May 11: Ops, LO jobs; Recruiting tool; lots of webinars & training this week; deep dive on jobs number; California may do what?

In the last two months everyone figured out the difference between “WFH” and “WTF,” and many in captivity are looking forward to being released, if only temporarily. My cat Myrtle, who wants to maintain my “work from home” (WFH) productivity, had employee monitoring software installed on my laptop! Plenty of LOs & AEs are accustomed to working from home, not so much for operations or management. Recently I’ve heard lots of talk of hybrid WFH/office plans: being able to hire talent from outside the area, but having employees in the office enough to maintain corporate culture. But your company should be working on a plan! Will your entire staff want PTO in the 4th quarter since they aren’t taking much now? Will you be at a competitive disadvantage if you don’t offer working from home, regardless of position? Will employees be suffering from fatigue by the time we hit June from working the hours they are? How are you rewarding them? If you require them to come back into offices, and an outbreak occurs, are you ready for a potential lawsuit? And on and on.


An Atlanta-based lender is looking to acquire mortgage broker shops nationwide with established self-gen loan officers. The lender prefers the broker shop maintain its management, branding, and culture and allows LOs to broker to other lenders. The structure lets the broker shop off load compliance and some administrative costs (e.g. accounting, payroll) while either retaining processors or using its processing service. The lender offers superior technology relieving the broker shop of headaches associated with technical support/maintenance and has proven transition plans/procedures in place for a smooth integration. All communication will be held in strict confidence. Contact Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt to forward notes of interest.

ACC MORTGAGE TURNS 21! The oldest Non-QM lender has launched a new website site,, to memorialize this momentous occasion and launched it JUMBO product line up to $2MM. Since ACC never stopped lending during the Corona Crash, it continues to grow and add new team members. If interested in joining our family, please send your resume to the president, Robert Senko, for consideration.

Towne Mortgage, a full-service lender located in Troy, Michigan is hiring! “We are looking for experienced, high performing Mortgage Operation’s team members in Closing, Underwriting, Processing, Client Support and many other support positions! Founded in 1982, The Towne Mortgage Family of Companies has more than 35 years of experience in the mortgage industry dedicated to our clients, community, and team members. Do you want to join a fun and fabulous culture that truly cares about people? Are you passionate about your career, have an incredible sense of urgency and love changing lives for the better? Leave the bureaucracy behind and come join a GROWING company and help make a difference. We have a strong benefit offering and full-time, on-site, REMOTE, and flexible/part-time opportunities available. If interested, please contact or visit to learn more about available positions.


Planet Home Lending, LLC, has three new SVPs: Mike Eckrote, SVP of Quality Control (QC), Chris Joles, SVP and Enterprise Risk Officer, and Kathy Keller who has been promoted to SVP of Strategic Initiatives from her role of Division Production Leader. Mike is charged with enhancing the company’s quality control and anti-fraud programs, responding accurately to compliance reviews, and implementing action plans to improve quality in all business units. Chris oversees the development, deployment, and maintenance of the enterprise operational risk program. And Kathy will be helping the company achieve competitive advantages and gain cost efficiencies.

Lender services & company webinars

Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”.  As our country is slowly opening back up and we’re poised to rebound, how has your plan for acquiring new talent been impacted? Model Match helps forward-thinking mortgage professionals manage and grow their pipeline with greater efficiency and visibilityModel Match’s Talent Management System provides teams of all sizes with an easy yet powerful way to track their efforts. Create a long-term business plan with qualified candidates that are matched to the specific needs of your organization with Market Insights. Match originators based on volume requirements, product mix, geography and more, and get a bird’s eye view of their production history with all the info to make contact today. The Model Match ecosystem was built to scale with your growing team. Partner with a trusted and experienced team who go way beyond the title of “recruiter”. Connect with our team to learn more”.


To help provide some perspective on what may be ahead for the industry, Homebridge is hosting the Industry Outlook webinar this week with Mike Fratantoni, the MBA’s Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research. Among his other duties, Fratantoni is responsible for overseeing the MBA’s economic and mortgage originations forecasts. During the webinar, he will elaborate on the current economic environment and what may be ahead for the housing industry. The May 15th webinar will be led Homebridge’s CEO Peter Norden and is open to brokers, real estate agents, builders, and the rest of the housing industry. Registration for the webinar and additional details can be found at


Blend President Tim Mayopoulos will be joined by Tom Parrish of BMO Harris Bank, Sonya Barcomb of CrossCountry Mortgage, and Randy Hopper of Navy Federal Credit Union for a topical customer pane on May 19. They will be discussing how they’ve applied Blend’s latest tools to thrive in uncertainty. Sign up for the digital summit.

