Mar. 3: Production & Ops jobs; LO comp plan survey; recent secondary market developments, esp. non-performing loan sales

Irish-American Heritage is celebrated throughout the month of March and St. Patrick’s Day is on March 17th. Once again our Census Bureau has its finger on the numbers pulse. In 2013, there were 33.3 million residents in the U.S. who considered themselves derivatives of Irish ancestry. This is more than seven times the population of Ireland (4.7 million) – how’d that happen? The number of foreign-born U.S. residents with Irish ancestry in 2013 was 251k and of these, 150k became U.S. citizens. The median income for Irish-American families is $61k versus the U.S. median household income of $52k. And of interest to lenders and Realtors: 69% of householders of Irish ancestry owned their home which is greater than the national average of 64%.


If you’re looking to make a move, Alpine Mortgage Planning is seeking branch managers, mortgage advisors, processors and operations staff in AZ, CA, NV, OR, UT, and WA. Alpine Mortgage Planning is a division of Pinnacle Capital Mortgage Corporation, two-time top ten lender in the nation ranked by the Scotsman Guide. Please contact Division Manager, Jeff Strode and check out


A few thousand miles away HomeBridge Wholesale has announced that industry veteran Craig Chapman has joined the company in the newly created role of Divisional Sales Manager, working to expand the company’s footprint east of the Mississippi. Chapman has a solid history, having assisted with the formation of 1st Commonwealth Bank of Virginia’s mortgage division and led it to profitability, First National Bank of Arizona, and GreenPoint Financial. Chapman is actively seeking experienced account executives and sales managers to join his growing team. Interested applicants should send resumes to or connect with Craig at the MBA Regional Conference in Atlantic City.


And in California First Cal is searching for a Director of Operations in its Petaluma office. The person will report to the SVP of National Operations, and supervise processors, underwriters, closers, and support staff. Contact Shannon Thomson for a complete job description, to submit a resume, or for a confidential discussion. The person will manage and monitor the workflow and production of the Regional Operations Center, develop policies, procedures and training materials as needed, train new employees on policies, procedures and First Cal systems, and coordinate, test, implement and maintain new programs/procedures, system changes as they will apply to retail operations.


Of course it is hard for companies to retain talent unless they throw some ducats their way. According to the most recent STRATMOR Compensation Connection survey, more than half of the companies offer more than one Loan Officer commission plan but most of the variation is due to geography and market. How does your compensation compare to your peers?  Participate in STRATMOR’s annual compensation survey to gain valuable insights on total compensation and incentive plan components for key positions across all departments. STRATMOR is happy to introduce a new survey this year, the Production Support survey. This will cover positions in Post-Closing, Compliance, Lock Desk, and more. We are also introducing updates to the original modules, Retail Sales, TPO Sales, Consumer Direct Sales, Fulfillment, and Executive Management based on participant feedback. Join us for this exciting new year of Compensation Connection. For full details, visit the 2015 STRATMOR Compensation Connection Survey website or email CompConnection for more information.


In a recent article published by Bloomberg, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may yield $191.2 billion in profits to taxpayers throughout the next 10 years if they maintain their conservatorship, according to a White House budget analysis. This projection has increased from $171.2 billion. Fannie and Freddie are profiting again after a $187.5 billion bailout and they have returned $225.5 billion to the Treasury which receives all of their profits. The budget analysis stated that Fannie and Freddie should be “wound down” in order to reform the housing finance system and “finish addressing the weaknesses exposed by the financial crisis”. The analysis also pointed out that payments from Fannie and Freddie could decrease the federal budget deficit by an additional $39.5 billion through 2025 if they continue to exist, as payments would originate from a surcharge on their fees for mortgage guarantees. To read more about Bloomberg’s article, click here.


Fannie Mae MBS “Call In Elimination Servicer Process Requirements and Investor Reporting Scenarios” is now available. Visit the MBS Call-In Elimination page to learn more about the new process requirements for servicers and investor reporting scenarios in preparation for Fannie Mae eliminating the Single-Family MBS call-in requirement effective Q3 2016.


