Oct. 5: MLO jobs; customer retention, DPA, paperless products; investor disaster news; HELOC survey; apps at 1997 levels

Yogi Berra, when asked about staying in a particular hotel, replied, “The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase.” I’ve attended my share of conferences in the last few months (no towels were purloined), and the two big general concerns for lenders everywhere are a) providing the best products, price, and service to clients, and b) the general economic and interest rate climate and its impact on their business model. Regarding the second topic, mergers and acquisitions are on fire, and a good starting point in evaluating deals and how to structure them is the current STRATMOR blog, “Mergers and Acquisitions Continue On.” In product news, the use of Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC) and closed end Home Equity Loans (HELOAN) has skyrocketed recently as consumers need liquidity but want to keep their low rate first mortgage in place. STRATMOR Group is conducting a very brief survey to better understand the key decisions driving lenders to offer these products. The survey takes only a few minutes and does not require any data collection. Participants will receive a summary of the survey findings. Lenders, click here to participate. (Today’s podcast is available here and features an interview with Sara Knochel and Shane Osborne on why everyone is using technology to refocus on quality control. 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 for MLOs


To open doors to new business opportunities, Supreme Lending is continually adding products to an already impressive portfolio for originators to succeed in a difficult lending environment. Rising interest rates? Supreme offers a variety of adjustable-rate mortgages and recently added a 2-1 Temporary Interest Rate Buydown product that delivers a lower monthly mortgage payment for the first and second years of the loan. Increased home values? Supreme has entered the home equity market with two competitive HELOC products. For homebuyers, Supreme now offers a Super Jumbo for loan amounts greater than $3 million. Lack of inventory? Supreme can help homeowners turn their current home into their dream home with Conventional, FHA, and VA Renovation programs. Supreme’s in-house non-QM product, non-warrantable condo loan, and an additional 20+ non-conforming programs provide originators with solutions to win in this market. Contact National Production Manager Ryan Baxter to have a SUPREME product line at your disposal.

Congratulations to Pete Pannes, Covius’ Chief Business Officer, on being named one of this year’s HousingWire Vanguard winners! Pete’s sales organization has driven Covius’ client and revenue growth, and he has played a central role in repositioning Covius as a diversified provider of tech-enabled solutions to the mortgage and capital markets industries. Over the past four years, Covius has completed a series of strategic acquisitions: Nationwide Title Clearing (NTC), Clayton, RealtyBid.com, Service 1st Valuations and reQuire Real Estate Solutions. Covius’ reach across the industry has also grown through client-driven, strategic platform partnerships in the last twelve months, such as with Black Knight, ICE, Mortgage Cadence, Stavvy, Weiss Analytics and NetDirector. Please join us in congratulating Pete on this well-deserved honor.

Evergreen Home Loans™ is committed to making a difference and bettering the lives of community members they serve. Whether helping customers experience homeownership or charitable giving to improve lives through wellness and housing programs, Evergreen is passionate about giving back. This year Evergreen returns for its third year as the title sponsor and underwriter of the 25th annual KZOK “Rock the Harvest” radiothon benefiting Northwest Harvest. The 13-hour radiothon and online auction fundraises to support Northwest Harvest and their mission to feed individuals experiencing food insecurity across Washington. Through The Evergreen Cares Foundation (ECF), Evergreen teams are empowered to give locally to non-profit organizations and associates can amplify their individual giving impact with matching charitable contributions. To learn more about the ECF, visit their web page. If you’re a loan officer who wants to change the world one relationship at a time, visit the Careers page.

