Daily Mortgage News & Commentary

Nov. 9: Ops, MLO, AE jobs; tech, sales, risk mgt. tools; TPO/wholesaler news; Fed turnover spelled out

I worked on a trading desk for many years, hedging locked pipelines across a wide variety of lenders. During slow times we’d talk about all kinds of things, like does bending over to pick up a wine cork count as exercise? (I hope so.) We’d also talk about lock volumes of our clients. Is volume really sliding? According to Curinos (formerly ICON/Informa FBX), October 2021 mortgage rate-lock volume was down 28 percent YoY and down 11 percent MoM across all channels, while funded volume decreased 11 percent YoY and decreased 3 percent MoM. (Curinos sources a statistically significant data set directly from lenders to produce these benchmark figures, and drills into this data further here.) Lenders can grow through downturns, or cut costs. Not everyone can grow their way out of it. But nimble lenders are looking at other products to help support their mortgage manufacturing factories. “Rob, would you happen to have a suggestion as to where I can find information as to the number of HUD loans done on manufactured housing last year, or by month?” Yes, as margins and volumes come down, nimble lenders are looking at products that they haven’t offered previously. For Title I activity queries take a look at these monthly production reports from HUD. For example, Table 3 tracks Title I activity. Everyone is trying to improve efficiency, and today’s audio version of the commentary is available here. This week’s is sponsored by Candor Technology, helping underwriters and company improve underwriting effectiveness.)

Careers & new hires; position sought

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An industry C-Suite Executive seeking a new position as President, CEO, or COO, but ideally as President reporting to a dynamic CEO and/or board. Energetic and positive person, excellent communicator, able to build teams or adapt to culture. Successes include achieving strategy at 2-4x of goal. Objective approach to problem solving, executing company pivot, as well as accountability for P&L. History includes GSE, compliance, marketing, Fintech, credit facilities, capital markets, construction and construction lending, private money lending, tech stacks, M&A, DTC. Please contact Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt to forward your note of interest & connect.

SG Capital Partners LLC is proud to announce the hiring of Brideen Gallagher as a Senior Business Development Manager. Brideen brings her expertise and in-depth knowledge along with over 25 years of experience in the mortgage industry including retail, correspondent, vendor business development, and business advisory services. SG Capital is a mortgage aggregator that buys NonAgency/NonQM closed, funded residential whole loans directly from Correspondents. Programs include full and reduced doc, bank statement and asset-based income options via their Prime & Plus Connect Products that allow the use of DU/LP® (and its findings) to UW NonQM loans. The Investor Connect program offers investors both DSCR and No Ratio options for loans up to $2MM and LTVs to 85%. For more information on all products and upcoming program expansions contact Brideen GallagherTaylor Gosney, or Alec Tenebaum.

“Looking for a new job opportunity in the mortgage loan processing industry? Backed by one of the largest names in real estate, wemloSM has been rapidly growing this year, which means plenty of opportunities for career growth… And we’re not done yet! We’re expanding and looking for passionate loan processors, loan processor assistants, account executives, and more who are looking to be on the forefront of this exciting growth. Many of our open positions are full-time remote, so if you’re looking for flexibility, excellent benefits, competitive compensation, and a supportive culture, check out our openings. NMLS #1853218.”

Synergy One Lending, Inc., based in San Diego, CA, has completed a $50 million corporate note financing with a consortium of institutional investors (a capital raise). The company intends to accelerate its investment in the growth of its distributed retail and consumer direct channels, technology, and partnership development, as well as its servicing portfolio.

Synergy One President Aaron Nemec added, “We are humbled, grateful and excited that our recipe of empowerment, cutting edge technology and a fully transparent culture has differentiated us in the industry. We have been fortunate to attract some of the industry’s top talent and we believe we can accelerate that growth with this capital raise.” Synergy One Lending is based in San Diego, CA, is currently licensed in 43 states and has Operational HUBS in Boise, ID, Denver, CO and Dallas, TX. To learn more about Synergy One Lending, reach out to Aaron Nemec.

The weather. The leaves. You? There’s a lot of change going on right now, and if you’re a loan originator (LO) looking for a fresh start, Motto® Mortgage may have the resources you’re searching for to grow your career. With no sign of a slowdown in housing and mortgage, LOs require the best tools to meet demand… And Motto offers the leading-edge solutions to help you corner the market. Equipped with a powerful CRM, a comprehensive marketing platform, automatic office listing optimization, and a seamless LOS, the Motto Mortgage technology ecosystem strives to help you become the go-to LO in your community. If you’re ready to have world-class tools and support at your fingertips, we’re recruiting in FL, VA, NC, WA, SC, MA, CO, MD, NV, AL, CA, OH, and PA. Simply click here for more insight.

