Mar. 7: Sales, LO jobs; underwriting, marketing, hedging products; what is moving rates; new humor

“Rob, one of my LOs was heard about a program that offers 97% 1st with no MI and up to a 105% CLTV with a community 2nd, when approved for the 1st, they’re approved for the 2nd. A shared appreciation model with 0% on the 2nd. True? I am not your “deal desk” but I think you’re talking about the “Lakeview No MI With Community Second.” (Finding a program & guidelines to fit a particular borrower outweigh guessing interest rate direction. If you want a decent list of states and who offers what in each, check out – a great source, and The Rule Tool, below, shows underwriting guidelines.)


Valuation Partners, a premier appraisal management company, is searching for a VP of the Western Region. “Our ideal candidate possesses mortgage sales experience on the west coast with existing industry relationships. Compensation is a combination of base plus commission, annual bonus opportunity, health and dental, and 401k. Join a team with a full suite of valuation products, a commitment to an exceptional customer experience with senior leadership that understands the appraisal business. If you are interested, please send your resume confidentially to us.”

The results are in! “2018 was a year of growth in the Citizens Retail Mortgage Lending division, and we plan to keep that momentum up in 2019! We’re looking for the best of the best loan officers in MA, RI, CT, PA, MI, OH, TN, NY, DE, IN, NC, NE, NJ, MD, DC, SC, VA to join our team and take their careers to the next level. We back our loan officers with excellent pricing and products, and comprehensive operations support is our mantra. Citizens Retail Mortgage Lending division was recognized as a Forbes Best Employer for Diversity, and our parent company, Citizens Bank, was one of MReport’s Top 25 Companies to Work For. If you’re looking to build your future with a company that is winning in the marketplace, apply at Citizens Bank today!” For questions, please email

Former Mortgage Bankers Association President and CEO Dave Stevens has joined ProxyPics as a senior strategic advisor.

Lender products & services

It’s hard to believe March is already here and home buying season is almost upon us. However, it’s never too late to evaluate and improve your process for increased efficiency and profitability. Digital mortgage providers like Maxwell can be an impactful way to drive efficiency for your team. Maxwell is specifically designed for independent and regional lenders where customization is desired and personalization from the loan officer is critical to achieving a satisfied borrower. Today, the Maxwell team reports that lenders on their platform are closing loans 45% faster than the national average, collecting docs 73% faster, and driving NPS and satisfaction up 25%. These numbers highlight how Maxwell increases efficiency, drives agent referrals, and offers true ROI on technology. To experience Maxwell, click here to set up time for your customized demo. Cheers to happy home buyers!

“Stop Losing Money in 2019! With the mortgage industry becoming increasingly difficult to survive let alone thrive, companies are in search of new marketing strategies to compete in this new era of credit. The Decision Science team at BBM has created an advanced suite of propensity data models that help professional origination marketers identify homeowners who are actively in the market for FHA, VA, Jumbo and Non-Agency loan options. Our average loan amount for active FHA/VA and Non-Agency applications exceed $350K and gross top line revenue of nearly $15,000. If you’re marketing is not reaching these levels of performance than let BBM show you how a targeted marketing strategy focused on propensity modeling and targeted revenue opportunity can change the trajectory of your company.” For more information about BBM Marketing Services and about becoming an approved origination partner; please contact Bill Senteno and visit

“Hey Loan Officer! Have you ever been blindsided by an underwriting problem right before a deadline? Don’t you wish you could’ve had an expert right in your pocket, answering your questions anywhere, anytime? What if we told you that’s totally possible? With The Rule Tool, you can have 24/7 access to all the knowledge you need! Designed and updated daily by underwriting experts, this app provides agency guidelines in easy-to-understand terms that will save you time and stress. No more panicking over last-minute questions, The Rule Tool gives you the answers you need FAST so you can get those loans approved! Click here to sign up today!”

Sierra Pacific Mortgage is hosting a free webinar on Bank Statement loans for its wholesale partners. Because this product is unique, and can help you achieve your sales goals, they are offering it twice this month. Register now for Tuesday, March 12 at 11:00 am PST or for Thursday, March 28 at 1PM PST.

