May 23: LO jobs; servicing, POS, marketing, fulfillment, pricing engine products; FHA, VA, USDA, Ginnie news

Does your company have a decent product for a borrower who crowd-funded their down payment? How about a house with a granny unit in the back? Trends in lending and real estate, right? How about anyone who is buying a place to live in a converted office building or mall? I hope so, as that is certainly “a thing.” Obviously, it takes a different construction skill set. Speaking of which, here at the MBA’s conference in Manhattan someone was telling me, “Many companies have momentarily stopped reducing overhead and are prepared for an increase in volume: ‘re-flate.’” Overhead is obviously a topic: If an LO doesn’t need a branch or manager, why should their borrower pay for them, and the overhead, through worse pricing? And in terms of cutbacks, is “furloughing” just IMBs kicking the can down the road? On the banking and credit union side, those institutions have proven adept at finding other places for personnel not needed in residential lending, through what is allowed in their licensing or through their various departments. And on we go. (Today’s podcast can be found here and this week’s is sponsored by Black Knight. From point-of-sale through post-closing, the company’s trusted loan origination system, Empower, as well as its integrated, end-to-end origination solutions deliver unmatched capabilities, functionality, and support to increase processing efficiencies and lower operational costs for lenders, as well as improve the homebuying experience for borrowers. Listen to an interview with Black Knight’s Frank Poiesz on, “What is automated technology versus what is artificial intelligence?”)


Originator jobs and transitions


“SWBC Mortgage is excited to announce its expansion into Minnesota and would like to extend a warm welcome to five new, local branches. We are thrilled to have you join our team and contribute your talents and expertise to our organization. Together, we can achieve great things and make a positive impact on the lives of our clients and communities. This expansion represents a significant milestone as we continue to grow and reach new markets and aligns with our commitment to providing accessible and personalized mortgage lending services to homebuyers nationwide. Join SWBC Mortgage and become part of a company that is continuing to grow and has a plan for the future. Contact James Clark, Director of Strategic Growth. To learn more about why SWBC Mortgage was awarded #5 Best Large Mortgage Companies to Work For in 2021, visit us here.”

Looking for a long-term relationship in your career? In June, Embrace Home Loans is rolling out a new Relational Recruiting Campaign for loan originators to educate candidates about the company. “We place a lot of value on building relational equity over time and believe the best way to ensure a good fit on both sides is by selecting originators who fit our culture, growth mindset and values,” says Jason Will, SVP of Market Growth. During this journey, candidates will receive no-pressure videos from Embrace leaders and team members providing meaningful insights into the company’s vision, value propositions and growth strategies. “We believe our people are our biggest competitive advantage and that we are well-positioned to help originators scale and diversify their business,” Will says. Interested? Reach out to Jason Will.

Top Flite Financial, Inc. is excited to welcome Ken Panosian to the team as its new Executive Vice President of National Production. “Ken’s extensive experience, relationships, and proven track record in the industry make him a perfect fit for our team.”

Lender and broker products, software, and services


If there’s one thing we could all use a little more of, it’s control: over our environments, our company, and for those of us in the mortgage business, actionable data to manage our loan portfolios. The good news is that there is an ocean of customer data that can provide business insights just waiting to be turned into levers of control. However, without the right technology to customize it to fit your needs, it’s just lines on a spreadsheet. That is why Servbank created SIME (Servicing Intelligence Made Easy), a proprietary servicing system that gives lenders an always available, real-time, fully transparent view into their loan portfolios. Through SIME, you can see rich and up-to-the-minute data, gain end-to-end compliance and regulatory management, access all customer calls and interactions, and view the KPI/SLA performance of your portfolio all branded to your corporate identity. Get the insight into your business present so you can take control of your business future. Partner with us today.

Home equity lending grew 37% in 2022. What’s next? Of the lenders who don’t currently offer home equity products, approximately half are still evaluating their future path. If you’re exploring how you can capitalize on the opportunities in today’s market, inform your planning with the new “The State of Home Equity Lending” research report from ICE Mortgage Technology® and STRATMOR Group. From which lender types are best positioned to offer home equity products, to proven ways to maximize the success of your program, this report offers essential insights to help you avoid common pitfalls and streamline your lending experience. Click here to download the report now.

Long-term Rental or Vacation RentalVisio Lending is the nation’s leader in Non-QM Investor DSCR loans for buy and hold SFR rentals with nearly a decade of experience and over $2.3 billion in originations. No-DTI, 30-year terms, rate buy downs, free 45-day rate locks; I/O and Sub-1 DSCR options available. Through our top-notch Broker Program, brokers are able to earn up to 2 points YSP, and 5 points total. Visio Brokers can count on a designated Account Executive and in-house processing.

