Nov. 19: LO jobs; HELOC, reno, LOS products; Lehman litigation webinar & other upcoming events and training

Thanksgiving means many things to many people: family time, a half day of work Wednesday, or a four-day weekend. To the staff and students of Johns Hopkins, they are thankful for the gift from Michael Bloomberg, class of 1964, of $1.8 billion (with a “b”). Lenders and their staffs give millions every year to various causes, but beginning in the fall of 2019, Johns Hopkins will be a loan-free institution. “We will replace all undergraduate student loans with scholarships, and we will reduce overall family contributions to financial aid. In addition, for the spring 2019 semester, we will offer immediate loan relief to every enrolled undergraduate student whose financial aid package includes a federal need-based loan.” That is really something.

Jobs & personnel moves

“While many in the mortgage industry have been struggling, Prime Choice Funding, Inc. has been experiencing exponential growth and is looking to expand nationwide. PCF is a national leader in mortgage lending and provides loan officers with competitive compensation, top-tier fulfillment and paid marketing that drives business growth and offers a variety of loan programs to fit any situation: FHA, VA, Conventional, Jumbo, Non-QM, Reverse, Reno and much more! If you’re interested in joining our team or want more information, visit Join PCF or contact Keith McKay at 714-263-1660.”


Gateway Mortgage Group continues to break records, win awards, and open new offices. The company recently announced that it has experienced continued growth in the third quarter, opening 12 new offices in eight states and adding 161 jobs. Gateway funded a total of $1.768 billion in the third quarter of 2018, compared to $1.536 billion during the same period in 2017. The company expects to originate $6 billion in new mortgages while its servicing portfolio should eclipse $20 billion by year’s end. In a recent press release, Stephen Curry (CEO) attributes the success to a “depth of talent in our team nationally,” and “their relationships in local markets.” See the full press release here. In addition to the continued growth, Gateway was also recognized as a Hall of Fame Honoree with its 8th time on the Inc. 5000 List and was again named a Center of Excellence by Benchmark Portal. Visit for more information.

In retail news, Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group is continuing its expansion throughout the Southeast. Atlantic Bay, headquartered in Virginia Beach, is looking for growth-oriented brokerage companies, high performing mortgage teams, and companies with less than $500 million in sales who want to focus on production by removing obstacles to growth. Brokers who join Atlantic Bay experience growth rates in their personal production from 50 – 80 percent.

Direct access to underwriting, secondary support, and realtor-focused marketing have all been drivers for increased growth. Two popular benefits of the Atlantic Bay way are simplicity in the compliance process and a mortgage banker assistant program. Atlantic Bay places great importance on culture, loving where you work, and giving back to the communities it serves. Email Justin Caplan to find out more about working at Atlantic Bay.

Congrats to Rhiannon Bolen whom Mortgage Capital Trading, Inc. (MCT) announced has joined the company’s sales team as one of its Regional Sales Managers and will be responsible for overseeing the Southern territory.

Lender products and services

“With the recent run-up in home values, we’ve noticed increased interest in HELOC functionality. Accordingly, there’s been introductions of a ‘new’ HELOC functionality by some high-profile software providers. While others are just introducing their functionality,

MortgageFlex Systems has been providing HELOC support for 20 years. MortgageFlex is live with a HELOC only lender and results show major operational efficiencies. ‘MortgageFlexONE, LOS supports first mortgages plus open and close-end seconds,’ Craig Bechtle, COO of MortgageFlex Systems said. ‘Additional modules expand the functionality of the LOS. We also support construction loans, chattel loans, manufactured home lending, and consumer lending in one platform.’ With increased emphasis on cost containment and loan quality, MortgageFlex has been building an efficient LOS. With MortgageFlexONE you get more higher quality loans per user. You don’t need two or three origination systems anymore. Expand your capabilities in one decision.


Since going live on Loan Vision in 2016, Guild Mortgage Company has streamlined accounting processes despite increased volumes brought on through significant growth. Lindsay Vaught, Controller at Guild Mortgage shared, “Business has gotten much more complex with our growth. The fact that we’re closing in the same number of days as we were, but being much larger and more complex, says something. We’re doing things faster and more efficiently.” For more information read the case study about how Guild Mortgage’s growth continues to be supported by Loan Vision or contact Carl Wooloff.


