Sep. 25: DTC, LO jobs; digital, QC products; lender M&A; fast approaching training & events Fannie mgt. note

The U.S. economy and job market are firing on nearly all cylinders (hence higher rates) but the housing market has essentially stalled. Here’s a stat that most real estate agents and lenders will agree with: Home purchases by international buyers are down 21% in a year. The MBA (Mortgage Bankers Association, not to be confused with an advanced business degree) echoes this in its latest forecast. Its economics team believes refi declines will wipe out purchase gains, and that overall mortgage originations are expected to decline between 2018 and 2019. Purchase volume is expected to fall from $332 billion in the third quarter to $270 billion three months later, and refi production is projected to fall from $111 billion to $100 billion in the fourth quarter. During all 12 months of this year, overall mortgage originations are predicted to reach $1.606 trillion. Production is forecasted to fall to $1.592 trillion in 2019.


Citibank continues to grow its Retail Mortgage Sales team and is seeking a dynamic leader for the role of Head of Direct-to-Consumer Mortgage Sales, reporting directly to Brad Wayman Head of Mortgage Sales. “This leader will have the opportunity to lead our Direct to Consumer teams by driving purchase and digital strategies, while continuing Citi’s commitment to best in class customer service. To view the full job description and apply, please visit this site. In addition, we are adding to our Distributed Retail sales force in the following strategic markets: California, Chicago, Maryland/DC area, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, and the NYC/Tristate area. Our Home Lending Officers enjoy exceptional product offerings, best in class fulfillment, bank and wealth management partnerships, and a leadership team committed to growing our loan officer’s business and success. To learn more about our Home Lending Officer openings, click here. Interested candidates should contact Recruiting Manager Elena Gibson to learn more today!”

A C-Suite executive is looking for opportunities in Sales and/or Operations. The 20-year veteran has a proven track record of building exceptional teams and in their most recent 2 engagements oversaw a 2.5 X and a 4X increase in funding’s. Experienced in Consumer Direct, Process Design & Improvement, Data Analytics, Digital Transformation, Artificial Intelligence, Technology Stacks and their integration, Operations, Marketing, Vendor Management & proficient in Sales Training, Sales Management, and Telephony. Career highlights include Strategic Sales Vision and Business Development (generated $2 billion + media mentions during 30-day promotion), Leadership and Change Management (transformed 10th ranked sales division to #1 in three months; division originated $10 billion for the year), Performance Optimization and Tactical Execution(created real-time reporting across marketing and business intelligence, increasing productivity by 270%, conversion by 42%, and funded units by 2.3x), and increased Gmail open rate 20X from 1 % to 20%.  Innovation and Creative Problem Solving (reduced ~1M loss/month by ~85% in six months). Please contact me with any interest.


PrimeLending Welcomes Nic Hartke and Brent Lubahn. “When you’ve got top talent recruiting top talent, it’s a recipe for success. That’s why we’ve stacked our recruiting team with superstars who know how to connect with LOs, deliver results and make a career transition as simple and seamless as possible. The recent additions of recruiting experts, Nic Hartke and Brent Lubahn, will only strengthen our team and our performance as a mortgage industry leader. Nic, who works with Mike Watkinson, Northeastern Regional Manager, and Brent, who works with Brian Chick, Midwest Regional Manager, bring a combined 25+ years of recruiting experience to the company. Powerhouse production doesn’t just happen by chance, it happens when everyone is on the same team pulling in the same direction. If you’re a proven LO craving more success and more stability, speak to NicBrent or Brian Miller about starting your journey to PrimeLending.”

“Are you a top producing originator that deserves better? Better technology, better products, better work-life balance? Gateway Mortgage Group has a long tradition of industry leadership and success that is driven by a commitment to always be growing, evolving, and empowering great originators. We provide the right tools to help you stand out in a crowd – from our newly designed website that is created to raise online awareness in markets around the country to LinkStep, our exceptional digital mortgage platform that simplifies the loan experience for customers while helping close loans faster. If you are a Loan Officer needing a better opportunity or a Branch/Area Manager that believes the next level is just a step away, give Howard Hall a call: 972.426.7368.”

