Daily Mortgage News & Commentary

June 1: Appraisal, cap mkts, MLO, corresp. jobs; DPA, reno, HELOC products; lender M&A news doesn’t stop

This morning I head off to Orange County to the IMN Non-QM Forum where homeownership and home finance option discussions will be center stage. Did you know that June is “Homeownership Month”? Ginger B. reminds us that the average homeowner will move up to 12 times in their life and on average will own 3 homes in their life, and the median distance between the homes people purchased and those they moved from is just 15 miles. Create a customer for life with your service! Affordable housing fans should know that Habitat for Humanity and Wells Fargo recently partnered on building 350 affordable homes. Certainly, housing is a complicated issue, whether your involve non-profits, public and private corporations, and the U.S. Government. Attorney Brian Levy, in his most recent Mortgage Musings, questions the effectiveness of the federal government’s housing policies. At the city-level, in the last few months I’ve spent a fair amount of time in New York City. Affordable housing there? One of the Biden Administration’s hoped-for improvements in our housing ecosystem, in Manhattan there exists a lottery system for those who qualify based on income, and the options mostly involve renting and not owning. (Today’s podcast is available here and today’s features an interview with Ryan Carry, SVP of Change Wholesale, on the wholesale landscape and how brokers are competing. This week’s is sponsored by Change Wholesale with its proprietary Community Mortgage program. There are no bank statements, employment, or DTI requirements, allowing brokers to deliver more prime loans to more credit-worthy borrowers like small business owners, gig workers, retirees, and anyone else searching for home financing. 

Employment & promotions

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Arc Home is pleased to announce the addition of John Davis as the Vice President of Correspondent Sales. John is a seasoned mortgage professional with nearly 30 years of experience in the Correspondent channel. Before joining Arc Home, he worked at several of the largest Correspondent lenders in the nation. When asked why he chose to join Arc Home, he stated “It’s clear the market is changing rapidly, and Correspondent Lenders need to embrace Non-QM and Non-Agency to grow. Arc Home’s expansive product suite will allow us to help our clients grow, which makes joining the organization an exciting career decision. I’m ready to grow the team with top level talent to help more lenders penetrate the Non-QM and Non-Agency market.” If you want to learn more about Arc Home’s proprietary Access Non-QM and Elite Non-Agency products, contact John to set up a time to learn more or visit our careers page to see our Correspondent AE openings.

From college football polls to reality TV singing competitions to best local restaurants, ranking in the Top 25 matters. Among the nation’s hundreds of mortgage companies, Scotsman Guide ranks Supreme Lending #15 for Top Retail Lenders, #17 for Top FHA Lenders, and #22 for Top Overall Volume in its lists of Top Mortgage Lenders 2022, based on Supreme’s 2021 production totals. Mortgage Executive Magazine ranks Supreme #18 on its list of the Top 100 Mortgage Companies in America 2021. The Dallas-based independent lender attributes growth from recruiting; a versatile product portfolio; specialized Operations teams; dedicated Support and Concierge service; in-house marketing for quick turn times; a selection of cutting-edge technology; and a culture built on preserving autonomy for Loan Officers as key drivers for their strong performance. It’s more important than ever to work with an industry leader. To join the Supreme Team, contact National Production Manager Ryan Baxter or follow Supreme Lending on LinkedIn.

“June is National Homeownership month so let’s make it historic by coming together as an industry and compete with the past rather than each other. We can eliminate the barriers to homeownership! Our collective goal should be an end to any designations of “underserved communities.” Every community can be cared for, educated, and supported equally in the goal of owning a home and building generational wealth. This begins with every phone call, every contact, and every communication to consumers telling them, ‘It is not “If” you qualify, but “When”.’ Many years ago, Thrive Mortgage created the industry-first Thrive4Home initiative to do just that. We have openly shared with industry colleagues the roadmap for starting their own version of this initiative, as well as many other new and innovative programs, to move our industry forward. No matter if you want to join us or just partner with us, let’s win together!”

“Successful Loan Originators know the importance of repeat business, and so do we! At New American Funding we maintain a $60 Billion servicing portfolio, so we’ll be there to provide industry-leading service to your customers for years to come. We are expanding our current servicing capabilities by opening a new and larger state-of-the-art facility in Austin, TX. With post-close campaigns and co-branding on servicing statements, not only will New American Funding be top of mind: you will be as well! If you’re ready to join a company that’s ready to help you capture and retain your own book of business, we’d love to talk to you. Contact Jordyn Dexter today! 800-450-2010 x7651. EOE.”

In the San Francisco Bay Area, Bertram Capital (a private equity firm targeting investments in lower middle market companies) is looking for a VP of Origination and Capital Markets.

