July 31: AE jobs & new products; training from investors & agencies; Vanguard stops taking apps; Fed owns how much agency MBS?

How much would you pay to drive a cab? In New York City, in 2014, the price of a Taxi Medallion hit $1.3 million. With Uber and Lyft, Medallions are now running in the $200,000s to the $500,000s. These valuable licenses that allow yellow cabs to operate have historically been a solid investment for owners. I mention this because there are credit unions that allowed medallion owners to take out lines of credit using the medallion as collateral. Due to the collapse in value, enough medallion owners are now underwater that three New York lenders have been placed into conservatorship.

Jobs & products

Fresh off its second rated securitization in 2017 of non-QM loans by Angel Oak Capital, Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions, “the leader in the non-QM space, announced the addition of 5 more AEs to help brokers grow its business across the country. David Hill joined in Atlanta, Gerica Coad in Sacramento with Sal Perez (Inside Sales), Stacy Flanigan in Tampa and Denise Perez in Fort Ft. Lauderdale. And Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions is not done, as it continues to hire additional Wholesale Account Executives across the country as well as underwriters and other operations positions in its Atlanta headquarters. Come build your career with the nation’s top Non-QM lender by visiting JoinAngelOak.com or watch this clip from Mortgage News Network’s Top Mortgage Employer’s interview for more information.”

Maxwell recently announced the release of their API integration with LOS provider, LendingQB. This integration allows documents and data to flow between the two systems and enables Maxwell to keep stakeholders in the mortgage informed about progress. Maxwell is the leading software for non-bank lenders to compete, enabling loan officers to provide a digital and customizable loan application, automatic document collection, and automated notifications & reminders to keep the process moving. Maxwell’s API has always allowed connectivity to your LOS, and with a direct LendingQB integration it will sync and update with the click of a button, allowing you to increase productivity, grow your business, and provide the ultimate borrower experience. To learn more and request a demo visit www.himaxwell.com.

SocialSurvey has launched their Enterprise Reputation Management platform for 3 more lenders in the past few weeks. These lenders are: American Interbanc Mortgage, Frost Mortgage Group, and Synergy One Lending. Also launching in the next few weeks will be: NFM Lending, First Commonwealth Bank and Central Bank of St. Louis. Check out what one new user said, “SocialSurvey has help me increase my online presence and highlight my client relationships. This has driven more business to Embrace Home Loans!” As soon as a survey is completed, feedback from the happiest customers will be automatically shared on social media sites and web-pages to leverage your company’s great client experiences into more business. Learn how it works and how easy it is to launch with them by contacting Craig Pollack. If your company is not actively managing your online reputation, then you are giving the microphone to your unhappy customers and letting them control the narrative.

Events and training

If you are looking to rapidly kick your purchase business into high gear then you want to make sure you don’t miss out on the next nmpU 2 Day Purchase Bootcamp presented by Ron Vaimberg, nmpU President and Head Coach scheduled for Thursday and Friday, September 7th & 8th in Sacramento, CA. This is an ultra-private success event presented by nmpU, a division of National Mortgage Professional Magazine, in which only 40 attendees are permitted.  The last nmpU Purchase Bootcamp in San Diego was sold out with originators from across the United States.  Regardless of whether you earn $50,000 or $500,000 a year this program will elevate your current production.  You will learn how to master the skills to unleash your power to develop a 100% purchase based business. nmpU Purchase Bootcamp is backed by a $100,000 Income Increase Guarantee. Visit PurchaseBootcamp.com for complete details.  Use discount code “Chrisman” and save an additional $100 off your tuition.

FAMC has published its August 2017 Wholesale “Monthly Customer Training Calendar”. This month’s calendar offers a variety of training opportunities such as “Loan Processing”, “Mortgage Fraud:  Potential Red Flags”, “Self-Employed Borrower:  SAM Part 1, Personal Tax Returns”, “LinkedIn Strategies for Loan Officers”, and “Blueprint for Taking a Quality Application”.

