Daily Mortgage News & Commentary

June 28: MLO jobs; operational cost, pre-qual, broker, legal & vesting tools; news from wholesale channel; housing demand & supply

You can rest assured that no animals were harmed in the making of this commentary! But the harm felt by stockholders during the last several months has not been trivial, and not only confined to lenders. As has been discussed in this Commentary, just because the open market can see their stock prices fall doesn’t mean those companies are faring any worse, or better, than non-public companies. And other companies in related industries have not fared much better. For example, Redfin (a full-service real estate brokerage that owns lender Bay Equity) hit a high of over $95 a share and hit a low a few weeks ago of $7.13. Put another way, if you had sunk your life savings of $1 million into Redfin stock in February of 2021 your life savings would stand at $75,000. Ouch. The speed and magnitude of the rate move in 2022 has hurt many, but to keep things in perspective remember that the highest interest rates were in October 1981, a whopping 18.45 percent. Fortunately, no one is talking about rates moving up that high, and in fact there is a growing school of thought that mortgage rates may have plateaued for the foreseeable future leaving LOs asking, “What kind of products can we offer clients to blunt the impact of these higher rates?” Capital markets and product departments to the rescue! (Today’s podcast is available here and this week’s is sponsored by Ignite Integration Solutions, Inc., a custom software provider that has created industry leading LOS CORE integrations in addition to a library of Encompass base tools and plug ins, and custom API development with our team of 100% on shore developers to support both Mortgage Lenders and Vendors as clients and partners.)

 

Careers

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Churchill Mortgage, an industry leader providing conventional, FHA, VA, and USDA residential mortgages across 49 states and the District of Columbia, continues its expansion across the Pacific Northwest with the appointment of Kelly Lee as Senior Vice President of Production for the Northwest region. Lee will oversee the rapidly growing PNW division, including production across the region’s 30 branches. With more than 20 years of experience in the mortgage industry, Lee brings a wealth of knowledge to the table through an impressive track record of continual market growth and senior positions at noteworthy companies, including EVP, Divisional Manager, Vice President of Sales, and EVP. Lee is also a U.S. Army veteran. “We’re fully invested in growing our team and our regional presence as we enhance our customer service capabilities,” said Jeff Miller, Vice President of the Churchill Mortgage Northwest Region. “We’re building something different here and we’re proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish thus far. Want to join us? Learn more here.”

If you’re wanting to take your Originating career to the next level, we will get you there! In most cases when an originator hits a plateau it’s because the platform they are on doesn’t allow them to grow beyond what they’ve already achieved. One of the Top Originating teams in the nation is looking to help 1 Originator achieve their goals and successfully navigate a challenging market. Looking for a new opportunity is scary, but when that opportunity has a proven track record, a dedicated operations team that has been together for 4 rising rate cycles, fear turns into excitement! Top producers have some advantages not available to everyone. It’s time to give yourself those same advantages, start dominating your market, and take your career to the next level. If you close $20M or more per year and are looking for a breakthrough, contact Anjelica Nixt to schedule a confidential conversation.

Lender and TPO programs, products, & services

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Are you a broker looking to support self-employed borrowers? Caliber Wholesale can help with all your self-employed financing needs! With a seasoned team of underwriters and account executives that know how to structure a deal, you’ll be in great hands. When it comes to incorporating Non-QM products into your loan offerings, risk mitigation can be as simple as partnering with the right team and learning to understand the needs and trends of a new customer population. Our Smart Series, a full suite of uniquely developed Non-QM solutions, ensures that homebuyers who have unique financing needs have access to unique mortgage solutions that meet their specific needs. SmartSelf is ideal for the self-employed borrowers who require the use of bank statements and/or asset amortization to qualify. Learn more about our program or contact Whslcontactus@caliberhomeloans.com to get approved with us today if you aren’t already.”

Is PA reconciliation using up too much of your team’s bandwidth? There’s a better way, as Terra Johnson, SVP Controller of Highlands Residential Mortgage, finally found out. After years of reconciling PAs the error-prone, time-consuming manual way, she discovered Richey May’s intelligent automation solution. A managed, fully supported standalone offering by Richey May in partnership with Zoral Group, Purchase Advice Automation lets you manage PAs and clear warehouse lines for thousands of loans a month, barely lifting a finger in the process. Johnson’s team uses Purchase Advice Automation for reconciliation, which in turn created efficiencies with closing the books and month-end reporting. In the first year, she saw 50% productivity gains in her department and projects a 41% annualized ROI with the implementation fee amortized over the next five years. Why wait? See it in action for yourself. Sign up for a demo today.

