Nov. 16: MLO jobs; tech, QC, foreclosure, POS, jumbo products; USDA, FHA, HUD news; STRATMOR on better LO communication

This morning I head to Kansas City to spend some time with the MBAKC. KC is a mere 500 miles from Oak Park, Illinois, east of Chicago and childhood home of Ernest Hemmingway. (Although Ernest Hemingway never actually used the phrase, “Wide lawns and narrow minds” when describing his childhood neighborhood, it certainly is catchy.) And KC is a hop, skip, and a jump away, which in this case is 800 miles, from Cleveland. Why do I mention this? I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but fans of “The Christmas Story” movie should know that the house (and museum, and grounds) is for sale in Ohio. The inventory of houses for sale has increased in many parts of the nation, of great interest to those studying industry trends. Along those lines, not only do lenders have to compete with other lenders, and institutions snaring houses to turn into rentals, they have to contend with all cash buyers. But sage originators know that where there are homes without mortgages (Florida leads the nation in mortgage-free homes; Southern California is the lowest) there is opportunity! And while I am tootling around the nation, did you know that part of California is farther north than the southernmost point of Canada? Isn’t the United States a great place!? (Today’s podcast is available here and this week’s is sponsored by MCT Investor Services, which helps investors scale their seller base, automate the bid process, source whole loan and flow co-issue production, automate AOTs, and analyze performance all in a cost-effective manner. Hear an interview with beefy and Lender Implosion’s co-founders Tim Wagner and Andrew Haberman on mortgage brand marketing and helping displaced mortgage professionals find new employment.)

MLO employment


“Ross Mortgage Company is committed to giving our loan officers every possible chance to succeed in today’s market. We have worked to forge local relationships to give our LOs access to extremely competitive ARM rates. These rates combined with access to a robust affinity partnership network has allowed Ross Mortgage Company loan officers to stay productive. If you are a loan officer frustrated with your current rates, lack of inbound leads, or promises that have fallen flat as the market shifted, reach out to VP of Sales, Kevin Coleman for a confidential conversation.”

Yee-Haw! Academy Mortgage recently returned from its 2022 President’s Club Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, where old friends and new faces were able to connect, celebrate, and recharge. The trip was fueled by live country music, a variety of entertainment, delicious cuisine, and a passion to serve. From backstage tours at the iconic Grand Ole Opry, to a night filled with line-dancing on Broadway, to an intimate performance by the songwriting duo The Warren Brothers, Nashville did not disappoint. In keeping with Academy’s culture of service, the team also spent a day giving back to three Nashville schools (Glencliff High School, Glencliff Elementary, and Wright Middle School) where they rolled up their sleeves to paint, clean, organize, build, and serve in various capacities. Watch this video to see Academy Mortgage’s Nashville experience. Want to join a company that continues to deliver next-level sales conference experiences? Contact EVP of Production Justin Harris.

Broker and lender services, software, and products


What’s your plan if foreclosure actions continue to increase, inflation persists, MSR values wane, or interest rates continue to rise? Any or all of these economic influences will provoke higher delinquency rates and negatively impact servicing margins. Adding to this stress, servicing cash flows will struggle under the loss of record-high origination volume and fruitful MSR values. Position your organization to help borrowers avoid foreclosure by driving meaningful relief to your borrowers and your bottom line. Our recent blog, “What’s Your Plan for Foreclosure Prevention?” looks at how to approach foreclosure prevention with modern automation while preparing for this next phase of servicing challenges. Deliver timely, personalized relief through real-time, seamless servicing with proven technology designed to make a difference today. CLARIFIRE® is truly BRIGHTER AUTOMATION®.

Northpointe Bank Correspondent Lending’s AUS Jumbo program provides financing above standard conforming limits and leverages automated approval and documentation solutions to help close your loans faster. The AUS Jumbo program allows for loan amounts between $400,000 and $3,000,000, loan-to-value ratio up to 80 percent, maximum debt-to-income ratio of 49.99 percent, purchase and rate/term refinances, and is eligible for 1-2 unit primary residences, 1-4 unit second homes, and 1-4 unit investment properties. Restricted stock units are allowed for qualifying income and approved Northpointe Bank clients have access to non-delegated, prior approval, and delegated underwriting options. Third-party origination is allowed and the program is eligible in all 50 states and Washington DC.  Northpointe Bank provides tailored solutions to maximize your profitability and help grow your business. View program details for more information or email us.

