Nobody, that I recall, predicted that 2019 would be a banner year for mortgage originators. And how about that stock market! My 401k’s balance certainly improved in 2019, yet a new report from the National Bureau of Economic Research says the cost of the trade war has been paid almost entirely by American businesses and consumers, not China. Experts and economists from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Columbia University and Princeton said analysis of tax levies found “approximately 100 percent” of import taxes fell on Americans, despite the President’s assertion the country was “taxing the hell out of China.” Some of the implemented tariffs on Chinese goods are as high as 25 percent. We can certainly expect the rhetoric to increase. And we still have ten months until the election!

Lender Products and Services

Episode 002 of “Clear to Close” Podcast from Maxwell released recently and features an impactful discussion on marketing in the mortgage industry. They discuss what lenders do well, where they have opportunities to improve, and present a scorecard of the average marketing process today as a consumer. From digital to branding, it’s an entertaining and valuable listen. Highly recommend for all lending managers and teams. Download and subscribe from your favorite podcast platform: Apple| Spotify| Google Play| Soundcloud or listen in your browser here.

For REMN Wholesale, Platinum means brokers no longer have to choose between price, speed, and customer service for government loans. With REMN's Platinum product, brokers have access to top tier pricing on both FHA and VA loans, coupled with the same industry-leading 24-hour turn times that matter in our increasingly high paced industry. The industry's top brokers have always known they can depend on REMN Wholesale for quality. Now they can rely on REMN to compete on price as well. Brokers interested in finding out more about REMN's Platinum program can email their account executive directly, or connect with a REMN regional manager online through its website

After a year of eye-popping growth at QLMS, it is celebrating the partners who helped QLMS beat record after record with its Super Bowl LIV Sweepstakes. QLMS is offering two partners a once-in-a-lifetime Super Bowl experience. Partners have the chance to win the grand prize of a TICKET TO SUPER BOWL LIV in Miami, Fl, along with flight and hotel accommodations! The partner’s AE, who has been helping them build their business, will accompany them to the game. Click here to enter into the sweepstakes and start practicing your touchdown dance. Partners who use QLMS’ portal often may want to keep up that trend. You will earn bonus entries by visiting The Answer, liking and following QLMS on their social channels, updating your contact info with your AE and opting in to QLMS marketing communication. Good luck!

“2019 was another monumental year for Finance of America Mortgage. Whether it was the new proprietary Two-X Flex loan products we rolled out or the investments made into your Two-X Platform, 2019 will be a year we never forget. But we’re only getting started. 2020 is already shaping up to be even bigger. With even more new products, marketing tools, and advisor technology, we can’t wait. Want to see what all the fuss is about? Click here for a brief recap video. And to learn how you can be part of Finance of America Mortgage’s 2020, click here.”

NEXA Mortgage is one of the largest mortgage brokers with a goal to top 1000 producing Loan Officers. in 2020 NEXA was recently featured in HousingWire and as the fastest growing mortgage broker in the country. Want to know why it is growing so fast? NEXA is hosting a weekly webinar today, "Why NEXA with Mike Kortas". The CEO dives into a deep conversation of what drives this growing channel. This webinar is today at 10am PST/1pm EST at Just click on the link and join. Let them know you heard about it on Chrisman.

Calling all Marketing Managers: How difficult is it to produce compliant marketing that is targeted, localized, and customizable, while meeting your Loan Officer’s deadlines? Usherpa’s Launch Pad Custom Email Wizard and branded Marketing Portal were designed for corporate marketing teams so you can create materials that align with your unique company vision and brand strategies. Why switch between multiple systems to build content on demand when you can seamlessly design email campaigns within Usherpa CRM? Launch Pad is your one-stop shop to getting the right messages out at the right time. Effortlessly build a library of collateral that is directly linked to all your Loan Officers’ databases and Loan Origination System. Don’t hesitate, learn how Usherpa can leverage your efforts while saving you an impressive amount of time.

Vendor Activity

Insellerate’s engagement platform helped the company grow by over 100% in 2019 and has furthered its commitment to helping its lenders close more loans. Insellerate now serves both retail and consumer direct loan officers by helping lenders engage better with their borrowers and build customers for life. Insellerate will also be offering its engagement platform to wholesale lenders who are wanting to build better relationships with their brokers and provide them more value.

Secure Insight announced that it added 10,441 new closing agent profiles to its nationwide database in 2019. The company now maintains and monitors risk and performance profiles on over 70,000 professionals in all 50 states.  SI President Andrew Liput noted that now the company has reached a critical mass of quality data it expects to close several key deals to deliver data to the industry through various reseller relationships in addition offering a solution readily integrated into lender LOS systems.

Promontory MortgagePath LLC has consolidated its family of companies into one entity with a singular focus on driving down the cost and time required to originate mortgages. “The move blends three distinct teams with complementary skills and strengths, uniting Promontory Fulfillment Services LLC (PFS) and PromonTech LLC under their former parent-company banner, Promontory MortgagePath. Since their founding in 2015, the three companies have worked collaboratively to provide technology-driven mortgage fulfillment solutions with PromonTech developing proprietary point-of-sale mortgage technology, PFS providing comprehensive third-party mortgage fulfillment services, and Promontory MortgagePath concentrating on leadership and strategy.”

