Oct. 22: Mortgage jobs & products; Elizabeth Warren goes after lenders; Ocwen versus NY continues

If I was going to build a house, I’d want to make sure it was on the right lot. For some folks that doesn’t work out so well – thanks to Ali F. for sending this in. As the MBA’s conference wraps up today in Las Vegas without me finding the Segway rental desk, I am reminded that indeed the vast majority of people in the mortgage industry are truly interested in helping borrowers, or helping companies help borrowers, regardless of the city in which the convention is held. Speaking of cities, if you’re in Fort Worth Friday, come say hello! I will be in Fort Worth Texas at Cendera Center (3600 Benbrook Hwy.) to talk about the conference and current trends with lenders out there – there are definitely some common themes. Join us for commentary at 1PM followed by a networking reception.


In job news, Stonegate Mortgage Corporation has sales opportunities for two Sales Directors in the Northwest and Southwest US. “Stonegate seeks talented, established mortgage TPO sales professionals who have built relationships with financial institutions and who have proven success of delivering quality residential loans. The ideal person should live in Dallas, Houston, Denver, Seattle, Portland or some other location in WA, OR, No CA, CO, TX, or OK.  Please send confidential correspondence to Missy Dewey by October 28th for consideration.”


Well-known software company Optimal Blue is looking for a Business Development Analyst to focus on the development and maximization of integrations and partnerships while “leveraging Optimal Blue’s enterprise mortgage technology data and solutions to enhance value for existing clients, as well as explore new market and product opportunities.  This position will have the opportunity to work within each of the primary business lines for Optimal Blue, including Product & Pricing Services, Capital Markets & Hedge Advisory, Consumer-Direct, Compliance, and data & analytics. Responsibilities include supporting the development of business strategy, growing & maximizing key partnerships, building business justification & strategic plans (short/long term), interfacing with customers and product owners, etc. The ideal candidate will have several years of mortgage industry experience with knowledge of secondary marketing/capital markets strongly preferred, and a natural aptitude for strategic planning, financial analysis, capture management and teaming. Please send all confidential correspondence, or requests for a full job description, to careers@optimalblue.com.


Lastly, for correspondents out there Endeavor America Loan Services offers something of interest. “With volumes dipping, partnering with the right investor to offer additional products is the key to building purchase volume with your realtor relationships. Endeavor America Loan Services is a direct to Ginnie Mae seller and servicer that is focused on purchasing correspondent government loans without any overlays. In this highly commoditized loan channel, Endeavor America has chosen to focus its attention on building a best in class service model with average purchase times being under five business days. Not only does Endeavor America not compete with its clients, it refers all payoff demand requests back to the original lender who sold the loan to Endeavor America. Imagine getting a warm lead from the investor who bought your loan.”


Generally speaking, there is not a lot of drama here at the conference in Las Vegas. (I know that because one of the big topics in meetings was Kevin Spacey’s liberal use of language during the entertaining opening event.) Nonetheless, new Ginnie Mae issuer liquidity rules announced here may pose “a little bit” of problems for 5 or 6 big nonbanks. But they will have until 2016 to comply. Apparently Ginnie wants to do its part in making sure mortgage companies buying “big blocks” of servicing ready with enough liquid assets to support potential cash needs.


Oh, and wait! There’s also a lot of drama between Ocwen and the state of New York – and rarely does a battle between the government & regulators versus any lender end well for the lender. On the one hand, given some of the headlines saying lending is easing you’d think reps and warrants might actually change and lenders wouldn’t live in fear of actually doing a loan. But then the headlines blare, “Elizabeth Warren Demands An Investigation Of Mortgage Companies”. Are we having fun yet?


In closing news, Secure Settlements conducted a survey focused on training and data security polling 1788 closing agents nationwide October 7-14. Some of the highlights: only 32% of the agents polled carry cyber liability or data security insurance;  more than 80% say they train their employees regularly in both mortgage fraud and the  handling sensitive borrower information but only 64% in anti-money laundering rules and risks, while  69% state they conduct training on CFPB rules and regulations;  when asked how often their trust accounts were audited in the past 24 months, nearly a third of the attorneys polled replied “never” while 65% of title and escrow agents had been audited at least once with nearly 15% having been audited three or more times in that period. 37% of agents are seeing lower business volume in the past quarter. Finally when asked about their confidence in the real estate market in 2015, 55% see positive growth ahead while 26% see a tough year for the industry and 19% had no opinion.


The industry has one less worry, and that is that QRM wasn’t going to jive with QM. Leave it to those mortgage insurers to come up with, “U.S. Mortgage Insurers (USMI) welcomes the approval by U.S. financial regulators today of final rules to align the definition of a Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) to the Qualified Mortgage (QM) standards, stemming from the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation.  Aligning QRM with QM encourages responsible loan underwriting while also providing homebuyers with access to affordable mortgage financing with traditional, proven underwriting features.  This combination will help ensure a sustainable mortgage market that balances credit access and credit discipline, without greatly increasing compliance costs.”


The FHA and house flipping? Now that many markets are back on their feet, there are changes in the wind.


