Nov. 3: LO jobs; HELOC, broker pricing, LOS, servicing retention products; training & webinars in the next 7 days; STRATMOR’s tech study

The upcoming credit price changes were not discussed yesterday at the counter in Paul’s Pancake Parlor here in Missoula, but they might have been. As well as the resignation of NAR’s CEO… are there cracks in the powerful NAR empire? One thing that did come up was the commercial real estate market, reminding us that people need a place to live, not necessarily a place to work. Want to know how bad the commercial real estate market may become? Follow the money. “Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust’s investors sought to pull $2.2 billion last month, compared with $2.1 billion in September… BREIT returned about $1.3 billion to investors, or about 56 percent of what was requested, the ‘highest payout percentage’ since redemptions were restricted last year… The real estate trust is a colossus in U.S. property markets, with its reach spanning from apartments to data centers. In late 2022, BREIT curbed withdrawals after redemption requests picked up and its wealthy clients became jittery about having money locked into commercial real estate.” (Today’s podcast can be found here, sponsored by Richey May, a recognized leader in providing specialized advisory, audit, tax, technology and other services to the mortgage industry for almost four decades.)

Employment & transitions

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Newly added to USA Mortgage is the 30+ person team assembled in south Texas by Craig Jennings, a 30-year home loan professional. With headquarters in San Antonio, the enterprise also operates offices in Houston, Corpus Christi, Harlingen, Brownsville, and McAllen. “Together, our team has built a reputation for providing excellent service in the communities we serve, with referrals a mainstay. We are proud to have assisted multiple generations of many families,” said Jennings. “As we embark on our journey with USA Mortgage, I am grateful for every member of our team,” he added. “They are passionate about what they do and why they do it.  I am honored to be a part of this team.” Founded in 2001, 100 percent employee-owned USA Mortgage has offices in 34 states and is licensed in 49 states plus the District of Columbia. For a confidential conversation about joining USA, contact Clay Duncan.

This November, Evergreen Home Loans, through our Evergreen Cares Foundation, proudly supported the Wish Heroes Art Exhibit with Make-A-Wish Alaska & Washington. Showcased during Pioneer Square’s First Thursday Art Walk, the exhibit celebrated the tenacity and creativity of wish kids. Additionally, we had the distinct honor of adopting a wish for a spirited young man, Dareion ‘Ace’. Our commitment goes beyond business; it’s about enriching lives. Partnering with Make-A-Wish amplifies our community impact and highlights our dedication to heartfelt philanthropy. This month, we’re reminded of dreams, resilience, and the power of community. If you are looking for a company that values giving back to their community, visit our careers page for all open positions.”

A somewhat belated congratulations to Megastar Financial Corp.’s Michael Aberle, its President, joining Anita Padilla-Fitzgerald who is continuing in her role as CEO of MegaStar Financial and Take3Technologies. Aberle will focus on building market share through recruiting and building strategic relationships while maintaining industry-leading customer service and a cost to produce that is well below the industry average. (Megastar currently originates loans in 22 states and services over $3 billion in mortgage loans.)

Lender and broker software, products, and services

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Save $100 on every application with Truv! Orion Lending slashed their annual expenses by $300,000 and boosted its conversion rate by 32 percent using Truv’s income and employment verification solution. “Truv transformed our verification process, expanding our reach and cutting costs,” asserts Richard Plummer, EVP of Operations at Orion Lending. Stop the financial bleed. Contact TRUV today to discuss how we can help you with your income, employment, insurance, and asset verifications.

Permissionize revolutionizes servicing retention! Permissionize offers an innovative, cost-effective approach to retaining clients. This cutting-edge technology streamlines retention programs by notifying service providers when borrowers complete a webform, allowing for re-engagement with existing clients before they start the application process. Permissionize constantly monitors for signals, 24/7, whenever a phone number is entered into a webform, enabling you to capitalize on your established business relationships and drive inbound traffic to your call center without requiring opt-ins. This revolutionary technology redefines client retention in the servicing industry. John Lomanno, a seasoned professional in the mortgage industry, states, “We are transforming the servicing industry through automation by providing a cost-effective, extremely reliable way to get in front of your customer when they go online.” Contact us to experience firsthand how our pioneering technology changes everything you thought you knew about servicing retention.

