Sep. 14: AE, MLO, client service jobs; MSR, automation, app integration, warehouse, TPO products; forbearance numbers drop again

When Miley Cyrus licks a hammer and dances around naked, it’s considered “art.” When I tried it, I got kicked out of Home Depot. Go figure. How is your company figuring it will react to the rumblings that mortgage lenders meet the definition of “federal contractors” as it relates to the Biden Administration’s executive order to require vaccinations from such businesses? Lenders are wondering, with their lender insuring approval, and endorsing FHA loans for insurance, and making VA loans with VA Automatic lending authority, if they fall into that bucket. It is best that you ask your legal counsel, but an informal poll that I have taken indicates that, given the provisions and applicable definitions in the Executive Order, it does not apply to lenders just because they are approved to participate in government loan insurance/guarantee programs. But check with your attorney. (And yes, the delta variant is impacting our daily lives, and it hard to argue with the statistical benefit of being vaccinated.) Meanwhile our industry continues to benefit from low rates and lenders everywhere are focused on efficiency. With that in mind, the audio version of today’s commentary, available here, is sponsored by Origence, helping financial institutions provide mortgage, consumer, indirect, and home equity loans with greater efficiency and increased scale while also delivering a convenient and personalized experience to borrowers.

Jobs & new hires

ClosingCorp, the leading provider of residential real estate closing cost data and technology, is looking for an experienced Client Services Consultant as well as other positions to join its team. ClosingCorp is pleased to offer a comprehensive array of valuable benefits to protect your health, your family, and your way of life. The company has seen exponential growth over the past three years, and there’s never been a better time to join a passionate, dedicated talented group of people! At ClosingCorp you’ll have plenty of opportunities to learn and grow with an innovative industry leader. Click here to apply.

Last week, American Pacific Mortgage (APM) announced the first-phase rollout of project PRIMO: production reimagined and modernized. PRIMO is APM’s focused initiative and holistic approach to improving all aspects of the loan process and production. PRIMO has been in development and under rigorous testing for some time and was released to production last week. The project’s phase one rollout included AI underwriting, which gives APM originators and their teams the ability to offer loan approvals in hours. The decrease in cycle times and increase in efficiency will be a game-changer. APM’s goal with the project is to leverage modernized technology at every touchpoint to create ease and a streamlined experience for both consumers and originators from beginning to end. To learn more about APM and PRIMO’s game-changing workflow, contact Dustin Block.

Synergy One Lending, a lender devoted to the modern mortgage experience, is proud to announce the new Director of Strategic Markets, Juan Cepeda. Juan brings 23 years of mortgage expertise to Synergy One, with a focus on retail lending platforms holding multiple sales and operational leadership positions throughout his career. In the era of digital mortgage, and the changes the pandemic brought to our industry, Juan’s experience building strong, tech-savvy teams with integrity will create the scenario for tremendous growth across the country. “Synergy One’s commitment to modernize and humanize the customer experience, along with their A+ talent across the company, is what led me to this amazing opportunity!” Juan says. Synergy One Lending is based in San Diego, CA, is currently licensed in 42 states and has Operational HUBS in Boise, ID, Denver, CO and Dallas, TX. To learn more about S1L, reach out to Aaron Nemec or Ben Green.


ClearEdge Lending continues to grow in 2021 by expanding across the Central Region including Texas. “We recently hired 2 very experienced Account Executives (Jim Freeman & Ralphael Wilson) in The Lone Star State to help cover the Houston/College Station MSAs. And we’re looking for more Sales leadership in Texas and across the Midwest to join our team. At ClearEdge, we provide one-on-one training and a large database of loan officer leads to get you started right from day one. With in-house credit and pricing exceptions made in minutes, you can close loans quickly and have direct access to underwriters and an assigned Account Manager. As an end-investor since 2015, ClearEdge has an extensive and innovative portfolio of Non-QM products as well as a diverse team of experts equipped with custom in-house technology. So gitty-up and come build your career with one of the fastest growing Non-QM lenders.” For more information contact Aron Thielen, VP of Sales Central Region or visit ClearEdge Careers.

Word has it that President Joe Biden intends to nominate Alanna McCargo to be President of the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae).

