May 3: Corresp., AE, LO jobs; TPO, BI, social media, POS products; Conv. conforming changes; Blend CEO interview

If I tried to carry my cat Myrtle around like in this short video, there would be conflict. We all continue to hear conflicting information about home sales and prices in different parts of the nation and at different price points. One thing remains constant: there are over 50 million people aged 28-38. Millions do not own homes yet; sure, some of them don’t want to own them, but millions do. There are currently only 562,000 active listings of houses for sale in the U.S. The supply/demand imbalance that helps home prices. Zonda did a survey of why people decide to buy a home. The top reasons, which every LO should use in conversations, are: building my own equity rather than someone else’s, marriage or having kids, stability, participating in home price appreciation, and it was cheaper to own than to rent. Recent reports have New Home Sales rising 9.6 percent MOM in March but were down 3.4 percent compared to a year ago. The median new home price was $449,800 which was up about 3 percent compared to a year ago. House prices rose 0.5 percent MOM and 4 percent on a YOY basis according to the FHFA House Price Index. And the Case-Shiller Home Price Index reported a 0.2 percent MOM gain in February, and a 2.0 percent annual increase. (Today’s podcast can be found here and is this week’s is sponsored by Blend. Want to power a better lending journey from application to close? Find out how their digital end-to-end mortgage experience can help you reach your business goals. Listen to an interview with Blend’s Nima Ghamsari on the future of the mortgage origination process and Blend’s financial health.)

 

Employment, promotions, and transitions

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Informative Research, a Stewart Company, is excited to announce the hiring of industry veteran Craig Leabig as its new SVP Marketing and Product Management. Informative Research is a growing technology platform company with a simple vision: to provide innovative solutions for the mortgage lending industry. Informative Research has recently acquired AccountChek, a digital asset verification service, and they believe that Leabig’s wealth of experience and expertise in the verifications space will make for a complementary fit. He has a proven track record of building successful marketing and product strategies in the financial industry, and they are confident that he will help take Informative Research’s offerings to the next level.

Innovation isn’t a new concept for Evergreen Home Loans™. Evergreen has committed to providing exclusive innovative home loan programs as part of its robust program lineup, including Evergreen’s new and game-changing Fast as Cash program. Unleashing the power of cash, Fast as Cash helps homebuyers who require a home loan make a winning offer with no financing or appraisal contingencies (similar to an all-cash offer). Plus, it’s backed by a guaranteed close in as little as 10 calendar days. Fast as Cash alongside other innovative home loan programs helps Evergreen stand out as a mortgage lender that’s focused on minimizing barriers to homeownership and helping people realize their dreams in any housing market. If you’re passionate about impacting lives through homeownership and want to work for a company that’s committed to meeting the needs of today’s buyers and real estate agents, discover what’s possible with Evergreen. View current job opportunities on the careers page.

“Strength, stability, and expertise come from navigating more than 35 years in every market. That’s what Flagstar brings to the table, along with nearly $124 billion in assets. We are one of the nation’s largest bank mortgage originators and the second largest warehouse lender, originating loans from a diverse product set like construction, Non-QM, HELOCs, and many more in multiple mortgage channels. Whatever your business initiative, know this: Flagstar is committed to the TPO mortgage space and well positioned for long-term success. That’s why we keep strengthening our team with new members like John Ball, Cynthia Burke, and Tom Boles, who have just joined us. Visit us or reach out to John Gibson to learn more about what makes Flagstar so successful.”

Discover the Supreme Lending Difference. “Before joining Supreme Lending, I had never been in a place where there wasn’t a constant battle between Sales and Operations. That’s not the case at Supreme Lending. Our Operations team is the backbone to what we do. I’m able to talk to customers with confidence about what we can do, and the results have spoken for themselves.” That’s what Branch Manager Luke Welling accredited towards the $150M+ in branch production and President’s Club level performance last year. Founded in 1999, Supreme’s established operations, personalized service, strategic innovation, and direct lines of communication are key in helping their Loan Officers across the country stay competitive, overcome challenges, and grow their business. Want to be Supreme’s next success story? Contact Director of National Recruiting Ryan Baxter to learn more about joining the SUPREME Team

Lender and broker software, services, and products

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As a broker, you know how important it is to make the most of every lead in today’s uncertain market. Growing your business is now even easier with Product Comparison, a new feature included with all Loansifter® PPE subscriptions. With Product Comparison, you can help prospective customers visualize their mortgage options in a user-friendly report. These visualizations create a more engaging shopping experience by allowing consumers to conveniently compare their mortgage options side by side. Plus, the ability to instantly generate customer-facing reports can help you stand out from your competition to win more business. Ready to learn more about how Product Comparison can help you enhance the mortgage shopping experience? View an instant demo.