FHA Job Opportunity Alert 22-HUD-1789-P: 2 Appraiser Vacancies in Denver, CO. As an Appraiser you will review and manage appraisals assigned for the purpose of identifying issues or problems conflicting with FHA regulation. And there’s FHA Job Opportunity Alert 22-HUD-1767-P: 2 Program Assistant vacancies in Denver, CO. Duties include receiving and reviewing mortgage insurance packages and/or appraisal packages for proper and complete documentation and compliance with requirements. Prepare necessary input material for computer tracking system. Provide information and required support to mortgagees and HUD clients.

Bonzo, a relationship management platform provider, announced that Chad Jampedro has been named the company’s CEO. The former CEO of GO Mortgage and Loanmarq, Jampedro was a Bonzo customer and investor in the company before joining. Congratulations!

Lender & broker software, services, and programs

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Although the invention of the fire hydrant is often credited to Frederick Graff, we don’t know for certain who dreamed it up because the original patent was lost, ironically, in a fire. Likewise, many lenders do not realize that there are billions of dollars in homebuyer assistance available to help qualified borrowers clear the hurdle of homeownership. To raise awareness about the number and types of homebuyer assistance available (spoiler: there’s at least one program in every U.S. county), Down Payment Resource released its Q1 2022 Homebuyer Program Index (HPI) report, an analysis of its nationwide database of homebuyer assistance programs. View the Q1 2022 HPI report findings for a full analysis of homebuyer assistance programs available to borrowers.

“National Mortgage Professional Magazine’s Wholesale Lender Showcase is returning to the August 2022 issue. Join our directory of lenders who are committed to supporting the mortgage broker – wholesale lenders who feel that having a healthy wholesale marketplace is best for consumers. Click here, to take out your Wholesale Lender Directory Listing in NMP Magazine today to be listed among the companies making their services available to our readers.”

Symmetry Lending, the premier purchase HELOC provider, is proud to announce Stephanie Gossett and Eric Moya as our new Western Regional Managers! Stephanie will be leading our team of Area Managers in North/Central CA, AK, ID, MT, OR, and WA. Eric will be leading our team of Area Managers serving Southern CA, AZ, CO, NV, and UT! Visit Symmetry’s Credit & Income Guide and Pricing Guide or call your Area Manager to learn how the Symmetry HELOC can be your clients’ lending solution!

This month’s Worthwhile Webinar, hosted by SalesBoomerang’s Alex Kutsishin on June 8 at 2 pm ET, will support Mortgage Professionals Providing Hope (MPPH), a nonprofit dedicated to addressing the root causes of poverty by funding programs for safe housing and quality education efforts. For just a $10 contribution, join the conversation with Mortgage Champion’s Dale Vermillion, SDP Solutions’ Scott Payne and Mortgage Coach’s Dave Savage to learn the importance of conversion best practices and prioritization in expanding homeownership accessibility. Plus, with Sales Boomerang, SDP Solutions and Vermillion Consulting, Inc. each matching up to $1,000 in ticket sales, your donation will make triple the impact. Join us on June 8 to learn something new and give back at the same time!

Northpointe Bank Correspondent Lending provides tailored solutions to maximize your profitability and grow your business. The Northpointe Streamlined Renovation program offers more financing opportunities without the administrative burden or higher rates associated with other renovation programs. Perfect for small-to-medium-sized projects, such as a new kitchen or bath remodel, a new roof or replacement windows. Up to 15% of the ‘as completed’ appraised value, or acquisition cost as applicable, may be used for the renovation cost. Maximum LTVs, debt-to-income ratios, and minimum credit score requirements follow conforming guidelines. For more information, email us at correspondentsales@northpointe.com, or view our program details.”

California: New Down Payment Assistance option for County Employees in 37 Counties. Golden State Finance Authority is now offering up to 5.5% in down payment and closing cost assistance (DPA), combined with attractive First Mortgage interest rates for employees of GSFA Member Counties purchasing or refinancing a primary residence. The “Assist-to-Own” DPA is available for single-family 1-4 unit residences, condominiums and townhomes and even some manufactured homes. The Program has flexible guidelines: Minimum FICO 640; Maximum DTI 50% and best of all there is no first-time homebuyer requirement to qualify. If you are a Lender interested in offering “Assist-to-Own” DPA to your borrowers, join us for Lender Training or visit www.gsfahome.org for more info.

M&A is alive and well

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Richey May is very active with capital formation and M&A activities. Some transactions are asset sales, leaving behind the corporate entity that becomes available as a ‘shell’ for buyers who wish to enter the space or expand their platform by obtaining agency approvals and multiple state licenses. Under the right circumstances these shells are transferable, especially if the selling entity has been well-run, originating low risk product with low tail liability risks associated with legacy production. This ideal shell has all three agency seller-servicer approvals, multiple state licenses and a partial financial indemnification from a credit worthy seller to the buyer. If you are interested in this acquisition opportunity, please reach out to Richey May. All inquiries will remain confidential.

