May 19: Sales & Ops & processing jobs; training events – Wells & Freddie team up; bank & credit union news – what is Chase doing?

For me this week included time in Salt Lake City, Columbus, Milwaukee, San Francisco, and Raleigh. (The mood is good as individuals continue to share best practices in an effort to lend to consumers in a compliant and cost-effective way – and that isn’t easy.) In some parts of the nation all cash buyers rule, whereas in others finding enough of a down payment can be a hurdle. San Francisco has committed to build teacher housing after a press release said that an SF teacher making $65k is unable to afford shelter.


Jobs & personnel & personnel


Finance of America Mortgage, LLC, a national, full service mortgage banker offering a diverse portfolio of home loan products seeks to add experienced, producing and non-producing Sales Managers in Southern California. FAM provides both in-branch or corporate-sourced processing, underwriting and closing services as well as outstanding sales management support including CRM tools, sales training and dedicated marketing resources. Finance of America Mortgage is part of the Finance of America family of companies and offers a variety of mortgage products and special programs, a competitive commission plan and employee benefits including medical, dental, vision and 401(K). For more information, contact Robert Goulette, Business Development Leader, SoCal at 800-414-5626.


Wisconsin-based Associated Bank has two new opportunities for this Wisconsin based bank. The Director of Mortgage Fulfillment will be responsible for managing the overall mortgage banking operations process including processing, regulatory disclosure team, underwriting and closing, including our ACS (Accenture Credit Services) relationship. In addition, this individual will work closely with our sales leaders to establish and uphold service level agreements to help ensure a positive customer experience. The Director of Consumer Lending will help build out our direct lending model (excludes mortgage), and will manage the centralized sales center, product management, underwriting and processing of consumer loans. In addition, this individual will develop and implement strategies to grow the consumer lending book of business including Home Equity Lines of Credit. To apply, follow the links below.  For more information, contact Tracy Hildner.


Assurance Financial is rapidly growing! We’re looking for talented Branch Managers and Mortgage Loan Officers to help expand our footprint across the U.S. If you’re ready to earn more or the same but with less stress, contact our Sales Recruiting Manager, Paul Peters, CMB, at 225-239-7948 or visit


A San Francisco-based multi-product consumer lending financial technology company seeks an experienced senior mortgage processor to join an all-star team of home loan professionals. We run a highly effective on-line Direct to Consumer super-prime client business. If you already know what works – and want an opportunity to change what doesn’t – join us in moving home loan finance from painful to delightful. The ideal candidate is accustomed to working with a variety of loan origination systems, can operate independently and can efficiently and compliantly manage our growing loan app pipeline from disclosure through UW. Contact me with confidential resumes for forwarding.


LendingQB’s LOS platform has received high marks for its vendor satisfaction and customer support in STRATMOR Group’s most recent Technology Insights survey report. LendingQB earned an end user effectiveness rating of 93% and exceeded functionality expectations for 22% of its respondents – top marks that surpassed even proprietary systems. Overall, LendingQB achieved a vendor satisfaction score of 96% and the highest marks for user experience among the major LOS providers included in the report. The STRATMOR Group Technology Insights survey findings are based on 266 participants ranging from under $250 million to $10 billion in annual volume. Learn more here.


And Pacific Sunbelt Mortgage recently announced outstanding customer satisfaction survey results as it celebrates its first anniversary as a division of Finance of America Mortgage. Since inception in 1985, Pacific Sunbelt Mortgage has been a premier lender within the homebuilder and realtor industry.  It services clients in Northern, Central, and Southern California, and the Greater Las Vegas area in Nevada.


In non-QM news, sources have said that Ravi Sharma has left Western Asset Management Company to pursue other opportunities. Last year at the Goldman Sachs 2016 Housing conference, Matt Scully at Bloomberg News reported that Western had purchased over $1B in non-QM mortgages. Mr. Sharma was a Portfolio Manager and Research Analyst brought over from PNMAC Capital Management for this role.
And private money lender CIVIC Financial Services has hired Merced Cohen, to direct the company’s operations as VP of Operations after being at Skyline Financial for ten years at EVP of Ops.


M&A, credit union, and bank news
Here’s something that a non-depository lender can’t do. Chase is offering 100,000 credit card reward points for new mortgage customers. And customers under age 35 made up 36% of Chase’s mortgage originations in 2016, up from 20% in 2015, a spokeswoman for the bank said.


In the builder biz, home building, first-quarter deal dollar volume is already approaching the cumulative total of all transactions in 2016!


A Bank Director Magazine survey of executives and directors finds the top reasons banks say they would sell their bank are: regulatory costs (54%), shareholder actively seeking liquidity (48%), limited growth opportunities (39%), can’t find new talent to replace exiting CEO and/or executives (15%), can’t keep pace with new customer expectations (13%) and trouble acquiring new talent on the board (4%).


Certainly, depository bank mergers and acquisitions continue. Just in the last week or two several announcements were made. Sandy Spring Bank ($5.1B, MD) will acquire WashingtonFirst Bank ($2.0B, VA) for about $488.9mm in stock (100%). Seacoast National Bank ($4.8B, FL) will acquire Palm Beach Community Bank ($346mm, FL) for about $71.2mm in cash (22%) and stock (78%) or about 1.71x tangible book. The Farmers National Bank of Emlenton ($704mm, PA) will acquire Northern Hancock Bank & Trust Co. ($27mm, WV) for $1.9mm in cash. First Bank ($4.4B, NC) will acquire Asheville Savings Bank ($795mm, NC) for about $175mm in cash (10%) and stock (90%). In Indiana MainSource Bank ($4.1B) will acquire investment management firm Capstone Investment Management. Bank First National ($1.3B, WI) will acquire First National Bank ($479mm, WI) for about $76.3mm in cash (70%) and stock (30%) or about 1.06x tangible book.


