Oct. 3: Recruiting service; underwriting, subservicing, automation, HELOC products; investors react to hurricane damage

This is the start of Fat Bear Week. (My money’s on Popeye.) Those poor bears don’t have much privacy, and it turns out that neither do humans. Consumer Reports tells us that TikTok is tracking people even when they don’t use TikTok. Another blow to keeping everyone’s personal data personal. With satellites and drone photos, there isn’t any privacy from above, and the devastation in Florida is horrendous, a portion of which is shown in these before and after photos and citizens will certainly need more than paper towels to start the work of rebuilding in Florida and Puerto Rico. Families, homeowners, mortgage servicers, and lenders are continuing the search for survivors and evaluating the damage. The wind and rain are hitting New Jersey and Philadelphia, but with much less wind than the 155 MPH that hit Florida when Ian made landfall in Florida. The six-month hurricane season ends November 30th, so we still have a couple months but let’s hope that the Atlantic & Caribbean have seen the worst of 2022. (Today’s podcast is available here and this week’s podcast is Sponsored by Candor Technology, Home of the One Touch Underwrite, supporting lenders from Point of Sale to Post Close QC, to reduce repurchase risk, increase underwriter productivity by 400% and decrease turn-times by 10 days.)

Employment, recruiting, & new hires

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Advantage Credit, Inc. is excited to announce two notable hires. We are happy to welcome Frank Abatangelo (and his awesome new mustache) as a Regional Sales Director, and Andre Roundtree as Corporate Account Managers. We are extremely fortunate to have onboarded these two gentlemen who bring a wealth of experience and incredible track records of success to our organization. As always, Advantage Credit is uniquely set up to provide our customers with the best service possible. Welcome aboard!”

NAN (Nationwide Appraisal Network) is excited to announce the addition of Stacy Caprioli as our new Chief Appraiser. As a full-service AMC prioritizing appraisal modernization, Caprioli’s position is pivotal in expanding the Alternative Valuation division of NAN for coverage of bifurcated, Hybrid, EVAL, Desktop, and BPO product offerings. Caprioli will oversee Quality Control, Compliance, and NAN’s Staff Appraiser team, with a strong focus on advocating for growth of the appraisal profession, and for modernization of appraisal products and solutions. Caprioli’s ability to innovate is the product of 15+ years of industry experience, where she has successfully developed hybrid and desktop solutions to modernize the valuation industry. NAN understands that lenders are seeking solutions beyond traditional appraisals, and we are deploying more efficient ways of performing property valuations to provide you with more options than ever before. Want to learn about our modernization efforts or new HELOC solutions? Contact Stacy Caprioli today!”

“Q3 is officially in the books, and Q4 is here. While many companies are ready to put 2022 behind them altogether, we know that there are greener pastures ahead. With that being said, are you prepared for the eventual market turnaround? At Pezian Search Group we’ve been actively adding new Clients to our network so they are prepared to move quickly once hiring accelerates. Set up time to speak with one of our Account Managers and let us show you the value that we’ve added for Clients across the United States, and can add to your organization now and in the future. Reach out to us directly, follow us on LinkedIn, and mention that you discovered us through the Chrisman Commentary for some extra added benefits. Job seekers can review all of our current openings on our Careers page as well.”

Lender & broker products, services, and software

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Northpointe Bank Correspondent Lending announces an increase in its standard conforming loan limits, up to $715,000 for 1-unit properties in non-high-cost markets; and up to $1,073,000 for standard conforming properties in Alaska and Hawaii. The maximum conforming loan limit for 2-unit, 3-unit, and 4-unit properties have been increased to $916,000, $1,107,000, and $1,376,000 respectively. The new conforming loan limits only are available with the conforming 30-year fixed-rate program and effective with new best effort locks on or after September 29, 2022, and mandatory lock commitments with closing dates on or after October 1, 2022. Loan terms less than 30 years, adjustable-rate programs, and high-cost counties with high-balance loan limits greater than $715,000 remain unchanged at this time. Northpointe Bank provides tailored solutions to maximize your profitability and help grow your business. For more information, email us.”

