Daily Mortgage News & Commentary

May 23: MLO jobs, lender wanted; LO sales tools, CFPB oversight, processing, rehab products; updates from Fannie

I recently opened my slang dictionary to the page that defined the origin of, “Different ways to skin a cat” and left it near my cat Myrtle’s water bowl. She didn’t seem interested. Which is fine. Lenders probably interested in that either, instead more intent on programs, pricing, and the general movement of interest rates. The Federal Reserve is interested in global events, and global events have been important to our economy. The war in Ukraine is something that has upset the global commodity picture, while also threatening the global world more broadly. Fed Chair Powell gave us the roadmap last week. “We are raising rates expeditiously to what we have been seeing is a more normal level, which is something that we will reach maybe in the fourth quarter. But it is not a stopping point… Monetary policy works through expectations.” There is a growing belief, however, that despite what happens with the overnight Fed Funds rate, 30-year mortgage rates have stabilized and perhaps leveled off. (Today’s podcast is available here and this week’s is sponsored by Matchbox LLC, igniting ideas for the mortgage industry. Expertise in assisting clients through transition periods with Technology, Capital Markets, and Education.)

Careers, promotions, & lender wanted

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Partnership or acquisition opportunity! A group is looking to form a partnership, partial acquisition, or full acquisition of existing mortgage banker. The only requirement is a clean corporate history and FHA/VA approved. Open to terms that work for the seller/partner, please email Acquisitionpartner@zohomail.com.

Sierra Pacific Mortgage (SPM) is thrilled to announce several recent promotions in its Retail Channel. John Goulding has assumed the role as EVP of Retail Lending. John is a results-driven executive with a history of taking on critical business assignments and successfully leading high producing sales teams. SPM also promoted Mary Lee to West VP/Divisional Sales Leader and Brian McGinley to Midwest VP/Divisional Sales Leader. Both will report directly to John. Mary has been tasked with managing their branch network and creating growth opportunities in both new and existing markets for the Western Division. Brian will oversee the strategic direction, business development, and market expansion for the Midwest Division. This industry requires prudent and pragmatic leadership, and with these internal promotions SPM is in a great position to remain strong and successful in this market. For loan originators and branch managers interested in joining Sierra’s growing team, please contact John Goulding.

Do you trust your company’s leadership and vision? We’re proud of our past and confident in our future. It all boils down to leadership. Churchill Mortgage not only has a sound leadership team, but it is also an employee-owned company (ESOP), which means we are a company full of leaders! Our owners are laser-focused on the success of our company and well-being of our customers. We are not only focused on profits, but also on our people, one reason why we’ve been voted a Top Workplace for 10 consecutive years! We provide our loan officers with tools to help clients succeed, such as our Home Buyer Edge program with a $5,000 Seller Guarantee. If this type of leadership mentality interests you, learn more about us here. We’re growing and would love to speak with you about opportunities in your area.

FHA has a job opening, 22-HUD-1704-P, for a Supervisory Loan Guarantee Specialist in Washington D.C. Job functions include administering staff requirements, procedures, work assignments, establish and interpret office policies. Salary range? $126,233 – $164,102 per year.

Lender & broker software, services, and programs

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Don’t you hate it when your burrito falls apart as you eat it? Fortunately for us messy eaters, a team of engineering students have created “Tastee Tape,” an edible tape that holds together notoriously messy foods, to solve this culinary struggle. Speaking of simple solutions for long-running problems, Sales Boomerang and Mortgage Coach have teamed up to address lenders’ ongoing borrower conversion struggles by creating the mortgage industry’s first borrower intelligence and conversion platform. Get an inside look at the new partnership this Thursday, May 26 at 1 pm ET as Sales Boomerang’s Alex Kutsishin, Mortgage Coach’s Dave Savage and Assurance Financial’s Katherine Campbell discuss how the two platforms helped Assurance Financial achieve 29 percent higher conversion rates. Register to learn more about this tech pairing that will have borrowers sticking by your business.

“A Storm is Coming. Is Your Servicing Organization Ready? The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season is almost here! The season officially opens on June 1st and runs through the end of November. Hurricanes battered the east coast in 2020, breaking previous records, and 2021 came in third for seasonal activity. It looks like 2022 will follow suit. Preparing for storm seasons and other natural disasters is a complex, demanding servicing effort, and the timing is unpredictable. Read our latest blog for tips on preparing your servicing organization for this season’s natural disaster lineup. CLARIFIRE® has been helping mortgage servicers automate industry volatility for two decades. Not a point solution, CLARIFIRE delivers enterprise speed, accuracy, and transparency that drives process automation and provides compelling capabilities for a real-time seamless servicing experience. Add CLARIFIRE to your arsenal. Your servicing team’s answer to relief with CLARIFIRE, delivering a better approach, better software, and BRIGHTER AUTOMATION®.”

