Mar. 16: Production jobs & training; organizations speak out on current issues; state-level news of note from NY, TX, WI, and MT

Practically everyone has been involved in failed business ventures. Some go away entirely, but some try to bounce back. Anyone who has ever flown anywhere (like me: Nashville and San Jose last week, Sacramento and Denver this week) expects there to be a dogged-ear copy of SkyMall in the pouch in front of them. SkyMall declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy – but now is flying again (get it?) which provides an interesting quick case study in adapting an old business model to new times. Certainly lenders know a thing or two about that.


Before jumping into the new job listings there is a correction to a listing Friday for New American Funding. This has the correct link: “New American Funding continues to expand its Wholesale sales coverage by hiring veteran Sales Manager Michael Rago to cover the Midwest.” If you’re have a wholesale background and are looking for a new opportunity in the Midwest, shoot him an e-mail.


There is a unique opportunity out there for qualified individuals. A sales-focused and culturally sound regional lender is looking to continue its growth by adding hubs in the Southwest, Southeast, and Great Plains regions. This offering is unlike any other for several reasons. It will allow the right existing staff to remain intact for both production and operations while offering the Regional Manager an opportunity for corporate profit sharing and a seat on the company Board of Directors. The right cultural fit is more important than any other factor.  Aggressive compensation, corporate influence and an opportunity to work in a team first culture have made this offering very attractive to large branches or midsized companies in the past.  Contact Tom Dolan via e-mail or 480-748-5226 to find out more.


Valuation Partners, a top ranked national Appraisal Management Company, is expanding their sales force and seeking Regional Sales Vice Presidents. A successful candidate should have mortgage sales experience in real estate valuation, mortgage or title insurance, correspondent and/or wholesale lending. Valuation Partners has been in business for over 30 years, has a solid organizational foundation, best in class quality, and robust technology. For confidential inquires or resumes, please contact Clint Reinhardt .


Hiring new, “rookie” loan officers continues to be a hot topic as the average age of existing LOs has reached 54.  Mortgage companies that have struggled with successfully sourcing, training and assimilating new loan officers in the past are looking to take a more strategic approach in 2015.  XINNIX, The Mortgage Academy is hosting a webinar on March 19th at 1:30 PM EST to help organizations build a new sales force that ensures their future success.  As the premier provider of new loan officer training, XINNIX’s insight regarding hiring “rookies” will be invaluable.  This live webinar is complimentary but registration is required.  To register or for more information please visit


And if you’re in Southern California don’t forget that Stonegate Mortgage is hosting a job fair at its Lake Forest, CA location on Wednesday, March 18th from 3:30-7:30PM. Stonegate is actively seeking numerous positions for their TPO, Retail and their new Direct to Consumer divisions in both sales and operations for their California, Illinois and Texas markets!


Several groups & individuals have recently stated positions and lobbying efforts on various mortgage issues.


Michael Stegman, the Treasury Department’s counselor to the secretary for housing finance policy, suggested at an industry conference that the Obama administration will not allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to rebuild capital as he defended the government sweep of profits from the mortgage giants. Stegman outlined steps the White House would like to see Fannie and Freddie, along with their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, take if a comprehensive housing-finance revision isn’t made.


The MBA sent a letter on fees to FHA Acting Commissioner Biniam Gebre. The letter was in response to FHA’s request for the authority to charge lenders an administrative support fee.  In its FY2016 budget, HUD requested the authority for FHA to charge lenders an administrative support fee, which would be used to enhance FHA’s administrative contract support and technology systems. The proposal is identical to one that was included in last year’s budget request, but was ultimately rejected by Congress. The MBA staunchly supports providing FHA with the resources it needs, both in staffing and systems upgrades, and MBA has consistently advocated for Congress to fully fund HUD’s requests in this area.  However, MBA continues to have serious concerns about the unprecedented step of funding FHA’s administrative costs outside of the regular appropriations process by seeking funds through a fee on lenders—a fee that will undoubtedly be passed along to consumers, raising the cost of mortgage credit and potentially slowing the housing market’s recovery. Moreover, despite requests from MBA and the Senate Appropriations Committee, HUD has not yet provided a detailed plan for how it will allocate these funds, nor has the Department specified if it is seeking a fee just for FY2016, or if it is seeking to charge the fee indefinitely. MBA is planning to meet with Acting Commissioner Gebre to discuss this issue and is ready to work with FHA in an effort to secure full Congressional funding for its quality assurance programs.


The Rural Housing Service proposed a Rule amending the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program. The rule seeks to amend the current regulation for the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program, and the RHS seeks to expand its lender indemnification authority, allow lenders to reduce principal balances (in some cases), revise its interest rate refinance requirements, and to amend its regulation to indicate that a loan guaranteed by the RHS is a Qualified Mortgage if it meets certain requirements set out by the CFPB. Comments on the rule must be received by May 4, 2015.


The Community Home Lenders Association (CHLA) has written a letter to the FHFA asking for a delay in the finalization of the new servicing standards for non-banks, stating that the proposed standards will have negative effects. The CHLA insists that further study is necessary to determine the proposal’s impact on accelerating market developments that are restricting access to credit for lower to moderate income homebuyers and the increased financial and consumer risk of greater concentration in the mortgage servicing industry. Specific concerns that the CHLA has regarding the proposal includes, not appropriately distinguishing between actual/actual and scheduled/scheduled servicing, therefore numerical reductions should be made to the proposal to reflect lower Enterprise financial risk. The 25 basis point add-on provisions, applied to all loans, is too strict, hindering growth of servicing through loan origination by creating a very high marginal capital requirement (25 percent) on such growth. CHLA also stated that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae should not use biased, non-transparent add-on requirements on top of the basic net worth/liquidity requirements. Finally, the 200 basis point delinquency requirement greater than 6 percent should include PLS loans. Click here to read more about CHLA’s letter.


