Sep. 12: LO jobs; sales, LOS, capital markets products; lots of events, even today; Stearns’ rumblings

I apologize in advance for the length of today’s commentary, but there’s a lot going on! Ask any economist if rent control works, and they’ll say, “No.” But that didn’t stop California’s Assembly from voting in state-wide rent control which the Governor is expected to sign. In terms of pure supply and demand, wanna buy a church? Go ahead and deny that attendance of religious activities is down, but the decline in parts of the U.S. has led to a glut of religious buildings hitting the market as churches and religious schools fold, move, or attempt to offload underused facilities. In the past five years, 6,800 religious buildings have changed hands, and currently there are roughly 1,400 for sale. Some will go private, becoming coffee shops, apartments or homes with ridiculous heating bills. Some will change hands between religious institutions, others to remodelers or developers.

Jobs & personnel moves

NOVA® Home Loans is excited to announce that John Blanks will join its team as the Regional Manager for Maricopa County, Arizona. John has over 28 years of mortgage experience, including, but not limited to, originating, managing, and running secondary marketing departments. His impressive skills will allow him to encourage growth, promote unity, and take advantage of many new opportunities in the Maricopa County Region. John will work with NOVA®’s National Sales Manager, Dave Heuermann, who says, “NOVA® Home Loans is looking to return to the top spot in market share and achieve total production of $2 billion annually in the Phoenix metro area. John has what it takes to step into this big role and help the company exceed these goals.” If you’re interested in joining the NOVA® team in Maricopa County, you can learn more here or contact John Blanks.

“If you’re in the market for a new workplace to build the career you deserve, the PrimeLending Midwest region is the place to do it. In Kansas City, nobody is funding more retail loans and helping more homebuyers achieve their dreams. In Colorado, there “ain’t no mountain high enough” to stop our consistent growth year over year. What about St. Louis? Our branches and loan officers are experiencing more success than ever before. That’s what having the best support, products, technology and origination team can do for you. Just ask Midwest Regional Production Recruiter, Brent Lubahn, and Midwest Regional Manager, Brian Chick. When you’re ready to build your business the way you want with people who always have your back, PrimeLending is the way to make it happen. The first step is contacting Brent for a confidential conversation to discuss your goals.”

Insellerate announced that Tami Von Tour has joined the company as director of enterprise sales responsible for growing Insellerate’s client base of mortgage companies and financial institutions as well as leading efforts to increase awareness and market acceptance of the company’s state-of-the-art client engagement platform. Congratulations!

And Total Expert added three new executives to its leadership team: Steve Sovik, Chief Revenue Officer, Deanna Swanson, VP of People Operations, and Peggy McGillis, SVP of Marketing.

And a nod to Texas oil tycoon and corporate raider T. Boone Pickens who died at age 91 of natural causes, and James Challenger, Founder of Outplacement and Chair of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, who was 93.

Lender products & services

The National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) welcomed its 2020 leadership team last week at their annual conference in Fort Worth, Texas. Among the newly appointed officers includes Altisource® Field Services product lead, Jim Vaca. Jim will be serving as Vice President for NAMFS and is committed to promoting the mission of the organization, growing membership and continuing to provide value to existing members. Altisource Field Services provides comprehensive property inspection and maintenance services on a national scale with local expertise and presence to help mitigate risk and reduce holding costs. Email Jim Vaca to learn more.

What are your turn times right now? Do you know how they’re trending? How about granularly by area, department or program? How quickly can you compare one period to another? If your BI tool can’t tell you within seconds, it’s time to start reevaluating. Richey May Technology Solutions has a lender-focused BI Solution that can connect to all your crucial systems to bring you actionable insights to help you grow intelligently. If your BI tool doesn’t serve you, check out our approach to these 4 common reports that have massive impact for mortgage leaders and contact us for a demo today.”