Vesta is the new, modern Loan Origination System (LOS) which helps lenders reduce their costs to originate and improve their ability to integrate with new technologies in the ecosystem. Vesta automates as much of the work as possible and surfaces the rest to people using exception-based processing. Vesta is configured entirely using no-code so lenders can easily customize their business logic. Vesta integrates to any ecosystem player via open, cloud-native APIs to unlock automation and a differentiated borrower experience. Learn more here.

In this market, hustle is everything. You can’t afford to waste a single deal, or a single minute. That’s why ReadyPrice has launched Shop, Lock, Deliver, an innovative platform designed to help independent mortgage brokers and their lenders save time and money. Now you can shop competitive loan offerings from multiple lenders, get rate lock guarantees in real time, receive underwriting findings, and deliver the borrower’s complete loan file to lenders, all on a single platform, at no cost to brokers. It’s already helping brokers around the country thrive and compete in the toughest market. Multiple lenders. One platform. Zero b.s. Come check us out today.

The Fed paused rate hikes again. When rates drop, borrowers shop. Take this time to get your tech and marketing stack ready for the pent-up demand. Add no-hassle mortgage and HELOC shopping to your website, with lead capture and a host of integrations and features. Fully certified by Optimal Blue, fee integrations with ClosingCorp, multiple POS integrations, HELOC support, and much more. Super simple setup: RateSpan, or contact@ratespan.com.

STRATMOR’s tech study

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Lenders, whether you are well on your way with your digital plans or are thinking through what to do in 2024, you’ll want the data that is only available from the Digital Innovations Survey of STRATMOR Group’s Technology Insight® Study. This survey takes less than 10 minutes and participating lenders receive the survey report for free. Don’t miss your chance to have data on the key digital capabilities and the benefits and barriers to the digital technology available in the mortgage market today: take the Digital Innovations Survey now!

In-person and remote events, training, & webinars into next week

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Are you looking to enhance your knowledge of construction lending in Florida? Join Land Gorilla for an upcoming webinar on November 9 at 11 a.m. PT, “Florida Lien Law Overview For Construction Lenders,” which will cover statutory requirements and lender strategies for managing construction loans in the Sunshine State. Whether you are already providing construction loans in Florida or considering expanding into this housing market, the webinar is a must-watch for construction lenders. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to mitigate potential risks and stay on top of state statutory requirements. Register now to secure your spot. If you can’t make the live session, register anyway and you will be sent the recording.

The size and duration of this year’s MBS market deterioration and the associated run up in rates is unique in recent decades and continues to surprise watchers with its durability. But is there an answer from the past that can help guide the industry through these turbulent waters? For answers and current market analysis, join MCT on November 16 for an industry webinar on The Great Inflation vs. 2024: Analysis & New Tools for the Current Market. In this webinar, Phil Rasori and Andrew Rhodes will share analysis on the current market, comparison to relevant historical precedent, and new MCT software functionality to equip lenders in this challenging market.

A good place for longer term conference planning is to start is here, and click on “events” for conferences in the future.

Today, Friday the 3rd is The Mortgage Collaborative’s Rundown covering current events in the mortgage market for 30-45 minutes starting at noon PT, 3PM ET, in “The Rundown”. Today’s features Chris Perry with MGIC!

TMBA has the 6th Annual Mortgage Symposium, November 6-7 at the Westin Dallas Southlake Hotel in Southlake TX. The Texas Women Mortgage Bankers event will be held on November 6 at the Westin Dallas Southlake Hotel.

The Women’s Leadership Summit (WLS) from October Research is the new place where business and networking get done! Join us Nov. 6-7 at the Naples Grande Beach Resort in Naples, FL. and learn more at OctoberResearchWLS.com.