Lender products and services

When it comes to the mortgage industry, there seems to be a shocking shortage of industry content and actionable business advice for mortgage professionals. However, digital mortgage provider Maxwell recently released its new resource center, aggregating all the latest eBooks and blog posts into one helpful library where you can find content covering valuable topics including everything from improving your profitability as a lender to tips and tricks for increased borrower satisfaction. What’s more, when you sign up you’ll get the latest sent directly to your inbox every few weeks. I highly recommend all mortgage professionals check it out. Start exploring and subscribe to Maxwell’s resource center today.

“The only way to become a truly digital organization is to empower your loan officers to be at the forefront of transformation. Success depends on your ability to understand your loan officers so well you can anticipate their needs and exceed their expectations. So, what do loan officers really want? Time and money. Done right, technology augments the human capacity for greatness. But, only if your loan officers find enough value in their tech stack to start leveraging it in the first place. When it comes time to choose a sales and marketing tech stack for your loan officers, these five considerations will alleviate their constraints around time and money and increase your likelihood of digital success. Read the Total Expert guest blog by Trey Rigdon, AVP, Director of Digital Experience at Movement Mortgage: Empower Loan Officers to Drive Your Digital First Organization.”

Ten years after the crisis, the industry looks forward to optimizing defect rates and refine QC and due diligence processes to create a strategic alignment of resources. Credit Risk Solutions’ Jennifer Fountain, SVP of Due Diligence, is delving into this topic in the Loan Quality Assurance Track: Measuring Defect Rates, happening today at the MBA’s Risk Management, QA & Fraud Prevention ForumJim Smith, CMB and President of Property Solutions, joins Jennifer at the event to help lead Underwriting. Jim will offer valuable insight around best practices in managing the appraisal process. Learn more about Credit Risk Solutions and Property Solutions at and be sure to meet Jennifer and Jim if you’re attending the forum!

Company changes, M&A

Just 10 months after founding, Chicago-based bemortgage announced its transition from a Division of Bridgeview Bank Group to a Division of CrossCountry Mortgage, Inc. The expansive expertise within all bemortgage departments is just one of the factors in CrossCountry’s decision to integrate with the boutique lending firm. The press release noted, “bemortgage launched their brand in November of 2017 with a handful of employees in a single state. Today, the company has grown to 21 lenders, over 70 employees with national reach. This growth is attributed to the company’s utilization of a streamlined loan process and the collective experience their personally-branded originators bring to the company.” CrossCountry Mortgage, Inc. is no slouch with licenses in 50 states and 200+ branches.

There is news this morning (thanks Ken S.) that CenterState Bank is buying State Bank Financial’s residential mortgage loan pipeline. “CenterState hired the team of mortgage professionals affiliated with said business and assumed certain leases where the employees are located.”

Trainings and Events:

Todd Duncan is doing his FINAL FREE 1-Hour BroadcastDisrupt or Die: How to Win With Value today! He promises to teach you how to Create Optimal Market Value to Attract More Customers, 8X Your Referrals, and Gain 5 Star Ratings on every deal. This is your LAST CHANCE to watch this incredible broadcast that will change the way you do business for the rest of your career. Space is limited! Register here for free!

CrossCheck is presenting a webinar through the MBA on Effective Internal Audit Function: Beyond the Basics on September 27 at 2:00-3:30 ET. This webinar discusses how effective internal audit programs evolve over time providing more advanced information (structure, audit committee focus, credentials and standards of internal auditors, risk assessment ratings, board or audit tracking of findings, role in remediation, etc.).

MCT will participate in an upcoming MBA webinar on “End-to-End Digital Whole Loan Trading.” The live webinar will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 26 from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. PT and is titled, “Beyond the Concept: End-To-End Digital Loan Trading as a Lender or Investor.” “This webinar looks past the “what could be” rhetoric and focuses on how attendees can learn directly from investors, lenders, and vendors that are already successfully electronically executing whole loan trades quicker, more efficiently, and more profitability.” Sign up for the webinar via this registration link. The MBA will provide all paid attendees with a copy of the audio recording and PowerPoint deck at the conclusion of the webinar.

