Mar. 18: MLO jobs; pricing, sales, DPA, pricing, QC reporting products; wholesale & correspondent news; bond market/Fed disconnect

The Internal Revenue Service is not known for being creative, but yesterday it was announced that the usual tax deadline of 4/15 has been moved to 5/15. People can be creative. For example, here are easy steps on how to walk into a room and interrupt yourself during a Zoom meeting. Plenty of folks are weary of having Zoom meetings, and are anxious for a return to a “normal” office environment, where you can walk into the lunchroom and chat with co-workers, others not so much. Will our industry creatively shift to a “Hub and Home” work situation? Employees are continuing to be very productive at home, so why make them commute? Employers can’t force employees to be vaccinated. Are processors going to hear, “If you’re not vaccinated, don’t bother coming into the office.” Will doc drawers be given a “vaccine passport”? And if a lender has hired underwriters from all over the country, there won’t be a “everyone back to the office” whistle blown. (Today’s audio version of the commentary is sponsored by MCT MSR Services. Whether you are getting your agency approvals, selling through co-issue, or actively growing your portfolio, MCT® offers a suite of tools along with an experienced team to help you with all your mortgage servicing right’s needs.)


“Track record of long employee tenure = Assurance Financial. Best tech stack in the mortgage marketplace = Assurance Financial. Exemplary record of servicing purchase money market MLOs = Assurance Financial. Incredible entrepreneurial branch manager business model = Assurance Financial. Community-service oriented in all markets with St. Jude as our philanthropy partner = Assurance Financial. Founded in 2001, licensed in 43 states, all agency approvals, not controlled by private equity, and growing in all markets. If you are an aggressive producing branch manager or senior mortgage loan officer considering another opportunity, contact Paul Peters, CMB to discuss a mutual opportunity or visit to learn more!

At PrimeLending, we celebrate the extraordinary contributions of our women teammates and leaders all year long! We’re proud to be home to so many talented women, representing 56% of all company officers and including our EVPs of National Operations, Risk Management, Eastern U.S. Production, Joint Ventures and Legal. In fact, women comprise 65% of our total workforce, making a powerful impact on our award-winning culture and helping us earn recognition as one of the Best Workplaces for Women from Great Place to Work® and FORTUNE for the past six years. THRIVE, our women’s networking group dedicated to promoting and supporting personal development, professional enrichment, and empowering relationships within the workplace, is an active and growing employee resource group. If you appreciate working in an environment that recognizes your individual talents, values your voice, and is dedicated to helping you discover your best, contact our Manager of Sales Recruiting, Nic Hartke.”

Lender and broker products & services

Just released: Compare & Share, Maxwell’s latest upgrade to its QuickPricer integration with Optimal Blue’s product and pricing solution. QuickPricer Compare & Share ‌allows‌ ‌loan‌ ‌officers‌ ‌working‌ ‌borrower‌ ‌leads‌ ‌to‌ ‌quickly‌ ‌create‌ ‌and‌ ‌send‌ ‌multiple‌ ‌pricing‌ ‌scenarios. ‌‌Unlike‌ ‌competitor‌ ‌pricing‌ ‌tools,‌ ‌which‌ ‌require‌ ‌the‌ ‌loan‌ ‌officer‌ ‌to‌ ‌manually‌ ‌create‌ ‌side-by-side‌ ‌comparisons‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌borrower‌,‌ ‌Compare‌ ‌&‌ ‌Share‌ ‌seamlessly‌ ‌integrates‌ with‌ ‌Maxwell‌ ‌for‌ ‌both‌ ‌the‌ ‌lender‌ ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌borrower. Its user-friendly interface saves the loan officer time and educates ‌the‌ ‌borrower‌, ‌driving‌ ‌them‌ ‌into‌ ‌the‌ ‌loan‌ ‌application.‌ To find out more about QuickPricer Compare & Share and the other powerful benefits of Maxwell’s point-of-sale, request a demo or start exploring here.

Q32020 Critical Defect Rate Hits Five-Year High! There’s no way to sugarcoat it: Q3 2020 was volatile for loan quality. Lenders struggled with volume increases, COVID-related compliance changes, and continued high unemployment numbers. The 25% increase in critical defects compared to the previous quarter marked the highest observed increase since ACES began publishing the QC Trends Report in 2016. Q3 2020 Mortgage QC Trends Report Highlights include the overall critical defect rate of 2.34% represents a marked increase from prior quarters, rates remained low, but Q3 also brought events that likely impacted performance, income/employment defect share fell, but manufacturing-related defects grew, record lending volume combined with summer home buying led to an increase in overall purchase share, conventional loans had a strong market share, but quality slipped, and there is reason to be optimistic on Early Payment Defaults (EPD).