FHA published Mortgagee Letter 2015-04, Revised Notification to Homeowners of Availability of Housing Counseling Services. This Mortgagee Letter updates the content and provides a model template of the availability of HUD-approved housing counseling. It also provides a description of potential services and benefits of housing counseling to delinquent borrowers.


A small percentage of borrowers out there are not performing as they should, creating non-performing loans. And so there was a certain amount of interest in the last few days when the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs), released guidelines for their sales of non-performing mortgage loans. The FHFA has approved sales as a mechanism to reduce the investment portfolios of the two enterprises and to transfer some of the risk of their delinquent loans to the private sector. Bulk sales of delinquent debt is done on a substantially discounted basis and in the case of secured debt investors generally bid on the basis of the value of the underlying collateral. With rising home prices the attractiveness of such debt has increased and there has been concern that investors will fast-track foreclosures once they own the debt. (Home worth 100, borrower owes 80, investor buys the loan at 20, forecloses and sells at 100 – get it?)


So the FHFA announced enhanced requirements for the sales of NPLs by the GSEs. Freddie Mac: 2, Fannie Mae: 0. Freddie has sold severely delinquent loans through two transactions in the past six months, one that totaled $596 million in unpaid balance last summer and one last month that covered $392 in UPB. Sales of NPLs by the two Enterprises generally include loans that are seriously delinquent, which are those that are 90 days or more past due. In many cases, the seriously delinquent loans in the GSE portfolios are more than a year overdue. In a nod toward the left, the FHFA’s guidelines include a provision requiring covered servicers to market REO properties for at least the first 20 days to either non-profits or borrowers intending to occupy the property.


Isaac Boltansky with Compass Point Research opined that the new verbiage doesn’t differ from the existing policy by much. “We view the FHFA’s waterfall requirements, modification standards, and qualification mandates as largely consistent with current NPL industry practices. We believe that the FHFA’s NPL sale requirements framework is broad enough to allow the GSEs to increase both the rate and size of their NPL auctions.”


There sure has been a lot going on in the capital markets since 2015 broke. Asset-Backed Alert reported that Pimco, Blackrock, and MetLife, among bondholders, are pre-emptively warning NSM about making modifications on RMBS trusts they invest in. The bondholders are reportedly threatening that they will sue NSM if it doesn’t compensate them for modifications. The same group of bondholders, represented by Gibbs and Bruns, delivered a letter of non-performance to Ocwen last month. Yes, the same group of bondholders sent a letter of non-performance to Ocwen last month in which they alleged non-performance and failure to comply with covenants and agreements of PSAs for RMBS deals it services.


And as noted above, Freddie Mac conducted the first sale last year of loans that were more than three years past due on average. Investors, typically hedge funds, would buy these mortgages under the deals, agreeing to work with the homeowners while taking taxpayers off the hook for them. Watt said in his prepared remarks that the new rules would “focus on guidelines that provide more favorable outcomes for borrowers, avoid foreclosure wherever possible and require post-sale reporting to track borrower outcomes.”


In February Greystone, a provider of multifamily and healthcare mortgage loans, closed Fannie Mae’s first multifamily rental owners for implementing energy and water improvements (M-PIRE) loan on a Bronx rental property. The Fannie Mae product is available to affordable and market rate co-op and rental housing owners in five specified districts in New York City. This product allows for a low-cost  and efficient way to comply with the NYC energy requirements. M-PIRE allows property owners to obtain higher loan amounts than a traditional Fannie Mae mortgage because it includes projected energy and water savings toward underwriting requirements (energy and water costs are on average 20-35% of a property’s operating expense). This program will allow for more multifamily property owners to lower energy costs, while improving the quality of multifamily rental housing in NYC.