Looking for ways to grow your business? Freddie Mac is collaborating with clients to deliver automation and insights that provide a competitive edge. Cut back on documentation and reduce time to close with Loan Product Advisor® automated income and asset assessment capabilities. Save borrowers time and money with ACE appraisal waivers, now available for certain condo unit loans. Grow your condo business with Freddie Mac’s unit-level condo exception tool, Condo Project AdvisorSM. Get greater efficiency with simpler collateral QC and underwriting in Loan Collateral Advisor® Get The Freddie EdgeSM.

Can you grow originations in a challenging market? Yes…and LendingTree can help provide a solution! We can connect Loan Originators to high intent customers within their local market to help grow originations and increase organic referrals. The most successful lenders on LendingTree’s network use our local introduction purchase feature to foster new relationships and strengthen existing ones with real estate agents. To drive incremental originations and scale your business contact LendingTree at

What are lenders saying about MCT? The 2018 STRATMOR Technology Insight Study rated MCT as the leader in overall satisfaction, lender loyalty, and functionality effectiveness among production pipeline hedging vendors, according to survey respondents. According to STRATMOR Group, “72% of respondents use third-party tools for Production Pipeline Hedging and 29.9% chose MCT to conduct these analyses. Further, MCT’s Lender Loyalty Score value is an impressive 81; 20 points higher than the overall average score.” “There’s never been a better time to be at MCT,” said Curtis Richins, President. “We have so many new innovations rolling out that everybody is excited about the future. We’re proud clients still experience the same boutique-style service despite our rapid growth.” Learn more about what separates MCT from the competition. From award-winning software to best-in-class advisory services, lenders of every size can reach new heights by leveraging technology and a team of experts from MCT.

Comp survey

Are you considering the benefits of having operations staff work from home/remotely? You’re not alone. According to STRATMOR’s 2018 Compensation Connection Study, 39 percent of lenders already have remote underwriters working offsite. Compensating your people is about more than giving them a market average salary. Incentives and benefits — like bonuses, educational allowances, time off and work-from-home opportunities — count. STRATMOR’s Compensation Connection is the resource you need to ensure your compensation plans include the right incentives to keep your valuable resources working for you — not your competitors. The study provides compensation information for all roles unique to the mortgage industry, from sales to post closing and for both Independent and Bank-owned lenders. And, because there is more to compensation than salary, it provides details on incentives and benefits paid. Don’t miss this opportunity to have the most mortgage-specific compensation information available. Sign up for the 2019 Compensation Connection Study today.

Capital markets

We’re well into March already. As 2019 picks up speed, it is good for lenders to stay abreast of economic happenings they could be impacted by. Growth is expected to slow this year, as the median end-year forecast called for 2018 GDP to grow by 2.9% on a YoY basis and by 3.1% on a Q4-to-Q4 basis. For 2019, the end-year forecast calls for GDP to grow by 2.6% YoY and by 2.2% on a Q4-to-Q4 basis.

Much of the growth concerns revolve around the trade dispute with China and the monetary policy of the Fed. All but one of the respondents expected the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) would raise its target rate range at the Dec. 18-19 meeting. It did, moving its range to 2.25% to 2.5% and signaling future rate hikes would be less predictable. For 2019, survey respondents were divided in their predictions for rate hikes, although the most oft-cited prediction was for two but that has been scaled back to 0-1. The expected impact of that on the Treasury yield curve is we should see it flatten further in the first half of 2019.

In addition to FOMC policy, U.S. economic conditions, and inflation and inflationary expectations, remain the dominant factors cited affecting Treasury yields. The median forecasts for 10-year Treasury rates were 3.34% by December 2019. That has also declined.