Garth Graham, Senior Partner at STRATMOR who recently put together the Planet Home Lending Home Point deal, observed, “In a market like this, we expect to see industry consolidation. Planet Home Lending is being opportunistic as being one of the first to seize scale benefits in the TPO space. Planet could double its market share in correspondent, and likely be a top 5 or top 10 player this year. Management is taking advantage of the market dynamics in a way I expect to see others follow. The M&A market is very hot, similar to the numbers from 2018. In 2018, there were 33 deals, then it started to drop as the market improved, and only 13 deals in 2020 during the Covid boom. Last year we were up to 29 deals as the market softened, and this year will likely be over 40 with a large pipeline of active buyers, and conversations with a lot of sellers given the Q1 earnings performance for mortgage bankers. Deals can be put together in less than 90 days like HP and Planet deal. The challenge is when the sellers wait too long to get started.”

Doorway Home Loans of Santa Ana, California, and Priority Mortgage of Worthington, Ohio, around for 35 and 38 years respectively, announced they are joining forces in a corporate merger “expanding the geographic reach and creating greater efficiency for the combined mortgage team.” The Doorway Home Loans Team will continue to operate under the “Doorway Home Loans” name; Priority Mortgage’s loan originators and operations staff will become part of Doorway Home Loans, going to market under “Priority Mortgage, Powered by Doorway Home Loans.” “Combining the loan production of both businesses under Doorway Home Loans’ Fannie Mae and Ginnie Mae authorizations will ensure the sustainability of the combined organization by offering ultra-low interest rates and committing to the Doorway 14-Day Closing Advantage Program to qualified homebuyers across America.”

And recently Panorama Mortgage Group (PMG), a multi-brand national mortgage company headquartered in Nevada, announced that Vision Mortgage Group has joined the PMG family and Mark Charlton, founder of Vision Mortgage Group will lead the company as president.

Capital markets

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It’s already Wednesday but let’s take a glance back to last week as a refresher. New home sales are feeling the effects of higher mortgage rates as they fell 16.6 percent in April. With the median new home selling for $450,600 and the average 30-yr fixed near 5.125 percent, new home sales saw their second consecutive double-digit monthly drop as some buyers retreat to the sidelines. Existing home sales fell 2.4 percent in April however the median home price was almost $60K lower at $391,200. Existing inventory remains tight at 2.2 months; slightly higher than the 1.9 months in March. Existing homes continue to sell quickly – 17 days – with prices up 14.8 percent from April 2021.

Q2’s updated GDP release showed that businesses continue to invest in equipment to offset increasing labor costs and a lack of qualified candidates. Consumer spending also showed resilience in the face of rising prices although incomes are not rising as quickly leading many consumers to dip into savings or credit to satisfy demand. Meanwhile, the Fed is expected to keep pushing the brakes on the economy with continued rate hikes until a meaningful pullback in demand occurs.

Yesterday U.S. President Biden met with Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Yellen in a rare meeting. The message? The White House will give the Fed space to deal with inflation. The Fed is attempting to bring down inflation while maintaining a strong economy and Powell reiterated the Fed’s commitment to fulfilling its dual mandate of price stability and maximum employment, noting that “maximum employment has been achieved.” Optimists say that a small increase in unemployment is a plausible outcome to policy tightening.

The consensus is that the Fed is committed to hiking by 50 basis points at the June meeting and another 50 at the July meeting. What is very impactful to the mortgage industry is home prices, and yesterday we learned that the FHFA Housing Price Index rose 18.7 percent year-over-year in March, showing higher mortgage rates had not yet translated into slower price gains. The S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index was up 21.2 percent year-over-year as home-price growth in 20 U.S. cities picked up for the fourth straight month.

We’ve already seen today that mortgage applications decreased 2.3 percent from one week earlier, according to data from MBA, even as mortgage rates fell for the fourth time in five weeks. Refinances continue to shrink from when rates were more than 200 basis points lower, and mortgage applications as a whole are at the lowest level since December 2018.

Later this morning brings final May S&P Global manufacturing PMI, May ISM Manufacturing PMI, May construction spending and April JOLTS job openings. Before the Fed enters its blackout period, we will receive remarks from New York Fed President Williams and St. Louis Fed President Bullard, and the latest Beige Book will be released in the afternoon. The NY Fed Desk will purchase (reinvesting prepayments) up to $1.7 billion in conventional MBS 15-year 3 percent through 4 percent and 30-year 3.5 percent through 4.5. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices worse .125 and the 10-year yielding 2.88 after closing yesterday at 2.84 percent.

Can you type? Tie your shoe or button a button? Speak? You’re fortunate. Here’s a speech from a valedictorian who can’t do any of those things to help you keep things in perspective.

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 titled, “A Primer on the Federal Reserve and Mortgage Rates.” 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 2022 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.)