Sep. 18: LO jobs; HELOC, mfg. housing, technology, marketing, digital tools; autumn joke (applicable to economists’ forecasts?)
If you want something sobering, almost mesmerizing, here’s a short drone video of the flood damage in Libya (at the 15 second mark you can see how it tore through the city). Fortunately not so sobering are some stats out of the United States. The U.S. homeownership rate in 2022 was even higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic at 65.8 percent compared to 64.6 percent in 2019. That rebound was driven largely by those aged 44 and younger. And who says Millennials aren’t buying homes? Homeownership continued to climb from the foreclosure crisis (2004) and Great Recession (2008), when rates dipped as low as 63.4 percent in 2016. Homeownership rates recovered approximately half of the 5.6 percent decrease from 2004 to 2016. In Hawai’i the homeownership rate is 59 percent, I bring up the Aloha State because American Savings Bank, First Hawaiian Bank, and Central Pacific Bank joined Hawaiʻi Community Lending, a Hawaiʻi-based nonprofit community development financial institution, in pledging to provide mortgage forbearances to Maui families impacted by the recent wildfires. (Today’s podcast can be found here and this week’s is sponsored by the Trade-In Mortgage powered by Calque. Homeowners can buy before they sell, make non-contingent offers, and tap their home equity to fund the down payment on their next home. Lenders can help their clients negotiate a lower purchase price, reduce their interest payments, and eliminate PMI. Today’s podcast features Greg Korn and Ben Pettit in an interview from the New England Mortgage Bankers Conference.)
Are you more energized, more encouraged, and more motivated to succeed today than yesterday? Zig Ziglar famously stated, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing; that’s why we recommend it daily.” “As an industry leader, Thrive knows that motivation, discipline, and belief in your ability to succeed is critical,” stated Randell Gillespie, National Sales Leader for Thrive Mortgage. “There is no better time than now to find ways to continually motivate your team, which is why we put so much focus on daily opportunities like these at Thrive. Through our weekly High-Performance Coaching Calls, our very own nationally-recognized Marketing Master, James Duncan, leads these motivating and educational experiences for results. The biggest names in the mortgage industry and thought-leadership have been part of our Thrive Nation broadcasts. We want everyone to be better today than yesterday. Start a conversation with us and find out how.
“The fall season is here, and now more than ever is the time to build rapport with your referral partners and clients to maintain a steady stream of business. At Guaranteed Rate Affinity, not only do we have the greatest number of products, but we have the tech platform for our loan officers to do business from anywhere. With PowerVP, you can do anything from creating loan applications to sending pre-approval letters all from your mobile phone. Anything you could do from your desk, you can now do on the go with PowerVP. Gone are the days of being chained to your desk and missing out on important moments. Primarily, it gives you a work-life balance you never thought possible. Luckily, we’re hiring the best of the best loan officers to leverage our tech platform to grow their business. Ready to learn more? Contact Tim McGraw to get started.”
Lender and broker software, products, and services
In an era defined by technological advancements, Dark Matter Technologies LLC emerges as a transformative force in the mortgage origination landscape, marking its evolution from Black Knight Origination Technologies. Under the Perseus Operating Group of Constellation Software Inc., Dark Matter Technologies remains steadfast in its commitment to pioneering innovation. CEO Rich Gagliano aptly sums up the company’s vision: “Dark Matter Technologies is on a mission to revolutionize the mortgage origination business by supporting, growing, and aggressively innovating new and existing products.” With over 1,300 dedicated mortgage technology experts and a portfolio that includes Empower, AIVA, Exchange, and more, Dark Matter Technologies is poised to lead the industry into a new era of unparalleled transformation. Learn more about Dark Matter Technologies and their mission, here.
There is approximately $9T in agency or government MSR outstanding. Billions of dollars are being transacted daily and this volume requires disciplined loan accounting processes to record loans accurately, produce investor reporting, and power business decisions. SBO from SitusAMC is a comprehensive loan accounting and master servicing platform that reconciles daily and monthly servicer cash collections down to the penny, aiding in the discovery of potentially misplaced funds and enhancing the financial integrity of the entire process. Servicers using SBO produce accurate and timely details providing confidence that their investor reporting obligations are being met. Schedule a demo of SBO with SitusAMC’s client-focused experts.
“Did you hear Capacity’s big announcement at TMC Fall? We’ve acquired Denim Social! Together, we’re building a support automation platform that helps you automate support, connect more authentically with your borrowers, and close more loans, faster. Read the press release to learn more! We also gave away a personalized AI Assessment worth $10,000 to help mortgage lenders identify opportunities for improving their business with AI. Plus, our new GSE Search feature pulls accurate, up to date GSE regulations within seconds using generative AI. Want to join the AI in mortgage revolution? Meet the Capacity team today.”
A new era in loan origination has arrived. Mortgage Machine Services, an industry leader in digital origination technology to residential mortgage lenders, announced the launch of its namesake platform Mortgage Machine™, an out-of-the-box, all-in-one LOS designed to accelerate lenders’ operational velocity and support an end-to-end digital origination process. Developed by digital mortgage pioneer and industry veteran Jeff Bode, Mortgage Machine utilizes intelligent automation, configurable business workflows and a cloud-based infrastructure to optimize the entire loan lifecycle and create a seamless lending experience. Key platform features include AI-powered task automation, a scalable cloud-based infrastructure, flexible APIs, pre-configured workflows for retail and TPO channels, integrated document management and POS functionality. Mortgage Machine also offers all-in-one eClosing capabilities, including an eClose room, eNotes, eVault and RON, and utilizes MISMO SMART Doc® data and security standards. Visit here to get started on your digital transformation journey.
