July 31: CFO & accounting jobs; efficiency, POS, policy & procedure tools; in-person events & webinars entering August; more “soft landing” talk

“Yesterday I completed a chore I’ve been putting off for four months. It took me 20 minutes. I will learn nothing from this.” That sums up a lot of my tasks. But that was then, and today I head to Austin, the capital of Texas and where they just voted to approve a wide-ranging property tax reduction bill. Which is good, as Texas residents will need the money for air conditioning in the 106-degree heat forecast for today. What if you’re the owner of an office building with few tenants, absorbing that AC cost yourself? Say what you will about slow times in residential lending, commercial lenders are very anxious. Rumor has it there is 1 billion (with a “b”) square feet of empty space. That’s 4.44 million 15×15 square foot offices. Word has it that landlords are very concerned about when the leases are due in commercial real estate around the nation, and world, as some percentage of people have shifted from office to WFH (working from home), or at least are in some hybrid arrangement. “People need a place to live, they don’t necessarily need a place to work.” (Today’s podcast can be found here and is sponsored by Candor. Candor’s patented automated underwriting decision engine, CogniTech, is a state-of-the-art, 100 percent machine platform that can handle infinite loan scenarios. Listen to an interview with CHLA’s Scott Olsen on the seven consumer rights.)

Jobs & promotions

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A National IMB is looking to revamp its accounting structure and is seeking to hire a Chief Finance Officer and fill other, multiple Senior Staff Accounting Roles. These roles must possess strong business and leadership skills and excel in forecasting and communication. Both should also be proficient in Loan Vision or AMB. Confidential inquiries should be directed to Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt for forwarding; please specify the opportunity.

Homeowners Financial Group announces the promotion of Eric Zeier, who will assume the role of National Sales Manager in the Homeowners sales organization. Based in Atlanta, Eric began his mortgage career in 2002 after playing football in college and the NFL. He joined Homeowners in 2020 after years of proven success in senior leadership roles with other lenders throughout the Southeast. “Eric Zeier is one of the hardest-working, most coachable leaders I’ve ever met,” said Homeowners Financial Group CEO Bill Rogers. “It’s going to be very exciting to see what his accomplishments will be in the future.” “I’ve had the privilege and honor to be part of so many special teams and organizations,” Zeier said. “Few if any can rival what we’ve created here at Homeowners. I’m excited to continue to serve and support our entire organization as we write the next chapters of this amazing journey we’re on.”

Lender and broker software, products, and services

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Have you ever experienced something so good you couldn’t wait to tell the world about it? Maybe it was a Michelin star restaurant, or a play under the glittering lights of Broadway. Or maybe it was your loan origination system. Mortgage professionals from across the industry are raving about Empower®, and they’re opening up on camera about how Black Knight’s automated, integrated LOS has created new efficiencies, saved time and money, and helped foster borrowers and members for life. Empower is a cloud-based LOS that puts you back in control of your lending business, and its credibility speaks for itself. Want to know why mortgage pros can’t stop talking about Empower? Click here to see, and then contact Black Knight when you’re ready to try it for yourself.

Did you know Symmetry has some the lowest rates in-market for our Piggyback and Post-Close HELOCs? Not only that, but with NO condo overlays and an ability to move files quickly, you’ll be speeding towards close… AND the simplicity and speed of our service is second-to-none. With the demand for HELOCs being higher than ever, now’s the time to present this solution to your borrowers. Don’t wait until it’s too late: Contact Symmetry today!

“The mortgage industry is constantly in flux. Many mortgage lenders and servicers need more bandwidth and comprehensive oversight challenges. Increased risk exposure comes with a high level of change and uncertainty, so when times slow down, it presents the opportunity for companies to redefine their processes and explore how to become more efficient. Consolidated Analytics’ experienced team of consultants can review your policies & procedures and help safeguard your business while ensuring it remains compliant. 

Contact Stephen Faulkner to see how we help businesses remain compliant and keep pace with regulatory change.”

You don’t have to accept lower profitability when loan volume is down. Instead, find efficiencies in your mortgage process that add up to cost savings and bolster your bottom line. Loan officers using Maxwell Point of Sale achieve more with less work, closing 20% more loans and moving loans to clear to close 35% faster. Maxwell POS syncs with your LOS bi-directionally, keeping real-time data in one place for easy management and seamless updates and preapprovals. Managers have visibility into the team’s entire pipeline, allowing them to identify opportunities for quick adjustments and better results. If you’re ready to maximize your mortgage operations and take advantage of every basis point, schedule a call with the Maxwell team.

Is your focus to do more with less? A business intelligence solution should highlight where there are opportunities to incorporate efficiencies and reduce costs. The most forward-thinking industry leaders are turning to Richey May’s RM Analyze to learn what they need to know now more than ever: how to operate even leaner. It’s half the cost of a full-time employee, and you gain access to a strong bench of talent with a rich background in the mortgage industry and access to hundreds of reports, including real-time peer benchmarking data, in no time. With these insights you can make meaningful decisions for your business and do more than just survive. Learn how to operate leaner.

