Ben Carson at HUD? More on PHH v. CFPB; Vendor Management Vendor Updates; Refis Continue to Drop
My cat Myrtle is old school. A traditionalist. Even though she has never said it out loud, I know that she doesn’t approve of me putting one space after a period. She prefers two – but anyone who does a lot of writing knows that two spaces after ending punctuation (like a period or question mark) is 20-30 years out of date. Folks who learned how to type on a typewriter often still do it. But unless you are typing on an actual typewriter, you no longer have to put two spaces after a period or any other ending punctuation to help readability. There’s your trivia du jour.
Saturday's commentary, which
focused on the CFPB's appeal of the PHH v. CFPB verdict, mentioned "...if the
full D.C. Circuit agrees to hear the case, the judgment of the three-judge
panel is immediately vacated and has no legal effect. Thus, the CFPB would
continue to be structured as Congress intended and the CFPB Director would not
be removable at will by the President."
I received this from an
attorney knowledgeable about the case. "The CFPB's filing of the petition for
en banc review stays the issuance of the 3-Judge panel's mandate. The mandate
would encompass the case being sent back to the Bureau for evidentiary
proceedings around RESPA Section 8 elements, as the 3-Judge panel said in its
opinion. The rest of the court's ruling remains in place. The constitutional ruling remains
citable precedent unless and until vacated by the en banc court." Thank you for
Yes, residential lending
continues to be at the vertex of federal, state, and local regulators. For
those wondering what might be coming up, this legal update from Mayer Brown LLP
summarizes reports released by the CFPB, the OCC and the FCA about recent
developments in their respective efforts to facilitate responsible financial
innovation and offers predictions on what the industry can expect in this space
during the coming months.
Earlier this week I reminded
readers of the CFPB's Compliance Bulletin 2016-02, which updates the Bureau's
guidance on vendor management and oversight. The Bulletin clarifies that the depth and formality of the risk
management program put in place to monitor service providers may vary depending
on the type of service(s) being performed and the performance of the service
provider in complying with federal consumer financial laws and regulations.
Specifically, the Bureau noted that the size, scope, complexity, importance, and
potential for consumer harm were factors to take into consideration when
assessing the scope of a vendor risk management and oversight program.
Jonathan Foxx wrote in
addressing the CFPB's update to its service provider review requirements
("Compliance Bulletin and Policy Guidance 2016-02, Service Providers") which is
an update to its Bulletin that was issued on April 13, 2012, called "CFPB
Bulletin 2012-03, Subject: Service Providers." The new update has been carefully outlined in a
downloadable article by Mr. Foxx of Lenders Compliance Group,
on behalf of his affiliate, Vendors Compliance Group. A great feature of the
article is that is provides a Question & Answer format, which brings a lot
of clarity to understanding the CFPB's expectations. Head on over to Vendors
Compliance Group to download his article, entitled "Compliance Bulletin and Policy
Guidance 2016-02 - Service Providers - Questions and Answers."
What else is new with a random
sampling of vendors out there?
On the capital markets side of
things, Mortgage Capital Trading has added new features to its best
execution service offering. The enhanced tool is an extension of MCT's existing
best execution methodology, which is traditionally offered with its proprietary
hedging services. The option to leverage the new feature set is ideal for
lender clients that are interested in deepening the retain/release decisioning
process and cash management concerns. It offers additional dimensions of time
to payback, cash drain, corporate tax structure, subservicing terms and MSR
financing possibilities. The enhanced best execution solution works in
conjunction with MCT's proprietary HALO hedging and loan sale program and with
its award-wining capital markets platform MCTlive!
LoanLogics announced it ranked No.
250 on Deloitte's Technology Fast 500, a ranking of the 500 fastest growing
technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech companies in
North America based on their revenue growth during the period from 2012 to
2015. LoanLogics grew 291 percent during this period. Overall, 2016 Technology
Fast 500TM companies achieved revenue growth ranging from 121 percent to 66,661
percent from 2012 to 2015, with median growth of 290 percent.
Indecomm's Knowledge Management Portal offers
your mortgage bank the opportunity to create your own "Private University"
by combining off the shelf content and customized content. Each team member is
provided a customized curriculum setting a clear path for professional
development that speaks to mortgage operations staff unlike any other
self-paced training program. With features that foster guideline management,
corporate policies and procedures along with social forums, it provides the
foundation for the new
generation of mortgage
bankers. Call John Feehan at 760-212-2268 for more information.
