Oct. 22: Controller job; appraisal, broker, construction products; vendor news

I am often asked about a primer for capital markets. Much of the training is “on the job,” but for anyone serious about learning the topic, here’s a good place to start. How about a little learnin’ about the stock market, despite its waning popularity? (About 3,600 firms were listed on U.S. stock exchanges at the end of 2017, down more than half from 1997.) How did the bull become associated with rising stock prices? Some say it’s because the bull attacks by swinging its horns upward. But the association of bears with falling prices came first, thanks to a practice in 17th-century fur trading. Middlemen sometimes sold bearskins they had not yet bought from hunters, betting that the price would drop. It seems to be an early form of what is now known as naked short selling. And the bull was once an obvious partner to the bear, because of the enormous popularity of “baiting” them with trained dogs or beatings. Britain’s Parliament banned the practice in 1835, thankfully, but the bull and bear are still battling it out on the stock market


“If you prefer working from home and to have a daily commute as short as the distance between your bed and your desk, have the CPA designation and have extensive mortgage banking experience, you want to consider our open position! We are a retail-only independent mortgage lender with annual origination of about $5B and have our agency approvals, offering QM, non-QM jumbo, conventional, government and state bond loan programs over 40+ states. You, as our Controller will be responsible managing a high-performing and dedicated team of 14 accountants. As part of your daily activities, you will be providing financial oversight, insight, direction to timely financial reporting with emphasis on conformity, compliance with US GAAP and Sarbanes-Oxley and contribute to our ongoing projects.  Experience with LoanVision is a huge plus. There is no reason to wait, contact Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt for more information!”

Lender products & services

“Our decision to partner with Optimal Blue has exceeded all of our expectations,” said Joe Senecal, Treasurer of SEFCU Mortgage ServicesIn a recent case study, Senecal explains how Optimal Blue’s End-to-End Secondary Marketing Platform, real-time connectivity across multiple mortgage technology systems, streamlined mortgage servicing rights (MSR) valuations, and unique executive data insights play a critical role in SEFCU Mortgage Services’ recent success. Contact Optimal Blue to discover the real-time integrations and functional depth that can significantly impact bottom line results.

Join National Mortgage Professional Magazine on Thursday, October 24 at 12 pm ET / 9 am PT for nmp’s webinar “Own your market with non-QM.” Originations are expected to be lower next year overall and the refinance market is expected to decline. Lenders will be forced to find new ways to produce volume. The non-agency market will continue to thrive despite a decreasing real estate market with growth potential of over $150 billion in annual originations expected. Find out how you can grow your business and help underserved Americans find the mortgage solution that fits their needs for the home of their dreams. Everyone wins!

You can register here.

By now you’ve probably heard about Phil Shoemaker’s presentation at AIME’s Fuse event in Vegas. Home Point Financial’s Customer For Life program is expanding to really keep brokers in front of their customers. Keeping over 95% of loans in-house for servicing means they have 50 borrower touch points a year, and Home Point is building a system to get brokers on the phone with borrowers reaching out. All of this will connect to a proprietary end-to-end servicing platform so borrowers are taken care of from the day their loan begins until they reach out for their next mortgage needs, and beyond. Not only that, Home Point is creating a recapture scorecard to allow its broker partners to see how much they’re keeping for all their hard work! Don’t wait to partner with Home Point Financial: click here.

“If this challenging marketing environment has you searching for answers on improving your profitability and turn-times, why not tap into an AMC whose valuation turn-time averages 5.6 business days nationally, and as low as 4.4 in metro areas? United States Appraisals is a future-focused AMC that delivers the confidence clients desire in the valuation process. We value every client relationship by providing superior customer service, diligent quality assurance and compliance, and the most precise technology-driven results available in the industry. Our #1 asset is our staff and appraiser vendors who we believe are the best in the industry. Focus less on dealing with valuation issues and spend more time on other actions that can positively impact your performance with United States Appraisals’ Appraisal Modernization Program (A.M.P.) Contact our Director of National Sales Brett Berg, to learn more.”

Get ready to re-imagine how sales and marketing work together to drive growth. Connect, engage and learn with leading financial brands at Total Expert’s second annual road show, Accelerate 2020. Join us at one of our next two stops in Chicago on Nov. 12 or New York City on Nov. 14 as we explore best practices to drive ROI and look at the latest technology trends in the industry. You’ll have the chance to network with some of the top lenders in the country and walk away with new strategies to modernize your sales and marketing processes and create customers for life. Get ready for a day of thought leadership, actionable insights and winning strategies. Space is limited, so register today and position your organization for success in 2020. See you there!

GSF Mortgage Corporation (GSF) will be attending the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Annual Convention & Expo Oct. 27-30 in Austin, Texas. Robert Stephens, SVP of Sales for Construction Lending Division will be onsite discussing the benefits of Single Close Construction loans over traditional construction loans. Single Close Construction loan programs offered are, FHA-96.5% LTV, USDA-100% LTV, VA-100% LTV, and Conventional up to 95% LTV. All programs are single settlement without the need to requalify the borrower after the initial closing. Our construction management team has the experience and ability to review and approve the project budget, plans, specifications, inspections, and disbursements of all draws in-house—adding an additional layer of service and protection for our partners. To learn how you can incorporate Single Close Construction loans into your programs, schedule a meeting and email Robert.

