June 2: Non-QM exec, MLO, AE, cap mkts jobs; aged asset, servicing, compliance, non-Agency products; employment data driving rates

If you see me talking to myself, just move along. I’m self-employed, and we’re having a staff meeting. Self-employed borrowers are certainly a target of non-QM lenders around the nation. Non-bank lenders continue to grapple with 2nd mortgage program availability and the HELOC edge that some portfolio lenders have, everyone is watching the housing market. And even traditional depository lenders are trying to adapt… like this headline about Wells Fargo possibly scaling back its mortgage business. (No, I don’t have a subscription.) All real estate is local, of course, but the rate of appreciation we’ve seen is unsustainable. “For sale” listings are up; eBuyers are on the run. The FHFA, whose numbers are used for conforming loan limits, tells us that U.S. house prices rose 18.7 percent over the last year, and up 4.6 percent from the fourth quarter. Certainly, the increase in mortgage rates have had an impact and changed buyer behavior. Last month 30-year mortgage rates rose to their highest level since 2009. Mortgage purchase applications have fallen to their lowest level since 2018. The inventory of unsold single-family homes, while still far below pre-pandemic levels, is now rising on a year-over-year basis. (Today’s podcast is available here and 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


Black Knight is hiring a Mortgage Capital Markets Analyst in its Optimal Blue division. This person is responsible for strategies related to mortgage pipelines, interest rate risk management, best execution, and margin management through the employment of proprietary analytics. Other current openings in Black Knight’s Optimal Blue division include Hedge Analyst, Trade Operations Administrator, and Implementation Analyst. These positions are available in Chevy Chase, Md., Denver, Colo., and San Francisco, Calif. For more details on these roles, contact Betsy Meek. In addition, Black Knight is always looking for talent. Visit BlackKnightInc.com/Careers for a full listing of all open positions.

“At Acra Lending, our focus is on being the best-in-class Non-QM lender by providing competitive mortgage lending programs. We are looking for people to join our team who are as excited as we are to help customers achieve their goals in investing and purchasing property. Acra is actively looking for experienced Wholesale Account ExecutivesMLOS,  Fix and Flip Account Executives, Correspondent Sales, and more! Being able to provide industry leading programs to meet the needs of our customers is what we do best. If you or anyone you know are interested apply at JoinAcra or email us at careers@acralending.com.”

Milestone Home Lending, part of the Newrez Family of Companies, is looking for ambitious loan officers in Greenwood, IN. This unique opportunity provides an outstanding platform for loan officers to expand their pipeline. “Elevating the consumer experience, driving efficiency, and removing complexity for our agents is a constant focus. Our loan officers with Milestone Home Lending are embraced by our agents as an important partner for their buyers. It’s rewarding to watch careers grow as we focus on the customer experience and leverage the expertise of one another,” said Tracy Hutton, CEO of Century 21 Scheetz. “When someone joins our company, not only are they joining Milestone Home Lending, but they are also joining the team at Century 21 Scheetz. Together, we set the standard for the homebuying experience!” said Brittany Wineinger, President of Milestone Home Lending. Ready to make a move? Apply now or contact Brittany Wineinger, President or the recruiting team today!

Take your originations to the next level. The past few months have been challenging for all of us, but at Ross Mortgage Company our LOs are still productive because we are one of the few remaining independent mortgage lenders based in the northeast that is expanding nationwide. We have worked tirelessly to develop a variety of programs to supply our originators with the resources required to grow their business. Exclusive partnerships with world renowned hospitals and large national unions not to mention a robust internal lead generation platform that keeps originators ahead of the competition. We look forward to starting a productive conversation with you on how we can accelerate your origination career. Contact VP Kevin Coleman for more information!

A Non-QM aggregator and investor is looking for experienced Sales Executive to lead our Eastern region. We operate as a Correspondent delegated Non-QM platform. If you have clients that have been struggling to grow their Non-QM business, then you may need a change. We bring efficiency, velocity and independence to Non-QM origination and execution. Our platform is anchored by permanent internal capital from premier investment firm. Our leadership and operations teams have combined decades of non-agency lending and portfolio management experience across multiple credit cycles. Executive team has history of over $60B of non-agency and Non-QM securitized volume. Huge opportunity for motivated and enthusiastic individual to shift the narrative of Non-QM and seize a major growth opportunity.” If interested, please send your resume to Anjelica Nixt and specify this opportunity.

