Daily Mortgage News & Commentary

Veteran’s Day: MLO, sales jobs; TPO products, automation, sales tools; digital survey; compliance news: CRA, M&A, complaints

Happy Veteran’s Day (the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918…), where veterans around the nation are honored (as well as enjoying discounts at many places, so pass this link along to your clients for some great deals). This industry is filled with extraordinary people doing ordinary things and ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Some people, not necessarily in our industry, do memorable things with their appearance. For example, there’s the USA Mullet Championships – Business Up Front & Party In The Back. And although it sometimes seems like there are more people than ever, and the world’s population has grown to nearly eight billion today from roughly 2.5 billion in 1950, that growth trend actually looks set to reverse. We’ve heard of the Great Resignation but, naturally due to age, the growth of the working-age population in the United States will fall considerably over the next few years with Baby Boomers leaving the workforce, which in turn means slower economic growth, but acceleration in labor productivity and/or a sustained increase in labor force participation could offset some of the effects of slower growth in the working-age population. The downshift in the growth rate of the working-age population will exert headwinds on the long-run potential growth rate of the U.S. economy, and if slow growth does materialize in the coming years, then income will also grow at a subdued pace. What happens to government spending when economic growth and tax revenues are weak? (The podcast if off today in honor of Veteran’s Day, but this week’s audio version of the commentary is available here and is sponsored by Candor Technology, helping underwriters and company improve underwriting effectiveness.)

Careers & new hires

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Planet Home Lending’s volume has grown faster than 70% of the top 20 lenders’ YTD, according to Inside Mortgage Finance. How do we do it? Because we give MLOs what they need to succeed: Blend, Total Expert, Mortgage Coach, SocialSurvey, BombBomb, HomeBot, MBS Highway, and more. Additionally, branches work with the same dedicated processors, underwriters, and support team, every day and every file, so MLOs can do what they do best: reach more borrowers and close more loans. Watch our Retail Sales Leader Caleb Mittelstet talk about why originators are moving to Planet. Then send a note to Caleb or SVP Talent Acquisition Brian Miller. Grow your business with Planet Home Lending – Right Place, Right Size, Right Now!”

PacRes Mortgage, formerly Pacific Residential Mortgage, is pleased to announce that Erik Anderson, with years of experience as Senior Vice President at two national lenders, has joined the PAC. Erik will serve as Northwest Regional Manager of the new PacRes Enterprise Division. The PacRes Enterprise Division provides entrepreneurial growth opportunities to current business owners who desire the benefits of joining a national mortgage bank determined to fulfill the entrepreneur’s growth dreams all while delivering on PacRes’ promise to get their client’s “dreams approved daily.” If you want to build your entrepreneurial dream, join Erik and experience the rarity of a “national boutique” company that has all the resources of a large company without any of the corporate bureaucracy. Please contact Eric Wiley, CXO at 971-645-7087.

Mortgage Coach is looking for a motivated and talented Sales Development Representative to join its growing team (fully remote position). What’s in it for you: Mortgage Coach is an award-winning, mature sales enablement platform that counts 120 enterprise mortgage lenders, including seven of the top-10 lenders, among its clients. As a member of our nimble team, you’ll grow your career alongside industry luminaries and subject matter experts who are as dedicated to mentorship and professional development as they are to client service. Mortgage Coach offers generous benefits and a phenomenal culture boasting 5-year average employee retention. What we’re looking for a collaborative and energetic individual who can help create and turn leads into qualified opportunities and has a minimum of 2 year’s sales/biz dev experience (mortgage industry preferred). If you’re interested or know someone who fits the bill, view the full job description here and send resumes to Dawn Sherbeyn.

Evergreen Home Loans™ welcomes Ken MacDonald as its new senior vice president innovative products. MacDonald will be responsible for adding new investors, loan programs, and developing innovative products that will add to the company’s unique product offering including CashUp™ by Evergreen. He is also responsible for strategic pricing efforts. “Evergreen is a leader in mortgage technology and niche products that allows them to remain nimble and effective in changing markets,” said MacDonald. “I look forward to strengthening their current menu of financing products and developing new products.” Under MacDonald’s leadership, Evergreen will continue to expand their current home loan products and create more opportunities for their family of loan officers and business partners. If you’re a loan officer and want to work with a company dedicated to innovative products and services to help you succeed, visit the Careers page. For information on product partnerships, contact Ken MacDonald.

Lender products & services

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What’s your story? “The one who tells the best story will win the business in today’s super-competitive market,” says Gibran Nicholas, CEO of Momentifi and host of the StorySeller events. “That’s because over 80% of homebuyers want their Realtor and loan officer to educate them on the home buying process, according to the National Association of Realtors.” You, your loan officers, and your Realtor partners are invited to attend an upcoming StorySeller event in CA next week or the virtual event on Nov. 22. The events are focused on helping you use StorySelling to convert more clients and grow your business. All attendees will walk away with new StorySelling skills and your 2022 business plan. Seating is limited. Click here for more information or to reserve your seat.