At the other end of the scale, in only the fifth incidence this year of a bank being closed, regulators closed Guaranty Bank ($1.0B, WI) and sold it under a P&A agreement to First-Citizens Bank & Trust Co ($33.8B, NC).


The Financial Times reports Wells Fargo plans to cut costs by $3 billion in addition to the $2 billion it has already announced. Branch closures and cuts in travel, consulting, marketing, and
finance are all in the mix.


And certainly credit union market share in residential lending continues to grow.


Classes, events, & webinars


National MI has 2 upcoming June 2017 webinar sessions, brought to you by its MI University. June 1st: K1, Ordinary Income, Distributions, which is It?


Explore credit reports and their relationship to credit scoring with Plaza’s webinar on May 23rd.


On the 24th of May, join a complimentary webinar with Patrick Stone, Chairman and CEO of Williston Financial Group, to discuss: Challenges and Changes Facing Title Agents. “Regulations, compliance, cyber security, Millennial home buyers… it’s not hard to find a new hurdle that our industry must clear. String Real Estate Info Services is hosting a complimentary webinar on 5/24 at 2 pm EST. During this hour-long webinar, Mr. Stone, a 45-yr veteran of the title industry, will cover three key areas. Strategic – What changes should a title agent make at the strategic level to address pending changes in market dynamics? Regulatory – Over the past decade, Regulation of our industry has taken center stage. What’s in store for the industry going forward and how can a title agent prepare? Economic – How can a title agent prepare for the changes our industry faces in a manner that will maximize opportunities and profitability?


On May 23rd, learn about new HUD 2530 rules with MBA’s webinar.


The NAWRB Nexus Conference Early Bird Special Ends May 31. Register now for its 3-day conference in Costa Mesa.


Wells Fargo Funding, in cooperation with Freddie Mac, is hosting in-market, first-time homebuyer/affordable product events in Costa Mesa, California (June 6) and Houston, Texas (June 8).  The events run from 8:00-11:30 a.m. in their time zones and are focused on helping lenders gain market share in the affordable/first-time homebuyer space, including details about homebuyer demographics, Freddie Mac’s Home Possible® and in-depth insight into those specific markets. LOs, sales/production/affordable lending managers, underwriters, and marketing teams should consider attending. Approved and prospective Wells Fargo Funding and Freddie Mac clients are welcome. If interested, contact a member of your regional sales team or send an email to


Ellie Mae has announced its Encompass Summer Training Series to help Ellie Mae customers’ advance proficiencies, improve compliance management, optimize Encompass workflow, improve key business processes and learn best practices. This training will be available in the following cities and dates: Dallas – June 19th and 20th, Irvine, California – June 22nd and 23rd, Washington, D.C. – July 17th and 18th, and Chicago – July 20th and 21st.


On July 21st, in Washington DC, join MBA for its Collateral Underwriting Workshop that will help improve your decision-making ability, loan file quality, and increase productivity throughout the processing and underwriting process for conventional and government loans. Save $50 by registering before June 9th.
Capital markets


Plenty of analysts and traders are talking about the flattening of the yield curve. On the “short end” of the yield curve, where short-term maturities are plotted, the Fed has increased rates and is expected to do so again in June. But even if short term rates head higher, we could still see long term rates not move as much, and have dropped this week, leading to a flatter yield curve. The “flat yield curve” is a yield curve in which there is little difference between short-term and long-term rates for bonds of the same credit quality. This type of yield curve is often seen during transitions between normal and inverted curves. For us novices, an easy way to think of it is if the Fed raises rates and 30-year mortgage rates don’t budge.


This week the difference between a 2-year note and a 10-year note dropped to .96%, the lowest since October. This drop in the difference, or flattening of the yield curve, indicates waning confidence in the U.S. economic outlook, and is the result of this week’s problems at the presidential level. How can President Trump lead Congress in economic changes and an infrastructure build-out when he is mired down in Russian intrigue? And will the Federal Open Market Committee pay attention?


That aside, U.S. Treasuries lost some ground Thursday, which means rates slid higher, as the risk appetite changed – but not much. (The 10-year price agency MBS, and the 5-year note all worsened about .125.) If investors want more risk they can turn to buying stocks; if they are risk averse they’ll tend toward bonds. It didn’t help rates that the Philly Fed number (third-highest reading since 2011) and initial jobless claims (232k) beat expectations.


There is no news today, aside from a couple rogue Fed presidents speaking, so it could be a quiet day. We start it with the 10-year yielding 2.24% and agency MBS prices worse a smidge versus last night.


(Thank you to Spencer D. for this one.)
James and Cindy lived on a cove at Gull Lake, Alberta.  It was early winter and the lower portion of the cove had frozen over. James asked Cindy if she would walk across the frozen part of the cove to the general store and get him some smokes and beer.
She asked him for some money, but he told her, “Nah, just put it on our tab. Old man Richman won’t mind.”
So Cindy, being the good wife and James’ true love, walked across the ice, got the smokes and beer at the store and then walked back home across the cove.
When she got home with the items she said, “James, you always tell me not to run up the tab at Richman’s store. Why didn’t you just give me some money?”
James replied, “Well, Cindy, I didn’t want to send you out there with cash when I wasn’t sure how thick the ice was!”
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, “Does Everyone Want a Job?” 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.
Rob Chrisman