Mar. 21: LO jobs; mandatory execution, accounting, warehouse, TPO products; STRATMOR & comp; upcoming events & training

“90 percent of bald people still own a comb; they just can’t part with it.” Many companies that retained servicing in 2020 and 2021, complete with low interest rates and borrowers with large amounts of equity & abilities to repay, have made the decision to part with that servicing. Packages of servicing rights continue to hit the market. In a free market, for every seller there’s a buyer for these packages. And in a free market, where most loans from different lenders are often put into the same securities or at least sold at roughly the same price in the secondary markets with approximately the same servicing value, companies that manufacture those loans at the lowest cost stand a better chance of surviving than those that don’t. Turning to borrowers, consumer costs are certainly in the news, especially with any implications from the proposed NAR lawsuit settlement, specifically if the agreement leads to borrowers paying for their real estate commission when they previously did not. (Readers should know that the CFPB does not regulate real estate agents, and the TRID forms already allow disclosure of the fee to be disclosed on either the buyer’s or seller’s side.) Found here, this week’s podcast is 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. Today’s has an interview with attorney Marty Green on the implications of the recent NAR settlement.)

Jobs, mortgage tech firms wanted, & an announced retirement

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“It’s 1999: Californication and Slim Shady dominate the charts, the iconic films Fight Club and The Matrix are released, Serena Williams wins her first Grand Slam to kick off an outrageous career and with inspiring greatness being born all around Seth Fass founds East Coast Capital. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, East Coast Capital has scored incredible victories for clients to achieve their homeownership goals. Once a small broker, NY-Based East Coast Capital is now a licensed bank across the nation, approved with Fannie, Freddie, and FHA and also specializes in underwriting Non-QM loans. Committed to providing homeowners access to capital and supporting loan officers with a diverse range of products and common-sense approach to underwriting, the movies and songs may have fallen off the playlist and Serena has retired from the courts, but born among the best, East Coast Capital still remains! Ready to Join? Email us here.”

Congratulations to John Hedlund, the Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director of AmeriHome, who has announced his retirement from the company.

Calling all applicants for Flagstar’s MortgageTech Accelerator, a highly acclaimed incubator for young fintech companies with fresh solutions for the mortgage sector, now in its fifth edition. Flagstar is looking for applicants who are making breakthroughs in all facets of the mortgage business including origination, processing, marketing, servicing, compliance, sales, underwriting, credit, and quality assessment. The program comes packed with perks like access to Flagstar senior executive mentors and a wide network of potential customers, as well as the opportunity to test solutions in a real-world controlled environment. Ranking high among the selection criteria are the potential for technological innovation, prospects for growth, and CRA impact. Past alums Greenline, Calque Inc., and Housetable, give the program a resounding thumbs-up. Check it all out here and email your pitch deck to fintech@flagstar.com by April 15.

Lender & broker services, products, and software

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Discover the power of partnership with Planet Home Lending Correspondent. Our continually refined product lineup spans vanilla to niche products all tailored to your unique needs: Best effort, mandatory AOT, delegated, or non-delegated. Connect with Planet at the Great River Conference in Memphis, TN, April 16-18. To schedule your meeting, reach out to Regional Sales Managers Joe Griffin 859-806-3323 and Gary Strohwig 262-224-4435, or Renovation Account Executive Margie Walsh 732-673-6228. Not going to Great River this year? Click here to download the latest version of our Product Highlights, then put Planet to work for you in 2024.”

PlainsCapital Bank National Warehouse Lending, a subsidiary of Hilltop Holdings (NYSE: HTH), understands the importance of efficiency when it comes to meeting mortgage lenders funding requests. “Express Funding” is how we help our customers reduce the time needed to get loans funded quickly. Express Funding allows our customers to submit multiple loans for funding in one simple data upload, whether it is one loan or 100 loans.  We have a growing list of 5,000+ approved closing agents, No Doc funding requirements and funding turn times averaging under 20 minutes! As a well-capitalized financially strong banking partner we give our customers confidence in an uncertain market. If you are interested in learning more about PlainsCapital Bank National Warehouse Lending please contact Deric Barnett, (469)955-6786.

Make your general ledger profitable and run your business more efficiently with Loan Vision and LV-PAM. Instead of “staying alive until ‘25”, with Loan Vision, a software built BY the mortgage industry FOR the mortgage industry, you can “produce more in 24!” Customers on Loan Vision see improvements of 30 percent+ decrease in days to close the books, 20 percent+ reduction in accounting headcount, complete LOS to G/L automation, and improved reporting and visibility. Interested in learning how Loan Vision can help you run a more efficient and profitable company? Contact Carl Wooloff to schedule a call today.