Conferences & webinars, from soup to nuts

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Register for Mortgages with Millennials with Kristin Messerli and Robbie Chrisman, a weekly video show designed to empower mortgage professionals to tap into the millennial market. Each episode will feature timely and relevant market updates by Robbie Chrisman, exclusive research by Kristin Messerli, and a guest conversation with an expert in millennial homebuying. This show demystifies the psychology of first-time homebuyers and offers strategies to win more market share with a key segment of the market. Sign up for a weekly reminder with the link to join and a sneak peek into the next episode. The first episode airs on Tuesday August 8 at 10AM PT.

FAMP! Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals 2023 Annual Convention & Trade show, “A Grand Affair”, is August 2-5, at Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek. For Over 60 years, this is the annual event that attracts Florida’s top mortgage professionals, and this year is no different. Exhibitors from all over the country will be exhibiting current mortgage products and industry tools for all originators. Do not miss this opportunity to network with mortgage brokers and lenders from across Florida and the United States.

The National Association of Realtors® will host its virtual Real Estate Forecast Summit: Residential Update event, Wednesday, August 2, 1-2 p.m. Eastern. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun and NAR Deputy Chief Economist and Vice President of Research Jessica Lautz will share critical data and an outlook for the economy in this mid-year market update. In addition to the focus on housing, attendees can expect an updated overview of the commercial markets.

Looking for more in-depth commentary on weekly mortgage news? Register here for “Mortgage Matters: The Weekly Roundup with Robbie and Rob Chrisman” presented by Lenders One. Every Wednesday at 2:00 PM EST/11:00 AM PT starting August 9th, Robbie and Rob will dive into a range of mortgage-related topics, including market trends, interest rate fluctuations, innovative mortgage products, and industry advancements. Robbie and Rob will bring a unique mix of age perspective, expertise, and charisma to the screen, ensuring that the information is not only educational but also entertaining. Register for the first show on August 9th with Lenders One’s Justin Demola, CMB, as a featured guest discussing chatter from his hundreds of members.

Friday the 4th at noon PT is the next edition of The Mortgage Collaborative’s Rundown with Melissa Langdale and me. We’ll will be covering current events in the mortgage market for 30 minutes starting at noon PT in “The Rundown”.

Whether you communicate in-person or online, with spoken words or written words, delivering a clear and compelling message is more challenging than ever. Join Arch MI on Thursday, August 3, at 1 p.m. ET, as Blaine Rada, Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), and Arch MI’s Senior National Trainer & Instructional Designer, offers his perspective SMART Communicating.

FHA free on-site training in Atlanta, GA., August 7, 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM (Eastern). FHA Endorsement & Program Offices Overview will provide information on FHA endorsement/insuring policies, practices, procedures, and more. Additionally, there will be an introduction to Real Estate Owned (REO), Program Support Division (PSD), and Quality Assurance Division (QAD). Also that day at the same place is free on-site FHA Condominium Approval and Processing Training from 1:30 PM – 4:00 PM (Eastern) providing information on FHA policies for approving condominium project submissions and Single Unit Approval (SUA) guidance.

Free, in-person FHA Appraiser and Appraisal training, August 8, 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM (Eastern), in Atlanta addresses industry FAQs on the Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1. Topics include changes, policy clarifications, and updates on property acceptability criteria, underwriting the appraisal, minimum property requirements, property defective conditions, enhanced appraiser, underwriter responsibilities and requirements, programs, and products (i.e., 203(k)), and much more.

Free, on-site FHA Underwriting Training in Atlanta, GA., August 9, 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM (Eastern) will address industry-related FAQs on the Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1. Topics include changes, policy clarifications and updates on CIA (credit, income, and asset) documentation, manual underwriting, Automated Underwriting System (AUS), closing, and more.

Are you wondering what today’s Fed decision means for rates and the mortgage market? Register for a new webinar on August 9th at 11AM PT hosted by Agile Trading Technologies.

In this webinar, Phil Kukafka of Towne Mortgage, Ryan Ferderer of Multi-Bank Securities, and Andrew Rhodes of MCT will give an overview of MBS pooling, discuss the current market, share strategies for efficiently pooling and selling mortgage-backed securities, as well as the process for MBS pooling using Agile’s technology.

Join Optimal Blue for the next session in its Hedging 301 series on Wednesday, Aug. 9th, Noon ET, take a deeper dive into more advanced capital market strategies and how they naturally interplay with technological advances.  This session will address the many ways Optimal Blue helps clients streamline daily processes to achieve success and optimal best execution – including mandatory price discovery and dissemination, saving basis points while delivering representative mix, solving for numerous execution iterations, and integrating to the MSR broker community for live, loan-level servicing valuations.

PRMG University TPO August Training Calendar. Walk through calculations to determine what income can be used to qualify a traveling health care professional. Join PRMG University and Essent training on Monday, Aug 14th 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM PDT, for On the Road Again… Traveling As a Traveling Nurse.

