Daily Mortgage News & Commentary

Nov. 22: MLO jobs; PPE, CRM, DPA, pre-approval, subservicing products; RMF exits reverse; Carrington’s response to CFPB

When was the last time that you did something for the first time? (Warning: tissues may be needed.) The best use of technology is to improve quality of life. Watch people’s beautiful first expressions of hearing sounds for the first time. (This came from an email from Steve Wozniak – yes, that one, who wrote, “Why do you think we started Apple. Steve Jobs and myself wanted to make life the same for the disabled and normal people. We wanted blind people to be like sighted people. To see how much we succeeded just look at any sidewalk and see all the people walking blindly while looking at their smart phones.”) Here’s another first time. Yesterday we learned that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) published the Acceptance of Private Flood Insurance for FHA-Insured Mortgages final rule (Docket No. FR-6084-F-02) in the Federal Register. With today’s publication, FHA will now accept private flood insurance policies where the borrower chooses to obtain a private policy instead of flood insurance available through the National Flood Insurance Program. This change applies to all FHA-insured Single Family Title II mortgages, including Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM), and loans insured under FHA’s Title I programs. (Today’s podcast is available here and this week’s is sponsored by Richey May, a recognized leader in providing specialized advisory, audit, tax, technology, and other services in the mortgage industry and in banking. Today’s features an interview with NerdWallet’s Holden Lewis on borrower capacity and housing market fundamentals.)

Jobs

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“Are you tired of feeling like a needle in a haystack? At Homestead Funding, we’re large enough to provide our sales team the support and products they need while still being small enough to care. Here, the people who want to help you succeed, and the people who make decisions are one in the same. While other companies have multiple layers of management, we provide direct access to our executive team—and our Loan Originators have their full support. There’s no red tape or run around. The accessibility goes beyond the scope of the building walls. Our goal is to empower our Loan Originators to get their borrowers to the closing table, with the full support of the entire company. To learn more about being a valued part of the Homestead Family, contact Michele Teague today by calling (518)-368-1494.”

“Have you ever wondered how Originators close $100M + per year? The answer is simple; They have a team in place that allows them to originate all day without distractions or getting pulled back into files. One of the Top Originating teams in the nation is looking to provide 1 Originator an extremely unique opportunity. This Originator would plug directly into the team, have their files worked on by 2 processors, 2 underwriters and 1 operations manager with a combined 70 years of experience. Sounds pretty good right? This Originator will also be personally coached by one of the top producing Originators over the last decade. If you close $20M or more per year and are looking for a breakthrough in your career, contact Anjelica Nixt to forward your note or click here to schedule a confidential conversation.”

Atlanta-based Highland Mortgage is hiring! Highland recent brought on Mickey Schilling, CMB® is its new VP of National Sales. Now in its third year, Fannie Mae-approved Highland Mortgage is well-positioned to expand its footprint nationwide under Mickey’s guidance. Here are Mickey’s top reasons why Highland is the right destination for you.

In the Northwest, Banner Bank is searching for Builder Direct Mortgage Loan Officers as well as Mortgage Loan Officers. These are true portfolio lending opportunities with local decision making and direct to Fannie and Freddie loans with retained servicing to assist in client retention and marketing opportunities. Additional highlighted products cover CRA lending with private label no payment down payment assistance to help assist all borrowers with the right opportunity. The right fit for an established team or the individual looking to grow their business and take the next step in their career. Please send resume to Aaron Miller.

There are advantages in being an originator for a national bank, and NBH is looking for growth-oriented originators in its footprint states which include CO, MO, KS, TX, UT, NM, ID, and WY. Any loan originators interested in a career with NBH, please send me a confidential resume for forwarding.

Broker and lender services, products, and software

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Originators who use subservicers are in search of one thing: peace of mind, knowing their customers and portfolio of loans are in good hands. This requires full transparency and immediate access to real-time and on-demand data. That’s exactly what TMS Subservicing provides through their award-winning servicing portal SIME (Servicing Intelligence Made Easy). SIME’s cutting-edge technology provides originators a user friendly, fully transparent, 360-degree view of your portfolio, including instant access to recorded calls, 130+ standard and customizable reports, real-time KPI performance, and more. It’s just one of the many ways TMS continues to grow happiness with its clients. Here’s what John Gillespie, Servicing Manager at VIP Mortgage had to say about SIME, “SIME is great. It’s pretty much everything you could ask for in a servicing system, all in one place. It makes things much easier. It’s the tech and the people behind the tech that make [TMS] a better experience.” Learn more about SIME and TMS Subservicing here.