Do you feel like a loan ranger? If you’re a broker flying solo, or working for a small lender, you might have heard that term before. Have you had to move mountains and performed miracles with little to no operational support? Imagine what you can do with the resources and backing of a national lender ranked among the Top 100 mortgage companies in the country and ranked in the Top 25 best companies to work for in real estate. Nobody says you have to go it alone. At Castle & Cooke Mortgage, we put the loan officer first and always. The key to your future success lies within our in-house teams who are laser focused on taking care of your business. Contact our National Recruiting Manager, Christi Fullerton at 801-739-3783 to trade your office in for a Castle. NMLS #1251 | Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC, is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Lender & broker products, services, and software


IMBs, what’s the one meeting to book at MBA Annual to better position yourself for 2023? OptiFunder. The platform focuses on significantly reducing warehouse expense via optimized warehouse allocation decisions, but it offers so much more. Want to quickly take advantage of product expansions like the new conforming limits? OptiFunder has you covered. Want to eliminate repetitive data management tasks? OptiFunder automates tasks for funding through loan sale. Want real-time, aggregated actual and projected warehouse expense reporting, plus automated purchase statement receipt and reconciliation? OptiFunder does that, too. And it’s expanding products to help lenders reduce risk and expenses further. Be the first to hear; book your meeting with OptiFunder at MBA Annual and receive our Guide: Top 10 Tips for Reducing Warehouse Expense.

Fatten up Your Pipeline this fall with Loan Stream’s 25 BPS Off Conventional High Balance October Special. Here for a limited time! Plus, take the guesswork out of calculating Bank Statement Income with EZ Calc! Join our upcoming webinar to learn more! Space is limited so reserve your spot now.

Evolve Mortgage Services, LLC will be @ MBA Annual to share how utilizing a single source provider like Evolve’s SigniaDocuments to deliver a full paperless, digital platform and process from app to close, can not only save time, cost and risk, but create a secure, immutable data and doc set that can be verified and trusted by all parties. Shifting fixed costs to variable, Evolve helps its clients be competitive and adapt new technologies that provide more efficiency, flexibility, and scalability. Evolve’s state-of-the-art technologies and services cover every element of the lending lifecycle, from SigniaDocuments’ digital document creationorigination support and loan underwritingeClosing services and closed loan due diligence, to “TPR” securitization reviews. The premier provider of a true digital end to end solution with an insurance policy behind every single transaction gives investors real protection against diligence errors and to help our partners optimize results. Get started today.

With today’s high interest rates and low housing inventory, the demand for home equity loans has dramatically increased. But with home prices dropping in several areas across the U.S., what are the risks of home equity lending? Where are the opportunities located? Be sure to view Black Knight’s recent webinar “Navigating Opportunities and Risks in Home Equity Lending” to find out. There’s no cost to view it, and you’ll hear about regional opportunities, the risks of home equity loans compared to first mortgages, how to effectively monitor a home equity portfolio and much more. View the webinar today!

Down Payment Assistance that’s a true grant, not a “silent second” mortgage that has to get paid back? That’s exactly what your clients get with DPA Advantage, a government-sponsored plan administered by AFR Wholesale®. DPA Advantage offers eligible homebuyers, including first-time home buyers as well as those who help others in their communities (like first responders), a 2% or 3.5% grant toward FHA purchases. That could mean the difference between borrowers buying a home now and waiting months or even years to buy! And because it’s a grant, there’s no additional lien. What’s more, DPA Advantage can even be combined with an FHA 203(k) renovation loan, allowing your clients to consider a wider range of homes. For information about becoming an AFR partner so you can offer DPA Advantage to your clients, click here, email or call 1-800-375-6071.

The FinLocker team has been busy developing our financial fitness app and website products this year, increasing enrollments and engagement, and reinforcing consumers’ connection with their lender and originator. Join Brian Vieaux, President & COO of FinLocker, on Thursday, Oct 6 at 1 pm EST when he provides a live update on the FinLocker product and demonstrates new features, enhancements, and integrations. Learn how some of the leading brands in mortgage lending are private labeling our financial fitness tool to engage prospective clients earlier, nurture their “not quite ready” buyers, insulate their database, accelerate the progress of their homebuyers towards mortgage readiness, and create customers for life. Brian will also preview the FinLocker product roadmap. Click here to register for the live presentation.

More disaster updates


We continue to watch the human drama unfold as the search for survivors continues. Recovery efforts continue as early estimates put uninsured and insured losses from Hurricane Ian at north of $100 billion. If there is a positive side of things, rebuilding will help GDP next year.

On 10/3/2022, FEMA issued its 3rd Amendment to 4673-DR-FL declaring federal disaster aid with individual assistance to 2 additional Florida counties affected by Hurricane Ian.

