July 6: AE, LO jobs; automated AOT, TPO, appraisal fee, LOS products ; next week’s plethora of events; labor data pushes rates higher

Apparently China is not paying interest on its sovereign debt… What is it waiting for? If you’re waiting for lower rates to give your business a “shot in the arm,” the next few months may be difficult, but there is good news. The persistence of stubborn inflation is causing U.S. and European officials to tighten monetary policy. With both the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank expected to raise interest rates in July, an aggregate measure of borrowing costs indicates a peak of 6.25% in the current quarter, highlighting a shift from the previous projection of 6%. Despite that, new home sales are surging, home prices are rising, and prospective buyers are engaging (as if they ever stopped) in bidding wars again. But U.S. housing prices have led to higher shelter costs and complicate the Federal Reserve’s fight against inflation. Barron’s discusses this in, “How a Housing Rebound Could Impact the Fed’s Path Forward.” Is the huge overhang of housing supply from the 2000-2007 housing bubble not fully absorbed? Yes, higher rates have impacted affordability, but, historically, LOs know that high rates don’t necessarily impact peoples’ desire to own a home. If rates go up a lot, good LOs will help with good programs, and some people will buy smaller homes. But they will still buy homes. (Today’s podcast can be found here and this week’s is sponsored by Gallus, the premier business intelligence tool for the mortgage industry. With hassle-free insights and user-friendly functionality, Gallus empowers you to make faster, data-driven decisions for enhanced profitability. Hear an interview with Jeremy Potter on the shift toward innovative lending practices and new underwriting standards.)

Jobs

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At AFR Wholesale®, we are still looking for experienced and eager Account Executives for both our Wholesale and Correspondent Divisions! Knowledge of construction and renovation is a plus. If you have an overall desire to bring more families home and to make a difference, we would love to speak with you! We like to offer a close community that feels like home to thrive and make dreams become a reality. We are looking for experienced candidates because at AFR, we recognize that some scenarios can be challenging, and we want to provide a home for all possible circumstances. That is why we do what we do. At the end of the day, it’s about being proud we made it possible to turn a house into a home. AFR is an equal opportunity employer. Apply now! Contact AFR by going to www.afrwholesale.com, email sales@afrwholesale.com, or call 1-800-375-6071.”

“Are you a Wholesale Account Executive wanting to make a change? FLCBank is looking to expand our mortgage division team in the northeast, southeast, central and northwest. If you are looking for a company with a tenured mortgage culture of collaboration, team-based success, and the security of working for a federal bank, then it’s time to contact FLCBank’s Bob Eisendrath, Strategic National Account Manager (414.350.3986). FLCBank is agency approved, offers a suite of bank and jumbo products with IO options on both conventional and jumbo loan balances. Our AEs work with Brokers, Non-Delegated Correspondents and can even offer warehouse lines to customers. FLCB cultivates a fun team environment where both sales and operations staff are passionate about delivering exceptional customer experiences with every loan.  We offer competitive compensation, an energized culture, and an experienced operations & support staff. FLCBank is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

USA Mortgage announces new leadership roles for three executives! Employee-owned national mortgage lender, USA Mortgage, has promoted three senior executives to new leadership roles. Doug Schukar, who formed DAS Acquisition Company, LLC, (marketed as USA Mortgage nationwide) in 2001, is handing off his duties as CEO to current President and COO, Linda Pring. Schukar remains Chairman of the Board. Assuming the role of President is Ron Mueller, currently Executive Vice President. Dani Ploch, Chief Administrative Officer succeeds Pring as the company’s COO. USA Mortgage is a full-service mortgage bank known for its entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to superior customer experiences. Recognized as an industry leader, it has been named to 50 Best Companies to Work For, St. Louis Titan 100, Top Workplaces Excellence Awards, St. Louis Post-Dispatch Top Workplaces, Top Lender, along with several Scotsman Guide awards, and many more. For a confidential conversation about joining us, contact Brooke Anderson at 609-500-1520, or visit us here to learn more.”

Lender and broker software, services, and products

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Studies show that 78% of salespeople who use mortgage social media marketing outperform their peers. Of course, you’ll want to be up to speed on social media best practices and a few dos and don’ts to get the best results. The Black Knight team behind the Surefire, CRM and Mortgage Marketing Engine, has developed a free toolkit on Social Media Success to help you develop social media campaigns that reach the right audience at the right time and with the right message. Download it now to start connecting with more homebuyers.

 

Do you love your LOS? Byte clients do. And now they have even more to love with access to the digital closing automation and efficiencies of the Snapdocs eClose platform. The Byte LOS platform and Snapdocs have an integration that seamlessly helps lenders close loans faster, reduce operating costs, and improve the borrower experience. If you’re an LOS control freak, you’re going to love the exceptional level of control and customization you have with Byte. Watch the Byte – Snapdocs integration demo or visit bytesoftware.com to learn more about Byte’s free 30-day LOS test drive.