“WILSON!!” is probably the most quoted line from “Castaway.” The 2000 film was nothing but fiction, but tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary of the fascinating plight of real-life castaway Jose Salvador Alvarenga. Jose ultimately survived his harrowing 438-day journey alone, but lenders don’t have to face tough times solo. That’s why Sales Boomerang and Mortgage Coach are picking the brains of some of the most successful thought leaders in mortgage to uncover insights and resources lenders can use to protect margins and come out of this market stronger than ever. Tomorrow at 2:30 pm ET, join Sales Boomerang and Mortgage Coach’s Alex Kutsishin and Dave Savage, STRATMOR Group’s Sue Woodard and Paramount Residential Mortgage Group, Inc.’s Kevin Peranio as they discuss tips and tricks for not only surviving but thriving in the market during this challenging time. Don’t get stranded at sea; register today for your survival tips.

The key to finding profitability in 2023 is transforming your borrower experience and back-office operations. Maxwell offers innovative technology that centralizes your processes, promotes team productivity, and helps you close more loans with less work. Lenders using Maxwell Point of Sale slash their time-to-close by 13+ days and save an average of 21 BPS in costs per loan. Loan officers using Maxwell POS close 15 percent more loans per month, helping top lenders attract and retain the industry’s best talent. Beyond front-end improvements, Maxwell Processor Edge, a first-of-its-kind processing workflow technology, transforms the loan fulfillment process, accelerating document review, reducing errors, and boosting processor capacity. Set up a call with our team to learn how you can increase your lending profitability and combat margin compression with Maxwell technology.

The era of pandemic-related foreclosure restrictions is almost, but not quite, at an end. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, multiple states and the federal government have provided temporary relief to struggling homeowners by halting foreclosures through emergency legislation and executive orders. While nearly all the pandemic-era foreclosure moratorium protections have expired, a few exceptions remain. Additionally, some provisions could, under certain conditions, reset. Read about the final exceptions still in effect in the latest foreclosure rules update from Covius Compliance.

Control the quality of your loan at any milestone in the loan lifecycle. Candor QC provides detailed loan quality analysis giving you the ability to identify issues that would jeopardize the sale of the loan. Save time, improve investor relations, and put repurchase contingency dollars back into your business. The average repurchase exposure is 12bps but can be reduced to less than 1bps with Candor QC. Solving problems before they happen is a superpower, we have your cape. Setup up a discovery and demo by clicking here.

According to projections from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), mortgage rates have yet to hit their peak and a potential recession lies ahead in 2023. Without any definitive answer, mortgage professionals must strategize for the present while preparing to tackle the future. Forward thinkers are seeing the bright side of a slower housing market and capitalizing on this time to prepare for a future when the housing market is hot again. So, if now is the time to prepare for the industry’s future, the real question becomes: How?

STRATMOR on improving MLO communication


When it comes to the customer experience, there is one thing that never seems to change: Communication consistently tops the list of problems most cited by mortgage borrowers. According to year-to-date data from STRATMOR Group, nearly one in four borrowers (24 percent) who had a problem in some area of their mortgage journey attributed it to communication issues. Not only was communication the most frequently cited issue, but it was also amongst the most damaging of problems, causing the Net Promoter Score (NPS) to drop to -60, all but negating a chance at a referral and more than likely causing negative word of mouth. What can loan originators do to improve their communications skills? STRATMOR Group’s Customer Experience Director Mike Seminari suggests three steps originators can take now to avoid the pitfalls of poor communication and keep borrowers on the “happy path” for their mortgage loan in his November Customer Experience Tip.

Ginnie, HUD, and the FHA’s mortgage insurance premium in the news


The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published its Annual Report to Congress yesterday on the financial status of the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMI Fund). The report announced a strong combined capital ratio of 11.11 percent, well above the statutory minimum of 2.0 percent. The report also outlined that a stress test conducted on the MMI Fund that models economic conditions identical to the Great Recession resulted in a capital ratio of 6.31 percent, signaling the MMI Fund’s ability to withstand significant economic headwinds.

