Mar. 11: Secondary marketing deals, vendor news; the CHLA & taxpayer risk; Saturday Spotlight: Logan Finance

What do Idaho, Oregon, Arizona, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee, and Alaska have in common? If you answered, “They all had money in Silicon Valley Bank” you’d probably be wrong. (By the way, CNBC’s Jim Cramer recently talked about how much he loved the bank as an investment.) Answer: they all have more than one time zone in them. Most of the United States “springs ahead” tonight (actually early Sunday morning), resulting in one less hour of the weekend, irritable people Monday morning, and more debate about leaving the clocks alone all year. But it also makes for more light in the evening. Which reminds me of the quip, “Is that a light at the end of the tunnel or a train coming?” Trains aside, and on to planes as we head toward mortgage conference season, the Justice Department sued to block JetBlue’s $3.8 billion purchase of Spirit Airlines, arguing the deal would reduce competition and increase fares. The combined company could control just over 9 percent of the domestic air travel market, which would be smaller than any of the big four airlines (American, United, Delta and Southwest) that currently control a collective 80 percent of the domestic air travel market. On to the residential mortgage world!

Saturday Spotlight: Logan Finance

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In 3-5 sentences, describe your company (when was it founded and why, what it does, where recent growth and plans for near-term future growth).

In business since 1949, Logan Finance delivers the highest level of customer experience in the TPO Non-QM Market through our Correspondent & Wholesale channels. Our focus remains on providing the best loan experience for all our customers and partners. The consistency, quality and dependability of our loan delivery and purchase have our partners calling us “The Agency of Non-Agency™”.

 

Logan’s commitment to excellence has helped it expand overall originations by over 3,000% YoY. That growth trajectory continues into 2023.

Tell us about what type of volunteer work employees are encouraged to engage in or charities your company supports, and why.

Contributing to Habitat for Humanity Build Days are supported by employees at Logan. These engagements with the community help build a sense of community engagement while fostering the family-like environment at Logan.

What does your company do to help elevate your employees’ growth? Describe any mentoring programs, outside classes or training, in-house training. How does the company help people develop? 

Logan encourages all employees to seek opportunities to expand their knowledge and growth. Online learning & training courses and certificates available through our MBA partnership and other sources are especially encouraged.

 

Additionally, Logan routinely holds product training sessions and webinars to help employees of all types become better educated on the unique Non-QM solutions and value offered at Logan.

Tell us how your company maintains its culture in a work-from-home environment, or how you plan on bringing employees back into the office, if applicable.

Logan believes in hiring the best talent and allowing them to be at their most productive. We are agnostic to “physical locations” as long as employees effectively accomplish their job and deliver the Logan Experience to our customers.

 

Logan also believes in providing all employees with timely corporate information while also giving all employees a voice. Leadership holds an all-hands meeting call Twice a Week to level-set and sync all employees on the organization’s direction. Employees are encouraged to ask questions and to opine on any company considerations.

 

This level of transparency, inclusiveness, and flexibility, coupled with superior technology, has fostered a culture of excellence that reflects both in our employees’ happiness as well as the satisfaction of our customers. It is also one of the reasons we were recently named “Best Mortgage Companies to Work For” by National Mortgage News.

Things you are most proud of that don’t have to do with sales.

Logan’s commitment to hiring good people outside of work has helped shape the organization’s culture focused on being the best.

Fun fact about Logan Finance Corporation

In the 1960s, Logan had to purchase a share of Fannie Mae stock for every few loans it delivered. Additionally, having been in business for over Seven decades, it is rumored that Logan Finance is the nation’s oldest Fannie Seller/Servicer.

The CHLA, IMBs, and taxpayer risk

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This week the CHLA released a report that “conclusively rebuts myths that Independent Mortgage Bankers (IMBs) are not adequately regulated or pose systemic or taxpayer risk. This report includes a detailed rebuttal of the myths being spread by some in Washington that IMBs are risky or unregulated. It also provides a detailed analysis why more regulation of small and mid-sized IMBs is not justified by the minimal risk they pose, a comprehensive list of financial and consumer regulations that IMBs are subject to, an explanation of how IMBs are subject to significantly greater consumer protections than banks, in areas like CFPB supervision, loan originator licensing, and loss mitigation to keep defaulted borrowers in their home, as well as an explanation of how unnecessary IMB regulatory hurts consumers by driving out smaller IMBs and increasing industry consolidation – which results in less competition, fewer consumer choices, and higher rates and fees.”

Vendor/third-party provider: random news from around the biz

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These companies do much more than capitalize random letters in their names. Let’s take a random look at who’s doing what in the primary and secondary markets to help lenders.

