Sep. 15: Retail jobs; exec searching; cybersecurity, warehouse, accounting, marketing tools; opinion on the CFPB, marketing, and brokers

“Happy” 15-year anniversary of Lehman Brothers going belly up. “I was struggling to understand how lightning works and then it struck me.” One of the conversation topics here at the NAMMBA event in Orlando is how Florida has its share of estimated lightning strikes every year. (As does the rest of the nation: here’s a link to an interesting real-time map.) Another topic is Florida’s Senate Bill 264 which prohibits the direct or indirect ownership of specific categories of real estate by “foreign principals” from a foreign “country of concern,” defined as the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Republic of Cuba, the Venezuelan regime of Nicolás Maduro, or the Syrian Arab Republic… The Statute prohibits the acquisition of (1) any interest in agricultural land by a foreign principal, (2) any interest in real property located near a military installation or critical infrastructure by a foreign principal, and (3) any real estate interest by a foreign principal of the People’s Republic of China, subject to very limited exceptions. There are challenges, of course. (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 Simple Nexus’ Lori Brewer on areas in the mortgage space that technology and innovation will impact most.)

Employment, transitions, and senior position sought

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Crescent Mortgage Company, a subsidiary of United Bank, named “Most Trusted Bank in America” for 2023 by Newsweek, is celebrating its 30th anniversary and rapidly expanding its retail division in the southeast. We welcome ambitious Loan Originators seeking growth and unparalleled support. Seasoned veteran David Rapson, CMB serves as SVP – Retail Lending, guiding us to new heights. President and CEO Fowler Williams, CMB emphasizes our unique commitment to allowing originators to do what they do best, originate loans, we will handle the rest! Backed by advanced technology and curated product offerings including agency, 1X close construction or renovation, low down payment options, non-QM, as well as unique portfolio offerings, Crescent has built a platform for Loan Officer success, a platform for you. Join our journey. Experienced Loan Originators or Branch Managers, explore possibilities by contacting David Rapson to elevate your success. The future is bright at Crescent Mortgage.

Supreme Lending is pleased to announce Rachel Saylor Brown as its newest Producing Tampa Bay Area Manager. Leveraging 10 years of remarkable industry experience, Brown will steer Supreme’s Florida expansion strategy, together with her husband Chris Brown, and a best-in-class team: Kaitlin Schiro, Nancy Myrick and Anna Livingston, all seasoned mortgage professionals. Rachel and her team are known for providing exceptional client experiences through transparent communication, meaningful relationships, and industry-leading technology. Supreme Lending is thrilled to welcome her to the team!

Revolutionize Your Leadership: Meet Your Visionary Executive! Are you on the hunt for a C-suite dynamo to steer your organization to new heights? Look no further! I am a strategic powerhouse primed to tackle the role of President, CEO, COO/CSO. With a proven track record in strategy, team building, P&L mastery, and agile execution, I’m all about results, not magic. My extensive network includes GSE’s, investors, regulators, vendors, PE sources, and compliance experts. My experience spans Mortgage, Insurance, Tech and more. I don’t just lead; I innovate. I seamlessly integrate tech into strategy diversifying revenue streams while boosting traditional sales. Fintech? Consider it a bonus. Comfortable with boards and stakeholders, I’m a goal-driven, creative problem solver and an adept communicator. West Coast-based, but I’m open to relocation or remote work. Ready to transform your organization? Email Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt today for more details and a game-changing connection.

Lender and broker software, products, and services

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“Our latest blog, ‘FEMA, Floods, Fires, and Funding, Oh no!’, highlights the early impact of this year’s hurricane season, blustered by Idalia’s trail of destruction and fanned by the Maui fires. This year packs a bigger punch as FEMA, the primary lifeline for relief, faces serious funding concerns that have led to restrictions on access to assistance. Where does this leave homeowners and servicers who face more disasters before yearend? Servicers, it’s time to evaluate your workflow automation, ensuring distressed borrowers have immediate access to relief and that your operations are streamlined accordingly. CLARIFIRE® delivers the speed, accuracy, and results that servicers need to succeed in the face of the volumes and complexities of all the parties involved. Arm your servicing team when disaster strikes with CLARIFIRE, delivering better results, better software, and BRIGHTER AUTOMATION®.

It used to be that our postal mailboxes were stuffed with all kinds of marketing materials. It still happens today of course, but mostly in our online mailboxes instead. But one thing has stayed the same: marketing still needs a special spark to stand out in a crowd, and that’s why utilizing a far less crowded medium might now be the “old-is-new-again” way to reach your prospects. Not to mention, it’s also one of the best ways for mortgage professionals to make a lasting impression on homebuyers during the holidays! Connect with the ICE team to learn how easy it can be to start with Surefire℠ CRM and Mortgage Marketing Engine.

More than ever, mortgage brokers and correspondents need a lending partnership that empowers them to exceed client expectations with elite service, speed, and simplicity. Rocket Pro TPO’s technology team delivered Pathfinder, the most powerful technology ever for brokers, created in partnership with Google. Combining multimillion-dollar AI and machine learning tech, it’s a first-of-its-kind centralized platform, right at your fingertips, 24/7/365.  Also, their partners outpace the competition by leveraging Rocket Connect portal technology which connects brokers to the right team right away, including operations leaders for any question or escalation need. Their industry-leading Pricing Calculator quickly produces loan options to share with clients using Clear Quote, an easy-to-download PDF. To learn more, watch EVP, Mike Fawaz discuss more details. Interested in learning more about a Broker or Non-Delegated Correspondent partnership? Contact Rocket Pro TPO.

