May Day: LO, AE jobs; non-QM, 1st time homebuyer program training; lender cost/pricing changes

Why don’t you ever see the headline, “Psychic Wins Lottery?” Some people believe that economists have the ability to predict rates, bookmakers have the ability to predict winners and losers, and meteorologists can predict the weather. Remember when Costco was going to take over mortgages? Many predict we’ll see more lenders involved in either M&A or winding down this year, given the competitive landscape Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE: BHLB) reported GAAP net income of $24 million, or $0.51 per share, in the first quarter of 2019. Not shabby. Contained in the earnings announcement, however, was, “The national mortgage banking operations of First Choice Loan Services, Inc. (FCLS: ‘The Exciting Journey Home’) have been classified as discontinued while the Company pursues the sale of these operations in 2019. FCLS continues to serve its markets while this sale is being pursued.” It’s rough out there, and industry-wide apps are declining. And Costco’s mortgage company wants a buyer.


When it comes to non-owner no income (NONI), investment properties think theLender. Introducing NONI, the simplest DSRC program in the country: Three FICO tiers, two rate adjustments, and one interest rate per tier. That’s it. No adjustments for loan amount, units, interest-only, cash-out, condo, or no reserves. If your borrower’s credit score and loan product doesn’t change, neither does their rate regardless of scenario. NONI is part of the Illumination Series, crafted by Senior Managing Director of Non-QM Bryan Filkey who has overseen more than $2.3 billion of Non-QM originations and designed several ground-breaking Non-QM programs in his career. Bryan said, “We feel that NONI is the best investment property program in the country and the best product I’ve developed to date. We appreciate the support of our partners in helping take this from concept to reality. Our rates are the most competitive in the industry despite the simplification. It’s something we’re really proud to have pioneered.” The “Illumination Series: Lighting the Path to Homeownership” from theLender has unique guides, programs, & pricing. Email theLender for more information and take advantage of this program today.

Movement Mobile, the new productivity tool from top 10 retail lender Movement Mortgage, is helping Movement loan officers do more business in less time. After launching in early 2019 with the company’s Sales Advisory Board, LOs are reporting improved production and relationships thanks to the tools in the app. Movement Mobile integrates all the common tools LOs need on the go into a single app on their mobile device. Features include loan status updates, secure document upload, pricing engine, calculators, marketing resources, and linked access to Easy App, Movement’s digital mortgage application. Movement Mobile is offered to Movement LOs at no cost. Learn more about Movement Mobile and a career at Movement Mortgage here.

Thrive Mortgage has achieved another first with its experienced Construction Division. Recently, the strong, growing company announced another great partnership within the building community through, a provider of fully on-site 3-D printing technology used in the construction of residential properties. “Experience is an asset for any company. In fact, that’s what the ‘E’ stands for in Thrive. We have more than most when it comes to construction financing,” stated Brian Hurd, VP, National Builder Division for Thrive. “We will be the first residential lender offering financing to clients for on-site, 3D Printed homes on a large scale in all of our markets.” This new construction technology will revolutionize the homebuilding industry and Thrive is once again on the forefront of leading the way. For information about growth opportunities at Thrive Mortgage, visit

PrimeLending is proud to announce that 11 of our powerhouse loan officers have been named top originators by The National Association of Minority Mortgage Bankers of America (NAMMBA). These mortgage originators were recognized for total units sold or total volume in 2018. As a company, we strive to offer the best tools, products and support for each member of our team, so they can deliver service beyond expectations to every borrower and business partner, and that’s exactly what these top originators have accomplished. If you’re a loan officer ready to experience what it’s like to have an entire company at your back working to help you succeed, contact Brian Miller today. You’ll discover that PrimeLending not only offers the best tools for LOs, but the best culture as well, which has helped our team earn best workplace awards for diversity, women and parents within the past year.”