Don’t miss the MMA’s Triple Crown Event. Golf on beautiful grounds of The Wilds Golf Club, Tuesday, August 15th. Network with mortgage lenders and brokers while golfing with your friends and colleagues. Get ready to learn and interact with everyone in the industry, on Wednesday, August 16th. Enjoy a full day of speakers and breakouts, with keynote speaker Kristin Messerli. Stay for the after-party with LIVE horse racing just after the conference with the MMA.

FHA free, Live, on-site training in Ankeny, IA will provide an overview of FHA underwriting procedures and addresses a number of industry-related frequently asked questions (FAQs). August 24, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

August 17-20 will be Originator Connect, the nation’s largest LO conference. A huge exhibit floor and tons of sessions that will help loan originators bulk up their pipeline, it’s also got special events such as The Non-QM Summit and the Private Lender Forum. Looking to start your own brokerage? There’s an entire half day Build-A-Broker program. And attendees can also get their federal NMLS license renewal class done while you’re there. It’s all free to NMLS-licensees and their support staff. Just go here and register using the code CHRISMANFREE. And if you want to know what’s coming your way, don’t miss keynote speaker Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors.

Join PRMG University to learn about using Symmetry HELOCs option for wholesale and non-delegated correspondent channels, Wednesday, August 23rd 12:00 PM PDT.

On Thursday, August 24th 1:00 PM PDT, learn about the FHA 203(h) product, the Mortgage Insurance for Disaster Victims program, which allows for up to 100% financing for the purchase of a new home for borrowers who owned or rented a home.

The 2023 Kentucky Affordable Housing Conference (KAHC), Rising to the Challenge: Building A Stronger Kentucky, will be held at Central Bank Center in Lexington on Thursday and Friday, August 24-25. Offering a wide range of training, panel discussions and networking opportunities, whether you’re interested in specialized housing, mortgage lending, single-family development, multifamily development, or HMIS. The general business development sessions will cover cyber security, diversity, language access and more. #KAHC23 is hosted by Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC).

National MI University’s August Webinars: The Basics of Underwriting the Self-Employed Borrower ​​​​​with Marianne Collins – August 2nd at 1pm ET. Leading With Style ​​​​​​with Andrew Oxley – August 8th at 2pm ET. How to Build, Maintain, and Protect Your Database ​​​​​with Dr. Bruce Lund – August 9th at 1pm ET. Building Trust and Eliminating Virtual Credibility-Crushers with Julie Hansen – August 15th at 1pm ET. Power of Mindset in Today’s Market ​​​​​with Rebecca Lorenz – August 22nd at 1pm ET.

The California MBA’s Western Secondary will be August 21-23 at the Waldorf Astoria at Monarch Beach in Orange County. “Explore the possibilities of the 2023 Western Secondary Market Conference – a unique in-person event that brings together the most influential players in the secondary market.”

Capital markets: more talk about a “soft landing”

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Well, here we are: The Federal Reserve pushed its key policy rate (overnight Fed Funds) to a 22-year high last week, with another 25-bps hike to 5.25%-5.50%. It’s not enough for the central bank to declare victory on inflation just yet, but it sure looks like markets are charting their next steps, with the Consumer Price Index now down to 3%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average notched its biggest winning streak since the 1980s. Furthering the case for a soft landing, U.S. GDP growth in Q2 was stronger than expected, while durable goods orders showed the fourth straight month of growth.

In its policy statement, the Fed’s committee observed “moderate” economic growth and “elevated” inflation due to a strong labor market. Additionally, the committee, as well as chairman Powell, reiterated the Fed’s reliance on further economic data and the perceived risk of declaring victory prematurely only to have inflation rebound. Following the Fed meeting, the “advance” estimate of GDP for the second quarter came in at 2.4 percent annualized growth, higher than market expectations for 1.8 percent. The Atlanta Fed GDPNow is already estimating 3.5 percent annualized growth in the third quarter. While higher than expected GDP soured markets, Friday’s lower than expected inflation data was a welcome surprise. The core Personal Consumption Expenditures price index for June slowed to 4.1 percent from 4.6 percent. Lower inflation with continued economic growth would support the soft-landing narrative.

This week brings July month-end which means July payrolls on Friday with other labor market indicators before including ADP employment and Challenger layoffs. Central bank decisions include the Royal Bank of Australia (tomorrow) and Bank of England (Thursday) where each is expected to hike rates by 25 basis points. Today’s month-end calendar gets under way later today with Chicago PMI and Dallas Fed manufacturing, both for July. We begin the week with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged from Friday, the 10-year 3.97 after closing last week at 3.97 percent, and the 2-year up at 4.88.

Did you know muffins spelled backwards is what you do when you take them out of the oven?

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. STRATMOR’s current blog is titled, “Interest Rates are Like the Weather? Or Like Signs of the Zodiac?” The Commentary’s podcast is live and at any place you obtain your podcasts (like Apple or Spotify).

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(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. This newsletter is 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 2023 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