In search of effective strategies to manage the P/L pressures of the COVID-19 crisis? Join industry leader Optimal Blue and the CMBA tomorrow, May 12th at 1:00 PM CT, for an informative discussion on how various mortgage industry factors, from shifting guidelines to changes in servicing values and price spreads, have affected mortgage bankers’ income statements over the past 90 days. Attendees will also discover effective strategies to manage their business in this volatile time, developed through proven experiences across hundreds of Optimal Blue clients. REGISTER NOW!


Lenders, has COVID-19 impacted your 2019 compensation plans? As we move forward in the aftermath of COVID-19, we’ll need data to help us build compensation plans for the third and fourth quarters of this year and for 2021. STRATMOR Group’s Compensation Connection® Study is the resource you need. This study identifies incentive and benefit information for roles unique to the mortgage industry and is an essential resource to have in a challenging employment market like the one we are facing now. Don’t miss this opportunity to have the compensation information you need to build a better compensation plan for your staff. Only lenders who complete the survey are eligible to purchase the complete study. Sign up today–registration for the spring 2020 study ends May 31.

Training & webinars this week

Arch MI’s May sessions? Here you go: Master the Mystery: Navigating and Evaluating Personal Tax Returns, Mortgage Fraud: Everything Old is New Again, Negotiate the Numbers: The Basics of Business Tax Returns and Self-Employed Borrowers, Negotiate the Numbers Applied: Case Study: Sole Proprietorship, Negotiate the Numbers Applied: Case Study: Partnership, S Corporation, Corporation, Seizing Market Share in a Purchase Market: Creating Separation Between You and Your Competitors.

MBA Education is offering multiple COVID-19 Webinars: May 12, 3 PM ET – Bringing Clarity to Appraisals During COVID-19 Register, May 13, 1PM ET – Modeling Forbearance and Losses in the COVID-19 World Register, May 13, 3PM ET – People, Processes & Technology during the COVID-19 Pandemic Register.

FHA is currently offering a Free Pre-Recorded Online Webinar. Loss Mitigation Options for Borrowers Affected by the Presidentially-Declared COVID-19 National Emergency.

As prospective borrowers come to expect more digitization in the home-lending process amid the health crisis, mortgage lenders are struggling to meet consumer expectations within real-world limitations. Origence is offering a webcast on Tuesday, May 12th: Enhance the Experience: Mortgage Lending in a Digital World.

Join NAMMBA on May 12th as its Special Guests host a Series of Complimentary Webinars. Pandemic Power Play: Right-Now Relationship Strategies.

Join MMG Chief Market Analyst Bill Bodnar on Tuesday, May 12 at 2PM ET, for a 15-minute Market Flash Call as he breaks down current market conditions in the midst of the

COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to save your seat!

MBA of Greater Philadelphia is hosting a FREE May 13th webinar to help industry participants in PA understand the realities of eClose in the state. Mythbusting the e-Close webinar.

On Thursday, May 14th join MBA/MW members only webinar featuring: Bill Reilly, President and Founder, Champion Title Kyle Tyler, Settlement Agent and e-Closings Team Lead, Champion Title to discuss e-Closings: Know Your Options.

California MBA’s Legal Issues Committee is hosting a May 14th webinar to discuss the impact of the CARES Act, executive orders, forbearance, SBA lending, credit reporting, and a look at the next stimulus bill.

Docutech’s May 14th webinar at 1 pm CST, will outline the technology progression and growth happening in eClosing and the steps lenders can take today to make every loan as “e” as it can be. This webinar explains the most current information on hybrid and full eNote eClosings, discuss the increases happening in eNote adoption, define the progression happening in eNotarization including RON, provide an overview of the eNotary landscape, and how to successfully implement your eClosing strategy.

COVID-related changes

Hey, don’t forget the Mortgage Banker’s Association COVID update page. And HUD released a forbearance fact sheet worth a gander. States are telling us what is essential and what isn’t. (Insert Georgia comment about the tattoo parlor and bowling alley lobbying efforts.) For example, Michigan sent this out.

