Nov. 4: Mortgage production jobs; Freedom buys Continental; secondary marketing deals; OB’s new price ranking product

It is Election Day (with a suitable joke below) and I am visiting Salt Lake City. A recent report indicates that Utah ranked higher than the national average in both housing recovery and real estate recovery, but it experienced the slowest housing recovery of any post-World War II cycle, with residential construction having only recovered 55 percent. Speaking of which, if there are any Realtors out there without a website, Scott Short with Mason-McDuffie Mortgage sent this along: Realtors can claim their free Realtor domain name.


MB Financial Bank is currently seeking new Retail Branches and Loan Officers interested in becoming part of a nationally chartered bank with a strong customer-service focus. “MB, formerly Cole Taylor Mortgage, provides competitive compensation, quality benefits and internal training and incentives to promote success. Individuals who are looking to join a stable and successful bank with a strong product offering, competitive pricing, and significant income potential should contact Mark Janssen, Mortgage GSVP Retail. MB Financial Inc. is the Chicago-based holding company for MB Financial Bank, N.A., which has approximately $15 billion in assets and a more than one hundred year history of building deep and lasting relationships with middle-market companies and individuals. Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. NMLS#401467.


And “Supreme Lending is back making headlines. Supreme Lending, one of the most respected mortgage lenders in the industry, believes that in order to best serve its customers, it must first take care of its associates. For the second year in a row Supreme has been recognized as an Inc. 500/5000 company and granted SMU’s Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship’s Dallas 100 Award.” Supreme continues to grow with great associates, taking time to focus on branch and loan officer onboarding. David Curry explains why he made the move to Supreme and what stood out most during his onboarding in this video. “Everything I was told during the recruiting process has come to fruition,” David states in the interview.


On October 17th the commentary noted rumors: “If true it isn’t the first, and won’t be the last lender combo, but there are plenty of jungle drums pounding out chatter about Mortgage Master Inc. being purchased by loanDepot. Rumors of the buyout have been rampant for past month or so and are becoming too loud to ignore – but it does seem to be a rumor only at this point. Speaking of Mortgage Master, here is a byline by Paul Anastos, President of Mortgage Master, on potential culture clashes in M&A: a different view of M&A in the mortgage space.”


Certainly big companies are making moves. PHH is making a big push in certain retail markets, especially trying to increase Realtor-specific lending. And then news broke yesterday that privately-held Freedom Mortgage Corporation had announced an agreement reached with Continental Home Loans of Melville, New York to acquire the assets of the Long Island-based mortgage lender.  Management and staff formerly with Continental Home Loans join CHL Mortgage, a division of Freedom Mortgage. Freedom Mortgage President and CEO Stanley C. Middleman noted, “Continental Home Loans enjoys a sterling reputation and takes pride in being the largest independent FHA lender in New York State…As Freedom Mortgage’s CHL Division, the organization will continue to be led by its exceptional executive team, Mike McHugh, Eric Reeps and Sam Barreta.” The addition of the CHL Mortgage team brings Freedom to over 2,000 employees and over $2 billion in monthly loan volume. “CHL will continue to operate with the same staff and enhanced systems. All loans will continue to be centrally processed and underwritten out of our Melville, New York office,” said Mike McHugh, president of CHL.


As we did yesterday, let’s play a little Agency catch up.



Fannie Mae Collateral Underwriter (CU) is a proprietary appraisal risk assessment application developed by Fannie Mae to support proactive management of appraisal quality. CU will provide additional transparency and certainty by giving lenders access to the same appraisal analytics used in Fannie Mae’s quality control process. Perform an automated risk assessment of appraisals submitted to the Uniform Collateral Data Portal® (UCDP®) and return a CU risk score, flags, and messages to the submitting lender. Be available at no charge so lenders can take full advantage of the application for quality control and risk management purposes. The CU risk scores, flags, and messages will be available to all UCDP users in real-time beginning on Jan. 26, 2015 through UCDP. Find more information on the CU web page.


