2021: Fifty years since the release of Led Zeppelin 4 (think Stairway to Heaven). In 1971 there were 208 million people living in the United States. Now there are approximately 330 million of us. The U.S. Census Bureau released its once-a-decade Population Estimates (2020) with the Vintage 2020 estimates being based on the 2010 Census and provide the opportunity to make comparisons against the latest decennial census to assess the accuracy of the estimates. Differences between the estimates and Census counts are used to inform research and methodological improvements over the decade. The estimates had California (39.4 million) and Texas (29.4 million) as the two most populated states, while Wyoming (582k) and Vermont (623k) are estimated to be the two most sparsely populated states. Illinois is seeing large numbers of people leaving the state.
Lender and Broker Services and Products
“The life and soul of Finance of America is our team. 2020 will go down as a year to remember for many reasons, but our success is due to culture, work ethic and a commitment to be the best for our customers. As we reflect on 2020 it is fitting to hear from the team, in their words, in a new 5-part video series “Built By Us.” Whether it’s our leadership team, sales and operations staff, or our mortgage advisors across the country, or our TPO and consumer direct channels, we are stronger together. Check it out and learn why everyone in the FAM-ily is saying: we’re #ALL IN.”
#NewYearNewYou. A data strategy is about more than spreadsheets and ad hoc reporting. It requires insight into performance and understanding the quality of your loans. It’s about drilling down into the data to identify potential roadblocks before they emerge. It’s about getting the full picture of your business siloed across systems. That’s why AmCap’s Chief Analytics Officer Matt Stokes kicks off his mornings with LBA Ware’s LimeGear, a mortgage BI platform with out-of-the-box dashboards and reports that empower you to increase productivity and efficiency from day one. According to Matt, “The fun part of mortgage lending is taking data, making sense of it and coming up with better ways to leverage it to become a higher-performing organization.” Start your year off right and sign up for a demo of LimeGear today.
LoanCraft continues to enhance its income calculation service for self-employed borrowers through a collaboration with Freddie Mac. Income calculations with LoanCraft reports are now eligible for representation and warranty relief through an integration with Loan Product Advisor® asset and income modeler (AIM). LoanCraft’s unique full-service approach utilizing OCR technology combined with its data capture and QC team is picking up pace in the market. With little to no time needed for set up or training, the service is being deployed to reduce the burden on precious underwriting resources. LoanCraft’s approach also allows it to respond quickly to the changing requirements facing lenders such as P&L and bank statement analysis. Just upload documents via its portal or through Encompass, and LoanCraft will return a completed analysis in 4 hours or less. To learn more about the benefit of having LoanCraft on your team, email Dominic Spadafore or visit loancraft.net to get started.
Looking for an easier, faster approach to appraisals? Reggora is the modern appraisal workflow platform that’s been helping lenders keep up with skyrocketing demand. The two-sided platform for mortgage lenders and appraisers automates manual processes like order allocation, payment processing, appraisal review, and more. With our open API and major LOS and POS integrations, Reggora can be customized for your unique configurations and workflows. Learn more at www.reggora.com.
Northpointe Bank Correspondent Lending announces its Investor Cash Flow program allowing eligible borrowers to finance investment properties based on the cash flow of the subject property rather than utilizing the borrower’s income. With loan amounts up to $2,000,000 and LTV ratios up to 75%, Northpointe’s Investor Cash Flow includes fixed-rate and ARM options, allows cash out up to $500,000 on refinances, and is eligible for non-warrantable condos and condotels. Available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Northpointe Bank provides tailored solutions to maximize your profitably and help grow your business. View program details for more information, or email our correspondent team.
FormFree is kicking off 2021 by lifting the veil on its new branding and website. The digital mortgage innovator’s new visual identity is designed to reflect its mission of empowering consumers and lenders with a transparent view into borrower financial DNA. Writes in director of marketing Sarah Crossley: “FormFree is ushering in a new era for lending, turning the current lender-driven verification model on its head and empowering consumers with transparency into and control over their financial data. With our rebrand and new website, we are able to tell the story of how greater insight into consumer financial DNA opens the door to improved credit decisioning and a more financially inclusive U.S. economy.”