Pioneers, leaders, innovators. if these words come to mind when considering your ideal candidate for Mortgage Banker Magazine’s list of Powerful Women of Mortgage Banking. Click here, to submit your nomination and show your support for today’s female leaders in the mortgage profession.

As you look for ways to reduce costs and create greater efficiencies, consider leveraging Black Knight Legal & Vesting reports for your property- and ownership-verification needs. Fast and cost-effective, Black Knight’s Legal & Vesting Report provides a property’s recordable legal description and complete vesting clause, as well as chain of title, tax data and deed image. What’s more, the reports are available for every county and jurisdiction across the United States. You also get a choice of reporting and delivery options, including via API to integrate with your workflow and help streamline your origination process. For more information about a cost-effective, fast and easy way to obtain the information you need for verifying property and ownership information, contact Black Knight.

“We get to Conditional Approval 14 days faster, and our underwriters review 12 files per day.” Travis Rulle, COO, FBC Mortgage. At 1 bps per day, these Candor clients add massive margin to every loan. For a bullet proof underwrite whiplash fast they use Candor’s Loan Engineering System. “We’ve cut our cycle time in half,” Kenny Parkhurst, COO Get A Rate. The Machine as an Underwriter conducts OCR, 1100 data crosschecks, income calculation, information scrutiny, condition generation, & condition clearing. It renders decisions and backs each one with a warranty. How much profit could a faster manufacturing process Do the math. You can be a raving client in just 30 days. Schedule a demo.

“***News Alert: For all Chrisman readers who use direct mail for lead generation, effective July 10, 2022, the USPS will be raising prices by 3 cents for first class and 2 cents for standard mail.*** However, did you know you can actually lower your cost per call, even with these price increases? If you are interested in beating the price increase, drop us a line at sales@monsterlg.com or check us out at www.monsterlg.com. We have technology improvements enabling you to get ahead of the market and outrun the increases! Give us 5 minutes to ask 3 simple questions and see if we can lower your overall cost per call to beat the rate increase!”

Do you know where your loan officers stand when it comes to converting pre-qualified clients in their pipeline? Time is money and if they aren’t converting those warm leads into applications, something’s gotta give. With QuickQual by LenderLogix, you can measure the entire team’s performance in the pre-qualification and/or pre-approval stage by branch or at the enterprise level. QuickQual integrates with your LOS, is custom-built to reflect your branding and configuration settings, ensures letter compliance across the organization, and provides a world-class experience for the entire team (lenders, agents & borrowers). Modernize your customer experience and give your company a competitive advantage by adopting mortgage technology with a 94% borrower utilization rate. It’s efficient for teams, insightful for managers and engaging for borrowers. Sign-up for the webinar next week to learn more, or visit its site to get a sample QuickQual sent to your phone.

The recent surge in mortgage rates has lenders asking, “how do I adjust my cost and business structure to be profitable over the next 6-18 months?” Join CWDL for a webinar featuring Jim Deitch, CEO of Teraverde, and Mark Wilson, Managing Partner of CWDL, to discuss controlling operational costs to combat the rising cost to originate, fallout rates have skyrocketed: how to make every loan count, and uncovering opportunities for profitability with your branches and originators. Attendees will leave this webinar with actionable takeaways to manage costs and seize opportunities in this market. Register here.

Wholesale news

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Lender Price has released Marketplace 2.0, a major enhancement to its Marketplace platform and one of the largest communities of wholesale brokers and lenders in the mortgage industry. Created to match lenders with mortgage brokers looking to find the best rates and loan products for borrowers in a volatile market, Broker Marketplace 2.0 gives wholesale brokers the ability to instantly price all of their lenders and marketplace lenders inside a single location without logging into several different TPO portals. Best part, Marketplace 2.0 is 100% free for mortgage brokers. With the ability to run price comparisons, brokers get expanded access to some of the most competitive loan programs in the market, and get a chance to move away from using legacy technology that typically comes with a monthly fee. Lenders of all sizes use Lender Marketplace 2.0 to expand their reach inside the broker community, and increase awareness of all loan programs including Non-Conforming, Non-QM, and products that fit any borrower situation such as alternative documentation, DSCR, HELOCs, and HELOANs. Register for an upcoming webinar to see Marketplace in action.

Updates were made to remove restrictions and add eligibility (subject to VA local requirements), for properties in Lava Zones 1 and 2 in Hawaii as shown in the Loan Depot Wholesale June 6 Newsletter.

First Community Mortgage updated its Non-Conforming Jumbo Direct Matrix as shown in FCM Wholesale Announcement 2022-31, to reflect new minimum loan amount increase effective for loans with new commitments on or after June 22. Existing locks for less than the new minimum loan amount will be honored.

