Mar. 25: MLO, branch, Ops jobs; sales, POS, warehouse products; STRATMOR Ops paper; Ginnie, FHA, VA, USDA updates

After spending millions of dollars studying the issue, a blue-ribbon panel found that statistics show that teen pregnancy drops dramatically after age 20. (Need a minute to think about that?) Want some more numbers, and want to know why there are fewer home listings than there are Realtors? How about Lennar announcing a $4 billion venture with the formation of the Upward America Venture, a platform that will acquire single-family homes for rent in high-growth markets across the United States. (Maybe I’m the only one who doesn’t see the connection between keeping people in rentals, and paying more rent, and a name like “Upward America”?) This while NAR tells us that total existing home sales fell by 6.6% from January to February. Despite that, lenders who have always focused on purchase business are thumping their chests about their 2021 volume prospects and their ability to scale technology. Which reminds me, today’s audio version of the commentary is sponsored by Black Knight and features an interview with 22-year Black Knight vet Mike Piombino, SVP of Origination Technologies, discussing technology configurability, scalability, and performance for lenders.


Join Planet Home Lending, LLC for unparalleled support for your branch vision, and to get more people to the closing table fast and on time. Start with the best onboarding in the business, followed by competitive pricing and niche products that win homes for your customers, and continued support from the branch advocacy team. Keep growing with leaders who answer your calls and put your ideas into action. Your branch could be so much more with Planet Home Lending. Reach out to SVP Henry Brandt today (661-210-5355). Explore your options. Expand your reach. Close more loans.

“It is very clear to me that Shamrock is one of the strongest mortgage companies in America”, says Rick Roque, founder of Menlo, a mortgage consulting firm and Corporate VP of Shamrock Homeloans. “The companies that struggle to grow retail or retain employees have the same set of challenges: a toxic culture, arrogance in leadership, a fake ethical culture, operations and overlays, overrides by sales leaders who add little value, and an inflexibility when it comes to growth. A mortgage company needs core values that are felt, seen, and experienced in the experience of loan officers and Branch Managers.” Watch this video to understand why Shamrock is rated as one of the best companies to work for in America: Dean Harrington, Founder and CEO explains why You Thrive at Shamrock Because it Is About Who We Are. If interested to learn more, email us

AmeriHome Correspondent’s Non-Delegated Channel continues to grow, offering a full suite of Conventional and FHA products, with both Principal/Agent and Sponsored TPO options available for FHA. If you’re not familiar with the Non-Delegated Channel, AmeriHome’s own John Hedlund, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer, recently sat down with HousingWire to discuss the benefits of non-delegated lending in this article on how branching into non-delegated lending can help banks, credit unions, and mortgage bankers grow their business, and how it can help mortgage brokers make the leap to mortgage banking! To learn more about how partnering with AmeriHome can help you grow your business in the Non-Delegated space, email If you’re interested in joining AmeriHome’s growing Non-Delegated team, check out the open positions on its careers page, including Underwriter positionsAccount Manager positions, and more! AmeriHome is dedicated to Relationships, Reliability, and Results, both internally and externally, and is invested in its employees’ and clients’ long-term success!

Broker & lender services and products

Sliced bread was heralded as “the greatest forward step in the baking industry since bread was wrapped.” In fact, the convenience of sliced bread led to its increased consumption and ultimate ubiquity. AccountChek 3n1 is like the sliced bread of the mortgage industry. The ease of 3n1’s electronic VOA/I/E expedites loan processing and underwriting, saving lenders valuable time and money. Also like sliced bread, once consumers experience the unparalleled convenience of 3n1’s automated verification, they’ll never want to go back to chasing down paper asset, income, and employment verification again. Contact Gregg Palmer to get a tour of 3n1 (and don’t forget to ask about 3n1’s electronic VOE coverage of 100 million+ American workers).

Everyone wants to close loans faster in today’s environment, but how? One easy step in the right direction is to use Truework for your VOEs and VOIs because Truework can verify 35 million employees instantly as well complete all of your manual verifications at a significantly lower cost. Stop chasing employers for VOE/VOI – let Truework handle your verifications because their network is massive and it’s growing. Time to close is increasing but Truework will help you close loans faster. For a limited time Rob Chrisman readers get 6 free Verifications ($240 value). Start your first verification today or set up time with their sales team to learn more.

