Oct. 16: JV, MLO, Ops jobs; MSR valuation, training, non-QM, retention, tax tools; new jumbo wholesaler; 2006 vs. 2019: nothing is forever

What’s more important, spending money on the latest iPhone, or taking care of your body? Every Thursday we receive Initial Jobless Claims statistics, and usually on the first Friday of the month we receive a set of employment data. But who makes up these numbers? Per the most recent U.S. Census Bureau “County Business Patterns,” the 907k businesses in the Health Care and Social Assistance sector topped all others with 20 million employees and over $1.0 trillion in annual payroll. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the sector will grow 14% from 2018 to 2028, due largely to an aging boomer population with increased health care needs. Reverse mortgages! The Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services sector saw the highest annual increase in employment, up 390,750 to 12.3 million, followed by the Construction sector and the aforementioned Health Care and Social Assistance sector. Like human bodies, nothing lasts forever in this world. (Take a gander at these cool photos of things that wear out, as odd as that sounds.) Check out the list of how the top 10 leading residential lenders has changed.

Jobs & transitions

Equity Prime Mortgage continues its mission to bring bold leaders into the fold with the addition of Leora Ruzin, CMB as SVP of Wholesale Operations. Ruzin will be charged with bringing a laser focus on creating efficiency and next level service to EPM’s Wholesale operation. “Being given the opportunity to head the wholesale operations of a major lender is truly a dream come true. I have admired what Eddy Perez has done with EPM for a long time, and I couldn’t be happier to be working for him and the amazing leadership team he has constructed,” said Ruzin. EPM President & CEO Eddy Perez added, “Leora brings to EPM the type of leadership and expertise that will help build our Wholesale channel into one of the best in our industry. We are excited to welcome him to the EPM family.” If you are interested in being a part of the story that EPM is writing, please email frazier@epm.net.

“Do you have commitment to excellence in every aspect of your work? Are you open to a new opportunity with a growing company that believes in providing a first-class service to our business partners? Who you work with matters! 11 Mortgage is on target to close $1.3 billion in our second year in business and we’re looking to add exceptional Underwriters, Account Managers, Closers and Funders to our team. We offer an aggressive bonus program and overtime. If you are interested in joining an organization that provides the industry’s best customer service, contact 11 MORTGAGE  EVP of Wholesale, Thomas Michel.”

“If an invitation that asks you to BYOB doesn’t sound exciting, think again – this one’s different. This BYOB (Bring Your Own Blueprint) invite comes from Stearns Lending’s Joint Venture Partnerships Division. Stearns Ventures is currently recruiting Joint Venture Presidents for its builder and real estate partners in Dallas, Texas, DC/Virginia, Nevada/Arizona, Bay area/Sacramento, and Seattle/Western Washington. If you’re a senior lending executive who wants the challenge of a lifetime, get ready to present your personal blueprint for success. Your skills must include managing the development, launch and growth of new joint venture partnerships, combined with a passion for welcoming more people to the benefits only homeownership provides. Click here to let us know you would like to begin a conversation. If you have the right stuff, you can be assured that your rewards will be substantial and satisfying.”

From Utah comes news that Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc. has a new member in its executive leadership team. Lorin Knudson has accepted the role of SVP of servicing. (Knudson was a Loan Officer for PRMI before he took the lead of its Loan Servicing Department over eight years ago.) Other changes have occurred within senior management at PRMI recently: Jessica Rackham has moved into the role of VP of quality assurance, Alyssa North as the VP of operations, and Alicia Irwin as director of closing operations.

Lender services and products

If originators are the finders of new customers, servicers must be the keepers of those customers. Find out how at the MBA annual next week during Sagent’s Tech Solutions Showcase demo on Wednesday, October 21 at 12:45pm ET. Watch how servicers can brand Sagent’s Account Connect as their own to let strained borrowers actively manage homeownership right from their phones, and to leverage the instant default management decisioning power of our Tempo suite to present definitive, compliant, quick care to homeowners. Not attending MBA Annual? No problem… Watch an on-demand video of our consumer & enterprise suites in action right now!

Verus Mortgage Capital, the largest issuer of securitizations backed by non-QM loans, just launched a loan scenario tool on its website allowing lenders to test various loan scenarios to see if Verus has a non-QM program that matches a borrower’s needs. You simply enter information such as your borrower’s credit score, LTV, loan amount, property type, etc., and then view the results. Verus has also made some loan program updates. Verus’ New Prime Jumbo goes up to 90% LTV, cash-out in all 50 states and coupons starting in the high 2’s. Its Credit Ascent Program is now available for LTVs up to 85%, credit scores down to 620, loan amounts up to $2 million and DTIs up to 50%. And its Investor Solutions Loan program now offers LTVs up to 80%, credit scores down to 640, loan amounts up to $3 million, with interest-only and cash-out options available. For more information about Verus Mortgage Capital, contact Jeff Schaefer, EVP – Correspondent Sales, or call 202-534-1821.