Stearns Wholesale Lending delivers the best customer service to America’s best. In recognition of everything our military members and their families have sacrificed for our country, Stearns Wholesale will waive the Stearns Administration/Underwriting fee throughout November. Committed to making it easy for brokers to grow their business, while also supporting our nation’s veterans, the fee waiver will apply to VA loans registered between November 5th through November 30, 2018. The state admin fee will be waived in our easy-to-use app, SNAP 2.0. For more information, contact


Sierra Pacific Mortgage continues to provide financing solutions for the purchase and refinance markets in Retail, Wholesale and Correspondent lending. We have all heard the phrase, “This home has good bones.” It’s a common expression in the housing industry, one that means a home needs a little TLC. With that in mind, Sierra Pacific has a dedicated

Renovation Department, who concentrates in providing renovation home loan options, including the FHA 203(k) Limited and Standard products and Fannie Mae’s HomeStyle products. According to a recent MetroStudy, more than 12 million home remodeling projects will be completed by the end of 2018. Want to grow your business? Then reach out to your Sierra Pacific contact to learn more about how renovation loans can help your purchase and refinance business grow.


“Lenders, are you spending a ton on vital, heavy LOS/PPE or fancy new tech that doesn’t gain you more volume or magically pay your bills? ReadyPrice can really help by slashing your operating costs. The ReadyPrice enterprise-strength LOS with an embedded multi-investor PPE and proprietary error trapping tech is the answer for all market conditions. The ReadyPrice all-in-one retail AND wholesale platforms are fully configured out of the box, are up to 75% less expensive than heavy, ‘mature’ competitors, come complete with D1C & deep Fannie DU integrations and can be stood-up in a couple of weeks. Or, you can easily customize / configure her. The ReadyPrice LOS/PPE has funded over 300k units for $70 billion and is leading the way forward for today’s mortgage bankers. Call (408) 357–0931 or email to receive a free demo today.”

Upcoming events

James Brody, Chair of Johnston Thomas’s Mortgage Banking Practice Group, is hosting a complimentary webinar at 10:30 AM PST, on Thursday November 29, titled Lehman Bros. GSE and RMBS Litigation: A Comprehensive Review and Analysis.  Per Mr. Brody, whose firm is representing one of the largest blocks of lender Defendants against the wave of RMBS lawsuits filed by LBHI, the purpose of this complimentary lender only webinar is to provide all his firm’s clients, as well as all those lenders who may be forced to defend against claims made by LBHI, invaluable information on the history of the LBHI litigation, the legal arguments that have been made by the GSE litigants to date, the Bankruptcy Court’s decisions on applicable legal issues and thoughts on various strategies to defend against the GSE/RMBS claims being made by LBHI.  In addition, if you were not able to attend and would like to access a complimentary recording of Johnston Thomas’s most recent webinar program, click on Compliance Tips and Trends: The Resurgence of Marketing Service Agreements, Affinity Relationships, Joint Ventures and Affiliated Businesses.  Questions regarding either of these two programs? Please feel free to contact Mr. Brody directly.

FinTech is reshaping mortgage, which is why Lenders One is investing in exclusive technology like L1 eClosing, unique offerings like the L1 M&A Connector and member programming designed to help lenders compete. There are two upcoming programs exclusively for members focused on arming executives with the tools needed for our changing industry. The executive roundtable December 5-6 in Miami, FL is rooted in developing a strategy and growth plan in a down market with executive coach Gary Peck; a best practice roundtable led by our sponsor Fannie Mae; and a market outlook and business forecasting led by Mike Fratantoni from the MBA. There are less than two weeks to take advantage of early bird pricing for Lenders One’s March 2019 Summit in Austin, TX March 3-6, 2019, which is already seeing a record number of registrants. Contact Lauren Ketchum, Director of Member Experience for more information on these programs or how to become a member.

Register for the MBA/MW Annual Celebration Event on November 28th, 2018 at the VALO PARK in Tyson’s Corner.

