Oct. 26: Servicing, LO jobs; hedging, webinars, HELOC, prequal tools; STRATMOR on servicing; lunches & RESPA; what recession?

It is said that if all the hunters on opening day(s) of deer season in Wisconsin were grouped together, they would comprise the sixth largest army in the world! Sometimes lenders feel that they have a target on their backs, and here at the WMBA’s 49th Annual Real Estate & Finance Conference in Milwaukee, some of the informal talk in the hallways is about avoiding redlining, a focus of audits and exams. Another is RESPA. When does “As you wish” or “intent” figure into lending? “Rob, is it true that the same business lunch can either be a RESPA violation, or not?” I am not an expert in compliance, but yes, that is true. If you’re an LO who takes a real estate agent to a nice lunch as a thank you for sending business your way, that is seen as a thing of value and would be a RESPA violation. If the same nice lunch is used to discuss new programs and training that your company offers real estate agents, then it is copacetic. Make sense? (For more RESPA tips, read this edition of attorney Brian Levy’s Mortgage Musings focused on Ted Lasso.) Today’s podcast can be found here, sponsored by Visio Lending and its top notch broker program. Visio is the nation’s premier lender for buy and hold investors with over 2.5 billion closed loans for single-family rental properties, including vacation rentals. Listen to an interview with Selene Finance’s John Vella on revenue targets and P&L examinations going on at mortgage companies and what is setting apart successful from less successful mortgage service providers at a time like this.

Jobs, marketer looking for position, companies wanted

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Are you ready to enhance your company’s marketing and success? Meet an experienced marketing leader on the lookout for their next career opportunity! This executive-level marketing professional is known for energy, passion, and an impressive track record of increasing growth, engagement, revenue and volume (generating over $425 million). They have a proven history of building marketing teams, focusing on loan officer needs, brand building and development, creative design and content marketing, and their hands-on experience with leading mortgage technology tools plus a keen eye for reputation management can elevate your company’s marketing efforts. Plus, their cross training in multiple marketing disciplines guarantees they are never afraid to get their hands dirty. If you’re looking for a new SVP/VP/CMO to bring fresh energy and expertise to your team, reach out to Anjelica Nixt (specify the position) for a confidential discussion. Please note that this professional is interested in remote opportunities but is open to occasional travel to corporate headquarters and branches as needed.

Please join us in congratulating Steven A. Milner on being named the new Chairman of the Lender Board of The Mortgage Collaborative! With decades of experience and outstanding leadership as the Founder and CEO of US Mortgage Corporation, Steven is the perfect fit for this important role. As Chairman, he will help guide The Mortgage Collaborative’s continued growth and innovation in connecting top mortgage lenders with premier service providers. We are thrilled to see Steven take on this position and know that under his direction, The Mortgage Collaborative is sure to achieve even greater success. His commitment to helping Lenders operate at a high level is invaluable. Congratulations on this well-deserved appointment, Steven! We look forward to seeing all that will be accomplished under your leadership as Chairman and your continued success as the Founder & CEO Of US Mortgage Corporation. Feel free to send a congratulatory note to Steve directly.

An independent mortgage bank is searching for a Servicing Manager to lead its servicing group. Qualified candidates should have a minimum of 5 years of direct hands-on servicing experience with FNMA, FHLMC and GNMA loans as well as sub-servicer oversight. This is a remote position and confidential inquiries should be sent to Anjelica Nixt for more details and specify this opportunity.

Independent Mortgage Banker owners: If you are uncertain how you will survive this winter if rates remain higher, please confidentially contact us to discuss a win-win opportunity. We are a very well-established and privately owned mortgage banking company that has been in business for 30 years, a direct seller with Fannie and Freddie and issue our own government securities. We do service the majority of our closed loans, and offer a full marketing team, social media team, and a media/video production team to provide best in class support to our loan officers and referral partners. Our history and culture are exceptionally important so let’s have a conversation to see if we may be a fit. We are large enough to offer exceptionally sharp pricing, products, a dedicated marketing team, and an exceptional operational team, yet, we have a boutique feel where you may talk to the owner of the company at any time. Partner with a company where your voice and input is valued! We have a successful history of incorporating other companies into our model. For a confidential conversation please contact Anjelica Nixt and specify this opportunity.

