Oct. 16: LO jobs; market intel, borrower experience tools; misc. investor news; Interview with Fairway’s CEO Steve Jacobson

The old joke, “Why don’t the Phillies have a website? Because they can’t string three W’s together!” is no longer true. The Phillies are doing just fine, and the MBA Annual is underway. Talk in the hallways includes the Community Home Lenders of America, National Association of Realtors, and Independent Community Bankers of America sending a letter calling on the administration to reduce the historically high, long-term mortgage rates relative to long-term Treasury bonds, and the supposed UMortgage financials (showing loans held for sale, typically the sign of a mortgage banker not a broker, but really, financials on Reddit?). For many IMBs, their goals by going to the MBA Annual here in Philadelphia include searching for the reason for the wide bid/ask spreads in MBS trading, the reason for the increased Agency buybacks (increased inspection rates and not taking chances on seller servicers not being around in the future, are usually mentioned as the culprits), finding the least expensive credit reporting company, a great HELOC and/or 2nd program, seeing what’s new with down payment assistance programs, and seeing the latest in under-served markets. There is, of course, the thread of continuing over-capacity, personnel, and technology cutbacks, as well as continuing to negotiate better deals with vendor partners. (By the way, anyone displaced can post their resume for free here where potential employers can view all the resumes for several months for only $75.) (Today’s podcast can be found here: Sponsored by nCino, maker of the nCino Mortgage Suite, built for the modern mortgage lender. The nCino Mortgage Suite unites the people, systems and stages of the mortgage process. Hear and interview with Fairway Independent’s Steve Jacobson on false reports of his company’s takeover and the problems with defamation.)

Jobs & transitions

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Attention Loan Officers: Take your career to the next level with best-in-class Operations, Underwriting, Support and more. Find out how at the next virtual Fairway Day on Wednesday, October 25 at 3pm ET. Join Steve Jacobson, Founder & CEO and David “Laz” Lazowski, President, Retail Sales East and others from the Executive Team and the Street. Here is the registration link and participation is 100% anonymous.

FHA has one vacancy for a Marketing and Outreach Specialist (Communications). Job duties include assisting with the development of and making recommendations regarding the annual budget for marketing and outreach implementation activities. Develop, recommend, and communicate national policy guides, procedures and plans for the effective implementation of Single Family’s programs and objectives for the programs. Provide training support to SFH regional Homeownership Centers and Headquarters program offices. Job Announcement Number 23-HUD-2672-P.

FormFree has tapped Jenny Moss as director of marketing to lead the rollout of its Passport® portable financial ID and the FormFree Exchange (FFX).

Lender and broker software, products, and services

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Today’s housing market is the perfect storm for a home affordability crisis. Sales that boomed post-pandemic have now cooled, and in the aftermath, would-be buyers are looking for ways to combat higher home prices, growing interest rates, and severely constricted inventory. A new blog post, “Innovative Ways to Bridge the Home Affordability Gap,” explores the financing options available to help make home ownership more affordable, including interest rate buydowns and loan assumptions. Read the blog to learn how you can set yourself up to help borrowers succeed in a seller’s market—and make it easier for your sellers to part with their lower mortgage rates and move inventory. Then when you’re ready, learn how the MSP® loan servicing system can help you add both processes to your toolbox.

Truv is getting a lot of attention, because it’s saving Lenders 60-80% over The Work Number. Truv (truv.com) is the market-leading consumer-permissioned data platform that enables financial organizations with access to every financial data source available. Use cases supported by Truv include income and employment verification, employment history verification, paycheck-linked loans, verification of insurance, direct deposit switching, and earned wage access. Through Truv’s model of having access to payroll data, financial account transaction data, tax data, and insurance data, Truv’s platform is built with unmatched coverage, compliance, and data quality.

It’s been five years since Dunkin’ Donuts became Dunkin’. With half a dozen locations within walking distance of the Philadelphia Convention Center, attendees of the MBA Annual Convention won’t be able to miss the billion-dollar brand, which has earned its customers’ continued loyalty even as it has evolved. Here’s another rebrand that’s front-and-center in Philly this week: SimpleNexus is now nCino’s Mortgage Suite, an end-to-end solution that delivers mortgage simplicity from start to finish. To learn more about what’s in store for current and future customers, visit nCino’s booth #901 (look left as you enter THE HUB) or RSVP for Tuesday’s 4 pm town hall happening live at the Philadelphia Convention Center, Room 115A, street level.

Meet Sagent’s MBA Annual booth staff. To hear how Sagent is shifting the standard in mortgage servicing and delivering on their future-of-servicing model for the industry, put booth #907 on your list at Mortgage Bankers Association Annual. The fintech leader will be rolling into MBA with a stacked team, so for some warm welcomes, sweet swag, delicious treats, and more, head over to Sagent’s booth and talk shop with David Doyle, Cheryl McKenzie, Will Gehl, Kevin Marek, Andrea Zubiate and others. As always, they have a lot to give away, and a lot of relevant intel to share, so stop by the booth, talk shop. Who knows, maybe you’ll even get ‘the in’ to the most exclusive party MBA Annual has ever seen. For more info on all things Sagent at MBA Annual, and to book some private one-on-one meetings, click here.