Did you know that Fannie Mae provides participating servicers with free loss mitigation training? Fannie’s Know Your Options™ Customer CARE (Connect, Assess, Resolve, and Execute) team will present two live webinars each month in August and October. Sign up to learn how to leverage your own servicer model to develop rapport and establish consultative customer relationships, communicate more effectively with borrowers about their options to avoid foreclosure, increase your workout percentage, and more. Its August webinars are scheduled for the 8th and 17th of August; learn more and register today.

Don’t miss the NMMLA August 10th Seminar & Luncheon at the Tanoan Country Club. Guest speaker Jack Konyk will discuss recent enforcement actions by the CFPB and others as they pertain to “cooperative” business sourcing and mortgage advertising.

Take a look at the Freddie Mac Learning Center web page for training resources on how the latest addition to the Freddie Mac Loan Advisor Suite – Quality Control AdvisorSM – can be your end-to-end solution for managing the entire post-funding quality control and remedy process.

Sign up for the Freddie Mac free 90-minute webinar ( August 9th, 16th, September 6th and 20th currently available) detailing to discover the possibilities with a Home Possible® mortgage. Home Possible offers you the opportunity to meet the home financing needs of low- and moderate-income borrowers looking for low down payments and flexible sources of funds.

Or there’s Freddie Mac’s free 2-hour webinar ( August 9th and 23rd currently available) detailing the process to input data for Freddie Mac Flex Modifications into Workout Prospector® and continues through the entire process to achieve a successful settlement. Processing tips and best practices are also provided.

MBA Education offers a new program for mid-senior level risk managers, developed in collaboration with The University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. This course will lead students through the core risk management concepts in mortgage finance while incorporating real-world applications and group exercises. The program will be led by Clifford Rossi Ph.D., Professor Executive-in-Residence and Professor of the Practice at the Robert H. Smith School of Business. Clifford, who was previously Managing Director and Chief Risk Officer for Citigroup’s Consumer Lending Group, will be joined by industry experts from the GSEs and other mortgage finance institutions. There are currently two options are available for those interested in the program. A half-day workshop will be held in conjunction with MBA’s Risk Management and Quality Assurance Conference on September 26th, in Miami. The first full offering of the Advanced Risk Management for Mortgage Professionals will be in Washington, DC in mid-October. For more information, please contact David Upbin.

When I think Phoenix, I think August. But maybe hotels are cheap? FHA is offering a free onsite classroom training in Phoenix. Training will cover a wide variety of topics including Single Family Housing Handbook 4000.1, underwriting the FHA appraisal, Endorsement protocols, the new Defect Taxonomy and Loan Review System (LRS). Registration is underway for this 2-day training, August 15th & 16th.

Company news

If your entire 401(k) is in shares of Ellie Mae, my sympathies – kind of. The price per share is still up about 10% for 2017, which is good for your retirement, but ELLI was down on Friday, at one point, 23% to $84 – its biggest intraday percentage drop ever. The company’s EPS and revenue guidance for Q3, FY2017 fell below estimates. ELLI’s Q2 earnings also missed estimates as its customers face lower loan volumes due to declining refinance activity and tight housing inventory. “Despite mortgage volumes being down 8% in the second quarter, we were able to grow revenue 16% year-over-year and increased revenue 20% in the first half of the year with volumes down 3%,” said Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae. One should note that up to Thursday’s close, stock had risen 31% so far this year.

And what about independent mortgage banker Vanguard Funding out on Long Island? On July 10th of this year, Vanguard Funding, LLC had their NY Mortgage Bankers license purportedly suspended – not good when your headquarters are in that state. This is on the NMLS Consumer Access page. If you go to the website, management has this message: “WE ARE CURRENTLY NOT ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS”. All of this prompted one to send me, “Messages in bold are usually not a good thing. Vanguard definitely had some internal issues plaguing them, but it’s always a surprise to see a good sized fellow IMB apparently closing up shop.”