Client retention is the most valuable proposition an origination partner can offer. Symmetry Lending works with loan officers, communicating every step of the way to build relationships and trust – the keys to creating customers for life. The Symmetry Piggyback HELOC offers industry-leading turn times and delivery confidence to help you never miss a closing date again! Discover our Service, Speed, and Simplicity at Symmetry’s Credit & Income Guide and Pricing Guide or call your Area Manager!

Build excitement around intelligent automation. Finding the right intelligent automation solution is the first step. But how do you find the confidence to move it forward? How do you allay end users’ fears and actually build excitement? The Mortgage Automation Suite brought to you by Richey May Automate and Zoral Group provides the intuitive interface and tailored support you need. Set up training based on your change management plan and what will work best for your culture, whether that’s one webinar or a series of hands-on sessions where end users get immediate feedback. And because it’s easy to use, the more your end users engage with it, the more they’ll appreciate it, and the more successful your implementation and adoption will be. Read our article to learn how to set up your intelligent automation initiative for success or schedule a demo today.”

Outperforming Industry Benchmarks for Customer Service! At Cenlar, we are always looking to improve the homeowner experience through our investments in people and technology. The results of our efforts are clear, with the kind of progress that is measurable. Our call center is consistently outpacing industry benchmarks. This performance reflects our philosophy to “think like a homeowner” and we have committed ourselves to anticipating homeowner needs. Through proactive communications like our chat bots and website, homeowners can get what they need, when they need it, in a manner they choose. While it is important to us that we are among the best in our industry, it’s an even greater importance that we are always improving the service we deliver to our clients and their homeowners.

Let’s discuss how Cenlar can meet the mortgage servicing needs of your organization. Call 1-888-SUBSERV (782-7378) or visit us.”

Zoral’s Releases Intelligent UW Automation v3.3! Exciting new features, functionality and enhanced usability make Zoral’s UW Automation Workbench one of the most sophisticated UW tools in the industry. Whether you close 500 loans a month or 5000, leveraging Zoral’s cloud-based, intelligent automation platform will dramatically increase processing and underwriting productivity by automating the tasks associated with readying a file for underwriting.  Imagine a single automation platform that has all the intelligent automation componentry necessary to transform and automate mortgage fulfillment. For the past 18 years, Zoral has operated one of the largest intelligent automation labs in the world. Our best-in-class technology combined with our banking/mortgage domain expertise deliver the results you need for today’s challenging environment. Contact Zoral to learn more.

Lenders and investors react to disasters

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We’ve had Florida Hurricane Ian: FEMA Declaration DR-4673-FL. DR-4673-FL, FEMA declared federal disaster aid with individual assistance has been made available to counties in Florida to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by Hurricane Ian from September 23, 2022, and continuing. Two amendments have been issued to include Individual Assistance to additional counties.

For loans submitted with an appraisal dated on or before the incident period end date or for those submitted without an appraisal, Sun West will require an interior and exterior inspection prior-to-funding or purchase of any loans with subject properties that are determined to be at risk. Access the Sun West Seller Guide under the HELP section in sunsoft for additional information guidance.

AmeriHome Mortgage issued a summary of disaster inspection requirements in Disaster Announcement Number: 20220912-CL.

Given the scope and severity of Hurricane Ian, Citi Correspondent Lending provided details from its published disaster policy as a reminder to Correspondents. Review Citi’s Disaster Policy Reminder-Hurricane Ian Announcement and share with appropriate staff members.

As posted in Wells Fargo Funding Newsflash C22-040, effective for properties impacted by Hurricane Ian, Sellers must follow Wells Fargo Funding disaster policies for all properties located in counties allowing individual assistance per FEMA.

Fundings for loanDepot loans located in the impacted counties are suspended effective immediately. View loanDepot Disaster Policy and Disaster Requirements Table for additional assistance.

In the Caribbean, Puerto Rico Hurricane Fiona: FEMA Disaster Declaration DR-4671-PR. Numerous counties in Puerto Rico have been declared by FEMA, DR-4671-PR, as Major Disaster Areas as a result of Hurricane Fiona incident period beginning September 17, 2022, and continuing.

