Sep. 28: Sales, ops jobs; hiring process analysis; sales, marketing, fee collection, margin tools; flood insurance questions

Thank you to those who wrote commenting about the Yelp study showing that 164,000 businesses across our nation have closed since March. “Bouncing back” quickly from that is not likely, and at some level it impacts past and future borrowers, and meeting ATR requirements to fund loans. I was telling my cat Myrtle, “Teamwork makes the dream work,” knowing that it takes a lot of people to fund a loan. (Frankly, I have yet to see her correctly underwrite a VA loan.) I received this note from an operations manager from a well-known wholesaler. “Rob, are other companies have their ops people picked off?” Yes indeed. There’s a saying that “People go to where their comp plan takes them.” Owners of businesses want their employees’ comp plans to align with the goals of the company. I am sure that operations personnel see LOs and AEs who are on plan to make more than a million bucks in this record-setting year. I also imagine that recruiters are contacting them throughout the week, offering signing bonuses that were unimaginable eight months ago. Ops folks aren’t immune to wanting a small piece of the pie, and some are moving. Say what you will about human nature, and about operations staff: making a move based solely on a bonus goes against their grain. They’d probably rather stay, especially if they like the culture and their workmates, and some return: a corporate culture that feels right is hard to replace.


Caliber Home Loans was recently recognized as a military-friendly employer by Victory Media for the third year in a row! We pride ourselves on giving veterans an opportunity to belong to a new troop after military service. We’re committed to providing professional development opportunities, career advancement and helping our veteran employees transition to the civilian workplace. Caliber also has a Military Veteran Employee Resource Group that raises funds for military support groups and volunteers countless hours with military organizations. If you’re looking for place to work that supports the military and communities where you live and work, Caliber has open positions in Operations and Sales. Visit our website today to view open opportunities. To be immediately considered for Operations or Sales positions, email Jonathan Stanley or Brian Miller respectively.”

“What is your hiring process? What is the impact of a great hire? What is the cost of a ‘bad’ hire? What is the true cost of turnover? Companies and departments establish their own culture by the people, the ‘who’ not by the ‘what’s’ in them. At Culture Index we help you define and determine the types of people that will grow, enhance or change your environment. We will assist by helping you define traits and behaviors that are best suited for their positions and then work with you in filtering out the candidates. We use applied analytics to guide you to hire the right people for the right job. Contact our Executive Advisor with over 25 years of Mortgage Industry Leadership to set up a free demo account. We know that your most valuable resource and leading indicator to financial success is your people. Call 858-408-6585.”

Recently named among Top 5 Best Mortgage Companies to work for by National Mortgage News, Geneva Financial, Home Loans Powered By Humans®, has experienced explosive growth and is seeking Operations Professionals. Competitive pay and benefits. Underwriters, Processors, Closers, and multiple other positions available. Most positions can be remote/home-based. across the United States. Geneva strives to humanize every aspect of their business from the inside-out. With a culture-forward mindset, they focus on employees to ensure an unbeatable experience for their customers. Its Geneva Gives, BE A GOOD HUMAN and Hero of The Year initiatives deemed them a recipient of this year’s AZ Business Magazine’s Excellence in Banking Award for Community Impact. In 2019 Geneva was ranked a nationally fastest growing company in the financial sector, mortgage industry and all industries categories. Apply today.

Synergy One Lending is pleased to announce Donnie Dillow has joined the company as VP, Operations in Denver, Colorado. Dillow, who previously led the Colorado operations’ center for Guild Mortgage, will lead the fulfillment unit supporting the Colorado production team that has tripled its production over the last 6 months under the leadership of Eric Kulbe and Ryan Pilgrim. Synergy One’s COO, Nicole Abraham, said “Donnie’s addition is critical to support the explosive growth we are experiencing in Colorado and neighboring states. Donnie is widely regarded as one of the top operations’ executives in the country and it is an honor to have him aboard. I simply cannot overstate the trust Donnie instills in our entire team.” Synergy One Lending is based in San Diego, CA and is currently licensed in 32 states. If you’re looking for high growth opportunities, contact Aaron Nemec or Ben Green.


PHH Mortgage is looking for experienced Loan OfficersLoan Processors and Underwriters to join our team. The Company’s rapidly growing Originations business recently announced that total lending volume for July and August grew by 62% over the same period last quarter and by 16X over the same period last year. We have an originations platform with multiple channels and products that can provide you with a steady flow of volume. PHH’s comprehensive benefits package includes medical, dental, vision, paid time-off, 401k plan, tuition reimbursement and more! Apply today by emailing your resume to Heather Nehmer or at our career site. You don’t want to miss out on what PHH Mortgage has to offer!”