Effective with loans locked on and after 6-1-2022, properties located in a flood zone requiring flood insurance, the HFA second lien is to be included as an outstanding lien in the flood insurance coverage calculations. This change applies to all HFA programs where U.S Bank is the Master Servicer: GSFA Platinum, AzIDA Home Plus, Home is Possible, and the SETH Star Partner Program. View MWF Wholesale Bulletin 22W-043 for more information.

This month United Wholesale Mortgage released Boost, an exclusive, new marketplace, that will provide independent mortgage brokers with streamlined access to purchase tailored leads, stay in touch with past clients, connect with real estate agents and opt-into live call transfers. “Staying in front of past clients and building new connections are two of the most critical and challenging parts of any business,” said Mat Ishbia, President and CEO at UWM. “With Boost, we’ve built a one-stop shop with some of the most valuable business tools and resources in the industry.”

Land Home Financial Services posted the following regarding the Golden Equity product: The new minimum property value for the Golden Equity product is $970,800, effective immediately. No exceptions. If you have any questions, please contact: reverse@lhfs.com

Capital markets: summer doldrums ahead in housing?

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As we wrap up June, don’t forget that Monday is the July 4th holiday and the bond markets and trading desks everywhere will be closing early on Friday!

Holidays are nice, but they don’t influence the financial markets. Last week the markets grew increasingly concerned about recession as the week went on, thanks to weak economic data, hawkish central bank rhetoric, and the threat of a Russian gas cut-off in Europe. That led to a significant rally in sovereign bonds as investors sought out safe havens and cast doubt on whether central banks could keep hiking into a downturn. Fed Chairman Powell went before Congress to reiterate what was presented in the Federal Open Market Committee statement and corresponding press conference: inflation has gotten out of control and the Fed will do what is necessary to bring it down towards 2 percent. As such, the market expects another 75-basis point rate hike following the July 27 meeting. Additionally, Powell testified that the aggressive tightening policy may result in a recession sometime over the next two years.

Meanwhile an imbalance still exists in the housing market as demand is still outpacing supply which stood at a mere 2.6 month’s supply in May, significantly below the four to six months normally associated with a balanced market. The 10.7 percent jump in May’s new home sales was likely the result of buyers rushing to avoid further price and rate increases and could have pulled forward sales from later in the summer. Home sales are expected to slow in the coming months as borrowing costs and home prices force some buyers to the sidelines.

Aggressive Fed hikes, looming recession fears, and unsettling inflation readings are causing volatility, which is not welcome for capital markets folks. While it isn’t quite the panic of other bear market periods, as some viewed the Fed taking away the punchbowl as inevitably painful, it is still hurting the mortgage industry. We learned yesterday that pending Home Sales broke a six-month skid to rise 0.7 percent in May, including the Northeast seeing the biggest gain, with home sales rising 15.4 percent. However, compared to a year ago, three out of four regions (Northeast, South, and West) posted double-digit pending sales declines, while sales dropped by 8.8 percent in the Midwest.

 

“Despite the small gain in pending sales from the prior month, the housing market is clearly undergoing a transition,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Contract signings are down significantly from a year ago because of much higher mortgage rates. Trying to balance the housing market by choking off demand via higher mortgage rates is damaging to consumers and the economy,” Yun added. “The better way to balance the market is through increased supply, which also helps the broader economy.”

Construction should help, as historically housing has led the economy out of recession. The 2008 financial crisis never experienced a rebound in home construction due to foreclosures and now we have a shortage of housing. Materials and labor constrain the supply side, but we should eventually see a wave of new construction. The scene is different for existing homes, where owners with jobs and comfortable mortgages don’t have to sell.

Today sees another busy economic calendar, and we have already received advanced indicators for May: the good trade deficit (shrinking to $104.3 billion), and retail & wholesale inventories (+1.1 and +2.0 percent, respectively). Later this morning brings Redbook same store sales, April house prices from Case-Shiller and FHFA, June consumer confidence, Richmond Fed manufacturing and services, and Dallas Fed Texas services. Treasury then auctions $40 billion 7-year notes after yesterday’s $47 billion 5-year note auction met weak demand following a $46 billion 2-year note sale that received stronger, but also relatively weak, interest. Two Fed speakers: Richmond’s Barkin followed by San Francisco’s Daly. Today’s MBS purchase schedule sees the NY Fed Desk in GNIIs for up to $484 million 4 percent and 4.5 percent before the Desk will release a new purchase schedule covering the June 29 to July 14 period which is expected to total $6.8 billion. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices worse .125 and the 10-year yielding 3.24 after closing yesterday at 3.19 percent on follow through from Europe’s higher rates.

(Thank you to Steve W. for this one.)

My son just asked me where poo comes from.

I gave him a detailed explanation.

He stood there in stunned silence.

Then he asked, “What about Tigger?”

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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.)