In California, the State Assembly is considering AB 2501, a significant piece of legislation authored by the Chair of Assembly Banking Committee. It includes provisions for both residential and multi-family borrowers. The requirements are extensive and the penalties /remedies for violations significant. Among other things, the proposal would put in place a 180-day foreclosure moratorium for borrowers impacted by the COVID crisis and allow a borrower experiencing financial hardship during the COVID crisis to ask for forbearance on mortgage payments during the emergency or 180 days after. For a copy of the verbiage, to comment, or for question, contact California MBA CEO Susan Milazzo.

Effective immediately, a conventional purchase or rate and term refinance loan that enters into forbearance after the AmeriHome purchase date will not be assessed with the standard agency LLPAs of 5% for first time homebuyers) or 7% for all other loans. AmeriHome’s policy on conventional cash-out refinance loans remains unchanged.

Additional Updates to PennyMac’s Cash-Out Forbearance Policies Announcement 20-33. And PennyMac Correspondent Group posted Announcement 20-32 covering multiple topics such as Updates to Forbearance Policies, Fannie Mae’s Updated Lender Letters 2020-03/04, Freddie Mac’s Bulletin 2020-14 and USDA SFGLP Updated Income Limits for FY 2020.

Capital markets

The big news Friday was the payrolls report that confirmed unemployment now stands at its worst level since the Great Depression. In the harshest downturn for American workers in history, employers cut an unprecedented 20.5 million jobs in April, and the unemployment rate more than tripled to 14.7 percent. That means barely more than half the adult population of the U.S. now has a job. For context, the total number of jobs lost in the last recession was 8.7 million, and unemployment peaked at 10 percent in October 2009.

Even this dire report may be rosier than the reality, as it doesn’t reflect the millions of people still working who have had their hours slashed or their wages cut. And it’s only set to worsen in May, as cuts spread further into white-collar work. Congress and the Trump administration will now decide whether to continue spending trillions in stimulus money or bet that state reopenings will jump-start the U.S. economy. Treasury yields moved higher despite the record job losses, as the market had already priced in expectations for a horrendous reading on the economy and job losses actually were not bad as predicted. Additionally, a large share of individuals that were surveyed categorized their job losses as temporary.

Let’s move to some Fed news, specifically the talk of negative rates that gained steam in the media last week. The Bank of Canada declared 25 bps to be its effective lower bound despite an understanding that -0.5 percent was the lowest its policy rate could go. The European Central Bank and Bank of Japan have also refrained from taking rates deeper into negative territory during the global downturn. In the case of the Fed here at home, it seems unconventional options other than negative rates would likely be preferred. On a separate note, regional Fed Presidents Kashkari and Bostic affirmed they do not see this recession turning into a depression. Remember, a recession is two quarters of diminishing economic growth, while a depression is a longer sustained period. Kashkari and Bostic’s comments come on the heels of outlook offered earlier this week by three other Fed officials for a recovery in the second half of this year.

In more Fed news, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York will reduce its daily purchases of Treasuries again this week, while maintaining the two operations daily along with the same closing times. Somewhat more surprising was the replacement of 3.5 percent with 2 percent in the UMBS30 operations. Friday’s two operations saw the Desk purchased the maximum for the third straight day, purchasing $6.16 billion with a 42.6 percent hit rate as $14.47 billion was tendered. For the week, the NY Fed purchased $28.77 billion of the planned $30 billion, or 95.9 percent, and 38.1 percent of the $75.55 billion tendered. This equated to a $5.75 billion per day average versus around $7.5 billion in originator supply. Since the restart of QE on March 16, the Desk has purchased a total of $623 billion. Today, the NY Fed will conduct two FedTrade purchase operations totaling up to $5.083 billion.

Today is the lightest day on the economic calendar this week, with only the April Employment Trends Index due out later this morning. Things pick back up tomorrow with April NFIB Small Business Optimism, April CPI figures, $32 billion 10-year Treasury note auction results and the April Treasury Budget. The midweek calendar brings the usual Weekly MBA Mortgage Index, as well as April PPI figures, before Thursday sees jobless claims figures and April Import/Export Prices. The week closes with a laundry list of releases: May Empire State Manufacturing, April Retail Sales, April Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization, March Business Inventories, March JOLTS Job Openings, and preliminary May Michigan Sentiment. We begin today with Agency MBS prices unchanged and the 10-year unchanged at .68 percent.

Teacher: “Name something that begins with ‘e’ that you’re not very good at.

Student: “Spelling.”

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, “Loan Officers: Now More Important Than Ever”. If you have the 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. 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 2020 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