Happening today … National Mortgage Professional Magazine is presenting their Valuation Innovation: Be Prepared for the Future webinar today, Thursday, September 12 at 2 pm ET / 11 am PT. With pressure to modernize real estate valuations, find out why the role of technology and the roles of the appraiser, lender, home buyer, and governing bodies must all be a part of the conversation to ensure thoughtful change. We will also discuss what modernization efforts have been done to date and what is to come, including how technologies like machine learning and computer vision will play a role. Walk away with ideas on how you can take advantage of early efforts to stay ahead. Get ready for the new era of valuation by attending this webinar. You can register for today’s webinar here.

Connect with AmeriHome at the NAMB National ’19 conference this weekend in Las Vegas to find out more about its Non-Delegated offerings! AmeriHome offers Conventional, FHA and Non-Agency Jumbo products and a Close-on-Time Commitment to help you grow your business with confidence. As one of the top correspondent investors in the country, AmeriHome has the strength, scale, systems and people you should be looking for in a Non-Delegated Investor. Email to schedule a meeting, or stop by Booth 1033 for conversation, cocktails, and a chance to win one of their raffles. Don’t miss their sponsored panel on Sunday at 10 am in Emperors Ballrooms 2: Increase Your Profitability by Leveraging the Non-Delegated Channel!

“’I love LOS downtime,’ said no one ever! Path is the cloud-based, data-driven, fully configurable LOS from Calyx that boasts 99.95% consistent uptime— in fact, we even offer an uptime guarantee. Designed to truly simplify the loan process, Path provides the flexibility and controls you need to monitor and run your business your way. In addition, Path’s professional services team is committed to delivering the fastest implementation timing in the industry and ensuring your long-term success. For more information, contact a Path Consultant today!”

Tune in tomorrow, September 13th at 12pm PT for a live video broadcast from this year’s MCT Exchange conference to hear from leading correspondent investors as they discuss “What’s Next for Secondary Marketing Executions & Technology”. Although sadly I will not be hosting this year’s lunch session, if anyone could fill my shoes it would be Phil “Relentless Innovation” Rasori, COO of MCT. Panelists to be featured include Mike Quinn of Penny Mac, Amy Creason of Freddie Mac, Greg Vacura of Wells Fargo, and Giuseppe Grieci of Fannie Mae. This session will discuss the future of the secondary market and how innovations from leading investors will continue to expand the depth of technology and diversity of executions available to lenders. Don’t miss out, register to view the live broadcast from MCT Exchange tomorrow, September 13th at 12pm PT.

Production Managers, we’re talking to YOU! Since the beginning of time you’ve wondered “How can I get all my originators working more like my top producers?” You’ve been looking for the holy grail: habit duplication. Usherpa has been researching habits of highly successful LOs for 25 years. We’ve helped literally thousands of LOs increase production using habit duplication…and we’ve done that through every conceivable market condition! How? Using data analysis technology (and our lengthy history in the industry), we identified the most powerful habits of successful producers. Leveraging those trends coupled with Usherpa’s technology and commitment to customized training, you can ensure your team is primed to operate like the big hitters. Make your life a little bit easier and give your LOs the tools to duplicate top producers’ habits here.  While you’re at it download the Usherpa eGuide “3 Habits of Top Producing Loan Officers (You Can Duplicate).”

Working from home?

Are you considering the benefits of having staff work from home? According to STRATMOR’s 2018 Compensation Connection Study, 30 percent of lenders already have remote underwriters working offsite. Compensating your people is about more than giving them a market average salary. Incentives and benefits, like bonuses, educational allowances, time off and work-from-home opportunities, count. STRATMOR’s Compensation Connection study provides compensation information for all roles unique to the mortgage industry, from sales to post closing for both Independent and Bank-owned lenders and details on incentives and benefits paid. Get the most mortgage-specific compensation information available. Sign up to participate in the 2019 Compensation Connection Study today!

Stearns: bankruptcy progress & Glenn weighs in

After the news below was released, I spoke to Glenn Stearns who told me that he is re-entering the residential lending business with “old-school, loyal, innovative, responsible, and caring independent mortgage banking principles.” Go get ‘em! Given Glenn’s penchant for the biz, that should come as a surprise to no one.

