There are plenty of MLOs (mortgage loan originators) out there very pleased with their earnings for 2020. In a non-random sample, several CEOs with whom I spoke had retail LOs earn more than a million clams, all in a compliant manner. It is good to remember that some of the changes made as a result of the “Financial Crisis” were in the area of LO comp(ensation), especially to prevent steering and taking advantage of borrowers. Importantly, LO Comp doesn’t restrict how creditors price their loans, only how they compensate LOs (including brokers). This has many ramifications, For example, many in the industry question worse pricing for self-employed borrowers, or better pricing for W-2 borrowers. The pricing has always varied for high credit score borrowers, or loan to value, but MLOs can't charge, or be paid more, for a complex file or high-risk borrower. Compliance folks will tell you that self-employed borrowers are not a protected class under ECOA. They can be treated with higher rates based off increased risk and a more intense underwriting process. More compliance news below!


Lender Services and products

The mortgage business has never been a cakewalk. Brokers and loan officers have always had to constantly find new ways to market and reinvent themselves in an often volatile and highly competitive environment. But with recent demographic shifts and technology disruption, even the most tried-and-tested mortgage marketing simply won’t cut it anymore. This game is zero-sum. The good news is, there is a wealth of successful mortgage professionals who are able to keep themselves at the front of the pack. For these standout brokers, flexible tactics coupled with a consistent, systematic approach to marketing their mortgage business is what allows them to prosper no matter what. Leading mortgage CRM Shape Software reached out to some of the industry’s top producers and experts to learn how to create a more resilient marketing plan for your business. Check out these 5 key predictions and whatever you do in 2021, keep moving forward!

“As the rush of mortgages and refis comes roaring back after the holidays, it’s no secret that everyone’s feeling the deluge and leaving valuable loans on the table. At Truework, we know you’re feeling overwhelmed. Here are three things you can do to stop leaving valuable loans on the table, and take advantage of the market so you can come out on top. Truework is a US-based company with an expansive and ever-growing network and a dedicated team of mortgage professionals that are committed to tackling and completing any and all VOE/VOI requests. Additionally, we are the market leader for coverage for small and mid-sized companies. Start a verification on Truework now. Furthermore, with Truework, you can reverify employment for any request within 90 days of the original, receive up-to-date statuses on all verification reports, and get fast turnaround times. And for a limited time, Rob Chrisman readers get 6 free Verifications ($240 value). Let us do the heavy lifting so you can focus on what matters. Set up time with Zackary Green now for questions and to claim this offer.”

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 to get started.

There’s no doubt 2020 was a busy year that set all kinds of records. Some folks think a slowdown in 2021 is inevitable, but Triserv doesn’t agree. They’ve pored through a number of data points from various sources to bring you a succinct summary of industry predictions. Here’s a sneak peek: it looks like it’s going to be a Hot Winter, folks! Click here for a quick read as to why real estate transactions are projected to continue to boom throughout 2021. This information is brought to you by Triserv, a 50-state AMC that has client-specific, dedicated teams on both coasts offering high-touch, personalized service. To find out more, contact Triserv Appraisal Management Solutions at

Stewart Title continues to expand its capabilities in digital mortgage fulfillment, acquiring NorthStar Title Services in Cleveland, OH. The acquisition of NorthStar Title Services is the fifth for Stewart over the past seven months. Its most recent acquisitions include United States Appraisals in June, 57 title offices in Arizona, Colorado and Nevada from ET Investments in September, Alaska’s Yukon Title Co. Inc. in September, Pro-Teck Services Ltd. in October, and NotaryCam in December. Stewart is also investing in innovative technology in the appraisal process, delivering increased valuation intelligence through the VALIDITY™ guided homeowner inspection app. This app is being used by mortgage originators, non-QM investors and Home Equity lenders who want quality valuation data and quicker service levels. To learn how Stewart’s lender solutions can help you improve your processes, email Rich Kuegler, National Director of Sales.

Get Connected with the Connexions Mobile Solutions. As the pandemic continues to escalate, Connexions promotes appraisal community safety by facilitating virtual appraisals with the CNX360 Virtual Appraisal Tool. Appraisals can be completed faster while maintaining safety protocols with CNX360 by engaging homeowners to take and upload home photos from their mobile phone while completing a simple property questionnaire and then notifying Appraisers so they can incorporate the photos into their appraisal reports. In addition, the free GetConnexions mobile app is available to all Connexions users, giving both Appraisal Coordinators and the Appraisers the ability to perform many daily tasks while they’re on the go. Through innovation, technology, and client feedback, Connexions continues to deliver mobile solutions that increase productivity by optimizing appraisal processes. When selecting appraisal management technology, make sure it addresses all of your appraisal requirements, or better yet, schedule a demo today and get connected with Connexions!

Servicer retention rates are among the lowest on record even though refinance volumes continue to climb. To stay competitive, it is crucial for servicers to provide their customers with a positive experience. Black Knight continues to make investments in its technology to help servicers better support their borrowers and improve retention. Black Knight offers a comprehensive suite of servicing solutions, including the MSP® loan servicing system, which provides robust automation and digital capabilities to enhance retention efforts and support business growth. MSP integrates with an advanced customer-facing, digital servicing solution that provides detailed information about a customer’s loan and home, while offering self-service capabilities such as making payments or requesting forbearance-plan extensions via their mobile device. To help further improve retention rates, Black Knight offers actionable analytics to identify revenue-generating and retention opportunities within your portfolio. No matter the size of your operation, MSP can help. Learn more today.


Remember MSAs? For any lender receiving business from them, the guidelines are much better spelled out. The FAQs provide an overview of the provisions of RESPA Section 8 and respective Regulation X sections, and address the application of certain provisions to common scenarios described in Bureau inquiries involving gifts and promotional activities, and marketing services agreements (MSAs).

