Oct. 26: Ops, call center, & AE jobs; bank M&A continues; FHA & VA updates; Re/Max rolls out new mortgage company

It is well documented that “women spend more time wondering what men are thinking than men spend thinking.” Lemon Drops move over! (For those of you who don’t know, the Lemon Drops are an informal group of mortgage gals that meet up at conferences to network.) Women in the real estate financing sector have a new opportunity to connect with others in their field and to access and exchange information about the industry. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) announced the launch of mPower, a professional networking platform that aims to create “a strong, diverse network of women” in the real estate financial industry.


In job news Indecomm Global Services, a leading provider of mortgage technology, training, and outsourcing services is seeking an Assistant Director of Loan Processing/Closing. Indecomm clients include prominent top tier, mid-tier lenders, and regional lenders The Assistant Director of loan processing /closing will assist in overseeing management of the Processing/ Closing division. This position is in Charlotte, NC. The applicant must have prior managerial experience and be comfortable working in high volume and fast paced environment.  Interested candidates should send their resume to HR Manager Candy Mechels.


In product news, Arizona-based AmeriFirst Financial just rolled out LOsocialbot to its entire production staff. The system runs beside their existing CRMs and other marketing systems. Rich Flanagan, VP of Sales and Marketing at AmeriFirst, noted, “We’re already a proven leader when it comes to offering real-world business building tools proven by the fact that our average LO closes over 4 loans per month, nearly twice the industry average. We view this as a tool to allow LOs to deliver industry relevant content to their partners and clients thru all their social media channels with a ‘set and forget it; application. For once, LO’s are excited about a marketing system geared toward full compliance with their personal social media. We’re already on track for over 4MM potential impressions next year making this thing a huge win for AmeriFirst.” LOsocialbot auto-posts pre-scrubbed content for LO’s on Facebook, Twitter google+, Pinterest and Linkedin. Contact Jason Lutz for corporate social solutions.


On the wholesale side, Home Point Financial is a national lender with an ever-expanding footprint and is looking for AEs in Virginia & Maryland, Texas, Ohio, and Southern California. “We are a mortgage banker with traditional values that have never gone away. Simply stated, it is a belief in people working with people to get the job done, which is a solid solution for AEs looking for the right fit but who haven’t been able to find it! Our cultural philosophy is summed up in one phrase: ‘We Care.’ We care about each other, our customers, our communities, the industry and most importantly, results! We listen, collaborate, reinvent and help each other succeed. If you believe the model for success was never broken – i.e. you and your brokers thrive on communication, and a voice at the end of the phone – we would love to open a dialogue with you.” Contact Paul Wyner 847-226-0179 for more details.


An established National Mortgage Bank is looking for a Call Center Manager to recruit and lead a call center team for the Consumer Direct channel. The Company is both a FNMA & FHLMC Seller/Servicer, GNMA I&II Issuer, and jumbo and non-QM lender across the United States. The ideal candidate will have 3-5 years of a call center experience with a proven track record in sales management, strategic leadership, recruitment, and cost management. All geographic locations will be considered, based upon individual candidates. Please send confidential inquires & resumes to me at rchrisman@robchrisman.com and excuse any delays in response due to travel.


Reminding us that builders, real estate brokers, and lenders can own and operate those same companies, Colorado-based real estate company Re/Max Holdings Inc. said it’s starting up a mortgage company: Motto Mortgage. It will open mortgage franchises throughout the U.S. Ward Morrison, most recently Re/Max/s vice president, region operations and business opportunities, is the president of Motto Mortgage.


On the flip side of that are mergers and acquisitions. Switching gears to old fashioned M&A, another day, another merger of financial institutions. In this case Access National Corporation (NASDAQ: ANCX) (“Access National”) and Middleburg Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: MBRG) (“Middleburg”) are proposing to hook up and create Access National Corporation. If/when it goes through the company will rank 5th in deposit market share among Virginia-based banks under $10 billion in assets. “The new company projects 14.0% annual cost savings of the combined expense base, to be fully realized in 2018, allowing for significant operating leverage in today’s highly regulated environment.”


Community Bank ($8.7B, NY) will acquire Merchants Bank ($1.9B, VT) for about $304mm in cash (30%) and stock (70%). In Massachusetts Rockland Trust Co ($7.4B) will acquire The Edgartown National Bank ($187mm) for about $24.5mm in cash (20%) and stock (80%) or roughly 1.52x tangible book. In Kansas Equity Bank ($1.6B) will acquire State Bank ($149mm) for about $24.5mm in cash (50%) and stock (50%) or about 1.40x tangible book. The First ($1.2B, MS) will acquire Iberville Bank ($259mm, LA) and Gulf Coast Community Bank ($133mm, FL) for about $31.1mm in cash (1.19x tangible book) and $2.3mm in stock (0.40x tangible book), respectively. Access National Bank ($1.3B, VA) will merge with The Middleburg Bank ($1.3B, VA).


Of course, M&A is not confined to banks. Wilmington Savings Fund Society ($5.8B, DE) will acquire wealth management firm West Capital Management (PA) for an undisclosed sum in cash (100%). And we learned that WestStar Bank ($1.2B, TX) will acquire certain assets (construction and residential divisions) from Cimarron Mortgage Capital.


Plenty of lenders are still doing FHA & VA loans despite the moves that HUD and the Department of Justice have made in penalizing lenders from past business practices. Depository banks still dominate home lending, but nonbank market share is at an all-time high. Nonbank lenders dominate the origination of mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and by the Veterans Administration (VA), the riskier corner of housing lending due to no down payment or low down payment loans and poor-credit buyers. Purchase origination loans backed by the FHA and VA have been progressively getting higher, growing from 6 percent of all purchase loans in 2006 to 30 percent in Q3 2016, according to ATTOM Data Solutions. Let’s see what’s new in that sector of lending.