Protecting your new business now became easier! With interest rates dipping again, the competition is HOT! Why get burned? Instead, automatically enroll all of your well-qualified applicants into LeadGuard, a new solution by Informative Research. “Customers have been working with Informative Research for years to monitor and protect their business. Traditional monitoring and lead generation services help with cross-selling, customer acquisition, early payoff, and retention. LeadGuard is unique because borrowers are enrolled instantly at the earliest stage in the mortgage origination process, and alerts are sent directly to the Loan Officer. That way, our customers can maximize closings and minimize losses.” (Bill Butler, SVP of Product & Innovation for Informative Research) Request more information today. Choose from several alert options such as email, SMS, or import directly into your POS or CRM. Start protecting your investments today.


LoanBeam®, the mortgage income expert, has expanded its product line to include IRS tax transcripts. The appropriately named APPSolute Transcripts™ will allow lenders to request IRS tax transcript data quickly and easily within LoanBeam’s existing platform, cutting days out of the risk review process. But this isn’t just any other tax transcript solution. By combining the new APPSolute Transcripts™ offering with LoanBeam’s existing calculation technology (APPSolute TaxTM), users will be able to extract, calculate, and verify self-employed income days before those using traditional methods. LoanBeam clients using APPSolute Income™ will be able to take advantage of the new offering immediately by contacting their account representative and performing a simple product activation. New clients interested in APPSolute Transcripts™, or any other LoanBeam product, visit LoanBeam.com today.

Join National Mortgage Professional Magazine for “DealDesk Focus: Innovative Non-QM Loan Solutions Featuring Sprout Mortgage” on Wednesday, October 21 at 1PM ET (10AM PT). Sprout Mortgage presents innovative loan programs engineered to serve the needs of your Non-QM and Agency borrowers. View examples of how brokers have found these programs vital in meeting the needs of their clients’ unique situations. Learn how Sprout brings non-QM solutions to the platforms you are already using and find answers for your unique loan submission questions. Discover innovative loan programs to grow your business and explore tools to set you up for success. Register and submit your questions or scenarios for “DealDesk Focus: Innovative Non-QM Loan Solutions Featuring Sprout Mortgage” webinar here.

Production Managers, since the beginning of time you’ve wondered, “How can I get all my originators working more like my top producers?” You’ve been looking for the holy grail: habit duplication. Usherpa has been researching habits of highly successful Loan Officers for 25 years and helped literally thousands of LOs increase production through every conceivable market condition! How? Using data analytics (and its lengthy history in the industry), Usherpa identified the most powerful habits of successful producers. Leveraging Usherpa’s technology and commitment to customized training, you can ensure your team is primed to operate like the big hitters. Make your life easier and give your LOs the tools to duplicate top producers’ habits here. While you’re at it, download the Usherpa eGuide “3 Habits of Top Producing Loan Officers (You Can Duplicate).”

New face in the crowd

Out of Northern California comes news that Pacific Private Money Group (PPM), announced the launch of Pacific Mortgage Capital (PMC), a new lending division headed by Bill Aubrey focused on Non-QM and Jumbo Prime financing for West Coast borrowers. PMC is intended to compliment Pacific Private Money Inc., an institutional-grade private money lender launched in 2008. “With industry experts predicting Non-QM growth from 4 times to 10 times in 2021, Pacific Mortgage Capital will be the one lender able to provide originators a full service offering of Non-QM, non-agency Jumbo Prime, investor rental products as well as traditional alternative, bridge financing options.”

The continuing changing lending landscape

Whether it is Countrywide and Wells Fargo from twenty years ago, or the “big dogs” this year, no one is “king of the hill” for any extended period of time. Just sayin’. Let’s compare, say, 2019 to 2006 in terms of names and a walk down memory lane.

Crunching the HMDA stats, last year U.S. Bank was #10 with total originations of 94,000 loans (62k purchase, 41k refi). #9 was Freedom Mortgage with 110,000 originations (71k purchase, 82k refi). Clocking in at #8 was Bank of America at 134,000 loans (62,000 purchase, 59,000 refis). Caliber Home Loans had 136,000 originations (purchase 71k, refinances 52k). loanDepot hit 146,000 loans (52k in purchase, 81k refi). Fairway Independent Mortgage edged out LD with 147,000 loans (purchase loans, 94,000, refinance loans, 33,000). #4 was JPMorgan Chase with 186,000 originations (65,000 purchase, 80,000 refi). Wells Fargo sank to #3 with 232,000 fundings, 112k purchases, 92k refis. United Wholesale Mortgage was #2 at 339k in total originations (152k purchase, 160k refi), edged out by #1 Quicken Loans: 541,000 originations composed of 134k purchase transactions and 381k refis.

