Let’s start the first 5-day workweek of 2019 off with something entirely non-mortgage related, although “unintended consequences from revenue-based decisions” come to mind. Weight can be a serious matter. (I admit that I have trouble keeping the pounds off with my diet of Cap’n Crunch for breakfast, salami and cheese for lunch, and pasta in cream sauce for dinner.) Recently, upon arriving at the gate on a United flight at the Denver Airport, the passengers were all told to stay seated when the plane stopped, something about unloading some luggage from the rear. Turns out there are certain 737s that were stretched to add a few more rows, but this changed the balance on the things and they discovered that when the passengers at the front of the plane got off first (as they invariably do), the stretched jet would tip backwards from all the weight still in the back as shown in this short surveillance video.
According to The Mortgage List there are 1,446 vendors that touch the mortgage biz. How does anyone keep track? Here’s a random sample.
Well, Equifax is back in the news, this time in a Wall Street Journal article about the company being “in the crosshairs” of the incoming Congress and Maxine Waters. All vendors are taking note of the many proposals focused on possible changes to how the industry handles consumer information.
Roostify announced that all consumer-facing aspects of its application platform are now accessible for customers with disabilities. Roostify is certified to Web Compatibility and Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Level AA, enabling lenders to offer an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant loan experience to their applicants. Homebuyers and homeowners can now take advantage of comprehensive screen reader usability, color contrast/font usage, enlarged display performance and keyboard controls throughout their home loan process.
The company’s consumer experience was recently certified by an independent third-party as being WCAG 2.0, Level AA-compliant. The AA designation represents a standard of accessibility for all users, including people with limited or no vision, limited or no hearing, colorblindness and limited mobility.
After receiving all the necessary regulatory approvals, Computershare Loan Services has completed its acquisition of LenderLive Financial Services, LLC and its operating subsidiary LenderLive Network, LLC, a leading fulfillment and secondary market service provider in the U.S. mortgage industry. LenderLive Network, LLC (LLN) has offices in the Denver and Jacksonville, Florida, areas. “This acquisition will further strengthen Computershare's growth in the U.S. mortgage services market, adding scale to existing fulfillment and secondary market services provided by Credit Risk Solutions (formerly Altavera) and Capital Markets Cooperative, and providing an additional source of new servicing volume as well as further enhancing CLS's ability to work with both government-sponsored and private market investors.”
Ellie Mae announced enhancements to Encompass Consumer Connect™ including identity, employment and income verification. “These enhancements help lenders provide a more streamlined application process to help foster interest, engage with homebuyers and convert more opportunities. Since the launch of Encompass Consumer Connect on July 9, 2018, Ellie Mae has seen more than 500 clients with more than 2,000 unique sites and over 140,000 applications in progress. Some lenders are seeing a three-day reduction in turn times from application to underwritten loan.”
The focus of Docutechs’ December Industry Spotlight is how Veri-Tax is assisting Lenders in satisfying Fannie Mae's requirements.
Docutech is now supporting Coops, loans secured by a borrower’s ownership shares and lease in a cooperative unit (“cooperative loans”), in Alaska, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Read more information about Docutech’s update here. The company announced its collaboration with Tavant, the leading digital mortgage products and platforms company to provide lenders and borrowers with a more efficient and digitized mortgage origination experience. Docutech’s ConformX dynamic document generation engine and Solex eDelivery and eSignature technology will be integrated into Tavant VΞLOX digital lending platform enabling a more modern, digital mortgage experience. Through this integration with FinConnect, a component of VΞLOX, lenders can seamlessly select Docutech as their document provider for a streamlined document integration process. Likewise, borrowers will be able to electronically receive and sign disclosures anytime on any device though Solex by way of Tavant’s consumer direct portal – FinXperience Consumer.
Subsequent to Docutechs’ state-by-state construction-to-permanent review, discussed in a previous post, it has modified and added several documents for Texas construction-to-permanent loans. This was necessary because Texas construction loans are not structured the same as they are in other states. The post Document Updates: Construction-to-Permanent Changes for Texas Loans appeared first on Compliance.
For lack of a better “benchmark,” despite the fact that most 30-year mortgages have a maturity (e.g., payoff) of 7-8 years, the lending industry tends to follow the yield on the 10-year risk-free Treasury note. And for those who track these things, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note ended 2018 at 2.68%, up 0.27 percentage points from the 2.41% it finished at on 12/31/17. The 10-year note yield was 2.57% on 8/05/11, the day that the rating agency S&P downgraded the USA from a top-rating that our nation had held for 70 years. Remember that?
The first economic releases of the new year have showed a slowdown in the production side of the economy as the ISM Manufacturing survey tumbled 5.2 points to 54.1; its lowest level since 2016. The primary driver of the lower reading was due to an 11-point drop in the new orders component as well as declining order backlogs. While the index is still in the expansion range, the declines were broad-based which are typical of those observed prior to the onset of a recession and will be watched closely by policymakers. Regardless, employment data remained strong as nonfarm payrolls increased by 312,000 in December and the prior two months’ data were revised upward. While there was mention of some catch-up due to hurricanes and fires this fall, December’s payroll numbers were good news and manufacturing and construction employment saw big gains for the month. So we start the year with a weak leading indicator, a strong lagging indicator and comments from Fed President Powell suggesting a wait and see strategy for policy changes.
Rates are certainly reflecting the possibility of a slowing economy. The U.S. 10-year closed last week yielding 2.66% as volatility reigned supreme over concerns surrounding tech markets, the trade war with China, and the U.S. government shutdown. China's Ministry of Commerce confirmed that trade talks with U.S. officials will take place today and tomorrow, which added optimism into capital markets despite U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer reportedly saying that more tariffs may be needed in order to secure concessions from China.
