources, customize to meet your specific business requirements with dynamic rule sets, identifies red flags, functions as an internal audit tool and so much more.”


Equifax announced that its Spectrum Verification Services Platform (powered by data from The Work Number, a solution offered through Workforce Solutions, Equifax and the largest collection of payroll records contributed directly from employers) completed more than nine million employment and income verifications in 2013, representing nearly one-third of the mortgage industry’s total verifications for the year. “In today’s real estate market, instant and increased transparency into a borrower’s accurate income levels and employment status is a critical requirement. For lenders, these verifications have historically been manual, time-consuming processes that require confirmations from a wide range of sources. The Spectrum Platform streamlines the loan origination process by providing lenders with a fully automated verification solution that reduces fraud, improves overall loan quality and cycle times, avoids capacity issues and reduces costs.”


The markets…. Let’s face it – rates have not done much since late January. During that time the 10-yr. seems “content” sitting between 2.45% and 2.80%, and we closed Wednesday smack dab in the middle of that (2.63%). We did have a surprisingly strong ADP number (+281k), and mortgages did better than Treasury prices. In fact, I didn’t see many price changes from investors, and for the most part mortgage rates and prices have continually been up a little, down a little.


But today, ahead of an early close in the bond market and the holiday tomorrow, we’ve had a spate of employment data. Non-farm payrolls were expected at +220k and the unemployment rate was expected steady at 6.3%, but were +288k and 6.1%, with some improved back-month revisions, while average hourly earnings were +.2% (+2% from a year ago). Soon after the news rates are higher with the 10-yr touching 2.69% and agency MBS prices worse by .250-.375. Jobs and housing, housing and jobs – and this jobs number improvement is going to be hard to fight.



Tomorrow is July 4th, and it is important for us to keep in mind one of the reasons we are able to celebrate it. Take 1 minute and enjoy a well done video ad.





(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