Are you leaking revenue from uncollected appraisal fees? Book a complimentary consultation with one of Reggora’s mortgage solutions specialists to calculate how much you’re losing in fees each year. We’ll calculate your annual losses, benchmark them against 2023 mortgage industry averages from STRATMOR Group and show you how to eliminate that leakage.”

Explore Kind Lending’s Non-Delegated offerings! The KIND of service you expect: From seller, underwriting, disclosing, closing, funding, and to purchase, we’re here to help you every step of the way. Experience the Kind difference today: Speed & Price, Options, Support, Communication, Marketing & Training, Products, & so much more!

Planet Home Lending can now purchase conventional loans closed with an eNote for the Best Effort, Delegated Correspondent, Bulk Purchase, and Co-Issue programs, which means doing business with us just got even easier. Clients who close and fund with eNotes realize fast loan delivery and purchase, and shorter warehouse times on loans held for sale, simplifying and streamlining delivery. Commitment to and investment in leading-edge technology is just part of our dedication to growing your business. Contact your Regional Sales Manager for more details or reach out to SVP Correspondent Sales Jim Loving (414-270-0027). Improve your execution. Put Planet to work for you.

Webinars, events, and training next week: yowza!

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A list of upcoming conferences and major events can be found here under the “Conferences” tab. Meanwhile, there’s plenty going on next week… the 11th is crazy!

If you’ve ever wanted to get a book published on Amazon, you’ll want to attend this webinar! Join Ginger Bell’s Live Webinar on July 11th at 11 am PT. Discover the secrets to effortlessly publishing your own book and unlocking the power of having a published book on Amazon. Reserve your spot today and unleash the potential of being a published author!

Learn more about a Rocket Pro TPO partnership, and save the date for the next IGNITE Live on Tuesday, July 11th at 2PM ET. Mike Fawaz, EVP of Rocket Pro TPO, is sharing some lesser-known facts about Rocket Pro TPO that can benefit your business! Sign up with the link here!

Join AGENT U on July 11th at 12:30-1:30pm ET for the next installment of its free monthly webinar. This month, the hosts are speaking with top-producing agent Josh McGrath to learn about his strategies for building a reputation in one’s hometown to improve lead generation. In this fast-paced world of real estate, the game is constantly changing, and you have to adapt. BUT, some things will ALWAYS be the same for your marketing methods. Plus, get your questions answered during the live Q&A session.

National MI July 2023 webinar sessions: Creating Infinite Referrals ​​​​​with Rebecca Lorenz – July 11th at 1pm ET. The 4 Faces of Frustration ​​​​​​with Andrew Oxley – July 12th at 2pm ET. How to Reduce Rate-Shopping Behavior ​​​​​with Dr. Bruce Lund – July 13th at 1pm ET.

October Research, LLC will host the next webinar in the Economic Forecast Series featuring Brandi Snowden, director, member and consumer survey research, National Association of Realtors (NAR) at 2 p.m. July 11th. Register today to learn the latest on home sales, pricing, market conditions, generational trends and more. Hear expert insights on the economy in just 30 minutes. Register today at DoddFrankUpdate.com.

Which direction will the economy go next? What trends are we seeing in the housing market? The National Association of Realtors (NAR) Director of Member and Consumer Survey Research Brandi Snowden will be sharing her insights on those questions and more. Join the next edition of the Economic Forecast Series on July 11th at 2:00 p.m. ET

Register for Appraiser eLearning 3hr Live-Zoom CE Course on Tuesday, July 11, Attorney Peter Christensen will offer 15 takeaways and lessons from legal situations and cases involving appraisers. What can appraisers learn from their colleagues’ legal misfortunes?

Diehl’s FHA Underwriting, Processing and Origination Live Webinar, July 11, 13, & 14, 1-5pm EST, is a comprehensive course designed and presented in a no-nonsense format. We will guide you through over 500 pages of material in the handbook including basic rules, regulations, and changes issued by HUD along with all the topics listed below. This course is divided into three 4-hour interactive webinars. Attendees will be able to download the presentation for notetaking along with calculation worksheets for a variety of scenarios.

Is your organization ready to get into Home Equity lending? If you’re already lending, are you trying to find new ways to save time and reduce costs? Join experts from Stewart Lender Services and Curinos online at 4:00 PM on July 12th, Emerging Solutions in Home Equity – Title, Settlement and Closing. The panel will go over everything you need to know about Home Equity lending and provide detailed insights into what it means for you and your organization.

Join MMLA Southeast Chapter at the Federal Reserve Bank – Detroit Branch on Thursday, July 13th, 11:30AM-1:30PM to hear from speaker, Martin Lavelle, senior business economist. Martin will provide insight into what’s really going on with our economy and what it means for our business. Get an exclusive tour of the building after lunch. All registrations need to be made before July 9th for security purposes.