Are you looking to close more loans, faster? Capacity allows you to take care of your borrowers with superior customer experience and 24/7 automated support, all through a mobile-friendly chat interface. Capacity correctly and instantly answers more than 84% of all prospective and current borrower questions without any human intervention. Top lenders like AmeriSave, APM, and PRMG turn to Capacity to effortlessly tap into key systems throughout the entire loan life cycle. Want to hear more? Capacity makes scaling an organization easy by simplifying tasks in the UW Scenario Desk, Lock Desk, and Encompass Support Desk. Capacity reduces the level of human interaction required to answer expense and HR questions and to complete tasks for compliance requirements and document processing. Bottom line, Capacity allows you to take care of borrowers with superior customer experience and 24/7 automated support. Deploy within 30 days. Request a demo.

Symbiosis is the interaction between two different organisms living in close physical association, typically to the advantage of both. You might be thinking of ecosystems like coral reefs or Amazonian rainforests when you hear the word symbiosis, but to the team at ReadyPrice that sounds like the mortgage industry to us. Brokers and Lenders need each other in order to maintain our mortgage ecosystem and ReadyPrice serves as the landscape where that interaction can take place quickly and effectively. Join our community of brokers and lenders today to be part of the positive change happening in the mortgage industry today, and if you’d like to learn more about what coral reefs and the mortgage industry have in common, check out this short video from our CEO, Rick Soukoulis.

“I have recently become aware of Mike Davis, the ‘World’s Grumpiest Boss,’ and his infamous memos. In learning more about Mike, some found themselves, in a roundabout way, back in the mortgage industry because doesn’t everything relate to the mortgage industry? Stories of Mike Davis growing up on the Rosebud Sioux reservation had me thinking about Mid America Mortgage’s recent expansion of its down payment assistance (DPA) program to its correspondent partners, in partnership with the Rosebud Economic Development Corporation. The DPA program, which is not limited to first-time homebuyers and doesn’t require homeowner education, is open to a select group of correspondent partners to help borrowers take advantage of the market’s low interest rates and begin their homeownership journey. Mid America locked 350 loans ​in its first year under this program in 2020 and plans to significantly increase participation in 2021. Interested correspondents should contact Julas Hollie.

Today is national Awkward Moments Day. What could be more awkward than calling up a valued past client only to find they’ve gotten a loan with another lender? Lenders using Sales Boomerang, the #1 automated borrower intelligence and retention platform, avoid those awkward moments. Sales Boomerang monitors your database and alerts you when one of your borrowers is ready to refinance or buy. Nathan Fitzgerald of Annie Mac knows that firsthand: “Sales Boomerang has been an amazing vehicle to help me retain business. I helped one client who goes to my church buy his house, but he didn’t even realize I did refinances. Sales Boomerang let me know he was about to refi with another lender, and I was able to save the deal and close it two weeks later.” Reach out to Sales Boomerang today to avoid your own awkward moments.

Correspondent & wholesale news

As companies like Freedom, Plaza, loanDepot, CMG, Sierra Pacific, Orion, Flagstar, and other wholesalers are staying out of the fray…

Steve Jacobson, Fairway’s CEO, and former President of the Wisconsin Mortgage Brokers Association spread the word that, “We continue to be thankful for the extra attention and business generated for Fairway’s wholesale channel in the last two weeks. We have never been more grateful for the added interest in Fairway Wholesale, and will do our utmost to continue to help our broker clients. Fairway Wholesale is obviously a small fish in a big pond, but the extra attention has given our channel some added juice, and our team is very grateful for all the extra opportunities and chances to prove ourselves.”

Meanwhile, United Wholesale Mortgage announced “more than 10,000 broker shops in America are “All-In”, meaning they will no longer work with Rocket Mortgage and Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation. This list includes many of the largest independent mortgage broker shops across the country… the broker community has spoken and while there are less than 400 who did not see this as the path they wanted to take, a staggering majority are aligned with UWM and the growth of the wholesale channel.”

But wait! Rocket Pro TPO EVP Austin Niemiec issued a statement addressing UWM’s press release, which says more than 10,000 broker shops agreed to its addendum. Niemiec says that UWM’s claim is “false and misleading” and also states that since UWM’s announcement of the addendum, Rocket is on pace to have the 10 best days in the company’s history.

PennyMac Correspondent Group updated its Early Payoff Policy in Seller’s Guide. Penny also announced that delegated and non-delegated can now deliver loans to PennyMac through Encompass’s Investor Connect tool. To get started, please contact your Encompass administrator to update the settings within Encompass to allow for PennyMac loan deliveries.