Most point-of-sale systems are really a second LOS in disguise. That’s not LiteSpeed by LenderLogix. Plug LiteSpeed into Encompass® by ICE Mortgage Technology™, 10x your borrower experience and watch your loan officers build you a statue. Ditch that clunky loan application and scope out LiteSpeed today.

Making an impact with social media can be daunting. To succeed, you’ll need to narrow your scope. Ask, “Where are the people I’d like to help hanging out online?” Emphasis is on help. Your clients and prospects need information from you about changes in the market and tips about getting mortgages. Your Realtors need steady advice on what’s going on in the industry. Position yourself as a thought leader. By and large, you’ll find people who need what you have on Facebook and LinkedIn. Then, as in Marketing 101, you need enough frequency and ongoing regularity when posting. At Usherpa, we know social media can become a full-time job. Which is why Usherpa has automated 100 percent of the writing of compelling content and posting regularly for you. Usherpa is designed to help you create social media impact automatically. Check it out here. Download 3 Tips for Social Media Success.

Is your focus in 2023 to do more with less? A BI solution should highlight where there are opportunities to incorporate efficiencies and reduce costs. The most forward-thinking industry leaders are turning to Richey May’s RM Analyze to learn what they need to know now more than ever: how to operate even leaner. It’s half the cost of a full-time employee, and you gain access to a strong bench of talent with a rich background in the mortgage industry and access to hundreds of reports in no time. With these insights you can make meaningful decisions for your business and do more than just survive. Learn how to operate leaner.

Broker and correspondent loan products

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“Why Wait? With rent continuing to rise, now is the perfect time for borrowers to purchase, renovate, or build a home to lock in payments and start building equity. With programs and features built to make the journey to homeownership easier, AFR Wholesale can be the stepping stone to provide your clients a foot in the door… Right now! AFR Wholesale partners have access to various programs and features like 2:1 Temporary Buydown, DPA Advantage, a full suite of renovation loan options, HomePossible, HomeOne, HomeReady, Manufactured Home financing, New Construction options, and much more. For a limited time, AFR is also providing a lender credit to borrowers who purchase in 2023 and come back in 2024 to refinance, when rates may be more favorable. (The borrower must use AFR and our original TPO client and still meet applicable mortgage seasoning requirements.) Contact AFR, email us or call 1-800-375-6071.”

Working with fewer, but better, investors is an effective strategy in this market. And it’s even more effective when you get everything you need from Plaza Home Mortgage’s National Correspondent Channel Since 2012, we have truly been a one-stop shop for correspondents. Plaza actively bids on an extensive range of products: renovation, jumbo, reverse, non-QM and of course government and conforming, with flexible delivery methods including Best-Efforts, Single Loan Mandatory, Bulk and Bulk AOT. In addition to competitive pricing, our dedicated account teams understand your business strategies and can close deals quickly. Schedule a meeting at the upcoming MBA Secondary Conference to learn more.

“It’s ‘Purchase Season,’ and applications from Self-Employed and Gig-Economy workers are helping to fuel Logan’s rapid volume growth. Logan has a large selection of solutions for the self-employed borrower, including 1099, Bank Statement, and P&L. Learn more about these Non-QM loan solutions and let us show you the different ways We Work Hard to Make Non-QM Easy™. Speaking of growth, Logan wants to welcome Fred Cawthorn, Victoria Arguello, Antonio Vadi, Paul Zimmerman, Greg McDonell, Jerry Austen, Robin Kozelka, and Anthony Simich to the Logan Family. Call Todd Lautzenheiser at 317-721-9941 or visit www.loganwholesale.com and www.logancorrespondent.com to learn why they call Logan The Agency of Non-Agency™.”

Conventional conforming news continues

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The lion’s share of loan originations is either underwritten to, or sold to, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. It doesn’t take long for their changes to ripple through the industry.

PennyMac Correspondent posted updates to Conventional LLPAs in announcement 23-29 and Government LLPAs announcement 23-30.

PennyMac is making updates to its ‘Purchase Special’ LLPA effective for all Best-Efforts Commitments taken on or after Tuesday, April 25th. View PennyMac Correspondent announcement 23-31 for details.

PennyMac Correspondent posted a new announcement 23-28: Fannie Mae SEL 2023-02 Valuation Modernization.

Citi Correspondent Lending Bulletin 2023-03 contains credit policy updates including desktop appraisal eligibility on Home Possible, property hazard, flood & project insurance, and retirement of temporary COVID policy topics.

Citi Correspondent Lending made policy changes related to Fannie Mae’s recent valuation modernization announcement and the introduction of “value acceptance (appraisal waiver” + property data report (PDR) and hybrid appraisals. View Citi Correspondent Lending complete announcement and new requirements.