A while back the MBA submitted a comment letter on the intake process for the CFPB complaint database, which again raised strong concerns regarding the Bureau’s proposal to expand their consumer complaint database to include unstructured and unsubstantiated narratives. CFPB and industry data both show that very few consumer complaints warrant any action beyond an explanation. MBA believes the CFPB’s posting of unsubstantiated narratives could mislead consumers and undermine the stated goal of improving consumer decision-making. Moreover, making these complaint narratives available for public view is unnecessary considering the availability of other non-government avenues to comment. MBA’s letter also stated that the display of unsubstantiated narratives by a financial regulator would be unprecedented and may exceed CFPB’s legal authority. Given these concerns, MBA respectfully urges the Bureau to either abandon the proposal or, if it moves forward, to modify it to: ensure narratives of complaints that have not been verified will not be publicly displayed; implement takedown procedures for complaints that are published and later found to be invalid; provide sufficient time for companies to respond to consumer complaints; and remove older complaints from the database. Importantly, MBA also urges that any further action to add consumer narratives to the complaint database only proceed through notice and comment rulemaking.


The Community Mortgage Lenders of America (CMLA) called on chief GSE regulator Mel Watt to take immediate action to lower the costs of mortgages. Watt, Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), should exercise his authority and lower the guaranty fees and loan level fees levied by both the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (GSEs). CMLA’s renewed call follows a declaration last week by the Obama Administration that it will not allow the GSEs to retain earnings to rebuild their capital base.


And in certain states…


In Wisconsin its Supreme Court stated that banks must sell abandoned foreclosure property within a “reasonable” time. What is reasonable? Good question. “Circuit courts must order mortgagee banks to sell foreclosed and abandoned property, known as ‘walkaway’ foreclosures, within a reasonable time after obtaining a foreclosure judgment, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled. In Bank of New York Mellon v. Carson, 2015 WI 2015, a four-justice majority ruled that section 846.102 authorizes circuit courts to order mortgagee banks to sell abandoned foreclosures, and must order sales within a reasonable time. The majority noted that mortgagee banks can delay sales on other types of foreclosure properties, but state law treats abandoned property differently.


Black, Mann, & Graham LLP published news on the current state of home equity lending in Texas. “This memorandum will provide an overview of home equity lending embodied in Article XVI, Section 50, of the Texas Constitution and will also discuss some of the issues lenders face.”


And things are happening in Montana. Paul McSheffrey, J.D., writes, “With Senate Bill No. 98, the Montana legislature has recently adopted changes to its state mortgage licensing laws. The amendments include changes to definitions, licensing requirement clarifications, changes to experience requirements, and clarifications to control persons required to meet licensing requirements. The definition of ‘advertising’ under 32-9-103(2), MCA now specifically includes commercial messages generated through social media and software. Additionally, 32-9-103(10) now defines ‘clerical or support duties’ as collection and analysis of information for processing, underwriting, and communicating with a consumer.  The definition excludes communications for negotiating loan terms and taking loan applications. The definitions of mortgage broker, mortgage lender, mortgage loan originator, and mortgage servicer now include those persons who hold out to the public that they may perform those functions. And the act also alters the definition of ‘regularly engage.’ The definition includes a person who has engaged in five or more mortgage transactions in the previous year and expects to engage in five or more in the future year.  The previous definition required twelve or more transactions in the year.” These changes become effective on October 1, 2015.


The NY State Attorney General said he has reached a settlement with the three largest credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion). The agencies have agreed to change the way they handle errors and list unpaid medical bills on credit reports in the largest industry overhaul in 10 years.
Flipping over to the markets, let’s face it: there just isn’t a lot of scheduled, market-moving news (the stuff that usually comes out at 8:30AM EST) this week. Which either means our markets will be more easily moved by what happens overseas, or that 2nd tier numbers assume an even greater importance. Who knows? But if you want to know what is coming out, here’s the scoop. Today will be the Empire Manufacturing         figure for Mar, along with the Industrial Production & Capacity Utilization couplet and a Housing Market Index from the builders. Tomorrow are Housing Starts and Building Permits; Wednesday afternoon is the FOMC rate decision – don’t expect any changes from the Federal Reserve. And then Thursday wraps up the week with Initial Jobless Claims, some Philly Fed figure, and Leading Economic Indicators.


For those quantitatively inclined we closed the 10-yr. at a 2.11% yield Friday (after starting the week at 2.21%) and this morning we are at 2.09% with agency MBS prices better nearly .125.



An Irishman is sitting in a pub minding his own business. Three Englishmen come in and see him.

The first says, “I’ll get his goat.”

He goes up the Irishman and says, “St. Patrick was a liar.”

The Irishman calmly says, “I’ll drink to that.”

The Englishman walks away and tells his friends.

The second Englishman says, “I’ll get him.”

He goes up to the Irishman and says, “St. Patrick was retarded.”

The Irishman calmly says, “I’ll drink to that.”

Stunned, the Englishman returns to his seat and tells his friends.

The third Englishman says, “You just don’t know how to do it. I’ll get him.”

He goes up to the Irishman, gets close to his face and says very loudly, “St. Patrick was an ENGLISHMAN!!”

The Irishman looks up, calmly points to the other Englishmen at the end of the bar and says, “Yeah, that’s what your two friends were telling me!”





(Copyright 2015 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.)

Rob Chrisman