Have you tried the consumer solicitation materials available on the website? These resources (letters, postcards, statement inserts, FAQs, and more) highlight the Home Affordable Refinance Program’s (HARP’s) many benefits and can be customized to include your company’s logo and contact information. There is also an option to co-brand the materials with the Fannie Mae logo. Visit HARP Solicitation Materials page to access these resources and refer to the Guide for Using HARP Consumer Materials for terms and conditions.


“You might want to comment on the fact that Fannie rolled out their new USDA product (and the FHA Section 184 Native American). Why they stopped buying FHA and VA a while back but now start buying USDA is a mystery to me. But like the previous government programs, they won’t be getting much volume since their pricing is 300-400 bps worse that the big aggregators who put them in Ginnies.”

Fannie Mae Lender Letter announces that Fannie Mae has suspended the Maryland Housing Fund as an approved provider of mortgage insurance. With the exception of Refi Plus™ and DU Refi Plus™, mortgage loans covered by the Maryland Housing Fund must be delivered on or before Nov. 30, 2014. The lists of Approved Mortgage Insurers and Related Identifiers and Approved Mortgage Insurance Forms have also been updated.


Freddie Mac deployed servicing technology tools regarding Default Fee Appeal System enabling electronic submit appeal data, and supporting documentation, for foreclosure timeline compensatory fees and late foreclosure sale reporting compensatory fees. Beginning January 1, 2015, Servicers must use the Default Fee Appeal System for all compensatory fee appeals but are encouraged to begin using the appeal system today. Visit the new Default Fee Appeal System Web page for detailed instructions on how to start using this new servicing technology tool.


Greystone (provider of multifamily and healthcare mortgage loans) announced it has been selected by Freddie Mac Multifamily to sell loans under the new Small Balance Loan offering. This new agency platform offers fixed-rate and hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage loans ranging from $1 million to $5 million on multifamily acquisitions or refinancing. Additional information is available.


Occasionally I am asked to comment on securitization transactions, and much like MSR deals I give color to, it’s a huge conversation; here is what I have seen, starting with…Kroll Bond Rating Agency has assigned preliminary ratings to six classes of Invitation Homes’ single-family rental pass-through certificates. IH 2014-SFR3 is a single-family rental securitization that will be collateralized by a $775.1 million loan secured by first priority mortgages on 4,048 income-producing single-family homes. The floating rate loan will require interest-only payments and have a two-year initial term with three 12-month extension options. This transaction is the fourth securitization issued by Invitation Homes overall and the third securitization in 2014


…KBRA has assigned preliminary ratings to thirty-seven classes of mortgage pass-through certificates from Sequoia Mortgage Trust; this is a jumbo prime RMBS transaction. The collateral pool backing SEMT 2014-4 consists of 479 first-lien, residential mortgage loans with an aggregate principal balance of approximately $341.7MM as of the cut-off date. The pool is composed entirely of 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, all of which are fully amortizing. The pool is characterized by substantial borrower equity in each mortgaged property, as evidenced by the weighted average LTV (69.4%) and CLTV (70.4%). The CLTV ratio incorporates 6.1% of the pool possessing known junior mortgages. The weighted average credit score of the mortgage pool is 773, which is within the prime mortgage range


….Kroll recently announced JPMorgan’s plans to sell a Prime Jumbo RMBS. According to the release, the aggregate loan balance is $262MM, according to Kroll presale. The security (for those with access, the ticker was said to be : JPMMT 2014-5) is 373 loans, WaFICO 762, originators: First Republic 54.7%; JPM 36.4%; CMG 2.1%, top servicers: First Republic 54.7%; JPM 36.4%; Shellpoint Mortgage Servicing 5.1%, with significant concentration in California with 48%; followed by NY  11%, Texas 7.5%.