The mortgage industry is in the middle of one of the most severe downturns we have ever seen. And given the volatile nature of our business, that’s saying a lot. Nearly all Consumer Direct lenders have had to focus on capacity management, re-tooling for a purchase market and critically re-evaluating conversion rates by lead source and marketing cost per closed loan. CD lenders, if you would like to discuss the economic and performance metrics driving Consumer Direct lending, join STRATMOR Group for a virtual Consumer Direct Workshop. Participants engage in highly interactive discussions of critical business issues, key operating tactics, strategies, and current hot buttons within the industry facilitated by STRATMOR partners Garth Graham and Jim Cameron, and Senior Advisor Brett McCracken. Space is limited for this three-day, two-hour sessions per day workshop November 7-9. Contact STRATMOR Group for more information on this semi-annual event.

Tuesday, 11/7, is the next Mortgages with Millennials with Kristin Messerli and Robbie Chrisman. Tune in every Tuesday at 10AM PT to the weekly video show designed to empower mortgage professionals to tap into the millennial market. This show demystifies the psychology of first-time homebuyers and offers strategies to win more market share with a key segment of the market. Sign up for a weekly reminder with the link to join and a sneak peek into the next episode.

The California Mortgage Expo returns to Pasadena on Tuesday, November 7, bringing the industry’s best, with educational sessions that show you how to make more money, be a better sales pro, and keep your pipeline full. View Agenda. Plus, enjoy the free NMLS renewal class, happening Wednesday, November 8 when you attend the expo.

Join NYMBA and Proof (formerly Notarize) for a webinar on operationalizing RON in New York, November 7th, 12-1pm. Learn the latest developments in New York State’s rollout of remote online notarization (RON) including the benefits for lenders, attorneys, and your customers. See a live demo of the Notarize platform and learn how RON can help your business from lending to servicing.

Looking for more in-depth commentary on weekly mortgage news? Register here for “Mortgage Matters: The Weekly Roundup” presented by Lenders One. Every Wednesday at 2:00 PM EST/11:00 AM PT is a dive into a range of mortgage-related topics, including market trends, interest rate fluctuations, innovative mortgage products, and industry advancements. Listen to a unique mix of age perspective, expertise, and charisma to the screen, ensuring that the information is not only educational but also entertaining. This week’s episode features Charlotte Brown, Qualia’s VP of Product Design, discussing pain points in the closing process and working with title and escrow.

Discover what lies ahead in the world of home financing and interest rates with our upcoming webinar, “What Does the Road Ahead Look Like? Navigating Home Financing, Interest Rates, Planning, and More in 2024.” Join us on November 8th as Equity National Title President James O’Donnell and featured guest Patrick Stone, Chairman & Founder of WFG Title Insurance, share expert insights on the 2024 landscape. The webinar is hosted by Equity National Title and is ideal for mortgage professionals in leadership positions as well as sales positions, as well as realtors and their agents. Secure your spot now!

Join Optimal Blue for the next session in its hedging series, Wednesday, Nov. 8th at 11a.m. CT, Hedging 201: The Components of Pipeline Valuation. Take a deeper dive into the different components that make up your pipeline valuation. From data integrity to gain/loss reconciliation, this webinar will cover features and functionality that Optimal Blue’s hedging and loan trading services provide. This includes how we mitigate your interest rate risk, but also how we help you save hedging costs and make every penny possible on your loan sales.

On Wednesday, November 8th at 11:30am–12:30 pm PT, join Orrick’s fourth session zoom conversation about what’s next in fair lending enforcement. Discussion will focus on the latest developments in the Administration’s “redlining initiative,” mortgage lenders’ potential liability for discriminatory appraisals, fair marketing and fair servicing, and the continued viability of “unfair” discrimination as a legal theory. In addition, a discussion on risks of “reverse-discrimination” claims in the wake of the Supreme Court’s affirmative action decision.

Join USDA Rural Development first live, virtual training for fiscal year 2024. Back to the Basics…SFHGLP Overview: 101 on Wednesday, November 8th | 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET.

