June 7: Ops mgt., LO jobs; IMBs wanted; TPO, MERS review, LOS products; F/F… conventional conforming changes; rates higher on jobs data

Huh? Michigan passed California in legal weed sales? The folks here in San Diego don’t seem to mind, and many on the street are doing their part to keep up as they have for a long time. The only thing constant through time is change… And time flies. Chuck Norris is 84 years old. Jerry Seinfeld is 70. Vanna White is 67. “Captain Jack Sparrow” is 60. LOs and lenders know that business is cyclical and are working on positioning themselves for the next refi wave. Some top LOs and lenders are now doing 20-30 percent of what they were doing in the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021. The numbers over the months and years bear that out: Curinos calculates that May 2024 funded mortgage volume decreased 5 percent YoY and increased 9 percent MoM. In the retail channel, funded volume decreased 10 percent YoY and increased 9 percent MoM. (Curinos sources a statistically significant data set directly from lenders to produce these benchmark figures.) Today’s podcast is found here, and this week’s are sponsored by Visio Lending. Visio is the nation’s premier lender for buy and hold investors with over 2.5 billion closed loans for single-family rental properties, including vacation rentals. Hear an interview with reporter Steven Rappoport on the current home-equity market and how technology in the space is evolving to help originators win business.

 

Employment, retail lenders wanted, and transitions

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“Are you exceptional at building and leading origination teams and are currently working for a company that doesn’t recognize your value as a manager? At Planet Home Lending, we understand that strong local leadership moves the dial on national success. You bring the insights from Main Street; we provide a dynamic platform where your ideas fuel product innovation and shape our operational strategies, all within the framework of a financially stable, multichannel ecosystem. Contact Senior Vice President Doug Long at (407) 399-5505 and explore how joining Planet can propel your career. Let’s build success together!”

A very well capitalized, mid-sized IMB servicing 100 percent of its loans in-house without a sub-servicer, headquartered in a Rocky Mountain State, is looking to acquire smaller retail IMBs who would prefer to focus on production and at the same time gain operational efficiencies. Understanding that every company has a very unique culture, the IMB is willing to allow these IMBs to operate with a large degree of autonomy, allow you to keep your trade name, and treat you as your own company. Geography is not an issue. We believe that a larger company forcing their culture upon the company being acquired never works over the long term. The vision is for this IMB to hit $5 billion in annual volume with likeminded people, and it has no desire to grow beyond that volume as the President “wants to be big enough to be a player, yet small enough to keep our soul.” Confidential inquiries should be sent to Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt for forwarding.

Jim Bromwell has joined employee-owned USA Mortgage as a Regional Manager. Working from offices in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, the 29-year industry veteran is tasked with growing USA’s presence in markets in the Eastern United States. ‘USA Mortgage is a 100 percent employee-owned company where the employees truly have a voice and a genuine ESOP account,’ he said. ‘I feel USA Mortgage is one of the top platforms in the industry centered around adding value to Loan Officers and their partners. It has a significant presence in the Midwest and is well positioned to grow across the country, which is exciting! While the company is large, it has the “hometown” feel that is appealing in today’s market.’ Founded in St. Louis in 2001, USA has offices in 34 states and is licensed in 49 states plus the District of Columbia. To initiate a confidential conversation about joining USA, contact us here.”

A growing mortgage lender on a mission to be a top player in the wholesale channel is in search of a Head of Operations who’s a strategic mastermind. With at least 5 years of experience leading and wrangling the complexities of wholesale and non-delegated lending, you see technology as your key to unlocking growth (think AI, automation, the whole efficiency toolkit). You thrive on streamlining processes, making approvals super-fast, and motivating your team to break records with infectious enthusiasm. You must be obsessed with the customer experience.  This ain’t your average mortgage gig. We’re on a quest to change the game. Ready to join the adventure? Confidential and serious inquiries can email Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt; please specify the opportunity.

