“2018: Year of the Rumor” continues, but there are enough companies, large and small, shifting gears, scaling back, laying off, down-sizing, right-sizing, doing a RIF (Reduction in Force), streamlining, shuttering, closing, that nearly every rumor is bound to come true to some extent. This commentary tries to be more forward looking, and helpful to those helping their clients in the future, than a revival of the Implode-o-meter, but well-known companies exiting certain channels is newsworthy. And no, there is nothing exciting to report, it is just good to keep this in mind – we’re in a great industry helping millions of families.
“It’s no secret that margins are compressed, complexity has increased, and regulatory change is a constant. What might be the industry’s best kept secret is how well LoanComplete helps mortgage lenders address the complexity – with Intelligent automation. We are building solutions specific to some of the largest Originators and Servicers in the US, solutions that help them increase speed of processing or onboarding, while ensuring accuracy, security and a better borrower experience. We are looking for the right product marketing manager that can help propel us to the next level of growth – someone skilled at content development and demand generation to raise awareness and capitalize on success. Someone who is passionate about this industry, who wants to help lenders thrive in today’s market.” Questions can be addressed to Director of Product Marketing Anne Cashman.
“While other lenders are retrenching or only emphasizing retail, Pacific Union is growing and its wholesale channel just had its best month since Brexit. With a new major warehouse lender that just came on board, we now have $1.9 billion of capacity to enable future growth and are actively looking to hire rock star wholesale sales talent that originates a solid mix of government business. With no guideline overlays, and a compare ratio of 83% (70% in wholesale), we have demonstrated that we stand alone as a Government lending TPO. Those interested in learning more, please email our channel leader, Mike Royer.”
Evergreen Home Loans continues the exciting growth experienced in the past 5 years. From 2014-2017, their top 25 Loan Officers grew their production on average by 90%. From 2015-2017, the top 5 branches grew their production by 39%. Several branches have more than doubled their production, going from $30M to $69M in 3 years and $50M branch to a $111M in 2 years. The company is committed to its core conviction GROWTH with a foundation built on a track record of success plans and individual growth for its loan officers. Evergreen is seeking high-touch loan officers looking to live out their personal and professional aspirations in a unique culture. Candidates can learn about the Evergreen culture on their awards and recognition page and job openings on the Careers page.
Proof that at Caliber Home Loans, Inc. better tools mean better close times, on May 17th the leading national lender took a loan in Houston, TX from Processing to Final Approval in Review in seven business days. Not only did this loan meet the buyer’s deadline, but Caliber was clear to close one week ahead of the closing date. This is a testament to the strength of Caliber’s operations team, and the digital tools that make up its Ultimate Home Buying Experience. Caliber has a range of technology-based solutions that support all aspects of its business and enhance their service, sales and relationships. Producers who wish to join a lender that’s streamlined the loan process from beginning to end can learn more on our website, www.joincalibernow.com or contact Jeremy DeRosa.
Loan officers are very focused on down payments and affordability. “Being a housing start up in 2008, in the shadow of the housing crisis, isn’t for the faint of heart. CEO Rob Chrane reflects on why the company pressed forward — the belief that there was a way to make it easier for homebuyers and professionals to access hard-to-find information about homeownership programs. DPR became the first in the housing industry to aggregate and keep current data about programs nationwide. Today, Down Payment Resource integrates data about program benefits and eligibility criteria with Multiple Listing Services, lenders and agents. To commemorate its 10th anniversary, the company has planned a series of initiatives to highlight the importance of affordable homeownership. Learn more here.
Wells Fargo’s charity work is legendary – more than any other company in the United States. The Mortgage Bankers Association has Project Opens Doors. XINNIX has decided to embark on a “Summer of Service.” “This is our commitment to each serve a minimum of four hours per month this summer. Our intent is to help others in our community and extend ourselves to those in need. We are extending an invitation to the entire industry. Could we collectively serve 1 million hours in our communities? Imagine the difference we could make across our entire nation if we spent time each month helping people in need. We have a real opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others and pass on a legacy of service. If you’re interested in joining us in our Summer of Service, visit https://bit.ly/2Jl5Rii to let us know how many hours you plan to serve.”
FHA & VA
“In the interest of providing additional clarity and transparency to Ginnie MBS investors, Ginnie Mae is announcing that it has restricted VA single family -guaranteed loans pooled by Freedom Mortgage Corporation, SunWest Mortgage Company, Inc., and NewDay USA in Ginnie Mae pools to Ginnie Mae II custom pools only. All three issuers are restricted from including VA single family guaranteed loans in Ginnie Mae I securities or Ginnie Mae II multi-issuer securities.”
Ginnie Mae posted a bulletin regarding Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.
If one thinks about the residential mortgage process as a human digestive tract (yes, you heard it here first), with all the programs, rates, and borrowers entering at one end, and the finished product exiting at the other (no emails please), anything on the back end that impacts the flow can have serious repercussions. Lack of liquidity is paramount, for example. And so, Freedom, SunWest, and NewDay will adjust their VA pricing based on a different MBS prices, deliver the loans into the secondary market using a different mechanism (Ginnie Mae II custom pools), and move forward.
Wall Street thinks about things in a slightly different fashion. After GNMA announced restrictions on the three VA lenders (Freedom, SunWest, and NewDay), MBS traders noted that they will be included in Ginnie II majors. The impact of excluding these servicers on TBA (to be announced MBS) speeds is expected to be modest. Prepayment speeds will also be slowed by S.2155, and this latest action by Ginnie Mae stands to benefit GNMA valuations broadly, and 4s-5s specifically.