The industry is split on FHA insurance-premium cuts. A nonbank mortgage trade association renewed calls this week for the government to cut insurance premiums on FHA loans, but the president of the nation’s largest trade group, the Mortgage Bankers Association, says that would be a bad idea.


The September 30th FHA SF Handbook update contains technical changes for consistency and clarity, and several policy updates. All stakeholders in FHA transactions should review the changes to the SF Handbook in the September 30th Transmittal available in FHA’s Online Housing Policy Library. For a detailed summary of today’s SF Handbook update, read FHA’s online article.


AllRegs is offering a series of training in the FHA world. Fundamentals of FHA Underwriting – Begins Nov.1st and Dec.6th. Fundamentals of FHA Underwriting consists of underwriting basics specific to FHA, such as:  borrower eligibility, property eligibility, loan limits, mortgage transactions, mortgage insurance premiums, FHA programs and more. The target audience would include processors, underwriters, quality control staff, and anyone who wants to better understand the underwriting process for FHA loans. Advanced FHA Underwriting – Begins Nov. 1st and Dec. 6th. The FHA continues to evaluate their guidelines and make changes to many of their policies. Staying up-to-date is important — in all aspects of the underwriting process. Advanced FHA Underwriting can help you expand your knowledge and get you up to speed quickly on FHA loans.


Intermediate FHA Underwriting – Begins Nov.2nd and Dec. 7th. Are you ready for the next step in FHA underwriting? Intermediate FHA Underwriting will enhance your underwriting knowledge and abilities by taking a deeper dive into FHA TOTAL Scorecard requirements, and those scenarios in which a manual downgrade is required. This course will consist of scenarios that address challenges present in today’s market. It will also include the “Red Flags” as identified by FHA. Analyzing Alternative Income – Begins Nov. 3rd. During this course case studies will be analyzed using the Fannie Mae form 1084 method to calculate self-employed income for Sole Proprietors, Partnerships and Corporation owners. Class time will also be spent analyzing rental income, pension income and income derived from retirement funds. And Underwriting VA Loans – Begins Dec. 1st. VA underwriting needs are on the rise. There’s never been a better time to become knowledgeable of the unique requirements and disclosures specific to VA loans. Underwriting VA Loans provides clear instruction for those looking to ramp up their product knowledge of VA loans.


Freedom Mortgage Corporation “is seeing a significant boost in its expanded correspondent program. Further gains are expected following the addition of the Ginnie Mae PIT program to Freedom’s co-issue correspondent program, which also includes Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  The company’s co-issue program provides another option to small and mid-tier lenders to fit the unique needs of their business.”


Ditech Correspondent Clients should note that the requirements pertaining to the processing of the IRS 4506-T Request for Tax Transcripts have been updated. This change applies to all Conforming, DU Refi Plus, FHA, VA products. For non-delegated clients, the 4506-T must continue to be signed and processed prior to underwriting for each borrower whose income is documented with tax returns and is used for qualification for the loan (self-employment, rental income, income earned from commission, etc.). For delegated clients, the 4506-T must continue to be signed and processed prior to closing.


Properties that contain 2 – 4 units and located in a PUD project are now eligible with Ditech. This property type is permitted for all Conforming, DU Refi Plus, FHA and VA products that permit 2-4 unit properties.


Mortgagees are being reminded of FHA’s mandated requirement regarding the use of the 203K calculator within the FHA Connection (FHAC) system. The calculator must be utilized prior to endorsement for all Standard and Limited 203(k) transactions with case numbers assigned on or after October 31st.


Plaza is updating its Wholesale FHA Appraisal Transfer Policy. Plaza is now requiring the XML, as well as the PDF format of the appraisal.


Ditech clients should note that the housing payment history guidelines for FHA Credit Qualifying Streamline Refinances have been revised.


FHA published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to solicit public comments on proposed requirements for condominium project approvals. The proposed rule, Project Approval for Single-Family Condominiums (Docket No. FR-5715-P-01), proposes requirements for condominium project approvals that FHA believes would be more flexible, less prescriptive, and more reflective of the current market. While the public comment period is open for 60 days, FHA encourages all interested parties to fully review the proposed rule and submit comments as soon as feasible. Comments must be submitted through the formal methods detailed in the proposed rule.


M&T Bank announced it will offer an option to Correspondent accounts to sell VA loans without requiring prefunding underwriting review. Instead a standard documentation audit through its loan review team is now available.


M&T Bank rolled out VA Delegated delivery for its correspondents. M&T still offers its pre-purchase review for clients as well “but the Delegated option will greatly speed up our purchase turn times.”


Turning to the bond markets, Rates aren’t doing much which is fine for the folks heading home from the MBA’s conference on the East Coast. Sure there was the usual intra-day movement between coupons and securities, but not enough to impact rate sheets and the 10-year T-note note closed 1+ higher to yield 1.76%; 5-yr notes and agency MBS prices are pretty much unchanged from Monday’s close.


This morning the staff of the MBA rushed back to tell us the apps numbers for last week: -4%, with purchase apps falling 7% and refis down 2%. At 8:30AM we’ll have updates on advanced goods trade and inventories, both retail and wholesale, for September. The preliminary Markit Service PMI for October will be released at 9:45AM and then September New Home Sales at 10AM ET. Early on we find the 10-year chopping around 1.77% in yield and agency MBS prices roughly unchanged versus last night.



  1. Going to bed early.
  2. Not leaving my house.
  3. Not going to a party.

My childhood punishments have become my adult goals.



If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “How Consumers Influence Interest Rates.” 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 over 300 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 2016 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