Lenders Compliance Group, a national, full-service, mortgage risk management firm that specializes in residential mortgage compliance announcement, is partnering with MortgageFlex Systems, an established provider of loan origination and servicing technology press release. The partnership is another step to further ensure the validity and compliance of the LoanQuest loan origination system with CFPB regulations.


Essent Guaranty, Inc. announced it is now offering lenders access to Essent MI for delegated and non-delegated loans and rate quotes through INTEGRA’s Destiny Loan Origination System (LOS) Platform.


Nationstar will update the values on its State and Loan Amount Adjuster Table effective with Best Effort and Mandatory commitments starting October 1st. Changes will also be made regarding charges for loans without escrows. Click here to download the complete Pricing Flash.


Word Press posted new education notice for New Hampshire per a new post on the NMLS course provider newsletter explaining in detail the new education requirement.


Secure Settlements just signed Vanguard Funding out of NY and Visio Financial in Austin TX.


Essent Guaranty was approved to provide Mortgage Insurance on mortgages sold to the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston.


Flagstar Wholesale can now deliver electronic copies of appraisals and other written valuations to borrowers on table funded transactions (including FHA SO transactions). As previously communicated, the 2014 annual recertification for all Flagstar Non-Delegated Brokers and Correspondents began on August 18. To avoid being placed in a suspended status, information required must be provided no later than October 10th.


Franklin American Mortgage Company posted the following updates: it no longer requires an itemization of lender/seller credits, nor the GFE to be dated at least one day prior to closing. Title commitments that are dated more than 60 days prior to the note date are no longer suspended and recording fees are now reviewed post purchase. Minor technicalities in completing the 4506T, are not suspended as long as all required transcripts are delivered. Additionally, if you utilize its DO sponsorship, a charge $20 per submission will be charged effective November, 1.


Penny Mac has updated its group email addresses, effective immediately; email addresses for the commitment teams in PennyMac Correspondent Group have changed. Review email groups to establish the old emails that have been retired and a new replacement email established for each.


How ‘bout that housing market? Yesterday we learned that Existing Home Sales bounced back in September to 5.17 million, the highest pace this year. Sales increased everywhere but the Midwest. The median house price was $209,700, up 5.6% for the year, total housing inventory fell 1.3% to 2.3 million homes (5.3 month’s supply at the current pace versus a 6 months’ supply considered “balanced”). All cash sales fell to 24% in September, down from 33% a year ago and heading toward the historical norm of 20% cash buyers.


And this morning we found out, to the surprise of no one, that refinancing activity surged 23% last week. It helps that mortgage rates dropped to their lowest level since May 2013. The refi index is at its highest level since November 2013 and is up to 65% of all apps. Also noted by the fabled MBA economist Mike Fratantoni was that “the average loan balance for refinance applications increased to $306,400, the highest level in the survey’s history” which to many suggests that prepayments on more recent loans from this year are picking up. Purchases? They declined, reminding us that we’re in the autumn and winter months when things scale back.


Yesterday investors were interested in Mel Watt’s take on reps & warrants and 97% LTV loans, along with QRM. On the Ginnie side they were interested in an announcement by GNMA President Ted Tozer regarding changes to issuer net worth and liquidity requirements, and a new issuer scorecard. But none of that really moved rates and at the close the 10-yr was at 2.21% and agency MBS prices were worse nearly .250 in price. This morning we’ve had the release of September’s Consumer Price Index. Expected to be unchanged, it was +.1%. As the sun begins to creep over the mountains near Las Vegas we’re at 2.22% and agency MBS prices are roughly unchanged.



(Not funny, but poignant and needed after several days of meetings in casinos.)

An old cowboy was riding his trusty horse followed by his faithful dog along an unfamiliar road. The man was enjoying the new scenery, when he suddenly remembered dying, and realized that the dog beside him had been dead for years, as had his horse. Confused, he wondered what was happening, and where the trail was leading them.

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall that looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch topped by a golden letter “H” that glowed in the sunlight.

Standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like gold.

He rode toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. Parched and tired out by his journey, he called out, ‘Excuse me, where are we?”

“This is Heaven, sir,” the man answered.

“Wow! Would you happen to have some water?” the man asked.

“Of course, sir, come right in, and I’ll have some ice water brought right up.”

As the gate began to open, the cowboy asked, “Can I bring my partners, too?”

“I’m sorry sir, but we don’t accept pets.”

The cowboy thought for a moment, then turned back to the road and continued riding, his dog trotting by his side.

After another long ride, at the top of another hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a ranch gate that looked as if it had never been closed. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.

“Excuse me,” he called to the man. “Do you have any water?”

“Sure, there’s a pump right over there. Help yourself.”

“How about my friends here?” the traveler gestured to the dog and his horse.

“Of course! They look thirsty, too,” said the man.

The trio went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with buckets beside it. The traveler filled a cup and the buckets with wonderfully cool water and took a long drink, as did his horse and dog.

When they were full, he walked back to the man who was still standing by the tree. “What do you call this place?” the traveler asked.

“This is Heaven,” he answered.

“That’s confusing,” the traveler said. “The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.”

“Oh, you mean the place with the glitzy, gold street and fake pearly gates? That’s hell.”

“Doesn’t it make you angry when they use your name like that?”

“Not at all. Actually, we’re happy they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind.”





(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