Union Home Mortgage announced that its VP of National Operations Donald Griffiths has been elected to serve as president of the Ohio Mortgage Bankers Association (OMBA). Griffiths was officially appointed May 9 and will serve for a term of 12 months.

Lender & broker software, services, and programs


OptiFunderSM is proud to announce Benchmark Mortgage has embraced its Warehouse Management System to optimize warehouse funding decisions, bring automation to tasks for funding through loan sale and deliver strategic warehouse utilization analytics. Benchmark Mortgage’s values drive its impressive success; their originations totaled $7.1 bn in 2021. Its values include relationships, positive attitude, excellence, dynamic and success. Benchmark Mortgage VP of Secondary Operations, Mike Doncer, notes, “Every person or organization we choose to align with is thoughtfully and strategically selected.” Benchmark Mortgage believes its creativity and innovation provide its edge; “It’s how we WOW!” states Stewart Hunter, COO & Founding Partner. With its proven ability to significantly reduce customers’ funding expense, OptiFunder plans to wow Benchmark Mortgage and contribute to its success via enhanced profitability. For more info, a savings case study or to schedule a demo, email info@optifunder.com or visit optifunder.com.

Would you use a mainframe LOS system for originations? Of course not, then why settle for old tech to support your servicing business? Mortgage Flex Systems has the first cloud-based mortgage loan servicing system developed for Microsoft Azure that has been on the market for over four years. We are delivering our second-generation of this web-based offering which includes the industry’s first bilingual mobile-enabled servicing portal. We can provide the true, real-time borrower experience which is missing in the world of old tech stacks. If you are ready to try something new that won’t break the bank, take a look at Flex or contact John McCrea, SVP, Business Development.

The Bayview Non-Agency Product Suite offers originators a broad spectrum of loan options to meet the needs of today’s borrowers, including self-employed borrowers and sophisticated real estate investors. All Non-Agency, Agency, HFA, and Prime Jumbo products are available either Delegated, or Non-Delegated, through Lakeview Correspondent channels, using the same experienced team of professionals and easy process. To learn more about our Non-Agency products, please reach out to your sales contact.

Fair lending requirements apply for the entire life of a mortgage loan. Are you treating similarly situated borrowers the same? Can you document the consistent application of policies and procedures that ensure all borrowers are treated fairly? Do you know where your inconsistencies are? By relying on the team of experts at Richey May, you can be ready to answer these questions and ensure your HMDA data stands up to scrutiny by the CFPB. Now’s the time to review your decision-making processes and tighten up your policies and procedures. A high-level compliance review will reveal organizational issues but can only take you so far. Go deeper with the mortgage specialists at Richey May to not only identify potential fair lending issues, but to also learn how to improve your reporting and avoid unintentional risk. Contact us today to learn more.

“A strong social media presence is an essential skill every high-performing MLO should have, but how many of them are managing that presence compliantly? Join Mitch Kider, Barry Habib, and Melissa Thomas for a free ActiveComply webinar “Using Social Media to Increase Purchase Business While Staying Compliant” on June 24, 12 PM EST to discuss how the best producers are using social media and how to reduce marketing costs. Register for this insightful webinar today! ActiveComply: Do you know what your LOs are saying online? Are you saying NO to social media because you don’t know the rules or feel protected? ActiveComply creates no-headache solutions for staying compliant on social media for IMBs, banks, credit unions, and more. Meet regulatory requirements easily through our compliance system technology: sign up for a FREE demo and try ActiveComply today!”