For independent mortgage banks coping with shrinking production volumes and rising costs per loan, outsourcing accounting is an elegant solution to what’s become a very common challenge. Whether you have no accounting expertise in-house or you have a new team with no mortgage experience, you can tap the Richey May Client Accounting and Advisory Services (CAAS) team for the support you need. This team is stacked with mortgage industry experts who can tailor your solution to meet your most pressing needs in a volatile time, with no training needed. Need help transitioning to loan level accounting? Need a fully outsourced function? You got it! Need industry training for your controller? We can do that. In this article, Richey May’s expert Kim Dittmer answers all your most frequently asked questions around outsourced accounting as a mortgage bank.

STRATMOR comp survey open

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Lenders, how have rising rates and shrinking margins impacted your 2024 compensation plans? STRATMOR Group’s Spring 2024 Compensation Connection® Study provides valuable comparisons on compensation components, incentive plan structure, compensation percentiles, and more. Three-year trailing data is also included with most data points. Find out how you compare to your peers by participating. Results will only be available to participants, so register today! Questions? Email compconnection@stratmorgroup.com.

Webinars, events, and training into April

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(A good place for longer term conference planning is to start is here, and click on “Conference List” for in-person events in the future.)

How lenders can save money: Most lenders are painfully aware of rising loan origination costs, which is a common trend in a down market. Yet some lenders are fighting back… Like Lower, which has found a way to save as much as 80 percent on these operational line items and win more loans. Sign up for this exclusive webinar taking place today at 11AM PT, featuring James Duncan and Donielle Geiser (Lower), and Richard Grieser (Truv), and yours truly where they’ll share their take on today’s market and how they’ve reduced costs on operational line items previously thought to be beyond a lender’s control.

Texas Mortgage Bankers Association monthly education webinar: “Guardians of Security.” Join Texas Mortgage Bankers Association for an insightful presentation on navigating cyber risks in the mortgage lending marketplace, Guardians of Security – Navigating Cyber Risks in the Mortgage Industry, today, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm.

Tomorrow, March 22, is this week’s episode of The Mortgage Collaborative’s Rundown covering current events in the mortgage market for 30-45 minutes starting at noon PT, 3PM ET, in “The Rundown”. Tomorrow’s will be co-hosted by TMC CEO David Kittle.

Looking for more in-depth commentary on weekly mortgage news? Register here for “Mortgage Matters: The Weekly Roundup” presented by Lenders One. Every Wednesday at 2:00 PM EST/11:00 AM PT is a dive into a range of mortgage-related topics, including market trends, interest rate fluctuations, innovative mortgage products, and industry advancements. Next week, watch MBA President Bob Broeksmit discuss the industry!

FHA Servicing Quality Assurance Update, Virtual Webinar on March 27, 2– 3:30 PM (Eastern) will provide FHA quality assurance results for calendar year 2023 focusing on top findings from loan-level servicing and lender-level operational reviews. The webinar concludes with a live question and answer session.

On Thursday, March 28th from 2:00-3:00 PM, join CoAMP and Michael Flynn, Of Counsel, w/Buchalter for an informative session moving forward in the current mortgage market could look like, including: What are the areas of increased regulatory activity and likely new rules? The impact on brokers of likely foreclosure increases (increased attacks on whether loans meet the ATR and QM requirements. And increased repurchase and indemnity demands from lenders to brokers). The cost is $10 for CoAMP Member and Member Guests/$25 for Future Members (which can be credited towards an annual CoAMP membership). A virtual link will be sent prior to the event.

Want to hear how top producers are thriving in today’s market? Don’t miss the Modern Mortgage Summit on March 28th, hosted by industry leaders Dave Savage and Todd Bookspan. Tune in virtually to hear from 12+ of the nation’s top mortgage professionals, including Jeremy Forcier, Shayla Gifford, and Dan Keller, as they share their best strategies for success in a TED-talk style format. Virtual tickets are only $100, and a portion of your ticket purchase supports the financial literacy nonprofit, FirstHome IQ. Secure your ticket today at modernmortgagesummit.com.

During a virtual press conference on March 28, ABA Economic Advisory Committee Chair Simona Mocuta, managing director and chief economist at State Street Global Advisors, will present the latest consensus economic forecast from this panel of top economists at some of North America’s largest banks. The Committee’s updated outlook comes as inflation gradually abates, economic uncertainty persists, and the Federal Reserve considers a less restrictive policy. The committee’s forecast will include the group’s latest assessment of GDP growth, unemployment, inflation, interest rates and credit conditions. RSVP required: Please contact Ava Castelli to RSVP and receive login/dial-in information.

FHA is offering In-Person, Free Underwriting Training in Denver, CO., April 10, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM MST. Training will provide an overview of FHA underwriting procedures as outlined in FHA’s Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1 and addresses several industry-related frequently asked questions (FAQs). This training will also take an in-depth look at a variety of topics including credit, income, and asset (CIA) documentation; manual underwriting; automated underwriting systems (AUS); closing; and more.