Effective with all refinance loan submissions to PennyMac Correspondent on or after March 9, all Non-Delegated clients will not be required to first lock a loan prior to submission. This update is applicable to conventional and government loan transactions. And it will make updates to the Conventional Investment Property and Second Home LLPAs effective for all Best Effort commitments taken on or after Monday, March 15, 2021. View Announcement 21-19 for details.

Citi Correspondent Lending has been busy building a new portal and originations system. Over the next few weeks, the new platform will be introduced to Correspondents. Its initial announcement, addresses the system transition and provides a few highlights of functionality and features in its new Correspondent Lending Portal as well as some details around the system transition from the retiring Correspondent Website.

Citi Correspondent Lending issued Bulletin 2021-03, temporary credit policy updates for income & VOE requirements on Agency, FHA and VA Transactions.

Flagstar announced enhancements to certain construction and renovation products, read memo 21034 for details. Also, Flagstar has updated overlays on government products, read memo 21035 for information. Flagstar Bank posted FHA overlay revisions in memo 21037

Mountain West Financial Wholesale announced new lower LLPAs for FHA, VA, and USDA loans with FICOs from 640-679. And posted the following: manual underwrites will no longer be eligible on Second Home and Investment Property transactions. Also, all Second Home and Investment Property transactions must be underwritten with Desktop Underwriter (DU) and receive an Approve/Eligible recommendation.

Mortgage Solutions announced it will temporarily no longer allow Investment Property or Second Home lock requests for its FNMA or FHLMC products.

Effective for loans submitted on and after March 10, 2021, Non-Delegated Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Cash-Out Refinance transactions will be eligible for purchase through AmeriHome Mortgage. Additionally, a conventional purchase, rate and term refinance, or cash-out refinance loan that enters into forbearance after the AmeriHome Purchase Date will not be subject to repurchase on the sole basis of entering forbearance, effective immediately.

Due to fluctuating market conditions that are changing day-by-day, Plaza Home Mortgage® has made multiple announcements recently about operational and program changes. Be sure to check out what’s changed on its Operational and Program Updates page.

Capital markets

1.75% yield on the risk-free benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury? Yup, despite yesterday’s dismissal by the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee of predictions about looming and sustained inflation. Even if we see a bump in 2021, the FOMC stated it is continuing to project near-zero interest rates at least through 2023 and made no changes to its major policy instruments but did upgrade its assessment of the current economy and economic outlook. Seven of 18 officials predicted higher rates by 2023, up from five of 17 in December, though there was unanimous consensus to keep rates unchanged for now.

Fed Chair Powell noted during his press conference that it was “important conditions continue to remain accommodative” and that the Fed intends to continue providing significant support, essentially meaning that policy would remain at current levels until the labor market normalizes and inflation has surpassed 2 percent. On the aggregate, it was further recognition that the committee is in a holding pattern until the virus has played itself out. Traders are now betting the Fed will allow inflation to overshoot as the economy recovers. By the end of the day, the Treasury yield curve had steepened and the MBS basis closed tighter, due largely to the updated “Dot Plot.”


The other notable news on the day was overall housing starts in February falling 10.3 percent, the most since last August, including single-family starts falling 8.5 percent, the second consecutive monthly decline. The drop was mostly due to harsh winter weather in Texas, which accounts for a large proportion of the nation’s housing starts. Despite February’s weakness, total starts at 1.42 million remain considerably above the pre-COVID 2019 average of 1.30 million. Regardless, the housing market remains very strong, with mortgage applications to buy a home increasing, even as refinance demand wanes.


Though we’ve had a slew of international central bank decisions before the open, today’s domestic economic calendar kicked off with Weekly jobless claims (up 55k to 770k, no improvement whatsoever) and Philadelphia Fed manufacturing for March (51.8, twice as strong as was expected). Later this morning brings February leading indicators, Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey and a $13 billion reopened 10-year TIPS Treasury auction. Today’s MBS purchase schedule sees the Desk conducting three operations totaling up to $7.1 billion, including over $5.6 billion UMBS30s. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices worse .5-.625 and the 10-year yielding 1.74 after closing yesterday at 1.64 percent.

Important 2nd vaccine info:

(This happened yesterday and is important information for our age group.)

A friend had his 2nd dose of the vaccine at the vaccination center after which he began to have blurred vision on the way home.

When he got home, he called the vaccination center for advice and to ask if he should go see a doctor, or be hospitalized.

He was told NOT to go to a doctor or a hospital, but just return to the vaccination center immediately and pick up his glasses.

Visit 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, “Ops: Reducing Friction for the Borrower”. The Commentary’s podcast is live and at any place you obtain your podcasts (like Apple or Spotify).


(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. This newsletter is designed 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 Copyright 2021 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