Lender and broker software, products, and services

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Great mortgage professionals aren’t always great marketers, and most mortgage companies’ in-house marketing teams lack the bandwidth to create new creative content week after week, month after month and year after year. ICE understands these challenges, which is why its Surefire℠ CRM and Mortgage Marketing Engine creative team works nonstop to deliver an ever-growing library of timely, relevant, on-brand content that captures borrower interest and keeps relationships warm long after close. With turnkey automated marketing campaigns, a single marketing administrator can automatically customize and deploy award-winning, multi-channel campaigns for hundreds of loan officers. Schedule a demo with the ICE team to discover how Surefire works around the clock to help keep loans coming in.

Uplist Unveils Revolutionary Real Estate Technology to Empower Loan Officers. In a difficult market where efficiency and speed are more crucial than ever, Uplist is setting a new standard in real estate technology for lenders. The platform’s unique suite of features eliminates the need for loan officers to spend time on mundane tasks, like updating listing flyers with accurate rate and payment information. The patent-pending technology, with real-time rates thru Uplist SmartView™ listing flyers, makes it easier for homebuyers to receive immediate, accurate payment information, thereby accelerating the sales process and cultivating stronger business relationships. Loan officers who are interested in taking their business to the next level with Uplist can visit GetUplist.com to schedule a demo. Don’t like forms? Email your questions at contact@getuplist.com.

If Amazon were a mortgage lender, do you think its borrowers would have to call loan officers to get payment and closing cost summaries? Do you think its borrowers would have to wait around on nights and weekends to get updated PDF pre-approval letters? Obviously not. The good news is that you can stay ahead of the curve with QuickQual by LenderLogix. It’s already integrated into Encompass® by ICE Mortgage Technology™ and you can be up and running in days. Check it out here and they’ll text a sample to your phone.

A Consumer Rewards program at The Loan Store?! That’s right, word is that TLS is enabling its mortgage broker and non-delegated correspondent partners to offer homebuyers up to 40 bps in pricing enhancements (plus other money-saving rewards) on first-lien loans. It’s clear that The Loan Store is in a giving mood with its wholesale loan originator partners, considering this program PLUS the fact that TLS is compensating originators 200 bps on HELOCs. Make your money on HELOCs, and save your customers money on first-liens, by getting signed up with The Loan Store!

Company-sponsored training & webinars

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Lending operations leaders who care about driving greater efficiency and profitability, while optimizing the borrower journey, join your tribe in this live event. We will dive into specific examples that lenders can take back to their teams, today, and improve their businesses. Some of these strategies are saving 50-80 percent per month on the larger costs that lenders face. Others allow for greater automation, reducing the load on reduced teams, and allowing them to do even more. Efficiency and optimization aren’t the keys to winning in this market. They are the requirements to survive! On November 2, 2023 at 1 PM EST, Join Femi Ayi, EVP of Operations at Revolution Mortgage, Kirill Klokov, CEO at TRUV, and Jason Perkins, CEO at Bonzo as they break down efficiency and optimization strategies that you can put into practice today!

Do your borrowers need payment relief? Newfi Wholesale designed the Graduated Payment Mortgage to help! This 30-Year Fixed solution has lower initial payments than the interest only option and can be used on purchases or refinances. More brokers and loan officers are asking about this product than ever…to learn more call John Wise EVP, Sales at (818) 391-4131 or register to join our free webinar Wednesday, November 1st!

Mortgage lenders are at a pivotal juncture. The MBA forecasts that next year interest rates will soften after an extended bout of exceptionally challenging market conditions. To help you take the reins of fresh opportunity, TrustEngine is proud to present the final part of its Path to Profitability webinar series. On Thursday, November 9 at 2 pm ET, join Dave Savage, Steve Majerus of Synergy One Lending, and Brett Brumley of Lender Toolkit, for a session on how AI will be critical to conversion in 2024. Tune in for expert insights, best practices and actionable steps leaders can be taking to leverage emerging opportunities in the year ahead. Register now to grab a front row seat.

