Yes, the change in FICO scores garnered some attention, but much of the focus is on Wells Fargo which just can’t stay out of the spotlight… for all the wrong reasons. Ten days ago we learned that the Bank had $2.9 billion of income in the fourth quarter in 2019 (and $60 billion of residential origination) but income didn’t meet expectations and the stock sank. Yesterday came news that ex-Wells Fargo leaders are personally facing $59 million in fines. Former CEO John Stumpf agreed to pay a $17.5-million penalty and is banned from the industry. Carrie Tolstedt, who led Wells Fargo’s community bank for a decade, faces a $25-million penalty that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said could climb higher. The news wasn’t a surprise, but analysts were quick to compare these to some of the penalties from 10-12 years ago.

Lender Products and Services

Optimal Blue reports huge volume via API with Fannie Mae’s Servicing Marketplace® (SMP). Since integrating with Fannie Mae in June 2017, Optimal Blue’s Loan Trading Solution, Resitrader, has automated live pricing for nearly $20 billion of Fannie-approved loans. “Our automated pricing integration with Fannie Mae has been a huge driver of lender satisfaction for over two years,” explained John Ardy, VP of Resitrader by Optimal Blue. The robust integration enables lenders to gain instant visibility and retrieve loan-level Servicing Released Premiums (SRPs) for their designated servicers in the SMP program with a single call. “Together, with our fully automated API integration with Freddie Mac’s Cash-Released XChange, we provide a complete set of direct API integrations that empower leading lenders to effortlessly pull Fannie or Freddie pricing in tandem with their individual SRP values.” Optimal Blue continues to lead the market in automation and technology through smart solutions, actionable data, and unrivaled industry connections.

2020 is finally here, kicking off a new decade of technological advances. So, how far down the path to a fully digital mortgage is your lending operation? Investors and regulators want it, borrowers are demanding it and competitive pressure is requiring it. But, do you have a road map to get you fully digital? Without one, you may face challenges that could prevent you from creating the mortgage ecosystem that’s necessary for delivering an enhanced consumer experience. A mortgage ecosystem is essential because it streamlines the origination process, lowers origination costs and delivers seamless integrations. In this new white paper from Fiserv, you’ll learn about the benefits you’ll derive from creating a mortgage ecosystem and  how to get there. Want more information? Email 

As of December 2019, the average 30-year conforming interest rate was only 20bps above the lowest average rate seen during 2016. Our Informa Financial Intelligence Mortgage Analysts will be hosting a complimentary webinar to dig into this trend and more from 2019 originations in our 2019 Year-End Review: When Rates Fall, Mortgage Volume Grows on Friday, January 31st at 1pm CST. Click here to sign up. Webinar topics will include 1) 30-year note rates have fallen dramatically since Dec 2018 which has driven a substantial expansion of refinancing 2) Shifts in origination's varied across geographies and products (we’ll dig into several notable areas) and 3) How customer risk profiles have changed with 2019 showing some reversals of previous trends. Make sure to join this exclusive event and if you can’t make it, email us for more information on IFI’s expansive mortgage solutions.

Capital Markets

Earlier this month we were reminded that lenders are active in the securitization market. Home Point Financial, a subsidiary of Home Point Capital LP, announced the receipt of an inaugural rating of SQ3+ from Moody's Corporation. Moody's used their "Servicer Quality Assessments for Servicers of Residential Mortgages" framework to analyze Home Point Financial in five categories: collection abilities, loss mitigation abilities, foreclosure and REO timeline abilities, loan administration function, and servicing stability. Moody's found Home Point's collection abilities, collection performance metrics, and loss mitigation performance of loans with modifications to be above average. Home Point Financial is a national multi-channel mortgage originator and servicer located in Ann Arbor, MI, and keeps over 95 percent of originated loans for in-house servicing.

U.S. Treasuries experienced some yield-curve flattening on Thursday after the World Health Organization (WHO) stopped short of calling the recent coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency. Despite 17 people already dying, and China increasing the number of quarantined cities in the Hubei province to seven, the World Health Organization said that “it is a bit too early to consider that this (coronavirus) is a public health emergency of international concern." The WHO will meet again in ten days.

Treasuries backed off their highs after that WHO press conference, but the pullback only brought the complex back to the day's opening levels. Markets had little interest in the latest European Central Bank policy statement, leaving rates unchanged. Its strategic review could take up to a year to complete and spark a rethink of how the ECB approaches things like inflation, inequality, and climate change. ECB head Lagarde’s statement and press conference were supposed to provide clues about the bank’s views on ultra-low interest rates that have rattled financial executives, but she spent little time on that.

Of seemingly no interest was news that the Brexit withdrawal bill was granted royal assent and was signed into law yesterday. Or remarks from Germany’s Angela Merkel at the World Economic Forum in Davos. By the end of the day, the 2s10s spread tightened by 4 bps to 22 bps and it is now 6 bps tighter since last Friday. The 10-year closed the session down -3 bps to 1.74 percent. Despite two unexpected developments in 2020, Iran tensions and the new respiratory virus, equities remain at or near all-time highs and Treasuries have not been hit too hard.

