June 13: Mortgage products & personnel changes; training & upcoming events; cap. markets exec on closing loans in this market

How do you like these two headlines today, good news/bad news for lenders? “Fed set to shrink huge bond portfolio, pushing up interest rates.” And, “Trump Administration says financial watchdog agency should be defanged.” And here’s a story for the public to read about aggressive down payment programs and then berate their current lender about not having a 0% down mortgage. Don’t forget the Wall Street Journal story about the rise of “subprime” lending.

Jobs & products & personnel changes

Exciting news from our good friends at iServe Residential Lending. As a part of its national expansion, iServe just announced the appointment of John McDade, nationally-recognized VA Lending Specialist and Veteran Mortgage Originator, to oversee the Temecula, CA Loan Center while continuing his duties as National Director of Government Lending for iServe. McDade, a veteran himself, is well-respected within governmental circles as a leader and authority on VA Home Lending and has garnered national attention with his Realtor Seminars across the country. McDade will maintain that role and utilize his local contacts and over 40 years of expertise in all facets of mortgage lending towards the continued growth of the Temecula market. iServe CEO Ken Michael states, “This is an important day in our development and strengthens our commitment and focus in the Temecula marketplace. We are thrilled that John has agreed to take on this additional role.” For more information, go to www.iservelending.com, or contact Western U.S. Regional Allen Friedman (415-298-2500) or John McDade (619-788-4153).

Veritas Funding has selected Alight Mortgage Lending for continuous reforecasting. “Much of our focus in 2017 is on strategic growth with tighter management of the business,” said Chad Rogers, Executive Vice President and CFO at Veritas Funding. “Alight’s scenario analysis capabilities and variance reporting will help us improve efficiencies, optimize resources and better manage warehouse lines.” Alight Mortgage Lending is an enterprise strategic planning and forecasting application that lets CEOs, CFOs and their teams manage the financial future of their businesses. Built for mortgage lenders by mortgage industry veterans and engineers from the San Francisco Bay Area, Alight lets executives see the impact of financial decisions before they’re made. “Alight Mortgage Lending focuses on the future state of a business. Executives can evaluate challenges and opportunities from every conceivable angle and then develop not only a ‘Plan A,’ but also have plans B, C and D ready, as well,” said Jared Huff, Managing Director, Alight Financial Services. Please contact Randall Crail to set up a demo to see how Alight Mortgage Lending can help your business!

Congrats to retail ops veteran Antoinette Hendryx who Northern California’s Argus Lending has brought on as its VP of Operations. “Antoinette’s experience includes operations management at large banks as well as mid-size retail lenders where she was instrumental in creating processes for doing business with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae,” noted VP of Sales Bob Nutcher. He added, “Antoinette has known the ownership of Argus for 20 years and that fact that she and I have worked together before couldn’t have made this a better fit for Argus. Her experience on the sales side and my experience in Ops will truly develop a synergy that will create a service level the industry has not seen. And Argus’ executive management has a vision to change the way the mortgage industry currently functions.” “I am very excited to join this incredible team. Our history and like minds will make for an incredible opportunity for success for everyone involved,” said Hendryx. Argus offers generous benefits as well as the ability to gain shares in the company so that ALL employees will benefit with the growth of Argus.

UNIFY, the premier end-to-end CRM for the mortgage industry, wants to thank everyone that attended Mastermind.” After many conversations and presentations, a common theme continued to rise out of them all, how can I track leads and increase my conversions. Unify has 2 modules specifically with dealing with these areas. Unify’s “LEAD” module was designed to integrate with third party lead providers and websites where potential clients request to be contacted. Automated welcome emails can be set for each unique lead program. Sophisticated lead distribution programs can be easily managed and the integration with an inbound phone service makes quickly connecting to new leads easy. Unify’s “RAINMAKER” module assists Loan Originators in the administration, execution, and documentation of their Lead and Prospect activities.  It provides a central place to manage information about individuals that are being nurtured through the pre-application process. Dynamically generated lists will help you manage your daily call activities and automated data entry tools will make recording your activities simple. Contact Scott Benson 651.288.7510 or Matt Zabbo 651.288.7509 to schedule a demo today!”

In wholesale hiring & program news, “Kickstart June with Carrington’s Streamline Special with reduced LLPAs on FICO < 600 on government Streamlines (FHA and VA IRRRLS), available for all loans locked through June 30th. For low FICO customers, Carrington helps you close loans others can’t for low FICO borrowers with expanded guidelines, removed overlays and new broker loan management site, BrokerIQ, a smarter way to close your loans. We’re hiring experienced Inside Account Executives in NV – inquire today! Contact John Cervantes, (949) 517-7127. Visit CarringtonWholesale for a current rate sheet or to become a broker call 866.453.2400.

In personnel news, national mortgage lender Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation is proud to announce the induction of Ray Williams as the 2017 President of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Alabama. Ray is a 20+ year mortgage professional and is based out of Birmingham as the VP of Business and Branch Development for the state.

Cloudvirga’s installed its new CEO Michael Schreck, former managing director of the Altisource Labs innovation center, who joined the mortgage tech firm after its second-round funding was announced in late March.

And congrats to Norm Koenig who Dwellworks, LLC, an appraisal management company providing services to lenders and relocation companies, announced has joined the organization as Director of Business Development working alongside Tim Evanko, Dwellworks’ VP of Residential Services.