FHA published Mortgagee Letter (ML) 2018-03, “Extension of Disaster Foreclosure Moratoriums for Specified Areas Impacted by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands,” which extends the current foreclosure moratorium only for certain mortgaged properties in areas impacted by Hurricane Maria in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-designated Individual Assistance Areas within the Presidentially-Declared Major Disaster Areas (Affected Counties) in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This extension is applicable if the mortgage was no more than 60-days past due as of the date of the PDMDA, and the borrowers have not already been approved for forbearances or other loss mitigation options. The extension may be for a maximum of 90 days if additional requirements specified in the ML have been met.
Ginnie Mae’s issuance of its mortgage-backed securities (MBS) totaled $34 billion in April. A breakdown of April issuance includes $32.437 billion of Ginnie Mae II MBS and $1.631 billion of Ginnie Mae I MBS, which includes $1.446 billion of loans for multifamily housing. MBS issuance for Fiscal Year 2018 to the end of April totaled $251.017 billion. Ginnie Mae total outstanding principal balance of $1.950 trillion is an increase from $1.819 trillion in April 2017.
There is a free FHA on-site training in Richmond, VA on June 26th which will provide an overview of FHA underwriting procedures and addresses a number of industry-related frequently asked questions (FAQs) as outlined in FHA’s Single-Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1.
PennyMac Correspondent Group posted Ginnie Mae’s updates to seasoning on all VA refinance transactions.
The Oklahoma Mortgage Bankers Association is providing an FHA Training day on June 13th. Register and attend to learn directly from HUD Underwriters.
Effective immediately, Fifth Third has updated the minimum Net Worth required to become approved at the (3) Delegated level. The minimum net worth is now $1,000,000. The minimum net worth for (5) FHA approval has been reduced to $1,500,000. Mandatory Pricing approval remains at $2,500,000. All other approval criteria are unchanged. Refer to Section 1.01 Eligibility Requirements of the Correspondent Seller Guide Processing Guide for lender approval requirements.
The U.S. economy is driven by housing and jobs. The jobs market is solid, but is housing a little shaky? Both new and existing homes sales declined in April to annual paces of 662,000 and 5.46 million respectively. While the decline in new home sales wasn’t as deep as expected, March’s data was revised down from +4.0 percent to +2.0 percent. Newly sold homes that have not begun construction increased 40,000 to 221,000 units, a sign that builders will be busy in the coming months. The decline in existing home sales was due to a decline in single family homes whereas sales of existing condos and co-ops increased 1.6 percent. Increasing mortgage rates as well as increasing home prices may prompt some potential buyers to hold off. In general, however, the pace of home sales so far this year remains firm.
Recall that durable goods orders reversed course in April and fell 1.7 percent following a couple months of gains. A 29 percent decline in aircraft orders dragged the transportation component down 6.1 percent. At the core level, which excludes defense and aircraft, order rose a respectable 0.9 percent. Survey data from purchasing managers indicates remains positive as well.
Consumers were slightly less positive about economic conditions as they anticipated smaller income gains than last month or one year ago. Additionally, the survey reported concerns that the increases in asset prices may be reaching their peak as well as fewer plans for appliance and vehicle purchases. In fact, U.S. economic indicators were mixed in April and May though still pointing towards moderate growth in the near term. While over in Europe, the Eurozone Purchasing Managers Index fell to 54.1 from 55.1 in May, a few points below the US. A reading above 50 points to expansion, however the markets are cautiously watching the Eurozone as some data points drift towards neutral territory.
As we approach the June FOMC meeting, the expectations for a 25-bps increase in the target fed funds rate remain high. The June meeting will also present the markets with new economic projects as well as a new dot plot and there will be a press conference with Jay Powell at the end of the meeting.
Looking at rates, they were up again on Friday once it became clear that early elections would be avoided in Italy and Spain. Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella approved the formation of a M5S-Lega government while Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was forced out through a no-confidence vote but acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez did not call for a fresh election just yet. The other international news of note was President Trump saying the meeting with North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un will take place on June 12 in Singapore, as originally planned. Who will pay for his hotel room?
Friday’s payroll report showed a welcome pickup in construction spending growth, which will be a source of support for Q2 GDP forecasts. The ISM Manufacturing Index increasing made it clear that respondents are experiencing price pressures and that those price pressures are causing price-increase discussions as they prepare for the second half of the year.
This week sees a relatively light economic calendar, especially compared to next week when the Fed, ECB and BoJ will all be out with their latest decisions (along with several first tier U.S. economic releases). The RBA, however, will be out with their latest decision tomorrow with the U.S. calendar seeing updates on trade, productivity, consumer credit and wholesale inventories. Kicking off this week’s calendar is the ISM-New York Index for May, April Factory Orders, and the Employment Trends Index for May. The U.S. Treasury will be busy selling short-term securities.
Tomorrow, we have April JOLTS — Job Openings and May ISM Services. Wednesday sees revised Q1 Productivity and Revised Q1 Unit Labor Costs, before April Consumer on Thursday and April Wholesale Inventories on Friday. With all that as a backdrop, the week starts with rates little changed from Friday: the 10-year is yielding 2.90% and agency MBS prices are unchanged.
We’re coming up on carnival and state fair season. Die-hard fair-goers will want to watch this video (skip the ad) on the “tricks of the trade” regarding carnival games and how they’re usually rigged against you.
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(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.)