Beginning in 2024, USDA-RD will be offering free monthly virtual live training events: USDA Rural Development 2024 training schedule.

Learn more about HFA Advantage® features and benefits, borrower eligibility, homebuyer education requirements and product enhancements. Register for a free Freddie Mac webinar on Wednesday, November 8, 2 pm – 3:30 pm ET.

The MBA of Eastern Pennsylvania is hosting its annual President’s Banquet on Thursday November 9, welcoming CNBC commentator Ron Insana for the keynote address. This event is open to members and nonmembers. Tickets can be purchased here.

In September, the CFPB included Loan Originator Compensation in its supervisory highlights. Are your compensation policies compliant? Register for the MMBA MLO Compensation Program Webinar on November 9th, 10:00 – Noon.

Arch MI’s monthly webinars cover all the topics that mortgage professionals need to start preparing for 2024. Arch MI November training topics include Analyzing Appraisals for Single-Family Residences. Business Tax Returns 301-Unique Considerations for Sole Proprietorships and Corporations. Business Tax Returns 302-Unique Considerations for Partnerships and S Corporations. Loan Processing Using the URLA/Form 1003. Master the Mystery-Navigating and Evaluating Personal Tax Returns.

The Knowledge Coop’s new membership platform offers all state and federal Continuing Education courses in an engaging and exciting video format that you’re sure to actually enjoy. Want to give yourself a sharper competitive edge? They also offer in-depth training on specific topics like VA Loans and FHA within their Coop Academy. Get access to industry experts and connect with other mortgage professionals all in one space. Use Code Chrisman10 for 10 percent off your first year of membership here.

Capital markets: employment data enforces soft landing

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After the Fed decided to hold interest rates at a 22-year high on Wednesday, many in the mortgage community breathed a sigh of relief and markets rejoiced by rallying with current coupon MBS almost a point higher. Amidst all that enthusiasm as the market speculates that the Fed is done raising rates, the FOMC did leave the door open for raises in the future as a still very resilient economy chugs along. Third-quarter economic growth came in at the fastest pace in two years, and several job market indicators continue to show strength in the face of higher rates.

The December fed funds futures now predict only a 15 percent chance of another 25 basis point hike with government funding running out in two weeks and fears of an expanding Middle East conflict, down markedly from a month ago when it was closer to 40 percent. Aggressive Fed tightening has helped to drive the 30-year mortgage rate to an almost quarter century high, but prices haven’t fallen as homeowners cling on to the cheap mortgages.

The final risk event of the week was this morning in the form of October payrolls. Payrolls in October grew 150k (plus 48k strikers) versus 180k estimates and 336k (revised to 297k) previously. The unemployment rate came in at 3.9 percent versus 3.8 percent previously. We had a 62.7 labor force participation rate.

Later today brings ISM non-manufacturing PMI for October, final October S&P Global services PMI, Treasuries beginning to set up for next week’s $112 billion Quarterly Refunding over Tuesday through Thursday consisting of $48 billion 3-year notes, $40 billion 10-year notes, and $24 billion 30-year bonds, and remarks from multiple Fed speakers. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices better by .250-.375 from Thursday and the 10-year yielding 4.57 after closing yesterday at 4.67 percent.

Here in Montana a pair of hunters went elk hunting in the Cabinet Mountains and chartered a small plane to carry them.

At the end of the day, they had bagged six elk and were about to load them in the plane.

The pilot disagreed with them, saying the plane could only take four safely.

The hunters argued, saying that last year, the pilot had allowed them to carry all six onboard on the same plane.

Reluctantly, the pilot agreed to have all six loaded. But the plane couldn’t make it and crashed.

Climbing out of the wreckage, one hunter turned to the other and asked, “Do you remember this place?”

“Yes”, replied the other. “This is the same place where we crashed last year.”

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. STRATMOR’s current blog is titled, “Mind the Down Payment.” The Commentary’s podcast is live and at any place you obtain your podcasts (like Apple or Spotify).

qoɹ

(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