Training & events

Many CEOs, CMOs, and digital marketing managers have been thinking about how their company appears online. You should be also. Everyone is invited to attend a lively discussion about user & self-generated content and how both can help your company with search engine optimization (Google), recruiting, and your company website. This webinar is Thursday 6/15 at 2PM ET and is hosted by Seroka Brand Development & SocialSurvey. Scott Harris and John Seroka will cover 4 key topics and provide you with a ton of actionable ideas to implement at your company immediately. This fast-paced webinar will be both entertaining and informative. Register today for Manage Your Online Brand. Spots are limited.

All MLOs should block out Thursday, June 15, at 2PM EDT on their calendar to join another quality webinar from our friends at National Mortgage Professional Magazine. This complimentary webinar presented by Ron Vaimberg, nmpU President and Head Coach and sponsored by REMN Wholesale, will provide you with strategies and tactics on How to Get the Appointment with Any New Referral Partner.” With closed offices and real estate agents that rarely come into the office, connecting with them is getting almost near impossible unless you know the secrets to getting their attention. The secret is you must know exactly what to say and do. Click here to sign up for this FREE Webinar!

Time to get “Rolling with the Changes” with the MMLA Annual Lending Conference at the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mt. Pleasant, MI, July 30th – August 1st. There are different options available to fit your schedule and your budget.

Don’t miss the debut of the Colorado Mortgage Summit September 29th at the Marriott Tech Center Denver. The Denver market is one of the nation’s hottest housing regions, and the new Colorado Mortgage Summit promises to be one of the top regional mortgage shows of the year.

Registration is now open for CalyxSoftware’s CalyxVision 18, the company’s second national user conference. The event will be held February 11-14, 2018 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square. CalyxVision offers the unique opportunity for lenders and brokers to receive more than 16 hours of in-person, hands-on Calyx® software training. In addition to training, CalyxVision attendees will enjoy a comprehensive educational experience with more than 20 hours of sessions covering industry hot topics.

Capital Markets

One capital market chief writes, “LOs and capital markets folks everywhere await the Fed decision tomorrow, when it is presumed the Fed will announce a .25% rise to the Fed Funds rate. With economists now placing odds at over 90%, does that make the announcement a mere formality without consequence?

“Not quite, as a rise in the Fed Funds rate will still have trickle-down (or trickle-up) effects on your rate sheets. Last week we saw an increased lock volume due to lower rates – many investors saw the Comey testimony lacking the substance to derail the Trump administration’s ability to pass future legislative agenda – but I also hope you capitalized as best you could on those lower rates.

“Mortgage companies will have two choices with rates in the wake of an announced Fed rate hike: raise rates or cut margin. It’s the classic mortgage company dilemma, and one more and more of us are having to face with the proliferation of sites like Zillow where customers can see several company’s rates side by side, or Quicken, where customers are lured by a low advertised rate and breezy process. Lenders can choose to focus on one or two of product, price, and service – not all three consistently.

“A rising rate environment puts pressure on the sales staff to both process customers at higher rates than what the customer saw upon initial application, and sell that same customer on progressing quickly through the process before rates increase further. A company like Quicken on agency products, or Chase on 20% down jumbo ARMs, is always going to be able to sacrifice margin further than us to close the deal, so we need to turn the focus to other positives.

“Maybe you are a local lender who can provide a personal touch in discussing the area with the borrower, or maybe your company also offers helpful products like the recently announced Fannie Mae student loan cash out refinance. There is always an angle to be communicated to the borrower that can help you close a loan.”

Looking at rates, prices edged down Monday, and thus rates moved higher, in a “curve-steepening” trade. And this as MBS volume was well below normal at 75% of the 30-day moving average according to Tradeweb. Are locks down, meaning fewer MBS to sell to hedge? At the close, the 10-year note was lower .125 in price to yield 2.21% while 5-year notes and MBS were worse a couple ticks (half of .125).

This morning we’ve already seen the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for May, a secondary number, which was unchanged and has seen no change since January. We’ve also seen May’s wholesale inflation number with the Producer Price Index: flat, but the “core” rate, excluding food & energy, was +.3%. Coming up is a $12 billion 30-year bond auction. We find rates a smidge higher versus Monday’s close with the 10-year yielding 2.22% and agency MBS prices down a tick or two.

We’re getting into camping season in many areas.

An atheist was walking through the woods. “What majestic trees! What powerful rivers! What beautiful animals!” he said to himself.

As he was walking alongside the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him.

He turned to look. He saw a 7-foot grizzly bear charge towards him. He ran as fast as he could up the path.

He looked over his shoulder & saw that the bear was closing in on him.

He looked over his shoulder again, & the bear was even closer.

He tripped & fell on the ground.

He rolled over to pick himself up but saw that the bear was right on top of him, reaching for him with his left paw & raising his right paw to strike him.

At that instant the Atheist cried out, “Oh my God!”

Time stopped. The bear froze. The forest was silent.

As a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky. “You deny my existence for all these years, teach others I don’t exist, and even credit creation to cosmic accident?” Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer?”

The atheist looked directly into the light, “It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a Christian now, but perhaps you could make the BEAR a Christian?”

Very well,” said the voice.

The light went out. The sounds of the forest resumed.

And the bear dropped his right paw, brought both paws together, bowed his head & spoke: “Lord bless this food, which I am about to receive from thy bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen.”

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