In another revolutionary move, LoanStream Mortgage (LSM) has effectively streamlined its non-prime (Non-QM) offering, into a single loan program. With the release of the “One Program” and the “One Rate Sheet”, Broker’s and Non-Delegated Correspondents can now quickly and efficiently qualify their borrowers. The new simple program has risk-based adjustments that just make a lot of sense. “Brokers and smaller mortgage bankers are trying to learn these products. When they go to their wholesaler, they get several matrices and rate sheets. It’s tough to cut through the clutter and find out where their borrower qualifies or if they will get a better rate in one program or another. LSM is hiring Sales Managers and Account Executives across the country. LSM also has various operations positions available in Irvine. Interested brokers, bankers, and prospective employees should email Greg Armstrong COO.

Lender products and services

Join Deephaven Mortgage on Wednesday, May 8 at 11 am CT for the kick off a new four-part webinar series “The Key to Your Non-QM Lending Success” with LoanScoreCard. In the first webinar, management will discuss “Non-QM: Fact Vs. Fiction,” and touch base on questions like: Do You Know Non-QM Fact from Fiction? Why is now the time to take part in the Non-QM market? What type of clients are best suited for Non-QM loans? So, join Deephaven as they dispel the myths of the growing Non-QM market niche. Register Now! The four-part webinar series is designed to share the latest Non-QM market trends, product innovations, and technology developments with originators, and to help grow your business by leveraging Non-QM products. The second webinar “7 Things to Know Before Underwriting Non-QM Loans” is scheduled for Thursday, June 20 at 1 p.m. Central Time.

Find the right home lending software! For in-house teams who are still looking at, evaluating, and testing digital lending tools, Blend has compiled a guide of our customers’ collective advice. We hope it shines some light on what we know can be an incredibly intimidating process. Get your guide.

U.S. Bank, Freddie Mac and MGIC are joining forces to deliver an educational morning for Correspondent lenders in Denver, CO. Join this exclusive event at the Infiniti Club at Coors Field on Wednesday, May 15, featuring collaboration by industry leaders to discover “Down Payment Options for First-Time Homebuyers: Helping more borrowers heading for home.”

Presentations will include, “How Today’s Economy Impacts First -Time Homebuyers; How to Put Less Money Down: Products for First-Time Homebuyers, and How First-Time Homebuyers Can Overcome Unique Challenges in Today’s Market and Recent Updates to Underwriting Flexibilities.” Find out how you can help more first-time homebuyers get closer to move-in day. Correspondent Lenders in the Denver, CO area can register to attend here.

Recent events have resulted in fewer budgeting and forecasting solutions available to lenders. Consequently, many lenders are reevaluating the solutions they rely on for budgeting and forecasting insights. With the technology solutions for everyday business challenges changing daily, it’s necessary to evaluate your tools and processes on a regular basis. If you’re comparing budgeting and forecasting products for your mortgage business, Richey May Technology Solutions, a division of Richey May, recommends that you ask yourself these 5 questions about your budgeting and forecasting tool.

Floify’s integration with VOA provider AccountChek™ by FormFree just became much more powerful! AccountChek’s Day 1 Certainty™-approved asset verification service eliminates the hassle of collecting paper statements from borrowers by using data sourced directly from financial institutions to securely analyze and verify assets in minutes. A recent round of updates to Floify’s AccountChek™ integration has brought significant improvements to the borrower experience, increased company-level controls for lenders, and provided loan originators with a more robust report when requesting bank account information, including asset reports, verification of deposits, and historical bank statements. This and other exciting updates to Floify makes it much easier for borrowers to stay accountable in completing their loan application while only ever having to navigate to one centralized location. Discover how Floify’s AccountChek™ integration, and other powerful automation features, can streamline your loan origination processes – request a live demo!

Borrowers, costs, and the two together

STRATMOR Group congratulates the winners of the MortgageSAT Borrowers Satisfaction Program’s 2018 Best-in-Class Lender Awards. The awards are presented annually and go to the top performing lenders in six categories: Overall Borrower Satisfaction, Net Promoter Score, Loan Officer, Application Process, Loan Products and Costs. Winners this year include: Guild Mortgage, PrimeLending, Quicken Loans Mortgage Solutions (QLMS), Certainty Home Loans, Universal Home Lending, and CU Home Mortgage Solutions. Visit the MortgageSAT page on the STRATMOR Group website to see the winners list.