Vienna and now Norway? SNMC Sets the Standard for Industry President’s Trips. Upon return from the SecurityNational Mortgage Company’s 2024 President’s Trip to Vienna, Austria, SNMC President Andrew Quist unveiled an equally extraordinary journey for 2025. How can we possibly top the unforgettable experience of Vienna? An exclusive 7-day cruise from England to Norway. SVP, Joel Harward noted, “Vienna was a fantastic trip where so many great memories were created. The 2025 Norway cruise we just announced reaffirms SNMC’s dedication to motivating our top salespeople and the value we place on celebrating our President’s Club qualifiers.” To explore more about SecurityNational Mortgage Company’s commitment and track record of renowned sales trips, you can click here to learn more today!

Software, products, and services for lenders and brokers

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If you’re tired of long contracts, failing implementations, or having to change your process to fit your Loan Origination System, maybe it’s time to see what happy Byte clients have known for years in this video. You don’t have to keep suffering with a slow, expensive LOS platform or sacrifice functionality to lower your costs. Designed to be both powerful and flexible, the Byte LOS platform gives you total control over your loan process and the freedom to do business the way YOU want.   If you’re a savvy, independent-thinking lender with an uncompromising ideal of how you want to run your operation, request a demo or visit bytesoftware.com to learn more.

Act now and unlock big savings! Schedule your firm’s 2024 MERS Annual Report Review with TENA Companies, Inc. today. Each year, MERS requires its members to submit an Annual Report. If you are the named servicer on 1,000 or more active MINs as of March 31st, 2024, you must have your MERS Annual Report reviewed by a qualified third-party review firm and completed by December 31st, 2024. Get ahead of the curve and secure a significant 40 percent discount on your 2024 MERS Annual Review by partnering with TENA and providing all required documentation by August 31st. Our streamlined process minimizes your workload: simply provide the required documentation, we’ll handle the rest! Since 1982, TENA Companies, Inc. has been the mortgage industry’s trusted leader in Quality Control Audit Services and Software. Ensure your firm remains in compliance for 2024: Contact TENA today to learn more and lock-in your early-bird discount.”

 

Rocket Pro TPO prioritizes affordability with its popular ONE+ by Rocket Mortgage product. Eligible clients can put just 1 percent down, with Rocket Pro TPO covering an additional 2 percent as a grant, not a loan or lien. This means clients start building equity from day one. As interest rates fall and clients choose to refinance, they benefit from built-in equity. Stay informed with the latest industry updates and market trends on the Rocket Pro TPO YouTube channel. Looking to elevate your business? For exclusive opportunities, partner with Rocket Pro TPO and gain access to its Pro Performance Sales Training on June 25th, designed to move buyers from no to yes, and boost success in the mortgage industry. Sign up now for Rocket Pro TPO’s IGNITE Live training on July 9th to discover more about their innovative offerings. Contact Rocket Pro TPO today to explore partnership opportunities that can benefit both your clients and your business.

Freddie & Fannie, conventional conforming, changes don’t stop

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FHFA announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) will enhance their Flex Modification policies to allow more borrowers facing longer-term hardships to achieve meaningful payment reductions. The updated Flex Modification policies will promote sustainable homeownership and the safety and soundness of the Enterprises.

Freddie Mac Resolve®: Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure Data Validation and Eligibility Error Messages Reference: This reference provides Resolve users with a quick way to view detailed, actionable feedback messages, including possible causes and next steps.

Freddie Mac Resolve®: Charge-Off Request Validation Error Messages Reference: This reference provides users with a quick way to view detailed and actionable feedback messages for data validation and eligibility errors, including possible causes and next steps.

Freddie Mac Loan Selling Advisor® Seller User Roles Job Aid: Learn about the Seller user roles for Loan Selling Advisor. Share this job aid with your administrator for user role provisioning in Freddie Mac Access Manager.

