We find ourselves at Wednesday already. How about some numbers for Hump Day? Years ago Arnold Schwarzenegger famously said, “Having more money doesn't make you happier. I have $50 million dollars, but I'm just as happy as when I had $48 million.” JPMorgan Chase's profit surged 21% in the fourth quarter, reaching $8.52 billion, while Wells Fargo reported a 53 percent year over year drop after setting aside $1.5 billion for litigation fees. The US budget deficit reached $1.02 trillion in 2019, according to the Treasury Department. This marks the first time the deficit has topped $1 trillion since 2012. And Atlas Van Lines tells us that California is simultaneously #1 in both people moving into the state and moving out of the state! (Texans can chant, “We’re #2! We’re #2!) But California has been seeing a net loss of population for a variety of reasons, including a maximum income tax of 13%, widespread power grid issues, and unaffordable housing.

Lender Products and Services

Looking to grow in 2020? Monster Lead Group introduces The Monster Way, an unprecedented 8-week plan to radically change the future of your mortgage business. The Monster Way is a formidable combination of a direct marketing system, a sales process and a custom playbook for growing your organization. It includes a dedicated Monster expert who works with you to create an 8-week direct marketing campaign that generates a consistent flow of the right leads to your inbound call team. We’ll train your MLOs how to turn more of those calls into apps using the same professional sales techniques as the highest producing originators in the country. Your reps will graduate with the secret sauce for generating record sales in any market, regardless of rates. Join our clients who originated more than $10 billion in 2019. Find out if your organization and The Monster Way are a good match: Apply. (Space is limited due to high demand.)

FundingShield finished 2019 with over 300% growth, became the first and only MISMO Certified wire fraud prevention & closing agent vetting tool & made its services accessible via a single click on Encompass by Ellie Mae. The HousingWire Tech100 2019 award recipient starts 2020 by adding consumer down-payment wire fraud protection for lenders to provide to their borrowers via B2B2C integrations with lenders and realtors and continue to grow their database of over 70,000 closing agents. For a few dollars a loan Fundingshield will protect closing proceeds to confirm funds are going to intended recipients, verify good standing of closing agents, check licensing & backgrounds & confirm the title insurer’s acceptance of risk on each closing lowering your operating and vendor diligence costs. Leverage their live FinTech solutions to confirm every loan is protected with up to $2mm per transaction coverage. Contact Sales@Fundingshield.com or meet them at MBA IMB in NOLA, MBA Tech LA or Ellie Mae Connect in San Diego.

Lenders like PRMG, Wallick & Volk, AnnieMac, Churchill Mortgage, American Pacific Mortgage, and Willow Bend Mortgage. What are these lenders doing differently? They've realized what over 70 other lenders have already discovered:what Sales Boomerang's Automated Borrower Retention System will do for them when the market shifts completely. This is your recession buster. Schedule a demo and be prepared for whatever the market brings. 

Events and Training Through February

Freedom Mortgage Wholesale’s No Down Payment VA Jumbo program enables eligible jumbo borrowers to exceed published FHFA county loan limits with no down payment requirement, jumbo overlays, or loan limits! 2020 VA Mortgage Marketing training on 1/15 and 1/17

As part of the TMBA Education Webinar Series, MQMR invites you to login, listen and learn on January 15th as Dayna Silver, MQMR's Director of Strategic Initiatives, discusses how to develop and implement successful vendor management programs. The Fine Art of Vendor Management.

This webinar on the transition from LIBOR to SOFR will examine a variety of issues including awareness, conversion, transition and challenges. It will appeal to small and mid-size banks, credit unions, non-bank lenders, student loan providers, municipalities, corporations, insurers, servicers, broker dealers, custodians, money managers, REITs, hedge funds, consumers and investors. January 16, 10-11AM PT.

XINNIX is hosting an event January 22 at noon ET that will help you answer that question to help you finetune your 2020 plan. XINNIX CEO and Founder Casey Cunningham and mortgage industry thought leader Nicole Yung, Senior Partner at STRATMOR Group will tackle the subject. Learn from 2019 to make 2020 great, the role that technology will play in next year’s success, what to do to stay productive WHEN (not if) the market turns, and more.

Get connected in 2020! Join the California MBA at one of its two free after-hours networking events this month and get the year (and decade) started off right! On January 23, Clear Capital will be hosting an event from 5-7 pm at its Roseville offices (click here to RSVP) and if you’re in Orange County on January 28, join the group at the offices of Womble Bond Dickinson in Irvine, also from 5-7 (click here to RSVP).   

Register for Ellie Mae’s January 23rd Webinar: How to Boost LO Productivity and Loan Volumes by 25%. This webinar will provide a live product demonstration and overview of the most impactful ways for your loan officers to boost productivity and increase sales using LO Connect, including how to: Originate loans from anywhere. Compare loan scenarios for potential borrowers. Determine borrower eligibility and send eligibility letters. eSign disclosures.

Do you want to see were technology in 2020 and the latest trends in consumer engagement meet? If so, join Josh Friend, the CEO of Insellerate, for a webinar on January 28th at 10:30 PST and understand how Insellerate’s platform helps lenders engage with more than 50,000 new borrowers per month. You will learn how Insellerate’s all new stand-alone engagement platform automates communications through social media, text messages, email, phone calls, ringless voicemail, and direct mail.

On January 30th, join the Mortgage Bankers Association of Greater Philadelphia and Holland & Knight's Philadelphia office for a free MBA event: Employment Law for Financial Institutions in the Post-Harvey Weinstein Era.