“Further Advancing PropTech: In capital markets and trading news, as the first and largest All agency private MSR exchange, MSR-X®, powered by Blue Water Financial Technologies, represented roughly 10% of the MSR co-issue flow market in 2022. Whether it is bulk or flow, MSRs or whole loans, buyers and sellers are finding operational efficiencies by using Blue Water’s vertically integrated ecosystem to address the full life cycle of mortgage asset pricing, trading, and transfer. Blue Water offers free valuations for originators and has more than 17 buyers on the platform utilizing our patent pending loan level pricing engine. Since 2019, MSR-X® has been leading the way for digital MSR Platforms and continues to expand its fully integrated product suite by offering encrypted, cloud-based, digitized & on-shore transfer and quality control products for Whole Loans and MSR. Blue Water currently has access to over 480 sellers, and recently signed an agreement with TMC (The Mortgage Collaborative) to be the exclusive technology behind their self-branded TMC trading, transfer, and quality control platform for its members. Contact us for more information!”

“Maxwell acquires LenderSelect to improve access to faster, more affordable mortgages for hundreds more community lenders.” Maxwell, a leading end-to-end platform for mortgage lenders, has announced the acquisition of LenderSelect Mortgage Group. With LenderSelect’s suite of services, including mortgage fulfillment and secondary market trading, Maxwell aims to deliver better pricing and more efficient processes to more lenders, powered by data, technology, and end-to-end origination capabilities. The acquisition is another step towards Maxwell’s goal of providing every lender with the means to keep pace with the fast-evolving mortgage industry, delivering diverse mortgage products and providing a seamless borrower experience. Schedule a call with Maxwell to learn more about how you can benefit from this partnership.

Today’s lending environment is a tough market all around, not just for your production teams. Your marketing teams are also likely spread thinner, frequently asked to do more with less, with increased pressure to not only create compliant marketing, but content that is targeted, localized, and on-brand, all while meeting Loan Officers’ demanding 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 team with all the tools they need to efficiently help loan officers make the most of today’s market. They can utilize Usherpa’s ‘Launch Pad’ email engine to create and manage collateral aligned with your unique vision and brand strategies. What’s more, wouldn’t it be refreshing having monthly local content automatically deployed for your loan officers? Check out current issues of Local Housing Market Video and LocalEyes eNewsletterSchedule a demo today.

In order to continue reading this statement you must first CREATE AN ACCOUNT. Sounds pretty ridiculous, huh? If you’re forcing your prospects to create an account before completing your online application, you’re creating unnecessary friction that’s likely costing you business. Check out LiteSpeed by LenderLogix and see how a customer friendly POS can elevate your borrower experience.

Turn distressed loans into performing portfolios faster: increase resolution with Velocity Servicing™, a LoanCare® division focused on specialty servicing. Within 12 months, Velocity achieved a 36% lift in loan resolution compared with traditional servicing models. Traditional models are based on efficiency: keeping costs down. However, Velocity uses a different model whereby our team is incentivized to help homeowners understand their options, make smart decisions, and turnaround their unique situations. We accomplish return on investment earlier through an intelligent network of triggers, exceptions, and loan-level conditions to keep your most distressed customers’ loans on their pathway to performance while reducing overall cost. Velocity’s team prioritizes the best opportunities by using an award-winning data analytics platform to drive payment success. We maximize throughput on the highest levels of execution. Click to learn more or call us today at 646-361-6808.”

The STRATMOR Group forum on customer service


In this market, the customer experience is a critical differentiator for lenders looking to optimize sales. Lenders, where can you go for strategies and tactics to help you enhance the customer journey to increase referrals, improve pull-through and gain market share? STRATMOR Group’s Deep Dive Forum: Optimizing the Customer Journey on June 20 and 21. Join STRATMOR’s experts for two, virtual 90-minute sessions focused on best practices for analyzing the mortgage customer journey and leveraging the results. This forum is designed for mortgage bankers in the roles of CEO, COO, Head of Customer Experience, Head of Sales, Head of Operations and/or Head of Marketing. Visit the event page for details on the topics that will be covered and to register.

HUD, Ginnie, USDA, FHA, and VA investor news


Sure Fannie, Freddie, and various non-QM programs grab a lot of attention here in Manhattan at the Secondary conference. But plenty is going with HUD, Ginnie, FHA, VA, and USDA programs. Let’s check in.

Effective May 1st, for FHA Streamline Refinance transactions, AmeriHome overlay requirements for Non-U.S. Citizen Proof of Lawful Residency Documentation no longer apply with Non-Credit Qualifying refinances. See AmeriHome Correspondent Product Announcement 20230501-CL for details.

USDA Rural Development issued a bulletin on April 26, 2023 advising on SFH Direct Loan and Grant Programs Interest Rate Increase for SFH Direct Programs.

