Does the Fed Chairman make a difference? Yes. Taylor and Powell’s names continue to be mentioned, although Trump is set to interview Janet Yellen Thursday. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if Janet Yellen was being given the boot, unfortunately. Trump must decide whether to risk jarring the markets to ensure deregulation. After all, she is an Obama appointee, and Donald Trump has shown disdain for all things Obama. (More on Yellen in the capital markets section below.)

Products and Conferences

In correspondent news, AmeriHome's Correspondent Scratch and Dent Program continues to help originators sell loans with origination defects. The AmeriHome program is designed to save clients time and money shopping for buyers and negotiating new contracts by having AmeriHome handle these transactions. A sampling of the issues that can be priced include DTI/Income/loan amounts, investor overlays, TRID/compliance, incomplete documentation, uninsurable loans, and non-agency jumbo fallout. AmeriHome is an industry-leader in service and operational support and is committed to providing the same accurate and timely communication on your S&D business. If interested, please contact your AmeriHome Correspondent Sales Representative (or email and add our direct email to your email distributions.

Planet Home Lending continues to expand the product lineup for its growing correspondent customer base with the addition of FHA 203(h) loans and a new jumbo program. Customers serving natural disaster victims in the Gulf states, California, and elsewhere can use 203(h) to help renters and homeowners rebuild or buy in a new location. Planet's 203(h) offers 100% financing, FICOs to 500, financed closing costs, and no minimum borrower contribution. Planet has also added a correspondent jumbo program with purchase and refis to $2.5 million with LTVs to 80%, and cash-outs to $1.5 million. Make the Connection to great loans - contact Jim Loving (414.270.0027).

"A common discussion during the beginning of conference season seems to be centering around truly digitizing the entire workflow, to include automating the calculation and validation of income. Just as it was at the Digital Mortgage Conference in San Francisco, it is likely to continue into this year's MBA Annual in Denver. LoanBeam's automated income extraction and calculation technology solves the dilemma facing modern mortgage lenders - most of their borrowers' income cannot be validated with digital data sources, especially those with complex income streams. LoanBeam provides a solution that can convert any income document into a digital output capable of being calculated automatically and assimilated into their process flow, today."

The release of the 2016 HMDA data revealed overall product trends in the market, according to Richey May's free HMDA Market Share Dashboard. Conventional loan volume increased 20%, in line with the overall increase of 19%, while FHA volume lagged with a 9% increase, and VA volume reflected a robust 38% increase. Overall purchases represented 49% of the market, with strong purchase markets in Texas (63%), Florida (63%) and New York (64%), while refis, representing 47% of the market, were strongest In California (61%). Overall production volume increases were strongest in the western United States, with Washington (29%) leading the nation. For even more data points relevant to your business, check out Richey May's dynamic HMDA Market Share Dashboard.

The Cost-To-Originate a loan has skyrocketed over the past decade, as operational productivity has fallen off a cliff.  Outsourcing your back-office processes to String Real Estate Information Services can help you solve these issues right away.   String supports the mortgage origination life cycle from app to close: processing support, pre-underwriting, closing review and post-closing.  We can help shorten your cycle time, turn your fixed costs into variable costs, and improve your margins by up to 20%.  If you're attending the MBA Annual Convention in Denver, schedule a meeting with us to learn how String can improve your P&L within 30 days or less. 

Multiple studies have shown that your borrower experience, above any other factor, drives your business forward. Technology has become a critical expectation to a positive borrower experience. Lightweight borrower-facing tools are the answer for LOs looking to transform the borrower experience. Leading the charge is Maxwell, awarded HousingWire's 100 Most Innovative Companies for 2017. The secure digital portal provides automated document collection with direct integrations of thousands of financial institutions (even automated paystubs!), a fully customizable online loan application, white labeling, LOS integrations, and agent milestone notifications and borrower reminders via email and text/SMS. It's no surprise Maxwell has been chosen by hundreds of lenders to drive their business forward! All of this starts at only $99/month per LO with free accounts for team members. To learn more and request a demo, visit

Lenders and settlement agents, I've written about wire fraud in the past. This is the $2-billion-dollar problem that goes unmitigated for many in our space. ATS Secured has a wire fraud solution that easily integrates with your existing workflow and systems, and reduces costs, and closing times. "Wire fraud at the originating or settlement level is up 1,300% since 2015. And the average loss is $100,000," says Jay Michalowski, Senior Managing Director at ATS Secured. "Our solutions mitigate this fraud and risk for our clients." From verifying and authenticating every signer and approver, to validating all wire instructions, to secure messaging and connectivity directly to escrow companies, ATS guarantee your wires and funds get to the right destination. Speak with ATS Secured at the MBA's Annual Convention and make your trip to Denver productive. Contact Jay Michalowski to pre-arrange a meeting. ATS Secured: Sophisticated tools to combat today's sophisticated crime.

The MBA stated that limited English proficiency (LEP) could create a liability for lenders since this is a key priority for many regulators. A CFPB official said, "If every loan application had a talk'uments file, our job (CFPB) would be done." Available in ENGLISH and SPANISH, talk'uments is a new consumer information delivery model that displays borrower specific loan data through interactive loan and disclosure technology - from pre-sale through loan closing. Talk'uments increases loan originations, as it eliminates LEP risk and cuts compliance, legal and regulatory costs for all mortgage transactions, and, by providing market ready borrowers with what they want - interactive loan information specific to their loan request (i.e. Loan Product Info, LE and CD review, Application & Closing Docs explanations, and Borrower Responsibilities). Talk'uments is the first of its kind in the field of interactive loan and disclosure technology. For more information or to visit with talk'uments at the national MBA conference (booth 1322), contact George Baker.