STRATMOR on servicing strategies

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It’s no secret that lenders are not making enough money on originations to sustain their organizations. Many are losing money on each loan originated and need to leverage revenues earned from servicing rights to balance profitability. This is why developing and deploying an effective servicing strategy is a mission critical priority. In STRATMOR Group’s October Insights Report, Senior Partner Michael Grad offers insight into creating a sustainable servicing strategy. Grad discusses the servicing quadrant model that STRATMOR employs in the strategy development process and provides an overview of what’s involved in a transfer of servicing. Lenders, if you would like to discuss your servicing strategies, contact us, and don’t miss Grad’s article, “Maximizing Lender Profitability: Transferring the Servicing Asset” in the October Insights Report.

Capital markets: less chance of an economic slowdown

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Maintaining optimal hedge coverage mitigates the risk between mortgage rate lock and funding. This forecast equation is one of the most important responsibilities of the Secondary Manager (and their hedge advisor). In this article, Pipeline Pull Through Rate Analysis Explained, MCT reviews key concepts related to pull-through rate analysis, mortgage pipeline forecasting, and its importance in deriving an accurate mortgage pipeline hedging recommendation. For additional information on improving pipeline profitability, view MCT’s recent webinar on maximizing loan trading profits. In the webinar, panelists provide a current market overview and review strategies for improving loan sale performance. You’ll leave ready to analyze performance and make actionable changes to boost profitability.

Well, with the election of a Speaker of the House the odds of a government shutdown have lessened. There’s a tentative autoworker’s strike end. Both of these pieces of news would help the economy. Jobs and housing drive the U.S. economy, so what’s going on there?

We learned yesterday that new home sales jumped 12.3 percent in September and 34 percent year-over-year to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 759k units, according to the Census Bureau. This marks the largest monthly jump in over a year and the highest level of new home sales since February 2022.

Even though the series is notoriously volatile (there was a decline of 8.2 percent in August), it points to continued resilience in the new home sales market. Of note is that the year-over-year change in the median sales price was -12.3 to $418,800, the largest decline since February 2009 and consistent with anecdotes of homebuilders offering price discounts and mortgage rate buydowns to drive sales and further changing the mix of homes being offered to more modest products.

Keep in mind that new home sales make up a much smaller chunk of overall sales in the housing market than existing home sales, where the trailing 12-month average has been on a downward trend since May 2021 (when it reached 898k). The September reading of existing home sales came in close to the trailing average this millennium (699k) to show the housing market is holding up despite higher mortgage rates. Markets do receive the release of pending home sales later this morning, which will provide more housing market clarity after the figure was down almost 19 percent year-over-year in the last report.

Today’s economic calendar kicked off with the European Central Bank leaving its rates unchanged. In this country, we had the first look at Q3 GDP (4.9 percent growth rate, stronger than expected), durable goods orders (+4.7 percent for September), and weekly jobless claims (210k, up from 200k, 1.79 million continuing claims). In addition to the Pending Home Sales Index, today also brings Kansas City Fed manufacturing for October, a Treasury auction of $38 billion 7-year notes, Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, and more earnings from Wall Street. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices unchanged from Wednesday, the 10-year yielding 4.95 after closing yesterday at 4.95 percent, and the 2-year at 5.11.

A father told his three sons when he sent them to the university: “I feel it’s my duty to provide you with the best possible education, and you do not owe me anything for that. However, I want you to appreciate it; as a token, please each put $1,000 into my coffin when I die.”

And so, it happened. The sons became a doctor, a lawyer, and a financial planner, each very successful financially.

When they saw their father in the coffin one day as Halloween approached, they remembered his wish.

First it was the doctor who put ten $100 bills onto the chest of the deceased.

Then came the financial planner, who put ten $100 bills in there, too.

Finally, it was the heartbroken lawyer’s turn. He dipped into his pocket, took out his checkbook, wrote a check for $3,000.

He put it into his father’s coffin and took the $2,000 cash.

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. STRATMOR’s current blog is titled, “Mind the Down Payment.” The Commentary’s podcast is live and at any place you obtain your podcasts (like Apple or Spotify).

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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