NCAA basketball season has officially tipped off, finally putting teams’ offseason work to the test. Did they train hard enough? Do they have the right game plans in place? Only time will tell. The recent refi boom left lenders too busy for anything but gametime decisions, with no time to train. With the refi boom slowing down, lenders are entering their own offseason and can finally take the time to properly train new employees and bring veteran team members up to date on technologies and compliance topics that may have fallen by the wayside. And that could have major impacts on profitability and risk managementLearn more with Sales Boomerang’s Alex Kutsishin and Knowledge Coop’s Ken Perry on Nov. 18 at 2:30 pm ET. Want to build a championship team for 2022 and beyond? Register now.

Lender Toolkit is offering a digital mortgage nirvana. Its Disclosure Automation delivers a compliant LE & CD in 5 minutes. Imagine your disclosure desk open 24/7, with disclosures automatically sent through your borrower portal! The AI Underwriter product offers loan officers, LOAs, and processors a deeper pre-underwrite than any system on the market. By programmatically adding ~90% of the conditions and allowing conditions to be automatically cleared, Lender Toolkit is driving down turn-times and lowering manufacturing costs. “Lender Toolkit’s Digital Mortgage solutions have fundamentally transformed how we do business. Our profitability has skyrocketed, and our employees have never been happier.” (Mark Workens CEO, Mortgage 1.) Read a Case Study for Mortgage One here. Find your nirvana with Lender Toolkit’s full suite of mortgage automation products. Schedule a demo today!

“You can create efficiencies within your technology stack. As mortgage lenders it can be hard to see the big picture in your technology roadmap. With RM Automate, Richey May’s Intelligent Automation services, powered by the world-class Zoral Automation Platform, digital transformation is possible. Focus your team on important tasks that add value to drive your business rather than mundane, repetitive tasks due to technology limitations. Contact us to see a demo of RM Automate and how it can enhance your productivity, while fitting in seamlessly with your technology stack.”

TPO loan products

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OH MY GOODNESS.” That is the name of Rocket Pro TPO’s new special, and for good reason! Your clients will be saying that when you offer them a home loan with the LPMI completely waived. If your clients are putting 15% down on a conventional purchase with a FICO over 700. This could be the differentiator to not only help your clients, but help you win more business. The special only last until the end of the year so reach out to your AE now to run all the numbers.

Looking for a better lender experience? Think Impac. For over 25 years, we’ve helped brokers close hundreds of thousands of loans for borrowers “outside the limits” with our Non-QM product suite. When you submit an app to Impac, you can rest assured it’s going to a completely in-house underwriting team who understand unique borrower needs and are always looking for ways to say “YES”. We’re committed to aggressive pricing, flexible terms, and fast closings. Get instant and detailed scenario options for your borrowers with iPrice or sign up to partner with us today.

STRATMOR tech survey

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I received this note from STRATMOR’s Nicole Yung. “We are nearing the end of our 2021 Technology Insight® Study: The final survey in the three-part study, Digital Innovations, closes November 30. We’re very interested to see how the 2020 data compares to 2021 in light of the changes made as the country managed remote work, volume changes and margin compression. For example, in 2020, 88 percent of lenders provided the ability for their borrowers to execute disclosures online and 43 percent of lenders did hybrid e-Closings. How these numbers changed in 2021 will tell us a great deal about how far along the digital road the pandemic and related events pushed lenders.” STRATMOR’s Digital Innovations Survey covers more than 30 front and back-end digital capabilities. Lenders, if you want insight into the key capabilities, benefits, and barriers to the digital technology available in the market today, participate in STRATMOR’s 2021 study and get the answers you need. The TIS: Digital Innovations Survey takes less than ten minutes to complete, covers your level of digital adoption plus a section on working remotely. Best of all, lenders who participate receive the survey report for FREE. Take the Digital Innovations Survey today!

Compliance: How do small lenders keep up?

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Are we returning to the “old” regulatory environment, pre-2016, where the CFPB will penalize a lender for a comma being in the wrong spot, and regulators will treat those being examined as always guilty until proven innocent during complaints and audits? Or enforcement will replace education and FAQs being sent out? Law firms such as Mayer Brown, Buckley LLP, Weiner Brodsky Kider, Offit Kurman, and many others are staffing up.

It makes no logical sense for independent mortgage bankers to comply to a set of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations. The CRA is set up for depository institutions, but that hasn’t stopped regulators moving toward shoving it onto IMBs despite IMBs not having any deposits to reinvest into communities. The MBA has a fine site regarding current developments. Three states are leading the charge to add additional, nonsensical rules onto IMBs doing business in their states: New York, Massachusetts, and Illinois. (As an example, here is the latest on Massachusetts with Mass’ examination schedule.)

Have you heard of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition? You have if you’re Movement Mortgage and Fairway Independent, both of whom are the subject of a complaint filed by NCRC with HUD.