Capital markets

Being one, I know that capital markets folks are often accused of cyphering (putting a message into secret writing). We’re pretty good at deciphering as well. What does the Fed reducing its balance sheet mean for LOs and their borrowers? The NY Fed released a new two-week FedTrade schedule covering the July 28 to August 10 period, and it showed about $1.2 billion a day of Agency MBS purchases. If lenders originate $1.6 trillion total of residential mortgages in 2017, that is $6.4 billion a day – including jumbo, non-QM, and bond programs – non-agency stuff.

I bring this up because at some point it will end – and the Fed has done a fine job telling us that. Michael Ehrlich with ThomsonReuters kindly crunched a few numbers for me to determine that there is $5.5 trillion of Ginnie, Fannie, and Freddie (Agency MBS) out there. Of that, the Fed owns about 1/3 – $1.75 trillion – or more than a year’s production of all types of residential mortgages. Not only that, but remember that the Fed was a big buyer when 30-year rates were .75% lower than where they are now, so those bonds are underwater by several points.

The Fed doesn’t want to spook the markets, drive long-term rates higher, sell in a poor market, or negatively impact the U.S. housing market. But the industry is worried about the pace of the Fed selling over a year’s worth of underwater agency mortgage-backed securities. Who out there in the U.S. or world wants to own billions of dollars of fixed-rate 30-year 3.5% mortgages? A slower solution would be to merely stop reinvesting early prepayments.

Looking at interest rates, the U.S. Treasury market, and along with it MBS, traded higher when the U.S. GDP report for the second quarter was a tad weak in the inflation reading. And the U.S. Employment Cost Index grew less than expected. Of note is that U.S. household saving fell to 3.6% in Q4 of 2016, the lowest rate in nine years! The treasury rally extended on the back of reports that North Korea had conducted a missile test with the 10-year yield touching a low 2.287% before pulling back. The 10-year note price improved nearly .250 and the week ended with it yielding 2.29% (up 5.5bp on the week).

But it is a new week, with today being the last business day of July, for economic news. Not much happened over the weekend to move the markets, although in U.S. politics the narrative is shifting away from healthcare toward tax reform but it will probably be at least a couple of months before a credible and plausible plan emerges. Donald Trump isn’t dropping the repeal/replace efforts in health care, and some believe that this could undermine the ACA exchanges further by withholding subsidy payments.

For economic news, later this morning we’ll have the Chicago Purchasing Manager’s Index and Pending Home Sales for June. Tuesday has Personal Income and Consumption/Spending (an index tracked closely by the Fed), the PCE figures, Construction Spending, and ISM Manufacturing Indices. Wednesday is the MBA’s application survey for last week and the ADP Employment Report. Thursday brings Challenger Job Cuts Report, Initial Claims, Factory Orders and ISM Non-Manufacturing Index. Friday closes out with the Employment Report and International Trade. We start with rates little changed versus Friday evening: the 10-year is yielding 2.29% and agency MBS prices are “unched a bunch.”

The art of conversing with a spouse.

With a very seductive voice a wife asked her husband “Have you ever seen twenty dollars all crumpled up?”

“No” said her husband. She gave him a sexy little smile, unbuttoned the top three buttons of her blouse and slowly reached down in her cleavage created by a soft, silky push up bra and pulled out a crumpled twenty-dollar bill. He took the crumpled twenty-dollar bill from her and smiled approvingly.

She then asked, “Have you ever seen fifty dollars all crumpled up?”

“No, I haven’t” he said, an anxious tone in his voice. She gave him another sexy little smile pulled up her skirt, seductively reached into her tight sheer panties and pulled out a crumpled fifty-dollar bill. He took the crumpled fifty-dollar bill and started breathing a little quicker with anticipation.

“Now” she said “Have you ever seen 50,000 dollars all crumpled up?”

“No way” he said becoming even more aroused and excited.

To which she replied: “Go look in the garage.”

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, “Does Everyone Want a Job?” 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 2017 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