 

Stop losing money on loans with an end-to-end mortgage platform built for profitability. To achieve profitable mortgage lending, you need solutions built for your bottom line. Maxwell’s tech-enabled platform enhances each step of the process, from point of sale to the secondary market. You’ll gain competitive secondary market pricing on a wide array of products, including non-QM and jumbo, and full-service fulfillment support on both wholesale and correspondent offerings. Maxwell Capital customers leveraging Maxwell Point of Sale experience a 5.9% higher pull-through rate compared to a top competitor, increasing and accelerating closes, while built-in business intelligence tracks and benchmarks performance. Schedule a call with our team to learn more about Maxwell Capital and Maxwell Point of Sale to ensure profitability on every mortgage origination.

“Why go digital? In the competitive world of mortgage lending, embracing technology isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. That’s why we’ve partnered with Jim Deitch, certified mortgage banker, top selling author, and CEO/Founder of Teraverde®. With our collective experience, we’re sharing these six strategic tips that can help your institution stay profitable, stay efficient, and stay ahead with a cutting-edge digital mortgage solution.

“Summer has come to a close but we’re not slowing down. As a fin-tech company, we’re constantly innovating new ways to make our loan officers’ lives more efficient while growing their business. We’ve just launched multiple new apps so our employees and customers can be their best. Our newest app not only drives financial wellness but includes stress-relieving fitness, wellness and nutrition classes that focus on all aspects of well-being. Between that and the launch of our latest tool, PowerVP that lets loan officers do business on the go and completely from their phone, we’re changing the industry for the better. Ready for more work life balance? Contact us to get started.”

Blend Labs is proud to announce Blend IMB Essentials, a new product offering built specifically for retail IMBs. The pressure to cut costs while still delivering a high-quality borrower experience is higher than ever. IMB Essentials combines all the features IMBs need to be successful in this challenging market with unbeatable value. This new offering provides a best-in-class application experience, LO productivity tools, and operational efficiency gains through automation, all at a significantly lower price point. Learn more.

Polly unveils multi-dimensional analytics solution, provides real-time and action-oriented enterprise, competitive, and market intel to lenders and other mortgage industry stakeholders. Purpose-built using advanced data science and machine learning tools, Polly Analytics can be used in conjunction with the company’s cloud-native, high-performance Product and Pricing Engine (PPE) and Loan Trading Exchange to deliver an unprecedented amount of visibility to stakeholders, and ultimately drive predictive and informed data-driven strategic decisions, automation, and profitability. Adam Carmel, Founder and CEO of Polly, commented: “Specifically in today’s market, no one wants to leave revenue on the table. Polly Analytics delivers action-oriented visibility into margins, profitability, and any other lever a lender can pull to drive down the cost of origination and maximize every basis point of value.”  To learn more, follow Polly on LinkedIn or visit booth 312 at #MBAAnnual23.

Investor news

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News from lenders and investors doesn’t always fit into conventional conforming or government program news. What’s going on out there?

As outlined in several recent communications, Citi completes mandated anti-money laundering and sanctions screening for all borrowers and non-obligated parties on every loan. As of Monday, October 2, a new condition was added to the loans to indicate screening is in process. For more information, view Citi Correspondent Lending AML and Sanctions Screening Process Update.

United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) revealed two new initiatives. First, Memory Maker is an exclusive UWM tool, accessible through UWM’s EASE platform, that allows independent mortgage brokers to send their choice of thank you items to borrowers and real estate agents. This includes personalized thank you emails or handwritten notes or gifts for borrowers, such as a cutting board or welcome mat. Second, significant enhancements to UWM’s PA+, originally launched in May 2023, PA+ now allows independent mortgage brokers and their processors to choose which part of the loan process they’d like a UWM Loan Coordinator to handle. For a reduced fee they can select a combination of support for Setup, Underwriting or Closing. Additionally, they can still opt to have the UWM Loan Coordinator handle the entire process from Setup through Closing.

Citi Correspondent Lending Bulletin 2023-09 provides credit policy updates regarding Appraiser Eligibility, Student Loan Payments, Military Address for Credit Reports for DU Loans, Medical Collection, Non-Agency Departure Property and Trust Income Verification. Also, Bulletin 2023-09 provides clarification on Depreciating Markets List, Reserves Based on Qualifying Rate, and MI – Investment Property. Plus, Disaster Policy Reminder.

Hometown Equity Mortgage is waiving 100% of the lender origination fee, for all new G-PA loans submitted between October 1st and October 31st, 2023. What is G-PA? Gap Platform Advancement, A Bridge Loan for First Time Home Buyers, First Time Investors, and Experienced Investors too. Living Rent free is allowed, up to 75% LTV, Min FICO 650, and cash out to 65% LTV.