Lender services and products

Curious how Connector by Velma® can solve your ECOA – Adverse Action headaches? Watch this seven-minute demo video to see how Connector reduces risk, rescues at-risk prospects, eliminates hassles, and saves time for your sales and operations teams. Oh, and you will never need to print out and stuff another NOIA letter again!


I read that Cobra Kai recently fell to the #3 spot on Netflix. If binge watching 1980s-based programs doesn’t do it for you, then try a program that can advance your business: an upcoming webcast entitled, Servicing in the Post-COVID Era” brought to you by Computershare Loan Services (CLS). CLS is basically a 3rd degree blackbelt when it comes to meeting the demands caused by COVID-19, and they are ready to share insight to help servicers protect their portfolio and prepare for the future. Grab your seat for this live, 30-minute conversation on October 1st featuring Jeff Johnson, CLS’ Chief Operating Officer, and Dave Vida, CLS’ EVP of Enterprise Sales. These two loan servicing veterans will discuss what it looks like to leverage technology for improved borrower education and balanced customer service, investor requirements & state laws. Channel your inner karate kid and master the art of protecting your portfolio.


I remember going to Woolworth’s as a kid and seeing my parents pay with a credit card. The cashier put the card in a giant imprinter and sent the copy off to Lord-knows-where to be processed. Woolworth’s closed in 1997, but it still had a more efficient way of processing credit cards than most lenders do today. What if you replaced your archaic upfront fee collection process with this: Borrower gets a text message with a link requesting payment for their upfront fees, they complete the payment right in their phone in 10 seconds, and your LOS is automatically updated, receipts are emailed, no more bodies in accounting transcribing credit card numbers and no more uncollected fees. Check out Fee Chaser by LenderLogix, it plugs right into your LOS and takes all the pain out of fee collection.


Take out the guess work on how, when and where you should be pricing to your borrowers. The mortgage industry is seeing uncertainty in the market, increased competition, and the ease of rate-shopping by consumers. Those who succeed will need to turn noise into meaningful data for better pricing and profitability. The Nomis Mortgage Platform provides market and competitive intelligence for lenders to make data-driven decisions in margin management and pricing strategy by analyzing more than 40 million records a day from over 350 lenders. From observing the overall market at a bird’s eye view to supporting interactions with customers in one-on-one conversations, the Nomis Mortgage Platform helps lenders make smarter decisions on how to adjust pricing parameters strategically and profitably to generate top line growth. Identify market opportunities now and act. Nomis will show you show.

Are you looking for a new source of inspiration and strategy in the midst of all the change and chaos in the world? Check out the new StorySeller podcast series hosted by Momentifi CEO, Gibran Nicholas. “We talk about politics, religion and money, the three taboos at any dinner party,” says Gibran. “But we do it in a way that has practical application to our life and business!” In the first episode, Gibran shares how to categorize your competition in two ways that make it easier to beat them and some powerful lessons about sales strategy from the 2020 Presidential election. In the second episode, Gibran talks about a new way to solve a $1 trillion problem and how to overcome feelings of work stress, burnout, anxiety, and depression. Listen to The StorySeller in Apple podcasts, Spotify, or Amazon Music. You can also find the episodes posted on Gibran’s Twitter.

What if you could always give your loan officers great opportunities. Grant yourself access to the most profitable and highest converting loans in existence. “In the first 4 months we took in $180M in applications and we have about 100 LOs. That is a significant impact to our business. My top performing LO attributes 25% of her business to Sales Boomerang alerts.” (Katherine Campbell, CMO, Assurance Financial) “Sales Boomerang gives us a conversion that is 2 ½ times better than our normal conversions.” (Tim Lewis, Castle and Cooke) The numbers speak for themselves: 20x Avg. ROI, $240 average cost per acquired loan, 10-20% average lift to loan volume. Want to see exactly how much you lost this year? Request your report today. Sales Boomerang will show you which competitor took your deal, what was the loan amount, what type of loan it was, the term and much more.

Flood insurance concerns… again

Sigh. Here we are again, talking about a longer-term solution to the National Flood Insurance Program, which is set to expire at the end of the month unless Congress re-authorizes it. As in, this week. There are currently about 5 million policies in place through the NFIP, managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The program provides more than $1.3 trillion in insurance coverage. The concept is that the federal government would provide some subsidized flood insurance in exchange for local communities enacting some strict land use controls. And it would just be a temporary measure until they have gotten construction guided away from the flood plains and people were safer and we were able to then let private insurance take over.