Citi Correspondent Lending is implementing changes to Agency loan size adjusters, effective with Best Effort locks completed on/after Monday, May 1, 2023.

Effective with Best Effort locks completed on/after Wednesday, April 19th, Citi Correspondent Lending implemented CRA Schedule changes. An updated Best Efforts CRA Schedule (CL244) will be posted on the Correspondent Lending Portal / Resources / Correspondent Resources / training tab.

Citizens Correspondent National Bulletin 2023-10 includes information on DU Version 11.1 – Valuation Modernization and Disaster Tax Filing Relief.

Citizens Correspondent National Bulletin 2023-11 includes information on Conventional Conforming Pricing Credit Update and Disaster Tax Filing Relief Update.

United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) announced Conventional 1 percent Down, a product that will allow homebuyers to purchase a home with a down payment of only 1 percent contributed by the borrower, to “allow more homebuyers to reach their minimum down payment faster and easier, with UWM providing the additional funds for borrowers to achieve 3 percent equity on Day One.” This limited offer will be available for homebuyers who have an income at or below 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) and 97 percent LTV.

PRMG Product Update 23-24 includes information on multiple topics including clarification on Conventional Product loans with age related deed restrictions are eligible for an appraisal waiver if granted by the AUS. Standard Conventional, FHA, VA, and USDA, must have a copy of the Seller CD provided on all purchase transactions.

2-1 and 1-0 Temporary Buydowns from Plaza Home Mortgage® just got even better. In addition to current offerings, Plaza offers buydowns for renovation loans for eligible renovation loan programs. See the following for updated renovation program guidelines and buydown information: Fannie Mae® HomeStyle® and Freddie Mac CHOICERenovation®. Plaza also offers buydowns on eligible Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac programs.

AmeriHome Correspondent General Announcement 20230411-CL summarizes previously published changes made during April, additional changes made with this announcement, and recent Agency and regulatory news.

Kind Lending will incorporate new LLPA DTI adjuster based on Fannie Mae® (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FHLMC) recently announced new effective dates for DTI based Loan-Level Price Adjustments (LLPAs) fees.

Capital markets: steady as she goes ahead of the Fed

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Fannie’s trading desk is spreading the word that on May 8 a new 30-Year Fixed Rate – 275K Max Loan Amount product grid will be available in Pricing & Execution – Whole Loan® (PE – Whole Loan®). No initial manual process will be required to access the new grid. Using the product grids helps incorporate more precise pricing into rate sheets and best execution analysis.

Moving on to economic news, after traders celebrated JPMorgan’s takeover of First Republic to open the week, bank-related concerns returned to the forefront with PacWest and Western Alliance (owner of AmeriHome) leading a big selloff in regional lenders as trading in both triggered multiple volatility halts. If renewed uncertainty over the banking sector wasn’t enough to make your stomach churn, Treasury Secretary Yellen said in a letter to Congress that the Treasury Department could exhaust its extraordinary measures by June 1 if there is no deal to extend or suspend the debt limit.

Today brings the latest Federal Open Market Committee decision due, followed by Chair Powell’s press conference. A 25 basis points hike in the fed funds corridor to 5.00 percent to 5.25 percent is expected, though market participants will look for signs that the tightening cycle is taking a pause. Before the Fed, the MBS market will digest the latest mortgage applications from the MBA, which decreased 1.2 percent from one week earlier. Ahead of Friday’s payrolls report, we’ve also had ADP employment (+296 jobs, double expectations). That comes on the heels of the labor market showing signs of cooling in March. Later today brings the Quarterly Refunding announcement, final April S&P Global services PMI, ISM non-manufacturing PMI, and the aforementioned Fed rate decision and statement. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices and the 10-year yielding 3.41 after closing yesterday at 3.44 percent; the 2-year at 3.98.

I was watching a daytime talk show when the host claimed, “People that have sex every day are happier on average.”

The host went on to ask the audience, “By a show of hands, who here has sex at least once a day?” A small group of the audience sheepishly raise their hands.

The host continues by asking, “Ok, how many of you have sex once a week?”. This time around more hands go up from the audience.

“Alright everyone, I’m sure some of you only have sex once a month or less than that!” the host exclaims. “Does anyone here have sex once a year?!” she asked.

The audience and host are looking around and waaaay in the back of the room there’s a hand waving about frantically, the host sees this and walks back to interview the man.

“Sir for someone only having sex once a year, you seem incredibly happy.”

Grinning away the man yelled, “Yes ma’am, and today’s the day!”

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 Yield Curve Is Inverted: Should Lenders Care?” is the current blog. 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 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