Realfinity.io is now offering its white-label platform, HomeDashboard. to lenders, allowing them to deliver property data and mortgage products throughout the entire real estate lifecycle. Homeowners and home buyers need insights into financial property data to manage their real estate and prospect properties to build lifelong wealth. The question isn’t whether your clients will get a platform to manage their home’s finances – the question is who will give it to them. HomeDashboard leads to higher deal certainty, repeat business and more referrals. Empower your clients to make data-driven decisions using your brand’s HomeDashboard. Let’s chat about what Realfinity can do for you! More at Realfinity.io, trusted by clients like Cross Country Mortgage and NFM Lending.

The Radian homegenius just launched an innovative new real estate website for consumers and professionals that is powered by a first-of-its-kind artificial intelligence technology. Using image recognition technology adapted from what is being developed for driverless cars, homegeniusIQ is a proprietary A.I. that analyzes home listing photos to assess room conditions and a property’s overall value. This marks a major leap forward in home search technology, which has stayed basically the same for more than two decades. Here’s a demo of how homegeniusIQ works.

Snapdocs announced the completion of its integration with the Mortgage Cadence Platform (MCP). With this integration, lenders can seamlessly facilitate digital closings powered by Snapdocs and finalize closing documents without ever leaving MCP, helping them to streamline the closing process, reduce operating costs, and enhance the borrower experience. Read the full release for more information.

With MCT’s portfolio valuations, you’ll receive an in-depth report on how Q4 has affected your portfolio. MCT’s portfolio valuations are unparalleled in the industry, featuring precise analysis and opinion of fair value, summary tables of major portfolio characteristics, and sensitivity charts for key risk factors.

With MCT’s mortgage servicing rights software, MSRlive!. MSR Portfolio Managers and mortgage banking professionals can more efficiently build, optimize and manage their MSR portfolio. View MCT’s demo video of MSRlive! to learn more about the features of MSRlive!

RiskSpan, a leading technology company and the most comprehensive source for data management and analytics for residential mortgage and structured products, has announced a flurry of new functionality on its award-winning Edge Platform. RiskSpan offers cloud-native SaaS analytics for on-demand market risk, credit risk, pricing and trading. With our data science experts and technologists, we are the leader in data as a service and end-to-end solutions for loan-level data management and analytics. Rethink loan and structured finance data. Rethink your analytics.

LodeStar Software Solutions, a national provider of closing fee-related compliance tools for mortgage lenders, will leverage ICE Mortgage Technology’s Encompass Partner Connect APIs to deliver an even smoother TRID, closing estimate and Loan Estimate (LE) process.

Through the collaboration, ICE will empower its customers to quickly access LodeStar services and data via APIs exposed by ICE. Lenders will now be able to generate cost estimates and documents required by the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (TRID) such as the LE, from pre-application to the final Closing Disclosure (CD), nearly instantaneously and with guaranteed accuracy.

docutech Compliance posted Document Update regarding MERS Address Update for Fannie Mae IN, MS, NY and PA Security Instruments, Assignments and Agreements.

Cenlar FSB, the nation’s leading mortgage loan subservicer and federally chartered wholesale bank, announced the company has reached a milestone of more than 1 million homeowners who have elected to “go paperless.” That subscription base of homeowners grew almost 40% since January 2022 after the company kicked off its paperless billing campaign. This is just the start. In 2023, Cenlar will continue to educate its clients’ homeowners about the self-service tools at their disposal, through avenues like the homeowner websites, emails, the Interactive Voice Response (IVR), chatbots and with the hope that even more will take advantage of the programs available to them.

Agency deals in the secondary markets drive borrower rates

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As a reminder, Freddie Mac reiterated that it will transition its legacy U.S. dollar (USD) LIBOR-indexed contracts to an index based on the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) for loans and securities for which Freddie Mac is responsible for selecting the replacement index. The transition will occur the day after June 30, 2023, the last date on which ICE Benchmark Administration Limited will publish a representative rate for all remaining tenors of USD LIBOR. The selected replacement index for each legacy LIBOR product can be found on Freddie Mac’s Reference Rates Transition webpage. Additionally, in alignment with the Federal Reserve Board’s final rule pursuant to the Adjustable Interest Rate (LIBOR) Act and based on guidance from Freddie Mac’s Conservator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Freddie Mac will not include term SOFR as a benchmark index for new loans or floating-rate securities. As a result, Freddie Mac also will not take any steps to convert existing 30-day Average SOFR-indexed floating-rate loans or securities from 30-day Average SOFR to term SOFR. The preceding sentences apply to Freddie Mac’s multifamily floating rate loans, multifamily floating rate mortgage-backed securities, collateralized mortgage obligations and credit risk transfer securities.

