Mar. 26: LO jobs; servicing, POS, marketing, internal audit products; increase in mortgage debt; webinars & training this week

As conjecture swirls about the economic impact of the collapse of the bridge in Baltimore, did you ever notice that when you put the two words “The” and “IRS” together it spells “Theirs”? Taxes are something we all deal with, and here in Louisville, KY, at the TMC event, one of the major discussion topics is the monthly burden on homeowners. Taxes and insurance are two pieces of the cost pie. Another is the debt load of higher rates. What do Maryland, Nevada, Hawaii, Texas, Arizona, California, Massachusetts, New York, Maine, and Alaska have in common? They’ve seen the largest increase in mortgage debt. There are some creative possibilities, however, and today’s Mortgages with Millennials at 10AM PT as they delve into alternative paths to achieving homeownership, focusing on the concept of co-buying (with two of the top experts in co-buying: Jonathan Lawless, Head of Homeownership for Bilt Rewards, and Niles Lichtenstein, CEO of Nestment). And here’s a piece on affordable housing solutions if you’d like to do a deep dive on the subject. (Found here, this week’s podcasts are sponsored by Stavvy. Stavvy offers a flexible and fully customizable loss mitigation solution. Servicers can easily adapt to regulatory updates and market conditions, providing a seamless, customer-centric digital experience. Today’s has an interview with Stavvy’s Shane Hartzler on the biggest challenges facing servicers today and the biggest benefits from leveraging technology.)

Jobs & transitions

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“Are you ready to join a team that is committed to your success? At Homestead Funding, the belief that people are our most important asset aided in creating a culture that fosters their growth and development. At our annual Sales Summit this month, our sales team came together alongside industry experts to ignite inspiration as we navigate today’s market. Topics of discussion included innovative approaches to networking, market forecasting, technology tools, and valuable peer insights into effective workflow strategies. Our team left the event empowered with tools for forging stronger partnerships and streamlining the sales process. The momentum from our Summit continues to energize our steadfast commitment to providing our Loan Originators with the devices, technology, and support essential for driving their success. Contact Dave Stagnitti for more information on how to accelerate your career with Homestead Funding, 518-390-5960.”

Lender & broker services, products, and software

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Credit unions know their members and always strive to meet their needs effectively and economically, especially when helping them achieve the American dream of homeownership. Members deserve competitively priced mortgages, but maintaining the right pricing models while still serving those members requires balance that’s backed by insight and skill. Join capital markets experts Mark Teteris, CMB and Jordan Palmer for the upcoming ACUMA Inside Track webinar, Pipeline Productivity: Creating Value for Members in Competitive Markets, on April 4, at 1 p.m. CT to learn more about achieving this important balance. These experts from Optimal Blue will cover how to use data and business intelligence to establish competitive mortgage pricing and leverage agency financial instruments to mitigate risk. They will also share how the valuation of mortgage serving rights (MSRs) factors into competitive pricing and member retention while improving bottom-line results. Registration is open to all: Save your seat today!

In the mortgage industry ensuring proactive risk management and steadfast compliance is essential to your business’s foundation. To best protect your business, lenders should have a robust and effective risk management system, including 3 lines of defense. Each mortgage lending business unit is the first line of defense, where operational controls are established and maintained. Next comes the second line of defense from the quality control and compliance department. The third line of defense is an internal audit that will assess the effectiveness of the first and second lines of defense through independent testing. Why is this important? An effective internal audit will help you better understand what is really going on in your operation, so you can make more informed decisions and operate more effectively while minimizing your risk. It is also required to apply for or maintain Fannie Mae approval. Tune into Richey May’s Internal Audit Insight video series to learn more.

Tailor your point-of-sale to fit your unique needs without the added cost of developers. Maxwell Blueprint Builder is a first-of-its-kind feature in the Maxwell Point of Sale that allows lenders to fully customize workflows, business rules, and user experience, without having to hire costly developers. With the Blueprint Builder, mortgage lenders can connect to over 60 third-party integrations to create a tailored workflow suited for their unique needs. Plus, lenders can adapt their digital experiences to the operations processes that work best across their products and channels. To learn more about the Blueprint Builder, schedule a call with the Maxwell team.