Markets in China and South Korea are closed today for the start of the Lunar New Year celebrations. South Korea's markets will be closed through Monday while China's market will reopen next Friday. Today’s U.S. economic calendar is light on data with only the non-market moving first look at January PMI from Markit later this morning. Additionally, the Desk of the NY Fed will conduct the rescheduled GNII FedTrade operation from Tuesday when they purchase up to $383 million 2.5 percent ($129 million) and 3 percent ($254 million) at the usual 11:45am ET closing time. We begin today with Agency MBS prices unchanged and the 10-year yielding 1.73 percent.


As Ray Brousseau and the team at River City Mortgage continue their nationwide expansion, they have a need to fill the leadership positions of Director of Compliance and Human Resources Manager to support its planned growth. It is preferred that these roles be in Cincinnati but remote locations will be considered depending on experience. River City has a nationwide footprint and is licensed in 24 states. River City is scheduled to be licensed in 40 states by year-end and the Company has added 40 team members and 4 new operating sites in the past 60 days! Interested parties should contact Ray Brousseau. “Come help us build something special!”

Flagstar Bank’s Retail Mortgage Lending is seeking successful producers and producing managers as it expands nationally. If you are open to explore new ways to grow your business, is hybrid banking retail platform can help you. It boasts a robust set of true mortgage banking products, including 0% down jumbos, one-time close, 50% back-end ratio, interest-only, specialty products for tech and medical professionals, as well as first- and second lien HELOCs. And Flagstar has internal portfolio capabilities as well. That’s in addition to lending in all 50 states without having to refer the business, a low cost of funds and an incredible benefits package. For a confidential conversation, contact Steve Rennie, (408) 831-5042.

Nationwide lender, NewRez, is looking for Wholesale Account Executives in key markets. With significant growth expected to continue in 2020, NewRez is seeking experienced AEs in CA, FL, PA, MN, IL, UT, AZ, GA, NC, OH, MI and TN, and other areas. The diverse NewRez product suite, including Non-QM, Jumbo and Agency products, will provide the right candidate significant opportunity to grow market share in their territory. For more information or to submit a resume for consideration, contact Mark Melini, SVP, Wholesale Lending. 

Optimal Blue continues to expand and with growth, comes opportunity! The company is actively searching for a Sales Solutions Specialist – Product & Pricing in its Plano, Texas office. “What does a Sales Solutions Specialist do? They put their 7+ years of experience working with the Optimal Blue PPE, lock desk management, and consultative sales approach to work as they deliver specialized product and market expertise to prospective Optimal Blue PPE clients. Visit the corporate careers page to learn more about this exciting opportunity and the innovative team at Optimal Blue.”

“Sutherland has an exciting opportunity for an experienced “Director of Client Engagement” to join our mortgage practice, to support the full suite of Sutherland’s transformative business services and solutions into existing Mortgage Client organizations. At Sutherland, we put people at the heart of design and business transformation. We work with the world’s best brands to provide end to end process transformation that delivers improved results businesses can see, and improved experiences customers can feel. The Director of Client Engagement establishes and maintains consultative sales relationships within each client organization at every level from the chief executive team to departmental managers. This position will be responsible for growth of each account and overall NPS of Sutherland Global in the mortgage vertical. “We are excited about the growth we are experiencing and looking to add a key member to our team”. For a confidential job description or to apply, email Neil Armstrong.”

When you have more loan volume in 2019 than the previous five years combined, and you double your partner network, you need to add a lot more people to maintain that insane growth. I’m sure no one would be surprised that we’re talking about QLMS. QLMS is keeping its foot on the gas in 2020 by hiring hundreds of Account Executives and expanding its Operations team to continue the unprecedented growth. QLMS needs more than 500 team members to help its 6000+ broker partners see the same growth QLMS is experiencing. To apply and become Stronger Together with QLMS, click HERE

Angel Oak Home Loans has opened a new consumer direct division in Charlotte, NC under the leadership of Ed Powell. Ed was recently named regional manager to help expand consumer direct further into the Southeast. The growth of the non-QM market including their industry leading portfolio products has fueled this growth and enormous opportunity. Ed brings more than 20 years of mortgage, online marketing and sales experience having worked at Chevy Chase Bank, LendingTree, HSBC, and RoundPoint Mortgage. Ed’s proven track record of doing so will strengthen our relationships so we can continue to provide innovative products and service more borrowers.” For more information about consumer direct in Charlotte, contact Ed Powell. For Atlanta and Baton Rouge inquiries contact Drew Church.

Pacific Residential Mortgage (PacRes), headquartered in Lake Oswego, Oregon is now approved in South Carolina and Wisconsin. PacRes will continue its expansion across the United States in the coming months, with new branch offices in the South East, Midwest and the Mountain regions. PacRes is placing local fulfillment production teams in every major market in the United States, so processing and underwriting are placed in major market branch offices. As one of the best capitalized mortgage banks in the country, the origination model is built around no overlays (yes, really). With soon to be announced offices in Arizona, Massachusetts, and North Carolina, opportunities to run production for target markets, as a P&L or corporate branches are available. For Regional Production Leaders, Branch Managers and Loan Officers, email Jenni Connor, National Business Development (828.238.8963), or e-mail: and check out PacRes' Ad for consumers and to learn more about how PacRes Approves Dreams Daily, by clicking here