Bring your deals, scenarios, and questions as National Mortgage Professional Magazine presents a DealDesk featuring Acra Lending Rehab Loans. Acra BPL (Business Purpose Loan) division does bridge loans for 1-29 units and the Non-QM long-term take-outs for those products. Their Bridge products are 12-24-month terms, Interest only with no prepayment penalty. Acra Lending will reward high FICO’s with additional leverage and pricing. They hold some of our paper, securitize the rest and have our own servicing department. On this DealDesk, Acra will discuss their zero-point options and how they allow for points to be charged on the exit to accommodate our partners. Present your deals and questions to Robert Jennings, Managing Director, Fix and Flip of Acra Lending on Wednesday, June 1st at 1 pm ET / 10 am PT by registering here.

Cloud-based LoanMAPS, a fully integrated digital processing and underwriting system, will eliminate your need for a POS, a LOS, a CRM, report writer, and income calculator. Do you know your costs of your full-time employee? Does your Fintech truly improve their work process and reduce your cost to produce? LoanMAPS does. With LoanMAPS you can have confidence you will start the loan with an agency compliant AUS underwrite, and our workflow will have entry level mortgage bankers closing in no time! “LoanMAPS is not about replacing people, it is about using technology to its fullest potential so that your employees can reach theirs.” Take3Tech! In conjunction with our partner DocMagic, users can finish closing documents in 15 minutes. See more about how you can reduce your cost to close with the LoanMAPS Closing Module! See all the time and cost saving features of LoanMAPS by requesting a demo today.

“Is your organization prepared for more aggressive CFPB oversight? Richey May has helped our mortgage banking clients mitigate risk and strengthen compliance capabilities for the past 35 years. Our CFPB Readiness services will provide your organization with the best resources available, empowering you to take proactive measures, drive efficiencies, navigate change and focus on growth. Contact our experts at Richey May Advisory today to learn more about how we can help you prepare.”

Lakeview Correspondent wants to offer you the best of both worlds! Do you currently originate Jumbo or Non-Agency loan products? Would you like to offer these products but need Underwriting assistance? Clients will have a choice of Delegated or Non-Delegated Underwriting by loan program: the best of both worlds. Reach out to your sales contact for more information. Also, be on the lookout for Bayview Non-Agency products on the LoanNex platform.

New eBook: Insight from Rob Chrisman and other industry vets for success in a volatile market. How can lenders adjust their strategies to 2022’s market? Mortgage solutions provider Maxwell asked some of the foremost mortgage experts, including FGMC COO Suzy Lindblom, Maxwell SVP of Mortgage Operations Bob Groody, Maxwell Solutions Director Anthony Ianni, Maxwell VP of Customer Success Bryan Traeger, and Rob Chrisman, about the strategies, habits, and actions they’re seeing top lenders rely on for success in 2022. The result is Maxwell’s new eBook, which highlights how the industry’s most innovative lenders are gaining efficiency, improving margins, and protecting profitability in today’s environment. For actionable advice, click here to download Mortgage Experts Take on 2022’s Market free from Maxwell.

As we’re talking to mortgage leaders around the country who are brainstorming strategies for this difficult market, they are working hard to get Loan Officers to adopt the new habits that are required for success in the most challenging market many have ever seen. We know that technology can dramatically help LOs succeed but remember you must inspect what you expect. How engaged are your LOs with your technology providers and what does that mean for your Return On Investment? Mortgage leaders need to know the answer to these questions: What is your technology partner doing to move the engagement needle? How many times do your LOs login to their CRM daily, how many calls do they place weekly? How many leads are converting to applications? As you audit your technology stack, download a few free tools from Usherpa to boost LO success3 Strategies to Inspire your LOs to Pick up the Phone and 3 Habits of Top Producing Loan Officers.

Fannie news

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Freddie and Fannie, both under the oversight of the FHFA, often move in tandem with policy and procedure changes. Today let’s see what Fannie has been up to recently.

Fannie Mae Announcement SEL-2022-04 adds requirements for the use of virtual currency, modifies the policy relating to foreign assets, adds details on Community Seconds® provider eligibility, eliminates certain requirements related to unrecorded assignments of mortgage.

Fannie updated escrow analysis requirements, LL-2021-07, to clarify that servicers must spread any escrow shortage repayment amount identified in the next annual analysis over either the remaining escrow shortage repayment period or a period of up to 60 months. This update applies to COVID-19 payment deferrals or Flex Modifications in accordance with the reduced eligibility criteria for COVID-impacted borrowers.