New eBook: Insight from Rob Chrisman and other industry vets for success in a volatile market. How can lenders adjust their strategies to 2022’s market? Mortgage solutions provider Maxwell asked some of the foremost mortgage experts, including Rob Chrisman himself, FGMC COO Suzy Lindblom, Maxwell SVP of Mortgage Operations Bob Groody, Maxwell Solutions Director Anthony Ianni, and Maxwell VP of Customer Success Bryan Traeger—the strategies, habits, and actions they’re seeing top lenders rely on for success in 2022. The result is Maxwell’s new eBook, which highlights how the industry’s most innovative lenders are gaining efficiency, improving margins, and protecting profitability in today’s environment. For actionable advice, click here to download Mortgage Experts Take on 2022’s Market free from Maxwell.

A Sagent star is born! Sagent Director of Client Strategy Kathryn Keeton exemplifies Sagent’s vision to be one of the housing industry’s most modern, homeowner-first servicing fintech. Keeton leads client-facing teams to deliver on every detail for Sagent’s mortgage servicing clients to ensure smooth homeownership experiences for millions of Americans. Keeton is on the front lines of the industry delivering on this every day, and it comes as no surprise that she was selected for a 2022 HousingWire Rising Star award. Keeton runs point on fostering Sagent’s client relationships with America’s largest mortgage lenders and servicers, combining unwavering empathy and a homeowner-first philosophy with an understanding of servicer needs. She is adept at distilling client experiences and top-down organizational initiatives into actionable strategies that help servicers care for, engage and retain homeowners through all market cycles. Read more about Kat’s profound impact at Sagent here.

Capital markets


Ready to move the aged 2nd chance assets weighing down your portfolio? At RealtyBid®, Covius’ national online and live auction platform, we understand the complexities of aged 2nd chance assets and are prepared for the challenges of moving them. We have the expertise to sell inventory others have struggled with and the track record to prove it. In fact, RealtyBid has sold assets that have been on clients’ books and competitors’ websites for as long as four years! We have expedited the property onboarding process and can begin marketing your properties on the RealtyBid site within 48 hours. Additionally, our Dynamic Dashboard provides you with interactive reporting and on-demand inventory control. If your aged 2nd chance assets aren’t selling, why let them continue to sit? Let RealtyBid handle your inventory today. Learn more at RealtyBid.com.

A bad economy can lead to lower rates, but is that what we want? Bond and stock market investors noted the stark warning from JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. “You know, I said [last month] there’s storm clouds but I’m going to change it… it’s a hurricane,” he declared at the Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference, referencing a U.S. economy that is struggling with “fiscally induced growth, QT and the war in Ukraine.” Dimon still predicts that U.S. consumers have some six to nine months of spending power left in their bank accounts as the government’s pandemic stimulus runs out. That may help things in the near-term, but the Fed already “has” to embark on quantitative tightening because of too much liquidity in the system. “We’ve never had QT like this,” he added.

Looking at interest rates yesterday, Fed rate hike odds continue to go up after Atlanta’s Fed’s Bostic and Fed Governor Waller “walked back” recent comments about a potential fall pause in rate hikes. We learned yesterday that manufacturing expanded in May, according to the ISM Manufacturing Report. New Orders and production improved, while prices suggest inflation is moderating. The U.S. manufacturing sector remains in a demand-driven, supply chain-constrained environment where supply chain and pricing issues are their biggest concerns. We also saw weaker than expected April Construction Spending.


Has the Fed turned “data dependent,” waiting for news like the rest of us, especially in the employment sector? Yesterday’s JOLTS Job Openings remained elevated, coming in at 11.4 million. Today’s calendar is under way with some labor market indicators ahead of tomorrow’s payrolls report. We’ve received job cuts from Challenger for May (-20k in May), May ADP employment (+128k, much lower than expected but it’s correlation to tomorrow’s jobs data is questionable), and jobless claims (200k). Additionally Q1 productivity and unit labor costs registered. Later this morning brings April factory orders and Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Today’s lone scheduled Fed speaker sees Cleveland’s Mester speaking on the economic outlook. The NY Desk will purchase up to $1.7 billion 30-year 3.5 percent through 4.5 percent MBS. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged from Wednesday and the 10-year yielding 2.91 after closing yesterday at 2.93 percent.

From Utah Rich B. reports, “My grandson made the mistake of telling me I was being overdramatic so I just changed the Wi-Fi password. We’ll see who’s overdramatic in about 5 minutes.”

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).


(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.)

Rob Chrisman