Lenders know that loans that would be federally backed (FHA, VA, Freddie, Fannie, etc.) on properties that were located in a Special Flood Hazard Area must have flood insurance. So lenders are required to ensure that all the properties have that level requisite flood insurance to the life of the loan. And in 2012, the Biggert-Waters Act passed to also allow private flood insurance that meets certain criteria to be used to satisfy the mandatory purchase requirement. So it’s no longer only NFIP policies that can meet that requirement.

But same story, different year, Congress more divided than ever and potential flood victims are the ones who could suffer. Since the fiscal year 2017, lawmakers have scrambled to pass short-term reauthorizations of the program 15 different times, and may well do so again this time.

Critics say that the NFIP allows mortgage lenders, real estate agents, homebuilders, and the rest of the housing industry to continue building in floodplains. The system enables, and even encourages, development in places that pose the most risk since it protects the collateral. There are more people and more housing units in the homes waiting along the coast. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the program runs a deficit of about $1.4 billion every year. Last year FEMA reported the program operated at an even higher loss at $1.7 billion. The risks posed by that construction are no longer borne by the consumer or local authorities who make most land-use decisions. They’re borne by the taxpayer and offset by insurance premiums. But premiums have not been able to keep pace with losses, and because there are more losses caused by more storms.

Congress, focused on keeping their jobs, remains divided over comprehensive reforms to the NFIP. Any extension for the program will likely get folded into a Continuing Resolution that will temporarily fund the federal government beyond September 30, 2020. This will give Congress more time to build consensus around substantive program reforms. In the meantime, the Mortgage Bankers Association sent out a copy of the latest letter pleading for reform.

Capital markets

As we head into the final quarter of 2020 economic data continues to point to a partial recover of GDP for the third quarter following the second quarter’s historical decline. That recovery, however, may look more like a ‘K’ than a ‘V’ as nearly 26 million people are still receiving some sort of unemployment benefit. Those who are experiencing a recovery (or at least feel economically secure) have been driving up home sales. New home sales in August increased 4.8 to a 1,011,000-annual rate: the highest since September 2006. Existing home sales increased to an annual rate of 6,000,000; the highest since December 2006 and 10.6 percent higher than their level 12 months ago. House prices continue to rise as inventory dropped to a very tight three months’ worth. The median sales price of an existing home rose 11.4 percent over the last year. Mortgage applications continue to benefit from the low rate environment and increasing home demand. Purchase apps increased 3.4 percent for the week ending September 18 and refis were up 8.8 percent. Over the last twelve months purchase applications are up 23.7 percent.

U.S. Treasuries ended the week last week on a flat note and the UMBS30 basis closed Friday mixed over continued growth concerns, but let’s not kid ourselves: no movement of note really occurred in bond markets, nor has it occurred in weeks. Durable goods orders increased slightly, but was less than expected. And that was about the only news.

This week’s month-end calendar gets off to a slow start with Dallas Fed Texas manufacturing for September later this morning the lone economic release on the day and many market participants will be off the desk to celebrate Yom Kippur. With regards to MBS, the Desk will conduct the last three MBS purchase operations on the current schedule today, followed by the release of a new schedule covering the September 29 to October 14 period this afternoon. The aforementioned three FedTrade operations total up to $5.2 billion starting with $669 million UMBS15 2 percent followed by $2.9 billion UMBS30 2 percent and 2.5 percent and $1.7 billion GNII 2 percent and 2.5 percent. The highlight of the week will likely be the September payrolls report on Friday, though releases kick back into gear tomorrow with August advance indicators, the July S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index, and September Consumer Confidence.

Wednesday brings a precursor to Friday’s payrolls report with September ADP Employment Change. Additionally, there will be the Q2 GDP – third estimate, September Chicago PMI and August Pending Home Sales. Thursday sees August Personal Income and Spending, PCE Prices, September ISM Manufacturing Index and August Construction Spending, before the week closes with August Factory Orders and September Michigan Consumer Sentiment in addition to that payrolls report. Monday starts with Agency MBS prices down/worse a few ticks versus Friday and the 10-year yielding .67 after closing last week at 0.66 percent: another snoozer of a day, rate-wise.

The World Health Organization announced that dogs cannot contract COVID-19. Dogs previously held in quarantine can now be released. To be clear, WHO let the dogs out.

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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 2020 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