FHFA announced that the Housing Trust Fund and Capital Magnet Fund will receive approximately $545 million for affordable housing initiatives from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises). The Housing Trust Fund, overseen by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, will receive $354 million. The Housing Trust Fund allocates funding annually to states and state-designated entities for the production or preservation of affordable housing through the acquisition, new construction, reconstruction, and/or rehabilitation of non-luxury housing. The Capital Magnet Fund, overseen by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, will receive $191 million. The Capital Magnet Fund competitively awards money to finance affordable housing activities, as well as related economic development activities and community service facilities. “The need for more affordable housing has never been greater,” said Director Sandra L. Thompson. “A portion of every loan purchased by the Enterprises is allocated to the Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund, which provide resources that increase the production and preservation of affordable housing options in our communities.”

Freddie Mac K-Deal securitization issuance volume surpassed the $500 billion mark with the settlement of K-F135. The K-Series, which began in earnest in 2009, revolutionized how Freddie Mac Multifamily conducts business, moving the agency from being a portfolio lender to one that transfers credit risk to third-party investors. Since 2009, Freddie Mac has settled 485 separate K-Deals totaling $500.5 billion in issuance volume. The growth in Freddie Mac’s K-Deal volume has accelerated in recent years along with record production volumes. In 2021, the firm priced 67 fixed- and floating-rate deals with a total issuance of $63.5 billion. K-Deals have enjoyed a continually growing and dedicated investor base. Nearly 1,000 separate investors have participated since the creation of the program. At present, 99.97 percent of loans securitized through K-Deals are current as measured by outstanding principal balance. Freddie Mac has not to date realized any credit losses on K-Deal guarantees. More information about the K-Deal structure and performance are available at https://mf.freddiemac.com/investors/k-deals.html.

 

Freddie Mac Multifamily released its annual Impact Bonds Report detailing the company’s successful efforts to issue more than $10 billion in Green, Social and Sustainability Bonds since 2019. The Impact Bonds offerings were created to provide investors an opportunity to support multifamily properties that address persistent housing challenges, particularly environmental and social issues. Freddie Mac doubled its total Impact Bond issuance in 2021 to support rental housing that is green, affordable and meets the diverse needs of communities throughout the country. The $10 billion was composed of $4.6 billion in Green Bonds backed by Multifamily loans that incentivize energy- and water-efficiency improvements at workforce housing properties, $2.3 billion in Social Bonds that focus on supporting affordable housing by providing liquidity to financial institutions with a distinct mission of addressing affordable housing challenges or providing financing targeted toward underserved populations, and $3.4 billion in Sustainability Bonds that attract capital to support residents economic mobility and, more broadly, generate community economic growth and sustainability. The full text of the report is available on Freddie Mac’s website.

 

Freddie Mac updated the tender results of its previously announced offer to purchase any and all of the STACR® (Structured Agency Credit Risk) Debt Notes. Freddie has conducted the Offer in accordance with the conditions set forth in the Offer to Purchase dated August 2, 2022 (supplemented by Supplement No. 1, dated August 2, 2022, the “Offer to Purchase”) and related Notice of Guaranteed Delivery dated August 2, 2022 (collectively, the “Offer Documents”). As of last summer approximately $2,456 million aggregate original principal amount of the Notes had been validly tendered and not properly withdrawn. Freddie Mac’s Single-Family CRT programs transfer credit risk away from U.S. taxpayers to global private capital via securities and (re)insurance policies.

And Freddie Mac issued $65.1 billion of securities through its Multifamily risk transfer platform in 2022. A leading issuer of multifamily securities, the company settled $46.5 billion in K-Deals and forwardly placed $14.7 billion through its When-Issued K-Deal. Freddie Mac Multifamily also increased issuance through its Multi PCs to $11.6 billion, up from $7 billion in 2021, leveraging MSCR Notes and MCIP reinsurance tools for back-end risk transfer. Freddie Mac has settled $629 billion in Multifamily securities through its K-Deal and various other risk-transfer offerings since the inception of the program in 2009. In 2022, the company also settled: $4.6 billion in SB-Deals, $2.3 billion M-Deals, ML-Deals and Q-Deals, $193 million in MSCR Notes, and $4.8 billion of Impact Bonds issuance across various deal types.

How ‘bout a little trivia for Saturday’s commentary? Peanut oil is used for cooking in submarines because it doesn’t smoke unless it’s heated above 450F.

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Rob Chrisman