How about the roster from 2006? In order, we had Countrywide, Wells Fargo, Washington Mutual, Bank of America, Chase, National City Bank, American Home Mortgage, SunTrust Bank, Wachovia Bank, and New Century.

Of those, six are gone entirely. The other four (Wells, BofA, and Chase, and SunTrust/Truist) are still bringing in business as depository banks. Things are fleeting… Good luck out there!

Capital markets

Mortgage servicing rights (MSR) portfolios provide significant revenue for many financial institutions. They can also play a role in offsetting production risk. When it comes to making decisions about this important asset, MSR valuations are critical. But, given the potential time and resources involved in MSR valuations, how often should a financial institution do them? Through a recent integration between Black Knight’s MSP® servicing system and Black Knight’s MSR valuation platform, CompassPoint℠, MSP clients can seamlessly and automatically have daily MSR valuations sent directly to their email, without devoting time and resources to the process. With a daily MSR valuation, clients can avoid unwelcome month-end surprises and have current information to base their decisions on. The valuations are delivered in an intuitive dashboard and include comprehensive data. You can learn more about them in Black Knight’s blog post here.

MLOs should know that economic data continues to support a significant, but not a total, rebound in GDP when the third quarter’s numbers are released later this month. It also points to a much smaller increase in the fourth quarter, following the trend observed in many other data sets which saw a big pop once sections of the economy began to reopen followed by smaller gains going forward. New claims for unemployment remained elevated last week, and again yesterday, and continuing claims remained above 10 million. For perspective, during the last recession initial claims peaked at 665,000 in March 2009. The U.S. trade gap is at its widest since August 2006 as imports surged when businesses began to reopen. The minutes from the last FOMC meeting reflected the committee’s view that the economy was recovering at an uneven pace across industries and that lower-paid workers were disproportionately affected and that accommodative monetary policy in the form of low rates and increased bond holdings would be needed for the foreseeable future.

Yesterday Agency MBS prices did slightly better than U.S. Treasuries, but both ended Thursday pulling back slightly after surrendering opening gains from the release of a worse-than-expected (and worse since August) jobless claims report (898k claims) which also showed Americans are increasingly moving to longer-term jobless aid. The figure also supports the narrative that the recovery in the labor market is slowing and there is need for more stimulus. Speaking of which, President Trump said he would support a stimulus package bigger than the $1.8 trillion plan his administration has offered, but Senate Majority Leader McConnell said Republicans won’t go along with that. Across The Pond, there was news of tightened lockdown restrictions in London and Germany, which followed the new nightly curfew in France. All three point to increasingly bleak growth prospects.

There were several other economic releases for markets to digest. The Philadelphia Fed Survey increased well above expected in October, though the Empire State Manufacturing Survey fell further than expected. Freddie Mac reported new historic lows in mortgage rates with the 30-year rate dropping 6 bps to 2.81%, the lowest in almost 50 years of data-keeping and the 10th record low this year. The MBA reported applications for new home purchases in its Builder Application Survey, which were notably higher versus a year ago. Finally, Black Knight reported the largest weekly decline in forbearances since the pandemic began. Just under 3 million homeowners remained in active forbearance as of October 13, down from a peak of 4.76 million in late May.

Today’s busy economic calendar is already underway with September retail sales (1.9%, better than expected, +1.5% ex-auto). Later this morning brings September industrial production and capacity utilization, August Business inventories, the October NAHB Housing Market Index and preliminary October Michigan sentiment. Two Fed presidents are scheduled to speak: St. Louis’ Bullard and New York’s Williams. After the NY Fed yesterday reported gross purchases of $36.7 billion and net purchases of $20.2 billion (all for November settlement) for the holiday-shortened week ending October 14, today sees three MBS FedTrade purchase operations. The operations will target up to $5.6 billion, starting with $1 billion UMBS15 1.5% and 2%, followed by $3 billion UMBS30 2% and 2.5% and $1.5 billion GNII 2% and 2.5%. We begin today with Agency MBS prices better/up a shade and the 10-year yielding .73% after closing there yesterday.

My goal for 2020 was to lose 10 pounds. Only have 16 to go.

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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 designed 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 2020 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