The Mortgage Bankers Association addressed why this matters. “A healthy FHA program is necessary to ensure the broad availability of sustainable mortgage credit to low- and moderate-income households, minority borrowers, first-time homebuyers, and other historically underserved communities. The strength of this year’s annual assessment of the health of the MMI Fund should heavily weigh into the consideration of changes to the level and structure of FHA mortgage insurance premiums (MIPs). On a conference call with industry groups, FHA indicated that it is evaluating changes to the MIP structure with a view to maximize payment relief for borrowers. MBA is preparing a comprehensive summary of FHA’s report and will share it in the coming days.

The MBA also opined on what is next. “Given FHA’s healthy financial position, MBA continues to believe that HUD should make FHA loans more affordable by reducing mortgage insurance premiums (MIP) as soon as budgetary opportunities allow. In a press statement, MBA President and CEO Bob Broeksmit, CMB, stressed that an MIP cut would help offset the impact of higher mortgage rates and improve the purchasing power for many prospective homebuyers. He added, ‘With further slowing in the housing market expected in the months ahead, MBA will work with HUD and FHA leadership to ensure FHA can safely and sustainably perform its countercyclical role in the market, particularly for first-time homebuyers and underserved communities.’”

Ginnie Mae’s mortgage-backed securities (MBS) portfolio outstanding grew to $2.3 trillion in October, boosted by $37 billion of total MBS issuance, leading to $23 billion of net growth.

Read the Press Release for details.

Don’t forget that Ginnie Mae President Alanna McCargo announced policy changes to strengthen the mortgage sector by increasing issuer liquidity, shortening the re-pooling seasoning requirement for reperforming loans from 6 to 3 months and allowing issuers the option to pool re-performing loans into TBA eligible Ginnie Mae II Multi-Issuer Pools. Ginnie Mae will effectuate these policy changes no later than the end of the first quarter of 2023 with a formal policy notice forthcoming.

USDA Rural Development announced the Manufactured Housing Pilot Program has been renewed. The Pilot Program was extended via a Federal Register Notice dated November 2, 2022 and remained largely unchanged from previous issuances on this topic.  As a Pilot Program, the number of participating states remains restricted, with the following states included: Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

PRMG Product Update 22-64 includes multiple updates regarding USDA products and clarification on VA and VA High Balance current properties being converted to second homes or investment properties. In addition, clarification that there is no option for Broker Fees for the wholesale or non-delegated correspondent channel on Symmetry HELOC transactions.

Capital markets


Securities backed by mortgages, and treasury, prices rallied yesterday after markets received more good news on inflation. The producer price index, which is a wholesale price index one step removed from what consumers see, rose 0.2 percent in October and 8.0 percent year-over-year, flat compared to September and well below expectations. Even with the day’s positive surprise, the core PPI rate remains up 6.7 percent year-over-year. Stripping out food and energy, the index rose 0.2 percent month-over-month and 5.4 percent year-over-year. Like the CPI report, which was also cooler than expected, this signals the Fed is gaining traction on the inflation front. And any continuation of disinflationary trends will be viewed as an indicator that the Fed could slow the pace of its rate hikes soon.


Today’s calendar is already under way with mortgage applications from the MBA following last week’s sharp rally in rates after CPI came in softer than expected. Application activity lifted from its lowest level since 1997 to increase 2.7 percent from one week earlier, though included an adjustment for the observance of Veterans Day.

We’ve also received retail sales (+1.3 percent, more than expected, ex-autos +1.3 percent) and import / export prices (-.2 for imports), all for October. Later this morning brings October industrial production and capacity utilization, the NAHB Housing Market Index for November, September business inventories and a Treasury auction of $15 billion 20-year bonds. Three Fed speakers are currently scheduled: New York President Williams, Vice Chair for Supervision Barr, and Governor Waller. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices little changed from Tuesday and the 10-year yielding 3.79 after closing yesterday at 3.80 percent.

People sometimes say that mortgage banking lingo is hard to understand. How about an angry Irishman? I’m putting this video as a link, as I want you to read the comments. They are so hilarious and cleverly written. Check out Arthur Mcdonagh’s video! #TikTok:

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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 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.)

Rob Chrisman