Imagine receiving your borrower’s entire underwriting package within minutes (instead of days) of a submitted loan application. With Maxwell’s digital mortgage platform, lenders are getting documents 73% faster with their FileFetch technology which connects to over 1,300 financial institutions for increased efficiency and a better borrower experience. This, coupled with their already impressive, customizable loan app, borrower portal, task list, and integration, drive real performance. Loans in Maxwell close more than 45% faster than the national average. To learn more and start using Maxwell today, visit www.himaxwell.com and request a demo today.

There are many advantages of tapping home equity, and it’s important to feature the benefits that are most relevant to your audience in your outreach. First-time homeowners have different goals and priorities than those planning for retirement. Blend’s ebook outlines how to craft a personalized home equity strategy that effectively engages your customers. Download it here.

Vendors at play

There’s a lot to keep track of out there! Let’s play some catch up.

MISMO®, the mortgage industry’s standards organization, released Remote Online Notarization (RON) standards which allow the use of audio-visual communication devices to notarize documents in a virtual online environment. MISMO’s RON standards were updated to include language to preclude the storage of personally identifiable information. With this revision, the RON standards have been released for a public comment period that ended. The revised MISMO RON standards are available on mismo.org. An additional version of the updated RON standards is available with revised text highlighted in yellow.

The Momentifi Sales Productivity App “simplifies daily follow-up tasks with borrowers and referral partners so that you don’t lose deals to your competition. Simple to use, key features and benefits include ability to send personalized videos, emails and text messages to borrowers and referral partners directly from the App. Every communication gets automatically logged for compliance. It also comes with built-in follow-up templates and $3,589 worth of extra bonuses. Sign up for a free 30-day trial.

DocMagic’s new Mobile Application, LoanMagic™, provided free to all DocMagic customers, leverages a powerful backend platform that provides full interoperability with DocMagic solutions, as well as other third-party mortgage software. Its core functionality includes real-time loan status, document uploads, eSigning, integrated messaging, task management, push notifications and more. “The App leverages DocMagic’s eVault to ensure that every transaction is logged and securely stored, and it uses a ‘gamified’ design that encourages borrower engagement by making the process of fulfilling conditions faster, easier and more entertaining for the borrower. LoanMagic’s primary differentiator is at its backend [Editor’s note: their term, not mine; reminds me of some folks I know.], which allows the mobile app to provide an unprecedented level of interoperability with numerous relevant technologies.

Optimal Blue launched support for Non-QM and Expanded Criteria loans. With monthly lock volume exceeding $1 billion, a threshold 2.5 times the volume experienced just 18 months earlier, Optimal Blue is observing significant market growth in this area. Designed to drive pricing accuracy and precision, Optimal Blue now supports close to 20 granular filters for income verification, payment history, debt consolidation, bankruptcy, and more. In addition, specific housing events, financial outcomes, and other user-defined selections are evaluated. Optimal Blue lenders can now take advantage of the Non-QM and Expanded Guidelines products for +60 leading investors.

Capital markets

Economic data from last week continues to soften, causing many to expect another reduction in the Fed Funds rate sooner rather than later. China released third quarter GDP figures which showed its economy expanded at the slowest annual pace since 1992. While there are those who suspect China’s reporting is not up to the same standards as other developed countries, the decline is significant, nonetheless. Back stateside, leading economic indicators declined by 0.1 percent in September due to ongoing weakness in the manufacturing sector. This marks the second consecutive month of declines for this index. Retail sales were also weaker than expected in September; falling 0.3 percent despite low unemployment. Motor vehicle sales declined on a dollar basis, however unit sales increased. Manufacturing output was also down during the month as the production stoppage at General Motors weighed on the data. Housing starts declined to a 1,256,000 annual rate due to a 28.2 percent decline in multifamily starts. Mortgage applications were down for the second straight week although applications or both purchase and refinance are up on a year over year basis.

Despite the soft news last week, U.S. Treasuries ended yesterday with losses across the curve, including the 10-year yield closing at 1.79 percent, amid positive signs on trade talks. It was reported that proposed December tariffs could be taken off if phase one of talks go well. President Trump commented that the trade deal was coming along “great” with the phase two part of the deal in many ways easier than phase one. Trade Representative Lighthizer said the goal is to have the phase one part of the deal ready by mid-November.

Additionally, equities were moved by favorable earnings expectations from Wall Street. Risk appetite to open the week wasn’t thrown off following the UK parliament’s postponing of a vote over the weekend for Prime Minister Johnson’s Brexit plan, which forced him to ask the EU for a three-month extension he did not want. Parliament was expected to vote on the latest Brexit deal on Saturday, but instead it passed a motion forcing the prime minister to request another Brexit extension from the EU. EU officials have indicated that an extension will be granted if the deal doesn’t pass by October 31. Prime Minister Johnson still has a surprisingly good chance of getting a deal through Parliament this week, with Parliament scheduled to vote on the deal today, and if it passes it will see a series of additional votes.

Speaking of today, the economic calendar is relatively light. There will be an auction of $40 billion 2-year notes. Economic news consists of Philly Fed non-manufacturing surveys for October, the Richmond Fed manufacturing and services indexes for October, and existing home sales for September. We begin the day with the 10-year yield at 1.78% and Agency MBS prices better by .125.

The best of Marcus Lam (part 2 of 5)

200 years ago, people would never have guessed that humans in the future would communicate by silently tapping on glass.

“Good luck” is probably one of the most situational phrases out there. For example it’s nice to hear from your blackjack dealer but probably terrifying to hear from your waiter.

If you could hear people’s thoughts, the gym would sound like angry pre-school: lots of people straining hard to count to a relatively low number.

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, “How Productive is Your Origination Team?” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.


(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2019 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