From February 3-6, MBA’s Independent Mortgage Bankers Conference will be in New Orleans where IMB leadership and their management teams will hear the latest industry happenings and get new perspectives to position themselves competitively for 2020 and beyond.

The Mortgage Bankers Association of New Jersey, in conjunction with the NJ Bankers Association and the NJ State Bar Association, will be having dinner with the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance, Marlene Caride, on February 6 at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick.

The FHA has free, on-site Credit Underwriting Training in Denver on February 11 from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. Receive an overview of FHA underwriting procedures and addresses various industry-related FAQs related to FHA’s Handbook 4000.1.

The Americatalyst Conference is scheduled for February 11th-12th in Dallas. The conference will look at the future of mortgage banking, non-bank lending, technology and its influence, government policy and more. Find out more information by viewing the agenda.

On Wednesday, February 12th, join CAMP South L.A. for a free 2-hour event. From 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM at the University of Phoenix to hear guest speaker Nancy West, the Housing Program Officer for HUD offering insightful information about FHA updates. Email to register.

Join NYAMB for a live webinar, February 13th, featuring legal counsel: Michael Barone, Partner, Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson, LLP and highlighting the various issues surrounding loan originator compensation in a mortgage broker’s world, including the 1099/W-2 distinction, changing from borrower paid to lender paid compensation and vice-versa, setting compensation plans with lenders and the manner upon which you can vary compensation on lender paid and borrower paid transactions. 

On February 19th, in the evening, the Charlotte Regional Mortgage Lenders Association is having its monthly meeting. Come on by and say hello!

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University have organized Room to Grow: Housing for a New Economy. This one-day Conference in Dallas on February 21st provides industry analysts, economists and experts to learn about the latest trends affecting housing, and discover developments that promise to change home buying.

Capital Markets

Tuesday saw U.S. Treasuries reverse Monday’s action to post lower yields by the close after a softer-than-expected core CPI report in the morning, and an afternoon report that existing U.S. tariffs on billions of dollars in Chinese goods would carry on until a Phase Two deal is struck. Core CPI year-over-year has now exceeded the Fed’s 2 percent target for three straight months, though the Fed seems to have adopted a willingness to let inflation run above its longer-run goal for a bit before moving on rates. Also, remember that the PCE price data is the Fed's preferred inflation gauge, and the latest report showed core-PCE inflation sitting at less than 2 percent year-over-year. Despite today’s scheduled Phase One agreement signing, Bloomberg reported that tariffs on imports from China will remain in place through the November election, regardless of timing for the signing of a Phase Two deal.

The NY Fed announced it planned to buy a maximum of $5.4 billion in agency MBS, as expected, over the January 15 through February 13 period, based on December paydowns (that exceeded $20 billion). For the two-week period beginning today, the Desk is scheduled to buy up $2.6 billion MBS across five FedTrade operations (all closing at 11:45am ET) starting with tomorrow’s operation in which they will purchase up to $918 million UMBS30 2.5 percent ($417 million) and 3 percent ($501 million).

Today’s calendar is already underway with the Weekly MBA Mortgage Index. Mortgage applications last week increased 30 percent from one week earlier. Joel Kan, AVP of Economic and Industry Forecasting, sagely observed, “Refinances increased for both conventional and government loans, as lower rates provided a larger incentive for borrowers to act. It remains to be seen if this strong refinancing pace is sustainable, but even with the robust activity the last two weeks, the level is still below what occurred last fall.”

We’ve also received readings for December’s Producer Price Index (headline and core both +.1 percent, a non-event) and January Empire State Manufacturing (+1.3 to 4.8). In addition to a trio of Fed speakers, Philadelphia Fed President Harker, San Francisco’s Daly, and Dallas Fed President Kaplan, the January Fed Beige Book will be released in the afternoon. We begin today with Agency MBS prices better by a tick or two and the 10-year yielding 1.79 percent after closing yesterday yielding 1.82 percent.



A national title Insurance agency in New York State is looking for a partner to increase its sales. The title & escrow agency has been around for over 15 years with a staff of 12 including two attorneys. The ideal partner is someone with many banking and real estate connections looking to either merge, joint venture or become partners with the sole principal of the title agency. This individual or company understands the profitability within the title industry and is looking to get involved on the title side. It's a dream scenario for someone(s) to walk in here and use this national platform to get involved in the title industry. Interested principals should send a confidential note of interest to Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt to pass it along to the president of the company.

GO Mortgage recently launched its Assigned Revenue Model for single originators and branch managers. The new compensation model will increase the revenue share for its participants while delivering a streamlined rate sheet execution—allowing for more compensation and superior rates. GO Mortgage's innovative, best-in-breed technology and marketing stack, delivers a modern mortgage banking platform without increased branch overhead. If you are interested in learning more about GO Mortgage's new retail platform, please contact Frank Papaleo.

To fuel its year-over-year growth, Union Home Mortgage Corp. is actively seeking experienced Account Executives nationwide, to penetrate new markets. With a focus on continuous expansion and responsible lending, President & CEO Bill Cosgrove is “committed to be ALL IN to grow UHM's broker and non-delegated space on a national level.” “Union Home Mortgage supports both our NDC and Wholesale Business Partners by providing trigger leads, notification of possible refinance opportunities, and puts our TPO Partner’s company name and phone number on borrowers’ monthly mortgage statements. Ready to join a customer-centric organization dedicated to providing world-class service at competitive prices? Contact Jim Wickham, Vice President - Third Party Origination at (248) 318.8553.”

(Union Home Mortgage announced that 30+ year industry veteran Eddie Scott has joined the company and is responsible for managing growth, recruiting top talent and spreading brand awareness of UHM in Florida and Georgia.)