Sep. 13: AE jobs; accounting, asset transfer, LOS tools; conv. conforming news; Encompass & MortgageCX; Mortgage apps continue downward

McDonald’s taking 9 years to eliminate its self-serve soda pop machines. (Couldn’t they take 5 hours and just move the machines behind the counter?) In other non-mortgage news, arguably more interesting to talk about than the continued decline in mortgage applications and IMBs concerned about CRA requirements (STRATMOR’s current blog is titled, “Knowing CRA Developments is Critical”), remember when it was Ford, GM, and Chrysler? The third largest automaker in the world is VinFast, a Vietnamese electric vehicle manufacturer that was founded in 2017 and listed on the Nasdaq this month with a market cap of $191 billion! This is behind only Tesla ($760 billion) and Toyota ($270 billion), and well ahead of Chinese car maker BYD ($90 billion) and Volkswagen ($70 billion). VinFast, which entered the electric vehicle market last year, is planning to build a factory in North Carolina. Oh, and Ford is at $49 billion, GM $46 billion. Yes, rankings of all industries change, including mortgage originations. (Today’s podcast can be found here and this week’s is sponsored by SimpleNexus, an nCino Company, and award-winning developer of mortgage technology for modern lenders. Hear an interview with Blend’s Nima Ghamsari on how mortgage companies are taking the customer experience to the next level.)

Employment & opportunities

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A large non-QM investor is expanding its wholesale presence and is looking for experienced non-QM account executives to join its team. If you want a large territory and to work for a company that has fewer wholesale AEs, this is where you want to be. Candidates must have a non-QM sales background, active non-QM account base, and be highly motivated. Confidential inquiries and resumes should be sent to Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt for forwarding on to the principals.

“Why are you reading Chrisman ads? Is it because you’re ready to crush your career goals? Then, boy, do we have a hole-in-one for you (and you won’t even have to practice your golf swing.) When you own a Motto Mortgage franchise, you own a business that can keep you a stroke ahead of the competition. Our mortgage brokerage model allows you to find highly competitive rates for your borrowers while you create a business of your own. We provide professional marketing content, product mix, wholesale lender relationships, and compliance support. From. Day. One. Email us for all the details.”

Lender and broker software, products, and services

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Lenders must adopt an omnichannel communication strategy to stand out in a competitive mortgage marketplace. This can be easily done if you have the right tools on your side! Through the acquisition of Black Knight, ICE now offers Surefire℠, a CRM and Mortgage Marketing Engine, that gives its users full control over every marketing and communication channel from day one. Surefire is empowering lenders with the perfect combination of automated marketing features in one affordable, single-price “Power Pack” add-on. The offering bundles Surefire Power Calls, Power Messaging and Power Videos into a plug-and-play value pack for lenders and brokers. For hands-free marketing that packs a punch from day one, look no further than Surefire PowerPack.

The annual MBA Convention is just around the corner and the Citi Correspondent Lending Team is excited to meet with current and prospective clients, especially those with a shared passion for supporting underserved markets. We recently rolled out our proprietary HomeRun program and have plans to continue expanding our Community Lending platform. Schedule some time to talk with us at the MBA or complete our Prospective Correspondent Questionnaire. We’re eager to share all of the opportunities Citi offers that can help you grow your business.”

“This year has seen a spike in escrow shortages due in part to rising insurance premiums, ARM rate increases, or an increase in property values leading to higher-than-expected taxes. Mortgage subservicers like LoanCare take the burden of calculating and managing escrow payments off of lenders so they can focus on originations. We handle the collection of escrow payments and have a dedicated team of specialized professionals to support our partners and their homeowners through annual escrow analyses. This includes monitoring for triggering events, such as a homeowner changing insurance agencies mid-year or an unexpected lender-placed insurance policy, to complete an interim or off-cycle escrow analysis. We ensure that homeowners have the most current information about their escrow accounts and are aware of any changes to their payments as soon as possible. Learn more about how we manage the ins and outs of Escrow Administration and partner with us today.”

“Ready to score big with customers and get loan processing off your to-do list? If you’re ready to pass the processing operations to a team you can trust, wemlo® is here to deliver a winning experience to mortgage brokers and their borrowers. So, how does wemlo tackle your processing workload? It’s simple. wemlo’s processing pod setup gives brokers something better than one-to-one coverage: You’ll have a go-to manager and two dedicated processors for every loan submitted. Our hands-on, white-glove approach to customer service is centered around creating superfans of your mortgage brokerage. Trust us, we’re in the business of creating happy customers – just look at our 4.7/5-star* rating from borrowers. Ready to experience game-changing processing support? We’d love to learn more about your business goals and how we can help support them. Book your 1:1 meeting today.