Training and Virtual Conferences
What lies ahead for the mortgage industry in 2021? It's important for originators and lenders to keep the constant stream of news in context in order to know how to best help their clients. Join MMG Chief Market Analyst Bill Bodnar and me for the Industry Outlook 2021 webinar on Wednesday, January 20th at 2:00 p.m. ET, as we discuss some of the “big picture” industry topics for the year ahead.
Arch MI complimentary Webinars offer expert training on a wide range of industry topics.
National MI’s training line-up for January includes How to Avoid Scatterbrain in 2021 with Bruce Lund, Ph.D.: January 6th, Accelerating Performance with Andrew Oxley: January 12th, How to Deal with Change Before it Deals with You, Part I: January 13th, How to be Confident (and Successful) Selling on Camera: January 14th, Adapting Your Sales Strategy to a New Era of Homebuying, w/ Cultural Outreach: January 19th, and Preparing for the New URLA with Scott Weghorst: January 21st.
MGIC's January Webinar Schedule is posted and registration is open.
Genworth Mortgage Insurance is kicking off the new year with new That MI Guy material for new-to-industry loan officers and a co-hosted webinar with Freddie Mac that will take a deep dive into the secondary market. Core offerings including Intro to the Mortgage Industry, An Overview of the New URLA, Understanding Desktop Underwriter - Advanced Guidelines, and Loan Product Advisor - Advanced Guidelines also will be available. View the full January Training Calendar.
Join Optimal Blue tomorrow, January 6, for an informative webinar on the Benefits of Delivering Loans Mandatory and Strategies to Achieve Maximum Revenue. NYMBA Members register here.
Register for RMA & WMBA’s Joint Event on January 7th. An Economic Update with John Mitchell: New Year, Same Virus, Different World.
Whatever your 2021 training plans MBA Education has online offerings to assist. Tuesday, January 19th Register for Engaging Borrowers in Today’s Digital Environment. Register for School of Loan Origination starting on Tuesday, January 19th - February 11th. Best Execution Analysis in the Secondary Mortgage Market on January 26th Register now. Register for The State of the Mortgage Industry: Building a Sustainable Operating Model for 2021 and Beyond on Thursday, January 28th.
Join Plaza Home Mortgage® leaders Jeff Leinan, EVP, National Wholesale Production, and Mike Modell, EVP, Capital Markets on Thursday January 7, 11:00 AM PT as they Look Back on 2020 & Think Forward in the New Year. Plaza is providing a couple of On-Demand courses to watch anytime. The topics include: Enhanced Customer Service Through Better Business Communications and Utilizing Calyx Wholesaler MarketPlace. Plaza’s January Webinar’s include Preventing Mortgage Fraud - Take a Closer Look: Monday, January 11th, Plaza's Reverse Mortgage Basics: Tuesday, January 12th, Address Your Stress and Refresh! Friday, January 15th, and Redesigned Loan Application Sneak Peek Tuesday, January 19th.
Insellerate and BeSmartee ask, “Are you looking to grow your lending business in 2021?” If so, don’t miss this important and timely webinar, “Leveraging Digital to Enhance the Borrower Experience in Today’s Virtual World” on January 13th at 10:00 PST.
Join the Top Michigan Real Estate/Housing Associations on Wednesday, January 20th for an Inaugural Virtual Event designed to help enhance the communication and collaboration amongst members of associations affiliated with Michigan’s real estate industry. Attendees will gain deeper insight into their peer associations’ priorities, acquire timely information, and build relationships with their cross-industry peers.
MBAF is offering two Doug Smith Webinars on January 20th: Selling to Realtors in Today's Market is a 45-minute webinar presenting ten powerful “do and don’ts” for targeting and working with Real Estate agents effectively and successfully in 2021. And the 45-minute webinar, Building a Winning Team, presents the 8 core competencies managers need to develop in their originators if their goal is to have a high volume “winning” team.
The Non-QM market has bounced back after a brief pause earlier this year, and with operations ramping up, there has never been a better time to convene the industry. The launch of IMN's Virtual Non-QM Forum is scheduled for January 21. This full-fledged virtual event will feature multiple panel sessions, exhibits, networking/online chatting, meeting scheduling, detailed reporting etc. Secure your spot for this January event to meet and network with an expected 500+ event delegation.