Time is NOT refundable. That’s why every interaction with your customers has to deliver value and expand the relationship in a meaningful way if you hope to build lasting relationships. Digital technology, like Total Expert Customer Intelligence, gives your team the tools and data insights they need to create personalized experiences with every interaction, but those tools are only as effective as the people who use them. On a recent episode of Total Expert’s podcast, Expert Insights, Joe Welu, Dan Catinella, and James White sat down to explore the importance of organizational buy-in and implementing an intentional engagement strategy. Listen here!

“Before applying online please read this 15-page instruction manual and be sure to adjust your browser settings and DON’T YOU DARE try doing this from a mobile device…” Stop. The. Madness. Make it easy for your borrowers to do business with you with LiteSpeed by LenderLogix. Beautiful online application with secure document upload, optimized for mobile devices, perfectly synced into Encompass® by ICE Mortgage Technology™. It’s the POS your loan officers have been asking for.

Servicing products

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Every mortgage. Every detail. Dara by Sagent is the first-ever cloud-native, end-to-end servicing platform. Powering every detail of every mortgage across six primary areas, this is mortgage servicing done right all in one root system. This is going to change the status quo in servicing, and our recent product feature in HousingWire digs deeper into how Dara delivers on cost, consumer experience, and compliance in an open ecosystem with unified, end-to-end data in a single UX. Dara is comprised of 6 tenets to optimize experiences — core, consumer, default, loan movement, data, and AI. If you’re curious to hear how Dara powers compliance with real-time policymaking, click here to learn more about Dara.

In today’s competitive world, customers have never expected a higher standard of service in exchange for their loyalty… or been more willing to share the good, the bad, and the ugly of the service they receive. That’s why for your business to thrive and for your customers to remain loyal, your subservicer must deliver a superior experience to your customers at every turn… and prove it with results. Net Promoter Score (NPS) is the gold standard by which brand loyalty is measured, with anything over 72 considered as excellent. That is why Servbank is especially proud that it has consistently achieved an NPS Score of 85 for its client’s customers. With our best-in-class service, and validated with our leading NPS score, we keep your customers loyal. Learn more about Servbank, and partner with a subservicer who believes that People Matter.

Webinars, training, and events

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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.)

Join Robbie Chrisman and Kristin Messerli today at 1PM ET for the next episode of Mortgages with Millennials as they delve into alternative paths to achieving homeownership, focusing on the concept of co-buying. They will be joined by two of the top experts in co-buying: Jonathan Lawless, Head of Homeownership for Bilt Rewards, and Niles Lichtenstein, CEO of Nestment. The episode aims to address the affordability challenges faced by millennials by exploring innovative strategies that allow friends and family to collaboratively purchase a home.

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!

Join the Mortgage Bankers Association partnering with the Home Builders Association and the Saint Louis REALTORS on March 28th, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM, to hear a variety of perspectives on the home building industry in the St. Louis region: You will hear from home builders of all sizes, a land development professional and the Executive Vice President of the Home Builders Association of St. Louis.

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).

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.

Friday’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”. This Friday’s is co-hosted by Erin Dee from LoanPeople and Amy Azorandia from Firstrust Bank!

Capital Markets: I hope that you like rates where they are

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Because they could be here for quite some time. There is little reason to think mortgage rates would move much lower, or much higher, and certainly don’t look for anything from our Federal Reserve until the summer.

On the subject of central banks, the Bank of Japan last week scrapped the world’s last negative interest rate, ordering its first increase since 2007. The move ends the most aggressive monetary stimulus program in modern history and signals confidence the country is leaving behind years of economic stagnation. Conversely, the Swiss National Bank unexpectedly cut its key interest rate by 25 basis points, the first such reduction for one of the world’s 10 most traded currencies since the pandemic ended, moving months ahead of global peers as policymakers try to prevent gains in the franc. Colombia doubled the pace of interest rate cuts to revive the weak economy, while Norway signaled no such move was in the offing for at least another six months.