Greystone has provided a $52,500,000 17-year Fannie Mae loan as part of a $66 million financing package towards the acquisition and preservation of Quincy Point Apartments, a 650-unit affordable housing complex in Massachusetts. Greystone has worked with MassHousing to provide the financing for this project, utilizing low-income housing tax credits to help finance the program.


Greystone closed the first Fannie Mae M-PIRE loan, which is a lending product geared towards NYC apartment building owners who can receive more proceeds up front as part of energy upgrades for their building. This is a niche product, but definitely one with advantages for borrowers who are considering energy upgrades (such as oil to natural gas conversion). Typically, energy and water costs can account for as much as 20-35% of a property’s operating expenses, so it’s a way they can incorporate these costs into their mortgage. The $865,000 loan was originated by Robert Meehan of Greystone and Jeff Rueb of North Coast Funding for 2705 Colden Avenue in Baychester.


The Fannie Mae M-PIRE mortgage product is available to affordable and market rate cooperative and conventional rental housing owners in the five boroughs of New York City. The loan offers an efficient and cost-effective way to both make improvements and comply with NYC energy requirements (Local Law 43 Clean Heating Oil, Local Law 84 Energy Benchmarking, and Local Law 87 Energy Audits and Retro-commissioning).


BlackRock Inc. recently sold the first rated bonds backed by Prosper Marketplace Inc. About $281.3 million of bonds are expected to receive investment grades of P-3 from Moody’s Investors Service which issued at a yield of 2.4 percentage points more than benchmark rates. The sale was managed by Citigroup Inc. and Credit Suisse Group AG and the debt was issued by Consumer Credit Origination Loan Trust 2015-1, which was created by a unit of BlackRock. According to a Moody’s presale report, BlackRock will initially hold onto $18.2 million of junior securities tied to loans backing the bonds. More consumers are turning to peer-to-peer lending platforms like Prosper Marketplace to finance home renovations and consolidate debt. BlackRock obtained more than $330 million of loans since November 2013 by Prosper, representative of about 1/6 of debt created by the platform during that time. Bundling these loans into bonds could result in greater potential for return and increase the amount of capital that is used to finance borrowers. To read more about Bloomberg’s article, click here.


I won’t sugar-coat things: rates moved higher Monday. All else being equal, tranquility overseas combined with decent numbers here in the States will lead to higher rates. But we did have some mixed news yesterday: Personal Income rose .3% in January (wages and salaries were up .6%), the savings rate increased to 5.5% from 5% last month, Personal Consumption fell .5% (due to gas), Construction Spending fell 1.1% in January, a disappointment but December was revised upward. Lastly the ISM Manufacturing PMI dropped in February to 52.9 from 53.5. The West Coast port slowdown is impacting exporters. Fortunately agency MBS prices hung in there during the sell-off, and there was no mass of intra-day rate changes. But lower coupon MBS prices still worsened about .5.


We don’t have any scheduled news today here in the U.S., and the 10-yr is 2.10% and agency MBS prices are worse by about .125.



(Rated PG/R)

An Irishman an Englishman and a Scot were sitting in a bar.

The view was fantastic, the beer excellent and the food exceptional.

“Y’know,” said the Scotsman, “I still prefer the pubs back home. Why, in Glasgow there’s a little bar called McTavish’s. The landlord there goes out of his way for the locals so much that when you buy 4 drinks he will buy the 5th drink for you.”

“Well,” said the Englishman, “at my local, the Red Lion, the barman there will buy you your 3rd drink after you buy the first 2.”

“Ahhh, that’s nothin'” said the Irishman. “Back home in Dublin there’s Ryan’s Bar. Now the moment you set foot in the place they’ll buy you a drink, then another – all the drinks you like. Then when you’ve had enough drinks they’ll take you upstairs and see that you get ‘taken care of’. All on the house!”

The Englishman and Scotsman immediately poured scorn on the Irishman’s claims. But he swore every word was true.

“Well,” said the Englishman, “did this actually happen to you?”

“Not me myself, personally, no,” said the Irishman. “But it did happen to me sister.”





(Copyright 2015 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job 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