For the first time in history, the six biggest banks — JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley — made $100 billion in profit in a year. Yowzah! There’s a lot going on out there, and Ben Smidt put out his “Mortgage Expert Insights on Business Planning Strategies” that is worth a gander. Every basis point counts, right? With the increase in short-term rates, for non-depository lenders, does your accounting team tell you how much it costs every day to have a funded but unsold on your warehouse? If they haven’t, they should.


Conventional Conforming Changes

For the most part Freddie and Fannie have motored on, regardless of the PUGS (partial U.S. government shutdown). Let’s see what they’ve been up to recently.

During the weekend of Feb. 23, Fannie Mae’s EarlyCheck™ version 5.8 will introduce new and modified edits to align with existing Loan Delivery edits and upcoming Loan Delivery edit changes. EarlyCheck updates include new edits for condo project type, credit score, and MI as well as edit severity changes.

Freddie Mac posted Bulletin 2019-2 that provides temporary guidance to help assist borrowers impacted by the federal government shutdown. This bulletin covers credit reporting requirements and eligible hardships and forbearance plans.

Freddie Mac announced new enhancements to its GreenCHOICE MortgagesSM energy-efficient offerings, including broader financing options to help families with lower-incomes reduce home utility costs through energy-saving home repairs and improvements. GreenCHOICE Mortgages will enable Freddie Mac to better assess mortgage loan performance between homes with energy-efficient enhancements and those without. Additional research by Freddie Mac will help develop and design valuation guidance and uniform data collection mechanisms, as well as underwriting guidelines to account for energy-efficient features.

The Freddie Mac Guide Bulletin 2018-22 Simplifies Requirements and Provides Flexibilities for Servicers. Click here to view the bulletin.

On January 21st, lenders will be able to submit self-reports and interact with the Data Validation Center right in the Fannie Mae Loan Quality Connect™ system without using a separate process or managing mailbox limitations. These are just two of the many ways Loan Quality Connect helps lenders drive loan quality and manage the post-purchase review process.

On Jan. 21 lenders can start using the Fannie Mae Loan Quality Connect™, its new system that drives loan quality and manages the post-purchase review process. It was developed with lenders, for lenders to bring simplified technology, seamless collaboration, and increased certainty. Click here to learn more about Loan Quality Connect™.

Fannie Mae sellers/servicers with a Dec. 31 fiscal year end must submit their annual certification and audited financial statements to us by March 31. Recent enhancements to the Lender Record Information Form 582 platform will simplify the certification process.

Freddie Mac announced enhancements to its Loan Selling Advisor® including a new Purchase Statement data export capability and incorporating new messaging and search functionality for Mandatory Cash Contracts.

New Uniform Loan Delivery Dataset (ULDD) Phase 3 edits with an Informational severity are now available in Fannie Mae Loan Delivery. Additionally, the Social Security Number (SSN) display is masked in both Loan Delivery and in the MISMO XML export files. Review the Loan Delivery Enhancements and visit the Loan Delivery page for more information.

Capital Markets

The U.S. 10-year closed Thursday at the slightly higher yield of 2.75%. The entire yield curve shifted up. The largest news concerning markets over the course of the day was a report that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin proposed lifting some or all tariffs on imports from China in order to calm markets, though that same story in the WSJ noted that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is against making concessions. In good(?) news, the U.S. State Department has instructed its staff to return to work on January 22, as the longest shutdown in U.S. government history continues with no end in sight. There was the usual Brexit (British Exit) chatter across “The Pond.” European officials are reportedly willing to extend the withdrawal date past March 29, but the UK has yet to request such an extension.

It’s a real mix of companies open and closed Monday. Ahead of the long weekend, we have a relatively light economic calendar today. Fedspeak consists of New York Fed President Williams and Philadelphia’s Harker. Coming up, at 9:15AM, is the Industrial Production & Capacity Utilization couplet, both expected to increase slightly. Manufacturing output should increase 0.4% after an unchanged last reading. The University of Michigan Sentiment Index will be released at 10AM ET and is expected to decline slightly. Today begins with Agency MBS down/worse a few ticks and the 10-year yielding 2.77%.

Lender Products and Services

“On the heels of success with the Single Close Construction program in 2018, GSF Mortgage Corp. (GSF) is kicking off the new year strong by attending the NAHB International Builders' Show in Las Vegas, NV, through February 19-21. Highlights of our Single Close Construction program include, FHA 30 Year Fixed up to 96.5% LTV, VA 30 Year Fixed up to 100% LTV, USDA 30 Year Fixed up to 100% LTV and Conventional 30 year fixed up to 95% LTV. All loans are handled in-house the borrower does not need to requalify after the initial closing and make no interest payments during the build on most products. Eligible home types include: stick built, manufactured, modular. Originators and builders are welcome to stop by GSF’s booth (#SU3048) and discuss the program and partnership opportunities with our attending Construction Division team. Please reach out to VP of Retail Lending, Frank Papaleo.”

In this era of uncertainty, how can Accenture Credit Services help you achieve greater predictability and certainty? “Through supporting your end-to-end or component based residential mortgage needs. As a trusted provider in retail, correspondent and wholesale channels, we help clients accelerate business outcomes and help them grow in today’s unpredictable market. We help transform business operations with lean manufacturing, process automations, data management, operational analytics, and agile global workforce models. Our deep domain expertise and robust processing capabilities help lift significant internal operational challenges for our clients. Accenture’s offshore branch with broad state licensure helps lenders increase their ability to focus on the customer experience and improve customer satisfaction, reduce costs to originate and service loans, improve compliance and management oversight, and enhance their operational efficiencies. Click here to learn more or to let us know if you’re attending the MBA IMB Conference in San Francisco later this month.”