As loan officers, we’re convinced we have to make ourselves available 24/7, 365 days a year. So it should be no surprise that this holiday weekend is about to come and go for so many of us. Your referral partners will likely ask you for a favor while you’re stuffing the turkey… “Can you update this pre-approval? Can you send me a new pre-qual? The Lewis family is making an offer, and we need four letters because they aren’t sure yet what they’re offering. They’re thinking Conventional, but maybe if they can, they’ll go FHA…” Are you cringing yet? If this is your experience, check out QuickQual by LenderLogix. By allowing Realtors and borrowers to adjust their own pre-approvals, you can focus on actions that drive actual revenue and maybe enjoy the next holiday weekend like you deserve.

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Down Payment Assistance Loans? Is it “oh no not again”? Essex Correspondent Lending has altered the paradigm. We know there are many options out there for loans and lenders but let us throw our hat in the ring and we think you’ll see why we’ve been in business since 1986. There are many benefits to a DPA loan with Essex Correspondent Lending, including: No Underwrite from a Separate Agency Required, Efficient Delivery and Purchase Process, Zero Down Payment Required from the Borrower, No Income Limit Options Available, Flexible Credit Score Requirements, 0% Interest Options Available, and Caring and Attentive Account Executives Ready to Assist you Anytime. Partner with Essex Mortgage Correspondent Lending today. Contact Kimberly Schenck.

Today’s incredible mortgage environment is tough even for journeyman LOs with decades of experience. Two things come to mind when looking for strategies to help LOs today. First, understand home buyers in the context of uncertainty in the market today. Get back to basics of why home ownership still makes sense: pride of ownership, building equity for the future, and a better environment for their family to live and grow. Next, be able to articulate good solid strategies to make home buying more affordable, both down payment strategies and ARMs to lower payments. It’s also important to understand buyer’s bias against ARMs and counter with common sense arguments. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Usherpa, the number one-ranked mortgage CRM in customer satisfaction and loyalty, is offering informative and educational downloads to any loan officer who could use a hand in this challenging market.

To stay afloat when tides shift is one thing, but to transcend the current is crucial during challenging times. Choosing a modern and proven PPE solution enables lenders to outperform their peers in an economic upturn and a market downturn. Lender Price’s scalable PPE helps lenders identify the lowest possible rates and best loan programs in the market. Time-tested and experienced, Lender Price proudly holds a demonstrated track record of successfully executing mid to large-scale implementations for various types of lenders in the mortgage industry. Having gone through numerous implementation scenarios, Lender Price uniquely positions itself to offer solutions, advice, and recommendations that meet the needs of banks, IMBs, credit unions, and large-scale enterprise lenders. Lender Price is “Democratizing Pricing for All.” From large banks to mortgage brokers and everyone in between, we are committed to listening to our lenders of all sizes and being the technology leader in pricing and capital market solutions. To learn more about Lender Price’s innovative solutions, visit www.lenderprice.com.

Carrington’s response to the CFPB

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Last week the industry learned that, “The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is taking action against Carrington Mortgage Services for deceptive acts or practices under the Consumer Financial Protection Act in connection with mortgage forbearances. The CFPB found that Carrington failed to implement many protections, provided to borrowers with federally backed mortgage loans who were experiencing financial hardship, during the COVID-19 public health emergency.”

Bruce Rose, CEO and Founder of The Carrington Companies, parent company of Carrington, had some thoughts. “In trying to help borrowers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Carrington acted in good faith and focused on delivering a benefit to consumers,” said. “I am proud of what our people were able to do for borrowers suffering in the midst of the pandemic. The settlement does not demand additional consumer remediation, which reflects the lack of consumer harm in this matter.”