Blend Labs continues to be the mortgage industry’s leading technology platform. Core to the platform is Blend’s unique integration with Desktop Underwriter® (DU®) and LPA. These integrations help streamline your approval process for borrowers, with all the conditions lined up for your fulfillment team. Add in intelligent and automated follow-ups and you’ll get to the closing table faster and more efficiently. Putting this information at the loan officer’s fingertips creates a streamlined process and eliminates manual work which equals lower costs, higher pull-through, and increased revenue. See more ways that Blend is committing to innovation and continues to lead the way.
Looking for timely advice on how to capture more loan volume and improve your bottom line in a down market? Now is the time to explore ways to tap into new markets. Expanding your mortgage footprint through new products and channels or by reaching new geographies insulates your business against economic and interest rate volatility by diversifying your sources of volume and revenue. By setting the groundwork to connect with new borrower markets now, you’ll open new revenue possibilities for when the market inevitably recovers, positioning your business to hit the ground running and beat out the competition. Download this informative eBook from mortgage solutions provider Maxwell for actionable advice, including how to create your expansion plan and choose the offerings best suited to the markets you want to pursue. Click here to download Growing Your Mortgage Footprint: How to Launch New Loan Products, Channels & Geographic Expansions.
Broker & correspondent products
Build your book with AFR Wholesale® (AFR)! Now, get the chance to listen from and ask questions directly to AFR and Freddie Mac to turn those prospects to active pipeline at the next Why Wait webinar series covering Manufactured Home Financing on Wednesday, September 20th at 1 PM EST. Register here today! Have you and your borrowers looked into Manufactured Housing as an option? With unbeatable affordability, customization options that are very tailored, quick installation and trusted quality, manufactured homes are worth exploring. Especially with a top lending partner in AFR who has been an industry leader for over 25 years. This is a live webinar, and a recording will not be provided so make sure to join and get great insight and have the opportunity to ask questions and listen to scenarios! Visit AFR Wholesale, email email@example.com, or dial 1-800-375-6071. AFR Wholesale® – Don’t wait. Register today!
“With Cash-Outs on the decline during this high interest rate environment, it is important to present your borrowers with different cash-out options. That is why Vista Point is announcing a brand new HELOC product coming soon, in addition to our existing Closed-End Second. Our HELOC product is being designed as a complement to our Closed-End Second to provide a full suite of Equity Solutions. Our HELOC will provide a specific solution for borrowers that want the optionality of an interest-only payment, or the ability to draw up and buy down their line during the 5-year draw period with no Appraisals up to $250k. Just like on our Closed-End Second offering, with HELOC loan amounts up to $550K and combined lien amounts up to $2.5M, your borrowers can get the cash they need without sacrificing their advantageous 1st mortgage rate. HELOC will be available for full doc and bank statements on OO and 2nd homes. For more information, reach out to us, or meet us at the Philly MBA to discuss.”
We learned last week that prices in August rose by the largest monthly percentage in 15 months. However, that month-over-month inflation was widely expected due to a surge in gasoline prices. Underlying oil prices are also pointing towards further increases in September. Meanwhile, core prices were up 0.3 percent and core goods prices declined by 0.1 percent. Over the last three months core prices have increased at an annualized pace of 2.4 percent, the lowest three-month pace since March 2021. Retail sales rose faster than analysts’ expectations in August, also due to higher gas prices. Many analysts expect consumer spending to slow as excess savings built up over the pandemic have materially declined and credit is increasingly costly and difficult to obtain. Additionally, the resumption of student loan payments is expected to cut into discretionary spending. It will take more than expectations of slower spending before the Federal Reserve feels inflation is firmly under control.
What could move mortgage rates this week? The U.S. Federal Reserve, Bank of England, Bank of Japan, and the central banks of Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland are all announcing rate decisions after a spate of recent inflation data shows that price increases are alive and well. The Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the action arm of “the Fed,” is not expected to raise rates. It’s unlikely that the commentary around the commitment to keep fighting inflation and higher rates for longer will change either, but it could tilt a little more to the hawkish side after a stronger-than-anticipated inflation report for August.
The week could also see some extra drama on the political front as the countdown continues toward a potential government shutdown on October 1 in addition to the battle between the United Auto Workers (UAW) union and Detroit automakers. The auto worker strike could complicate Fed Chair Powell’s bid for a soft landing. Union leaders are asking for a 36 percent wage increase over four years, to match the similar recent pay increase for top executives. The union also wants pay to rise automatically with inflation in the future, as it did before the financial crisis.
This week brings the aforementioned FOMC meeting that begins tomorrow and concludes on Wednesday with the Statement, updated SEP (where fed funds projections will be closely scrutinized), and Chair Powell’s press conference. The treasury will also be in the headlines with more coupon auctions scheduled: $13 billion reopened 20-year bonds tomorrow and $15 billion reopened 10-year TIPS on Thursday. The only scheduled, probably non-market moving, news out today is the NAHB Housing Market Index for September. We begin the week with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged from Friday, the 10-year yielding 4.34 after closing last week at 4.33 percent, and the 2-year is at 5.00 percent.
It is early autumn, the solstice is approaching, and the Native Americans 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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