“Exciting things are happening at Finance of America Mortgage TPO to help mortgage brokers and NDC’s prepare for a changing market. We recently launched our ADU program helping borrowers refinance and consolidate their debt from adding an ADU to their property. In addition, we have rolled out the 2022 temporary loan limits for both low and high balance loans and we can meet the needs of your unconventional borrowers through expansion of our full suite of FLEX – Non-QM Programs. In addition to these great products, we are also excited to announce the addition of Account Executives Mario Arechiga in San Jose and Tabitha Hopp in Sacramento, California. For questions on any of our great programs or to get approved with Finance of America Mortgage TPO, visit our website and if you are an Senior Account Executive who wants to join a growing national team, please email us!

ReverseVision®, known for Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) and private reverse mortgage sales and origination technology, has hired Bill Mitchell as chief revenue officer (CRO) to oversee ReverseVision’s sales, business development, and marketing efforts as the company expands its footprint in the mortgage industry. Congratulations to Bill!

Lender and broker products & services

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Servicers, could you be subject to enforcement action or a consent order? Don’t wait to find out! It is extremely feasible to implement technology in a rapid environment that adds risk controls and governance across your operational activities. Automation that eliminates errors, manual handoffs and third-party dependencies while creating transparency and oversight—this is CLARIFIRE®In our latest blog, learn how to rethink your approach to automation and risk management. Digitize your organization with sophisticated operational controls delivered in a seamless, flexible, and interactive application that supports 24/7 self-serve access, no-touch, straight through processing, and a modern mobile design. Ready your organization to manage ongoing industry volatility in a compliant, risk-controlled manner, with the proven experience and innovation of CLARIFIRE®, a modern automated servicing workflow application delivered in a simple to implement SaaS framework. Don’t wait: Find out why CLARIFIRE® is truly BRIGHTER AUTOMATION® at eClarifire.com.”

Legend has it that John Montagu, England’s 4th Earl of Sandwich, had such a substantial gambling problem that in 1762 he asked his cook to bring him a meal he could eat without leaving the poker table. And thus, the sandwich was born. Bread, meat, and cheese may be tasty by themselves, but stacking them together makes for a deliciously convenient meal. HomeBinder’s latest integration with Mortgage Coach is a similarly satisfying combination. HomeBinder, a digital home management platform, centralizes all home information and keeps borrowers engaged with lenders throughout homeownership. Now, homeowners have the added benefit of receiving automated mortgage reviews and comparing refinance and home-equity scenarios powered by Mortgage Coach’s Total Cost Analysis right inside HomeBinder. Hungry for more info? Email sales@homebinder.com to schedule a personalized demo.

After dealing with sky-high volume for over a year, lenders are bracing for a significant decrease in origination volume in 2022. This makes it that more critical that lenders have the right tools and technology in place to set loan officers up for success and hang on to top performers. Total Expert Founder and CEO Joe Welu was recently interviewed on loan officer retention and explained, “it’s almost always cheaper to retain an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one. The same applies to our employees.” Read his full interview for tips to develop a loan officer retention strategy and retain top performers in today’s lending environment.

In 2021, the message became clear: mortgage lenders must adapt to survive. As a result, the right mortgage technology stack has become even more essential to not only acquire leads, but to build and maintain better relationships with prospective homebuyers. HousingWire and Nomis Solutions have responded with an informative white paper titled: Can Lenders Catch Up to Consumer Demand in 2022? In this timely piece, industry experts examine how direct-to-consumer lenders have excelled at meeting customer expectations during the pandemic, how they are poised for success in 2022, and what strategies traditional retail lenders can adopt from them moving forward.

Wholesaler and TPO news bites

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In honor of Veteran’s Day, Orion Lending  is waiving its UW/Admin fee on ALL VA loans for the entire week! Effective 11/08/2021 through 11/13/2021. We salute our veterans!