OpenClose has redesigned and added
new features to its borrower-facing ConsumerAssist solution to deliver exceptional online and
mobile point-of-sale tools. The enhancements create a straightforward and
interactive experience for consumers. It can be accessed via the web or any
mobile device, providing portability and accessibility at any time and from
anywhere. This results in an increase in leads and a decrease in production
also have the flexibility to offer on-demand program eligibility and pricing
for borrowers by leveraging OpenClose's DecisionAssist product and pricing
engine (PPE), which instantly returns decisioning at the point-of-sale.
Switching gears to the capital
markets...To be or not to be. Will there be a rate hike in December? Or will this
be a year of one and done? There was a consensus view that the Federal Open
Market Committee (FOMC) "would elect not to raise the fed funds rate after its
November meeting." That turned out to be the case. But the world has changed,
and practically every economist and trader believes that
the December meeting will result in a move in short-term rates.
Inflation continues to increase; CPI is up 1.5% year over year. "Continued
strength in services inflation and energy base effects should allow prices to
rise further toward 2 percent in the coming months." The Fed has previously
stated that they would like to see 2.0% inflation. Each passing month sees
inflation inching closer to that target.
Speaking of things that the
fed has previously stated, they continue to discuss that they would like to see
a strong labor market in order to raise interest rates. The labor market
continues to improve, and some think we're already at full employment as they
estimate payroll gains of at least 100,000 jobs per month - enough to reduce
remaining labor underutilization and spur modestly higher wage growth. Overall,
the outlook is for a tightening labor market and rising inflation to prompt a
fed funds rate increase in December.
Economists and traders are
still ruminating on the stock and bond markets surrounding the election.
Besides the ups and down of the stock market over uncertainty in the election,
it was a light week for economic data. During the day of the election, when there
was uncertainty in the air in what was supposed to be a Clinton victory, stock
market futures crashed, global financial markets were affected. Leading the
charge was the Mexican Peso plummeting. Afterward there were two days of strong
U.S. financial market performance, following the shock of Trump's campaign
victory, led by the Dow charging to an all-time high, few expect to see a
repeat of the Tuesday election night swan dive. This is important for the
upcoming FOMC meeting in December which is set to raise interest rates at that
In Tuesday's bond market rates
improved somewhat with the 10-year closing at 2.32%. Agency mortgage-backed
security prices rallied almost .125, and spreads were mostly tighter versus
treasuries - a good thing. The Treasury auctioned $34 billion five-year notes
at a yield of 1.76%, the highest mark since December 2015.
It will be interesting to
watch the supply and demand dynamics over the coming months as supply falters
and demand continues to be strong. November prepayment speeds are expected slow
4% to 5%, and certainly that was seen in today's MBA application data for last
week with refis continuing to drop. Will lenders and vendors who made their
money on refis be nimble enough to switch to a purchase market?
Looking at today, it is a full
trading day in the bond market, but one must ask who is working a full day
today. Tomorrow is a holiday; Friday bond markets are open but everyone will be
lightly staffed - and who is going to lock in a loan? The holiday likely
contributed to the relatively light volumes yesterday.
Today we have a full platter
of news with typical Thursday releases moved up a day with Friday being an
early close. Weekly mortgage applications (w/e Nov 18) from the MBA kicked off
the day (+5.5% with purchase apps +19%, refis -3%). We've also had the always
volatile Durable Goods orders for October (+4.8%, higher than expected) and
weekly Initial Jobless Claims for the week ending November 19 (251k, up from
233k, still solid).
Coming up are the FHFA Housing
Price Index (Sep), at 9AM ET, Markit Manufacturing PMI (preliminary Nov.) at
9:45AM ET, Michigan Sentiment (final for Nov.) at 10AM, October's New Home
Sales, a $28 billion 7-year note auction at 1PM ET, and the minutes from the
November FOMC meeting will be released at 2PM ET. Whew! To start the day, after those strong numbers, the
10-year is at 2.35% with agency MBS prices worse .250 versus Tuesday night. Given the holiday, trading will most
likely be choppy and liquidity may be an issue as we move into the afternoon.
Jobs and Announcements
In company news, ValuAmerica announced that it has integrated with Ellie Mae's Encompass platform. The functionality includes access to ValuAmerica's appraisal, title, closing and settlement services. The announcement follows an enhanced Encompass integration executed by ValuAmerica's sister company, Radian Guaranty, earlier this year. ValuAmerica and Radian's integration with Encompass allows lenders to better leverage a full suite of services across the Radian family of companies, so they can more efficiently process mortgage loans and grow their business. You can learn more about ValuAmerica's integration with Encompass atwww.valuamerica.com/Encompass.
Congrats to Ben Carson who is considering, and according to some early reports accepted, the post of Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The retired neurosurgeon ran an "outsider's campaign" (see a theme here?) for the Republican presidential nomination and later backed Donald Trump. Mr. Carson would be the first African-American member of Mr. Trump's cabinet.