Yes, Stearns Holdings, LLC, the parent company of Stearns Lending, LLC (wholesale, retail and “strategic alliances”) reached an agreement with its largest noteholders under which the noteholders will support the Company’s modified Plan of Reorganization. “The Noteholders and/or funds that they advise and manage collectively hold almost two-thirds of the face amount of the Company’s notes. With the Noteholders’ support, Blackstone will serve as the plan sponsor and will contribute in new capital of $65 million plus additional cash to pay certain claims on the Effective Date to Stearns in return for 100% of the ownership of the reorganized Company. This contribution is in addition to, among other things, debtor-in-possession financing in the amount of up to $30 million that Blackstone has agreed to refinance under the Plan.”

Stearns has canceled the auction previously scheduled to take place on September 16 and will seek confirmation of the plan at a hearing scheduled for October 24. If you’d like to dig into it, check out, and court filings and other documents related to the court proceedings are available on a separate website administered by the Company’s claims agent, Prime Clerk.

Training and events in the next two weeks, many today!

I am in Newport, Rhode Island at the NEMBC annual gala. It is well attended! There is a lot more going on in the near future!

Are you going to the NAMB National 2019 at Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas schedule for September 14th-16th? Meet the Stearns Wholesale leadership team and learn more about its “Strong History and Bold Future”. Learn first-hand how Stearns is poised for growth and prepared to serve the Mortgage Broker with new product offerings, new pricing specials, and great technology enhancements. If you would like to set-up a time to speak with the Stearns Wholesale team while at the NAMB 2019 conference, email

The ninth episode of the Affordable Housing Podcast is now available. In this episode, Kathryn Driver, Executive Director of the Housing Finance Authority of Pinellas County, joins Jonathan Paine to discuss the Palms of Pinellas, which was awarded the Multifamily Excellence award at the 2019 NALHFA Annual Conference. Kathryn describes how public and private organizations came together to provide much needed affordable workforce housing in Pinellas County.


With the mortgage industry primed for improvement through automation, now is the time to adopt new technologies which will drive significant business transformation and provide key competitive advantages. Join Chief Business Officer, Phil Shoemaker from Home Point Financial and Steve Viarengo, Capsilon’s SVP of Digital Mortgage Solutions as they discuss the ins and out of the Mortgage Back Office of the Future via webinar.

The webinar A Step Ahead: Advances in FHA Modeling will take place at 2 p.m. Eastern. Conducting the webinar will be Jarad Bernotavicz, director, product marketing, at Altisource-subsidiary Equator. The event will present a deep dive into the topic of modeling and servicing FHA loans and feature additional insights from subject-matter experts at BSI Financial, RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing and LoanCare.

Join the MCPAOA’s webinar featuring Tammy Butler, CEO of Fair Lending Diversity. Tammy will cover the new 2018 HMDA requirements and their impact on present and future fair lending analysis, what your monitoring protocols should be, and techniques to ensure your organization is compliant.

At 3PM ET, a lender webinar on finding the right down payment programs for your organization. If you struggling to figure out what down payment assistance (DPA) programs are right for your organization, join Down Payment Resources on September 12th for a live webinar; 6 factors you should consider about DPA programs.

There’s the MBA of Metropolitan Washington’s CREF Fall Seminar today.

Do you have questions about the latest LO Compensation Laws? Attend the MMLA’s September 17th meeting to get answers to your questions.

Join Fannie Mae and the Urban Institute for an event on Sept. 18th in Washington D.C. Unlocking the Market: Big Ideas for Local Housing Challenges. This robust conversation will highlight how cities and businesses are exploring innovations and new approaches to tackle today’s critical housing challenges.

Register for “Bank-Owned Mortgage Division: What Bankers Need to Know” webinar offered by MBA on Wednesday, September 18th.

Do you know how to read, understand, and explain Japanese Candlestick charts? If not, join Mortgage Market Guide Chief Market Analyst Bill Bodnar for a fast-paced live call on Wednesday, September 18 from 2:00-2:30 p.m. ET. Click here to save your seat.