USDA Rural Development posted information on Notice of Funding Availability bulletin for Native Community Development Financial Institution (NCDFI) Relending Demonstration Program. The Fiscal Year 2023 was published in the Federal Register on May 18, 2023.

View USDA-RD Bulletin for instructions on methods for submitting applications.

USDA Rural Development issued a bulletin with important updates on Section 504 Home Repair Loan and Grant Program. With the posting of PN 582 dated May 17, 2023, changes were made to Handbook-1-3550, Chapter 12 to update and improve the Section 504 Home Repair Loan and Grant Program.

In the month of April, Ginnie Mae Mortgage-Backed Securities Portfolio reached $2.389 trillion. Read Ginnie Mae’s press release for details. All with about 200 employees!

With the publication of Multiclass Participants Memorandum (MPM) 23-01, Ginnie Mae announced it will transition all outstanding LIBOR Classes of Ginnie Mae Multiclass Securities after June 30, 2023, to CME Term SOFR plus tenor spread adjustment in accordance with the Adjustable Interest Rate (LIBOR) Act (LIBOR Act) and the related regulations, and the recommendations of the Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC). Ginnie Mae will publish additional Participant Memoranda relating to the LIBOR/SOFR transition in the coming weeks.

Ginnie Mae’s mortgage-backed securities (MBS) portfolio outstanding grew to $2.373 trillion at the end of Q1 2023, with the addition of $80 billion of MBS issuance during the period, with gross issuance ranging within $24-28 billion each month. View the Press Release for details.

Effective with new commitments taken on and after Monday, May 15, 2023, AmeriHome Correspondent’s administration fee for FHA Streamline and VA IRRRL transactions being underwritten as non-Delegated will change. See Operations Announcement 20230507-ND Non-Delegated Administration Fee Change for details.

Effective Friday, May 12th AmeriHome Correspondent’s USDA Program Guide was updated to align with recent changes to Chapters 4 and 6 of the USDA HB-1-3555. View Product Announcement 20230506-CL for more information.

Citi Correspondent Lending Bulletin 2023-01 covers multiple credit policy updates including Depreciating Markets Policy, LPA Cash Flow Credit Assessment, IRS Extensions related to Disasters and 2023 FHA Maximum Loan Amount Changes. Additional topics include Early Pay-Off Policy for Non-Agency Transactions, Non-Agency Cash-Out Clarification, Qualifying Ratio update and Source of Funds Eligibility.

PRMG Product Update 23-27 includes clarifications on FHA Products, FHA Standard and High Balance, and CalHFA Products. Additionally, updates regarding Symmetry HELOC eligible state list and WI WHEDA FHA & Conventional loan delivery and loan locking link.

Capital markets: debt ceiling, Fed hikes, economic data…


Though the week ahead has some important economic data (new home sales, GDP, personal income and spending that includes the Fed’s preferred inflation measure), U.S. debt ceiling negotiations continued to dominate headlines to open the week. President Biden and House Speaker McCarthy met again yesterday in an attempt to hash out a bipartisan deal to raise the debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary Yellen has warned that the U.S. is unlikely to be able to pay its bills by mid-June, stressing the urgency of raising the debt ceiling to avoid an economic catastrophe.

Outside of the ongoing debt ceiling drama, traders are paring bets on a June fed funds hike. Minneapolis Fed President Kashkari said yesterday that it is a close call between another rate hike in June and a pause, and St. Louis Fed President Bullard shared his belief that two more rate hikes are needed this year. What the Federal Reserve intends to do at its next meeting on June 14 will hopefully be given a little bit of color tomorrow with the release of the latest Minutes from the May 3 meeting.

We learned last week that April’s retail sales came in below the market consensus, but four of the largest components saw significant gains. Sales at non-store retailers rose 1.2 percent, general merchandise stores were up 0.9 percent, food and drinking establishments rose 0.6 percent, and motor vehicle and parts dealers rose 0.4 percent. Gasoline station sales fell despite an increase in gas prices signaling Americans traveled less. Manufacturing activity rose 1.1 percent in April as motor vehicles and parts production increased. Mining saw a 0.6 percent increase and utilities output declined 3.1 percent. While manufacturing accounts for the majority of industrial production, the sector overall has trended lower over the last few months. Survey data indicated slower orders, which suggests continued weakness in the coming months. While data point to a slowing economy, things are not cooling as quickly as some may have hoped.

Today’s economic calendar is under way with the Philadelphia Fed non-manufacturing figure for May. Later today brings Redbook same store sales, preliminary May S&P Global manufacturing and services PMI, April new home sales, Richmond Fed manufacturing and services, and remarks from Dallas Fed President Logan. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices worse .125-.250, the 10-year yielding 3.76 after closing last night at 3.71 percent, and the 2-year up to 4.40 percent.

“Someone asked me what the ninth letter of the alphabet was. it was a complete guess, but I was right.”

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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 2023 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