In challenging down economic times, Loan Vision is your solution to maximizing profitability and reducing costs in your business. With Loan Vision, companies see improvements of 25 to 35 percent decrease in days to close the books, 20 percent reduction in accounting headcount, complete LOS to G/L automation, and improved reporting and visibility that allow for better business decisions. Don’t accept a competitive disadvantage or get caught flat footed in a recovering market. To improve your cash position, gain a competitive edge, and prepare your business for sustained growth, contact Carl Wooloff to schedule a call today.

“Mortgage Industry Veterans Announce Fund It, New Startup Venture to Automate Warehouse Lending. Fund It is redefining how the mortgage industry manages its warehouse banking processes. Most IMBs still handle their warehouse funding manually. The Fund It platform, built with AI-powered algorithms, provides an automated warehouse lending solution. View capital needs projections in the next 30 to 60 days, eliminate human data errors, and access robust reporting tools that drive data-driven decisions. It also seamlessly integrates with many popular mortgage tools that IMBs currently use. Fund It’s platform tracks fundings, collateral administrations, and loan purchases. It also pinpoints cost leakages. These features help IMBs save time and increase profit on every warehouse-funded mortgage loan. FundIT optimizes every element of an IMB’s warehouse lending process. Use Fund It to enjoy higher profits by automating a traditionally manual-heavy process. Visit our website to learn more how to manage your company’s warehouse funding operations.”

Click links, ask questions later. The most common attack vector for a cyberattack is the human element. It’s what phishing emails, phone calls and text messages all have in common. Yet while it’s the weakest link, the human element could be your organization’s greatest prevention layer if trained correctly. In an industry that incentivizes people based on sales goals, every mortgage lead has bottom line potential. And in the current market, it’s only human to go after leads without stopping to consider their legitimacy. But recent data shows just how risky clicking without thinking can be. According to ISACA, in 2022 social engineering (tricking humans) was the #1 attack vector, and even the best teams are vulnerable. Learn how to do a better job at testing and training your team to identify legitimate leads. Talk to Richey May’s cybersecurity experts for help assessing and defining your cybersecurity training needs.

The CFPB & co-marketing

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Ken Perry with the Knowledge COOP writes, “The Freedom mortgage case should capture the attention of every mortgage broker, lender, and real estate agent. This is the biggest statement the CFPB has made about their feelings on co-marketing in a long time! The fact that they targeted a mortgage company providing free open house flyers, and free access to a subscription they pay for is huge because these arrangements exist in so many mortgage companies, including wholesale lenders, and rarely does the referring entity have to pay for these things. This is truly a case of, ‘if everybody is doing it then is it even wrong?’ Well, it looks like the CFPB has answered that question. Now we wait and see if $1.75 million was enough of a deterrent to force people to look at their business practices and make some immediate changes. These settlements usually come in groups. I can’t help but wonder if we will see more soon…”

Capital markets: warily watching the UAW strike

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Much like the Consumer Price Index on Wednesday, the Producer Price Index report for August came in above expectations yesterday (0.7 percent versus consensus 0.4 percent). Other data on the day also included better than expected August Retail Sales (0.6 percent month-over-month, largely due to gasoline stations), and a smaller than expected increase in weekly jobless claims. Low jobless claims reflect a fairly tight labor market, which helps to explain why consumer spending continues to hold up in the face of inflation pressures and rising rates.

On the central bank front, the European Central Bank raised interest rates for the 10th consecutive time, to 4 percent, as President Lagarde signaled a shift that could mean the peak has been reached, though she insisted that she can’t yet say if that’s the case. As far as our Fed, there is zero likelihood the central bank is going to signal they’re done hiking rates at the conclusion of the FOMC meeting next week.

Despite all the major events over the past couple days that have influenced bonds, including the beginning of an auto worker’s strike last night, today’s calendar also has some market moving potential. We’ve already received Empire manufacturing, import prices (-3.0 percent, ex-gas flat), and export prices (-5.5 percent from the prior year). Later this morning brings August industrial production and capacity utilization, and preliminary September Michigan sentiment that includes inflation expectations. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices worse .125 from Thursday evening, and the 10-year yielding 4.32 after closing yesterday at 4.29 percent; the 2-year is up to 5.03.

A man owned a small farm in Vermont. The Vermont State Wage & Hour Department claimed he was not paying proper wages to his help and sent an agent out to interview him.

“I need a list of your employees and how much you pay them,” demanded the agent.

“Well,” replied the farmer, “there’s my farm hand who’s been with me for 3 years. I pay him $200 a week plus free room and board. The cook has been here for 18 months, and I pay her $150 per week plus free room and board. Then there’s the half-wit who works about 18 hours every day and does about 90 percent of all the work around here. He makes about $10 per week, pays his own room and board, and I buy him a bottle of bourbon every Saturday night. He also sleeps with my wife occasionally.”

“That’s the guy I want to talk to – the half-wit,” says the agent.

“That would be me,” replied the farmer.

(Thank you to Ian W. for this one.)

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