The CFPB and a myriad of other groups and regulators in issuing a statement that a previous joint statement, issued in April 2020 which provided flexibility on certain timing requirements in Regulation X, will no longer apply. “The agencies believe that the servicers have had adequate time to adjust their operations to comply with the timelines in Regulation X and servicers will now be expected to fully comply with the rules, including the recently implemented COVID-19 amendments. The agencies will apply their respective supervisory and enforcement authorities to address any noncompliance or violations of the Regulation X mortgage servicing rules.

Of course regulators at the national level don’t have a monopoly on enforcement. California is responsible for about 25 percent of residential loan production. The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI), not to be ignored, has received information that the company M-Financial Group, LLC, operating the website https://www.m-financialgroup.com is fraudulently marketing itself as a finance lender in California. The company claims it has a “California Department of Business Oversight License #603L321,” and that it is “a California Finance Lender under NMLS 1099109.” In fact, the license number and the NMLS unique identifier belong to the legitimate company and DFPI licensed lender Civic Financial Services, LLC, doing business as both Civic Home Loans and Civic Private Money Lending.

Read more on DFPI website.

And lenders and banks don’t have a monopoly on M&A. Leading advisory CPA firm Baker Tilly US, LLP announced its intent to acquire California-based The Compliance Group (TCG), a one-stop-shop for mortgage lenders requiring regulatory compliance and seeking risk management. The combination will be effective Dec. 6, 2021. “TCG’s deep understanding of managing the regulatory and risk obligations for the mortgage industry plus Baker Tilly’s extensive financial services specialized knowledge and solutions (internal audit, cybersecurity, digital transformation, regulatory compliance and financial modeling) creates a combination of skills, knowledge and bench strength to produce powerful outcomes for the financial services industry.” “Baker Tilly brings TCG clients significantly more resources and capabilities coast-to-coast,” TCG CEO Annemaria Allen said. “We chose to join forces with Baker Tilly because of their vision and strategy and the opportunities we now have to create even more value for our clients and employees.” TCG’s 110-person remotely located team will join Baker Tilly.

And Sourcepoint, a Firstsource company and provider of outsourced mortgage services and solutions, announced today that the firm has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire The StoneHill Group, subject to regulatory approvals.

The U.S. Government is actively involved in regulating us. For example, on July 9 President Biden issued a broad Executive Order (E.O.) that includes provisions related to the financial services industry. The E.O. encourages the CFPB director to issue rules under Section 1033 of Dodd-Frank “to facilitate the portability of consumer financial transaction data so consumers can more easily switch financial institutions and use new, innovative financial products.”

And the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of a mortgage loan servicer (defendant), concluding that the defendant’s communications were not in connection with an attempt to collect a debt. The plaintiff had alleged that the defendant violated the FDCPA by engaging in misrepresentations and unfair conduct when processing the plaintiff’s application for loss mitigation assistance and selling the plaintiff’s home through a foreclosure sale. According to the 8th Circuit, “the district court applied the ‘animating purpose’ test, which considers the content of each communication individually, and determined that they were not made in connection with the collection of a debt.”

 

In affirming the district court’s recent order, the 8th Circuit agreed with the district court’s decision that the defendant did not violate the FDCPA because the substance of each of the communications indicates that none were made in connection with an attempt to collect on the underlying mortgage debt.

At the state level, on July 12, Colorado enacted HB 1282, which creates the Colorado Nonbank Mortgage Servicers Act under Article 21 and provides additional consumer protections through the regulation of mortgage servicers. Under the act, a mortgage servicer does not include, among others: supervised financial organizations; certain regulated mortgage loan originators; a federal agency or department; a collection agency whose debt collection business involves collecting on defaulted mortgage loans; agencies, instrumentalities, or political subdivisions of the state; supervised lenders that do not service residential mortgages; servicers that service fewer than 5,000 residential mortgage loans annually; nonprofit organizations; government agencies; originators or servicers using a subservicer that does not act under their direction; and persons servicing loans held for sale. The act stipulates that on or after January 31, 2022, a person may not act as a mortgage servicer without providing notice to the administrator and paying the required fees within 30 days after it begins servicing in the state, and on or before January 31 annually thereafter.

Capital markets

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The bond markets are closed today, so take any rate sheets being sent out with a grain of salt. That said, there is no U.S. economic news, and bond prices (and therefore rates) are unchanged in European trading. Rates shot up yesterday due to sticker shock: unexpectedly high inflation numbers from China, Germany, and the United States. A poorly received U.S. 30-year bond auction didn’t help and the 10-year closed yielding 1.55 percent and MBS prices tagged along, selling off and leading to rate sheet changes from everyone.

Okay… in honor of Veteran’s Day, ad execs remind us why they earn their money with this short video.

 

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. The current blog is, “Grow Your Business But Don’t Step Over a Dollar to Save a Dime.” 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 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.)