In PRMG Product Update 23-48, Product Profiles have been updated including underwriter requirement regarding future income on Agency Fannie Mae and Agency Freddie Mac. Availability of MCCs list, applicable to Standard Agency, FHA, VA, and USDA Products, on the Resource Center. Updated Expanded Access and Investor Solution list of states where prepay is not allowed. List of states where prepay is not allowed updated to add DC and MO (MO already not eligible on Investor Solution). Chenoa Fund FHA payment shock requirement removal from present housing section (no longer required).

Citizens Correspondent National Bulletin 2023-17 provides Conventional Conforming Products LPA information regarding pending IRS Installment Agreements, Alimony, Child Support and Separate Maintenance Income Documentation, Student Loan Payments, No Cash-out Refinance, and Cash-out Refinance. Additional updates on FHA Handbook 4000.1, USDA-RD Products Eligible Areas and RD Handbook-1-3555.

ZINC Financial offers a Fix and Flip Loan Program. Highlights include up to 90% LTV, 100% of Rehab Budget Financing, Purchase, Rehab, Refi Cash Out, $50k-$3M loan size, income not verified, 660+ FICO score with exceptions, and lend in 43 States

AmeriHome Mortgage announced that One-Time-Close Construction-to Permanent Conversion Loans are eligible for purchase. AmeriHome will purchase construction-to-permanent loans following the loan’s conversion to the permanent phase. At this time, this product offering is eligible for Correspondent Delegated underwriting only. View AmeriHome Mortgage Announcement Number: 20231004-CL for details.

BREEZE, the Plaza Home Mortgage® loan origination system, offers a wide variety of functions making loan submission a smoother experience. For example, in BREEZE, you can lock your loans until 11:59PM your local time*, on business days. Have you ever had a document you wanted to give the underwriter, but there was no condition to upload it to? For example, an update to a paystub that was about to expire. Now there is! Plaza’s BREEZE loan origination system now has a new “additional documents” condition that will be on the Loan Conditions screen for this purpose. This will only show in the BREEZE system and not print on the approval.

Capital markets with the MBA forecast

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) believes that total mortgage origination volume is expected to increase to $1.95 trillion in 2024 from the $1.64 trillion expected in 2023. Purchase originations are forecast to increase 11 percent to $1.47 trillion next year. By loan count, total mortgage origination volume is also expected to increase by 19 percent, to 5.2 million loans in 2024 from 4.4 million loans expected in 2023. Mortgage rates are expected to trend down over the next year or two, mostly by reducing the spread between mortgage rates and Treasury rates rather than a reduction of overall rates.

Last week prices went up, and rates down, when investors sought safe-haven assets such as U.S. Treasury bonds and gold, as the Israel-Gaza war looked likely to escalate going into the weekend. It appears that Federal Reserve officials look set to hold interest rates steady for the second time in a row next month. We had remarks made Friday by FOMC voting member Patrick Harker, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, who said he does not expect interest rates will need to be raised further. In bank news financials eked out gains, amid overall positive sentiment in the sector after the Q3 earnings season was kicked off by reports from JPMorgan, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo.

But last week’s main headlines were about inflation with the release of both the Consumer Price Index and Producer Price Index for September. Although consumer prices rose more than expectations, September’s 0.4 percent increase was lower than the 0.6 percent increase from August. Overall, inflation pressures are significantly lower than they were last year. September’s headline CPI increased 3.7 percent from one year ago and the core was up 4.1 percent compared to the 8.2 percent and 6.3 percent respective annual readings from September 2022. Energy and food costs remain headwinds to inflation moving quicker towards the Fed’s target of 2 percent annual inflation. Additionally, recent declines in vehicle prices may be short-lived if the UAW strike puts a significant dent in production.

Small businesses continue to face challenges with labor shortages, higher financing costs, and credit availability which has kept sentiment near levels last seen in 2012 following the Great Recession.

This week? The war, Congressional machinations, retail sales, Fed surveys, industrial production/capacity utilization, and housing data. In Fed news, Chair Powell is scheduled to speak on Thursday and the latest Beige Book will be released on Wednesday ahead of the November 1 FOMC decision. Treasury supply will consist of $13 billion reopened 20-years on Wednesday and $22 billion new 5-year TIPS on Thursday. Regarding MBS, Class B and C 48-hours are respectively today and Thursday. Bank earnings continue with Bank of America and Goldman Sachs reporting tomorrow and Morgan Stanley on Wednesday. Today’s calendar gets under way with Empire manufacturing for October and will be followed by remarks from Philadelphia Fed President Harker. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged from Friday and the 10-year yielding 4.70 after closing last week at 4.68 percent.

Experience: a comb life gives you after you lose your hair.

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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 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