“The CFPB’s decision to pursue this matter also plainly contradicts its own repeated assurances to the industry and lawmakers that it would credit those servicers that ‘put struggling families first,’ and that it would take a ‘flexible’ supervisory approach that considered ‘the circumstances that entities face(d) as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and entities’ good faith efforts to comply with their statutory and regulatory obligations.

“The CFPB’s allegations and enforcement actions reflect neither. Rather, this matter is an aggressive and unfortunate example of regulatory overreach. Although Carrington disagrees with the CFPB’s position, it cooperated fully throughout the investigation, and is pleased to move forward. Agreeing to the settlement reflects Carrington’s desire to focus its attention on continuing to support its customers through product offerings and services that accommodate a wide range of consumers, and that support families across the United States through all phases of their homeownership journey.

“After spending the past two years cooperating with the CFPB – which was recently declared to have an unconstitutional funding mechanism by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit – and educating them on the actions taken to assist borrowers in the midst of a pandemic, they have failed to understand our business and the rapidly changing environment. The CFPB’s use of extortion tactics as its primary tool for regulation does nothing to help the industry or consumers. Ultimately, it is consumers who eventually pay more because of the additional regulatory costs imposed on lending and servicing. The Carrington Companies’ commitment to its customers remains steadfast and unwavering; and we will continue to provide assistance to consumers in need, including those still impacted by the pandemic.”

Another exit

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Liquidity, in this case the ability to have access to money to fund loans as well as sell your products in the secondary markets, is critical for any lender.

Reverse Mortgage Funding, LLC (RMF) is reportedly pausing all origination activities after losing its warehouse funding lines, multiple sources told Reverse Mortgage Daily. “On Monday, November 21, Reverse Mortgage Funding and its affiliates made the difficult but necessary decision to pause mortgage origination activities,” the spokesperson wrote in an email. “RMF, like many of its peers, has been challenged by unprecedented interest rate hikes and overall macroeconomic volatility.”

Capital markets

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Thanksgiving week is always slow, with many traders and other staff away from their desks. Tomorrow will be the big day of the week with durable goods, new home sales, consumer sentiment, and the FOMC minutes. Markets will be closed on Thursday and the bond market will close early on Friday. There was little news of note yesterday, though Atlanta Fed President Bostic said that he is ready to slow the pace of rate hikes and that an additional 75 to 100-basis points of tightening would likely be sufficient.

Recently lower-than-expected producer prices were encouraging news for the markets last week as participants look for the Fed to slow the pace of rate hikes at the December FOMC meeting. Consumer and producer inflation data continuing a downward trend may be enough to warrant a 50-basis points hike versus another 75-basis points increase to the fed funds rate. Despite increasing interest rates, consumers turned to credit card spending to support a stronger-than-expected 1.3 percent increase in retail sales during October. Resilient consumer spending has even shifted the Atlanta Fed’s GDP now forecast for the fourth quarter from an initial estimate of +3.1 on October 28 to +4.2 as of November 17. But the market is forecasting a recession toward the second half of 2023 as the current momentum is expected to slow. New single-family construction continues to contract as housing starts and permits are significantly off recent highs. Additionally, the NAHB Housing Market Index has seen 11 consecutive months of decline and is currently at its lowest level since April 2020.

Today’s calendar, like yesterday’s, is heavy on supply and light on data. Treasury will conclude the month-end auctions with $22 billion reopened 2-year FRNs then $35 billion 7-year notes. Economic releases consist of Philly Fed non-manufacturing indexes for November and Richmond Fed manufacturing and services indexes for November. Fed appearances for the week conclude after Cleveland Fed’s Mester, St. Louis’ Bullard, and Kansas City’s George deliver remarks. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices better by .125 and the 10-year yielding 3.80 after closing yesterday at 3.83 percent.

A turkey walks into a bar, the bartender asks, “What are you?”

The turkey replies, “I’m a wild turkey.”

The bartender chuckles and replies, “Hey, we have a drink named after you.”

The wild turkey, incredulous, asks, “You have a drink named Kevin?!”

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. Supply and Demand are Still Driving Mortgage Pricing” 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 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.)