On July 13th & 14th, Appraiser eLearning is hosting a workshop in Nashville for AeL faculty and aspiring instructors. Learn how to design great presentations, write great marketing copy, keep a classroom engaged, and offer your fellow professionals something they need and want.

On Friday, July 14, learn about PRMG’s non-QM Alternative AUS Solution product which provides options for conforming and jumbo loans amounts for using DU Findings to qualify, along with options like non-warrantable condos and condotels.

Join the California Association of Mortgage Professionals for the 2023 Annual Convention and Gala Extravaganza, July 14th and 15th. Education, engaging speakers, network with the area’s top mortgage professionals, a robust expo hall, & of course a good deal of fun.

Friday the 14th 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”.

Capital markets: the labor market is not listening to “recession”

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Mortgage Capital Trading, a leading mortgage hedge advisory and secondary marketing software firm, announced recently that it has automated the process of digital TBA trade assignment during the loan sale process for both mortgage lenders and participating correspondent investors. This automation makes assignment of trade loan sales (AOTs) faster, more convenient, and easier for investors to offer, and is expected to further expand on the $19.5 million in cumulative savings experienced by MCT’s lender clients as a result of AOTs in 2022. AOTs enable mortgage lenders to save the bid-offer spread on the to-be-announced mortgage-backed securities (TBAs) used to hedge their open mortgage pipeline. Due to market volatility these bid-offer spreads have been historically wide, averaging 11.3 basis points in 2022. Participating MCT lenders saved an average of $97,538 each through AOTs in 2022. Read the full press release to learn more or join MCT’s newsletter for timely market content.

In bond news, we had hoped that moderating inflation would have a positive impact on rates by the middle of this year. Nope. While inflation has shrunk, the interest rate environment has not cooperated, as any LO can tell you. With no points, the conforming 30 year fixed is now solidly entrenched above 7%. This, despite news that should have moved rates lower, such as the Federal Reserve’s favorite measure of inflation, Personal Consumption Expenditures hit 3.8 percent year-over-year and 0.1% month-over-month. This was great news to illustrate an improving inflation picture, but the bond market didn’t care, instead focusing on the red-hot labor market.

Did someone say labor? The Federal Reserve views increased joblessness as key to reducing inflation to their target rate of 2 percent but there are 10 million + job openings with only about 6 million people looking for work.

Everyone outside of capital markets thinks we speak a different language. For example, at the end of yesterday “crossing the tape” was this message: “U.S. markets returned after plus-or-minus one day break only for bonds to get crushed as a belly-led Treasury market selloff unnerved investors as yields tagged their highest levels since early March, 4.95 percent and 3.95 percent in the case of 2s and 10s, with damaged technicals leading to further liquidations and a pop in vol ahead of Friday’s payrolls report.” What does that mean? Well, bond prices were pushed down (and yields up to the highest levels since early March) as investors noticed that prices moved below previous “support” levels with signs that the global economy is not slowing and markets pricing in additional rate hikes from the Fed and ECB. The 2s/10s yield curve spread remains inverted by over 100 basis points.

Investors received some additional insight yesterday into the Fed’s thought process at the June Federal Open Market Committee meeting, when there was less consensus than the unanimous decision suggested in leaving rates unchanged. Some officials favored rate increases but went along with the move to leave policy unchanged, despite concerns that core inflation hasn’t moved downward much in the last six months.

Whatever the disagreement among Fed officials, it’s fair to say the key takeaway is that more hikes are coming, as almost all officials said that additional increases would likely be appropriate. We did learn last week that Core PCE inflation is still running hot, but it did edge slightly lower to 4.6 percent year-over-year in May. The annual increase in the PCE Price Index ex-food and energy (the core rate) is the Fed’s most important inflation indicator and has flitted back and forth between 4.6 percent and 4.7 percent this year. Personal spending did stall in the second quarter, which will be welcome news to the Fed. “The smartest guys in the room” think that the Fed is going to hike 25 basis points on July 26.

Mortgage applications from MBA kicked off today’s calendar, decreasing 4.4 percent from one week earlier, with mortgage rates and yields both climbing during the reporting period. We’ve also received some labor market updates ahead of tomorrow’s payrolls report starting with layoffs from Challenger, Gray & Christmas for June: U.S.-based employers announced 40,709 cuts in June, down 49% from the 80,089 cuts announced in May but up 25% from the 32,517 announced in the same month one year prior. We also had the ADP employment for June (+497k, double expectations), and weekly jobless claims (248k, also higher than expected, 1.72 million continuing claims). Later this morning brings the final June S&P Global services PMI, ISM non-manufacturing PMI for June, JOLTS job openings for May, and remarks from Dallas Fed President Logan. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices worse .250, the 10-year yielding 4.03 after closing yesterday at 3.95 percent, and the 2-year up to 5.06 on the strong labor market news.

I had a power outage yesterday, and the Wi-fi went down for five minutes. So, I had to talk to my family. They seem like nice people.

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, “Compensation: Ever Changing.” 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