June 19: LO jobs; sales & broker products; interesting upcoming training & events; trade turmoil pushing rates

When I grow up I want to live in a ranch style… shipping container? If you have a builder complaining about lumber costs or labor to frame a house, there’s always metal. “From rooftop decks to custom wood floors, these repurposed shipping containers are anything but boring.” Air conditioning is a must, and the Hapag-Lloyd sign on the side might add character. In other housing news, we have this headline from Florida: “Freedom Mortgage CEO drops $20M on Ocean Ridge Estate.” Nice digs!

Jobs and promotions

How many more residential loans could you close with better back office support? You work too hard to experience the same chokepoints over and over again. Assurance Financial offers you a full-scale team of experts who have spent the last 17 years with only one objective: to help you close loans on time, every time. If you even THINK you may be losing money in your current situation due to poor support, call Paul Peters, CMB (225-239-7948)Assurance Financial is a growing private residential mortgage banker with offices throughout the South, East Coast, and Midwest US, and we may be the answer you’ve been looking for.

GSF Mortgage Corporation continues to expand the Single Close Construction program for both builders and lenders. This product is offered for FHA, VA, and USDA qualified borrowers. GSF is adding interested originators, processors, administrators, and underwriters with proven experience related to Single Close Construction products. If interested, please email Chad Jampedro.

Congratulations to Brad Shuster who will serve as the U.S. Mortgage Insurers new Chairman of the Board. Shuster is the Chairman and CEO of National Mortgage Insurance Corporation (National MI) and its parent, NMI Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: NMIH).

And congrats to Kat Cunningham who has joined Equifax in the Workforce Solutions Division as a Mortgage Business Consultant.  Kat is a subject matter expert for Equifax focusing primarily on The Work Number, employment and income verifications in the mortgage industry that have end-to-end employment and income verifications with real-time results meant to improve borrower experience, shorten turn times, and reduce fraud with a centralized, consistent and compliant process.

Lender products

It seems every day, there’s news of another data breach – which, continues to raise concerns about data, how it’s used and how it’s protected. When the right data is isolated, it can be a great resource for lenders to ensure your marketing and sales efforts are targeted, on-point and effective. However, with data comes an element of risk, particularly when you start to put it to use. It is critical to understand the regulations, put policies and procedures in place, thoroughly train your employees who are involved with this data and document your training plan. Read Total Expert’s blog, Big Data: Friend or Foe? to ensure you’re making the most of the data at your disposal.

bsnap™ is the ultimate broker tool. Borrowers want a simple, easy loan process – and brokers want clients to remember their name for referrals and future business. Stearns Wholesale has the solution. Our bsnap mobile app keeps things moving quickly and securely and can be branded with your company logo and info. Borrowers can complete a digital 1003e-sign formsshare photos of loan documents, and view loan details like loan type, rate, term, payments, closing date and more. Built-in communications and reminders make it easy for borrowers to get in touch with their mortgage team. Did we mention your logo and branding are included at no cost? Since our launch last month, we’ve had over 30% of our loans leveraging bsnap. Get bsnap™ and get an edge – reach out today to learn more!”


In this busy home buying seasons, mortgage professionals in every stage of their careers are seeing an incredible lift in their production by engaging with XINNIX, the Mortgage Academy. Experienced LOs who went through the EDGE program reported a 70% increase in monthly applications. A recent group of new loan officers who earned their XINNIX Certified Originator (XCO) designation averaged 5.3 loan applications in their first month of production. Want to see numbers like these in your business? CLICK HERE to contact a XINNIX account executive today!

Upcoming training & events

Most people will recognize that word of mouth is your best form of marketing. What can you do to harness the voice of your customers and make sure it is reaching the right people at the right time? Join National Mortgage Professional Magazine and Podium’s Nick Miller and Tyler Roberts for a free webinar on Thursday, June 21st at 2pm EDT to learn why targeting online reviews on the sites that matter most to your customers will help your business stand out from the crowd and ultimately influence purchase decisions. Click here to register for this free webinar.

Freddie Mac is offering up a, “Discover the Possibilities with Home Possible Mortgages” webinar on June 20th. (Home Possible and Home Possible Advantage are Freddie Mac’s low down payment offerings.) “Join us for this free webinar and identify which option best fits your borrowers’ needs, as you understand income and property eligibility requirements along with flexible sources of funds.”

FHFA invites interested parties to submit comments on the proposed rule via FHFA.gov within 60 days of publication in the Federal Register or via mail, FHFA, Eighth Floor, 400 Seventh Street, SW, Washington, DC  20219.  FHFA will also be holding a webinar on the proposed rule on June 19 at 1:30 p.m. EDT to explain the proposed rule and answer questions.  Register for the webinar here.

On Tuesday, June 19th join Mortgage Market Guide for a free live training. Hosted by Bill Bodnar, MMG’s market expert and chief content writer/author, Bill will be sharing his market insight and advice to help you be that trusted advisor your clients and referral partners rely on.

Join Mark Reeve, VP, Reverse Mortgage Division for a webinar on June 19th to learn how to present a Plaza Reverse Mortgage to your borrowers like you were sitting around the kitchen table. details.

The new Colorado Privacy & Cybersecurity Law that affects virtually all businesses in Colorado takes effect on September 1, 2018. If you have prospects or clients in Colorado, then this is a law you MUST be familiar with. Join Mitch Tanenbaum of CyberCecurity LLC and Danielle Urban of Fisher Phillips on June 21st for a one-hour webinar that will teach everything you need to know about this important new law.