NMLS ID 1853218”

The New England Mortgage Bankers Conference is happening today and tomorrow in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The event is hosted by the Massachusetts Mortgage Bankers Association and it’s one that many attend each year. This year, John McCrea, Senior Vice-President of Business Development for MortgageFlex is onsite at the event. MortgageFlex is a sponsor. “Lenders are looking for ways to automate their entire process, from origination through servicing. We offer the only platform that does both, so I can’t wait to talk to bankers at this event,” he said. MortgageFlexOne is a completely re-architected browser-based LOS. The companion servicing platform provides the servicer access to their data at any time at no extra cost. If you’re attending, make sure you stop by Booth 8 and see the demo, or schedule a meeting at the show with John McCrea by calling 1-860-460-7418.

Finding new business in today’s competitive market means you need to think more strategically. One proven way to do that is to send targeted marketing messages to the right people – those most likely to need a new loan. In fact, Usherpa has been making a big difference to its enterprise clients’ bottom line over the past four quarters with its SmartScore Opportunity AlertsTM. By sending new offers to prospective clients who scored high on Usherpa’s machine learning-based algorithm, lenders saw an open rate of 48 percent! Thus far, the program found 2,452 loans for 11 participating companies resulting in $323 million in new loans funded. In a market where every deal counts, is your CRM working this hard for your bottom line? Learn more about how Usherpa’s SmartCRM can help your LOs close more deals with less effort.

It’s a tough time in our industry. Cash & efficiency are paramount. Blue Water Financial Technologies (“Blue Water”) has continuously operated the industry’s first all agency loan-level mortgage asset transaction platform moving billions each month for years. Blue Water can assist you in selling your Loans, seconds, NON-QM product and MSR. Over the years, we have expanded our suite of technology products to include SuperTransfer™, Pre and Post Close Digital Quality Control and Exception Remediation all available in real-time on Blue Water’s cloud-based encrypted platforms. Single sign-on, self-serve products and features help to lower costs, and provide critical decision-making data. Originators know they need to stay competitive by adopting technological solutions, but it’s hard to know how much to invest and at what point in their workflow. Schedule a meeting today with our expert sales team to discover how we can help. Services offered by Blue Water Financial Technologies Services, LLC.

“For independent mortgage banks coping with shrinking production volumes and rising costs per loan, outsourcing accounting is an elegant solution to what’s become a very common challenge. Whether you have no accounting expertise in-house or you have a new team with no mortgage experience, you can tap the Richey May Client Accounting and Advisory Services (CAAS) team for the support you need. This team is stacked with mortgage industry experts who can tailor your solution to meet your most pressing needs in a volatile time, with no training needed. Need help transitioning to loan level accounting? Need a fully outsourced function? You got it! Need industry training for your controller? We can do that. In this article, Richey May’s expert Kim Dittmer answers all your most frequently asked questions around outsourced accounting as a mortgage bank.”

STRATMOR, MortgageCX, and Encompass

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STRATMOR Group just announced that its revolutionary Customer Experience Strategy program, MortgageCX, is now seamlessly integrated with Encompass. MortgageCX is a full-service customer experience advisory offering leveraging STRATMOR’s industry expertise, peer benchmarking data, and the lender’s own customer feedback to transform the customer experience and ignite revenue growth. Contact STRATMOR for more on the MortgageCX program, and join STRATMOR’s Customer Experience Director Mike Seminari on the next episode of ICE Mortgage Technology’s “Breaking the ICE” this Thursday, Sept. 14 at 10 a.m. PT. Mike and Eric Kujala, VP of Product Marketing, ICE Mortgage Technology will discuss CX in the mortgage industry and separate what you thought you knew from what you need to know to transform your CX strategy into a powerful competitive advantage: icemt.io/3FPh1e

M&A

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Flyhomes, “creator of the world’s best home buying and selling experience,” has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase certain assets from Innovative Holdings, LLC, doing business as Home Sale Assured, “a leader in the field of ‘buy before you sell.’”

“Founded in early 2022 by Eric Meadow, Home Sale Assured’s flagship product is the Guaranteed Backup Contract, which empowers existing homeowners to buy their next home before closing on the sale of their current one. As part of the deal, Flyhomes will be acquiring the Home Sale Assured brand, and Meadow will be joining Flyhomes in a senior executive capacity where he’ll report to EVP of Mortgage & Closing, Dan Richards.