Corridor Mortgage's Regional Vice President - Rick Trott has found a formula for "doing more with less - closing more loans with the same amount of people." Trott has been able to eliminate unnecessary manual processes and automate repetitive tasks during the loan origination cycle using mortgage business intelligence (MBI) technology. Like hundreds of other lenders, Corridor Mortgage is leveraging the power of MBI to transform their lending operation and "deliver a better experience for the loan officers" through improved visibility and better control over their mortgage pipeline. Motivity's leading MBI solution minimizes the amount of time, money and resources required to implement this technology. As the mortgage industry's most comprehensive MBI toolset, it delivers pre-configured insights and dashboards providing deep visibility into every aspect of the loan origination process. Learn more about how Corridor Mortgage and hundreds of other lenders are using MBI to gain a competitive advantage.

Training and Upcoming Events

Have you mapped out your pathway to success for 2018? Sign up for Business Planning, the next ENERGY Webinar from XINNIX, The Mortgage Academy on Wednesday, November 8 at 2PM ET. No matter where you are in your career, from a rookie to a branch manager, every mortgage professional needs to develop a strategy for the upcoming year. This webinar will give you the tools you need to create, implement, and review your business plan so you can elevate your production to new heights in 2018! Click here to sign up today!

Of course, there is the big MBA shindig in Denver. Has anyone noticed that conferences are now eating into our weekends? That aside, it should be a grand conference.

Are you signed up for the TMBA 67th Annual Educational Marketplace Mortgage Education & Dialogue? Registration is still under way for MED Talks November 6th & 7th at the Marriott Legacy Town Center in Plano Texas.

The CMLA's Luncheon on November 16th will discuss "Colorado Marijuana Grows Unintended Consequences" with guest speaker Detective M. Adam Hughes. This program covers the new meth houses and the destruction being done in neighborhoods, the marijuana black market and obstacles and dangers for law enforcement. Registration deadline is November 13th.

National MI presents "Advanced Self-Employed Borrower" on November 9. This session is a deep dive into the various schedules and tax code rules that impact a borrower's income and come into play when underwriting the self-employed borrower. It will help if registrants have taken the basic Self-Employed Borrower course, but it is not required. Presented by Marianne Collins of Diehl Mortgage Training and Compliance.

And NMI offers "Multigenerational Marketing" on November 14. One size doesn't fit all when it comes to marketing to Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials. This session will introduce key insights into, and parallels between these generations to help participants broaden the appeal of their marketing, and create the most effective multigenerational strategy. Presented by Kristin Messerli of Cultural Outreach.

Capital Markets

Financial markets don't like uncertainty. And right now there is uncertainty regarding the leadership of the Federal Reserve, the most powerful economic position in the world. Chair Yellen's appointed term is up next year, but the Trump Administration has thrown the job up in the air: who will it appoint?

Chair Yellen has had a sure but steady hand in running the Fed during difficult times. With a less skilled leader the Fed could have become much more divided and less decisive. Instead of that path, the Fed, under Yellen's leadership, has moved forward. Her grasp is excellent that the Fed impacts both the poor and the rich through its macro and regulatory policies. She has walked a fine line between government influence and the needs of the private sector.

It will not be easy going forward. The Trump Administration is still calling for large budget deficits in an economy that many believe is close to full employment. In a highly politicized environment marked by extreme uncertainty, the nation needs a calm hand, expertise, and wisdom. I hope that President Trump doesn't do away with Janet Yellen merely because she is an Obama appointee.

In fact, U.S. Treasuries began the week down yesterday after it was reported that President Trump was impressed with John Taylor's interview for the Fed Chair post. Current Chair Janet Yellen's turn in Thursday. Across the pond, reports indicate that the European Central Bank's governing council is deeply divided on announcing a fixed end date for the asset purchase program.

Today's data includes September Import Prices and Export Prices (import prices +.7%, strong, exports +.8%), September Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization, and the October NAHB Housing Market Index. Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker, a FOMC voter, will speak later this morning. We start Tuesday with rates a shade higher than Monday's close: the 10-year is yielding 2.31% and agency MBS prices are down/worse slightly.

Jobs and Business Opportunities

An independent mortgage banker is looking to sell its corporation. The corporation has had HUD Full Eagle approval since 2008 and VA approval since 2011 and is in excellent standing. This sale would be for HUD and VA licensing purposes. Interested parties may contact me directly to forward their note.

"Interested in joining a stable and secure lender with a 30+ year history of success? Embrace Home Loans is looking for self-sourced, purchase focused Branch Managers, Sales Managers, and Loan Officers. Embrace has been recognized for the fifth straight year by Inc. as one of the Fastest Growing Companies in America, making it an excellent career option. For 10 straight years Embrace has achieved a 98% Customer Service Rating and has been recognized by Fortune no less than seven times as one of the Top 25 Mid-size Companies to Work for in America. Licensed in 46 states plus DC, Embrace ranks as one of the top private mortgage lenders in America. If you're interested in working with a supportive, dynamic, and productive company, contact Patrick Mullen, Director of Recruiting, or check out Join Embrace. Embrace your future - join our team today!"