Fed Chairman Jay Powell took part in a panel discussion with former Fed Chairs Yellen and Bernanke, at which Chairman Powell's acknowledged that the policy course can be altered swiftly. It should be noted that the Fed Chair has said on multiple occasions that monetary policy is not on a pre-set course, and he took the time to reiterate that the Fed's economic outlook has not changed significantly. On Friday, the implied probability of a December cut declined to 30.8% from Thursday's 49.3%.
Other international news included the People's Bank of China announcing plans to lower its reserve requirement ratio in two separate 50-basis point cuts later this month. Currently, the RRR for large banks is at 14.5% while the RRR for smaller banks is at 12.5%. And on the Brexit front, a poll conducted by The Telegraph showed that most Conservative lawmakers prefer a no-deal Brexit over the deal negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May. Sammy Wilson, who is the Brexit spokesman for Northern Ireland's DUP, said that his party cannot support the agreement negotiated by Prime Minister May.
This week marks the first full week of the year for markets, though the economic calendar is likely to remain disrupted with some releases potentially cancelled due to the government shutdown. Those releases include today's factory orders, Tuesday's trade, Thursday's wholesale inventories and Friday's budget. That leaves ISM nonmanufacturing, consumer credit, JOLTS, and CPI as the primary releases for the week. Fedspeak is also heavy including three speakers this weekend with Chair Powell and Vice Chair Clarida both scheduled to speak Thursday, as well as the release of the minutes from last month's FOMC meeting on Wednesday.
Today's economic calendar kicks off (no factory orders numbers due to the shutdown) with the December Employment Trends Index and the ISM Nonmanufacturing PMI, expected to decline. In the afternoon Atlanta Fed President Bostic will speak on economic outlook and monetary policy. We begin today with the 10-year yielding 2.63% and Agency 30-year MBS prices better by a solid .125 versus Friday afternoon.
Lender Products and Services
“Happy New Year! Here’s to having a fresh start with a better warehouse line. With the industry facing reduced originations and compressed profit margins, you may find your warehouse lender revisiting the terms of your agreement. Now is the perfect time to make a change and partner with a bank that is more agile with the terms and conditions of a warehouse line. At FLCB (Florida Capital Bank) we’ll negotiate customer specific terms, regarding covenants, haircuts, pledge accounts, per loan fees, line rates, non-usage fees and more. We have over 80 approved takeout investors, in addition to our own competitive products. Make 2019 the year to partner with a cost effective and efficient warehouse team. Call Dan Hastings, CMB, National Warehouse Sales Manager at 318-547-1357 to ring in the New Year with a warehouse line tailored with the best terms to meet your 2019 business goals.”
Have you heard about the Anything and Everything Home™ portal YourHome1Source®? That’s [YH1S.com]YH1S.com for those challenged on the keyboard! This innovative and fast-growing platform was launched in 2015 by home industry and ecommerce execs. Sean Stockell, CEO says, “[YH1S.com]YH1S provides broad resources and solutions for homebuyers and homeowners – all in one place. Visitors search and find a myriad of home topics quickly, i.e. buy, sell, build, remodel, loans, insurance, warranties, security, kitchen, garden, furniture & décor, inspectors, contractors, green home, etc. Homebuyers find advice, videos, products and services in seconds. Business mogul, Kathy Ireland® became a business partner in 2018. “Kathy was intrigued with YourHome1Source® because our platform is convenient and builds trust with today’s digital home-consumer. We feature many of Kathy’s products today,” says Sean Stockell, CEO. “For all home industry segments, we offer immediate and cost-effective digital strategies to reach new customers”, says Stockell. Inquire at Marketplace@YourHome1Source.com.
New Penn Financial Is Now NewRez. Effective today, national mortgage lender New Penn Financial, LLC has changed its name to NewRez LLC (NewRez). Founded in 2008, the company was acquired by New Residential Investment Corp. in July 2018. The name change reflects the close alignment between NewRez and its parent company and the combined organization’s commitment to helping homeowners, investing in communities, and bringing value to its customer relationships and strategic partnerships. “This rebranding marks the completion of our transition into the New Residential family and the beginning of a bright new chapter for our entire organization,” said Kevin Harrigan, President and Chief Executive Officer of NewRez. The NewRez brand pillars include: serving as Trusted Advisors, providing Product Innovation and Leadership, ensuring Ease of Process, and playing an active role in Community Investment. Find more information about the NewRez brand and the company’s product offerings at www.newrez.com.
Momentifi CEO Gibran Nicholas is hosting a free webinar on Wednesday, January 9 at 2 pm ET: How Purpose-Driven Loan Originators Will Dominate the 2019 Mortgage Market. Topics include: how to identify the target market where you can win in 2019; how to articulate why your ideal clients and strategic partners should choose you vs. your competitors; and how to utilize technology to win more business with your target audience. Click here to register.
Jobs and Career Moves
“New Year – Fresh Start! Are you an experienced Wholesale Account Executive wanting to make a change? Looking for a company with an entrepreneurial mortgage culture of collaboration, team-based success, and the security of working for a bank? Then it’s time to call Florida Capital Bank’s Andrea Lefebvre, SVP, National Director of Production (617.899.1428), or Bob Eisendrath, National Account Manager (414.350.3986). FLCB is agency approved and has a suite of portfolio products along with money back service level agreements that will set you apart from your competition. Come join our bank and have some fun again with a team environment where everyone is passionate about delivering an exceptional customer experience with every loan. We offer competitive compensation, an energized culture, and an experienced operations & support staff. Florida Capital Bank is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.”
In retail news, congrats to John Bianchi who was named EVP for National Sales at loanDepot where he will work with the executive team to “cultivate and enhance market presence, develop differentiated products and services and create market penetration strategies designed to fuel individual producer as well as channel and company growth.”