Radian announced the launch of its new historical home price index (HPI). The Radian HPI uses a wealth of housing market data and property valuation expertise to value nearly all of the housing inventory across the country, offering an unrivalled view on conditions and trends in the U.S. housing market. Click the link for more information about Radian HPI.

NotaryCam® announced it has been approved by the Michigan Department of State to provide both eNotary and remote online notarization (RON) services to the more than 113,000 notaries public registered in the state.

Pavaso is among the first vendors approved and authorized by the Michigan Secretary of State to support electronic notarization (eNotarization) and remote online notarization (RON) in Michigan. The announcement of approved vendors signals that eligible notaries are now free to act on 2018 legislation that permits digital notary services in the Great Lakes State.

Origence, a leading provider of lending technology and solutions to the financial services industry, announced the launch of the Origence mortgage lending platform. Designed from the ground up to handle all a company's digital mortgage needs, the highly automated platform enables lenders to streamline the mortgage process, improve efficiency, increase sales opportunities and deliver a better borrower experience.

Capital Markets

It’s a new year, and there are new loan sale executions to help you increase efficiency and achieve best execution. The popularity of bid tape AOT continues to grow, as lenders realize the savings and convenience available through a whole loan trading platform like MCT’s BAM. Since MCT rolled out the first bid tape AOT executions in May 2018, clients have saved an average of $63,000 each on transaction costs. If you haven’t been using these executions, you’ve been leaving money on the table. Learn more about the advantages and economics of these executions. Beyond bid tape AOT, advancements in agency technology facilitate live loan-level pricing with no manual data entry. Lenders can price and commit loans into Freddie Mac’s Loan Selling Advisor and Fannie Mae’s Pricing & Execution – Whole Loan® system, without leaving BAM, for loan populations of any size with a single click. Schedule a demo to learn more.

Turning from execution to interest rates, I’d rather be talking about U.S. Treasuries and MBS retreating yesterday due to a strong ADP Employment Change report for December that included an upwardly revised November reading, or even weak demand for a $24 billion 10-year Treasury note reopening, but the news de la semaine revolves around Iran. The pullback in Treasuries was largely due to both Iran’s foreign minister saying, “We do not seek escalation or war,” and President Trump retreating from war rhetoric, offering Iran a diplomatic opening. The de-escalation was helped by the Pentagon’s contention the Iranian missile barrage toward bases in Iraq that were housing U.S. troops wasn’t intended to cause casualties.

Today’s calendar is underway with weekly jobless claims for the week ending January 4 (214k, a five week low). That is it for scheduled releases but markets will also receive a full slate of Fed speakers with Vice Chair, Minneapolis’ Kashkari, New York’s Williams, Richmond’s Barkin, Chicago’s Evans, and St. Louis’ Bullard all appearing throughout the day. And the final leg of this week’s mini-Refunding takes place when the Treasury auctions $16 billion reopened 30-year bonds. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices unchanged, as is the 10-year at a 1.87 percent yield.


Jobs and Transitions

A well-established San Francisco Bay Area retail lender is looking for an experienced, well-rounded, tactical marketer to own, enhance, and drive marketing excellence. You will be responsible for all aspects of the marketing stack with a focus on strategy, implementing, and goal execution. The Lender is looking for someone that wants to roll up their sleeves and be a change creator in the mortgage industry. Experience in managing marketing design, content and social media presence is required. Resumes should be sent to Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt for forwarding. 

AmeriHome is the 4th largest correspondent investor in the country and its clients include independent mortgage bankers, community and regional banks and credit unions of all sizes as their product menu continues to expand! AmeriHome offers both delegated and non-delegated underwriting options, and recently expanded their Non-Agency offerings, including their Non-QM Income Flex program. AmeriHome has big plans for 2020 and has a number of key positions available at their corporate headquarters in Westlake Village, CA as well as their offices in Dallas, TX. The investor is looking for leadership in Operations and Credit Operations (Underwriting, Account Management, and Training) as well as Non-Delegated Sales and Non-Agency Business Development. Visit AmeriHome’s Careers Page for more information. 

Want to make $118,202 to $153,659 per year? Me too! The FHA needs to fill the role of Director, Quality Assurance Division within its Office of Single Family Housing: 20-HUD-329-P (open to the public) or 20-HUD-328 (open to specific groups). Among many things, the job includes directing and supervising three Branch Chiefs and supporting employees who are responsible for carrying out the Department's risk management program for single family housing program participants.

Plaza Home Mortgage, Inc. announced that Michelle Richardson has joined the company as SVP of Treasury and Finance, responsible for Plaza’s Treasury department, including warehouse relationships, cash management and the company’s Corporate Funding department. She will report to Mike Fontaine, Plaza’s COO & CFO. Congratulations!

Guaranteed Rate has named Marc Demetriou as a VP of Mortgage Lending for the northern New Jersey area.