Norcom Mortgage, a family-owned mortgage company with 32 locations along the East Coast, California, and Mid-West, announced the addition of Mandi Garfield as its Talent Acquisition Specialist, responsible for sourcing and interviewing potential candidates for Norcom’s offices nationwide and developing marketing and communications plans to share the #GrowWithNorcom messaging and attract candidates.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) announced that Amber Lawrence has been appointed AVP of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), responsible for advancing DEI programs for the association and overall real estate finance industry.

Proper Rate, a joint mortgage origination venture between Guaranteed Rate and @properties, has named Tom Martin as Midwest Regional Manager based in the Chicagoland area where he will focus on “building a team of top-performing professionals and growing into his own role alongside them.”

Lender & broker products and services

There’s a surprising depth of emcee talent in the mortgage industry (remember this gem?), so I thought I’d give it a shot. I’m Rob Chris’ and I came to get down. I’m not internationally known, but I’m known to rock the microphone. It takes two to make a thing go right, it takes two to make it outta sight. Hit it! Okay… maybe I shouldn’t give up my day job. But sometimes it DOES take two to make a thing go right; after all, up to 21% of all mortgage referrals come from Realtors and other advisors. That’s why Sales Boomerang has released a Realtor Referral Guide to help LOs learn how to become a Realtor’s #1 preferred lender. Want to build committed, two-way relationships with Realtors that you can both use to double your business? Hit it!

When PenFed Credit Union set out to expand its mortgage operation to new origination channels, it tapped FormFree’s AccountChek to help get the job done. With plug-and-play integrations with Encompass, Tavant, Day 1 Certainty® services from Fannie Mae and Loan Product Advisor® services from Freddie Mac, AccountChek verification of asset (VOA) reports fit perfectly into PenFed’s tech stack. Now, with FormFree’s help, 70% of PenFed’s retail business comes through its consumer-direct channel. According to PenFed President Winston Wilkinson, “Before launching our digital and correspondent lending channels, we were doing about $150 million a month in mortgage volume, whereas now we are doing $2 billion a month. AccountChek has been an essential component of our expansion strategy.” Read the full story case study here. Or, if you’ll be at NAMMBA CONNECT, schedule a meeting with Christy Moss.

Finance of America Mortgage TPO is at it again, pushing the envelope of product offerings and options for your borrowers to gain more purchasing power. FAM TPO is offering a new COVID-19 loan program to help millions of struggling borrowers who were laid off, furloughed, or had their work hours reduced during the pandemic. Where other lenders might close doors, FAM TPO offers flexibility to account for income or employment disruptions. In turn, your borrowers can fulfill their dream of homeownership with confidence, and we help you become their superhero. Contact a FAM TPO Account Executive today to learn more about how this innovative product can help your borrowers.

PlainsCapital Bank National Warehouse Lending, a subsidiary of Hilltop Holdings (NYSE: HTH), continues to look for opportunities to help reduce customer costs in their warehouse funding needs. That is why we offer multiple incentive pricing options to reduce costs for our customersTiered Utilization Incentive Pricing allows our customers to set utilization tiers that reduce their costs. Our customers can also take advantage of Deposit Incentive Pricing. We are committed to building strong relationships with our customers and providing the service you need most. If you are interested in learning more about PlainsCapital Bank National Warehouse Lending please contact Deric Barnett.”

The ratios we were accustomed to flipped in 2020: strong purchase lenders that historically did 70% purchase business instead originated 70% refinance. But lenders are facing a different climate for the remainder of the year and going into 2022. Thanks to a shrinking refi candidate pool and rising interest rates, it’s the purchase business that will be critical to your long-term success. So how exactly should you go about it? Total Expert shares the top five tips from industry leaders, including what you can begin doing right now to position yourself for success in the years ahead.

“Would you be interested in a new resource created by Capacity? We recently sat down with Katherine Campbell, Chief Digital Officer at Assurance Financial, and interviewed her on tactics to incentivize loan officers with integrations and support automation. Discover how to increase loan officers’ engagement with technology and explore the benefits of implementing new technology that easily integrates with other systems. Capacity has a portfolio of more than 50 app integrations that we have pre-built based on our current customers’ needs. The more customers we get, the more app integrations we build. These integrations include commands that simplify how users find information and complete simple tasks. Interested in seeing how Capacity can integrate with your key systems? Request a demo.”