If you’re involved with managing, valuing, acquiring or selling residential whole loans, register for MountainView’s June 28th webinar: re-performing Residential whole loan valuations. Brian Dunn, from its whole loan and structured finance securities valuation team, will share his team’s valuation insights. Mike Kelleher, from its transaction advisory team, will discuss RPL valuations amid the current and forecasted market conditions.

Margins, Basis Points, Par Pricing, Overlays, Risk Adjustments…learn about the enigma of mortgage pricing in July with webinars from Fair Lending Diversity. The Secrets of Mortgage Pricing on July 11th at 1-2:30 PM Central. De-Mystifying the Mortgage Pricing Engine on July 25th at 1-2:30 PM Central. TAKE BOTH and RECEIVE a DISCOUNT Register Here to Take BOTH Courses.

2018 marks the 10-year anniversary of the “Mortgage Meltdown.” For all of us in the mortgage industry with PASSION and GRIT who persevered…come to the 45th Annual CMLA Convention at the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort August 8th-10th.

The formation and execution of Third Party Risk Management (TPRM) programs has become a key area of focus for members of our industry and regulators alike. MBA Education is providing a half-day classroom course, offered on both coasts, that will help you learn best practices for how to develop a program that will assess the risks facing your business and will provide you with a plan of action to address these challenges. Register now for September 25th in Los Angeles or September 28th in McLean VA.

Be pro-active and register today for the first ever NALHFA Legislative Conference October 2nd-4th in Washington DC. Representatives from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Treasury Department, Congressional offices, and industry leaders will discuss the driving issues HFAs need to know. Additionally, this forum will provide NALHFA members with a forum to discuss challenges that local communities are facing and share best practices offering solutions.

Capital markets

The Federal Reserve, and the markets, continue to talk about inflation as if we should be worried about it. It hasn’t been a huge concern in decades, although U.S. inflation accelerated in May to the fastest pace in more than six years, reinforcing the Federal Reserve’s outlook for gradual interest-rate hikes while eroding wage gains that remain relatively tepid despite an 18-year low in unemployment. Recall that the consumer price index rose 0.2 percent from the previous month and 2.8 percent from a year earlier, matching estimates, a Labor Department report showed Tuesday. The annual gain was the biggest since February 2012 and follows a 2.5 percent increase in April. Excluding food and energy, the core gauge was up 0.2 percent from the prior month and 2.2 percent from May 2017, also matching the median estimates of economists.

The pickup in headline inflation partly reflects gains in fuel prices, though the annual gain in the core measure — seen by officials as a better gauge of underlying inflation trends — was the most since February 2017.

Mid-June’s economic indicators remain consistent with expectations for moderate-to-strong GDP growth for the second quarter.  Retail sales increased 0.8 percent in May, due in part to higher gasoline prices, but also a signal of healthy consumer activity.  Excluding autos, sales were up 0.9 percent.  Consumer prices increased 0.2 percent in May as moderating prices in many segments helped offset rising energy costs.  Prices were up 2.8 percent over the previous twelve months.  However, producer prices jump 0.5 percent for the month and are up 3.1 percent over the preceding twelve months.

Small business optimism increased to its second highest level in the past 45 years in May, according to the National Federation of Independent Business.  The report credits tax and regulatory relief as the driving factors behind the optimism.  However, the compensation sub-index hit a 45-year high and the percentage of businesses planning to increase prices reached the highest level since 2008.

Meanwhile the Federal Reserve raised the fed funds range 25 basis points to 1.75 – 2.00 as expected last week and the updated dot plots were consistent with two more increases this year. The language in their statement was more bullish on economic conditions than the previous statement in May. Look for the next rate increases to occur at the September and December meetings.

Yesterday rates closed the day roughly unchanged despite concerns over the escalating protectionist standoff between China and the U.S. Investors have been anxious about the intensifying confrontation ever since President Donald Trump discussed tariffs a few months ago, and that wasn’t helped after China today responded to President Trump slapping tariffs on $50 billion of imports late last week by putting an additional 25% levy on $34 billion of American agricultural and auto exports starting July 6. Will tariffs cause more inflation but not help our economy? Stay tuned.

Meanwhile in Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May face tough weeks over migration and Brexit, respectively. Chancellor Angela Merkel will spend her time preparing an immigration policy that will be acceptable to two of the three parties in the current governing coalition. Back on the domestic economic release front, the NAHB Housing Market Index declined to 68 in June from 70 reported in May, failing to meet expectations of no change in the index.

Be careful what you wish for. Lower rates come at a price, and this morning nothing good is happening out there as markets everywhere respond to Trump’s latest trade/tariff threat. US S&P futures are down significantly, hitting household wealth. Last night Trump asked the USTR to formulate a list of $200B worth of Chinese imports that could be subject to a 10% tariff and warned there could be another $200B to follow – in total, Trump has now either imposed or threatened to impose tariffs on ~$450B worth of Chinese imports.

Today’s economic calendar is already underway, with St. Louis Fed President Bullard having presented before a panel at the 2018 ECB Forum on Central Banking in Portugal. May housing starts and building permits were released (+5%, strong, but permits disappointed) The Redbook Same-Store Sales Index for the week ending June 16 will be released at 8:55am ET. It was previously -0.2% MoM and +4.3% YoY. Also, as noted above the FHFA will hold a webinar, starting at 1:30pm on its Proposed Rule on Enterprise Capital for the GSEs which was released last Tuesday. This morning’s rates are pushed lower by the trade talk: the 10-year is yielding 2.87% and agency MBS prices are better .125 versus Monday’s close.

Plenty of mortgage bankers are music fans. A small subset may know who John Bonham was. Even if you don’t, and even if you only watch the first 40 seconds of this video, it’s fun.

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, “The Plight of the Small Independent Lender.” 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 2018 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