Register for an FHA DE Underwriting Live Training led by Marianne Collins, Diehl Mortgage Training & Compliance on February 6th, 13th, and 20th. Normally the cost of this 12-hour training, including handouts, unlimited Q & A, and a certificate of completion, is $499/person. However, MBAC Members will receive a $100/person discount by entering the Coupon Code of: FHAUWT100.
SimpleNexus has opened registration to and announced the agenda for its third annual SimpleNexus User Group (SNUG) conference, which will be held virtually on February 22-24.
The 2021 American Mortgage Conference has been rescheduled to take place on March 23rd. “It will take place in an innovative, virtual format filled with live sessions and OnDemand content that includes a panel of industry experts, peer discussion, live networking sessions with exhibitors and general session headline speakers at this year's event. This one-of-a-kind program brings together leading experts in the financial services industry, policymakers, investors, and mortgage practitioners.”
While the availability of vaccines has many market participants excited to usher in a new period of economic growth, that optimism may need to be tempered given the bad news that has accompanied the start of 2021. Talk to open the week revolved around the more-easily spread variant of the novel coronavirus first spotted in the U.K., which has forced Britain into another national lockdown, and reportedly landed in multiple U.S. locations.
This week was supposed to center around Fed-speak as well as the FOMC minutes tomorrow and jobs report on Friday, but today’s GA Senate runoff elections could be market-moving as well. If Democrats were to win both seats and the balance of power shifted left, it would likely result in stricter tax policy. All that being said, U.S. Treasuries and MBS began this first week of 2021 on a mixed, but mostly flat, note, while the UMBS30 basis ended mostly tighter, led by lower coupons. Total construction spending increased 0.9 percent in November, as expected, showing strength largely due to sustained low mortgage rates.
Today’s light economic calendar has the non-market moving Redbook same store sales for the week ending January 2, followed by December ISM manufacturing PMI and some Fed-speak (Chicago Fed President Evans and New York’s Williams). Today’s schedule sees the Desk conducting three operations, including two in Class A, totaling up to $7.1 billion. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices worse/down a few ticks and the 10-year yielding .93 after closing yesterday at 0.92 percent.
Employment, Promotions, and a Retirement
Keep your eye on SimpleNexus in 2021. This morning news broke that the firm received $108 million in Series B funding led by global venture-capital and private-equity firm Insight Partners. What does SimpleNexus plan to do with all that cash? According to company president Cathleen Schreiner Gates, “We will build on the momentum we received from bringing to market the best eClosing experience lenders and consumers have ever seen. Our vision is to hone the entire homeownership journey from the borrower’s first contact with a Realtor to the closing table and beyond.” Accordingly, SimpleNexus is hiring in every department. Check out its careers page to grab a role at one of the industry’s fastest-growing tech players.
ReverseVision has promoted its president Joe Langner to president and chief executive officer where he will lead ReverseVision’s mission to empower America’s seniors to use home equity as part of retirement finance.
CBC Mortgage Agency, a nationally chartered housing finance agency, has promoted Miki Adams to president where she will “lead a team of more than 70 employees in the effort to increase homeownership for low- and moderate-income families who might otherwise be unable to save for a down payment.”
And 36-year warehouse vet Jerry Davis announced his retirement, effective January 1st, from Prosperity Bank, aka Legacy Texas Bank. “From our inception in 2008 we built an extremely successful warehouse division that I was extremely proud to be a part. I have been fortunate to meet, and become associated with, numerous professional people in the mortgage and banking industry, including clients, other warehouse competitors, and all of those through all my years associated with the MBA, I have and will cherish these people. I will miss the cycles, both up and down, and the successes & challenges we all shared together. My final comment, with a little boasting, in my 36 years of warehousing, the teams I was a part of never lost one dollar for any of the banks we worked for, saying so much about the team. If any of you are in the Denver area, and in need of a round of golf or a glass of wine, please do not hesitate in reaching out to me at (303)-907-2446, or drop me a line. Thank all of you for sharing my career.”