Do you have full control over your automation platform? Do you understand how your systems work together or are you relying on third-party vendors? If you don’t have the ability to easily update your automation, your system isn’t working for you. Richey May’s RM Automate Services, leveraging the world-class Zoral Automation platform, give you full control to easily make real-time changes to your platformContact us to see a demo and to learn how you can command efficiency from your core systems throughout the entire origination process.

The latest version of Floify’s mobile app brings more of the point-of-sale system’s beloved loan management functionality to iOS and Android users. Loan originators can now easily add new document requests and conditions, as well as review, approve or reject documentation, all from the convenience of a beautifully designed mobile interface. Whether at the office or on the road, the Floify mobile app will soon make it easier than ever for busy LOs to start new loan flows, add prospects to a pipeline, manage milestones, enable borrowers to upload and e-sign documents on the go, and so much more. Rediscover Floify’s new mobile app and learn about all the exciting features they have in store for you!

Capital markets

Do you have a consistent, accurate grasp on the value of your MSR assets? If you’re still using servicing grids to determine values, you may be risking balance sheet surprises, inaccurately pricing loans and leaving money on the table. MSR assets are highly rate sensitive, and lenders must actively monitor the value of them to inform strategic retain/release decisioning and remain informed between reporting periods. While servicing grids are a common, easy-to-understand valuation method, they are static and infrequently updated. Given the illiquidity of MSR assets, they require complex modeling and reliance on MSR broker assumptions. Retain/release decisioning can come down to just one or two basis points, a nuance that a grid won’t necessarily detect, which has prompted many lenders to begin leveraging broker assumptions and an advanced cash flow model for MSR valuation. Learn about pivoting to a more dynamic valuation model in Black Knight’s recent blog article.  


Turning to rates, there was never going to be much bond market movement on Monday with the sole economic release the Treasury Budget for August. While we do receive August CPI today, we won’t have any Fed speak this week as we are in the quiet period ahead of next week’s FOMC meeting. It’ll probably be a “wait and see” approach from investors until we get further clarity on tapering, if any. MBAs latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey revealed that the total number of loans now in forbearance decreased by 15 bps to 3.08 percent of servicers’ portfolio volume in the prior week as of September 5. According to MBA’s estimate, 1.5 million homeowners are in forbearance plans.

The NFIB small business optimism Index for August (increasing slightly to 100.1 vs July’s 99.7) kicked off today’s economic calendar. More importantly, we’ve received the August CPI inflation report (+.3 percent) with core (ex-food and energy up only .1 percent). Why is inflation important? If your investments are earning 2 percent, or your wagers are going up 3 percent, and inflation is running at 4 percent, you’re losing ground. Later this morning brings Redbook same store sales for the week ending September 6 and the last two MBS purchase operations on the current schedule before a new schedule is released in the afternoon. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices down a few 32nds from Monday’s close and the 10-year yielding 1.34 after closing yesterday at 1.32 percent after the inflation data.

In honor of the demise of the name Squaw Valley (but will they take reservations?):

It is late fall and the Indians on a remote reservation in South Dakota asked their new chief if the coming winter was going to be cold or mild.
Since he was a chief in a modern society, he had never been taught the old secrets. When he looked at the sky, he couldn’t tell what the winter was going to be like.
Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he told his tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should collect firewood to be prepared.
But, being a practical leader, after several days, he got an idea. He went to the phone booth, called the National Weather Service, and asked, “Is the coming winter going to be cold?”
“It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold,” the meteorologist at the weather service responded.
So the chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more firewood in order to be prepared.
A week later, he called the National Weather Service again. “Does it still look like it is going to be a very cold winter?”
“Yes,” the man at National Weather Service again replied, “it’s going to be a very cold winter.”
The chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of firewood they could find.
Two weeks later, the chief called the National Weather Service again. “Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?”
“Absolutely,” the man replied. “It’s looking more and more like it is going to be one of the coldest winters we’ve ever seen.”
“How can you be so sure?” the chief asked.
The weatherman replied, “The Indians are collecting crazy amounts of firewood.”

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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 designed 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 Copyright 2021 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