Domestically, quantitative tightening, or QT, is an important complement of tighter monetary policy and is currently removing liquidity from the U.S. financial system to the tune of up to $95 billion a month. Officials are determined to stop it before it causes the kind of financial disruptions experienced before the last round ended some five years ago. According to some, such as Pimco co-founder Bill Gross, there is “too much supply,” in the Treasury market. He has also warned that “excessive exuberance” is sweeping financial markets.

Even though this final week of the first quarter is shortened from a trading perspective due to the Good Friday holiday, there is still a lot of important data.

Housing and jobs drive the U.S. economy, and yesterday brought the release of the new home sales report, which missed estimates to dip 0.3 percent month-over-month to a 662k-unit pace during February. On a year-over-year basis, new home sales were up 5.9 percent. Affordability is still a major constraint on homebuyer activity and the slight increase in financing costs in January was enough to discourage transactions. The median selling price decreased for the sixth consecutive month, which is a welcome development for potential buyers. We have more house price data from Case-Shiller and FHFA later today.

Another notable release this week is Personal Incomes / Outlays on Friday which contains the PCE Price Index, the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation. (We will have to wait until next week to see how the bond market reacts since Friday is a market holiday.) After CPI and PPI inflation ran hot in February, the PCE Price Index is widely expected to register a similar increase.

Those previous data points were taken into account by the Federal Open Market Committee before holding the fed funds rate steady last week. Chicago Fed President Goolsbee said yesterday that he anticipates three rate cuts this year, which many analysts as well as fed funds futures markets believe will begin with a 25 basis points cut in June. Yes, traders are reloading wagers on imminent rate cuts that have burned them multiple times over the past year. The risk is central banks again fail to vindicate the bullishness given sticky inflation and robust job markets. For now, though, the Fed is signaling a willingness to lower rates to head off job cuts, even if it means somewhat higher inflation in the near term.

Despite the miss on new home sales, and soft demand at Treasury’s $66 billion 2-year note auction, there was still selling pressure on the day yesterday. Today’s busy economic calendar is already under way with durable goods orders (+1.4 percent, ex-transportation +.5 percent) and Philadelphia Fed non-manufacturing indices. Later today brings Redbook same store sales for the week ending March 23, January house prices from Case-Shiller and FHFA, March consumer confidence, Richmond Fed manufacturing and services, Dallas Fed Texas services, and several Treasury auctions that will be headlined by $67 billion of 5-year notes. We begin Tuesday with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged from Monday and the 10-year yielding 4.24 after closing yesterday at 4.25 percent; the 2-year is at 4.60.

An elderly lady & her husband were pulled over by the cops for speeding near Louisville, Kentucky.

Officer: “Ma’am, do you know why I pulled you over?”

Lady to her husband: “WHAT’D HE SAY??”

Man: “HE ASKED IF YOU KNOW WHY HE PULLED YOU OVER!!”

Lady to the cop: “OH. No!”

Officer: “Well ma’am you were going well over the speed limit.”

Lady to her husband: “WHAT’D HE SAY??”

Man: “HE SAYS YOU SPEEDING LIKE A BAT OUTTA HELL!”

Lady: “Ohhhh.”

Officer: “Ma’am can I see your license please?”

Lady to her husband: “WHAT’D HE SAY??”

Man: “HE WANTS TO SEE YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE!”

Lady: “Ohh.” So, she digs it out of her purse & hands it over.

Officer, noticing her address: “You’re from Cynthiana, KY, huh? Funny, the meanest nastiest old woman I’ve ever met in my life was from Cynthiana.”

Lady to her husband: “WHAT’D HE SAY??”

Man: “HE SAYS HE KNOWS YOUR MOTHER!”

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