"The first five days after the weekend are the toughest." And after two holiday weeks, this week is going to seem pretty long. And how the heck are we in 2015 already? I was just growing used to writing "2014" on my checks. (Does anyone write checks anymore?) Yes, time goes fast - just ask the CMBA. There are plenty of mortgage organizations around the country, but this is the California Mortgage Bankers Association's 60th year. * Also from California comes more news on Friday when we all learned that Elly May is no longer with us. But fortunately not the one anyone reading this commentary was thinking of: Ellie Mae.
To tell someone "how the cow ate the cabbage" means to tell the person the unvarnished truth, even if the person would rather not hear it. The homeownership rate of housing in the US was 64.4% as of Q3 2014 vs. 69.2% a decade prior (Q4 2004), or about a 7% decline overall. Many government officials don't want to hear that, but experienced lenders know that not every human deserves to be able to borrow money. And the "Ability to Repay" rules help advance that, giving secondary market investors some comfort. But yes, lenders want to lend, and there is a program with no money down, no mortgage insurance, and no closing costs: Read all about it.
Legal issues surround residential lending, and $4.2 million is not a drop in the bucket. But that is how much Michigan's John Adams Mortgage Company was fined for violating the False Claims Act.
While we're talking about legal issues, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the FHA disparate impact case on Jan 21. This is an important fair lending issue, as the Obama Administration moved to make proving lending discrimination as strictly a numbers game - in other words, the CFPB does not have to prove intent to discriminate. If your numbers don't line up with the population, you are guilty, no questions asked. This one has wended its ways through the lower courts and has made it to the Supreme Court.
There are a lot of things coming up this month or next in terms of conferences, training, and events. Let's grab a random sample.
If you're near Denver on January 12th you should check out the 1st Annual 2015 Colorado Mortgage and Real Estate Sales Summit. There are three presentations by Mortgage and Real Estate experts Ken Perry, Dan Cooper, and me. The admission is free although one must pre-register at ColoradoSummit. "Understand the issues, changing laws and forecasts for 2015, communicate with the largest single market in the U.S. (bigger than Baby Boomers, Generation X and the Homeland Generation), learn innovative strategies/tactics to increase your business in 2015, and speak one-on-one with real estate/mortgage litigation attorneys."
HECM Changes & Implications for Reverse Mortgages Webinar by MBA Education is scheduled for Friday, January 16th. For the information summary and registration information, click here.
An overview of its Mortgagee Letter 2014-24, Increasing Use of FHA's Claims Without Conveyance of Title (CWCOT) webinar is available on two dates. Discussion will include how foreclosing on FHA properties may differ from previous guidelines; requirements for appraisals; bidding instructions; and claim requirements. This free webinar is scheduled for Monday, January 12, 2015, register here. For the Tuesday, January 20, 2015 webinar, register here.
FHA's HUD Extension of Time and Variance Request System (EVARS) Training will include topics such as types of extensions and variances; events that affect the First Legal Deadline; system access; and how to submit both an Extension of Time Request and Variance. For the Tuesday, January 27 webinar, register here. For the Wednesday, February 11 webinar, click here.
MBA St. Louis is hosting an Economic Outlook with distinguished speaker Mr. Emmons, for a discussion on the risks facing the U.S. economy in 2015 and how the St. Louis area economy may fair in the year ahead. This discussion on the risks facing the U.S. economy in 2015 and how the St. Louis area economy may fair in the year ahead is scheduled for January 15. To learn more, view its event summary.
Compass Analytics has a growing database of recorded Webcast training available to Compass Clients. These Webcasts cover a wide range of topics from Budgeting and Forecasting, to Mortgage Rate Modeling, to Compass interactive screen functionality. Please email Kelly McCann for more information on how to view these valuable trainings.
Also available, MBA Education is accepting registration for the latest fully up-to-date CFPB's National Servicing Standards. This three hour workshop will not only reinforce the background and implications of the Servicing Standards on your business, but also provide an update on the state of servicing regulations, insight on recent enforcement actions, and guidance on how to appropriately prepare for a CFPB examination. Register now for its February 23rd workshop.
It's time to start getting your organization ready to integrate changes to the RESPA-TILA rule by August 1. To get your company into execution mode, the MBA and the American Land Title Association (ALTA) join together to bring you the MBA Compliance Essentials RESPA-TILA Integration Forums. In one day, learn best practices from the industry's leading compliance practitioners and how to avoid noncompliance penalties from the CFPB. After attending this Forum you'll be able to identify where changes need to be made in your business to comply, determine new workflow processes and procedures, and educate and train your staff. Register in a city near you: Los Angeles CA Jan 29th Miami FL Feb 7th Dallas TX March 5th Chicago IL March 26th.
Yes, August will be here before you know it. On that date, the new Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure with go into effect. Don't make the mistake of thinking these are just new forms. There are many regulatory changes that come with these new forms. Join the Ohio Mortgage Banker Association (OMBA) for an important webinar. Washington, DC compliance attorney and contributor to MBA's Compliance Essentials series, Mitchell (Mitch) H. Kider, will bring you up to speed on the regulatory changes, including: The new definition of an application; the 3-day waiting period to close; Changes that trigger an additional 3 days to close; Changes in tolerances; who's responsible for what; and much more. February 4, 2015 1:30 - 3:00 PM EST. Registration information can be found here.