At Caliber Wholesale we’re always working to help elevate the business of our broker clients. As a member of Caliber Club, brokers receive exclusive benefits to meet the needs of their business. We’ve added a new benefit via relief from Early Payoffs (EPO) when another lender was involved. We understand that when your client refinances with another lender, that’s lost opportunity. When they do it within the EPO window, that’s both frustrating and costly to you. With this new quarterly EPO benefit, you can avoid paying these penalties up to four times a year…and with our Caliber Reconnect program keep past borrowers on your radar… All the bases covered to maximize your portfolio of past customers. Your Caliber Wholesale Account Executive is working full-time to support you! Reach out to today or click here to become an approved wholesale lender.”

Purchase advice automation is here! OptiFunder, the industry’s premier Warehouse Management System, continues to grow at a record-breaking pace. Its clients are now funding over $10B per month. OptiFunder’s Warehouse Management System (WMS) continues to add features as well, including the recently launched Purchase Advice Connect™ that eliminates manual processing of Purchase Advices from investors. Proprietary OCR identifies, analyzes, and transfers key data to the LOS, processing hundreds of loans in moments and saving upwards of 95% of the time it takes to process Purchase Advices. If you are interested in learning more, reach out to Carmel York for a demo.

Since the new URLA became mandatory this month, many lenders have reported a less than ideal experience with migrating to the new form. Fortunately, Floify has supported the new URLA and MISMO 3.4 since last year, so lenders using Floify’s point-of-sale platform have been able to enjoy a seamless transition and virtually no disruption to their business operations. What’s more, Floify also provides lenders with complementary URLA migration support, including guided testing and step-by-step training, one-on-one meetings with support staff, and additional training and support materials to ensure lenders eliminate any potential downtime with the migration. If you’re still struggling to implement the new URLA, or just want to modernize your origination process with the industry’s favorite digital loan application, Floify is here to help. Take advantage of their complementary URLA training and implementation support today.

Embrace Home Loans is the first lender to roll out the SimpleNexus homeownership platform in conjunction with Black Knight’s Empower LOS. Embrace will also launch SimpleNexus’ new mobile disclosures integration with First American Docutech as well as a first-of-its-kind feature that enables borrowers to pay for appraisals in-app. Customer Experience Director Meghan Handy expects Embrace’s 300+ retail LOs to deliver an improved customer experience, and see a measurable lift to loan volume, before the year’s end. Get the full story here.

Productivity and compensation

What are the biggest challenges Operations executives face in 2021? In the just released March Insights Report, STRATMOR Senior Partner Jim Cameron shares key takeaways from discussions with the Ops execs who attended the company’s recent Operations Workshops and observes that people, productivity, and compensation are the top concerns. “Because things change fast in the mortgage industry, these meetings are a great way for participants to stay up to date on the latest trends, challenges, and pain points,” reports Cameron. “These workshop sessions confirmed and quantified the key issues and challenges we see executives facing in today’s market.” Among the questions asked and answered: Is productivity really increasing or are we just working more hours? Where are the biggest bottlenecks in operations? And signing bonuses, yes or no? Don’t miss this Ops-focused article, “People, Productivity and Compensation: 2021 Mortgage Ops Challenges” in the March Insights Report.

FHA, VA, USDA, and Ginnie news

Ginnie Mae released its latest Capital Markets Live podcast, which examines current conditions in the U.S. mortgage-backed securities market. And Ginnie is implementing a new Social, Environmental, and Governance (ESG) stratification record in the Single-Family Supplemental File located on Ginnie Mae’s Disclosure Data Download page. The objective is to give Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities investors information that supports their sustainable investing decisions and solutions.

And Ginnie, with most of FHA & VA loans winding up in its securities, reported February MBS Issuance of $77 billion and more than 274,000 homes financed.

FHA published two Mortgagee Letters (MLs) that continue to extend certain single family housing origination and 203(k) servicing policy flexibilities provided as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. ML 2021-06 and ML 2021-07. These MLs apply to Single Family Title II forward and reverse (HECM) mortgage programs, except for the 203(k) escrow administration guidance that applies solely to the 203(k) Rehabilitation Mortgage Program.

FHA published Mortgagee Letter (ML) 2021-08, LIBOR Index Removal and SOFR Index Approval for New HECM ARMs and Other Changes for HECM ARM Originations. This ML also announces new model Note language, which is included in the revised model loan documents (first and second HECM Adjustable Interest Rate Notes) and incorporates the changes described in the ML. The revised model loan documents are available on the Single Family Mortgages Model Documents web page.