“Following the close of the deal, lender and realtor partners will be able to continue offering their customers access to the Guaranteed Backup Contract through the Home Sale Assured brand at Flyhomes. Understanding the importance of the customer-agent relationship, Guaranteed Backup Contract was designed to enhance the role of real estate agents and lenders. This ensures everyone moves in unison toward the common goals of seamlessly transitioning the customer into their new home and selling their prior home for maximum value.” (To learn more contact Justin O’Neill.)

Conventional conforming news

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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced updated Appraiser Independence Requirements (AIR), new Property Data Collector Independence Requirements (PDCIR), and policy changes covering multiple topics. See AmeriHome Mortgage 20230807-CL Product Announcement for details.

Per PennyMac Announcement 23-56, Pennymac will update Conventional & Government LLPAs effective for all Best Efforts Commitments taken on or after Wednesday, August 30 2023 as follows: Update values for the ‘2nd Home Additional’ LLPA on the ‘LLPAs by Product Feature for All Eligible Loans’ LLPA Grid. Update value for the ‘Cash-Out FICO 660-679’ LLPA on the ‘VA Other Price Adjustments’ LLPA Grid.

Citizens Correspondent National Bulletin 2023-15 includes information on Product Updates and Reminders, effective August 24th. Please see the bulletin for additional information and all lock, delivery, and purchase by dates, if required.

UWM saw quick results with Conventional manufactured home (MH) loans had been a long-time request from United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) for mortgage brokers, so when they rolled out Fannie Mae’s suite of MH mortgage offerings, market demand for MH loans yielded results almost instantly. See how UWM and other lenders are finding success with conventional MH financing, watch these Fannie Mae videos.

See the enhancements coming to Loan Selling Advisor® that can help you improve your processes with new loan delivery rules, critical edits for comparing data from Loan Product Advisor® (LPA SM) and Loan Quality Advisor® and loans with a Project Certified status from Condo Project Advisor® and more. PennyMac issued Announcement 23-55 announcing the release of the Freddie Mac BorrowSmart® Program.

Pennymac will update Conventional LLPAs effective for all Best-Efforts Commitments taken on or after Wednesday, August 16th. View Pennymac Announcement 23-53.

Pennymac is aligning with Fannie Mae’s required update on the eligibility requirements for limited cash-out refinances, announced in SEL-2023-06. For details, view Pennymac Announcement 23-54.

For loans purchased after August 19th, PHH will accept FNMA loans locked as a Buydown for Manufactured Housing. All loans must meet FNMA guidelines and have Approve/Eligible findings. Go to the PHH company library for details.

PRMG TPO Resource Center Updates 23-09 includes multiple additions and updates including Training/Instructional Material adding information and processes to TPO Correspondent and Wholesale Portal, Updated Polly Non-QM Pricing Instructions, Condo information, worksheets, and questionnaires.

AmeriHome Mortgage General Announcement 20230810-CL summarizes previously published changes made during August, additional changes made with the announcement, and recent Agency and regulatory news.

Capital markets: consumer prices in the headlines

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The Fed is looking to offload $13 billion in MBS from bank seizures. To keep things in perspective, that is only about a week’s worth of production.

Ahead of this week’s risk events, starting with August CPI today, then the latest ECB rate decision and more inflation data tomorrow, a slide in technology companies dragged down the market Tuesday. The absence of economic data and Fed speakers with the Fed firmly in its blackout period ahead of next week’s September FOMC meeting did not stop speculation surrounding whether the central bank will be able to achieve a soft landing. Those odds look much better today than they did six months ago. There is a better balance between supply and demand in goods, services, and labor markets, which helps the ongoing disinflation process.

The economic calendar began with mortgage applications from MBA decreasing 0.8 percent from one week earlier, the seventh decline in eight weeks that has now pushed applications to the lowest level since 1996.

Today brought the all-important CPI report for August: core +.3 (+4.3 percent for the year), headline +.6 percent, 3.7 percent year over year. The headline reading was expected to increase 0.4 percent month-over-month and 3.4 percent year-over-year, up from 0.2 percent and 3.2 percent previously. The core reading was seen rising 0.2 percent month-over-month and 4.3 percent year-over-year versus 0.2 percent and 4.7 percent in July. Later today brings a Treasury auction of $20 billion reopened 30-year bonds, and the August budget statement from CBO. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices worse about .125-.250 and the 10-year yielding 4.31 after closing yesterday at 4.26 percent, and 2-year is stubbornly up near 5 at 5.04 percent after the inflation data.

Thank you to MGIC’s Christie B. who sent, “What happened to the cat who swallowed a ball of yarn? She had mittens!”

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, “Knowing CRA Developments is Critical.” 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