FHA is offering In-Person, Free FHA Appraisal Training in Denver, CO., April 10, 1– 4 PM MST. Training will provide an overview of FHA appraisal protocol and updates to FHA appraisal policy as outlined in FHA’s Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1. This training will also take an in-depth look at a variety of appraisal-related topics including property acceptability criteria; minimum property requirements; property defects; appraiser responsibilities and requirements; and more.

Join the MBA of NJ, in partnership with HUD for the 2024 HUD Housing Counseling Session, April 11th, 2:00PM – 4:00PM at the Federal Reserve Bank of NY., Keys to Homeownership: Building Strategic Partnerships.

Acquire a greater perspective from industry experts at American Mortgage Conference from April 15 – 17. Held in a new location this year at the Marriott Savannah Riverfront in Georgia. Co-hosted by ABA and the North Carolina Bankers Association, this premier conference is the only mortgage event that blends business and regulation to assure you are fully up to date and fully connected to crucial professional networks.

AmeriCatalyst explores the operational impact of climate change and its profound industry-wide implications for the US housing and finance market. The event brings together senior representatives and CEOs from government entities including the White House, The Fed, Treasury and the FDIC; government housing entities; insurance companies; institutional investors; investment banks; banks; mortgage originators and servicers; homebuilders; Single Family Rental Operators and REITs; the leading data providers; economists; academic institutions; climate tech providers and world renowned climatologists. The purpose of the event is to recognize, prioritize, mobilize, and prepare for an increasingly volatile, unpredictable, and potentially uninsurable future due to extreme and catastrophic weather-related events due to climate change. AmeriCatalyst’s GOING TO EXTREMES: The Climate, Housing and Finance Summit is being held at the Gaylord National Harbor (in the Washington DC area) on April 18 and 19. Contact Toni Moss (512-461-6340) with questions.

Capital Markets: Fed rate cuts ahead, just not now

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AC/DC released its masterpiece, “Back in Black,” 44 years ago. The album was a rebirth after its original lead singer’s death. After challenging times, mortgage lenders seek to get back in the black on their income statements. One solution is moving back to mandatory delivery, and Optimal Blue can help you do it. For nearly 20 years, Optimal Blue has advised and guided originators to transition from best efforts to mandatory successfully. With recent data showing the best efforts to mandatory premium above 40 basis points (bps) for conventional 30-year loans, the return on investment provides a clear path to a return to the black. Whether you are approaching or expecting a volume boost or looking to put fewer agency-eligible loans on your balance sheet, now is the time to learn how Optimal Blue can help. To learn more, connect with Mark Teteris, CMB, Optimal Blue’s director of solutions specialists.

Interested in learning more about moving from best efforts to mandatory loan sales? Maybe you’ve already moved to mandatory and are looking for even more pickup and ways to mitigate risk? Join MCT’s Moving to Mandatory Loan Sales webinar on April 4th at 11am PT to learn how mandatory loan sales is helping lenders improve profitability while reducing risk. In this webinar, MCT’s Scott Holtz, Vice President of South Regional Sales, will discuss how to leverage mandatory loan sales to improve profitability, manage risk with pipeline hedging, and operational changes needed for the transition. Register for the webinar or join MCT’s newsletter to receive the latest educational content.

In interest rate news, as was widely expected, the Fed held the federal funds target steady at a range of 5.25 percent to 5.50 percent yesterday, extending the pause on rate changes that followed their most recent hike last July. This decision was unanimous as the Fed believes that employment and inflation goals are moving into better balance. However, the committee also repeated from their prior statement made January 31st, that it “does not expect it will be appropriate to reduce the target range until it has gained greater confidence that inflation is moving sustainably toward 2 percent.”

Meanwhile, the latest summary of economic projections showed no change in the Fed’s median fed funds rate projection for this year (4.6 percent) while the forecast for 2025 was raised to 3.9 percent from 3.6 percent. The Core PCE forecast for 2024 was raised to slightly while the GDP growth forecast increased slightly as well from the last estimate in December. During his press conference, Fed Chairman Powell said that it will be appropriate to slow the pace of asset runoff fairly soon. Rate cut expectations increased by yesterday’s close with the implied likelihood of a June cut rising to 74 percent from 59 percent on Tuesday.

Following yesterday’s Fed events, today brings the latest decisions from the Swiss National Bank, Norges Banks, and Bank of England. The U.S. calendar has already kicked off with the Q4 current account deficit, weekly jobless claims (210k, down slightly; continuing claims 1.807 million), and Philadelphia Fed manufacturing (3.2, down but not negative).

Later today brings S&P Global flash PMIs for March, existing home sales for February, leading indicators, Treasury announcing the auction sizes for next week’s month-end supply auctions before auctioning off $16 billion reopened 10-year TIPS, Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, and remarks from Fed Vice Chair for Supervision Barr. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices a tough better than Wednesday, the 10-year yielding 4.24 after closing yesterday at 4.27, and the 2-year yield down to 4.58.

My teachers told me I’d never amount to much because I procrastinate so much.

I told them, “You just wait.”

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, “Wholesale Channel Overview and Outlook.” 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