UWM announced the launch of Prime Jumbo ARMs, allowing brokers to offer competitive pricing on 5-, 7- and 10- year Adjustable-Rate Mortgages. competitive pricing on 5-, 7- and 10- year Adjustable-Rate Mortgages. Following the launch of Prime Jumbo earlier this year, with the release of Prime Jumbo ARMs, independent mortgage brokers now have a competitive option for those borrowers who are likely to move or refinance within a few years, in addition to those who may be looking for a lower rate on primary, second or investment homes they don’t plan on keeping long-term. UWM supports independent mortgage brokers with industry-leading training, technology, and service.

Just over three years ago, Citizens Bank completed the acquisition of Franklin American Mortgage Company. That time spent integrating systems, processes, and colleagues The next step of this integration will culminate with a transition to its new name Citizens. Beginning with a new email identity over the next month, communications will come from @citizensbank.com. “Rest assured that these messages are all coming from the same company you know and trust.”

Fairway Wholesale Lending is now emailing automated lock expiration notifications alerting you and your team of expiring locks. Emails will go out three business days prior to the lock expiration date and again on the day of lock expiration.

Effective yesterday, November 8, Flagstar Bank increased margins for HELOCs up to 80% combined loan-to-value (CLTV) ratio by 0.25%. And remember that Flagstar Bank expanded product options for manufactured home financing to meet the needs of more potential borrowers. Eligible Product details are listed in Flagstar Bank announcement 21143.

As a November Special, Mountain West® Financial Wholesale is offering .25 bps price improvement on FHA, VA, and USDA loans through the month of November. Applicable on Purchase Transactions only, FHA FF30, VA VF30, and USDA programs with new locks only. View MWF Wholesale Bulletin 21W-077 for details.

PRMG TPO Resource Center Updates 21-19 includes changes to PRMG policies, procedures and information, general forms and compliance information.

First Community Mortgage Wholesale revised RefiNow guidelines with the removal of $5000 cap on financing of closing costs, prepaids, and points from the RefiNow guidelines. Updated verbiage includes monthly payment reduction (no minimum) and removal of $50 minimum from payment reduction requirement.

On the correspondent side, First Community Mortgage also revised RefiNow guidelines with the removal of $5000 cap on financing of closing costs, prepaids, and points and the $50 minimum from payment reduction; payment reduction is still required (no minimum) from the RefiNow guidelines.

Capital markets

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Despite no U.S. economic data of note yesterday (the week will be relatively data-light as is typical in the week after the Friday jobs report), the bond market, and thus mortgage rates, was swayed by several events. We saw a soft 3-year note auction and angst surrounding the passage of the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, both of which drove yields higher. There was caution ahead of the release of the Producer Price Index for October today and the Consumer Price index on Wednesday, though it was the Fed that made headlines.

The Federal Reserve doesn’t set mortgage rates, but personnel there help drive economic thinking. Fed Governor Randal Quarles will step down in the last week of December after his four-year term as vice chair of supervision ended in October. Quarles oversaw a number of bank-friendly rule changes, drawing criticism from the likes of Elizabeth Warren and joins other Fed officials who left entirely once their leadership roles ended. His departure frees up yet another vacancy for President Biden to fill, next to the opportunity to pick a new chair, as Chair Powell’s tenure expires in February. Additionally, Vice Chair Richard Clarida’s term as a governor expires soon, and there’s already an open seat on the board. While the ability to reshape the Fed board may be good for the White House, isn’t quite so good for Wall Street. Fed Chair Powell spoke yesterday and will deliver remarks again today at Jackson Hole.

Today’s economic calendar is already underway. We’ve seen the NFIB Small Business Optimism for October (slipping .9 to 98.2, a seven month low) as well as PPI for October (+.6 percent, as forecast, +8.6 percent for the year, core +.4 percent). MBA’s latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey revealed that the total number of loans now in forbearance decreased by 9 basis points to 2.06 percent of servicers’ portfolio volume in the prior week, meaning 1 million homeowners remain in forbearance plans. Later this morning brings Redbook same store sales, a Treasury auction of $39 billion new 10-year notes, and remarks from several Fed speakers. The Desk will target up to $6 billion 30-year 2 percent and 2.5 percent MBS. We begin National Scrapple Day with Agency MBS prices better by .125 and the 10-year yielding 1.46 after closing yesterday at 1.50 percent, post-PPI inflation data.

Thank you to Myrtle C. for this short video titled, “Why We Don’t Deserve Dogs.”

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. The current blog is, “Grow Your Business But Don’t Step Over a Dollar to Save a Dime.” 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 2021 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.)