The other large impact on rates will be the continuing effect of Tax Policy on growth. Three-quarters of FOMC respondents estimated the 2017 tax reform positively affected full-year 2018 GDP growth by more than 25 basis points, while one-quarter estimate the influence to be in the 0 to 25 basis-point range. A majority of respondents believe tax reform increased the long-term potential growth rate of the economy. The challenge, or opportunity, as global markets and economies become more open, accessible and interconnected than ever before is for U.S. markets to remain a beacon of opportunity across the world.

Fortunately, 2019’s volatility may feel worse than it actually is. 2018’s ups and downs felt especially jarring after several previous years of relative calm, but relative to decades of market history, the recent gyrations are well within the range of what may be called normal. There are several other uncertainties to consider as we progress through this year. Chatter has been that the Federal Reserve will not raise rates in 2019 as aggressively as previously anticipated. Overseas markets, such as Germany, France, Italy Japan, and largest of all, China, had poor 2018’s economically as well. U.S.-China trade relations have weighed on global markets as the U.S. attempts to reduce trade imbalances that could potentially lead to a full-blown trade war. Finally, Brexit, the United Kingdom’s potential exit from the European Union, and whether and how it will happen, including the long-lasting ramifications, have added to uncertainty. After nine years of rising stocks prices and recent years of unusually low volatility, 2019 may bring additional volatility, but you can go through year with optimism about the market opportunities and the economy as long as you are clear-eyed about the risks we face.

Private data sources, the Federal Reserve and some federal offices, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics were releasing data while the rest of the federal government data sources remained furloughed. The shutdown is over, but its impacts are still felt. How quickly will those federal data sources will be able to release the backlog of data? The shutdown is expected to have a small impact on first quarter economic figures, but the first quarter has often been the weakest of the year in terms of GDP growth. The private data that has been released remains in positive territory, however not as strong as earlier in 2018. The Federal Open Market Committee meeting left short-term rates unchanged, as expected, but market participants continue to be focused on any more insight into the “patient” stance Fed speakers mentioned in January. Many believe the fed funds rate is nearing its cycle high and that there may be only one or two rate increases left before a pause. Lots of others say the Fed is done raising rates.

The U.S. 10-year closed Wednesday down at 2.69% as the yield curve exhibited a steepening action on the back of a cut to global growth predictions and a widening U.S. trade deficit. The OECD lowered its global GDP growth forecast for 2019 to 3.3% from 3.5% and trimmed expectations for 2020 GDP growth to 3.4% from 3.5%. The organization called on the European Central Bank (ECB) to signal that rates will be kept at low levels for longer. The U.S. trade deficit widened to a 10-year high as both tax cuts (boosting demand for imports) and Trump’s trade wars (tariffs hurt exports) were culprits despite President Trump’s pledge to reduce the imbalance. There is thinking that the Trump Administration will try to correct the trade imbalance with assertive policy actions.

What else is going on? The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta revised its GDPNow forecast for Q1 GDP growth to 0.5% from 0.3% due to a larger than expected increase in government expenditures in January. New York Fed President John Williams believes that with the current fed funds rate, the Fed is essentially at a neutral rate and adding that last year’s tightening is expected to restrain consumer and business spending in 2019 and that he sees potential growth in the United States at about 2.0%. He also said the central bank could resort to quantitative easing or negative rates in the event of a downturn. And the European Central Bank will opine today with the market expecting President Mario Draghi to shed some additional light on the ECB’s plan for launching a new targeted longer-term refinancing operation. And another meeting is planned between British and EU Brexit negotiators.

Today’s economic calendar began with the ECB releasing their latest policy decision (unchanged, and expected to be unchanged for 2019). The U.S. calendar is underway as well, having already received job cuts from Challenger, Gray & Christmas (nearly 77k, the highest since mid-2015), weekly jobless claims (-3k to 223k) and final Q4 productivity (+1.9%) and unit labor costs (+2%). We have one Fed speaker on the day, Governor Brainard. We begin today with agency MBS higher a couple ticks and the 10-year yielding 2.67%.

Thanks to Brian M., who from out in California sent, “It being ‘Irish History Month’ I thought this might be a good clip for your readers.”

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, “How are You Going to Compete.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.


(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to Copyright 2019 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