Sun West will require an interior and exterior inspection prior-to-funding or purchase of any loans with subject properties that are determined to be at risk. Access the Sun West Seller Guide under the HELP section in sunsoft for additional information guidance.

Fifth Third’s Correspondent Lending issued a reminder, Fifth Third’s disaster area policy MUST be followed when an adverse event has occurred or a Presidential Declaration is issued to declare a major disaster area and is announced by FEMA. When either of these occurs, the Correspondent Seller is responsible for following Agency guidelines.

Capital markets

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During the third quarter of 2022, the Federal Reserve raised its key policy rate by 150 points across two meetings, accounting for half of its rate hikes since it started tightening policy in March. That, and Fed officials’ insistence that they’ll keep rates higher for longer to beat down inflation, put a damper on asset prices, both stocks and bonds. In fact, so far in 2022 the S&P 500 has worsened every quarter.

What about Quantitative Easing (QE)? The Fed’s actions to shrink its balance ramped up during the quarter, reaching its full reduction rate in September. At its full pace, the central bank is letting $60B of Treasury securities and $35B of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities roll off its balance sheet, an action that reduces liquidity to the financial markets. In response, investors finally realized that the central bank is serious about “removing the punch bowl” to ratchet down the economy in an effort to reign in prices.

Every residential lender knows that during the past three-month period, the 10-year Treasury yield has increased by 93 basis points to hit 3.83 percent on Friday. Last Wednesday, it touched as high as 4.0%, its highest level since the global financial crisis of 2008. Remember, as bond yields rise, bond prices fall.

In terms of news, we learned last week that despite an overall decline in durable goods in August, spending rose 1.3 percent well above analysts’ expectations. Given the upward revision to July’s numbers, spending on business equipment may end in positive territory in Q3. While housing prices eased in July, affordability also depends on mortgage rates, income, and down payment.

As mortgage rates continue to climb higher, affordability and housing demand will face headwinds this fall. Personal incomes rose 0.3 percent in August and personal consumption rose 0.4 percent however, the savings rate fell to 3.5 percent; its lowest level since mid-2008. The third estimate of Q2 GDP confirmed economic activity declined 0.6 percent and was due mostly to fixed investment and government spending. Elsewhere the trade deficit shrank to $87.3 billion in August as imports fell more than exports. Should monthly inflation continue to surprise to the upside, the Fed will keep an aggressive monetary policy stance, and upwards pressure will remain on mortgage rates.

 

There is little scheduled market-moving news today, with no 8:30 AM ET/5:30 AM PT news. This week’s economic calendar begins later this morning with the September Final IHS Markit Manufacturing PMI, which will be followed by the September ISM Manufacturing Index and August Construction Spending. Tomorrow brings August Factory Orders and JOLTS job openings before the September ADP Employment Change and latest PMI readings on Wednesday. The week closes with the Employment Situation Report on Friday. We begin the week with Agency MBS prices better by .250-.375 and the 10-year yielding 3.71 after closing Friday at 3.79 percent after some positive bond market news from London.

The King & the weatherman

The King wanted to go fishing, and he asked the royal weather forecaster the forecast for the next few hours.

The palace meteorologist assured him that there was no chance of rain.

So the King and the Queen went fishing. On the way he met a man with a fishing pole riding on a donkey, and he asked the man if the fish were biting.

The fisherman said, “Your Majesty, you should return to the palace! In just a short time I expect a huge rainstorm.”

The King replied: “I hold the palace meteorologist in high regard. He is an educated and experienced professional. Besides, I pay him very high wages. He gave me a very different forecast. I trust him.”

So the King continued on his way.

However, in a short time a torrential rain fell from the sky. The King and Queen were totally soaked.

Furious, the King returned to the palace and gave the order to fire the meteorologist.

Then he summoned the fisherman and offered him the prestigious position of royal forecaster.

The fisherman said, “Your Majesty, I do not know anything about forecasting. I obtain my information from my donkey. If I see my donkey’s ears drooping, it means with certainty that it will rain.”

So the King hired the donkey.

And so began the practice of hiring dumb asses to work in influential places.

The practice is unbroken to this day.

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. Capital Markets: What They Do All Day” is the current blog. 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 2022 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