Most of you have hopefully realized the massive opportunity non-QM represents for borrowers that don’t fit neatly into vanilla loan parameters. If you’re craving more options, REMN Wholesale has solutions for you. REMN is hosting a webinar on January 24th that explores the unique options it offers through the Simple Access platform. If you’re looking for ways to continue to grow in the non-QM space, this is a can’t miss event. REMN’s Simple Access program capitalizes on some of the most common scenarios for non-QM borrowers, including investor cash flow and other alternatives to full doc loans. The flexible guidelines REMN Wholesale offers through Simple Access, combined with the industry-leading support REMN is known for nationwide, makes their non-QM platform a win-win for all involved. REMN’s Simple Access non-QM webinar will be hosted by NREP’s Frank Garay. Space is extremely limited, so interested participants should register ASAP here.

“How can you say the words ‘Digital Mortgage’ if your POS requires human intelligence or often results in human error? PerfectLO is the leading POS in the Fin-tech space and has designed a Perfect Loan Application built with intelligence that "digs" in and asks all the questions that ‘live’ inside and outside the ‘1003.’ We all know that a completed "1003" is quite useless even when completed. The real pain in your operation begins is caused from inaccurate 1003’s and not requesting required docs. PerfectLO creates a ‘spot on’ doc checklist based off the answers and offers a secure upload. A customizable milestone sms notification portal to keep your borrowers and agents updated. Sign up for a free trial and demo. PerfectLO’s online questionnaire takes a non- intimidating, logical and systematic approach. Easy to adopt and easy onboard. PerfectLO works in every language and talks to all LOS’s. Visit!”

Looking for ways to grow your business? Freddie Mac is collaborating with clients to deliver automation and insights that provide a competitive edge. Cut back on documentation and reduce time to close with Loan Product Advisor® automated income and asset assessment capabilities. Save borrowers time and money with ACE appraisal waivers, now available for certain condo unit loans. Grow your condo business with Freddie Mac’s unit-level condo exception tool, Condo Project AdvisorSM. Get greater efficiency with simpler collateral QC and underwriting in Loan Collateral Advisor® Get The Freddie EdgeSM.

Amazon, JP Morgan Chase, LinkedIn, Uber, and Nest all use Customer and Business Intelligence to give themselves the edge they need to win in their industry. They spend hundreds of millions of dollars on intelligence products and will continue to invest more every year because it works! Sales Boomerang has created the same powerhouse intelligence systems for the lending industry but you don't have to spend millions to implement it in your business. Management launched a new category in the mortgage industry called Borrower Intelligence and it is an absolute must have product. "If you have a database of more than 15,000 records you will miss out on at least $100M+ and in many cases over $1B in volume this year" says Alex Kutsishin Co-Founder and CEOof Sales Boomerang. Calculate your losses for yourself with this simple Loan Loss calculator. Sales Boomerang is booming so if you want to know how it fits into your strategy go visit its website and schedule a demo.

Jobs and Transitions

Highlands Residential Mortgage is honored to announce that National Mortgage News ranked Highlands as the “Number 1” Mortgage Company on their inaugural 2019 Best Mortgage Companies to Work for List. Using extensive employee surveys and employer reports on benefits, the Awards Program identifies and recognizes the Best Employers in the Industry.

“I’m very proud that Highlands was awarded First Place! From the beginning, our goal was to build a company with an employee focused culture that would attract and retain the best Mortgage Professionals in the industry. Winning this award affirms we are reaching that goal. The mission of valuing people drives everything we do and has resulted in the company growing for five consecutive years” said Ken Hickman CEO. Highlands currently has 31 branches in 11 states with 350 employees. If you are interested in joining the Best Workplace in the industry contact Danny Deaton EVP National Production 469-364-7078.

Caliber Home Loans, Inc. CEO Sanjiv Das was recently quoted by The Wall Street Journal in two recent articles. On January 4th, Das was quoted as saying “I think that family assistance has a higher moral bearing on people when things turn tough in the housing market,” in the article titled “More First-Time Home Buyers are Turning to the Bank of Mom and Dad.” This week he was quoted in the article “How to Make Home Ownership a Reality,” telling readers how “to make the right choices” when it comes to getting a home loan, the leading lender’s CEO said “Speed, certainty and rate are all important—not just the rate.” Caliber is currently the 3rd largest non-bank lender in the country (IMF). Caliber is growing and hiring new Loan Consultants. Consider a new career at Caliber this year! Visit or email Jeremy DeRosa.

Branch Managers, are you looking for stability for you and your team? It can take time before discipline pays off, but when it does, significant gains can result. Such is the case for PRMG’s position of strength as a company and our attractiveness for those seeking a home they may rely on. Many in our industry are currently unstable. Some offered unsustainable pricing in Q4 in an effort to recruit under what some might call false pretenses, only to worsen their pricing later. At PRMG we’re consistent, transparent and growing. Our pricing, products, fulfillment, marketing, compensation, and technology attract and retain top talent. Our two Founders continue to reinvest into PRMG providing a safe haven for those professionals who recognize the value in stability. PRMG affords you, the LO or BM, a voice. You matter here at PRMG and we treat you like the customer that you are. PRMG is that rare find of culture and performance and those who have taken full advantage of what we have to offer have become million-dollar earners in a few short years. Email Chris Sorensen, SVP-National Director of Retail, if you’re finally ready to build your legacy instead of another’s.”

VantageScore Solutions announced that Dr. Emre Sahingur has joined as SVP, Predictive Analytics, Research, and Product Management. (Dr. Sahingur most recently served as the Chief Risk Officer for Model Risk Management at Fannie Mae.)