FHA announced the publication of Mortgagee Letter (ML) 2021-09, announcing the revision of Form HUD-9991, FHA Condominium Loan Level/Single-Unit Approval Questionnaire and Revised Form HUD-9992, FHA Condominium Project Approval Questionnaire. This ML announces the immediate availability of the revised forms. Both forms have been streamlined to provide greater clarity for those doing business with FHA. Form HUD-9991 is used to process single-unit and loan-level approvals for both forward mortgages and Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM). Form HUD-9992 is used to process condominium project approval applications.

The USDA New GUS will be implemented on March 1, 2021.  In preparation, the Agency has updated including Handbook 1-3555 Chapter 9. One of the updates is that the Agency will accept IRS Form 4506-C, in addition to other forms, for lenders obtaining tax transcripts for loan applicants. An advance copy of this revised chapter and highlights of all proposed changes are available for review for 30 days on the USDA LINC Training and Resource Library, in the SFH Guaranteed Loan Basic Training and Resources accordion, under the sub-heading “New”.

AmeriHome Mortgagees must use all renewed FHA Insured Mortgage Application forms revised including Form HUD-92900-A (HUD Addendum to the URLA) for all case numbers assigned on or after 3/22/2021.

Flagstar Bank issued notification that effective immediately, the Energy Conservation Certification, Doc. #9729 has replaced the CABO Certification form to include the new VA requirements.

Information on FHA’s revised Condominium Loan-Level/Single Unit form can be found in the Flagstar Bank memo 21040. Additionally, a reminder about updates to the FHA Single Family Handbook is available in memo 21039.

FAMC’s system is updated to reflect the FHA 2021 nationwide loan limits previously announced in National Bulletin #2020-55, for case numbers assigned on and after January 1, 2021. Information regarding DU/LPA for government loans and TOTAL Scorecard will be communicated once the information becomes available. Lenders are responsible for validating the applicable nationwide loan limit.

Caliber announced the removal of certain overlays and a significant price improvement for specific Government (FHA & VA, for example) loansUpdates have also been made to the Government and Government High Balance Loan Level Price Adjustments (LLPAs). Refer to the Program Summaries and COVID-19 Overlay Documents for all requirements.

Investor clarification

Yesterday the commentary mentioned Sprout’s loan programs, accessible through many widely used mortgage product and pricing engines including Optimal Blue, Loan Sifter, EPPS LoanNEX and Mortech. Full details are available to mortgage professionals through the Sprout Client Portal, while Sprout’s easy-to-use iQualifi app provides scenario eligibility and pricing. For more information, click on the link above or call 844-664-6100.

Capital markets

Frankly, there isn’t a whole lot to report from yesterday. In Washington, Fed Chairman Powell and Treasury Secretary Yellen completed their second day of congressional testimony with an uneventful appearance before the Senate Banking Committee. Fed Chair Powell gave some assurances on inflation risks thus stabilizing the recent selloff in MBS and treasuries which ended the day rallying a couple basis points. In other Fed-speak, New York Fed President Williams said he expects a rapid recovery in jobs and growth. As far as economic releases, durable goods orders declined 1.1 percent month-over-month in February when it was expected to rise 0.9 percent. The disappointing data for February followed notable strength in January and prior months, suggesting only a minor blip in the strengthening demand for durable goods.

News picks up a little today but once again is heavy with Fed speakers. We’ve had the final look at Q4 GDP (+.2 to +4.3 percent, stronger than expected) which is old news, but new news in the form of weekly jobless claims (684k, the lowest in a year), and continuing claims (3.87 million). The afternoon sees a $62 billion 7-year Treasury note auction. Today’s MBS purchase schedule sees the Desk conducting the last two operations on the current schedule, totaling up to $4.8 billion 2 percent and 2.5 percent across GNIIs and UMBS30s. We start Thursday with both agency MBS prices and the 10-year yield (1.61 percent) unchanged from Wednesday despite the strong jobless claims numbers (although the actual figures are somewhat suspect, the trend is in the right direction).

Pro Tip:

Save business cards of people you don’t like.

If you ever accidentally hit a parked car, just write, “Sorry” on the back and leave it on the windshield.

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