Fannie Mae announced the Supplemental Consumer Information Form (SCIF/Form 1103) will be required for new conventional loans sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with application dates on or after March 1, 2023. This requirement will help facilitate the collection of homeownership education, housing counseling, and language preference information.

Fannie increased its expense reimbursement limits for interior and exterior property inspections, view LL-2021-02 for information.

Fannie Mae Announcement SVC-2022-03 – Servicing Guide Update incorporates previously announced policies regarding unrecorded assignments of mortgage, changes the method of managing drafting instructions for certain remittances, provides notice of transition to a new default foreclosure and bankruptcy data reporting system, and more.

Fannie updated Appraiser Quality Monitoring (AQM) frequently asked questions to provide more transparency into the AQM process of providing actionable feedback to appraisers to improve consistency, manage risk, and increase confidence in the appraisal process.

Fannie Mae’s 2022–2024 Duty to Serve Plan identifies its commitments to support homeowners and renters in specific underserved communities and reflects our commitment to help very low-, low-, and moderate-income renters and borrowers achieve stable, affordable, sustainable housing. Learn more about Duty to Serve.

Fannie economists surveyed mortgage lenders for their thoughts on appraisal modernization, including benefits, implementation challenges, and possible applications. “Shortening loan origination cycle time” was overwhelmingly cited as the most important potential benefit of appraisal modernization, followed by “enhancing appraiser capacity” and “lowering consumer/borrower costs.” What other thoughts were shared? Find out in the Fannie Mae Perspectives Blog.

Fannie will begin transitioning valuation requests and order management from Valuation Management System (VMS) to Servicing Management Default Underwriter™ (SMDU™). This functionality will be available to servicers via SMDU beginning on June 20. Servicers are required to implement this policy change by Sept. 1. Read Fannie Mae’s advance notice.

Effective July 25, servicers can begin utilizing the new Attorney Fees – Post Sale Bid Process subtype for amounts up to $350 in Life of Loan (LOL) expense reimbursement submissions for California properties. Expenses exceeding $350 for LOL requests still require excess fee approval. View Fannie Mae release notes for more information.

Capital markets

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Investors last week continued to shun risky assets amid soaring inflation as the Fed attempts to navigate a “soft landing.” For the economy to avoid suffering a downturn, some deft policymaking from the Fed and a bit of luck will be needed. Economists see a slowdown at best in the coming years, with a growing risk of contraction. Minneapolis Fed President Kashkari said the FOMC will “do everything we can to achieve a quote-unquote soft landing, but I don’t know the odds of us pulling that off.” No surprise. St. Louis Fed President Bullard said the recent decline in U.S. stocks could be expected, calling the drop a response in part to higher interest rates. He sees the likelihood of a recession as being low.

Economic data over the last week showed that consumers increased spending in April (0.9 percent) despite rising prices. Many households still have substantial savings that could propel more spending even in the current inflationary environment. Industrial production picked up as well as automotive production increased by 3.9 percent. U.S. manufacturing production is higher than pre-pandemic levels while countries like China remain disrupted due to COVID and government-mandated lockdowns as well as turmoil resulting from the war in Ukraine. Demand still outpaces supply which means the Fed will continue to intervene in order to bring balance back to the markets. Meanwhile, housing starts slid 0.2 percent in April to a 1.724-million-unit annualized pace, and existing home sales fell 7.3 percent. Despite the drop in the number of units sold, the few homes that are available continue to sell quickly indicating that demand is still strong despite higher prices and interest rates. While some homebuyers may be hoping for relief from rising home prices, the lack of inventory could insulate sellers from significant price drops.

 

This week’s calendar, which includes an early close on Friday ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, includes updates on durable goods orders, the second look at Q1 GDP, April PCE, and the Minutes from the May 3/4 FOMC meeting. Today’s calendar is complete with the release of the Chicago Fed National Activity Index for April (+.47, strong). Two Fed speakers are scheduled to speak starting with Atlanta Fed President Bostic followed by KC Fed President George. The Desk will purchase $1.6 billion per day on average over Monday through Thursday, including $615 million of GNIIs and $1.1 billion UMBS30s today, before releasing a new two-week purchase schedule on Thursday afternoon. We begin the week with Agency MBS prices worse about .125 the 10-year yielding 2.83 after closing last week at 2.79 percent.

What’s it like to have a test drive prank played on a salesman by Jeff Gordon? Here you go.

Visit www.robchrisman.com 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 titled, “A Primer on the Federal Reserve and Mortgage Rates.” The Commentary’s podcast is live and at any place you obtain your podcasts (like Apple or Spotify).

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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 www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2022 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.)