In alignment with Freddie Mac and at the direction of FHFA, Fannie Mae issued Lender Letter (LL-2024-02): Updates to Determining the Flex Modification Terms to expand borrower eligibility and provide more equitable payment reduction to eligible borrowers. Key changes include revising the mark-to-market loan-to-value (MTMLTV) based requirements and incrementally applying the terms to target 20 percent P&I payment reduction. Servicers may implement these changes starting Nov. 1 but must implement them by Dec. 1.

Fannie Mae Desktop Underwriter/Desktop Originator Release Notes, DU Version 11.1 July update.

Fannie Mae’s down payment assistance tool makes it easier to explore and compare various down payment assistance programs. You and your borrowers can compare up to four different options and see a side-by-side view of features, including maximum amount of assistance, household income limits, and more.

Fannie Mae’s May Quality Insider features the defect trends we are seeing in our post-purchase loan file reviews. Read the article to understand these issues and learn some of our best practices to help manage risk and improve loan quality.

Pennymac posted 24-53: Updates to Conventional LLPAs stating it will add a new ‘HomeReady’ LLPA to the ‘LLPAs by Product Feature for All Eligible Loans’ Grid, effective for all Best Efforts Commitments taken on or after Monday, June 3.

National MI announced updates to the TrueGuide® which include changes and clarifications on ​​​​​AUS and Non-AUS Loans. For details, view National MI Announcement: UW 2024-02.

Newrez announced Conforming Loans underwriting guideline updates in Newrez Correspondent 2024-033.

Effective with announcement 202405021-CL, AmeriHome has removed and clarified certain Conventional and Non-Delegated overlays.

Capital Markets: “payrolls Friday” … again

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The global rate-hiking cycle is seemingly done as the strength of labor markets around the globe weakens. The European Central Bank, in a widely expected move, cut its benchmark rate 25 basis points to 3.75 percent yesterday. It was the ECB’s first rate cut since 2019, though the central bank was quick to caution investors that it is not committing to any predefined rate path and that forward looking policy will remain data dependent, all but ruling out another cut for July. That came on the heels of the Bank of Canada cutting rates on Tuesday. June fed funds futures don’t see a cut when the Fed meets next week. However, markets are now pricing in nearly two full 25 basis point cuts before year-end as this week’s weaker than anticipated private payroll readings from ADP and a decrease in job openings have investors excited about the prospect of rate cuts from the Fed. Today’s jobs data will give the Fed its last major indicator before next week’s meeting.

Speaking of that jobs data, the first Friday of the month brings payrolls, and the economy added +272k, much stronger than expected, jobs throughout the month of May versus 185k expectations and 175k previously. The unemployment rate was 4.0 percent when it was expected to remain static at 3.9 percent. Average hourly earnings (+.4 percent) when it was seen increasing 0.3 percent month-over-month and 3.9 percent year-over-year versus 0.2 percent and 3.9 percent previously. BLS data suggests that U.S. payroll gains were not as robust as reported in 2023, and the overestimate may have been 60k a month. This would indicate that the job market is weaker than the Fed thinks, though the central bank does understand that job gains and pay growth are slowing going into the second half of the year, and there are notable pockets of weakness tied to both producers and consumers.

Later today brings wholesale inventories and sales, the Fed’s release of Q1 Flow of Funds, and consumer credit for April. After the employment data Agency MBS prices are worse .250-.500 from Thursday’s close, the 10-year is yielding 4.41 after closing yesterday at 4.28 percent, and the 2-year is at 4.84.

A young pastor had an 80-year-old lady in his church from whom he frequently sought counsel as she was a very wise person. He had a sermon topic that he was struggling with and went by her home to chat. She invited him in and asked what he wanted to discuss.

“Do you ever think about the hereafter?” he asked.

She replied, “Oh yes! Several times a day.”

The pastor was somewhat surprised and followed with the question “Why so frequently?”

She said, “Sometimes when I go from the den to the kitchen, I ask myself ‘what am I here after?’”

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, “Catastrophe and Climate Risk Is Only Increasing”. The Commentary’s podcast is live and at any place you obtain your podcasts (like Apple or Spotify).

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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 2024 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