Mar. 29: AE, LO jobs; marketing product; TPO & Agency news of note; refi title waivers; markets are closed but…

Good Friday… perhaps it’ll be a good Friday for these bald eagle parents in Southern California if their chicks hatch. My cat Myrtle has never dined on eagle, although her tail was attacked by a hawk some years ago so may sympathize with the current “attack” by the CFPB on “junk” fees. Mortgage Musings author and Attorney Brian Levy thinks the entire industry is feeling pressure from Washington DC and elsewhere with allegations about “junk fees” and questions about realtor and LO commission rates. Levy rhetorically asks, Are you a junk fee? and discusses the details behind the refi title waiver pilot and reminds folks of the importance of clarifying your value proposition to the consumer. (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 wemlo’s Chelsea Balak on operational efficiencies in the processing space and how technology is decreasing the time to close loans.)



“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.”

Opportunity knocks! This is your opportunity to join a pioneer in the non-QM space who is growing. Deephaven Mortgage is breaking production records and is hiring highly motivated Wholesale Account Executives across the nation to fuel its growth. Deephaven is looking for sales professionals with existing relationships to help capture market share in the growing non-QM space. Deephaven offers a proprietary suite of non-QM products, strong pricing, webinar support, best-in-class scenario desk, fully integrated platform, superior customer service, great benefits, and unmatched company culture. Contact Deephaven’s Chief Sales Officer Tom Davis for a confidential conversation.

Tired of being told to cut your comp to have competitive rates? Build your empire at Kind Lending! If your company is cutting commissions for competitive rates and a quality operations team, there is a solution: Kind Lending. We understand the challenges Loan Officers are faced with in today’s difficult market. Unlike most mortgage companies, market conditions do not dictate our unwavering commitment to your success. We offer top-notch pricing and an exceptional Operations team without sacrificing your commission! While pricing and Operations are pillars to your success, Kind Lending also offers out-of-the-box marketing and an unmatched team culture. Life is tough enough. Make a change and switch to Kind Lending where you’ll always be met with a promise to rewrite your success story. Contact Traci Miller, National Talent Acquisition Manager.

Lender & broker services, products, and software


“A never-before-seen economic environment calls for new ways to create stronger business growth. Register now for a MAXEX roundtable discussion Thursday, April 25 at 2 p.m. Eastern where we’ll breakdown how unyielding inflation, stubborn mortgage rates, an unpredictable Federal Reserve and a nearly two-year long yield curve inversion are affecting the mortgage world. The roundtable will feature MAXEX and special guests. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear directly from industry leaders about how they’re attacking the road ahead and where you can find growth while working against industry headwinds.”

In today’s lending environment, almost every marketing team we’ve talked to is spread thin. We know how difficult it is to produce compliant marketing that is targeted, localized, and customizable, while meeting your Loan Officer’s deadlines. Thankfully, Usherpa is here to help! Partnering with Usherpa will give your sales team access to our award-winning Done-for-You automated content, while providing your marketing/admin teams with all the tools they need to efficiently help loan officers make the most of today’s market. Marketing teams can utilize Usherpa’s Launch Pad email engine to create and manage collateral aligned with your unique vision and brand strategies. Best part? Admin and Support accounts at Usherpa are free! And our boutique customer service is there every step of the way. Wouldn’t it be refreshing having monthly local content automatically deployed for your loan officers every month? Check out the current Local Housing Market Video. And schedule a demo today.

Broker products, and Agency & investor updates


Take advantage of Rocket Pro TPO’s highly competitive VA loan pricing and elevate your service to veteran clients this purchase season. Register for IGNITE Live on April 1st, 2024, at 2:00PM ET to discover strategies for thriving in today’s market and how Rocket Pro TPO can be your catalyst for growth. Are you looking to boost your exposure to generate more potential clients? Try out their Marketing Hub toolkits; customizable social tiles; open house flyers, and more can help your business in as easy as a few clicks. With a focus on fostering broker relationships, Rocket Pro TPO delivers the tools and products necessary for your success. For more information, contact Rocket Pro TPO today!

By the way, the current STRATMOR blog is titled, “Wholesale Channel Overview and Outlook.”

FHA published Mortgagee Letter (ML) 2024-04  providing lenders and mortgagees with guidance to implement the provisions of the final rule, Changes in Branch Office Registration Requirements [Docket No. FR-6321-F-02] published on February 2, 2024. This final rule eliminated the requirement for FHA lenders and mortgagees to register branch offices in order to conduct FHA Title I or Title II loan originations. The provisions of this ML are effective immediately and apply to all lenders and mortgagees approved for FHA Title I and/or Title II programs.

FHA published Title I Letter (TIL) 488Updated Title I Manufactured Home Loan Limits. This TIL implements and provides lenders offering Title I Manufactured Homes loans with revised loan limits calculated under the final rule, Indexing Methodology for Title I Manufactured Home Loan Limits (Docket No. FR-6207-F-02), published in the Federal Register on February 28, 2024.

The final rule establishes indexing methodologies to calculate future loan limits for Manufactured Home Loans, Manufactured Home Lot Loans, and Manufactured Home and Lot Combination Loans for the Title I Manufactured Home Loan program.

USDA Rural Development Bulletin provides information on the transition to, a secure government service that allows the public to use a single account and password for multiple government agencies. In addition to your password, requires you to set up at least one second factor authentication method to secure your account as part of their multi-factor authentication. Visit the eAuth Frequently Asked Questions to learn more.