On October 3rd, Ginnie Mae issued an All-Participants Memorandum (APM)–22-10 to Single-Family Issuers providing buyout guidance for loans affected by Hurricane Fiona and Hurricane Ian. Effective immediately, Chapter 34-2 of the Ginnie Mae Mortgage-Backed Securities Guide, HUD Handbook 5500.3 Rev-1 (“MBS Guide”) provides expanded loan buyout authority to support issuers offering relief to borrowers affected by natural disasters, including “relief in the form of late fee waivers, forbearance periods, loan modifications, and foreclosure moratoriums to the extent permissible under the guidelines of the federal agency guaranteeing or insuring each loan.” Information on designated disaster areas can be obtained from the Federal Emergency Management Agency at www.FEMA.gov/disasters.

Freddie Mac is monitoring the impact of Hurricanes Ian and Fiona issuing a Single-Family and confirming its mortgage relief options for borrowers affected by hurricanes Ian and Fiona. Seller/Servicers are encouraged to review applicable Guide chapters of its disaster relief policies to ensure a mortgage remains eligible for sale and that the mortgage is serviced in accordance with the Freddie Mac Single-Family Seller/Servicer Guide. Seller information includes Chapter 4407: Properties Affected by Disasters and Selling Disaster Relief Policies FAQs. Information for Servicers includes Chapter 8404: Servicing Mortgages Impacted by a Disaster and the Servicing Disaster Relief Policies FAQs.

Additional information provided by Freddie Mac: Upcoming webinars about disaster relief eligibility and forbearance and  payment deferral and Flex Modification®. Leverage CHOICERenovation® and CHOICEReno eXPressSM mortgages to offer homeowners the opportunity to finance the cost of large and smaller-scale home renovations. Visit the Disaster Relief section of the Client Resource Center.

AmeriHome Mortgage posted updates to FEMA’s disaster declaration for Florida. On October 3rd, FEMA issued Amendment 3 adding two additional Florida counties affected by Hurricane Ian to the disaster declaration. View AmeriHome Correspondent’s Disaster Announcement 20221002-CL for details on its disaster inspection requirements.

Capital markets: watch for head fakes from the bond market


Despite the recent hawkish rhetoric from central banks, investors are beginning to anticipate a pivot toward the end of central bank tightening. Markets in one country influence other markets, and U.S. bonds and MBS gained yesterday after Australia’s central bank surprised markets with a smaller-than-expected increase in its interest rate. The softer move was due to a recognition that “the cash rate has been increased substantially in a short period of time” and a desire to assess the impact of prior rate hikes on the outlook for inflation and economic growth. That position stirred some speculation that the Fed may soon adopt a similar approach, though others are calling it another false dawn.

The Bank of England on Monday only bought £22 million of British government bonds as a part of its intervention to stabilize the market for UK gilts. Britain’s central bank said it was ready to spend up to £5 billion a day to halt the collapse of UK government debt.

And not that the Federal Reserve watches public opinion, but a Harris Poll found that half of Americans want the Federal Reserve to bring inflation under control quickly, even if that leads to a recession, while the other half wants to avoid a recession even if that means letting inflation go higher. About two-thirds of those responding to the poll said they are concerned that companies may start scaling back their hiring or begin laying off current workers.


Apps at 1997 levels?! Today’s calendar began with MBA mortgage applications, which decreased 14.2 percent from one week earlier. Activity was expected to remain subdued with mortgage rates hitting decade-plus highs and that lack of affordability weighing on purchase activity. We’ve also received ADP employment for September (208k, as expected) and the trade deficit for August (-$67.4 billion, suggesting that trade will contribute to growth). Later this morning brings the final September S&P Global services PMI reading, ISM non-manufacturing PMI, and remarks from Atlanta Fed President Bostic. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices worse .250 and the 10-year yielding 3.70 after closing yesterday at 3.62 percent.

“Ladies, if he can’t appreciate your fruit jokes…you need to let that mango.”

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, “Mergers and Acquisitions Continue On.” The Commentary’s podcast is live and at any place you obtain your podcasts (like Apple or Spotify).


(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