The MBA of Southwest Pennsylvania Fall Kickoff in Pittsburgh (LeMont Restaurant) will be held September 18th. Say hello if you come!

Make compliance your priority by educating yourself on the latest actions taken by federal regulators, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Join Richard Horn on the Regulatory and CFPB Update webinar September 18th to ensure you are prepared for the road ahead. He will educate you on the GSEs’ recent revised URLA announcements, TRID FAQs, the GSE patch expiration and the CFPB’s regulatory agenda.

Register for the MBA NJ September 18th Webinar Series. Wire Fraud: The Cyber Threat to the Mortgage Industry and How to Prevent It.

Register for the MBA NJ Webinar Series on Wednesday, September 18th from 10:00-11:00. Wire Fraud: The Cyber Threat to the Mortgage Industry and How to Prevent It.

This webinar is free to members and $25 for non-members.

FHA is offering a Free, Onsite training in Chicago, IL. on September 18th, 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM (Central). This hands-on training session is designed to allow attendees to apply certain underwriting policies outlined in FHA’s Single-Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1 to fictional scenarios. Topics to be covered include rate and term refinance; cash-out refinance; streamline refinance; simple refinance; and purchase transactions. Registration for this training will open on August 28th.

On Friday, September 20th register to attend the CoAMP Luncheon presenting speaker Bronwyn Morrissey. “Embrace your brilliance through the application of the 7 levels of leadership. Develop skills and behaviors that will lead to more effective, productive and consistent action to hit your desired goals. Learn about client and team collaboration, communication and interaction to ensure total success.”

Capital markets

Compass Analytics clients and partners enjoyed the company’s annual user conference in San Francisco on September 9 and 10.  In addition to educational sessions about industry trends, leading-edge capital markets practices, and the Compass suite of products (CompassPoint and CompassPPE), Compass announced two exciting new capabilities now being offered to the mortgage industry:  Compass Community and CompassCapture. Compass Community offers analysis, insights and commentary enriched by current market data accumulated by Compass. CompassCapture is an exciting new technology that provides lead qualification, deal scenarios, and servicing retention analytics. By modeling data about a current or former prospect, CompassCapture determines if a consumer is a good target for multiple loan offers, providing payment, cost, and cash-out/equity information. Contact for more information, and enroll in Compass Community here!

Interest rates? Blah blah blah China. Blah blah blah tariffs. President Trump repeated his call for more rate cuts, saying “The Federal Reserve should get our interest rates down to ZERO, or less” via a tweet. Really? Nothing every other president hasn’t wanted. The 10-year ended the day little-changed yielding 1.73 percent.

But it’s a new day, and moves from the European Central Bank, with its new bond-buying program attempting to stimulate the economy and corresponding rate cut, have pushed U.S. rates lower. We’ve also had weekly jobless claims (204k) and the Consumer Price Index (+.1%, core +.3%). Thursday begins with rates lower due to the ECB moves: Agency MBS prices are up .250-.375 and the U.S. 10-year yielding 1.70%.

Part 3 of 5 of “Books Never Written.” (Yes, my mind spends a lot of time in 3rd grade. Warning: Rated PG for bawdy humor.)

Blazing! by Lotta Heat

Computer Memory by Meg A. Byte

Gotta Go by C. U. Leiter

Can’t Go There by Hans Off

Checking Your Homework by R.U. Wright

The Membership List by Ross Terr

Manwich by “Slop” E. Joe

The Giant Clock Tower by Big Ben

All About Flowers by Chris Anthymum

Boy Scout Brigade by Pat Troll

The Lost Scout by Werram Eye

Kitty’s Revenge by Claude Balls

Brown Streaks Across the Desert by Who Flung Dung

Ten Years in the Bathtub by Rink Lee Prune

Visit 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, “Mortgage Rates: Thinking the Unthinkable.” 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 hundreds of 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 Copyright 2019 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