Pennymac announced, effective immediately, that cryptocurrency/virtual currency may now be used as funds for closing and reserves on FHA and VA products as referenced in Pennymac Announcement 24-24.

Effective Wednesday, March 27, 2024, Pennymac will be updating the Best Effort rate sheet to include new state-specific Conventional base pricing grids. View Pennymac Announcement 24-26 for details.

Pennymac is aligning with Fannie Mae’s clarification of several income calculation and documentation requirements for borrowers using business income to qualify. These updates apply to self-employed borrowers and borrowers with less than a 25 percent interest in a business as described in Pennymac Announcement 24-27.

Pennymac Announcement 24-28 describes its alignment with Fannie Mae SEL 2024-01 updating their nontraditional credit requirements for loans underwritten using Desktop Underwriter (DU). Effective with loans delivered on or after 3/21/2024, loans underwritten using DU that require an assessment of nontraditional credit history, a housing payment history reference reflecting the most recent consecutive 12-month is now required.

Helping you build a pipeline of prepared borrowers, Freddie Mac’s CreditSmart® Homebuyer U* provides strategies to help your clients handle financial difficulty, prepare for emergencies and steer clear of pitfalls along the way to become successful, long-term homeowners.

Available in English and Spanish, CreditSmart Homebuyer U has helped more than 330,000 consumers prepare to become successful homeowners and fulfills first-time homebuyer education requirements** for low down payment mortgages, such as Home Possible®, HomeOne ® and HFA Advantage®.

April’s release for Loan Product Advisor® (LPASM) supports the newly published LPA system-to-system specification, version 5.4.00. Freddie Mac has made enhancements to promote industry consistency, help you identify representation and warranty relief eligibility easier and faster, have a better user experience with improved functionality and more.

On April 5, Fannie Mae is updating its Selling & Servicing Guide pages to improve the user experience, with enhancements to content navigation and search functionality. These enhancements do not impact the Selling & Servicing Guide content or layout. While the Guide URLs and redirects will remain active until January 2025, bookmarks should be updated as soon as possible after April 5.

In the March 2024 Appraiser Update, Fannie Mae discusses hot topics including zoning changes, hybrid appraisals, subjective language, recent Selling Guide updates, and more.

Explore Fannie Mae’s latest Perspectives blog to see what lenders had to say about condo lending, including how they’d streamline the process, what they believe to be the top risk areas, and the data sources that they view as the most useful for underwriting.

Effective with loan applications dated on or after April 1, 2024, per AmeriHome Mortgage 20240304-CL, lenders will be required to use the Uniform Property Dataset (UPD) and must submit Property Data Reports (PDR) to Freddie Mac using the Beyond ACE application programming interface (bACE API). The Freddie Mac Property Dataset (PDR v2.0) will no longer be accepted. As a reminder, the signed PDR must always be retained in the Mortgage file.

This edition of Fifth Third Correspondent Lending Communiqué has the following topics: All Conforming Products: Retirement Assets Currently Not Set for Distribution. All VA Products: Temporary Buydowns. Home Possible and HomeReady Products: Very Low-Income Purchase Mortgages.

Capital Markets: the economy is doing just fine, thank you


We learned yesterday that the U.S. economy expanded at a healthy clip at the end of last year. The third estimate of 2023 Q4 GDP growth was revised up to an annualized 3.4 percent, largely from positive revisions to consumer spending and business investment. Keep in mind that the report is dated information and won’t have market-moving impact other than to reinforce the market’s belief that the economy fared much better than expected in the final quarter of 2023 despite the Fed’s previous rate hikes.

Meanwhile, consumer sentiment rose in March to the highest level since mid-2021. Initial jobless claims ticked down, helping reinforce the market’s belief that employment conditions remain favorable for continued economic growth. And pending home sales rose 1.6 percent in February, more than expected. However, compared to one year ago, pending home sales declined in all U.S. regions.

Mortgage rates in the U.S. declined, per Freddie Mac. For the week ending March 28, the 30-year and 15-year mortgage rates respectively fell 8 basis points and 10 basis points versus the prior week to 6.79 percent and 6.11 percent. Mortgage rates remain higher by 47 basis points and 55 basis points year-over-year. Borrowing costs haven’t eclipsed 7 percent since early December but are still about double where they were in early 2022 before the Fed started raising rates to tame inflation.

Despite both bond and equity market closures today, there is still first tier data and Fedspeak on today’s calendar for Good Friday. First up, February personal income and spending (spending was +.8 percent, stronger than expected). Meanwhile, Fed favorite, the Core Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) Price Index was +2.5 percent year over year, a little hotter than expected, and +.3 percent for the month, versus expectations of increasing 0.3 percent month-over-month; down from 0.4 percent and 2.8 percent previously. Advanced indicators like retail inventories, wholesale inventories, and the goods trade deficit are also out, but we’ll have the weekend to see if the market cares. San Francisco Fed President Daly and Fed Chair Powell will deliver remarks.

Yesterday we closed the 10-year at 4.20 percent; given the mixed news rates may not move much. With the bond markets closed, and no way to hedge, either expected locks were hedged yesterday, or pricing will be conservative to discourage locks.

Warning: short un-rated video involving expectations, anticipation, sexual situations, misplaced thoughts, bound to make some anxious… watch until the end.

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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 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