HELOC products? The MBA is starting a brand-new study on HELOC and home equity lending and servicing, which will include benchmarking data on portfolio characteristics, utilization rates, draw activity, repayment options, as well as statistics on new commitments such as processing times and pull-through. The study is for MBA members who originate and/or service these products; the participants will help design both the survey instrument and outputs. The initial planning call is on Tuesday, December 11 at 2PM ET. Register for the call here.  Download the informational flyer or contact Marina Walsh with questions.

The 2018 NAMB National Conference will be held December 8th-10th at Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas. Larry King will be speaking, as well as many mortgage luminaries including a session featuring Freedom CEO Stan Middleman and Angelo Mozilo comparing the beginnings of their companies, the evolution of lending, and discussing their thoughts on what the future holds.

On December 11th, industry leaders, Patrick Stone and Ken Markison will discuss the economic and compliance environment in 2019. Register for this Economic and Regulatory webinar here.

October Research, LLC’s annual Economic and Regulatory Outlook webinar is 12/11 at 2PM ET.

Don’t miss registering for the December 15th NMMLA annual Teddy Bear and Blanket Drive luncheon with guest speaker, Mayor Tim Keller.

National MI issued its training for December. A Look Ahead to Social Media Trends 2019: PDT, Dec 13 @ 12-1PM PST. Does your social platform appeal to the borrowers of today? Social media continues to grow as the new storefront for businesses to attract consumers. Join Kristen Messerli, founder of Cultural Outreach, and Managing Editor for Mortgage Women Magazine to discuss 2019 predicted trends and get your social media strategy ready for the New Year! Oh, Shift! Session #3 – Flow: PST, Dec 12, 12-1PM PST, National MI University presents the third webinar in a powerful six-part series. Best-selling author and Executive Coach, Jennifer Powers, MCC’s “Flow” helps you learn how to practice acceptance of people and circumstances so you spend less time in resistance and more time in the state of peace, productivity…and flow…

A Look Ahead to Social Media Trends 2019: PDT, Dec 13, 12-1PM PST. Does your social platform appeal to the borrowers of today? Social media continues to grow as the new storefront for businesses to attract consumers. Today’s customers are highly engaged 24/7 with the popularity of “stories” and live video features. This has created a unique opportunity for lenders to build authentic and transparent voices focused on quality storytelling. Join Kristen Messerli, founder of Cultural Outreach to discuss 2019 predicted trends and get your social media strategy ready for the New Year! Click here: National MI to register for these classes.

The Mortgage Collaborative’s 2019 Winter Conference will take place February 17-19 at the J.W. Marriott in Austin, TX. The interactive agenda will feature over 30 lender led discussion-based educational breakout sessions, a heavy emphasis on peer-to-peer networking and experiences with third parties and exchange of best practices, with a sharp focus on lender growth and efficiency solutions. Visit or contact TMC COO Rich Swerbinsky.

Capital markets

The U.S. 10-year closed the week yielding 3.07%, steadily making its way back towards 3% throughout the week. Friday’s action was backed in part by comments from Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida, which not signal big shifts in policy. Instead, he acknowledged that some evidence of a slowdown in the global economy with a potential impact on the United States is becoming visible and that the neutral rate is not far away. Separately, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said that hiking the fed funds rate to “about 3.25%” is reasonable, given the economic outlook, which implies four more rate hikes.

This Thanksgiving week sees markets closed on Thursday with an early close on Friday and a de facto one on Wednesday for much of the Street. The economic calendar is also light and front loaded with updates on housing, durable goods, and Michigan sentiment with Markit PMIs on Friday. Today’s calendar includes the NAHB Housing Market Index for November at 7AM PT, expected to decline slightly. Tomorrow we receive October Housing Starts and Building Permits before a heavy slate of releases Wednesday, headlined by October Durable goods and October Existing Home Sales. The week begins with the 10-year yielding 3.08% and agency MBS prices are worse .125 versus Friday’s close.

(Thanks to Bob N. for this one.)

I was at the grocery store last night walking through the meat department. I saw an elderly lady looking through the frozen turkeys saying she couldn’t find one big enough for her family.

Just then a stock boy walked by and she asked, “Do these turkeys get any bigger?” He replied with a straight face, “No ma’am, they’re dead”.

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, “Servicing: Don’t Underestimate Liquidity.” 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 2018 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