Come join MMBA for an educational morning learning session on how State Government works and how the MMBA is involved in this process. Speak with our hosts for the day, our lobbyist Dennis Rasmussen and members of the MMBA Legislative Committee on Tuesday, January 6th Register now for legislative day.
MMBA is hosting a webinar with me, Rob Chrisman to discuss current events and how they might influence your business in 2015. Where Are the Trends Taking Our Industry in 2015? Find out January 14. For more information and to register, click here.
Join the Colorado Mortgage Lenders Association (CMLA) 2015 Leadership Development Forum. As a member, you will learn Personal Leadership Development Plans, Coaching Skills & Conflict Management, Building Winning Teams, and other management, leadership & coaching issues you face each day. For more information, contact Deb Meogrossi.
Interested in MGIC training calendar for the month of January? To view and register available webinars, click here.
The MBA School of Servicing is an instructor-guided online course designed to describe principles and strategies of key servicing functions, reviewing the important correlations and interconnectivity between business units within the servicing organization. To register for its February 2nd - 12th course - click here.
Turning to the markets...
Friday we'll have the employment data noted above. Today is another business day, just like four of them last week. We did have some news Friday. Specifically, US Manufacturing lost a little momentum in December and slipped to "53.9". Production volumes rise at weakest pace for 11 months - but they still rose. The Construction Spending estimate during November $975 billion, -0.3% from prior month but is 2.4% above the November 2013 estimate of $952.5 billion. During the first 11 months of this year, construction spending amounted to $884.6 billion, 5.7% above the $836.9 billion for the same period in 2013. And ISM Manufacturing was at 55.5% in December.
This week we'll have a surfeit of scheduled news that could shift rates around starting with tomorrow's Factory Orders. Wednesday is the ADP Employment Change, Trade Balance, and in the afternoon the Fed's releases of the minutes from its Dec. 16-17 FOMC conclave. Thursday is the usual weekly Initial Jobless Claims, and then Friday we'll have Nonfarm Payrolls, Hourly Earnings, and the Unemployment Rate.
The news this morning nudging rates around comes from a magazine article claiming that Germany is prepared to jettison Greece from the euro should a Syriza-led government come to power and abandon Athens' reform program. For those quantitatively inclined. The 10-yr risk-free U.S. T-note closed Friday at 2.12% and this morning we're sitting at 2.12% and agency MBS prices are roughly unchanged.
Jobs and Announcements
On the job front, Radian is searching for a Senior Account Manager for the Utah market. The individual is responsible for growing existing account relationships within the territory and will use company products and services to generate New Insurance Written (NIW). Responsibilities include that but also making daily sales calls in person on existing and potential customers based on a self-directed sales call plan, preparing and executing an annual business plan to drive incremental NIW through increased market share at existing customers, and managing contract underwriting to ensure placements are made when requested. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Radian "connects lenders, homebuyers, investors and loan servicers using a suite of private mortgage insurance and related risk management products and services. We help promote and preserve the tradition of homeownership while protecting lenders from default-related losses on residential first mortgages. We also facilitate the sale of low-down payment mortgages in the secondary market." Confidential inquiries, or for a complete job description, contact Recruitment Manager Kim Martin.
In the wholesale expansion arena, "ResMac Wholesale Lending may be the smartest wholesale lender you've never heard of yet! Cutting edge technology to empower brokers for success, ResMac launched drag and drop technology, the 'Drop Zone' enabling brokers to open their browser and with one click import submission and condition documents! One broker actually said the experience was 'fun'. When was the last time we heard that word about a loan submission process?!" Brokers and AE candidates contact Greg Lutin SVP TPO Lending or visit ResMac to learn more.
It's a new year and the wholesale mortgage industry continues to show signs of growth and stability. Congratulations to Jeremy Stewart and Curtis Edwards on their recent venture, Orion Lending. This Orange County based mortgage lender has officially lifted off. "Bringing a legacy of success and ambition, Orion Lending is committed to revolutionizing the wholesale arena by offering products, service and technology that are relevant to the needs of today's mortgage brokers. In addition, they are building an award winning team of support and sales personnel who share their vision of company culture and employee appreciation. Orion Lending is currently hiring Account Executives in California and Operations support near the Orange County area. For information regarding career opportunities, please click on the link above, contact Jeremy, or email resumes to careers@orionlending. com.
In the AMC sector, Valuation Partners is on the move. This leading national AMC has made strategic personnel changes to its sales structure and added to their sales staff. These moves will further strengthen its position to drive new growth. Mark Lyons has taken on the new role of SVP- Corporate Sales Development. Lyons, a long time industry veteran, has been with the firm since 2009. In his new role, he will be responsible for leading their strategic planning initiatives, maintaining key national account relationships, and product development. Clint Reinhardt has been named Senior Vice President, National Sales & Marketing Manager and will be responsible for leading the Valuation Partners sales team across the US. Clint has over 25 years of business development experience in correspondent, retail, settlement services and sales management in the mortgage industry. In his previous capacity as VP- National Sales Executive in the Central US he expanded the Valuation Partners' client base as well as client targets for The William Fall Group. Bob Gans named VP- National Account Executive. Bob will be responsible for selling real estate valuation services to mortgage bankers, banks and credit unions in the Midwest and North Central US. He is a proven sales executive with over 20 years of experience in the mortgage industry with extensive experience in wholesale and correspondent sales, new account development, and account management. Most recently, he was Regional Sales Manager for Sierra Pacific Mortgage. Bob will be based in Chicago, IL.