If you’re near DC, join the MBA/MW for its Annual Lender Conference at the Westin Tysons Corner on Wednesday, October 3rd.  The agenda includes an update from Michael Fratantoni, Chief Economist of the Mortgage Bankers Association and the Keynote Speaker, Rob Scheer, CEO and Founder of Comfort Cases.  Afternoon sessions include a Loan Officer and Executive Tracks with awesome speakers.

CMG Financial’s Wholesale Division continues its cross-country seminar series to introduce mortgage professionals and their referral partners to the All In One LoanTM. “Join us in Orlando, FL on October 9th. To see the schedule of training events and webinars visit: or email”

Don’t forget to register for the Mid-Atlantic Lender Conference on October 3rd. This full-day conference and trade show at the Westin Tysons in Falls Church will address the current dynamics of the residential real estate finance industry.

On October 4th at the Shepherd Pratt Conference Center, Auditorium, One Voice is hosting the Baltimore County Executive DEBATE with Democratic Candidate John Olszewski Jr. and Republican Candidate Al Redmer Jr. This event is Moderated by Dave Meurer of PrimeLending. Register here, attendance is free.

Register for any of the three webinars being offered by National MI in the month of October:

Reaching Hispanic and Latino Homebuyers Tuesday, Oct 9th 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM.

Underwriting the Basic Self-Employed Borrower Thursday, October 11th 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM.

Oh, shift! Session # 1 – Awareness Wednesday Oct 17th 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM.

If you’re in New Mexico or want to enjoy some autumn there and the Balloon Festival, join the NMMLA for lunch on October 10th with guest speaker…me. Write to the NMMLA for details.

Fannie management

The industry should know that there has been no talk at Fannie Mae or otherwise of firing Tim Mayopoulos. On July 23, Fannie Mae announced a new leadership structure, including that Tim had decided to step down as CEO by the end of the year. “Tim will remain as CEO until his departure and will work closely to ensure a smooth transition and succession. As CEO, Tim will continue to set the overall enterprise vision and strategic direction of the company and serve on Fannie Mae’s Board of Directors. Dave Benson has been appointed as President and will report to Tim. The Board of Directors is conducting a search for a successor to Tim. Tim was recruited to Fannie Mae in early 2009 as part of a new leadership team to help stabilize the company in the wake of the financial crisis. The company has achieved more in these past nine years than many people thought possible.”

Capital markets

U.S. Treasuries were largely flat yesterday, due in part to holiday-related market closures in China, Japan, and South Korea. Tariffs on $200 billion worth of imports into the United States from China took effect Sunday night, triggering reciprocal tariffs on $60 billion worth of imports into China from the United States. Chinese officials warned there will be no meeting with American officials unless they stop threatening to expand tariffs. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer met to discuss trade with Japan’s Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi yesterday. Remember, all this comes as the Fed is expected to announce another rate hike tomorrow. Markets are predicting a further hike in December. Chairman Powell’s news conference following the announcement should provide more color.


Today’s calendar began with September’s Philadelphia Fed Nonmanufacturing Index (“46.8”). Next up are Redbook same-store sales for the week ending September 12 (previously 0.3% MoM, 5.4% YoY). The FHFA and Case-Shiller Home Price Indices for July will both be released at 9:00am and are expected to tick up. The same cannot be said for September consumer confidence of September Richmond Fed’s Manufacturing and Services, Revenues Indices, which round out the economic releases. The first day of the Fed’s two-way meeting kicks off today. With all that as a backdrop, the 10-year T-note’s yield is up to 3.10% and agency MBS prices are worse nearly .125 versus Monday’s close.

The airport can be a gateway to excitement, adventure or just glorious relaxation, or it can be a nightmare of cancelled flights, fractious children and missing baggage. It can also throw up some very surprising sights, like these 14 things.

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, “The Rise of the Credit Unions.” 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 over 300 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 2018 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