The Latest Compliance Updates from First American Docutech include Document Updates: Alaska and Hawaii Notarial Requirements for RON and Revised Form HUD-92900-A, HUD Addendum to URLA. First American Docutech is also updating various VA documents to match the most recent revisions published on the VA’s website.

The Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending finalized Amendments to Chapters 80 and 81 of its Administrative Code. Click the link to view the information as posted by First American Docutech Compliance News.

The Social Security Administration posted revised versions of Form SSA-89 (both in English and in Spanish) on its website. These versions were anticipated, since they form a critical part of the SSA’s new Electronic Consent Based Social Security Number Verification (“eCBSV”) system.

Training and Virtual Events 

On Jan 21, from 1-2pm ET, learn how to execute on the best borrower retention strategy in Mortgage Lending. Lenders agree on one thing, the ultimate judge of whether a technology investment is effective or not is ROI. Your Borrower Retention strategy should be no different. In this webinar, Scott Payne, CEO of SDP Solutions will show how he leverages three key technologies to implement the most effective Borrower Retention strategy in the industry for top-performing Lenders. You’ll learn 1) how to protect your portfolio, 2) how to act on intelligence, and 3) how to track the performance of each of these technologies. Scott is joined by executives from each of those technology companies: Hector Galicia (Director PSO, ICE Mortgage Technology), Mike Eshelman, CMB (Head of Consumer Finance, Jornaya), and Alex Kutsishin (CEO, Sales Boomerang). Register now.

Rich Swerbinsky, the COO of The Mortgage Collaborative, and I will be discussing current events in the mortgage market this Friday at 3PM ET in, “The Rundown with Rob and Rich.” Register here for the 30-minute session to help wrap up the week.

loanDepot Wholesale/Correspondent Events and Training Calendar.

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 10PT.

Register for Carrington Correspondent’s webinar today regarding FHA Manual Underwriting: Credit Fundamentals.

During a virtual press conference on January 14 ABA Economic Advisory Committee Chair Beata Caranci, SVP, and chief economist for TD Bank Group, will present the latest consensus economic forecast from the panel made up of top economists at some of North America’s largest banks. RSVP REQUIRED: Please contact Gabrielle James-Johnson to RSVP and receive login/dial-in information.

On January 15th, Plaza Home Mortgage is providing a short webinar, Address Your Stress and Refresh presented by Lauren McCalmont, Training Specialist.

Jumbos are back at Mountain West Financial. Register for its Webinar on Wednesday, January 20th to hear MAXEX Director, Keith Polk, discuss the new MAXEX Jumbo Program and how it can help you and your clients.

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 and 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 is a full-fledged virtual event.

Williston Financial Group (WFG) the parent of WFG National Title Insurance Company, offers, "Economic Outlook & Title Insurance in a Turbulent Era," featuring WFG Executive Chairman and Founder Patrick F. Stone and Economist Dr. Bill Conerly, on Wednesday, January 21, at 10 am EST / 7 am PST. Stone and Conerly will answer submitted questions about the current state and possible future of title, lending, and real estate. It’s free, but seat reservations are required and can be made by clicking this link

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.

Capital Markets

Another bland day in the bond market yesterday although Agency MBS prices improved by the end of the day resulting in some price changes. Treasuries pulled back (i.e., sank in price) for the sixth consecutive day, this time just +1 bp across the entirety of the curve, and the MBS basis closed mixed. The trading day saw a well-received 10-year auction, a decline in the December NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, and a decrease in Job Openings to 6.527 million in November.

Today’s economic calendar is already underway. Mortgage applications increased 16.7 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the MBA Applications Survey for the week ending January 8. We’ve also received December consumer prices, both as expected (+.4 and core +.1, respectively). This afternoon brings the release of the January Fed Beige Book and the December Treasury Budget from the CBO, as well as an auction of $24 billion reopened 30-year Treasury bonds. Today also sees another heavy dose of Fed speakers (St. Louis’ Bullard, Governor Brainard, Philadelphia’s Harker, and Fed Vice Chair Clarida. Today’s Desk support is the largest of the week at $7.1 billion, including over $5.5 billion in UMBS30s across two operations. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices a smidge better/up and the 10-year yielding 1.13 after closing yesterday at 1.14 percent.


Jobs and Name Changes

Assurance Financial would like to congratulate Lindsay Anders on becoming a Certified Mortgage Banker (CMB). Ms. Anders joins Paul M. Peters and Chad Hebert as the company’s third CMB. She has risen through the ranks at Assurance Financial over the past 12+ years and currently serves on its National Business Development Team, recruiting top mortgage professionals nationwide. Assurance Financial is continuing to grow production, add retail branch offices, and expand its production reach. Contact Lindsay Anders, CMB or visit to learn more about the company’s Branch Manager and MLO opportunities nationwide.

A $5 billion/year well capitalized IMB is investing further into recruiting and has opened 4 new regions for growth and are seeking 4 experienced recruiters to lead each market development plan by sourcing productive branches and teams for both P&L and hybrid set ups. Each region has a plan that is de-novo build out to 1billion in recruiting volume acquired per region. This is an awesome opportunity for those looking to achieve that next level in their recruiting career, not to mention the high-income earning potential. Excellent comp package, career path, assistant provided, market insight tools provided. The firm as all the pieces in place for additional growth & opportunity attraction like impressive tech, awesome y-o-y sales retention, and branch growth statistics (pre-2020). The firm is even staffed for additional production growth in advance to maintain quick service levels! For confidential consideration, please e-mail resume to Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt.

Arizona’s CNN Mortgage will begin operating under a new name:  with a new logo and website.