….Speaking of JP Morgan, the bank may have been tapped by Fannie Mae for a new type of risk sharing, or at least according to this Bloomberg article. “JP Morgan is selling securities tied to almost $1 billion of mortgages that it made and were guaranteed by Fannie Mae, in a new type of risk-sharing transaction for the government-controlled home-loan giant. The deal, called J.P. Morgan Madison Avenue Securities Trust, is similar to debt that Fannie Mae began issuing last year to transfer some potential losses when homeowners default to bond investors, according to a presale report by Fitch Ratings. The credit grader is assigning a BBB- rating to a $19.8 million portion of the transaction, which also has a more-junior ranked $27.2 million class.”


….Kroll recently announced that REDWOOD TRUST may sell a prime jumbo RMBS. According to the report I read, RWT plans to sell its 4th RMBS of the year (for anyone keeping score at home, the ticker may be SEMT 2014-4). The security (the initial purchaser being Credit Suisse) is 479 first-lien mortgages, with an aggregate principal acting as collateral, and a balance of $341.7MM. The pool is comprised entirely of 30-yr fixed-rate mortgages, all of which are fully amortizing, low LTV, WaFICO 773, and top 3 originators: First Republic (32.6%); Prime Lending (5.9%), top servicers: Cenlar: (67.4%); First Republic Bank (32.6%).


….In a recent statement, RBC Global Asset Management announced an agreement with Community Reinvestment Fund, USA to buy and service up to $50m in loans. This agreement supports affordable rental housing as part of RBC Access Capital Community Investment Strategy; the funds will support investment in affordable housing by purchasing multi-family rental loans originated by FHA, HFA under the FHA-HFAs Risk-Share loan program.


….according to one report Two Harbors Investment Corp. may sell its third prime jumbo RMBS. The presale report I read has the deal, backed by 519 loans with a total principal balance of $356MM. The loans were acquired by TH TRS Corp from originators Mortgage Master (13.6%), NYCB (13.2%), George Mason (12.7%), and W.J. Bradley (9.1%). The loans will be serviced by Cenlar, with Wells Fargo as master servicer.


While we’re on the secondary markets, “Optimal Blue announced an innovative new solution for market pricing intelligence. Optimal Blue Insight, the industry’s first real-time price benchmarking service, provides retail pricing information for 470 lenders across 280 metropolitan areas nationwide. “Powered by the most accurate and comprehensive product and pricing engine, Optimal Blue Insight enables lenders to compare their retail pricing against the rest of the market for all loan types and loan scenarios,” commented James Rowe, Managing Director, Data and Analytics.  “It provides actual consumer facing prices – not survey responses – which is an important competitive edge for optimizing volume and profitability.” For the first time, lenders have up to the minute access to fully adjusted competitor pricing, including all loan level pricing adjustments, margin and loan officer compensation.  And the pricing is segmented so users can see high, medium and low volume lenders in each market.”
Turning briefly to the markets (I won’t waste your time) the economic news out yesterday (the ISM Manufacturing Index) came in better than expected, which weighed on the bond markets slightly. Today we’ll have some non-market-moving Trade Balance figures along with Factory Orders. After a 2.34% close Friday and again yesterday on the 10-yr., in the early going we’re at 2.32% and agency MBS prices are a shade better – but not enough to move rate sheets much.



An Indian walks into a cafe with a shotgun in one hand and pulling a male buffalo with the other. He says to the waiter: “Want coffee.”

The waiter says, “Sure Chief. Coming right up.”

He gets the Indian a tall mug of coffee. The Indian drinks the coffee down in one gulp, turns and blasts the buffalo with the  shotgun, causing parts of the animal to splatter everywhere and then just walks out.

The next morning the Indian returns.

He has his shotgun in one hand, pulling another male buffalo with the other. He walks up to the counter and says to the waiter, “Want coffee.”

The waiter says, “Whoa, Tonto! We’re still cleaning up your mess from yesterday. What was all that about, anyway?”

The Indian smiles and proudly says,

“Training for position in United States Congress. Come in, drink coffee, shoot the bull, leave mess for others to clean up, disappear for rest of day.”






(Copyright 2014 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