Fifth Third’s Community Mortgage will pay the lender’s closing costs and some fees, up to $1,500, for qualified buyers. The mortgage also can be combined with Fifth Third’s Down Payment Assistance program, which pays up to $3,600 to qualifying low-income buyers or those buying in low-income areas.

Updates were made to Citi Correspondent Lending’s CRA Premium Schedule. These changes applied to Best Efforts rate locks on/after 3/1. The premium schedule is included in its Best Efforts rate sheet. All mandatory/bid tape executions will continue to receive loan-specific CRA incentives, which may differ from incentives shown on the CRA Premium Schedule. All Mandatory/bid tape inquiries and requests should continue to be submitted here.

Citi Correspondent is adding a new Best Efforts pricing adjuster applicable to Agency Conventional loan transactions for second homes with LTVs over 85% of (0.250). Effective May 1, 2019, the new adjuster will apply to new locks and appear on the Best Efforts rate sheet on page 3 – Agency Conventional Price and Rate Adjusters/Miscellaneous Adjusters.

FAMC Correspondent is increasing the funding fee on all loans from $325 to $350 per loan. This higher fee will be effective with all loans purchased on or after July 1, 2019.

PennyMac Correspondent posted a new Announcement 19-08 updating the BE Rate Sheet Interest Rate Structure and has posted information related to updates to VA Renovation program pricing.

Excelerate Capital recently made enhancements to its Diamond Plus program which include .50% base rate improvement. Email Rachel for details.

A while back Quicken Loans delivered two pricing enhancements. NEW 50 bps Credit Investment Properties: Loan Amount > $150k, LTV < 75% and FICO® Score > 700. NEW 25 bps Credit All Conventional Products: Loan Amounts Between $150k-$200K. Exclusions apply.

Capital markets

U.S. Treasuries reversed course from Monday and rallied on Tuesday, including the 10-year closing yielding 2.51% despite better-than-expected data from Europe. Eurozone’s flash Q1 GDP beat quarterly and annual estimates; the Unemployment Rate decreased in March to unexpectedly low levels; Italy’s flash Q1 GDP also beat estimates; and Spain’s March Retail Sales and Flash Q1 GDP both bettered expectations.

Domestically, the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index indicated strong support for consumer spending since it was matched with a more favorable outlook for the labor market. Chicago PMI dropped in April to the lowest level for the index since January 2017, suggesting greater business uncertainty among firms. The Q1 Employment Cost Index showed a moderation in the growth rate of employment costs. And in Washington, President Trump and top Democrats have reportedly agreed to aim for a $2 trillion infrastructure spending bill.

Today’s session will be highlighted by the release of the May FOMC Statement this afternoon. No change is expected but the tone of Chairman Jay Powell’s press conference will be analyzed closely. Further details regarding the balance sheet normalization seem remote given the detailed March announcement. The Quarterly Refunding announcement will also be made today when Treasury is expected to announce new 3-, 10- and 30-year issuance totaling $84 billion in light of the lower revision to the April to June quarterly borrowing estimate announced Monday. We have already received weekly mortgage applications for last week (-4.3%). Coming up are April ADP, Markit manufacturing PMI for April, March construction spending, and April ISM manufacturing PMI. Today also sees major markets closed for holidays overseas. We begin with Agency MBS prices a touch better and the 10-year yielding 2.49%.


A Realtor and a loan officer go into a pastry shop.

The Realtor whisks three cookies into his pocket with lightning speed. The baker doesn’t notice.

The Realtor says to the LO: “You see how clever we are? You LOs can never beat that!”

The loan officer says to the Realtor, “Watch this, any LO is a whole lot smarter than that!”

He says to the baker, “Give me a cookie, I’ll show you a magic trick!” The baker gives him the cookie, which the LO promptly eats.

Then he says to the baker: “Give me another cookie for my magic trick.” The baker is getting suspicious, but he gives it to him. He eats this one too.

Then he says again: “Give me one more cookie…” The baker is getting angry now but gives him one anyway.

The LO eats this one too.

Now the baker is really mad, and he yells: OK… And now where is your famous magic trick?”

The LO says, “Look in the Realtor’s pocket!”

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, “MBS Liquidity: A Real Trooper.” 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.


(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to Copyright 2019 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job 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